Category Archives: oppositiional defiant disorder

10/21/2015, Fork in the Road

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For so many years now I have been caught up in “ideal”. I wanted the correct, best, perfect circumstances and outcomes etc., for everything and for everyone in my life. But some things are just not that way and no amount of trying is going to change it. I can’t fix this. It’s all damage control at this point. So settling for the best possible scenario, not the perfect one, is sometimes the only option. So, we have come to a fork in the road. Formally, there were no known affordable possibilities, and now there are a few, but they are less than ideal and the more I search the more I find that the perfect option does not exist. I don’t want to make a mistake but it seems we have to make a choice now, the best possible one, that we can afford, for everyone and someone is going to get the short end of the stick. There is no way around it. I just don’t want to make a bad choice, from many years ago, worse than it already is, so I am wrestling today. I am seeking Wisdom and I am seeking Guidance.

I can’t write anymore today. I need to quiet the chatter in my head and listen to my conscience. I will check in with you tomorrow. Have a good day. 🙂

Cheers.

April

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10/20/2015, Plan “B”

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Good morning.

Today I am not going to say much because I am a little disappointed that plan “A” failed and a little overwhelmed that I still don’t have a solution for a very difficult problem and I feel like it is up to me to figure it out. Right now that is kind of my “job” until I can have one and when I am able to have one, the sole purpose of that job, will be to pay for treatment and or boarding for our adopted son who has severe behavioral problems.

If that sounds confusing and a bit “Dr. Phil”, it is. Sorry about that. Welcome to my reality.

I have no intention of going on “Dr. Phil” by the way.

Anyway, today, I need to let go of the idea of plan “A” and trudge forward towards plan “B”. There are no manuals written on this stuff so I am kind of going at it in the dark and have been for many years now. I am hoping for Guidance, I need it. It would be nice if someone came by that had been this way, but that hasn’t happened much in the last 9 years and I can’t hold out for it now.

Disappointment, move on, there is no time for you and you are getting in my way.

Overwhelming feelings, take a hike, you are not an option.

Self pity, you are counterproductive, move on.

Cast your cares on Him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

One to plan “B”.

Cheers!

April

10/19/2015, Aware

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It’s Monday, again. Good morning. 🙂

I am sitting here enjoying a bulletproof coffee made with coconut oil, rather then butter. As much as I love butter, and even though it’s grass-fed, the little bit of lactose present might contributing towards an ongoing issue I have with inflammation, as I am intolerant and I believe that might be what is impeding my weight loss. I guess that experiment failed. Oh well. So, I am going to go dairy free, entirely, again, and see what happens. The caffeine, I am going to cut back on, but I really don’t have the where with all to go through withdrawals right now, so I may attempt that later, we will see. It’s all part of the journey. I am learning to be in touch with what is going on with my body, slowly.

It’s amazing how out of touch we are with our bodies. I don’t think as many children are, but most adults are. I have a theory about that, that I will share with you. Bottom line, to sum it up in one word, I think it’s all rooted in trauma. I think this happens pretty early on for most of us and the more early it occurs the more body distortion and disconnection a person will experience in his or her life time. A person literally cannot connect with their own presence. They have “left the building” so to speak. It got kind of “freaky” on the outside so the brain called for a retreat and that creates the disconnect. I noticed this when I first began to meditate and could actually sense my hands and feet. I realized I walked around almost completely in my head most of the time, and for most of my life, and the rest of my being was just peripheral rather than actually connected to me vibrationally. It was quite a realization.

So my theory, supported by a lot of new science…….

