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      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   06/04/2017

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Lyndalou

Fall out possibly with fallout

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Lyndalou   

I feel seriously upset with myself. I have done something I didn't foresee I would do which is to fall out with someone who has shown interest in coming along to the Support Group I am facilitating. I am doing everything myself and have spent quite a lot of money and apportioned a fair lot of my 'free' time to it.

 

I have tried to explain my situation to anyone showing interest in the group and have also been clear (I thought) about what I can and can't do and what I am willing and not willing to do.

 

When I spoke to this person before I managed to keep calm and diplomatic although he explained to me that every possible problem in his life was caused by 'NT's' and how stupid everyone else was at all times. I found a lot of what he said to be pretty repugnant. He was even very rude about me getting the pronunciation of his name wrong even though he has a strong accent.

 

Anyway, I contacted all the people who have contacted me and who come to the group either by text or e-mail to let them know that the venue for the June meeting was different to normal. I use a separate phone for the Support Group and only check it every few days as it is only meant to be for initial contact. I did not check it on the day of the meeting although I checked it prior to this.

 

So, today I come to look at it and this guy has sent me these texts first of all saying that he'll need a lift to the meeting and then that I haven't answered his message and then to say that I have very poor communication skills. I was so ###### annoyed and felt pretty defensive because it has been pretty damn hard all round recently and I thought who was he to think I should just jump to it for him. So I very sensibly phoned him back while I was shaking and angry and ended up telling him that I didn't think the group was for him and hung up on him.

 

He has tried to phone me back 4 times and I haven't picked up. I feel pretty anxious about listening to the messages he will have left. I have sent an e-mail to someone asking for advice. I know I should phone him back to apologise but I really don't want to and I also know that word could get out about how rude I am to people looking for support.

 

The old frogs are jumping about in my stomach and I feel quite sick.....:-(

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I'd listen to the messages and see what frame of mind he was in when he left them - then I would think about that for a day or so before making a decision :)

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chris54   

Could you get someone else listen to the messages from him and to contact him and explains that you run the group out of the goodness of your heart and at your own expense. That is it is not a service he has a right to, and that if he want to be part of it he is welcome but needs to remember that he has to consider others and not just himself.

Edited by chris54

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LancsLad   

Lyndalou try and get things in perspective. In the past you have explained to me what you have done to set this group up and the effort you go to to make it happen, thats a pretty special effort as far as I am concerned. The simple fact is many people will not see it like that. We live in a culture where individuals think everything should be handed to them on a plate and they also believe that the people behind a groups such as yours are all highly paid professionals whith no worries of their own.

 

You might have done things a little better in this case, I am not too sure to be honest, but even if you did I suspect the response from this guy would have been very similar. I can understand your reaction and being upset by this but please don't turn the focus back on yourself. I would also say there is no need to try and justify your actions to other members of the group, they will judge you based on their own personal experiences and I suspect this will be very favourably.

 

If I was you I would text this guy back in a few days and explain you are a volunter who has lots of others things going on in your life, but do not give any details, explain you do not give lifts and the responsibility is therefore down to himself to get to the meeting. Explain you didn't answer the phone because it is not your normal phone but one dedicated for this group and that his expectation of it to be answered 24/7 is unrealistic as you have other elements to attend to in your personal life. I would give details of the next meeting and leave it at that.

 

There have been times in my life when this sort of thing happens to me and I feel the same way. Surprisingly this is always with people who do not really know me or might have met me once or twice at most. In such times I always look back on my life and think whilst I might make the odd mistake here and there I am on the whole a pretty consistent person and people who really know me would always support that. I am aslo very confident in what my core motives are. My conclusion is that people might not get me at first but what am I to do about that, they probably come with a lot of preconceptions which are not easy to change. The only thing I can do is be consistent and hope they stick around long enough to understand the real me and change their mind.

 

Possibly this guy got what he deserved and he might learn to treat you with a bit more respect otherwise he will get short changed by you, what's wrong with that? Personally I find that very refreshing and it is the sort of attitude I would want in someone who ran a support group I went to. For me it shows you are human, care about what you have created and want it to be respected, all good stuff so keep up the good work Lyndalou.

