Today, my therapist taught me a breathing technique for managing feelings such as stress, anxiety, or anger. Breathe in while counting to four, and breathe out while counting to four. I find it helpful cuz it takes concentration without taking too much mental energy.
Tag: Mental Health
I had a horrible day today. When I was at the bus plaza, I was so upset that I started pacing inside. My emotions were running so wild that I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going. I accidentally walked really close to a mother with her two small children. We did an awkward dance around each other and the mother said, “Fuck, lady.” Although I’ve talked about learning conflict resolution skills, I admit I faltered and didn’t react well. She followed me across the street to keep yelling at me. Security guards at the plaza tried to placate her while I made an escape.
I’ve been thinking more about that encounter. I thought at first that she was just a giant asshole, but I see now that I did, although unintentionally, invade her and her children’s personal space. She didn’t know what was going on in my mind, so she may have thought I did it on purpose to antagonize them.
This incident reminds me of another time I paced while upset in (sort of) public. I was in an assisted living facility at the time, and I was pacing up and down the hallway. Someone thought I was on my way to his room and yelled at me, accusing me of trying to break in. I thought at first he was just a giant asshole, too, but looking back, maybe I didn’t realize how close to his room I had gotten, and it really did make it look like I was trying to break in.
I wish that people wouldn’t keep making negative assumptions about my intentions. It’s really hurtful. However, at least in part, I can kinda see how these two people might’ve taken me as a threat due to my lack of attention during emotionally charged pacing.
I think that two incidents is the beginning of a pattern. Pacing while upset in public seems to cause trouble for me. I wanna break this pattern. From now on, if I get upset while I’m around other people, I’ll sit or stay in one place until I can calm myself down. I’m not sure yet how to get myself to calm down. I’ll talk to my therapist about that tomorrow and share what I’ve learned here later.
Edited on 8/15/17 to add: my mommy just suggested, “Maybe you could pace somewhere people would expect it, like at a park.” I’m willing to try it, but I’ll still be careful to do things like look ahead instead of at the ground so that I don’t disturb anyone. There’s a beautiful park downtown with lots of birdies that I like. If I feel the need to pace when I’m upset again, I’ll go there to walk my feelings off.
In the past, when I didn’t like how someone was treating me, I often responded by lashing out, such as by calling the person an asshole. In this post, I talk about what I learned about dealing with conflict recently from a book I read.
From now on, I’ll be kind to people regardless of whether they’re kind or unkind to me. I used to have a spiteful side, but now, I think differently.
If someone is unkind to me, and I’m unkind back, they’ll retaliate to my retaliation and it’ll keep going in an endless cycle. If someone is unkind to me, and I’m kind to them, my actions can likely deescalate the conflict. Also, the person may be inspired to be more kind in the future.
Here are some of the goals I’ve set for being kinder when I’m angry:
- Don’t call the person a name.
- Keep the tone and volume of my voice calm.
- If the person is acting out cuz of an unmet need, and if I feel up to it, I can try to negotiate with them to meet their need.
- If I don’t feel up to engaging, I can remove myself from the situation.
I feel happier and healthier now that I’ve changed the way I react to conflicts. I hope to contribute to making a world a more peaceful place with my new mindset and actions.
Last Sunday, I tried out the Unitarian church. I received a warm welcome from many people. The atmosphere was positive and there were many references to nature throughout the sermon, which I enjoyed. I felt calm there, which is an unusual feeling for me cuz I have depression and anxiety and have been dealing with a lot of long term stress. I think that joining the church will help me relax more.
The sermon was about creativity. A member of the church spoke to us about her experiences writing poetry and running various writing groups. She and the substitute pastor gave two pieces of advice about creativity: to pay attention, and to draw from our inner lives. She shared some of her poems with us, which were beautiful. There was even a poem she built from words she picked out of a box. They were words that seemed random, like electric and salamander, but she turned them into a beautiful poem, too.
