Author Topic: Reciprocal Relationships with Others and Ourselves  (Read 483 times)

Twoapenny

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Re: Reciprocal Relationships with Others and Ourselves
« Reply #60 on: June 07, 2019, 11:10:21 AM »
Will reply properly soon; busy few days but am popping in just to connect :)  Just wanting to write down before I forget - I'm trying to focus on how things make me feel rather than what I ought to do, who, what, why, blah blah blah and it was interesting yesterday because I spent some time with a friend and met another friend of hers and came home feeling lovely and relaxed, happy, smiley and in a good place.  Met another friend today and came home tired and feeling a bit frustrated.  It's funny because nothing bad happened; we chatted, caught up on each other's news, had a coffee - but I just didn't come away feeling energised and calm.  Not going to analyse it or think about it too much, just going to make more effort to see more of the friend that made me feel smiliest :) xx

Twoapenny

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Re: Reciprocal Relationships with Others and Ourselves
« Reply #61 on: June 10, 2019, 05:30:00 AM »
Just wondering what you guys think about this - I've noticed recently that when I speak or text with friends who I feel have let me down/not been supportive enough/don't understand my situation - I tend to want to speak very negatively about how I feel and what's going on (focus on the bad stuff).  When I talk to good, supportive friends, I tend to focus on positives and what I hope to do - I still talk about the negative bits but I tend to balance it with "so what I want to do about that is ..........." and then focus on the positive or useful bit.

It made me feel a bit icky as I think it's a passive aggressive type thing and I hadn't noticed it before (you've upset me by not offering to help, I will tell you how bad my life is instead of saying "you upset me because you didn't offer to help").  But it also got me thinking that I'm happy to let go of friends who aren't supportive and focus on the ones that are.  So what I'm wondering is ....................... do you think I should still tell people I felt let down by them - even though I don't really want them around any more so it won't change the situation?  Part of me thinks it's a good exercise in being direct and if the risk is I lose the friend then it won't matter as I'm not keen anymore anyway.  Another part of me thinks I'm just going to be saying something for the sake of it as I don't feel (or want) it to change the situation.  And another part of me thinks if saying it makes them change and start phoning a lot or offering to come round I'll be obliged to stay friends with them and I don't think I want to!  Lol.  I think something inside me feels a bit guilty for moving on as well, but I'm feeling more and more that I want to spend time with people who I can learn from or really engage with on a positive level, rather than just filling time trading chit chat about nothing in particular (which has its place but I feel like I can get that anywhere, I really want more than that in my life now).

What do you wise owls think? xx

sKePTiKal

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Re: Reciprocal Relationships with Others and Ourselves
« Reply #62 on: June 10, 2019, 09:07:52 AM »
Dashing off the top of my head...

you are worried about feeling what you're really feeling... and how others see you, as a result. (I do it too.) Being gently more direct is more true to yourself, and actually frees the other person to exercise their own autonomy. Y'all aren't playing roles in a game anymore, ya see?

So, while not necessarily passive-aggro, it's sort of a smokescreen to hide yourself behind. Some general humor, while leading the conversation in a direction away from negativity - acknowleding the temptation to go there - but refusing to, might be a clearer way forward for you with people you're not willing to invest anymore time in.

There are so many ways we are conditioned to play these roles in our social lives. It's a whole topic on it's own. Past trauma, personality, needs, etiquette and social "currency" transactions... blech. Sorting out what we truly want from what we conditioned to expect too.
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Hopalong

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Re: Reciprocal Relationships with Others and Ourselves
« Reply #63 on: June 10, 2019, 11:24:16 AM »
I'd be tempted to re-write that "script" I fantasized, but the only real point of it was to use I-messages and to explain how you feel.

Example:  Instead of "you let me down" that would be "I feel very let down" or XXX, whatever the feeling is.

If you have decided a friendship's over regardless maybe a simpler "With my situation, I've got to know who I can rely on and it's not good for me to make most of the effort."

I don't know, I feel that's pretty lame advice to offer, Tupp. I'm sorry I don't have better insight.

As to not feeling relaxed and clear about the one friend, is that typical or an "off" time? That's the only way I could think about to evaluate it.

