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Clematis

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About Clematis

  • Rank
    Laura

Profile Information

  • Your gender
    Female
  • Location (city, state)
    Sedona, AZ
  • Interests
    Lena (my therapy cat), Playing music (cello, ukulele, classical guitar, etc.), Watercolors, Ceramics, Flowers-growing and painting them

Previous Fields

  • Your relationship to the individual who died
    Daughter
  • Date of Death
    01/13/2016
  • Name/Location of Hospice if they were involved:
    Hospice Compassus Sedona, AZ

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  1. Season of Grief - Is this "A Thing"?

    I wish my dad was here. I used to tell him about all these weird squirrelly things that would go on with these people that I'd run into working in the schools and he would just listen. He was always sympathetic. He said he never had to deal with anything like that in his career. He worked hard and sometimes he was overloaded and had to work really hard but he didn't have people trying to undermine him and playing games. People did their jobs and were involved in serious business. I used to hope that my dad would live until I retired and we could be retired together. We were hoping that he had at least another five years. I miss him every day. I am driving his old car around and wearing his old pocket watch that his dad gave him around my neck like a good luck charm...but it's not him...
  2. Season of Grief - Is this "A Thing"?

    So...I didn't get my head cut off, but Michael was rather irritated with me. He came up with some mumbo jumbo about trust, but I think he was insulted that I would think she needed a license and didn't have one. He thinks she doesn't need one. I think he is mistaken and has not looked at the law since it was written a decade ago. I don't think he looked into it after this piece of info was passed along to him and I think he's wrong. The board was very clear in stating that she needed a license for the kind of work she is doing and not just if her title matches exactly. But I did due diligence in passing along the info. What he does with it is not my problem. He also thought I was just "going after her" in retaliation because she had been so nasty to me. I explained to him that I had just stumbled across this piece of information while looking for something else that was actually related to my job. Also, I think this means that he really doesn't know what happens when you call these boards. If you don't file a complaint, nothing happens. That's why they try so hard to get people to file complaints - without it they can't really do anything. Maybe for medicine, but certainly not behavioral health in AZ. For all the harm that comes to the person with no license, you might as well call Santa and tell him she has been a bad girl and should get coal in her stocking. Nevertheless, the talk did clear the air, he acknowledged that he is well aware that she is "high maintenance" and there are problems surrounding her. More than he knows, in truth. But that is not really my problem. He has cleared her away from me so that I can focus on my job and get my work done. I also brought a copy of my color-coded spreadsheet along with me that has al the details of every case I am working on, along with dates of when everything is due. He could see that I am right on top of things. This is good. I have a lot of work to do and I can just focus on that without being ambushed and undermined around every corner.
  3. Season of Grief - Is this "A Thing"?

    Yeah, I think this is the reason that she doesn't know how to behave like a professional and she acts like a person who feels inadequate and has to defend herself from any challenge. I feel that any person has some obligation to protect their employer from liability and financial damages. Even as an individual out and about in the world, one has some obligation to mitigate the damages of problems in their surroundings. You don't have to risk your life, but there is some expectation that a reasonable person would try to stop a shopping cart rolling towards a car or unsuspecting person, warn a person of impending danger, etc. As to the school, it is not my place to decide what to do or to do anything; I merely provided them with a piece of information they might need to avoid legal and financial problems. I suspect that she had no idea she needed to have a license to work as a behavioral analyst in AZ, and the SpEd director and superintendent who hired her so enthusiastically probably had no idea they were forming an illegal contract. That's not my fault, or my problem. Apparently it is against the law to "Aid and abet an unlicensed person purport to be a licensed behavioral health practitioner." That is a problem for the district in having hired her and if I help her it is against my professional ethics as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and unprofessional behavior means illegal behavior. It's kind of a problem for everyone. I hope I don't get my head cut off.
  4. Season of Grief - Is this "A Thing"?

    More info...turns out Becca is required to be licensed by the state board in order to this kind of work, and she is not. Working as she is constitutes a Class 2 Misdemeanor. I think this is why she has been so defensive and focused on discrediting me. It's entirely possible that she does not even know that she is required to have a license, and is only aware that she is not totally competent to do what she is doing... I have been informed that I need to report this to the SpEd director, as it constitutes a liability to the district to have engaged in a contract that violates the law. We'll see what happens
  5. Season of Grief - Is this "A Thing"?

