Friday, December 20, 2002
Origin of my Soul
Where Did Your Soul Originate?
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Ok, so it's a little hokey ...
Sunday, November 10, 2002
Roller Coaster RideThat's the only way to describe life with a child who has Bipolar Disorder. Overall, things are TONS better than they were just two months ago. We haven't had any out-of-control rages, mania or self-destructive depression. But that is called “stable” and means only that I can leave him alone, unsupervised without being scared out of my mind.
But school is a whole 'nother thing. They have an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) in place for him. I just wish they would stick to it. Instead it seems as if they are nit-picking ... expecting perfect behavior and punishing him for the slightest infractions. I'm tired of getting calls from the school saying he was talking out of turn, or getting out of his seat when he shouldn't. This is a kid that does NOT need ANY added stress! I have a meeting set up for later this week ... Mama Bear is going in with guns blazing.
He is such a neat kid. Tonight we had some pretty severe weather here .. tornado warnings all around. We had to prepare to take shelter in the downstairs bathroom which is under the stairs. He decided that we should have emergency rations as well, so he packed up some cereal, snack bars and granola. He also put in a package of kitty treats for our two cats. That just kinda tickled me. It is so ... HIM. He really does have a heart as big as the world. And it sucks so BAD that he has this to deal with for the rest of his life.
Saturday, November 02, 2002
Almost too much to hope for ...I got a rather nice surprise the other day. I am a bit hesitant to go into too much detail yet. I'd rather wait until it is official ... or not.
Karma is a kick in the pants, eh? I got a rather nice surprise the other day. I am a bit hesitant to go into too much detail yet. I'd rather wait until it is official ... or not.
Karma is a kick in the pants, eh?
Monday, October 21, 2002
A Slap in the FaceSo I apply for a promotion at work. I figured I had a pretty good chance at it. Hell ... it was in the bag, so to speak. I had been working in this department as long as it has been at this location. I had been in another department, tech support, for 7 months prior to that.
The position reports directly to my current supervisor. It is essentially an assistant supervisor, but this company has a cutesy little title for it. Whatever ... I wanted it. I wanted it BAD. And for most of the last 11 months that I had been in this department, I worked my ASS off with the goal of getting a position like this, and this particular one was MADE for me. It was a perfect match.
My supervisor thought so too. A few days before the “official” announcement would have been made, he told me that he had chosen me for the spot. Oh happy day! Finally, my hard work and extra effort would pay off! I was thrilled! I could hardly contain myself, but since it was not “official” yet, I couldn't tell my co-workers. I did tell my mom, my kid and my best friend though.
Then official announcement day came. The unsuccessful candidate for internal positions are usually given a small envelope with a form letter saying, “Thank you for your interest, but we chose someone we think is more qualified for the position.” I was not expecting to receive one of these letters. I already had a nice collection of them, thank you very much.
But my supervisor took me aside and told me that upper management had over-ridden his choice, and gave the job to someone else. I was in shock. I was angry. I was hurt beyond belief. HOW could they do this??? It was obvious to everyone that I was THE most qualified candidate for this position. My immediate thought was, “What the hell did I do? Did I say or do something wrong?”
It was not until a few minutes later that I wondered, “Who DID get the position?” when I found out, I nearly went ballistic. They gave the job to this kid, 20 years old, who had been with the company for only 3 months. He had never worked on my team, he knows nothing about what we do. He would have to be trained for the job from the ground up, PLUS the added duties of the higher level position! This choice is beyond ridiculous, way past ludicrous, it makes NO SENSE whatsoever!
It took me a day or two to come to the realization that the choice had nothing to do with me personally. There were three or four other candidates that I know of that are way more qualified than this kid. Knowing in my heart that I was still the most qualified person, but management made an insane and unfair decision has made it somewhat tolerable.
Rumor has it that the kid and the big boss that got him into the job are buddies away from work. Ahh ... nepotism at its finest! The official word is that it is felt that the kid has “potential” ... potential, my ass! They might as well have taken someone off the street and put them in the job, for all the experience this kid has.