Trauma doesn’t necessarily have to be a bomb going off in your back yard. Different people have different constitutions. It isn’t about being better than anyone else. It simply has to do with a persons sensitivity to stress and some people are more impacted then others. I believe there is a genetic component to this so DNA and heredity play a roll. If your grandmother weathered the Depression and came out better for it, your odds are better, that when a stressful situation occurs, you will not be as badly impacted as others. Conversely, if Uncle Stan became an alcoholic after the war, as a means of coping with trauma, you might want to watch yourself a little. In my family it is a mixed bag as I believe it is for most others as well. Nothing is set in stone and there is no judgement but it is a good idea to know what your limitations are and learn to manage your stress when you realize you might be particularly sensitive to it’s affect. Experiencing trauma can be as simple as being born during a difficult birth (yes, stored as trauma!), a dog biting you while you ride your bike or your parents having a disagreement. If the brain sees something as traumatic, that is how it will be interpreted. Life is full potential trauma. Some of us learn that earlier than others. Many times we unintentionally and unconsciously traumatize one another. There are some people that do it to others fully aware of what they are doing, but I think that is rare. The amygdala, the animal part of our brain and the part responsible for fight or flight, retains this information and isn’t real keen on letting it go. This ancient, primal section of the brain holds on to this information for our protection, or so it thinks. This “holding on” creates distorted perception that can potentially impact every belief system we have. Everyone, if they live long enough, will experience trauma of varying shapes, forms and severity. It truly isn’t about the trauma as much as it is the brain’s interpretation of it. Perception is everything. Perception shapes what we believe to be “our reality” even though reality isn’t always necessarily what we believe. So telling someone something they have experienced is “no big deal” is rather ignorant. Their only connection to reality, their brain, right or wrong, said so and that is all they know. We really need to get away from judgement. It doesn’t help anyone. Discernment, seeing the objective truth, is a great thing, but toss in resentment and you have judgement which is entirely counterproductive.

This is actually a lot more complex than I am making it, but to put it simply, in order for the amygdala to stop ruling the roost, so to speak, it is necessary for the pre-frontal cortex to step up to the plate and be in charge. The pre-frontal cortex is the center for logic, reason and objectivity. When it takes over the amygdala’s role is lessened and it actually shrinks in size and the pre-frontal cortex grows larger and more active. What we measure as IQ increases. Stress managed through techniques like meditation are the only safe way that I know to accomplish this. (There are other ways which are not legal, nor am I am convinced they are safe) Various studies support this fact.

This is an excellent documentary on the brain and the perception of reality that a good friend sent me:

http://video.pbs.org/video/2365580655/

If you are kind of a documentary nerd like myself you will enjoy it.

Well, got to run. I hope you have a terrific day. Go meditate and get to know Reality. 🙂

Cheers!

April

10/18/2015, Just ONCE!!!!

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Good morning, almost good afternoon. I have gotten a good deal of rest this weekend, which was badly needed, and I am so grateful. 🙂 I threw myself into a couple of novels this weekend and stayed away from the computer. The novels are great distraction from the tasks and issues at hand. I relaxed so much yesterday that I forgot my youngest daughter’s dance rehearsal. I got a call from the studio and got her there about 30 minutes late. The old me, prior to adopting our son with emotional/mental problems and a continual tendency toward criminal behavior, and experiencing trauma as a result of all that, held myself to very high, difficult standard. With my two oldest, biological children, who are now grown, I typically was on top of everything and early every wherever I went and I could never sympathize with anyone else that didn’t seem to have their proverbial sh*t together. I judged them harshly, never thinking for a second about why they might be forgetful or struggling to keep it all together. I guess payback is a “B” if you know what I mean. Judgement isn’t ours to make. Our minds can only handle so much and there comes a point when the “overload light” blinks on and doesn’t shut off very easily. You never know what someone else is walking through. I am there and have been for quite some time. So, I apologized, once, which is unusual for me. Whatever people think, they will think, so what! If I made that kind of mistake in the past, which was rare, the apologizing and appeasing for approval would continue until I was satisfied I was back in a person’s good graces. One apology for an unintentional error is enough! Where I am at now and how I see things is this: I am a human being with a hell of a lot coming at me, daily, and I am grateful not to be put in a straight jacket and carted away at this point with all my family and I have been facing. So running a little late for things here and there is not fatal and I am pushing a half century at this point so I am giving myself a break. It’s about time. The constant beating I have given myself over my lack of perfection for 46 years is done. I have no space anyone’s judgement, not even my own right now. My “give a damn”, about the small things, is slightly impaired now and I don’t think I want it to ever work the way it once did. I think that was fairly sick and far too heavy a burden to carry.