    I woke up with a new insight on this today. Last year Becca confronted me once in an attempt to undermine me but she really went after A, the psych who left, over and over. I don't know what happened with A, but I smoothly answered her ridiculous questions. I could not totally cover up for her and she looked like she didn't know the basic stuff for a SpEd teacher. She was not able to knock me off course and she stopped trying. Now she is a contracted behavior consultant, and while she has some experience as a SpEd teacher and knows a lot about autism, I suspect that she does not have any experience in this capacity because what she is producing is incomplete; her recommendations are connected to her observations by any thread of research, experience, or even theoretical underpinnings. She just says "Do this", with no explanation. She has avoided letting me see her work and when she does share things in emails it is too sketchy for me to tell what she is doing. I once talked my way into a job for which I was only partially qualified. I managed to get myself hired as a tailor at a dry cleaner, after being turned down flat at some other place. I was insulted at the suggestion that all my sewing experience had not prepared me to alter manufactured clothing. For my next tailor job interview, I figured out how to play up the repairs I had done and focus on my expertise with zippers, which had been a personal challenge. At some point previously I was called "The Zipper Doctor". So I played up my strengths, and stretched a little but didn't actually lie. I found myself in a little over my head, mostly because I had never used commercial sewing machines and try as I might I didn't even know how to thread a serger or use the heavy duty machine. I tried doing everything on the machine I was familiar with, and mercifully the guy who serviced the machined turned up not long after I started and very quickly showed me about the machines, as I paid rapt attention. I suspect that this is what is going on with Becca - that she knows a lot about how to address behavior problems in the classroom, but she doesn't really know what a behavior specialist is supposed to crank out in terms of a product, in writing or on her feet orally on the spot - classroom/meeting. This is probably why she has chosen me as her principal target. I am, without realizing it, her biggest threat because I may know more than anyone else at the district what she should be doing and producing. I think it is quite possible that she fears I may expose her inadequacies. I talked to my good friend Susan yesterday, a psychiatrist and psychoanalytic psychotherapist, and she sympathized with me because she has had many clients with this same presentation. She told me to not get into anything Becca had done because that only looks like I am perpetuating adversity and conflict by proving that I am right. I can't win even though I am right. She agreed with me that Becca probably is just acting automatically-not maliciously- and is not even aware of how vexing it would be to a coworker whom she is maligning to the boss. Susan also advised me to do anything humanly possible to kind and try to help Becca because it could save my own job, which I need. I think Susan is right and I need to find a way to help Becca. I think she knows her stuff - the behavioral part - but she doesn't know what or how to present her findings and she is very challenged in working with people who are at her own level, like me and the teachers. I'm not sure how to go about that exactly, but if I was in fact able to help her, it might save Becca as well because going about things the way she is does not make her look good and may eventually result in the loss of her own contract job.
  6. Season of Grief - Is this "A Thing"?

    Thanks! I have a meeting with my supervisor Michael on Thursday morning - sounds like I am being called on the carpet. I really don't know what to think and it's hard to have what will amount to about two weeks to wait until this meeting. It's hard not to think about it. I can't imagine what he is going to say to me. The only thing that has really occurred - as far as I know - is that she told Michael about half a dozen small lies/ half-truths that made me look bad and cover up for her not doing what she was supposed to do. I asked her to stop doing that and she was really angry. She obviously went to Michael and told him something but it probably was not the truth. I should have known that if you confront someone about lying who lies whenever they feel threatened or cornered, that this person would just lie about the conversation you just had with them about lying. I really don't know what the correct behavior is at work when someone lies to your supervisor about you repeatedly...just let it all stand without protest? This woman really made it clear last year that she does not like school psychologists and thinks we all have no idea what we are doing. She really made A, the psych I replaced, miserable last year with her nasty attacks. She went after me once last year and I just levelly responded to what she said. Then things evened out and she seemed to be a fan of mine by the end of the year. Nevertheless, A and the other psych, J, have both told me that this woman is no fan and no friend no much how she behaved in a friendly and positive way. A and J both told me I should watch my back. J has not had a problem with this woman because she has managed to avoid her altogether. But Michael really wants her to work closely with the school psychologists and she is involved with kids I am working with at all three of my schools. It is kind of like having been ordered out onto a spider web to work within range of a spider who has made it clear she would like to munch me for lunch. J says that Michael really wants to make this work out - contracting with this woman who is serving as a behavioral consultant. Last year she was a SpEd teacher, and she knows a lot about autism. Unfortunately she sees herself as working only with the administrators and principals. She also works well with kids and paraprofessionals/aides, because they are below her and she can just tell them what to do. She does not work well with people who at her level, like other teachers or the school psychologists. I think the bottom line is that no matter what she does I have to do everything humanly possible to be super nice to her and try to help her to be successful in spite of the reality that she is trying very hard to sabotage me. You know what they say about oil and water not mixing...that is true, but they can flow nicely together because they are both liquids. This woman is neither; she is a big rock in the middle of the water and she is never going to do anything to accommodate anyone. The entire river must accommodate her and work around her and her needs... Bleh
  7. Season of Grief - Is this "A Thing"?

