so i went to some auditions tonight...yup..me. auditioning for a play lol not so unfamiliar though..most of you don't know that i spent a good 5 years pounding out the plays. i directed 3, acted in 4, did make up, props, got on the board of directors. i fully immersed myself into the arts. my parents always told me that i was a ham..but it took me a while to show the rest of the world. i fell in love...the people i did plays with became a family to me. after each play was completed..i was sad. well most of the time. there were a couple of times..oh boy i couldn't get outta there fast enough. but there were some plays that hurt so much when it ended. my first play was the worst. it was the mellville boys by norm foster. i played mary..a jaded, store owner in the middle of boonyville where she grew up all her life. her sister, loretta... on the other hand was not stuck in the sticks. she had dreams of being an actress, big lights big city type. well these two girls end up running into two brothers, owen and lee...off on a male bonding weekend. a time to put all things to rest so to speak. ...you see. lee, was dying. he came on this weekend to make his bother see that he can't be in denial any longer. that he had responsibilities..lee needed owen to take care of his wife and kids after he was gone. owen..didn't want a thing to do with coming to grips, he wanted to live in a world where brothers don't get cancer and die. he was determined to find any form of distraction he could to avoid having THE TALK with lee and loretta was right up his alley. let's just say there were boats, and life jackets. romps in the bedroom, and gut wrenching emotions. there was turnip cake and near beer. and "my frickin husband leaves me..this sucks" (i forgot my line while choking on near beer and chocolate cake and it came out that way. it was close..the audience got the gist)... so anyway, it was by far the best experience i ever had in theatre. the cast was beautiful, we meshed so well. we hung out alot, loretta and owen started a relationship from that play and even had a child together. i was very sad when it ended. i sat in the tub that night, after the wrap up party, thinking that i didn't want to wash off my make up..i didn't want to stop being mary. "sigh"
so anywho..the auditions tonight were on the western campus (university to those who don't know where i live lol) and boy oh boy i sure wish i had had the chance to go to university. just wandering around (mostly coz i couldn't find where the hell i was supposed to go) made me feel all...ummm..its kinda hard to describe. like i missed something maybe? like how cool would it be to sit under that tree with some big book that had lots of big words in it and confused the hell out me. i don't know..cool though. of course i would totally blend right in..not worries bout me lookin like the old gal on campus. i've been blessed with good genes and look far younger than i am. those that know me in "real world time" can attest to the fact that i don't act my real age either. much to their annoyance lol
so the b/f tells me i should go back to school. says that i would love it and really get something out of it but i don't know..thats a lot of money..and who has any of that nowadays. not very many lol but it is something to think about. you don't stop learning till your dead. and you can quote me on that lol
not since i have my C-section have i experienced this kind of pain. so far i have been blessed with a healthy life. never broke anything major or even minor for that matter. couple fingers..a few toes. was really sick as a kid once and a handful of bad flu's and colds as an adult but generally i've been charmed with good health. here's the rub...i was lulled into a sort of complacency...never really believing "until my maker comes for me" that i could or would get seriously hurt. ha..i'm not seriously hurt..just a messed up back but man..it hurts. but its not the pain that prompted this blog..its the feeling of helplessness that is accompanying this minor set back. i can still move around.."like an old women" being careful...sitting gingerly...not twisting..not bending..calling in sick to BOTH jobs. this sucks!
i have always been proud of my physicality..my ability to "bounce back" and i'm not kidding when i say bounce! for those that know and love me..know that i'm a bouncer. just call me tigger..and i'm just about as graceful as tig to. i always have bruises from me "bouncing" off of walls...telephone poles...people. most times i don't even know where half my bumps come from. "its all part of me charm, don'tcha know?" anyway..i digress. my point is..this is not me. i can't do this "injured person act" i can't be this...sad little person that has to lay on the floor with her feet and legs at a 90 degree angle, rocking back and forth to ease the pain. sleeping with a pillow between her legs so it doesn't hurt. frick! i'm so frustrated!
its time for change and the only one that can do that is me. so here..right now...i promise to be more positive..to be more optimistic..to take each day for what it is and try not to worry about the future so much. i will find the joy again in those little things and share them with you. i will try to find balance in my life and in my soul. i will try to become the person i used to be.
