My job helped me with trauma

I am very happy that I took this customer service position, even though I hope to have another job soon and not have to renew my contract. I would like to be working in my field more. I have applied for writing and editing positions and I hope one of them pans out. If nothing does in the next month and a half I will be sticking out the holiday season working retail. My guess is that they’ll be offering some holiday bonuses, too, but it won’t be overly generous, after all.

I have a post written about the downside of retail which I plan to post after my contract ends. Meanwhile, I don’t mind working the job. I don’t like the company culture which promised to be all rah-rah but isn’t. In my heart I know they criticize way too much and do not ever give us positive feedback. I have gotten plenty of this from customers, though, and even from other departments. I believe this is the number one reason I don’t want to stay there, the negativity and sly dishonesty, which I explain in my future post.

The good part is that I get criticized  regularly. Due to trauma my instant response is to get on the defensive when bashed by my employer, or bashed by customers, which happens now and then. I have learned, first how to handle the screamers on the phone who are mad because their $2,000 dresses didn’t arrive, then how to handle the overly critical supervisors. I think the supervisors can be harder to deal with. My coworkers have experienced the same thing and they find it upsetting, too.

I have learned to handle the supervisors just the same as I handle the irate customers. Who the fuck cares who they are, anyway? I will not see them, ever, and they can’t truly harm me. What would such harm look like? What is the worst thing they can do? The worst would be to engineer a police visit to have me hauled off, and that simply won’t happen. They can’t do that in my situation as none of them can access my address. So what is to fear? The worst won’t happen, and beyond that, any other harm is petty.

I have heard of incompetent customer service people pushing customers over the edge by jeering at them or making insensitive commentary. The customer gets irked, gets madder and madder, then, the customer service person phones the cops on them. Why? To prove the customer was the deranged one. It couldn’t possibly be the customer service person, right? Fortunately, I don’t do that, nor does anyone else at our workplace…I hope.

I have had name-calling, swearing, calling me all sorts of things, and even sarcasm. The sarcastic ones generally turn irate and start yelling. This is somewhat of a warning sign.

Here is my recommendation for dealing with irresponsible or verbally abusive behavior. You have to realize that the other person is acting badly. You have to realize that the issue isn’t YOU, it is something else in their lives. You happen to be the nearest and most convenient person, so they are likely to yell at you for anything at all. Realize that you have acted in good faith, that you are not guilty of what they are claiming, such as stupidity, slowness, ignorance, or deliberate rudeness, or in the case of the nasty supervisors, not following their protocol. Even if you messed up, know that you did not do this maliciously as they very well may claim.

Let them yell and do not argue. What is the sense? The yelling will only get worse if you contradict them, so just go along with what they are saying. Agree, then, keep your real opinion to yourself since they are beyond reasoning with. Think of them as you might think of a drunk person. The person is out of character, as is a drunken man, and just dismiss it as that.

Once you realize it’s not you, it’s them, you are totally free of getting upset by inappropriate criticism. You learn that there are times that it’s not even worth it to fight back. If the person is your superior, you won’t succeed anyway, you will only make yourself look bad.

Another possibility is that the rude person is projecting their own fears onto you, that is, the negative character traits that they claim you have they are guilty of themselves.

I am gradually getting used to being criticized and even able to ignore it now. Because of psych abuse it was hard to take such rudeness for a couple of years.  I felt the urge to fight back, which I was taught in the nuthouses, and now I realize that fighting back is not the right thing to do.

Now I don’t let it bother me because I have acclimated to it. I try to realize that complete strangers are nothing but pebbles. You see pebbles once then you may very well not step there another time. Yelling? Rudeness? It is no longer a big deal.

But what about the therapist?

Here’s a NYT article of interest:


To open this link, please right-click on the picture it and then choose from the pop-up menu.

I am wondering about the brand new therapist who didn’t even know Nicolette Green, and then, decided to commit her. The family, who knew her well, was baffled by this. Why isn’t the therapist being investigated?

The second patient, Ms Newton, was going voluntarily (though it wasn’t really going to be voluntary, was it?), while Green was committed (sectioned), though it makes no sense to commit someone when you’ve only spoken to them for perhaps 20 minutes or less.

When I have been committed from therapy, the decision was usually made during the first ten minutes of the session. Why? Because the therapist, who is usually paid per session at these clinics, uses the rest of the session to call the cops and fill out the necessary paperwork, then wait for the cops to arrive.

Any MH professionals out there? If you saw a patient, a new one you had never seen before, would you commit that patient based on a ten-minute initial interview?

One comment there mentioned the logistics of getting the women out of the van. He/she stated that the women were likely handcuffed, which of course would make it much harder for the two cops to rescue them. It makes no sense to transport people who aren’t criminals like this.

I think there should be a law against transport people, or any law enforcement, handcuffing people diagnosed with MI, or handcuffing kids or anyone, really, unless they’ve committed an actual crime. If they think “MI” is a medical issue, then why not use an ambulance? That is what they used in Massachusetts. Instead, the women, who were not criminals, were transported just the same as folks who were under arrest.

As for the therapist, she will claim that HIPAA prevents her from revealing what went on in the therapy session. Then she will suddenly move out of stare or go on extended vacation abroad. We know the deal.

I think SC needs to change its policies. Maybe we should write to the legislators there. I am going to try, at some point.


Okay, Fat Lib won and we have plus size models. But where the hell are the senior models?

They’re so perfect-looking, at any shape or size. We’re supposed to accept all sizes of bodies now, thanks to the Fat Lib movement, which I am fine with and I hope all of you are.

We older folks, we don’t cut it because we’re considered a waste of tax money. Our wrinkles, which many try to snake oil out of existence, reek of Medicare taxes and doctors’ offices. They don’t want us on the cover of their trendy emag.