Had some wine on Shabbat. First time since July. Hopefully it won’t negatively impact my weight loss. Maybe it will break my stall. I don’t know. Extending myself a little mercy these days. I need it. 🙂

Gotta run!

Cheers!

April

10/16/2015, Don’t Contribute to the Faulty Programming

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KOREA: Pfc. Julias Van Den Stock of Company A, 32nd Regimental Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division, rests on a Chinese Communist bunker with a Russian type Browning automatic rifle, along the slope of Hill 902 north of Ip-Tong. NARA FILE#: 111-SC-365083

“Billy don’t be a hero”.

I am dating myself with that line from the 1974 Song by Paper Lace about a young man going off to war. Of course I was 5 when it came out but as the child of young parents, that had a lot of the popular music of that time playing in the background, I still have a lot of those lyrics floating around in my programming.

Aspiring to be “a hero” in life is a bit like playing God and often a fatal or at best a very damaging, presumptive move. Just ending up one is different than the ambition to be one. The latter preferable to the former because the first is ego based and the second not.

Yesterday while listening to the controversial but always profound Roy Masters, he said something that got my attention. An 88 year old now he kind of mixed up his words with a bit of English accented stammer but I put his thought together in this slightly paraphrased quote:

“You can’t fix people, but you don’t have to contribute to their faulty programming. Act if you must, but don’t react.”

When we react we take action or speak in response to the emotions we feel as a result of the actions of another person. Conversely, when we act we make objective decisions based on facts, not emotions.

Don’t play the hero. People can’t be fixed by other people. Can God or YHWH use people to help other people? I think so. However, it won’t happen if:

1.) They do not see an issue with their actions and don’t feel they need to change their behaviors.

2.) We react emotionally to their behaviors.

3.) It simply isn’t the plan, ever or at this time, for their lives to get better for reasons we don’t understand. (This one is a hard one to accept, but it is a reality that is impossible to deny sometimes)

I guess the only factor that we can control is the second. It is not up to us to repair people. If we think so, we have an ego problem. I did and I thought I was being “a hero.” When we “play” the hero, we will typically react to a person’s bad behavior, which will happen when we try to play God (because we are not Him). Being reactive we only contribute to or support their faulty programming. We don’t help it. We can actually make it worse because they are already in a perpetual reactive state and we join them in a proverbial never ending war of trading resentment back and forth, no matter how justified we might feel about our resentment. (Resentment is never justifiable)

I have made a lot of mistakes in my life but one thing I do not want to do, no matter how evil another person’s intentions are, is contribute to “tripping them up” or provoking them to sin more. I won’t be able to justify that one no matter how hard I try.

So today I pray not to be led in to temptation so that I won’t contribute to the faulty programming that is already at play.

Shabbat is on it’s way. I need a rest. It’s been a long week.

Cheers!

April

P.S. Enjoy a cool tune 🙂

10/15/2015, How We See Others

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I think the most grievous errors I have made in my life, certainly the most costly ones, have been seeing others in the same way I see myself. Many of us tend to think that other people think and feel like we do and that is simply not the case. We assume that they wouldn’t do something because we wouldn’t. That seems logical but it is far from it. I suppose we have emotional and spiritual Doppelgänger’s, or “look a likes” somewhere, out there in the world, but generally, on the inside, we are all pretty unique. Yet, we continue to assume someone understands what we do, feels like us and reasons in the same manner. I suppose there is some comfort in this false illusion, but it simply is an illusion. Perhaps we wouldn’t be so disappointed or even in some cases devasted when some one fails to meet our expectations if we understood “one of these things is not like the other”, in regard to personalities. Thinking you understand something or someone when you do not is a recipe for disaster of one kind or another. It tends to set you up as prey to the nefarious sort and there are a lot of those folks out there. Some of them live under your own roof. Sometimes I think there are more of them then good people in this world. I don’t believe anymore that egregious personalities are just “misunderstood”. Good people can make mistakes, although a good person has humility and will eventually exercise true repentance. That is key. I think the best faculty I have, and you have, is a God-given spiritual intuition or conscience and I intend to use it from here on out in my dealings with all people. It doesn’t seem to lead me in a wrong direction but my heart sure does. I am in a huge mess for that reason. Some people just are not good and that is a fact. Being objective about this truth is helpful. Trust your intuition. Don’t doubt your conscience.