as most of you know...b/f and i broke up a some weeks ago " i really can't remember if its been 2 weeks or 3..feels like i have lived several lives in this short span of time". so b/f turned into X b/f, roommate guy...because he moved here to be with me and left everything behind him. so we have been living in this weird, confusing, painful surreal situation that continues to become more confusing with each progressing day. for the first little while i tried to stay away, stay late at work, go to the gym, have a hot tub to extend the time, leaving early and getting to work before everyone else "which i have to say..i like. office to myself, i can check my mail, blog, eat breakfast..its great" anyway... it eventually come up "while home at the same time" that i didn't need to give him space coz it hurt no matter if i was here or not. great..so i stopped avoiding going home.."still doing all the samethings i was doing, gym etc but i don't feel like i can't come home now." so its easier. i developed a routine "one of the many coping strategies i use to deal with stress" very predictable, safe. structured. the control freak in me was/is having a really good time. " insert evil laugh here" before to long..X b/f and i started to chat..not about anything important but just stuff. one thing he loves to do..is pepper me with news stories or facts he finds while surfing the net on his iphone. i would add maybe something i had done or heard while at work and it progressed from there. he even apologized at one point for being grumpy.." he was finding it hard not to be angry with me when he was trying to figure out how he was going to get out" things were...ok. " and i mean ok in the terms of..it was still really stressful " but things changed last week...good news first. he got a job..a crappy, boring job but a job. started last thursday. working 6pm to 2 am. i thought perfect! i don't get home from the gym till 6ish...and i'm gone by 7:30. as ok as it was...well you know. i just explained it. a job will give him his feeling of independence back..,money in his pocket again...feeling of worth and hope. i thought this was the best news ever. now up to training "of which he got home round 11:00" he had been sleeping with me in the bed " now..hold on. just wait till i explain" he tried sleeping out here..but i don't own a couch. i have a chair and a half. i love it! big enough to sprall out in and great for cuddling." i digress...he has a bad back..and he insisted that i not sleep out in the living room so....we shared a bed...and i mean share ONLY...there was a wall between us so big i'm surprised either one of us slept. so..anyway. back to the point. thursday he started sleeping in the living room again. saturday morning i woke up early..had things to do so i hopped in the shower and got ready to leave. when i was done and went out into the living room..he was sitting there and he didn't look good.
we exchanged pleasantries..you know hi...he asked me what i was doing that day..and than asks if we can talk before i went to class. " yeah..sure. everything ok?" of course everything wasn't ok... he said that he was ready now to know why? why we were here..how this came about? so i tried as best i could to explain why i felt i needed to make this decision. for as abundantly positive i am on the outside..i really am rather negative on the inside...i look at it as being prudent, a planner, not negative but most do not. i feel that if you can avoid more pain, and hurt. why shouldn't you? you would jump out of the way for a dumptruck barrelling down on you so why wouldn't jump away from impending heartache? i think that is a very valid question.
but it seems that he doesn't want to move out of the way of that barrelling dumptruck. he is standing firmly in place...no holds barred....he still wants me..still wants to spend his life with me..still wants kids and a house with the white picket fence..the whole shabang! " i personally thinks he must be nuts" he wants to try again...he admits that it may not work but he wants to try. he's even in a place where he's willing go to counselling if i wanted. he believes that there is something worth salvaging here. the question is..do i?
the multitude of thoughts running through my head right now are enough to drive an insane person sane. its nuts. i knew that i had anxiety but wow! could i be thinking of any more ways that this could go wrong or right or nothing at all. can i honestly say that i tried? for me..that is the question. i've spent a number of years...since my heart was broken so completely...wondering if i am capable of trusting that much again..to give myself so completely to someone else that i'll open myself up to being hurt again. is that the reason i am here..in this place now, having dragged b/f with me. no..not totally. he messed up to...admits it freely. its a beginning.
so..do i go for round two and hope for the best? or take the easy path..the one where i can walk away not having risked anything?
here i sit. sitting in the office 45 minutes before i need to be here. i'm here before most teachers, kids for sure and i even pulled in before the principal. its very quiet and the heater is on behind me, making me nice and toasty. like everyday this week i'm here this early because of what's going on at home. its hard to spend time in a small one bedroom apt with someone that alternately looks at like you with sad, hurt, broken eyes and eyes that want to inflict a little, or a lot of pain of their own.
