Waiting for today...: July 2014

Sunday, July 27

Sunday the 27th: Left Foot, Right Foot



Dawn over Freeport Bahamas


I felt so discombobulated last week.

Adding new activities to my day-to-day doesn't come easy to me as it may to others.

Coming into this week, I’m hoping for a better week.  A week of order.


As a child, I remember being fascinated by everything around me.  I took to drawing early, trying to capture those things.  My earliest remembrance of this fascination is from elementary school.  Instead of paying attention in class, I went about trying to recreate a design I saw on a hand-woven bag.  My creativity has waxed and waned since then.  As I grew up and became aware of cameras, my interest shifted from drawings to photos.  It never evolved beyond pointing and shooting however.  And just as I lost my passion for drawing and “less than amateur” photography, I lose my desire to write from time to time.  I am almost certain it is related to my instability.  So on days like this, when I’m speechless and lacking or time simply eludes me, I’ll share instead one of my photos in hopes to somehow keep my diminished creative flow from dying altogether.



Tuesday, July 22

Article: The Effects of Moving on Children



Thinking about how many times I’ve moved about during my childhood years got me to thinking about my feelings of insecurity…
insecure [in-si-kyoo r]
adjective
1. subject to fears, doubts, etc.; not self-confident or assured:  an insecure person.
2. not confident or certain; uneasy; anxious: He was insecure about the examination.
3. not secure; exposed or liable to risk, loss, or danger: an insecure stock portfolio.
4. not firmly or reliably placed or fastened: an insecure ladder.
All in all I’ve moved ten times between the periods I arrived to Philadelphia until I went away to college at 23.  When I tell people this they usually ask if I was a military brat. I would chuckle and then joke that my mom is a gypsy.  When the laughter stopped, I would think back on all those moves.  Even the constant moving between my grandma’s and my caregiver’s in the Bahamas.  I never asked my mom why we moved around so much.  I’m certain her decisions were mostly financially driven.  After all, she was taking care of a child by herself and on a waitress’s budget.  And since her child was not adapting and chose to begin poking around in her purse and pockets she needed to pinch those pennies harder.
Obviously at that age, I did not value money.   I valued consistency, comfort and the friendships I developed with the other kids in the neighborhood.  But I didn’t realize it then.  I would lose touch with those friends, to include my first pet.  Having to pack, unpack, meet new people, learn new bus routes, addresses, phone numbers and where to get groceries, Chinese food and pizza, most often left me uneasy and insecure.  The following article sheds light on how difficult it can be for children that are constantly on the move.  Also, how those difficulties are manifested in their behavior.



"Children who are exposed to multiple moves may have difficulty forming and maintaining friends and relationships. They may appear depressed and withdrawn while others may appear defiant and aggressive thus showing signs of either resignation or anger. Some children experience moving as loss and separation and thus experience a grief reaction, particularly in view of multiple moves. For children who experience multiple moves, there is a deepening disconnect; socially, emotionally and academically...."
con't reading: The Effects of Moving on Children by Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW published at Articlesbase.com.  Retrieved August 15th, 2014 from http://www.articlesbase.com/parenting-articles/the-effects-of-moving-on-children-585883.html


Thursday, July 17

A Different Tie That Binds



Solitude

a survey of how rejection has set off a chain reaction, ultimately leading to depression


“Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.” ~ Romans 15:7 (NASB)

“Rejection creates a feeling of being unwanted which then reduces self-esteem.  The more intimate the relationship in which rejection is experienced, the greater the damage done, and the more challenging it can be to overcome the effects.” (Arene, n.d.)

Common knowledge in my small family tells of my maternal biological grandmother being the initial rejected. My mother did not have the privilege of knowing her biological father thus neither did I.  But when my Caucasian grandmother knew my Afro-Caribbean grandfather, my mother was conceived.  We don’t know what became of my grandfather.  But the idea of my grandmother keeping her brown-skinned baby girl was rejected by her family.  I haven’t decided which drove their disapproval: conceiving a child in adultery, the color of my mother’s skin or both.  I would be hard pressed to not acknowledge the racism of my extended family as having an influence and especially after their  visit to Philadelphia years later.


In either case, my mom was adopted by a friend of my grandmothers--this is the woman I call “grandma” and the rejection continued.  My mom would be rejected again and again by her adoptive parents as they would ship her to and from a close friend’s home.  At that time, however, I would like to say my mom preferred  it over the cruelties she endured beyond rejection at the hands of her new family.  Although my mom proved to be resilient, those cruelties in addition to rejection did affect her as it would have ill effects on our relationship in the future.  But first she would be rejected again.  


I often wished to be a fly on the wall to witness the events leading up to my father’s departure.  He rejected both of us and before I was born.  There was never a reconciliation.  Maybe not even a second thought.  I like to think  his rejection has not significantly injured me.  That is, compared to others who I relied on in one way or another.   Yet I am aware  I may indeed have daddy issues.  Especially in terms of marriage and parenthood.  For example, will I have a difficult time trusting my trustworthy husband? Or will I be jealous of my children?  For now, I don’t worry about it as much.  After all, I can barely remember his name.  