It is felt by most that it will not last long. The kid will wash out sooner or later, probably sooner. As pissed off as the rest of my team is, as well as my supervisor, we certainly won't stand in the way of his failing. We can't actually DO anything to sabotage him, or screw him up. But we won't stop him from doing it to himself .. capiche?
They say that when one door closes, another one opens. What is not mentioned is that the trip down the hallway is a journey through hell.
Perhaps this is a sign that I should move on, that there is a better and brighter opportunity waiting for me in the near future that I would hesitate to explore if I was newly promoted. I tend to be very loyal to the place that I work, I am much less so now. It would now be very easy for me to leave and take a better job. I have even been perusing job listings in the last couple of days.
In the meantime, I am trying to maintain my grace, dignity and professionalism. But it is not easy. I feel betrayed by the company that I have given so much to. I can't think of a single reason why I should continue to give 150% and to go above and beyond anymore.
I'm just waiting to be asked to train this kid to do the job that should have been mine. My ... that could get ugly.
Sunday, October 20, 2002
They say ...They say, life is what we make of it.
I don't know about that. There are so many things that can happen that are so far beyond our control. Maybe what “they” mean is how we react to what life gives us.
About a month ago, my life had spun way out of control. My 14 year old son has problems and issues that go back many years. He was thought to have ADHD, was diagnosed thusly at the age of about 8. He was living with his father at the time, and had begun to have lots of problems in school. He was taken to a clinic that specializes in treating ADHD. He was medicated with all kinds of different drugs .. about 6 kinds in two or three years. They did nothing to help him, made him worse, or turned him into a zombie.
Fast forward ... he now lives with me. His father was abusing him, physically and emotionally. We have been trying to help him heal the emotional damage that resulted from the abuse. But there were deeper issues as well. It wasn't until he finally hit rock bottom that we finally discovered what was really going on with him.
My son had been in and out of trouble for almost the last year. Trouble at school, with other kids in the neighborhood, his grades dropped from A's and B's to D's and F's. He would fly into the most terrible and frightening rages I had ever seen. He wanted to die and told me so several times. When he actually tried to kill himself twice within a week I had to act.
I took him to his psychiatrist, the one that prescribes his anti-depressant medication. He was almost immediately admitted to the hospital .. one that treats mental illness. He was admitted as an involuntary committment because of the suicide threats.
While he was there, he was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Formerly known as manic depression, Bipolar Disorder manifests itself with extreme mood swings. In adults, the time lapse between these swings can be weeks, months or even years. In children, the swings can come as often as minutes or hours. Often mistaken and treated as ADHD, Bipolar Disorder grows worse without proper treatment, and the ADHD medications only aggravates the condition.
But we finally had a name and reason for my son's outrageous behavior, and hope for controlling it with medications. My son now has a chance to make his life a successful one.
But we are not out of the woods by a long shot. He will have to have his medications adjusted monthly until he gets the right levels, and still changes from growing, going through puberty and even normal life experiences will require further adjustments.
Then he also will need to learn to live with this disease. He cannot drink caffeinated colas or coffee. He will also have to watch his sugar intake ... not a pleasant idea for a teen-ager. School will require extra effort always. He will need to develop more self-awareness so he can cope with the mood swings when they come.
As a parent of a child with Bipolar Disorder, I too face extra challenges. I have to make and keep doctor and therapy appointments, stay in close contact with his school so he will receive a proper education, be ready to face all kinds of weird situations, and try hard to maintain my own sanity.
Three weeks ago, he was discharged from the hospital. On these new medications, he is a completely different child than the one that went in a week before. And he continues to improve. I still see the signs of the disorder in him though .. defiance, apathy, low self-esteem. But I know that there will be set-backs and new challenges in the future. I can only hope that I will be ready and able to deal with them.
For more information:
Childhood-onset Bipolar Disorder Fact Sheet