    Thanks, Kay! It's hard seeing changes to our old homes. And to me, ripping out mature beautiful plants and painting over natural brick/stone or natural wood finished seems really awful. It just seems wrong to cover up natural beauty for the sake of change or a preference in color palette in decorating. To me, as a lover of nature it seems crazy to cover up the natural and authentic, because everything goes with nature! To me, all flowers of any color go together, and they go with everything else. It is with colors that we concoct in a lab that we get into trouble. I think a lot of my problem is that the entire new color scheme of my dad's old house "doesn't go" with Sedona, where it is located. If the same grey redo had occurred in some other area and not here, where I am in love with the very dirt and its warm colors, I would think it was great, because it is well done. Or if they had worked with the natural colors of the area and totally changed it with new tile and paint and everything else I would be enthused. But as to the color scheme, shades of grey do not belong here. I am with Frank Lloyd Wright on this one... Nevertheless, the is the other aspect of the change. There has been almost two years of blurriness where my dad was his house was still there and it was kind of mine but not really. It has been hard to let go of his house, but I have. He is here with me, spiritually, and what is left of our possessions is all together in my condo with me and Lena. It feels somewhere between cozy and a little cramped. I am still adjusting to living with generations of the precious possessions of people who are no longer living but are somehow with me. I hope the new owners look after the rosebushes-especially that coral floribunda, but that is beyond my control. However, I did work hard to have cuttings of this fabulous bush propagated into eight new bushes and some of them are not looking too good after the summer. I should maybe feed them. Since they are in pots, I could also take them to the nursery that propagated them for me and get them to help me with whatever might be the problem. Focusing on the roses would give me something positive to focus on, rather than the loss I feel every day and my fretting over the borderline personality disordered woman at work who is working very hard to convince my new supervisor that I am the devil. I think that situation will eventually take care of itself, because as she continues to wreck havoc all over the district it will be harder for her to convince anyone that I am the only problem she faces. She causes a lot of problems and her ability to work out problems with people is rather minimal. I sure miss my dad; he was always on my side in things like this and it helped my confidence and tendency to worry...
  8. Lost my precious boy, Logan

    I also believe that they are there waiting for us. I also wonder if maybe the pets we have who are still alive may be in some contact with those who have passed. I had a dream in which my cat Lena bolted off into the night, only to return with Freya, a cat who I had lost many years before and also Bugger, a beloved and long lost cat of my close friend. It was a dream, but it felt so right...Maybe Lena and Freya are linked to each other through me. I believe we are all linked, but particularly to those we love, not just now but forever. I lost my dad - well didn't exactly lose him, but he died almost two years ago. We were very close - during his last ten years it was just the two of us and then the three of us - Daddy, Lena and me. I miss him so much, but I hear him talking to me frequently. Sometimes it is something familiar, sometimes practical advice or comforting words about some current problem, and sometimes he says something really funny or just out of the blue. This morning I was really feeling his loss and was sort of chatting with him, and he said something about it not being so bad in his current state because he could still be with me, but also spend time with my mother (12 years gone), his grandparents (really long gone), and the pets from his childhood. He talked about these pets a lot at the end of his life, Mike and Mack - both black dogs, and Sam, a black cat. I think he is back together with the pets from his childhood. Maybe my dad and his pets actually have found Freya. Anyway, Mary, I am so sorry about your loss of your dogs. It is really hard, and just like losing people the loss becomes more bearable but it still hurts the heart. It has been 30 years since I lost Freya. For more than 20 years I would dream that I suddenly found her and we would go running towards each other in a field of flowers like the end of a Hallmark movie with us spinning around and her in my arms. I can't believe that she is totally gone. And Lena -I am even more attached to her. But she is still alive and I am hoping that she lives as long as I do. The record holder in the Guinness book or world records lived to be 38! I think Lena can do it. I can't think about the alternative. Losing beloved pets is wrenching to the heart. -Laura
  9. Season of Grief - Is this "A Thing"?

