Downtime and recovery…

I returned from NYC late 11/09/15 from a great trip to see Brother and his girlfriend, which was action-packed. I spent a little time editing pictures but mostly hanging out with Boyfriend before he goes to work and resting. Vacations can be fun but physically demanding.Walking around the sites of New York City was very enjoyable but left me exhausted and sore, though in better shape from all the exercise I got. I saw many places I had not on the previous visits to NYC, and I will soon be posting pictures and more details…

This is my “downtime” week, the week between my last job and my new job. I have tried to utilize the time to do things I wouldn’t be able to do during the day, such as running errands, browsing shops, blogging, and getting a massage. It is already Thursday, and I am asking myself where the time is going, but being at home and recovering from my recent adventure has been good. It’s been nice to just sit in the comfy chair and read or snuggle with the furry child Boo. I am excited about the new job and ready for the challenges ahead but want to make sure that I relax and keep from being too busy so I can start next week feeling prepared and fresh. I launch into my 10 hour days/ 4 day workweek on 11/16, and I will be attending multiple trainings around Texas in the coming months. It will b a great opportunity to learn new things and improve my skills as a case manager.

I started thinking about all the things I could do with this week of free time, and realized that it is not really “downtime” if I don’t actually slow down. I am trying to be mindful while enjoying these few days, and I think I am doing well so far.

What do you do with your “downtime” to rest, recover and prepare for new adventures?

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell

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Some people just don’t like you… complicated families and narcissism

I know that’s kind of straightforward, but it’s true. Try as you might, you will not connect with everyone, you will not be understood by everyone, and you will not even be given a chance to be seen for the real you by everyone.  Kind of in the same way that life is not fair. It just isn’t.

I’ve been thinking about this recently due to events going on in my life. Boyfriend is flying back to the Midwest for the second time in two months due to his mother being seriously ill. Their relationship is complicated to say the least, as is his relationship with his brother… both are narcissists of sorts, and neither have ever liked me. Why? I’ve never had a concrete reason, I just know that Boyfriend and I have always stuck together and that I could not be used as their pawn against him. Calling me to get information about him didn’t work, and neither did putting me on the spot or trying to create drama that I wouldn’t allow to be created. I refused to play along. It took a little while to see through the phony and to truly understand that game that was being played but I have come to see them both as manipulative, attention-seeking, hurtful, and heartless people over the years.  I just thought they didn’t like me. Only recently did Boyfriend and I learn about narcissism so we can now recognize what was going on, as I mentioned here. Generally, narcissists don’t play fair, and no, they don’t like people who don’t play their games and don’t give them supply.

The reality is that Boyfriend’s mother will not get better and likely die in the near future. Without getting into specifics, most people who begin hospice care do not survive. I admire Boyfriend for being the strong, courageous person that he is to jump back in to the fire, so to speak. While Boyfriend has not only been conspired against and kept in the dark about many family affairs, he has only begun to scratch the surface of truth. Yet he has had to undo the mess his brother helped create over the past five years, with most people in the family blind to  the chaos that both narcissists have dealt in for years. I believe in God and I believe in Karma, so it will be dealt with one way or another.

I am not the most touchy-feely person, except with those who are dear to me, but I help people for a living. Regardless of personal feelings, agreement with people’s’ choices, etc., I am compassionate and try to empathize with people’s pain and suffering. I do my best to connect with the people I am called on to help, and I do the best I can to understand these people and their needs. These people are grateful for me, my team members and the partners we work with who try to improve their lives in the smallest way. That means something to me. When someone can admit to mistakes and wrongs, I can respect that.  I guess, what I’m try to say is that I am having real trouble feeling any of these feelings regarding the situation I described above. I have trouble feeling bad for someone who is suffering now, yet has caused many, including the person I love, great suffering throughout their lives, showing no remorse, admitting no harm, and even justifying repeated bad behavior with “I didn’t do to you what I did to the other person.”