I wonder if keeping a separate little notebook that focuses on this issue only, because it's very important to your well being to build positive if not perfect connections and community. Your "PEOPLE" book. Maybe if you made little notes of how each arrangement/encounter felt, and then look back at them after a month, it'll jump out at you which connections are making sense and which aren't.

Fwiw, YOU make sense. You make SO much sense! I'd consider myself very lucky to have a wise 3-D friend like you, and we're all so very fortunate to be talking together here.

It blows me away, this place. Gratitude, gratitude.

Love
Hops
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Hopalong

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Re: Reciprocal Relationships with Others and Ourselves
« Reply #64 on: June 10, 2019, 12:29:59 PM »
Hmmm. Just re-read your post and had another thought. (It's related to my earlier comment about I-messages, which are a form of health.)

Quote
(you've upset me by not offering to help, I will tell you how bad my life is instead of saying "you upset me because you didn't offer to help")

It just hit me that there's something here: In addition to the accusations ("You've upset me"--instead of "I feel upset") something else got me. It was another accusation ("You didn't offer to help.")

What hit me was that in addition to the accusations (which is not to accuse you of something terrible, but in confrontation, "YOU" messages always read as blaming, which instantly closes the ears of the other, because they feel accused and thus become defensive or closed off.) It makes it a fight instead of deepening the opportunity to connect by being open about the self.

The BIGGER thing that hit me was, Tupp did not ask for help.

Do you know that you can ask for help? Instead of waiting for someone to intuit and assume and mind-read and just offer? Yes, ideally someone would. But often people don't. Even good people.

There's risk in asking. The person can say No. The person can display indifference or make unconvincing excuses. But then, you know more about that friendship. You have more clarity on who you can rely on, who's worth your investment of caring and time. If someone says No, depending on the relationship, you might decide to try it twice. Ask for help again a week later. If it's No again, you know.

If you can endure the risk of asking rather than waiting for them to guess, and the risk of possibly hearing NO, you'd be completely real about who you are, what your life situation is, and what your actual needs are in friendship. You'd be speaking up. Saying, "I need some help with this and wanted to ask if you would XXXX (spend an hour with Son, bring me XXX from the store, whatever the favor is)."

I hope I haven't garbled this, but it hit me as an insight. (Hops gives self a badge.) It really is about I-messages. They're revolutionary.

Love,
Hops

PS--Another chestnut related to this, for me, is this one:
It's always okay to ask for what you want, as long as you release the outcome.

IOW, if we release the expectation that we control what happens next, and try to release that in peace, it's less scary to ask for what we want and need. Because if it's Yes it's Yes, and if it's No, we keep on moving to find another way to meet our needs. No time for recrimination or bitterness, it was just "No." No is a piece of information, not a judgement of us. It's just information. The answer from that direction was No...Oh.

One T I knew loved to explain the power of "Oh." It's so neutral. Somebody says something that normally would lance us with disappointment, and we train ourselves to think, "Oh." It's just...neutral. Information. We can take or not take any action we choose as a result, but it doesn't HAVE to be a bolt of pain.

That was a revelation to me, to try to feel that sort of peace inside. Nobody can do it all the time or in all situations, but I became a believer in the power of "Oh." (Maybe in Brit it's more like, "Right then.") ??


« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 12:35:22 PM by Hopalong »
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Twoapenny

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Re: Reciprocal Relationships with Others and Ourselves
« Reply #65 on: June 10, 2019, 04:14:38 PM »
Just responding quickly, Hops, as what you said made me think but it's nearly bed time and I'm too tired to answer all the replies lol, but didn't want to forget what popped into my head :)

I think with me, when it comes to help, if it is something specific ("can you babysit for me for an hour, could you pick him up from college, can we borrow that new DVD from you") then I can and do ask for help.  I think for me, what I need in my life now are those people who, when I'm up to my eyes in paperwork, struggling with menopause symptoms, detesting my house, feeling lonely, wishing I was ten years younger and just in that doldrum space, say "is there anything I can do?".  Who don't need to wait for me to ask, because they're perceptive enough and aware enough that things are really difficult.  And I think those sort of people who just ring for a chat or send me a silly text message to cheer me up or a link to an article they think I like, those little thoughtful things - I think it's that difference between people who need to be told things are difficult and asked for specific things and people who get that it's tough and just offer an ear or a bit of time without me saying anything.

