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Clematis

Season of Grief - Is this "A Thing"?

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When I was reading your first post I was wondering about that and now I read your second post and it confirms my suspicions.  I'm sorry you have to involve yourself, what a sticky situation!  The school is partly to blame for this if they did not make the qualifications clear and they did not check out her qualifications.  What a mess!

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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.

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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.

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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...

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I am not surprised at his response, I was kind of afraid of that, but it'll blow over and like you said, it's up to him now, you did what you felt obligated to do.  Make note of it and the conversation in case anything comes up about it in the future.  My kids' dad was an ODOT (Oregon Dept of Transportation) and he had to carry around a booklet that he logged details into about conversations, etc., anything he thought might have potential for coming back to raise its head and many were the time he was glad he did.  It helps to have dates, times, who, where, etc.
I'm glad he's removing her from you too, now you can focus on what you're good at!

I know (wishing your dad were here), oh how I've been missing my mom!  If nothing else, she understood what it is to be totally alone and have to deal with everything, she was widowed for 32 years!  At least she had me to talk to, my daughter doesn't answer the phone and my son is busy so I hate to bother him unless I have to.  I've been going through a lot lately with computer/internet issues and my wood stove.  After spending $1400 for firewood and $3000 for a new wood stove and my son and his contractor friend spending all day installing it and the chimney and removal of the old one, it worked for a week and this week got progressively worse.  It was 67-68 in here and with the cold rains and wind it just felt cold, and that was on high!  I was afraid the catalytic combustor wasn't working and I felt so discouraged.  Yesterday I emailed my son and he called last night.  He asked a barrage of questions and figured out the problem, the thermostat hadn't been screwed down tight enough and it had moved, so the "settings" I was using were no longer in correlation to where it was at.  What I thought was high was now low!  He's going to give me the special wrench I need to tighten it down and then I'll memorize wherever it's at now and adjust accordingly.  Now it's 75 in here and I'm toasted out!  :D  Sometimes all this worrying for nothing, but I didn't know that.  He's put Windows 7 and Linux on my PC so I'll pick it up and drop off my laptop so he can do the same to it.  I may be w/o the computer a couple of days while I hook it up and load stuff back onto it.  I'll miss my laptop, I've always had it as backup!  On top of what was going on with Microsoft Updates going nuts, my router went out.  I thought it was related but it was coincidental.  I still can't believe it quit shortly after the warranty expired!  :angry:  Oh well, I can live without that for a while.

Sometimes just having someone to talk to helps us sort through all this stuff.  I guess that's why I'm missing my mom and you're missing your dad.  Sometimes I didn't get appropriate response from my mom because of her problems but I could always try and sometimes she understood.

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I had something really interesting happen tonight. I was up in Flagstaff tonight playing the cello at a rehearsal of Just Desserts, the contra dance band I have been playing with for about ten years. We started playing a tune called Pig Ankle Rag, which is a rag and a really cool tune. I suddenly thought of my dad's father. They called him Shucks, a nickname for Charles. I didn't really remember him since he died before I was three, but I remember my dad telling me that Shucks was really taken with me. Most of the relatives were charmed by my older sister with her golden ringlets. I was serious and dark. But Apparently Shucks thought I was the one. I used to wish he had lived longer, but he didn't. He was a brilliant engineer with a fiery temper - they called him "Shouting' Charlie" at work, and my dad said it was kind of good for him because after growing up with that, it never unnerved him just because someone was yelling their head off.

But Shucks loved music, and it was his banjo that my sister had such a fit about because it went to me and not her. But the music that Shucks really loved and played on that banjo was ragtime. He also took up piano toward the end of his life, So, there I was playing this rag with my band and suddenly I could feel Shucks with me - and my dad as well. Shucks was trying to get me to do something different with the rhythm on the piece - to emphasize a different part of the rhythm. I didn't really feel like I got it - what he was trying to show me, but it was really cool that he was trying to show me something that was important to him. I won't be able to go play with those folks for another two weeks, but I think I'll maybe listen to some ragtime and see where that leads. The evening that my dad died, as I was getting ready to leave, my dad told me that his dad was there in the room with us. I asked my dad where was his dad and he said, "I don't know - it was you who told me he was here!" I think maybe we were -and are- more linked than I thought...

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And for those wondering what Pig Ankle Rag is...

 

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My dad loved this kind of music!  How special that you have that in your background, Laura, to grow up with it!

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12 hours ago, kayc said:

My dad loved this kind of music!  How special that you have that in your background, Laura, to grow up with it!