 

Best wishes.

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Sally44   

I think Chris' suggestion maybe best.

 

Also you could print off a 'new members' sheet that gives this type of info ie. it is run by volunteers, that people are responsible to get themselves to/from meetings, that the support line is only checked every couple of days etc.

 

This is just one hick up. We all have them. Put it down to experience.

 

When I worked as a holiday rep [many years ago!], we were always told that it was better to speak to any client we felt was 'unhappy', rather than try to avoid them. Because often, their complaints were easily dealt with, whereas avoiding them caused alot of stress and upset on both sides. And, although I am very shy myself, I found this to be the case.

 

And finally, if you feel you need to apologise to him, I think he also needs to apologise to you. Any maybe that could be the basis of a 'new start'. Or he may decide not to come to the group again. Don't worry. This is one person out of many who you are helping.

 

But do try to resolve it so that those frogs in your stomach can get some sleep. :blink:

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Lyndalou   

Thanks everyone for your responses.

 

I haven't as yet had the courage to listen to the messages. My husband was away at the time it happened but he won't listen to them for me. He did check and delete messages for me years ago when it didn't dawn on me that an older male 'friend' had other intentions towards me and then sent me a heap of evil texts telling me what a bad peson and a tease I was. This time he won't.

 

It's hard to accept that this type of thing paralyses me. I had no trouble saying what I said to this person while the adrenalin was flowing but the aftermath is the difficult bit to deal with. I know it was a type of 'meltdown' although I don't really like using that word.

 

I suppose my emotions are just getting the better of me. Recently, I've just felt the full force of the 'looks', the 'mutterings' and the 'vibes' in general that eminate from people who make judgements about parents of children who look like they are just not doing what they are told and acting up. I've been having a lot of back and neck pain due to all the physical lifting and carrying, not just with my 18 month old who cannot walk due to a problem with her leg but with my over 3 and a half stone 4 yr old who I lift as a matter of last resort if it seems to be a way of curtailing an awkward situation. I suppose this person just hit a nerve in terms of critisising without knowing my situation. How do I explain to someone who doesn't care that I devote an hour of the day on my daughter's excema regime?

 

I do feel guilty that I can't devote as much time as I feel I should to the group but as time goes on I feel more and more disallusioned. Starting the group Chris, was not completely altruisic because I hoped to gain a level of support myself from it but this simply is not happening yet. I become so frustrated that people can be unwilling to do a simple 'Google' search to look at bus times or locations when I know from conversations with them that they do this, that and the next thing! I think it's a matter of people's priorities a lot of the time - one of the guys at the group has a genuine fear of public transport and told me he wouldn't make it along to the last meeting but he was polite and didn't start the finger pointing because how dare I change the venue!

 

I think Sally's idea about the 'New Members' sheet is excellent. I'm going to get on it straight away and maybe it'll save this problem from happening in the future. Also, Lancslad I am not trying to be something I'm not, you're right. However, knowing that there were times in my two previous jobs where I listened to people ranting at times for prolonged periods and I managed to keep calm and diplomatic I do feel like I'm just not capable of doing that any longer or maybe I just think that I shouldn't have to...

 

Must sign off - a dirty nappy calls and my son isn't ready for nursery yet!

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LancsLad   

Lyndalou a quick point, do not underestimate how something like a bit of constant nagging back pain can drag you mental state down. I get back issues all the time but have learn't to live with them, my partner however is always telling me when I am struggling a bit with my back to cut myself a lot of mental slack as I need it in being able to deal with routine tasks, and side balls such as this one thrown into my life can often leave me feeling off balance.

 

Look after yourself and your family first remember that is your priority.

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Lyndalou   

Thanks again Lancslad and you make a valid point. I suppose I'm so used to it (back pain) myself that I don't think about how it affects me beyond trying to keep it at bay...monthly visit to chiro, stretching exercises, memory foam pillow, home back massager :star:

I took a bit of a cowards way out in the end but it was a compromise solution. I sent a text message - a very long one - apologising for my outburst and explaining that I wasn't really up to phoning meantime. I put forward my point of view but also acknowledged his frustrations. I tried to be very matter-of-fact giving little/no? room for interpretation. It's in black and white and can be referred back to unlike a phone conversation.