Anyway I think that is all my thinking for now!  I'll think some more through the night, I'm sure, I'm off to bed now.  Night night and will reply properly tomorrow :) xx

Hopalong

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Re: Reciprocal Relationships with Others and Ourselves
« Reply #66 on: June 11, 2019, 01:50:10 PM »
Quote
what I need in my life now are those people who, when I'm up to my eyes in paperwork, struggling with menopause symptoms, detesting my house, feeling lonely, wishing I was ten years younger and just in that doldrum space, say "is there anything I can do?".  Who don't need to wait for me to ask, because they're perceptive enough and aware enough that things are really difficult.

I hear this to my toes, Tupp. I'd say I have one solid, and one almost so, people in my life now who check in. I basically feel as though these are the kinds of people I have a line to, and vice versa. Really, only one of them has that level of sensitivity; the other reaches out from loyalty and habit but isn't very empathetic.

The first one is very likely to move away within a year or so; the second doesn't take care of her health. So I'm very aware that even these kinds of good friends are not permanent nor guaranteed. And I do feel a need to always have more than one or two people in my life I trust at that level.

So...I think my basic thing still applies. My worst isolation developed when I basically didn't ask for what I needed, and I am positive it could happen again. Even now, I think, when meeting new people who might be compatible, there is always the chance to create a new and meaningful connection.

The thing that I believe helps filter those who might say "I've been thinking of you and know what you're going through; is there anything I could do?" is for me to say what I want from the beginning. And that means I need to tell people how I'm doing in my life, including biggest joys and biggest burdens. If that includes one day soon after meeting saying exactly what you said (symptoms, house, son, lonely) then I think I have to do it, rather than hope they'll guess, or hope they'll be that kind of perceptive person.

And then I get information in return. If they pull back, I know they're not looking for the same kind of friendship as I am. If they stay steady or step a little closer, maybe we're going to be able to become real friends and support each other.

All in all, I still think me getting what I want involves expressing it, which isn't necessarily asking one individual directly, would you be that sensitive friend who reaches out? But asking the universe for it by developing a pattern of being open and risking a No, while I repeat what is true for me. Because I have a right to be real.

And so do you. Nobody's all the same and your way of approaching all this will be right for you and true to you. I hope so much that if you do risk vulnerability and a few Nos, you'll soon find a true heart who also needs a friend, saying YES.

Because that would be one of the smartest Yeses that person has ever uttered.

love
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: Reciprocal Relationships with Others and Ourselves
« Reply #67 on: June 11, 2019, 11:59:58 PM »
I think that's true, Hops, and I am finding it easier with new people to be honest about my life.  One of the things that's always made it hard for me to admit any kind of struggle was the fear of it getting back to my mum, and that in turn getting back to social services.  I think that's underpinned a lot of stuff.  And I find the pain of speaking my truth, and having it dismissed or ignored, so difficult to cope with.  When my son was very ill, possibly terminal, and all I could do was wait to find out, the first two people that I told were so dismissive that I didn't tell anybody else.  I just couldn't cope with my fear that he was dying, the practicalities of his day to day care and the real lack of emotion from other people (not even a gasp of "Oh my God, that's terrible!".  Just almost no reaction at all, and certainly no "can I do anything to help?").  So I think all of those things have contributed but I am having better responses from new people I'm meeting now - more concrete.  I think something else I used to do was just be friends with someone because they wanted to be - I didn't stop to consider whether I wanted to, I was just always so grateful that someone liked me.  I don't feel like that anymore, I can be more detached and take my time and ask myself whether or not this is what I want.  So I think that's an improvement.