Learning is tough. As I grow older I understand that I really don’t understand much or at least as much as I thought I did.

So that is what was swimming around in my head this morning. 🙂

I think dairy has got to go. I am doing the bullet proof coffee with butter, mct oil and collagen. The scale is not moving. There are probably a few reasons for this:

1.) Dairy, my body doesn’t like it, I am intolerant and it’s probably creating inflammation which stresses my system and creates fight or flight.

2.) Stress, duh. I have a ton! More meditation and more joy are needed in my life.

3.) Caffeine, the adrenals don’t appreciate that very much.

4.) I like coconut butter, too much, and that might be raising my calorie level too high.

So, I need to change some things up, again. But, hey, isn’t that what it is all about…..Hacking me to wellness. 🙂

Pilates today and lots of errands. Smallest child starts counseling to deal with the squeaky wheel’s continual antics.

Cheers!

April

10/14/2015 Keep Calm and Carry ON

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Yesterday started out with a bang! The bait was set and I stepped in it. I was not centered or objective and I should have been. The daily mental toll of dealing with a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder is taxing. It is not so much remaining guarded as it is remaining non reactive to the barrage of attacks or antics that come with no prediction. Guarded means I am strengthening my fortress which makes him try and bring it down even harder. Like a waving a toy in front of a cat it just encourages more verbal assault and mental games. Non reactive means that no matter what flies at me I don’t react, staying centered and calm. That is my goal and yesterday I wasn’t successful. 😦

This morning I can hear him stirring above me, as I am in the office below his room and I feel like I am gearing up for the unknown. He could be pleasant and cooperative this morning or he could be belligerent and threatening if has any perception of not getting his way. My plan is spend some time in quiet meditation before he gets up, keep calm and carry on with what I need to do.

I have coffee with my grown daughter this morning. It is so important for me to have things to look forward to in life that bring me joy and this is one of them. 🙂 What are you doing today that brings you joy? What one thing do you have to look forward to today? If you don’t have one make one. It is so important. If you are like me and your home can be a war zone you need something to encourage you that life can be good.

Cheers!

April

10/13/2015, Don’t Look Back

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I am sitting here this morning with only a few minutes to spare. I am unsure of what to write this morning. Yesterday I wrestled with regret over choices made long ago. I do that far too often and I am trying to stop but my situation is in my face daily so it is difficult to silence those thoughts. Regret is kind of a waste of time really but an interesting movie plot none the less. I imagined a scenario where I could go back and talk to myself, the self that I was 10 years ago, and explain some things and undo some bad choices that looked like good choices at the time. A little like Peggy Sue Got Married only set in the early 2000s’. Then I thought that I probably wouldn’t listen because I wasn’t who I am today, back then. This situation has changed me and I will never be that person again. Sometimes I miss her, the naive woman I was, but other times I realize that it is right that she is no more. She had to go. I wish wisdom could be gained by a shot or a pill, like in The Matrix, but I guess the way most of us learn is by experience. Many experiences I can try to wish away but they are still a reality and the consequences of this reality really suck! How is that for literary depth?

Well, C.S. Lewis put it better:

“Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn. My God, do you learn.”

Brilliant.

We have to deal with what we are dealt and most of the time it begins with our choices. Some choices are innocuous, some are harmful and some are lethal. This one has been incredibly harmful. It was never intended to be but good intentions have paved a hell laden road for sure. I have yet to see bargaining to make it all go away an effective strategy although God knows I have tried. At some point there will be a light at the end of this tunnel but the tunnel will remain. There is no way out but through with this one it seems. I am praying for strength for us this morning, for those of us that are trying to make it through a dark place. Today I will just keep walking forward and at some point the momentum will make a dent. One foot in front of another. I need to stop looking back…..

Pilates today, other errands and hopefully a break through.

Cheers!