Yeah, I grew up listening to my dad play the music that he and his dad grew up with. Every now and then someone will make some comment about how being familiar with this or that kind of music dates me and I always ask what that even means when you consider that I grew up listening to popular music from about 1900 on and several centuries of classical music. I wish I had been able to remember Shucks playing ragtime music, but I love having his banjo!

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I went to the Elks Club tonight with my new friend Gloria. I am joining the Elks Club, following after my father. Gloria left kind of early and I had a really interesting conversation with a woman I know there; she and her husband became good friends of my dad - probably more than anyone else he met out here in Sedona. She had a lot of really interesting things to say. The only thing I didn't like was that she told me that at some point I would have to "let go" of him, or I would prevent him from following his path because he would stay with me as long as I needed him. I'm supposed to stop needing him? How would that work?

But she said some other things...we talked about my feeling like I have made contact with my dad's father, who died when I was so young. That is such a great feeling. I am sitting here with this corner cupboard that he bought for my grandmother and feel close to him as well as my dad. I was telling her about how when my dad died it seemed like his father came to get him and Daddy was talking about how his father was there in the room with us, and when I got him to leave a message on Suzanne's phone he told her we were going on a journey (he and I). He thought I was going with him. This woman said she thought it seemed like he was more gone than still there. I think she's right. I have felt like I should have been there somehow for his last breath, but I was there for his last meaningful moments and he never spoke again after I left. He was really going out...

The other thing this woman talked to me about was about how he talked about his life, about his feelings about helping my sisters, whom he helped but they never seemed to really appreciate it. He never said anything about that to me, but I guess that wouldn't have been right. But she said that what he talked about most was me, what I was learning and doing and how proud he was of me. All the fun things we did together. I told her that this was the best ten years of my life and she said she thought it may have been the same for him. I know he missed my mother, and he also missed the other people of his younger life. But during his last decade he was free of a lot of the struggles he faced most of his life...making a living, trying to keep a woman happy who was never happy, my sisters who really didn't want him around. I think all that was hard for him in ways I never understood  because I didn't really get to know him until he moved out here "to be family for" me. Once here, he was comfortable on his retirement income, keeping his life and affairs going was simple, and he and I had a rather straightforward relationship. We each cared about the other and did whatever we could to be for the other. We had some problems but they were minor glitches and all of them were worked out in about twenty minutes or less.

It's weird how people say that things are "just stuff", but from going through the things that belonged to all of them, I have come to so much more of a deeper understanding of my father, my mother, their parents, and the others who are gone than I ever did when they were alive. 

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7 hours ago, Clematis said:

The only thing I didn't like was that she told me that at some point I would have to "let go" of him, or I would prevent him from following his path because he would stay with me as long as I needed him.

Some people think that way, I'm not one of them.  We are deeply entwined in this life, why would that change?  We are connected!  They can come and go as they like, nothing's holding them back.  

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2 hours ago, kayc said:

Some people think that way, I'm not one of them.  We are deeply entwined in this life, why would that change?  We are connected!  They can come and go as they like, nothing's holding them back.  

That's what I think too - I thought maybe I should just focus on the rest of what she said. And she said some amazing things. I grew up with two parents who had difficulty saying anything good about any of us - their daughters, it was demoralizing and now it looks crazy. They had three girls who were all smart, adorable, talented at many things, and good natured. My mother complained to me when I was in about the 10th grade that her life was pretty miserable because everywhere she went people were always bragging about their kids and she could never think of anything good to say about any of us. She thought I should be sympathetic with how awful this was for her. Crazy, huh?

My dad obviously got better at this toward the end of his life, and it was SO curative for me to hear it from him. He was never effusive, but would tear up and say to me, "I think you've been wonderful". When I would talk to him about struggles and problems with people and worrying about people being unhappy with me, he would tear up and say, "Well, I think you're wonderful". That's about all the words that were ever there, but it was so much more than I had ever gotten before, and more than my sisters ever got from either parent.

People used to see me and my dad and always had comments that I thought were unreasonably rosy. I thought people idealized the relationship that my dad and I seemed to have for whatever personal reasons they had to do that.  Maybe they were more right than I thought.

So now I realize that there is this couple-Jack and Francine- at the Elks Club that were friends of my dad and apparently he had a lot to say to them about me. And they knew him for most of the ten years he lived in AZ... Francine told me that he would go on and on about me and what I was doing and learning and planning and so on - that he was so proud of me. It is really remarkable to hear. In the middle of this she said something and I told her that when he was out here in AZ with me there had been absolutely nothing I wouldn't do for him. She got kind of teary and told me that he knew that very well. I feel like I have found a treasure there at the Elks Club in Jack and Francine. It's really another connection to him.