I do wonder as well if I'm just over thinking it and it's really more that life just changes and people change (or don't change!) with it.  I was talking to a friend yesterday who's in a similar situation to me (son who will require life long care) and we were both saying that we feel only other people in the same situation really get it.  She said she's just kind of gone off friends as time's gone on; she still sees them from time to time but they're not really on the same wave length any more and that's just how it is.  So perhaps that's just an element of it, things have just changed a lot and other people haven't changed in the same way that I have.  Probably a mixture of all those things.

Twoapenny

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Re: Reciprocal Relationships with Others and Ourselves
« Reply #68 on: June 13, 2019, 11:39:12 AM »
Just writing more things down here so I don't forget it later but boy, I am feeling so tired and drained at the moment.  Had a very frustrating conversation with the new social worker this afternoon - son will turn 18 next year so will transfer to adult services so they set the wheels in motion now, the idea being that the assessments are done in time for his birthday so we aren't left hanging without support (not that we have any support at the moment but that's the theory, anyway).  Which all makes a lot of sense and I'm glad about but I wanted to get a bit of basic information from her about time frames - how long the assessment takes, if it's more than one assessment, does she need other evidence re education and health, how long between doing the assessment until we get a budget proposal and so on - simply because I have got so much else on at the moment that I need to arrange things in the right order to make sure timings coincide and we get things through at the right times (some assessments link in to other assessments and his benefits all change again next year so we need evidence for that which has to be within a certain time frame and so on so making sure things get done at the right time keeps everything moving and avoids drama, which I really like :) ).

Was like getting blood out of a stone; she was very reluctant to give me any information and just kept repeating that she'd be doing an assessment and would tell me everything then - didn't seem to understand that I need some basic information about her role so that I know where she fits into the puzzle.  I got there in the end and the assessment is now scheduled but for five months later than she wanted which just shows that you need these conversations to make sure things are done at the right time - if she'd done it this month we'd have been out of date for some of it and would have to do it again.

That was exhausting and then we had a meeting at college about son's education plan - again, because we're heading back to court, I wanted to check what was and wasn't being provided, see what's still outstanding and who is responsible for it, as well as starting to plan what needs to happen next year because again, it all changes and things that are currently funded by education are taken over by social care so different assessments need to be done.  Found out that something that should have been done hasn't been, not a huge deal but it throws a bit of a spanner in the works and means another email to the solicitor to check their proposal is accurate, and throws out some other assessments I'd penciled in.

I'm not going to throw in the towel in a big huff about it all but it really isn't worth all the work and effort I'm having to put in, or the restrictions on our time because of having to limit what we do ourselves so he isn't too tired for college.  Son is not particularly enjoying it anymore either; I think the novelty has worn off and he's feeling tired and finding it stressful at times.  We've got a number of options so I'm just going to take my time doing research and figuring out possible scenarios and working out what to do next.  But the workload is huge and very frustrating and the stress is taking a real toll on me.  I got off the phone feeling sick, had a banging headache by the time I got to college and then started sweating profusely because my anxiety was up so high.  I think a bit of soul searching and some honest conversations with myself and other people is needed over the next few months :) xx

sKePTiKal

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Re: Reciprocal Relationships with Others and Ourselves
« Reply #69 on: June 13, 2019, 05:48:37 PM »
Tupp, I think all students get a bit stressed and overtired of school at the end of their first year. It's a normal thing when you're ready for a break. College is a big leap into a whole new landscape for freshmen - and for your son, having been homeschooled, he's also navigated a new world. Bet he starts missing his classmates in about a month!

That system of care support you're dealing with sounds like an absolute nightmare. Intentionally obtuse, even. How many assessments need to be done, before the Powers that Be read the previous ones? Not having any experience with that kind of thing that would be helpful, I'll just sit here and marvel at your skills in managing it all.
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Twoapenny

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Re: Reciprocal Relationships with Others and Ourselves
« Reply #70 on: June 14, 2019, 08:43:32 AM »
Tupp, I think all students get a bit stressed and overtired of school at the end of their first year. It's a normal thing when you're ready for a break. College is a big leap into a whole new landscape for freshmen - and for your son, having been homeschooled, he's also navigated a new world. Bet he starts missing his classmates in about a month!