Some people just don’t like you, especially when you stand up for yourself and others against their unfair or simply wrong behavior. In some cases, a level of respect might develop between you and that person because he/she likes a challenge and you brought one. Some people bank on fooling you once, and fooling you twice, and fooling you until you don’t know what happened. This isn’t about me, but the situation does affect me.  I have known this dying person for several years. I would like to feel something about the situation, like compassion or empathy or even sadness for a relationship that wasn’t, but… It’s not there. I tried to have relationships with his mother and his brother and they did what narcissists do: they drew me and then tried to manipulate me and Boyfriend. I’m sure there are other people who have survived something similar with a narcissist that can relate to this. I would like to make peace but there is no peace to be had with a narcissist unless they are out of your life in some way, shape or form. My only hope is that Boyfriend gets to find closure when the time comes, and that the other narcissist doesn’t pick up where narcissist mother left off. I pray that the family can get through this time without the knives coming out, and that the good rather than the greed in all will prevail. I hope that the “Golden” child’s reign is over and that the “Scape Goat” either gets a fair shot to tell his side or finally gets the support he deserves. I am most sad about the damaged family dynamics. No one should ever have to live through this.

I believe that we as human beings all have good within us, but I believe that some people would rather do what is easy, even if it’s wrong or hurtful, so they don’t have to tell the truth or take responsibility for their actions. Some people would rather leave this earth without making amends or telling the truth because it would shatter the fake reality they built for themselves. They have to make the choice…

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell

Long day… Expect the unexpected

I went to work today, had a list of tasks to complete, and whoa! Things went a little different than I expected. Without the specifics of my job, let’s just say that you learn to expected the unexpected when you work in social services/mental health but sometimes that is not enough.
I was tasked with writing a discharge letter to a complex, non-compliant client that I have worked with for a year… not fun. I am a professional and I try to remain somewhat detached but I don’t like hurting someone, regardless. I was also tasked with helping a team member’s client get to treatment, which felt good but it was because my team members were dealing with an unfortunate turn of events. Such is life… and a reminder not to take life for granted.

Lessons From Childhood

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt on 05/29/15: “Childhood Revisited.” Sure, you turned out pretty good, but is there anything you wish had been different about your childhood? If you have kids, is there anything you wish were different for them?

A child is like a sponge because he or she absorbs the good and the bad around them, from kindness to meanness,  open-mindedness to racism, patience to impatience, you name it. Even though we are all born with certain genes and traits, we unknowingly observe and learn how to become people from family, friends, teachers, caretakers, neighbors, etc. Me and my dog

In my experience, I learned how to be loyal and hardworking from my parents but I also learned that staying in an unhappy relationship is ok because that’s what they did. After a few unhappy, conflicted relationships as a young adult/college student, I learned that they are wrong, and that things can get complicated. I learned that people often don’t care  or pay attention if your feelings are being hurt by other kids because “everyone gets teased.” As an adult, I have learned that people with that opinion are either narcissistic, a bully or some similar variety of maladjusted. I learned that honesty should be the best policy but sometimes can be held against you, yet you should be honest if possible so you rest with a clear conscious. I learned that you should see the best and worst-case scenarios when you dream and make plans for your future. I later learned that, if you make a plan A and a plan B, you can reach your dreams while avoiding the worst-case scenarios and still getting close to your best-case scenario… Most importantly, you should go for IT, even if it means you work your way up and out of a Podunk town to the big leagues. I learned that parents love you (ideally) and although they mean well, they are not even close to having all of the answers. You have to learn from their good example and bad example, and find positive role models to guide you if your family can’t.  I also learned a little later on that you can’t choose your family, and sometimes you need to keep your distance if they are unhealthy, toxic and detrimental to your freedom and well-being. Chrellie with  Brother and Paternal Grandparents

I wish that I would have embraced my differences and that I would have realized that I was the special kid that my paternal grandparents told me that I was. I sometimes wish I would have punched just one bully from my wonderful Roman Catholic grade school because the teasing that teachers didn’t address would have stopped. I would have gladly taken the punishment. I wish I would have moved on and taken my own path sooner than I did because I held on too long to friendships that had grown apart. I am glad that I was an avid reader and writer, and that my family and paternal grandfather took us to zoos, museums, and to the Grant Park Symphony. I’m glad they taught me how, to get around Chicago. I absorbed a lot of great memories, and the rest made me the unique person I am.

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell