JewBu Quest: From Abuse to Happiness

JewBu: a Jew who practices forms of Buddhist meditation & spirituality. This blog documents my quest to 1) heal from sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse, 2) come to terms with losing Mom and Grandma to Alzheimers, 3) find balance, explore the spiritual, stay present. Bascially, I've experienced some pretty crappy shit in my life and want to find a way to move past it and find happiness.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Missouri Adult Abuse Hotline Rocks; Kansas Adult Protective Services Rude & Unhelpful

I got a call from the Missouri Adult Abuse Hotline. They cited deficiencies to the new hospice organization, Odessy. They've instructed them that they have to make decisions now based on medical evidence, and that they have to be documenting the reasons for their decisions -- if my mom is in pain, they have to document the signs of that pain. If they want to give her more pain medication, they have to relate to that documentation of her being in pain. The woman there was very supportive and helpful.

Shortly thereafter I got a call from Kansas Adult Protective Services. The woman there was rude and completley unhelpful.

Its a very frustrating and nerve renshing time. Mom had a 3 minute seizure yesterday, which is very long for what she had been experiencing. (They used to be about 15 seconds.) I'm not sure what's happening regarding her care.

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Compassionate Communication (NVC)

I've been taking a class on this method of communication and below am practicing it.

What happened:
I called Tonia back and told her about getting bad student midquarter reviews. She went off on how bad of a teacher I am. I told her that I didn't want to be criticized, especially at such a late hour. She told me that giving advice is what she does. I told her that's not what I'm needing. She told me that's all she can offer. Then she started giving me more "advice" on how bad my teaching is this quarter. I told her that this wasn't helping me. The phone was disconnected. Then, she did some work on statistical data analysis to help me, but she wouldn't listen to what the problems were. So her work was not helpful to me. The family crisis then happened, and I decided that I didn't want "advice" but to be supported, so I didn't call Tonia. She called J and had her push me to call Tonia asap because Tonia NEEDED to hear what the progress was with the statistics. I called Tonia and told her that I am in crisis with my family, don't want advice, and there hasn't been any progress on the stats. She thanked me for calling because she had already (it had only been about half a week) deleted my number from her phone. I ended the conversation quickly after she confirmed that she wouldn't be able to support me, only give me advice.

When I am given "advice", I feel hurt, alienated and discouraged because of my need to feel heard and supported. Are you willing to talk about what its like for me when you give me "advice?"

What happened?
Dad told me that he wants to euthenize Mom, and then without telling me switched her medications and hospice.

NVC: When I don't know that Mom is recieving the best possible care and how she's doing, I feel anxious, frightened, and hurt because of my need to know that my mom is safe and secure.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Family Drama Erupts: Reporting Dad to the Authorites

Well well, the shit has hit the fan again. Dad called me again on Sunday and acted like everything was normal. Then, Monday morning I get a call from my sister. Apparently, Dad has taken Mom off the hospice service and started with some new company that perhaps is a hospice. She no longer gets music therapy, and there was some mess about the old hospice taking back the bed and wheel chair before the new hospice had brought theirs.

Dad moved Mom to this new hospice because they agreed to take her off Ativan (which she takes to limit seizure activity), to increase her dosage of Oxycontin, and to add Oxyfast. She had been getting Ativan 4 times a day, and now she's down to 3. They're doing that INSTEAD of just reducing the amount of Ativan she gets in each dose.

Dad had planned this already last week but had lied to me when talking to me about it. He's trying to Euthenize her and now he's found someone to help him. My therapist said that if I didn't call to report him that she would -- because she's a mandated reporter.

I called the old hospice social worker to get suggestions on what to do. She suggested that I call the new hospice and speak to Mom's social worker there. Then, she said that I should call the Long Term Care Ombudsman because he'll be able to act faster than if I call the Elder Abuse hotline.

I called the new company, and they told me that they'd page the social worker and call have her call me back. Twenty minutes later, I got a call from my father. He told me that the company has been instructed that if ANYONE other than him calls to ask about Mom, they're to phone him and not to say ANYTHING about Mom's situation.

Dad told me that he didn't tell me because I had disagreed with him and that he's not interested in my opinion because what happens with Mom is up to him. I told him that I only phoned the company to find out what's happening with my mother because he doesn't tell me. He went through some basics of what was happening, and we got off the phone. I was having a hard time keeping my calm with him, as was he with me. We decided better to not talk than to argue.