That system of care support you're dealing with sounds like an absolute nightmare. Intentionally obtuse, even. How many assessments need to be done, before the Powers that Be read the previous ones? Not having any experience with that kind of thing that would be helpful, I'll just sit here and marvel at your skills in managing it all.

Lol, no skill involved, Skep, I'm just endlessly ploughing through the same thing over and over again.  They are intentionally obtuse; the less the service user knows about their rights or the various pieces of legislation that underpin the less support the service user can claim, so the cheaper it is.  So when you start asking specific questions about how things are done or time frames, or about re-using previous information they don't like it, because it means they won't be able to do you over as easily.  There's also a thing about specific information, I find, they tend to keep things vague so that you can't use anything against them in the future.  They also have a thing where they're supposed to tick a box that they have a good working relationship with the family (which is why they like to do things like meet and greets) but my problem with that is that I don't want a working relationship with them - they're paid to do a job and I just want them to do it - I don't want any more to do with them than that.  So anything other than a direct trade of information is just a waste of my time and I never rely on them to give me accurate information, because they never do.  If I'd gone along with what she proposed yesterday we'd have had three meetings over a six week period before she started writing anything up and then that could take another three months to complete - and there's no guarantee it will be accurate so it might have to be corrected as well.  So you're easily looking at five to six months of faffing, if not more.  By the end of our conversation, she'd agreed we could do it all in one meeting and she'll score it as she goes so that she can give me a ball park figure for support costs on the day - which means I can start putting together a proposal for a care package straight away (and actually means I've already got a rough idea because they work on a points system, which is on the internet, so I can start doing some investigating now and just confirm things once she's done the assessment).  So instead of it taking six months we can do it in four weeks - which you'd think everyone would prefer, but for some reason they prefer to be inefficient and keep people waiting.  Baffles me.  But onwards and upwards lol xx

lighter

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Re: Reciprocal Relationships with Others and Ourselves
« Reply #71 on: June 14, 2019, 10:29:15 AM »
Hi Tupp:

Sorry the paperwork slog continues to be taxing and inneficient.  4 weeks sounds much better than many months to me too.

About the negativity w friends who don't understand or support you....I think we all require empathy and understanding.  I think part of you attempts to educate and explain to these folks, where the people who "get it" have validated, and heard you.  There's room for other things....positive things, etc.

Sorry I'm hitting high spots.  Oldest DD having wisdom teeth out now, so posting in waiting room.

Miss you guys.
Lighter

Hopalong

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Re: Reciprocal Relationships with Others and Ourselves
« Reply #72 on: June 14, 2019, 05:01:29 PM »
(((((((Tupp))))))))))
I so understand this:
Quote
I find the pain of speaking my truth, and having it dismissed or ignored, so difficult to cope with.

I found/find the same in speaking the truth about my D, either to existing friends/acquaintances or potential new ones...very difficult, too. I have found with practice, since it's not as raw for me as it once was, that it's getting faster and a bit easier to remain detached from the A-inadequacy or B-agitation or C-emptiness of people's responses. I know now that most people absolutely cannot take in the fact of estrangement (or for you: the facts of your life and load). So I try to treat it like, this is part of the weather, I need my emotional brolly for a moment here. And risk telling the basic truth anyway.

I think I reframed it for myself as a separate, personal goal: to get more comfortable (not meaning confrontational) in just stating what's true when I feel like doing it. Regardless of how someone reacts to it. Just liking myself so much that I realize to keep that info secret or suppressed or stuffed in order not to face another person's reaction takes just as much energy as speaking and coping-with-response in the first place. On balance, I've decided I like being real. If that limits my crop of potential friends, that's okay. Research suggests that only a few close friends is all one really needs to cultivate. I need a good-sized handful, but not 10.

As to the bureaucracy nightmare. I'll do mah thang again but because it's me, not because it's a good idea. Take with huge shaker of salt.

What would happen if you told this nice bureaucrat something like (HOPSSCRIPT ALERT): "This might be an unusual request, but I'd like to explain why it's important to me to have as clear a timeline as possible. I'm very mildly on the spectrum. I can be really efficient when I can plan things ahead, knowing what step of the process comes when. I know you may not be able to guarantee every specific date, but would you be willing to answer some extra questions about the timeline? Knowing how I need to plan for that will make my work for my son much easier. Can we proceed that way?" (If you get a No, you might kindly--not angrily--say: Oh dear, I can see this puts you into difficulty. Is there someone at another level who might be able to offer me that accomodation?)