There are some other activities through the church that I’m interested in. The Pastoral Care team involves providing emotional and practical support for other church members. The Singular Unitarians group does various activities, such as movies and potlucks. I’m not sure what the Dojo of the Mind involves, but I think it might involve something like philosophy or brain teasers. I’ll try it out and see what happens.
The payee organization I’m using is set up so that clients have a temporary payee for the first 30 days and then get switched to a long term payee. My temporary payee stopped working there last week, but they didn’t bother to let me know that. I’m not entirely sure who my current payee is, but they think it’s someone named Jerry. I tried calling Jerry yesterday. The organization promises to return calls within one business day, but he didn’t respond. I’m trying not to make a negative assumption about him, but I’m frustrated that I can’t get a hold of him. I’m upset that the organization hasn’t been proactive about communicating a change to me.
There are a lot of things I need to know, such as how often they’ll send me money, how much money they’ll send, and how they’ll deal with my rent and utilities. Social Security recently sent a letter saying that the payee got my back pay by the 16th, so I’ve apparently had money for a while, but the payee hasn’t given me any. I’m also upset about that.
There’s another issue, too. The smaller benefit I was on before Social Security has been cancelled, but Social Security thinks I’m still getting it for some reason, and they sent a letter saying that I’ll have my Social Security reduced by the amount I was getting starting in September. I found the letter saying that the benefit is cancelled, and I’ll have to use it to hopefully persuade Social Security to keep giving me the full amount.
I’m emotionally exhausted and miserable. I just wanna be able to access my money and start using it to enjoy my life. This should be a happy time for me, after a lifetime of having very little access to money, but it’s not. I’m screaming inside. I just wanna finally have financial stability.
On top of all of this, my dad is also upset, and he has been taking it out on me. The stress I’m feeling is unbearable.
I’m lonely, so I’m gonna try some new activities to spend some time around people. The activities I’ll try include a sci-fi/fantasy Meetup, a Unitarian church, and art sessions. I’ll also get involved in a program for people with mental illness that involves things like movies and cooking classes. I hope that eventually I’ll get to know some people well enough to hang out outside of the activities. I’m nervous about how well I’ll do at socializing, but I’ll try to stay in the moment.
I find living in a group home very stressful, and I’m gonna use this blog post to vent. Content note: property damage, physical assault, intimidating behaviors, threat of physical assault, suicide attempt, rape.
I had a roommate who hit me repeatedly and broke my stuff.
I had a roommate who wouldn’t lock the door, and someone came in and stole my stuff once when I was gone.
I had a roommate who would constantly complain if I had the light on during the DAY.
I had a roommate who would constantly call me names.
My current roommate poops on the potty floor and passive-aggressively sighs at me.
A couple of residents have aggressively stared me down despite not even having interacted before.
Another resident has threatened to choke me.
There are even more traumatic things than these that have happened that I won’t go into.
The staff are constantly in and out of my room, and several of them keep leaving the door unlocked, which is a big problem when I’m gone or asleep. I’m constantly afraid that someone is gonna steal my things or my roommate’s things or attack one of us at night.
Every time something goes wrong, the staff blame me, and they’ve blasted me to multiple therapists, ruining those relationships. They even ruined my Social Security hearing, cuz they told Social Security twisted versions of events that have happened and made me look bad.
I’m constantly having mental breakdown here cuz the environment is so stressful for me. I feel like a lot of residents and staff members are hostile towards me. I hate so many people at my group home, and am furious and traumatized.
I’ve been so unhappy here that I once attempted suicide, and multiple times, I’ve tried to run away, getting myself into dangerous situations. For example, I stayed with someone for a week who ended up raping me.
On June third, I’ll be able to move in temporarily with my dad, and from there, get my own place. I’ve struggled through a few years here and have just a couple more weeks to go, but the time is passing agonizingly slowly. I’m desperately screaming inside.
This blog provides me with an outlet, and it’s something that I have control over. I’m glad to have it. I’ll use it as a distraction. I’ll do my best to keep hanging in there until I can leave.