There may well be more that as well, because a lot of those people at the Elks knew my dad, and I don't know how well or who really. But last Thursday they had a meeting during which they voted on new members, including me. I knew this was upcoming and I wanted to make sure that they connected me to my dad so I had some pictures printed up of him and took them to the Pres. to take to that meeting. I am hoping that more of them - people I don't really know - put it together and come up to me and talk to me about my dad.

I am crying as I write this. The grief doesn't really end, but neither do the connections.

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On October 27, 2017 at 7:27 AM, kayc said:

And for those wondering what Pig Ankle Rag is...

I just love that you posted this video...

 

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19 hours ago, Clematis said:

Francine told me that he would go on and on about me and what I was doing and learning and planning and so on - that he was so proud of me.

I never got that from either parent.  I don't think they made the effort to get to know me well enough to be proud of me.  My mom was all about her (narcissist) and my dad, who knows.  He died when I was only 29.  My sister complained that he never told her he loved her.  I don't remember him telling me that either but I never noticed...his hug said a lot.

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Well, they sure should have been proud of the stellar human you turned out to be! And it's quite possible that didn't really have the ability to express pride in any open kind of way. Also I think it's quite possible that your narcissistic mother compared you with herself and felt lacking by the comparison. I think that was the impression with mine.She was very competitive with her daughters and seemed to feel threatened because she was impressed. In a healthier person that perception of being impressed would feel like pride due to the close familial relationship, but with our mothers, what started out as feeling impressed squirted out sideways and not looking like pride, but more like hostility.

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 I am at a conference in Phoenix for two days. Yesterday I had two of my coworkers from my district there with me today I'll be there by myself. During one of the bricks yesterday, the guy from the cemetery in Pennsylvania to tell me that they've finished carving is it dates and everything on my dad's stone. He sent me a picture of it. At the time  carving the dates and everything on my dad's stone. He sent me a picture of it. At the time, I didn't think too much about it other then I was surprised to suddenly get a call. I guess I thought it was done a long time ago but now in my hotel room and don't want to go back to the conference and I'm thinking maybe there's a connection  between the news and my reluctance. But I guess I better get out of here go over there because they have breakfast at the conference and I'm hungry. If I stall too long I'll be hungry and really unhappy. 

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On 10/29/2017 at 8:14 PM, Clematis said:

Also I think it's quite possible that your narcissistic mother compared you with herself and felt lacking by the comparison.

She was impressed by my sister, Polly.  She always held Polly up to us.  Polly is the one who was strong minded, took no guff off anyone, made her way through university with no help from anyone, working jobs, living in squalor, even while she had Mono.  That IS something to be impressed with!  Me, I graduated from a different school, learning life lessons the hard way.  :)
But I think there's something to what you said.  I don't think my parents knew me well enough to be impressed, but I never really looked to them for that or tried to impress them so that's okay.  My younger sister, however, always tried to be perfect and earn their acceptance, which was never forthcoming.  It's interesting to see the impact your parents had on all of you, but in different ways.

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22 hours ago, Clematis said:

 I am at a conference in Phoenix for two days. Yesterday I had two of my coworkers from my district there with me today I'll be there by myself. During one of the bricks yesterday, the guy from the cemetery in Pennsylvania to tell me that they've finished carving is it dates and everything on my dad's stone. He sent me a picture of it. At the time  carving the dates and everything on my dad's stone. He sent me a picture of it. At the time, I didn't think too much about it other then I was surprised to suddenly get a call. I guess I thought it was done a long time ago but now in my hotel room and don't want to go back to the conference and I'm thinking maybe there's a connection  between the news and my reluctance. But I guess I better get out of here go over there because they have breakfast at the conference and I'm hungry. If I stall too long I'll be hungry and really unhappy. 

Things like this are hard hitting, at least for me, they seem to be something definite that make it all the more real, that finality that comes with trying to adjust to such loss.   I'm sorry it came while you were away, but I hope they did a good job and you can soon see it in person.

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They did a good job.  I sent this picture to my sisters… Once said “looks very nice”.  The other one said “ditto”. It's very strangeTo be looking at thispicture and know that our parents’ ashes and bones lie below. 

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I think it is a season of grief...or at least for me it is. Tomorrow is my dad's birthday, then it will be Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas, New Year's, and the anniversary of his death. The winter he died was so cold and it seemed to go on and on forever. It's a good thing I have a job that keeps me really really busy.