That way, you might solicit her helpfulness...because she's in a helping role. Maybe, IF you are comfortable offering an insight about your own wiring as one reason, that would make sense, and she'd recognize that this would be a good way to be of service. Or understand your need, which was presented very logically. Responsibly.

(Of course it would not be good if you think it'd be used against you somehow. But it's a way to be real and share something that might motivate a decent human to slow down, spell out more dates/tasks you need to know about, etc.) Maybe you could do a gut-check about that individual bureaucrat, and decide case by case.

Or discard the notion immediately if it's a terrible idea! You're the one who lives with it.

SO much support and cheering you on...
love
Hops
« Last Edit: June 14, 2019, 05:37:41 PM by Hopalong »
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Twoapenny

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Re: Reciprocal Relationships with Others and Ourselves
« Reply #73 on: June 16, 2019, 03:57:41 AM »
Hi Tupp:

Sorry the paperwork slog continues to be taxing and inneficient.  4 weeks sounds much better than many months to me too.

About the negativity w friends who don't understand or support you....I think we all require empathy and understanding.  I think part of you attempts to educate and explain to these folks, where the people who "get it" have validated, and heard you.  There's room for other things....positive things, etc.

Sorry I'm hitting high spots.  Oldest DD having wisdom teeth out now, so posting in waiting room.

Miss you guys.
Lighter

I hope DDs teeth are okay now, Lighter, in or out!  I've always been very lucky that I have a big mouth with plenty of space for many teeth :) I hope she's okay.

The good news on the friend front is that I am making good connections with new people who are just lovely.  Very understanding but also very proactive - they're not sitting agreeing with everything and then doing nothing to change.  They're working together, helping each other out, passing on useful info and still laughing even when things are difficult.  They have a different energy about them to my previous friends who I am increasingly feeling little or no connection to.  We went to the sports group yesterday and gave another mum and her son a lift - they live near us and she doesn't drive.  I know how hard buses can be when you have a disablity and we have space in the car so it was nice to be able to help them out, but they're also just really nice people - very friendly and chatty and she knows other people who she introduced me to.  Chatted to another mum there who is also lovely, met her husband as well, they're just nice people with lovely kids who are amazing even though they have so many problems, bless them.  And sat talking to another mum who is 78 and still having to provide care for her 40 year old disabled daughter, even though she's been in a residential home since her 20s.  She gave me loads of information about provision for adults in the area; there are some really good projects going on that I will check out over the summer holidays.  But her situation is what I'm up against; even ticking all the boxes, there are still days when her daughter will not go anywhere unless they take her, because there isn't a staff member available, and they are still having to pay for medical equipment for her and organise appointments and so on because it just doesn't happen on its own.  The system is just inadequate - but, at least I'm seeing that early and i can find ways to avoid those problems in the future.

Tell DD get well soon from us :) xx

Twoapenny

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Re: Reciprocal Relationships with Others and Ourselves
« Reply #74 on: June 16, 2019, 04:15:30 AM »
(((((((Tupp))))))))))
I so understand this:
Quote
I find the pain of speaking my truth, and having it dismissed or ignored, so difficult to cope with.

I found/find the same in speaking the truth about my D, either to existing friends/acquaintances or potential new ones...very difficult, too. I have found with practice, since it's not as raw for me as it once was, that it's getting faster and a bit easier to remain detached from the A-inadequacy or B-agitation or C-emptiness of people's responses. I know now that most people absolutely cannot take in the fact of estrangement (or for you: the facts of your life and load). So I try to treat it like, this is part of the weather, I need my emotional brolly for a moment here. And risk telling the basic truth anyway.