 

I know I'll probably have to get a grip and speak to him at some point but I feel like I've at least given myself an 'in'....

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LancsLad   

Lyndalou doesn't sound like a cowards way out rather a pretty practical response from someone who has a busy life to be honest.

 

I would agree about getting 'so used' to back pain. If I was to think about it my back pain is always there at an underlying 'niggling' level, but I am so used to it I forget it is there. I also know because of my AS that I have a very high pain tollerence level, this is one of the symptoms on the spectrum we might or might not have. People have explained to me that even though a lot of the time I have dialled this element out of my life it is still there and potentially impacting things such as chemical responses in my body and that I should try and be more aware of this in my life. If I was for example I was to susbjectivly grade my back issues on a 1-10 scale with 1 being no pain and 10 completely debilitating agony then I would say a lot of the time I am at levels 3 and 4 when I am training hard this would go up to 5 and 6. The difference to me between these states is kind of minimal in a physical sense, but at a mental level it is really significant in that I have far less mental energy and a short fuse at times because of the slight increase in back stress.

 

In a long winded way try and be very aware of where your back issues are at and factor this into your life. I used to simply put up with it, but could be a right pain in the ###### to my partner a real ogre on a bad day. I had to get better when we had our son, it was not fair to be a bit sharp with him at times only for my partner to say was that because you are having a bad spell with your back, the answer was nearly always yes, i'm sorry. She was right to point out that it was not really my fault my back issues would drag many people down, rather cut myself a bit of slack and if I am having a bit of an ogre day go hang out in my swamp for a bit!

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Lyndalou   

Thanks Lancslad and Darkshine

 

Well, I did listen to one of the messages and he was well ticked off as you can imagine but there wasn't the expletives and shouting I imagined although it still wasn't easy to listen to. Anyway, I've done what I could and I think that I'll just leave it there and chalk it down to experience.

 

I'm hoping I snap out of this disillusionment phase soon because it is so much harder to be enthusiastic in this state!!

 

It was nice to meet up with my (diagnosed with) AS friend yesterday. Since we last met up, her second daughter has been diagnosed with AS (that's the three of them now) and it was even quite amusing to look at my daughter lining up some jigsaw pieces on the floor and her saying 'Welcome to the club' to her....in an ironic sort of a way :rolleyes: It was good just to have a good natter without talking about all of the negative stuff too - just 'normal' stuff, lol!!

 

I probably do sit at about a 4 re my back pain normally Lanclad, going up to closer to a 6 when the headaches and stomach problems set in (the chiro informs me this is to do with the nerve endings in my stomach being affected by my vertabrae going out of position). I probably do have quite a high pain threshold...I can't sit still at the best of times but even after both my emergency sections and the second one involved a large blood transfusion, I couldn't keep lying down for long!! :lol:

 

Lynda

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I don't mean it patronisingly when I say well done for listening to one of the messages - I think by doing so you find out how he reacted and that can tell you a lot about a person.

 

I believe you are right when you say you have done what you can for now - you apologised and explained yourself and now the ball (as they say) is in his court.

 

Sometimes people have to meet halfway - we can't all get on easily - I think you've handled this quite well despite your doubts :)

 

So is the group still on? You not giving up?

 

I have no idea how hard that must be to organise, while trying to keep things going and stuff - how do you decide what you are doing?

 

(ignore the questions if you want - I'm just curious) :D

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Lyndalou   

Don't worry Darkshine, I know you are not being patronising! Thanks for saying you think I've dealt with it reasonably well. I actually made a phonecall tonight when I thought it might be an awkward conversation (to another person) and I was pleased that it went well because I was going 'Oh God, here we go again' before it. Have pressed something which makes italics and don't know how to switch it off!