we had a chat last night..we had to. we have to have a plan. i know that he is still reeling from all of this..and no matter how much warning you have..it never seems to be enough. i get it. i understand and i can empathize. i'm a planner and he is not. i get that to. so when i asked him last night what his plan was..how were we going to get this done..this living together till he can move out thing i wasn't surprised "ok, i was sorta surprised" when he didn't have one. no plan. no clues, no ideas on what he was going to do next. now the control freak in me hears that and starts..you guessed it. FREAKING OUT! especially when he just sat there and looked at me with oceans of pain on his face...while i tossed ideas his way. the answer was NO to every suggestion i had. and maybe its to soon to expect anything out of him..i mean. the poor guy has got to be overwhelmed by all this. expecting something good and getting something way worse than he could have dreamed.
now i leave the house at 7:30 am everyday..work..go to the gym..and do my best to stay out of the apt as much as possible. its been working fairly well..but how long will i be able to keep this up? weeks? months? maybe. i've done something similar before, not so close a quarters but similar. i have my part time job and i can ask for more hours..there are classes to take and well hey..i can work on that six pack i've always wanted lol
i met dean at the tail end of my last year of collage. i was 20. a girl in my class and i became close and she was dating his roommate dave. he was tall, 6"5, dark, handsome, brooding. gave the impression to any and all, that he was not interested at all in the opposite sex. good show i must say. now..i did NOT take this as a challenge..i had a boyfriend at the time, as absent as he was. so i thought "this guy can send daggers at me if he wants...i don't want him anyway" ha! low and behold..his angst sucked me in and we started dating shortly after my collage bo and i broke up.
things were good. i moved back home, found a job and commuted back and forth on my days off to be with him in Vienna, yes i just said Vienna. teeny tiny little village outside of Tillsonburg. he had his issues, cheating, controlling X girlfriend but i was the opposite to that so i thought.."no worries". we got along, with minor hick ups but no fights. we found common inters ts and one being "time spent in the bedroom" lol go figure. so with this said. 6 months in..i got pregnant. i was semi happy..didn't expect to be starting a family this young but figured we could deal. he on the other hand didn't take it quite so well. he was scared. a confirmed women hater, not only in a relationship..a new one at that but also becoming a dad in short order. he did the right thing though. we made changes. got ready for our arrival with trepidations "who wouldn't?" at 7 months i became concerned that i hadn't been gaining enough weight "6 pounds to be exact" so i stressed to the doc "that something was wrong" and i was sent for tests, ultra sounds etc. we discovered that our little one had something called Potters Syndrome "renal agenesis" in layman's terms..he didn't grow kidney's. so despite everything the doc's could do..our son, gerrald paul died.
now you would think that an experience like this..so soon into a relationship would kill it. the grief and pain would blot out anything that was there before but it wasn't so. dean and i spent another 7.5 years together. the first 5 years were good...great even. we started sailing, man we could put that boat up in no time flat and not even have to say a word. we were in sync. the problem was that the longer we were together, how good we were together..i though it should be time to begin thinking about making things more permanent, maybe try for a family again. he said he felt the same way. yes we'll get married, yes we'll have kids..but after i do this..or do that. soon years were being stolen, with all these things that needed to be done before our lives together, as a family could begin. i started getting resentful. he started getting angry. soon..we weren't speaking much. he was gone from the house for 16 hours a day (various projects) and i began to find my own way. started the gym, started acting in live theatre. we became separate entities. living in the same home, sleeping in the same bed. we were miserable.
finally the year i turned 29 i decided that i had waited long enough for "something" to happen and i called it quits. 8 years of my life..gone. now..its rather dramatic of me to say gone. i have learned to take the good and leave the bad. i grew and experienced so many things with dean. i had a son..my little gerri. he'd be 15 now..weird. i don't regret a single moment so the time really isn't gone. its just..life.
so it was over. i bought the house we lived in from him and we moved on. it was hard..it was liberating..it was scary as all get out but i did it. i was on my way to being truly independent. in charge of my life for the first time ever.
i was driving to work this morning..thinking about chris and me and how we ended up in this place..this dark place...as usual. what else is there right now to think about other than what's going on. but i have to say that my thinking is non productive. it just keeps whirling around..sending insights and questions and doubt pinging off inside my head. its like having a 6 people playing squash inside my melon. now for me that's not a rarity. i generally have a zillion things going on in my head at the same time. lol...you'll now know why sometimes my writing tends to meander. those that know and love me..forgive me this little indiosyncasy.
so..like i said i was driving to work this morning and thought that for your benefit..but selfishly..mostly mine. i thought that i'd start at the beginning. go back a few years. maybe gain some clarity. i don't know if i'll get anything out of it and i'm sure you may be saying "oh crap! i gotta listen to this?" but you never know. and maybe..a once follower, lover, and friend might read it and understand a little better.
