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Monday, December 11, 2017

When the safety of loved ones isn’t taken seriously

My daughter lives in a group home. There is one client who does not belong on the 2nd floor, the independent floor. Quite frankly I think she belongs in a different environment. This client has been transferred from ALL of the group homes in the area, my daughter’s house is the last one. The client is rumored to have been transferred from house to house because of her behavior.
What behavior you may ask? Screaming at other clients, throwing things at other clients, and now, yesterday screaming at the other members of my family and slamming a door at my wife while her hand was still on the doorknob when she was between the door and the screen door. My wife lost her balance momentarily, but could have been knocked to the ground. She also could have broken her wrist. 
The incident was immediately reported to staff on sight and my daughter was allowed to sleep on the sofa on the first floor for safety reasons.
Today we got a call back from a staff supervisor, 3 hours later than promised. Bottom line? What they promise to do will likely not happen AND is not going to be effective. They say through that client’s counselor and my daughter seeing her counselor they are going to work on mutual respect. (My daughter did nothing wrong, nor did my son, nor did my wife.) They say they are going to work with the offending client to stop taking rules to the extreme, stop disrespecting other clients, and learn how to fly to the moon without a spaceship. That 3rd one I made up because it’s just as likely to happen as the other 2.
My daughter is tired of being terrorized by this client. She barely slept last night even though she slept on the 1st floor, had staff with her and the staff person locked AND chained the door.
As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, my daughter ruminates on things, sometimes to the point of triggering a psychotic episode and requiring hospitalization.  After my daughter returns to her house after work I’m going to have to make reassurances that even I don’t believe in. I am also going to make a safety plan for her to refer to when the next incident happens. Because both my wife and I know this is not going to stop until that client is removed from the group home. 
I know life isn’t fair, I say it to my kids all the time about little frustrations, but this isn’t fair. My daughter is being made to feel as though this is her fault. My daughter stays away from this client, avoids her, and if the client speaks to her, my daughter responds to her just as she does anyone else, respectfully and politely. 
Everything ran so smoothly at her house before this client was transferred to my daughter’s house. I am so tired of all this.

Lola's Diner ©2008-2017

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Anniversary of a death

My parents passed away when I was in my twenties. Mom in 1984, Dad in 1990. Now I know their dates of death, but every year the anniversary of their deaths goes one of 3 ways.
     1.) On the day of their death I remember. That day unfolds in my mind from beginning to end. I recall the the smallest detail, then I begin to recall the immediate aftermath...the notification of family and friends, funeral parlor arrangements, the day of the funeral. It’s been a long 34 years since my Mom passed away. A lot has happened, marriages, births, a divorce, mental health issues, and medical issues. I’m embarrassed to say very few of the anniversary’s I recall on the actual anniversary date. 
     2.) A few days before the anniversary date I am in a profound...funk. I’m very depressed. I definitely feel a change in “the force”. Before long I remember and go through the entire process, just as in #1.
     3.) A few days after the anniversary date I will have the same telltale feelings. Just as with #2, I then remember and go through the entire process, just as in #1.
Today was #3 for the anniversary date of my Dad’s death. The anniversary is St Nicholas Day, December 6th. I have always celebrated St Nicholas Day with my children, hanging their stockings the night of the 5th before they go to bed. They are young adults now, but we still celebrate it as one of our holiday traditions. This year we postponed until tonight. They hung their stockings before going to bed Saturday night. It’s not the first time. The funk started the end of November, the realization hit me today. As soon as it came to me I said it out loud. My wife was a bit shocked and asked why I didn’t say anything sooner. It was because I had just realized it. I could feel the...weirdness in the air, but she didn’t say anything. She didn’t have to. She was surprised, shocked even, that I hadn’t recalled it the day of. My Dad passed away 28 years ago. Between both my parents that’s a lot of anniversarys. Her Mom passed, four or five years ago and she is still grieving like it was yesterday. (Oh, don’t open up that can of worms Lola, everyone grieves differently.)
My point is, don’t judge me because I don’t always remember the anniversary of their deaths on THE day. It’s been a lot of years and I’ve had a lot of life happen in between. Most would be surprised at all I have gone through, but that’s besides the point. Those anniversarys...I do not celebrate...I grieve them. Why else would I be so depressed and out of sorts approaching or after the dates? 
I’ve come to realize that #2 and #3 are my coping mechanisms, my process of grieving. It isn’t as if I am oblivious to the dates, I’ve NEVER not remembered.
If anyone out in the interwebs is reading, if you wouldn’t mind, explain how you handle/process the anniversary of a death.

Lola's Diner ©2008-2017
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