 

I used to be absolutely phobic about the telephone. In my 20's I could quite easily sit there willing the phone to ring for days on end and then when it did I'd sit glued to the spot listening to it ringing because I was so petrified that it would be someone I hadn't spoken to for ages and I had no idea what to say and my mouth would go dry and I'd start twitching etc. Then I would wonder who had phoned then beat myself up for ages about that too. Total lose lose situation and the tape recorder (see I'm quite old) would go on a loop saying how stupid I was, how bad I was, what a terrible friend I was.....

 

I then had jobs which required me to use the telephone and in a professional capacity I had to learn to deal with my fear of it! I had to speak to people who had difficulties communicating due to mental health difficulties, suppliers to make orders for supplies and mental health professionals. I had to, over time become more assertive in my communication skills when I was challenged and had to learn to be explicit/unambiguous in what I was trying to convey in certain conversations too. I even had to learn to be more decisive in my decision-making, even if it was to decide whether or not I had to ask for more time to make a decision :lol: I still found personal phonecalls difficult but it definitely improved as a result of using the telephone so much at work. When I met my husband he was always very bemused when I chose to let the phone ring out then did 1471 but when I got married I wasn't alowed that luxury so much either because often the call was/is for my husband re work or the bank or his mates re work. So, all in all I don't love communicating by phone but I'm much better at it now than I used to be! I much prefer face-to-face or written communication.

 

I struggle with the organisation for the group but again, these are skills I had to build on in previous jobs. Whereas, in my late 20's I can remember an occasion when I had people visiting for New Year and it didn't even cross my mind that I should have got food in in advance, now at nearly 40 with 2 kids I have to remember all sorts of things and somehow in that interim period I have managed to develop the ability to do this....However, for the last while I know I have been at saturation point and that is what makes me question whether or not I can carry on like this. The group is still going and I know there are people relying on me and I don't want to let anyone down.

 

I am a firm believer in simplifying the things in life that can be made more simple I'm still a perfectionist but I've learned that it's just impossible to be able to do everything that needs to be done if I put my all into everything I do. However, for me to maintain stamina levels I have to have a real drive to want to achieve something or to make a difference. When my belief begins to erode, my stamina starts to dissolve and everything becomes all the harder. If I think I'm being taken for a mug then I start to feel resentful. I have to fight against it and this is where I have to try to be assertive, proactive and honest about how I'm feeling and it takes a lot of energy.

 

Just needing to try to recharge my batteries... :)

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Sally44   

Wouldn't it be nice to have a clone of ourselves that could take over when we needed a rest, or wanted to avoid an unpleasant task?

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Lyndalou   

Wouldn't it be nice to have a clone of ourselves that could take over when we needed a rest, or wanted to avoid an unpleasant task?

I would like a nice genetically modified clone, slightly taller (for ease of reaching into cupboards) and with exceptional multi-tasking abilities B)

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Lynda I am laughing so much that you said "Have pressed something which makes italics and don't know how to switch it off! "

 

 

For future reference you just press the "I" button again and it should switch back to normal (when it is pressed to "on" it goes paler)

 

I understand your phone phobia, when I was a kid I was obsessed with the thing, and this was back when you heard clicks for each number remember? I used to sit there tapping the button and would dial people that way (I frequently called wrong numbers lol). Then in my teens, my dad had lots of calls coming in and I went through a phase of answering it saying "Yeeeah Wot?" which used to throw people :devil::lol:

 

When I got my own phone I realised the tedium of owning a phone - its usually people wanting stuff - and I got quite phobic about it for a bit. I'm better now but I refuse to answer it if I'm not in the mood - people can be here and they say "why are you ignoring your phone?" - I just think that I should have the right to choose when I answer rather than being forced by some demanding noise that cries for my attention.

 

You've obviously improved in a few areas - I hope I get there too - even though "there" may not be perfect :)

 

I think it is important to know the things we are good at and less good at - or even terrible at - because it means we can work around it - your last paragraph was so insightful - I need to drop my perfectionism so that I can do more things - and the way you described your stamina and belief felt so spot on for how it feels to me too - the big difference is you jump the hurdle and I trip on it :lol:

 

I hope this group works out - they say no path is smooth :)

 

(I need to drain my batteries, I'm too hyped up - wanna swap?)