and so it is done. its not something i'm happy about, nor proud of. the guilt i feel over this is likely to cause some pretty good scars. now i know most of you would say. "he's a big boy, he makes his own decisions." "he knew what he was getting into, he was fully aware of the nutbar that you are.""did you talk to him?" yes..i talked to him. "told him you didn't feel ready?" yes..i told him wasn't ready. "so?" so..i can't help it. i could have stopped it..no i should have stopped it. but no..i had to drag the boy guy down here..leave everything he knows, his job, his friends, his apartment. for what?..for me to continue to keep him at arms length? for more uncertainty? for more pain? guilt just doesn't seem to cut it when describing what it is i'm feeling. this sick feeling in my stomach, how i can't seem to catch my breath when i think about it. this need to someway..anyway to make things right, but not knowing how or what will do that. its all consuming.
but i have to face facts. nothing will make it right again. the words have been said and the lines have been drawn. i can only hope that he will be able to forgive me for what i have done. it was all done with the best of intentions. what better intention is there than the hopes of love and life, shared with another human being?
★ SOCIAL REINFORCEMENT e.g. response from an adult/peers for calling out ★ A TANGIBLE REINFORCEMENT e.g. access to a preferred activity
The Function of ESCAPE or AVOID;
★ AN AVERSIVE TASK e.g. a difficult, boring or lengthy assignment ★ A SITUATION e.g. social interaction with certain people or events
The Function of BOTH;
★ to GET the attention of adults or peers and to AVOID/ESCAPE a boring lesson
The Function of COMMUNICATION;
★ to COMMUNICATE e.g. that they do not understand the lesson or doesn’t want to speak in front of their peers
Motivating factors for the function can be; internal, external or a combination of both
the person may find engaging in one behaviour to accomplish one purpose may lead to the realization of a completely different function. E.g. a student who fights to escape teasing could find the excitement of the fight reinforcing.
What Is It? Reinforcement is a key component when implementing behavioural interventions. Using information gathered from interviews with teachers, school administration, parents and the student/person, Forced Choice Reinforcement Menu, OSR, it can be determined what reinforcers will work best and motivate the person to success.
When To Give It? Collected data will determine how often the behaviour is exhibited in a certain time period. E.g. Johnny disturbs the class X 2 in a 55 minute period (approx every 30 minutes), which means he should have the opportunity to engage in and be positively reinforced for appropriate behaviour every 15 minutes.
Reinforcers should be changed on a regular basis if the person becomes bored. It is important when choosing reinforcers to think about the amount of reinforcement in relationship to the effort required for the person to receive the reinforcer.
Types Of Reinforcers
Intrinsic: belonging to a thing by nature I.e. pride, positive self talk, drive, motivation Extrinsic: outside or external I.e. rewards/point systems, praise
This is a “non-contingent” access to a reinforcer (no stings attached). The person is allowed to participate in a (highly preferred activity, receive something they have never had before) with the understanding that they must exhibit the behaviour in order to receive the reward again.
Sometimes the changes will be difficult or to dramatic to expect all at once so “approximations” of exhibited appropriate behaviour should be reinforced
Fading or gradually replacing extrinsic (external reinforcers) with intrinsic or (natural/inward reinforcers). The process of transition can begin with pairing both extrinsic and intrinsic reinforcers together E. g. David receives points for completing work but receives praise and increased self esteem knowing he’s improving.
Maintaining Positive Behaviour
To be successful with any behavioural intervention it takes the willingness and ability of the student to continue to use the strategies with minimal outside support. This means that it is our jobs to teach the student strategies that can be used to maintain the new behaviour. Maintenance is the lasting over time even when the extrinsic reinforcers have been faded as well as making sure that the student can use these strategies in other appropriate settings, generalization. Here are several ways to use generalization.
Restructure the social environment to benefit from the power of peer relationships to promote positive behaviour. With the use of natural consequence of being with and having friends the positives will be reinforced.
Cognitive mediation: thinking through a situation before acting on emotion. * self talk - talking themselves through a situation * self cueing - recognizing when they are upset, tense * self monitoring - counting the frequency and duration of their own behaviour * self evaluating - comparing changes in behaviour to determine progress * self reinforce - give themselves the rewards when criteria has been reached * self advocacy - promoting their own recognition to the positive changes in their behaviour
The success of these strategies may depend on providing the student with “booster” or refresher. Review the “plan” with the student to reconfirm goals and tweak the plan as necessary.