    I have been on Fall Break - a week off from school - this past week. I have made good use of it, sleeping more than usual and taking care of the business of my personal life, which I have let drift as I finished handling my dad's estate and focused on my new job. I also did the artwork for this year's program cover for the community orchestra. I play cello with them. Here is the text I wrote and the painting. I have sent it to a couple of musicians in the orchestra, the woman in charge of the program and my good friend who is also Lena's back-up vet. I haven't heard anything from them yet. I hope the orchestra members and the audience like the art. I always worry about this. After all, we will ass be looking at it all season. The cover art for ONA’s 2017-18 program is from a watercolor painting by our cellist Laura Fellows. The image reflects thematic elements of some of the works we will play during the season. The overlapping of images is reminiscent of the overlapping melodies in Wagner’s Die Meistersinger Overture. Prominent in the painting is an image of Fingal’s Cave, which was Mendelssohn’s inspiration for the Hebrides Overture. This natural wonder of Scotland is formed entirely from hexagonally jointed basalt columns within a Paleocene lava flow, and is known for its magical acoustics. The basaltic pillars are as high as the roof of a cathedral. Our cover also features a Stargazer Lily to hint at the lush lyricism of Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers from the Nutcracker Suite, and the attentive cat symbolizes you, our audience, central to everything we do.
  10. Season of Grief - Is this "A Thing"?

    That would be good...sounds like you need someone to help you with him. I feel good having someone for Lena - and a backup!. I had a funny conversation with my friend Bonita a few months ago about her still having a key to my house even though she is no longer helping me with my dad's estate and our houses and all that. I told her she should hang onto it in case I had an emergency or something - so she could just step in and take care of Lena. She said, "Oh absolutely! That's why I've hung onto it." Then she quickly added that she would help me too, but... I laughed and told her it was quite alright if Lena was number one. And it's true really. We have entire systems to take care of humans in emergency, but our pets? We have to figure that out ourselves. The sale on my dad's house finally closed. I think I'm supposed to feel relieved but I don't really. I took my last key and the extra mailbox key down to the property manager's office to give to the new owner and we were chatting about this a bit. She said she really liked the way Cary (my friend's uncle who bought and flipped the house) had redone it. I said I didn't really like it. (This in some part because they ripped out the gorgeous tile job in the shower/tub, but I supposed it didn't really match the cool-grey new color scheme. It is very slick and cold and masculine. Whatever.) She looked surprised that anyone wouldn't like something new and with brand new appliances. I said, "Well, I just hope they...(long pause)...take care of the roses!" My dad has been talking to me a lot lately. This morning he was telling me that he was sorry that he had caused me so much trouble and work during those ten years. I told him, "What-are you kidding? I would give anything to start those ten years all over. Right now would be a good place to start. Later he told me that being dead wasn't so bad because he could still be with me but could also spend time with my mother, his grandparents, his childhood pets, and so on. He also told me to take care of myself and be careful with my money. He has also helped me with the car (the Mercury) lately, and he seems to be trying to tell me something about it, but I'm not sure what it is... I think I'll give Bob the Tuna Boat (Mercury) a bath this weekend and see if that makes it any easier for my dad to tell me if something's wrong with Bob...
  11. Season of Grief - Is this "A Thing"?