Edited by darkshine

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Lyndalou   

Thanks Darkshine for the computer advice...my tecnological abilities really suck as I've said before!!

 

I do think that perfectionism has a lot to answer for. Even trying to facilitate this group I do trip over big time when I make a 'mistake'. However, mistakes are there to be learned from...even if it takes years!

 

I've found myself getting very upset when I can't ball my socks completely correctly. When it gets to that level of silliness, I have to give myself a serious shake! Of course, I can ball my socks extremely well most of the time :lol:

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I suppose the positive way to look at it - for both of us - is that its better to learn after years, than to never learn at all ;)

 

Has doing this group shown you things that aren't as good as you thought? Like sometimes I think I'm doing alright but then I try and do something new and suddenly find a load of problems that hadn't manifested while doing the safe stuff, but as soon as the challenges come along I go to pieces in comparison.

 

Balling socks? The thought of that makes me feel nervous - are they like balls - like actually round and ball-like? :blink: (I'm laughing at my dodgy descriptions there) :lol:

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Lyndalou   

I look at things that way that it's positive to make any kind of 'improvement' or 'progress' in your life. The fact that I can function much more 'normally' than I used to in situations I feel threatened in is such an improvement I think....

 

I think it's fair to say that running the group has really confirmed to me how difficult I find organising myself although I am much improved in this area. I suppose it's the clear realisation that it doesn't come naturally. I don't procrastinate like I used to (due to the fear of not doing things well enough), I can use the phone much more easily, my computer skills have improved greatly (honestly!!), I am more assertive and feel I have the right to ask for time to do things I need to do (unlike in the past when I wouldn't ask or felt guilty for asking or believed I was stupid for not being able to do things when 'other people can'), I record things better (although this is a tricky one which I really fluctuate on) and I do a little often to stop things piling up so I don't get too stressed out.

 

The art of balling socks involves pairing the two socks together with heels facing the same way and the tops at the same height. The socks must be balled with the seams inside so when turned back out from the ball they are ready to wear. If the socks are ankle height then they will make a kind of egg shape. If the socks are long then they must be doubled over once before they are balled to produce a larger egg shape. The toes must remain inside the ball. :wacko:

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Acting "normally" is hard work - and some people just don't understand how much that takes out of you - you are right thought - improvement or progress is good, I guess its good to be going somewhere rather than nowhere.

 

It sounds like you had to be on a bit of a steep learning curve there - I could do with learning some of that stuff!

 

So, I was with you all the way there.... until the socks!!!! OMG Lynda why? Why make them into freaky little balls :lol: I just fold the tops over - they stay together well enough - if I came to your house for a cuppa or something and you started balling up socks I would have to throw them out the window or something :devil: I don't know why the thought of balled up socks bothers me but for some reason it really freaks me out - does the idea of my messy sock draw freak you out? :)

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Lyndalou   

Do NOT diss my balled socks!! :P It's yet another control issue...keeps me sane so can't be all that bad. Nothing worse than seeing untidy underwear drawers - I can feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about it. Don't worry, I don't measure them or anything but I do redo them if they are 'wrong' or if hubby does them and they are far too slapdash :lol: Boxers are folded over once, knickers are made into an envelope shape, my son's vests into a neat quarter. OMG! I'm not a bit obsessive am I????? :wacko::dance:

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If you had said you did measure them I would have to actually travel there and do something to save you from yourself :lol:

 

We are gonna have to have a laundry battle :star: if you saw what goes on here you would freak!!

 

Not that I do the laundry half the time - but if you saw what I do when I do, you'd probably freak out - I don't iron things either - my housemate does the ironing - I deal with the washer part or the hanging out - but not often as I am accused of using too much liquid or picking the wrong batch of clothes - all clothes do get folded or hung up though :lol:

 

You don't do the shop-style folds for t-shirts do you? :wacko:;)

 

I can imagine your poor hubby, going to all that effort at trying to ball the socks, and then walking past his handy work half an hour later, and pausing to look with a critical eye, tutting and sighing and redo-ing them (does that happen or is that just my over-active imagination?) :)

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