During Thanksgiving I am using my timeshare to get a place here in Sedona. Last year I did this in December and got a lot of painting done. This year I am going to "timeshare" the unit with my new friend Gloria. She lives in a very small space with her daughter and granddaughter, and will enjoy having a resort space with some peace and quiet. She'll stay there at night and I can paint flowers in the daytime - I have five days off from work. I don't really want to stay there at night and be away from Lena. In the evenings we can enjoy the Jacuzzi and heated pool. She is in the Elks club and we are both delivering meals on Thanksgiving during the day. It's nice to have a new friend. I just met another woman - an artist - that I hope might be a friend as well. We all three have some commonality...in grief. They are further out on theirs, but know the path well.

It's nice to be getting some companionship finally, but it's hard. Maybe this year is not as hard as last - it's hard to tell. At least I'm not suffering from a TBI, and I suppose it's good to not have to cope with two houses - my dad's and my own. But I miss his house. I miss him. I miss all of those who are gone and my whole past, including my sisters, even though they still love and breathe. I keep finding myself with that sinking feeling like I can't breathe and can't swallow. I guess it's the season...

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This used to be one of my favorite seasons of the year.  Now, not so much.  Family drama with my sister, Dad's declining health, and the reminder that life is not like it was before.  The Shock and Awe of my wife's sudden death seem to be slowly transforming to "this is how I deal with life today".  It's not what I wanted or planned for but it is what it is.

I am learning to integrate (accept) both grief and hope in today.  My passion to learn to fly is still strong and I have shed over 100lbs with a healthy way of eating and living.  I still have moments of sadness and tears flowing and I just allow them to flow. 

The loneliness of single life is still something I'm learning to cope with.  When the sinking and breathless feelings come, I remind myself how far we all have traveled on this grief and healing journey.  I am thankful for the many people here who share their wisdom and experience with grief and how we cope with life and death.  Few people in the outside world understand this world we live in.  I am grateful and blessed to find such a sanctuary of safety, love, and peace. :wub: - Shalom. 

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Amen George!

It´s true!Only few people out there can understand what we all have been going through on this yourney.It´s a long and so hard fight we must cope with,but we all on here are the heroes,because we´ve survived it all,and yet we still have so much to give...love,comfort and support...we try to help as much as possible to go through...to heal the deepest wounds inside...and make this kind of life more bearable and the happier place...I´ve got a few best friends in and out too who may understand me,being here for me in bad times and good times too,so I´m also grateful for all of them...for every one who could help me some way on here as well...every kind word from the bottom of the heart is appreciated a lot...

With love Janka

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20 hours ago, iPraiseHim said:

My passion to learn to fly is still strong and I have shed over 100lbs with a healthy way of eating and living.

I am glad to see your passion and am also impressed with your self-discipline.  Losing 100 lbs is no easy feat!  You must feel so much better, and energetic!  I've been working on improving my A1C and I've lost 14 lbs but it's slow.  You must have learned a good way that is working for you!

22 hours ago, Clematis said:

During Thanksgiving I am using my timeshare to get a place here in Sedona

I hope you and Gloria find some peace during these five days as well as forge your friendship.  We want to see your paintings when they're done!  And bless you for being there for others on Thanksgiving.  I'm still waiting to hear from my kids...

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20 hours ago, iPraiseHim said:

This used to be one of my favorite seasons of the year...

It's a hard season, the holiday season. For me this is also the season of the end - not just the anniversary of his death but all that led up to it. I did't know it was leading up to his death but looking at it afterwards that is clear. For two months he was really going downhill but I thought it would be like all of the other times when he went had ups and downs and came up close to where he was before. He had a series of falls in December that he never got over, but the beginning of the end was in November. I keep going over and over all of the painful details of what turned out to be the final decline. I also keep ruminating over all of the ten years before that when things were good, how I've lost my sisters, and all of that. My sisters and I speak now but there is really very little that is good about it. It is clear that they are pinning a lot of blame on me. Blame for what I don't know, but they just aren't in my life. Maybe they weren't before either - maybe they were just using me so I would assist them in getting him to help them financially. That all feels rather icky.

20 hours ago, iPraiseHim said:

When the sinking and breathless feelings come, I remind myself how far we all have traveled on this grief and healing journey.

Sometimes it seems like I've come a long ways - as have we all. But sometimes it feels like I am just sinking into an abyss. Again. Still. Eternally it seems...

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