Monday, April 02, 2007

Trauma and living

I haven't been posting as much, and may likely continue post less. With just the bioboys in the house there is not much to say.

I am also distracted by other parts of my life. I'm feeling sad and worried for a friend, and I am anxious about a task I may be called upon to do. I'm not doing it; I just haven't decided whether I am going to wait to be called on before announcing my unwillingness or if I am going to tell the guy in charge of the task in advance. History would indicate that I probably won't be asked and so keeping my mouth shut seems to make sense. It is not like it would be difficult or time consuming to replace me. It would mean announcing that I have a conflict of interest to all of my colleagues and asking them to vote for a replacement. Fortunately that part would only need to happen if the task must be done, but it would result in an entire community wondering what exactly was the problem. Kind of like the boss saying, "Yondalla has a secret." And it is not secret; it's just personal and painful and I don't want everyone asking me about it.

What I want is to be the sort of person who can simply decide not to worry about it unless it happens. Well, I could decide that, but that doesn't mean I would be able to do it.

Sigh. Don't you just hate those blog posts in which people can't tell you what they are talking about but feel a strong need to talk about how they feel about the thing that they are not telling you about?

I'm okay. I really am. Last night I thought I had emotionally dealt with it all.

Clearly I haven't. The friend for whom I am worried adopted a cat from me 5 years ago. She (the cat) hated the other cat that we had added, and was spending her life hiding under furniture. She was wildly happy with my friend. It was just her and this nice man; that was the way life was supposed to be. I had asked someone else who is closer to him to find out if the cat was okay. The answer was, "For now yes."

Somehow all of my anxiety got triggered just thinking about whether I am still responsible for this 12-year-old, neurotic cat.

And does this have anything at all to do with foster care? Well, I can draw a connection.

My "conflict of interest" is just that doing the task would trigger pain and sadness from my past. And when I have these sort of experiences I feel such sympathy and admiration for the kids in care. I have control over these things.

I had a bad experience one fourth of July, and as a result I prefer to keep that particular day low key. I spend it at home, doing whatever I want, whatever distracts me or helps me not to be too sad. Taking the required CPR class makes me relive that day, and so I have asked to be excused from that too.

The kids we care for often can't do that. They can't usually say, "Hey, every Thanksgiving at my house ended up in anger and violence. Can we skip it this year, or could I just go to the movies?" Nope. They are simply expected to do what the family does. If they are moody and don't want to come out of their rooms, we tend to think they are being bratty. I know "Maybe this is a trauma trigger?" is not my first thought.

And I guess that is part of why I am obsessing about this. I don't want to be the sort of person who deals with trauma triggers by avoiding them. Somehow that doesn't seem right. I want to be the sort of person who gets over it. I want to be able to walk into a CPR class without crying. Hell, I want to be able to think about taking CPR without crying. I have an image of myself as a strong person, and this is not how strong people behave.

I want to do the tasks set before me -- all of them. I don't want to keep asking people for exemptions.

But right now I am not that person, and the task that I probably won't even be asked to do is too important to be entrusted to someone who will be dealing with PTSD-like symptoms all the way through it. This time at least, I will ask to be excused.

I just have to decide whether I am going to tell in-charge guy in advance.


  1. Hey. your blog is very interesting! can we link our blogs? please write back in my blog "everyday glamour" ( theres a shoutbox)
    This would be nice!

  2. How long will you be anxious, waiting to know if you will be called on to participate? If it's an extended period of time, it might help you to tell the guy in charge now, so you can stop being anxious.


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