I also have no early memory of my time with my mom in Florida before going to live with my grandma at the age of 3.   And just as my mom was shipped to and from a friends home, so was I.  Except this friend was married, had an adult daughter that lived with her and an adult son that would come by now and again.  I honestly remember spending more of my time with my “caretaker” than with my grandma.   At the time though I did not feel rejected.  I thought it was normal.  I always gave her the benefit of the doubt not knowing of my moms experience until years later. Today, I am sure that my initial insecurities sprang from this consistently inconsistent routine.

Always spending summers with my mom, I returned to her permanently at age 9.  However, it wasn’t until my teen years that rejection would sprout in our relationship.  Through it all, I did not know how to express my feelings and I don’t believe my mom wanted to revisit the ghosts of her past to help me make sense of them.  Could my inexperienced brain at that time understand the pain that she was carrying?  I’ll never know.  But I often wished she would have tried me.   

Source:  Arene, C. (n.d.). The Most Important Step to Overcoming Rejection. Retrieved March 6th, 2014 from http://www.4therapy.com/life-topics/family-relationships/divorce/most-important-step-overcoming-rejection-2661

next: Welcome Back



Saturday, July 12

Article: The Pain of Social Rejection



The first breakthrough I had in therapy got me thinking about rejection…
In exploring rejection I naturally looked to my own experiences and feelings.  As early as my preteen years I felt an inner pain and heaviness that I could not explain.  Not familiar with the term rejection, not ever having heard it, I do remember how I responded to it.  No matter the source of the rejection, I would initially lash out in anger.  Later, I would withdraw. Further rejection would stem from the fact that withdrawn people are not very likeable. Also, they are further ostracized for being too quiet, too shy even stand-offish and weird. Of course this would give rise to maladaptive behaviors, isolation and eventually depression. The following article explores why the emotional effects of social rejection are so closely related to physical feelings of pain.  Also, discusses the ways in which people respond to social rejection.




As researchers have dug deeper into the roots of rejection, they’ve found surprising evidence that the pain of being excluded is not so different from the pain of physical injury. Rejection also has serious implications for an individual’s psychological state and for society in general... Social rejection increases anger, anxiety, depression, jealousy and sadness.  It reduces performance on difficult intellectual tasks, and can also contribute to aggression and poor impulse control...

con’t reading: The Pain of Social Rejection by Kirsten Weir published in Monitor on Psychology.  Retrieved March 6th, 2014 from http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/04/rejection.aspx


Monday, July 7

Checking Out


Signage for Ragtime Tavern in Atlantic Beach Florida...


I've learned over the last few months that listening to my body will help me to avoid the grip of depression. As I have yet to get adjusted to working consecutive twelve hour shifts, my body is screaming out “enough is enough already!”   When exhaustion begins to set in but there’s no rest in sight, I simply check out.   I check out for self-preservation, for survival.  I disconnect from life if only for a short while.  Doing only  what is necessary, the minimum, until I can have a day or two to recharge.  While checking out reduces the  stress and anxiety of life, it’s equally frustrating when having to check back in.  That is, as needed and usually for professional purposes.   Oh the irony.  Because it is the professional setting that is most stressful.  So now, I’m back at square one.  Equally gaining and losing.  Nevertheless, occasionally checking out will still be my temporary fix for stress management.




As a child, I remember being fascinated by everything around me.  I took to drawing early, trying to capture those things.  My earliest remembrance of this fascination is from elementary school.  Instead of paying attention in class, I went about trying to recreate a design I saw on a hand-woven bag.  My creativity has waxed and waned since then.  As I grew up and became aware of cameras, my interest shifted from drawings to photos.  It never evolved beyond pointing and shooting however.  And just as I lost my passion for drawing and “less than amateur” photography, I lose my desire to write from time to time.  I am almost certain it is related to my instability.  So on days like this, when I’m speechless and lacking or time simply eludes me, I’ll share instead one of my photos in hopes to somehow keep my diminished creative flow from dying altogether.



Wednesday, July 2

Resisting Acceptance


I will tell you what dwells in my heart.
Question is, do you really want to know?
After I have opened the floodgates of my heart, the answer, without words, will be revealed.
It will seal your conscience.
The smallest drop of dissension would not escape.


You will resist as the beach resists the foaming ocean tides,
Allowing them to only penetrate its surface.
Or you will become like that of a root,
Digging deep down into the earth, seeking the cool of the eve.


Be fooled not.
You will understand it not,
For the nature of my being is understood only by One.


Be fooled not.
Accept it you must.
For without acceptance of it there is no acceptance of me.
And in the beginning you said you have grown to love me.
But in the end, will my question be,
How is that so?--July 1999