Peers, who may provide academic supports through tutoring or conflict-resolutions activities, thereby fulfilling the student’s need for attention in appropriate ways;
Families, who may provide support though, for example, setting up a homework centre in the home and developing a homework schedule, or by positively reinforcing their child’s appropriate behaviour in school;
Teachers and paraprofessional, who may provide both academic and curricular modifications to address and decrease a student’s desire to avoid academically challenging situations;
Language specialists, who are able to increase a child’s expressive and receptive language skills, thereby providing the child with alternative ways to respond to stressful situations;
Other school staff, including custodians, cafeteria works, or volunteers with who people sometimes feel more comfortable;
Community agency service providers, including mental health, juvenile justice, Big Brother or Sister organizations, or other agency personnel who are involved in providing broad-based and long term student and family interventions and support;
Other organizations, such as churches, religious groups, cultural/ethnic organizations, YMCA or YWCA, recreation centres, and others, which can be quite influential and therapeutic
It is important to realize that in some instances, for biological or other reasons, a person may not be able to control their behaviour without supports.
it really amazes me how much of your self esteem is tied up in your work. .your job..the life blood that is supposed to fill you with joy, and pride, and feelings of self worth can turn around and slap you upside the head and send you screaming into a fit of anger, frustration and self deprecating remarks in a heart beat. "why?" i mean really...why? why do we do this to ourselves? you know that you have done your best...busted your arse even and yet still..those thoughts come flooding in. alternating between....what did i do wrong? what could i have done better? rethinking every encounter, every meeting, every casual conversation in the hall or staff room. desperately trying to put it all together, find the flaw. and if your not thinking about how much you suck..your thinking "who the hell do they think they are?" "they should be looking at themselves before they start pointing fingers." righteous indignation...rehashing all the trials and tribulations that you have had to deal for months...the lack of respect for your work and professionalism..wanting to walk in and yell all the indignities you have been forced to endure in their faces.
"will this help?" nope..not even a little. "so what to do?" my suggestion is to stop thinking about it..let it ride and see how it all plays out. the fat lady has not sung..no one has kicked the bucket..the hot, brooding cowboy hasn't ridden off into the sunset and tomorrow is another day :)
i know..i have been neglectful...no..i've been beyond neglectful and i'm sorry. its been almost a month since i made my ritual verbal purge on here and i feel crappy about leaving you all hangin. i feel like i've let you guys down..my followers and general random blog readers. but most of all and for selfish reasons of my own. i missed the escape..the honesty and the feeling of release when i spill my proverbial guts to a bunch of strangers and friends. it just feels good. "so why did you stop?" you ask. well..it just sorta happened...scuffing foot and looking at the ground. no..to be honest..i'm a big fan of honest. the boyfriend "previously posted about" and i moved in together in the middle of december. things did not go well. oh no..the move was fine..no hic ups..weather was ok..cold but not terrible. the truck was good..traffic was good. the move was good. everything is good..right? no..its what happened after the move that caused me to stop blogging. for some odd..total unknown reason....the minute the last of his stuff was moved in..we lost all ability to communicate effectively with each other. don't get me wrong..we had our problems before this but communicating didn't seem to one of them.
now..you would think that blogging would be the perfect way to release pent up frustration and confusion but the boyfriend receives emails when i create a new post...and of course can access it at anytime via the net. so you see my dilemma. "how to post what i'm feeling, release my frustration and confusion and still make it PC enough for the boyfriend to read?"
so i didn't write
i didn't release that frustration
and i'm still confused..very, very confused
so maybe blogging about it is the key. maybe spilling my guts here might have a positive effect on what's been going on. maybe..and i know there's alot of maybe's i'm not listing but maybe..things just might get better. don't know..but i'll keep you posted. :)
ok..i finally figured it out. not the meaning of life or anything profound like that but i did figure out what to say about myself. this is me...i'm cute, funny, sweet, hyper, hyper organized, love to read, writte, do theatre, take beautiful photographs, clean my apartment, always gotta dress just different enough that you notice, blunt and honest, loves her boyfriend, likes to be home, snow, fresh towels and clean sheets, scary movies, funny movies, ok movies in general, texting, dancing in livingrooms, yoga, loves her cat..ok..i think thats enough for now..add more as i think of'em :)