April

10/8/2015, Walking in the Rain

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I lived in the Seattle area for 2 years. I moved there from Southern California with my husband and 16 month old son. I was very young. Before we left a friend who always was able to put a positive spin on any situation, not, made the statement that the suicide rate in that area was, at that time, higher than any throughout the nation. “Thanks” I said to him. :/  I already had suffered and recovered from postpartum depression and that was horrific and now I was going somewhere where there were record numbers of people “offing” themselves. Good grief! I didn’t need that floating around in my mind coming off the heals of what I had just suffered. Keep in mind that during this time, some 23 years ago, people didn’t acknowledge postpartum depression and had little compassion for it, so I suffered and recovered completely alone. It was a very scary experience and it took 10 months for the chemicals in my body to right themselves. It was as if someone or something else had taken over my body and my mind during that time and no one could understood what I was going through.

Well, we arrived in Everett Washington, and moved into our new home and it was sunny and beautiful. We didn’t know a soul there but we had high hopes for our new home. The next day it rained and it didn’t stop for 3 months. For a while I stayed inside, waiting………… and waiting, and waiting and waiting. I had no friends there and no car to go anywhere and a small child. There was no sign of the sun, not even a quick peak at it. It’s like it disappeared off the face of the planet or something! I came from an area of the country where it rained maybe once a year and now I was living somewhere where it was dark and dreary all day, every day and for months on end.  It wasn’t long and I was suffering from SAD, seasonal affective disorder. Again, this was a time that there wasn’t a lot of information on what vitamin D deficiency could do to a person. I was finding out first hand. Thankfully I at least had the clarity at that point to understand that something odd was happening to me chemically. I began to research and found out that the use of UV light could be effective in eliminating it. Having little money and only one vehicle, buying a lamp for that use was out of the question. So, I began to walk, in the rain, my baby’s stroller covered in plastic to protect him from the constant rain, whether I felt like it or not and it worked. The symptoms began to lift. What little bit of Vitamin D I was absorbing from above the cloudy sky was somehow working to correct my chemistry. I didn’t mind getting wet to accomplish that. So I walked, in the rain, every single day.

Sometimes in life you can’t wait for the rain to go away you just have to get out and walk. You have to make yourself live even if you feel like curling up in a ball and dying. You have to tell the weather conditions out there to be dammed and pick yourself up and press forward. It can mean the difference between mediocre survival a.k.a. death in slow motion, and really living and thriving. The situation I have found myself in feels like a never ending rain storm that I can’t get out of. I know that at some point it will end, but I have no idea when. It could be 2 weeks from now or 5 years from now. I don’t know. I have to somehow make peace with that as I work towards a solution.

Meeting my oldest daughter for breakfast and then going to do Pilates. Weight remains unchanged. My blood sugar is reflecting stress because my food macros are perfect. I need to meditate more than once a day apparently and stop reacting to my situation and just walk in the rain. 🙂

Cheers!

April

10/7/2015 Ambition

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Last night it occurred to me that I have had unrealistic ambitions for certain individuals in my life. This has led to a great deal of disappointment and frustration for me. I have wanted better for people that simply can not do better than they currently are, at least at this time, given the circumstances they entered this world with and the experiences that have shaped their minds prior to coming into my life. It might be that they never will be able to overcome. I don’t know how to help them and my efforts to do so may have caused more damage then good. Whether or not they will ever take the great leap to self awareness and accountability is unknown. On the surface those ambitions seemed reasonable. But, are ambitions for others ever really reasonable? Ambition is an attachment to an outcome in disguise. Sneaky little bastard! More attachment. :/ I guess I confused ambition with faith for a long time. It can be confusing. There is so much misinformation out there. So much opinion. So much indoctrination. Abundant wrong thinking lacking in Reality and Truth. When people become a “faith object” the One who is supposed to be our object of faith falls by the way-side. They and the plans we have made for them put on a pedestal and not the Creator.

I want better for them, but I let go of the wanting today. They have to want better for them and they have to look to the Creator to find that path. My only, and very limited influence, is walking my own. No amount of “wanting” will force anyone to do the right thing.

Today is another day of letting go……..and walking my own path…….hopefully the one He has set forth for me and not my own ambitions.

Cheers!

April

p.s. This song is running around in my head this morning. I know it’s about romance but the words seem appropriate in regards to letting go of an unhealthy attachment in any relationship. We want to hang on, so much, when true love is letting go……