I think I reframed it for myself as a separate, personal goal: to get more comfortable (not meaning confrontational) in just stating what's true when I feel like doing it. Regardless of how someone reacts to it. Just liking myself so much that I realize to keep that info secret or suppressed or stuffed in order not to face another person's reaction takes just as much energy as speaking and coping-with-response in the first place. On balance, I've decided I like being real. If that limits my crop of potential friends, that's okay. Research suggests that only a few close friends is all one really needs to cultivate. I need a good-sized handful, but not 10.

As to the bureaucracy nightmare. I'll do mah thang again but because it's me, not because it's a good idea. Take with huge shaker of salt.

What would happen if you told this nice bureaucrat something like (HOPSSCRIPT ALERT): "This might be an unusual request, but I'd like to explain why it's important to me to have as clear a timeline as possible. I'm very mildly on the spectrum. I can be really efficient when I can plan things ahead, knowing what step of the process comes when. I know you may not be able to guarantee every specific date, but would you be willing to answer some extra questions about the timeline? Knowing how I need to plan for that will make my work for my son much easier. Can we proceed that way?" (If you get a No, you might kindly--not angrily--say: Oh dear, I can see this puts you into difficulty. Is there someone at another level who might be able to offer me that accomodation?)

That way, you might solicit her helpfulness...because she's in a helping role. Maybe, IF you are comfortable offering an insight about your own wiring as one reason, that would make sense, and she'd recognize that this would be a good way to be of service. Or understand your need, which was presented very logically. Responsibly.

(Of course it would not be good if you think it'd be used against you somehow. But it's a way to be real and share something that might motivate a decent human to slow down, spell out more dates/tasks you need to know about, etc.) Maybe you could do a gut-check about that individual bureaucrat, and decide case by case.

Or discard the notion immediately if it's a terrible idea! You're the one who lives with it.

SO much support and cheering you on...
love
Hops

I'm already ahead of you, Hops!  Explained how snowed under I am, single parent care, son needs 24 hour support etc, summer holidays coming up now so I have ten weeks with no time off at all so essential to plan ahead, etc, etc, makes no difference.  They just can't hear anything outside of their script.  I find the same when I call companies now - if what I want to know isn't part of what that person enters on the computer they can't do it or answer the question.  I think things are so systemized now that anyone wanting something that isn't on the list just bangs their head against the wall.  The thing that frustrates me the most is that she did eventually give me the information I wanted, after fifteen minutes of arguing back and forth and her insisting she couldn't.  So she was perfectly able to, she just didn't want to, and not being treated like an adult irritates me - it feels like the teacher telling you where to sit in class.  I increasingly feel that the public sector is simply an extension of the school system and if you're unfortunate enough to have contact with them you're treated like a child who needs to do as they're told and not ask questions.  But anyway - sorted now, she gave me the info I wanted, I've checked and some of it's wrong (no surprise there) and we're having one meeting several months away, which means I can get the proposal together, go through it with her on the day, tweak it and hopefully that means everything should be set up in time for son's 18th.  I may eventually get to a point where I have nothing to moan about :)  Lol.

In other news, I do think I'm spreading myself too thinly and trying to do too many different things each day.  I've had a thing in my head if I try and do a little bit of everything I'll chip away at the lists but I think now perhaps I need to stay in the zone and get entire projects finished.  So I'm going to try just focusing on myself and the house over the weekend and try to focus on getting paperwork out of the way when son is at college.  It is starting to clear; there's just so much I'm not happy about and I try to fix everything thinking it will make me happier but I think I'm going to have to practise just letting some stuff go and ignoring it and concentrating on what I need to do today, to make life a bit less stressful.

And in other, other news, I really fancy the acupuncturist.  He is so lovely and invited me to a wellness event that's going on locally.  I started to obsess - is he inviting me because he likes me or has he just invited all of his clients along?  So I have decided to postpone all thoughts of that nature for the time being - I've got too much else going on to give anything or anyone my time or attention at the moment and I don't want to build this up to something in my head only to realise (again!) that I've got the wrong end of the stick.  The trouble is I'm so desperate for company and love that anyone being nice to me takes on a significance to me that it often doesn't to them (from past experience, anyway).  So I'm going to carry on just trying to look after myself and deal with the paperwork mountain, have a nice summer holiday and put together a plan of care for son from his birthday next year.  One thing at a time :)