    I know what you mean. When I went camping at the Pickin' in the Pines festival I really struggled over finding someone to take care of Lena - and my beloved gardens - because Lena's regular sitter was in Italy. My neighbor offered and I had accepted with serious misgivings because she is 86 and rather frail, and my backyard/patio is a treacherously uneven path. I didn't want to ditch the festival, but I didn't want to imperil my neighbor, who has become a good friend as well. In fact, she has become such a good friend it is hard to believe she could just happened to move in right next to me where the hideous neighbors used to live. Fortunately, as I agonized away, I was able to get another neighbor to help out. She fell in love with Lena, I felt comfortable, and all was well. Looking back on it, I think it would have been better to skip the festival than risk Lena's well-being or my neighbor's. One's life can definitely tie one down. Any chance you could talk your son into having you for a visit during warmer weather? He lives at a higher elevation than you? I am finding myself more cautious about traveling in the winter. I used to live in Flagstaff (7000ft) and now am in Sedona (4500ft). When living there, naturally I drove all over. I used to travel up to Flagstaff from Sedona in any weather, but now I think twice and bail if I think there could be snow/ice on the roads. I suppose this is new since my dad died and I was in that car accident, but truthfully it makes sense. There was also a smaller incident of sideswiping a guardrail on the switchbacks when an oncoming driver flew around an icy curve on my side of the road. I was lucky the road was wide enough for me to slide into the rail. He just split and I was only a few weeks out from my dad's death. When I realized I could still drive the car, I just got back in and went on to the reservation. I am SO grateful that I now work at 3500 feet and it is less than a half hour away. And just like the past two weeks when I left orchestra early to avoid the long trip on the freeway (short route through the canyon closes at 9:00 all night for construction), no one has ever had a bad thing to say about my avoiding drives I felt were risky. Good luck, Kay - and stay safe!
  12. Season of Grief - Is this "A Thing"?

    Yeah! I love that cat. I am now on Fall Break, a week off from school. It's only Tuesday and I feel SO much better. I have been sleeping a lot, hanging out with Lena, and taking care of the business of my personal life. That's a relief. I am also working on my painting for the cover of the community orchestra program for the season. I have been feeling like I had no chance of any inspiration arriving for this painting, but it's coming together. It's going to feature Fingal's Cave, about which Mendelssohn composed the Hebrides Overture. I have never been there, but have become intrigued by the idea of this wondrous hunk of columnar basalt rising from the sea with magical acoustics of a cathedral with water running through it... The painting will also feature the cello, some lilies, and Lena as the listener.
  13. Season of Grief - Is this "A Thing"?

    Thanks, George! I did leave orchestra early and it was an incredible relief. Everyone was really nice and encouraged me to be safe. I was able to get to the canyon road before it closed for night-time construction, and therefore didn't have to drive the long highway route with the scary-fast trucks late at night when I am exhausted. So I got home a little after nine rather than almost 11:00... I'll check out the 5-HTP; I never heard of it.
  14. Season of Grief - Is this "A Thing"?

    I have always been overloaded - I have felt driven to pursue visual art and music, as well as to work. My art and music had to fit into a smaller slot due to taking care of my dad, grief and the car accident. I actually am trying to reduce my load, and would like to get back to playing more music and painting. Probably need to give up the ceramics in order to have time to paint. The work situation of being so overloaded is kind of a weird one for me - I have never been one to work excessive hours, take work home, skip lunch breaks, etc. But they got into a bad situation at my new job. The woman who has always set the meetings and kept the evaluations on schedule was tied up at the beginning of the school year and she eventually delegated these tasks to the SpEd teachers and school psychologists temporarily, but she waited way too long to delegate. Since she waited so long, there developed a logjam of work because these things all have federally set deadlines. And the SpEd teachers are all new. It's a big problem and I decided to throw myself into making sure that my evals are done on time no matter whose fault it was. This should resolve. I plan to be back to having a lunch break at the pool again - soon! I was also spending an enormous amount of time helping to train the new teachers, even though that is not my job, because there was no one else, and I figured it was a short time problem. They are starting to get the hang of things and I am backing off on the helping-the-teachers stuff. I really want to get back in the pool and get home at a decent hour. There is some truth to my being busy at work taking my mind off my grief. But I really would like to be busy during more reasonable hours so that I can get home and have time to do something..., paint, play the cello, mess around with clocks, spend more time with Lena, etc.
  15. Season of Grief - Is this "A Thing"?

    Thanks, Kay! I keep telling myself that my number one priority is keeping my job so that I can keep a roof over Lena's fuzzy little head. After that I figure things should fall into place. But it's hard reducing one's expectations in oneself...you know. Next semester should be easier. They won't be offering ceramics on Saturdays any more and I can't do it during the weekdays due to work. That will give me two-day weekends, and that will be good for me. We have fall break - off the seek after this one. Then Thanksgiving is coming right up and two weeks off at Christmas. I just have to pace myself. This orchestra thing is hard - our director commented last week that this is the hardest program we have ever played. I just have to get through it and figure I'll be doing a lot of "air bowing"...
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