Saturday, May 23, 2015

A homely man with VERY high standards

Recently, a man in one of my Facebook singles groups posted an update asking if any women in the tri-state area would be interested in meeting a guy who has a good job and a nice house. I should have known that such a generic appeal would only come an unappealing prospect, but I commented and we emailed and exchanged phone numbers.

After a few days of aimless texting ("How are you?" "I'm at the pool having lunch" "How far are you from Penn Station?") he texted me on Saturday night:

What r u doing tonight I'm home relaxing. What r u doing tom

I responded

Going out with friends tonight, busy tomorrow

Not entirely true; I didn't have Saturday night plans. But I wasn't going to meet up with him last-minute. That looks desperate.

Let me know when we can talk and get together

he asked. I wrote back:

Let's talk tomorrow evening and make plans :)

The next day he texted

How are you.

I said,

Good Tired. But it was a productive day. How are you?

We exchanged a few more words, then he texted me Monday morning:

Gm. I'm at work. Let's talk later

I didn't want to chat with him while I was at work.

Okay. I should be home by 6:00 or so

He didn't like that.

I have my gym class at 6

It's not a big deal...

Call me after

I responded. He didn't. He texted me:

Do u have a pic or 2

and then texted me a picture of himself at the gym in a muscle T. Decent body, homely face. Well, it's the heart that counts, right? I sent him a selfie-- more or less a headshot.

Pretty. Do u have a length pic.

I didn't respond to that. All day. He texted me that evening:

Going to the gym. I'm glad mon is over

I indicated I was as well.

I didn't get a length pic

Wanted to text "And you won't," but there's no need to be hostile, so I filibustered.

I don't have any

He's a problem-solver:

Just take one phones have cams I took one for u

As though we had agreed to do this. I sidestepped again.

I didn't ask you to take one, and I'm not good at long selfies

Seriously, dude -- if I'm willing to meet you with that face, you shouldn't be super picky.

Take a half selfie. I have no idea how tall u are or your body t ype. I came prepared.

And I'm prepared to stop texting with you.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Friday, May 22, 2015

Her not so perfect life

I had two friends who fell madly in love, were engaged in six weeks, got married young (24 & 25), had 3 kids, moved to the suburbs, bought a house, and had a perfect life.

After I read her joyous post about the gorgeous 15th anniversary gift he got her--a diamond eternity ring--I stopped following them on Facebook.

A few days ago, I saw his profile picture somewhere -- he joined a group or liked something. He was canoodling with a woman who was very definitely not his wife. I went to his page and learned that he had left her and their kids for a woman he met on vacation in the Dominican Republic. (He's no longer Orthodox, btdubs.)

I feel ashamed. I let my petty envy overshadow how kind she was to me. How much she loved me. How happy she was when I called her out of the blue and then friended her on Facebook years ago.

Recent pictures of her on Facebook show her smiling. I can't imagine the pain behind her smile. I might call her again one of these days.

(I know my brother-in-law did essentially the same thing, but my friend is sweet and beautiful, and my sister is a butt-ugly bitch.)
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Good for your brain, your heart, and your lady parts

For a while I was taking a probiotic supplement from ReNew Life called, very bluntly, "Ultimate Flora Vaginal Support." I tend to get a lot of UTIs, and I thought the supplements might stop that from happening.

After many UTI-free months, I stopped taking the supplements. Lately, I've been cranky and sad. I thought it was just work getting to me or the lack of a romantic life. But then I read about an interesting study that examined the impact of a multispecies probiotic on mood:

Compared to participants who received the placebo intervention, participants who received the 4-week multispecies probiotics intervention showed a significantly reduced overall cognitive reactivity to sad mood, which was largely accounted for by reduced rumination and aggressive thoughts.

That's the stuff.

I started looking for a probiotic supplement that contained all of the bacteria included in the study. And lo and behold, I found that all of them are in... the "Vaginal Support" supplement I used to take.

There's no guarantee that taking this supplement will improve my mood and functioning. But it's difficult to see how it will make things worse. There's also evidence that probiotics have a beneficial impact on blood pressure and serum cholesterol. While my blood pressure is low, my cholesterol is high and has been for quite some time, even though my diet is moderately low in cholesterol.

I think it's the stress and unhappiness increasing my cholesterol levels: cortisol thickens your blood in fight-or-flight mode so that you'll bleed less if you're wounded. Of course, my wounds are emotional, so the thicker blood is probably just building up the layers of plaque in my arteries. So if probiotics improve my mood, they might help lower my cholesterol.