I phoned the Ombudsman who said the he remembered me from my previous complaint that Mom wasn't getting enough private hours of care and that since he had one of her caregiver's (the best of the lot actually) lack of lisensure that everything should be settled. With the current issue, he suggested that I call the Elder Abuse hotline but said that he couldn't help me. I felt hurt that after my risk of trying to help my mom, he had actually made things worse and almost felt proud about it. And, he was completely blowing me off and not showing any concern for my mother.

I then phoned the Kansas Elder Abuse hotline. They told me that since the new company is based out of Missouri that I have to call the Missouri hotline and should also call Kansas Adult Protective Services. This of course, only after I got to the end of making the report and going through the whole story. He said that what my father and this new company are doing is very serious.

So next I called the Missouri hotline and then Adult Protective Services. Each call took what felt like a half an hour. No one told me what was going to happen other than Adult Protective Services who said that it was unlikely, but possible, that I would be supeanoed if my father is arrested.

I haven't mentioned anything to my sister about what I've done because I fear that it'll get back to my dad. I'm really afraid of what is going to happen but feel very good about doing everything in my power to take care of Mom. I'm especially nervous about my father's state of mind (that Mom should die as soon as possible) without any care about what this is like for her. Its all about him and not at all about Mom not to mention any care about what its like for my sister or me. I can't believe that he's going against all medical advice and that this company would go along with him.

My father has been verbally and emotionally abusive to everyone in my family for as long as I can remember. When this is all over, I want him out of my life. Its because of my father that I am afraid to love and am waiting for anyone that I'm in a relationship with to hurt me. Its because of my relationship with him that I come to want to get people out of my life anytime they hurt -- I really want to get my father out of my life but can't. Its because of him that I have no boundaries and have low self-esteem. He has pitted every member of my family against each other. He's tried to sabotage me over and again. He's a monster or a saint -- Jeckle or Hyde. And I always open up to him again because he's my father and I want us to have a good relationship. But, this is the last straw.

I spoke today with my mom's cousin who may have just talked me into challenging him legally if he successfully takes my mother's parents' money illegally that my grandmother very carefully worked to make sure would not get into his hands.

And I won't feel guilty about any of it. I hope to be able to move on with my life - to be able to excise his abusive energy out of my life forever. And more than anything, I just hope that he doesn't make things too horrific for my mother.

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Saturday, February 07, 2009

Family Drama and a First Date

Dad called me up two nights ago to again tell me that he wants to take Mom off of Ativan because he thinks when she has seizures that she declines more quickly. Its so frustrating; all medicine tells us that she has seizures when she's declining quickly but the seizures are a result of the decline, not a cause. Its frustrating. He doesn't like the hospice that Mom is on because he thinks that she's declining not as quickly on hospice.

I went on a first date -- or predate -- I don't know. I met a guy on who is perfect for me on paper: he's a JewBu, very smart, passionate, an activist, liberal. It was fun, but at points kind of painful because the whole thing is so forced. And I tried to get into to it, but its hard to make yourself vulnerable with a perfect stranger. To make it even harder, I met with a student who is struggling beforehand and had some meshugas with one of my faculty members just before that. So it was hard to get myself prepared. Its also hard to do light chit chat when there's so much deep stuff happening in my life. And you don't want to talk about your mom dying on a first date.

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Monday, February 02, 2009

The Short Version

So, here's my story: I had a phone interview a few days after the whole email experience (see the last post). That really raised my spirits. Of course, since then I found out that 30 people had a phone interview with this place, and they're likely to pick their top person from all 3. I haven't heard anything back which indicates I'm likely not that one.

My advisor left the country for a month long vacation, which makes me feel a bit free. Of course, there's the looming unemployment coming and the fact that I'm killing myself to finish a degree that they may hold back from me because of that unemployment.

On the upside, I am continuing my work of creating better connections in life with others. I'm taking a class on non-violent communication. I put myself back on and have a date on Saturday (an afternoon coffee date) with a man who is perfect on paper. And I'm managing to not get my hopes up too high about him and remembering that if he isn't a good guy who cares about strong communication and treating his partner well, then I'm not interested anyway.

I've been feeling extremely stressed the last week. I can feel it in my pulse. The stress in my life is enormous -- Mom's dying, graduating, unemployed soon, may have to switch careers, will likely have to move. Its a lot.

But I'm trying to find a BuJew way about it. I have been reading "When Things Fall Apart" again and trying to focus on practicing non-grasping and learning to enjoy the moment, even if the moment is hard.