If there’s going to be a poster child of anything, it sure won’t be someone old like me. She’ll be some sweet innocent in her 20’s and pasty-perfect-looking, usually white, too. If they are ever arm-twisted to feature someone old and decrepit, she’ll photoshopped to the point of the perfect disguise. They don’t like us because we’re closer to death than to birth. Which a lot of us are, let’s face facts here. We live in a society that hates death like it’s a fucking sin to die.

What the hell is beauty, anyway? Why won’t society love us as we are?

New backpack for Puzzle!


I splurged and got a backpack for easier bus travel with Puzzle. Seems like she likes it! Here is the backpack on its side.  With an inhabitant!


Here is the backpack upright with Puzzle sticking her head out the top.

As with all of these, there’s a stiff part on the bottom so your dog will be more comfortable. This stiff part might dig into your back on longer treks. However, I’m so short that the bottom part is under my rear end, so it doesn’t bother me.

Likewise, don’t complain to MH professionals about……

Don’t complain to one mental health professional about another. You know where that will get you. Don’t complain to your therapist about your psych, and vice-versa. Don’t tell your therapist it was “like prison” in there or you might end up called psychotic. Don’t go to them to complain about them. Nothing worthwhile happens “in house.” You have to go over their heads, to the licensing boards and hospital safety boards. Not that that’s a guarantee. Talk to THEIR supervisor, or go straight THEIR HR. Tee hee hee.

Article in Washington Post supporting victims of sexual assault

I would love to forward this to the Watertown Police Department. In 2012, in either early July or late June, I reported to them that I had been raped by my neighbor, Bob Cahill, but it had occurred four years previously, in 2008. The police listened to me, but they had no plans, from the beginning, to proceed with any sort of investigation. They sat there with me a full hour, doing little but humoring me, and in the end offered me a ride to the nuthouse.

Their claim? That my account was not credible because Bob and I had been friends. Do they not realize that most rapes are done by people known the victim? Even husbands rape their wives. This is the most common form of rape, and the most insidious because it is next to impossible to prove. In fact, these abusive husbands, and sometimes even wives, are often repeat offenders.

They also stated that my story was “fabricated” because I had a detailed written account of what happened that night (something like the 23rd of March). Do they not know that writing things down was my way of processing the incident and putting it to rest?

Well….someday I will figure out how to complain about a police department! Of course, if I still lived there, complaining in any way would get them to come to my door and haul me off.

One day, when I was safely in Uruguay, I got brave and tweeted to the head of police department. What I said wasn’t threatening but it challenged their authority. No, they didn’t fly to Uruguay to arrest me. How much can you say in a tweet?

If I could complain about them I would have a laundry list of ways they were disrespectful, not only of me but of my neighbors, too. Here is an article on how to do that:

I wonder how long you have to file one of these. Apparently the worst thing you can do is file with the police department!

Globe article on the consequences of church whistleblowing, and my commentary

Here is the article:

Church whistleblowing gets messy because invariably the government stays out, claiming separation of church and state. Maybe this is in part why the delay before many clergy get nailed for sex abuse. Whistleblowers get no protection at all, as we see in this example.

I was a church whistleblower, too. I saw bigotry in my church, done by the church  minister, Mark Harris. I heard him say disparaging remarks about two people in the church known to have MI diagnoses. I was semi-friends with both of them. Once he made a insulting remark toward one of them in the presence of about five parishioners including me. He also insulted ex-church members and even a former ministerial intern, one he clearly hadn’t liked, right in his sermons. Once he mentioned that a former churchgoer had had a “tummy tuck” and he went on and on about her apparent lack of morality. Later I saw these things edited out of the printed, online versions of the sermons. (Since I left I saw his remarks about me in sermons, too. They were not complimentary.)

All this was included in my email to the church higherup. I didn’t expect her to write back, but she did. I didn’t expect it because back then, I rarely got a response to my emails. That was over New Year’s. She stated there was nothing that could be done and this had to be solved internally. I wrote back a two or three-sentence email telling her I was okay with that and would handle it myself.

Days later the cops came to my door accusing me of plotting to kill Mark Harris. There was one cop and two church members, higher-ups. They told me their little visit was totally “off the record.” They terrorized me, then, when they realized they had no evidence for their accusations, they left. I wasn’t arrested. I was really scared, though. That was January and I worked my butt off at that point to get myself the hell out of Massachusetts.

This is what happens to whistleblowers. The target of the whistleblowing gets in trouble, or close to it. I know that letter I wrote did indeed get back to the church. Mark was apparently affected by the letter, and I know he was challenged by someone in the church administration. Possibly at that time his job was in jeopardy,  or on the line somehow. His aim in sending the cops and those two church higherups was to silence me. It was blatant retaliation.

I did see him posting in the church newsletter that he was going to change his ways.  When I read just how, I knew then that my letter had had some effect after all. I wasn’t going to church anymore, of course, and had no intentions of returning, so this wasn’t going to impact me personally.

I’m sure he still badmouths me in his sermons, just to make sure I am never believed by the parishioners ever again. For his own sake.


Back to the track

A week ago I made the decision that my foot brace was more of an inconvenience than it was helpful. I removed it and then went to the local gym. I enjoyed using the elliptical machine, which I used most vigorously. I also walked on the treadmill. I did this two days. The third day at the gym I tried running on the treadmill. I was able to run a mile without issue.

I have since returned to the track and run 5k each time. I no longer have any issues with my foot.

I have no clue why I beat the eight-week prediction, that is, I was supposed to wear the brace eight weeks and not run the whole time. Instead, I was only handicapped by the brace for ten days. I have no pain and no indication that the tendinitis is still there.

Nailed that one, too.   Added to the list.