So I'm adding probiotics back to my nightly medication cocktail, which also includes fish oil, vitamin D, and folic acid. Actually I'm out of folic acid, I better re-stock.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Full disclosure

Well, more like partial disclosure. I have a client who has some form of psychotic disorder and is currently very paranoid. Right now the only people in the clinic he trusts are a part-time counselor, the program director, and myself.

The part-time counselor is an intern who is very wise and has tons of life experience, but was really just an intern a few weeks ago. So as his supervisor, I work very closely with him and his clients. And one of the things we had to work on was getting this client to go back to his psychiatrist, so we met with him together the day before yeesterday.

This was an interesting challenge because I had to stay very, very calm with the client, as he's easily agitated and I'm ordinarily a live wire. Which usually works in my favor but would disregulate this client. I wasn't trying to argue that he needed medication -- I just wanted him to see his psychiatrist again.

The client currently goes to a community health care clinic that provides all services under one roof. Primary care, dermatology, endocrinology, urology, gynecology, dentistry, podiatry -- one-stop shopping. And the program has a coordinator who integrates behavioral health -- psychiatry and therapy -- with their other services. I know because I applied for that job and didn't get it. (Grr.)

"Going to the psychiatrist is just like going to your primary care doctor or any specialist," I said. "The brain is part of the body."

"Do you go to a psychiatrist?" the client asked.

I froze for a millisecond. Personal disclosure is dicey. Revealing too much information about yourself changes the clinician-client dynamic. It ups the intimacy, which can be a serious boundary violation. You have to be absolutely sure you're disclosing to benefit the client, not yourself.

I reveal very little personal information about myself to my clients, and not just because I have a stigmatized illness. On the other hand, here was a chance to be authentic and walk the walk. If there is no reason to be ashamed of going to the psychiatrist, then I should be honest if I go to one.

"Yes, I do," I said. "I go to the psychiatrist, just like I go to the gynecologist -- and it's a lot more comfortable than the gynecologist."

I was hoping to inject some humor and distract him from asking for particulars, and it worked. "Well, you have to go to that doctor, you're a woman..." he said, blushing and averting his gaze.

So we got him to agree to see his psychiatrist again. And now the former intern is the only person at my job who knows I see a psychiatrist. But I'm pretty sure he can be discreet, because he sees one too. I found that out during supervision. Didn't ask -- he disclosed. Which was fine.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

99 problems but insurance ain't one

Something bad happened at work last week. Something really awful, painful, and humiliating. I can't describe it, and it wasn't my fault. But I should have had some supervision about it -- a debriefing, really -- and I didn't. As usual, my supervisor is too damn busy.

So I called our Employee Assistance Program, shaking, and asked for assistance. And learned that you can get three free therapy sessions to deal with an issue, assisted by the therapist of your choice. (As long as the therapist accepts the insurance. You have two sessions to decide if you think the therapist can help you.)

"Here's your authorization number," said the quiet-voiced EAP rep. "It covers the first three sessions, After that, if another issue... emerges... the therapist can call us to request reauthorization to deal with the new issue.

"It's not like you can't talk about former issues after a reauthorization," he reassured me. "But as long as there are new issues to discuss, the therapist can keep calling to request more coverage."

Essentially, as long as you've got a new issue to list, you've got at least three more sessions. It took me less than 15 minutes to come up with:
  1. Last week's horrifying event
  2. My mother and her degenerate pervert boyfriend
  3. My sister rejecting my Facebook friend requests
  4. Being overworked and overstressed to the point where I get fired from jobs
  5. Being racially harassed by the jerk who said "I think you don't like me because I'm black"
  6. Being written up for writing "ax" instead of "ask" in a progress note (I was quoting the client)
  7. Having my knees wrecked by that personal trainer and the horrific commute
  8. The constant emergence of new bipolar symptoms. Most recently? Terminal insomnia AFTER daylight savings ends. Traditionally that's when the terminal insomnia has ended.
  9. Being single, childless, and middle-aged, with no home and no family
  10. Always feeling like I'm on the verge of being fired from my job, because I have been fired from so many jobs.
  11. Losing my religious idenitty.
  12. Having burned so many bridges in this town, including at The Bad Place.
  13. Needing to learn how to supervise people to do what I want them to do
  14. Losing my father when I was young
  15. Taking almost everything much too personally
  16. My explosive, ever-ready anger
  17. My weight and dislike of dieting and exercise.
As Al Pacino said, I'm just gettin' warmed up. Any suggestions for what issues I might also need to tackle? I showed my psychiatrist the list of therapists EAP sent me. She recognized one name, and I will call -- and Google -- that person. Soon.

Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"