Misunderstood

Do you, like myself, feel you are misunderstood? I want to use the term feel because we base this type of word through feelings not fact. I believe the way I am as a person, people at work and in my personal life don’t truly understand me. This is for family, friends, and coworkers. They might not a piece of me but about 70% of the time I am told I am one way, but I feel a different.

An example with family, is thinking I am mad about something, but I am disappointed because I am not clear, or they are not hearing me. Which really is I being not clear. Working on the way I speak toward others is a constant struggle. I guess I could say I am self-aware of how I can be or come across, but my internal struggle makes it hard for me to show others.

I get the responses of how I am not quite, how I hold a grudge, how I am vocal, and speak all the time. Reality, I try to wait to speak, I am always in my head waiting to speak after others, and I try to speak up when it comes to others or I disagree with someone. When I try to say nothing, others think I am mad or dislike someone, when I speak up people say I am impulsive or rude. At this point I am not sure how to talk about what I want or how I can speak to others without the negative results. Being self-aware doesn’t mean I have fixed the things that can help other understand where I am coming from.

Taking on leadership plan with my supervisor, listen to audio books on how to communicate, and try to change some of my behaviors can help bring others to me. I don’t think everyone needs to understand me and I need to change, I believe success is when both sides communicate better so both sides don’t feel like they are being run over.

On the website onewithnow.com there is a section on how to move past being misunderstood, these ways can work in business and personal life. How do you move past being misunderstood?

After processing my findings above, I came up with the following pointers. I hope you find them beneficial.

1. You have the right to respond but not the obligation. You always have the right to express your opinion and discuss an issue further. But only if it serves a purpose and helps you move forward. You also have the right not to engage and not respond at all.

2. Others’ views of your opinions don’t diminish your worth. You are who you are and you’re entitled to your thoughts and views. Your opinions are not who you are. They are the position you hold at this moment, which may change subsequently.

3. It’s okay to be misunderstood. The newspapers and tabloids thrive on misquoting and manipulating words. In our daily interactions, others will take what they’ll take from the conversations. There is nothing you can do about it. And if they don’t like what you have to say, so be it.

4. Feel the emotions without rationalization. As much as we’d like to think that we humans are a rational species, we are not. We’re highly emotional and a lot of what we say or do is driven by emotions. You can waste all the time in the world trying to understand why someone misconstrued what you said. In all likelihood, what you expressed triggered a defensive response in them. It has nothing to do with you. So focus on how you feel. Also, realize the more important the person to you, the higher the emotional charge. Don’t try to argue with how you feel. You may feel angry, upset, fearful, disappointed, hurt, betrayed or any other emotion. Allow—feel and then feel some more. Write about your feelings; meditate on them, or just sit quietly and allow them to go through you. Take your time—there is no shortcut for releasing your emotions.

5. Write an imaginary response. If you feel you need to express more of your thoughts and feelings write them in a letter. What would you say to the person who you feel wronged you? Write what you would want to tell them and how the interaction made you feel. There is an amazing release that comes from putting thoughts and words to paper. This is what I did and I felt much better after.

6. Sleep on it. If you decide you want to respond and you want to discuss the issue further, don’t do it right away. Think about what you want to say and maybe even draft a response as mentioned above. Give yourself a few days. You will be surprised by how fast you may cool off and change your mind. In all likelihood, you will dismiss the issue and move on. For me I decided the best approach was not to send a response. Later I talked to my friend and we never mentioned taxes. It worked out.

7. Let it go. After all is said and done, let the whole issue go. Don’t hold a grudge or keep bringing it up. You don’t want to add fuel to a fire in your heart. If the other person was not happy with your decision, it’s their problem not yours. You cannot satisfy someone who is adamant about having an argument. Do yourself a big favor and don’t engage in further discussion. Sometimes the best opinions are the ones that remain unexpressed. You know who you are and what you stand for. Instead of engaging in trying to explain and validate your opinions, move on and do something that is more meaningful to you.

Letting go is freedom. You can’t force anyone to see your point of view. However, you can drop the issue and let go. It’s always in your hands.

We each need to trust our own internal feelings but on the same token we need to step back and make sure what we say is on point. Listen more, speak less, and create an easier way to communicate. Again, I am a work in progress and no matter my age I believe I will always be a work in progress.

Are You Struggling?

Are you struggling throughout the day? Do you find that you can’t get up and be a motivated human? Is your body or mind struggling in every day to day tasks? Today, I have another migraine driving me to not get up and exercise, because of this I am depressed about who I am, what I am or am not doing, and I feel my body growing and I am uncomfortable.

I sit and think about what I should be doing, that I no longer want to go out and be with friends on the weekend. Everything that we do as humans is to grow and be connected to others, when I am this way, I make it to work and a few words to the kids, but other than that I am in solitude. I know this isn’t healthy and I know that I can do better. All I want to do is jump up and be happy, get on the phone and call my friends. Who should I call? I really have no idea because I have created a cocoon around myself so I can’t be hurt by anyone. This creates a cycle of depression.

Some days are great but then after a while I do it all over again. The worst part about the seclusion is gaining migraines and the weight. If you to are struggling, find a way to do one thing a day. Every day move to have another thing. Day 1 do one thing, day 2 do two things, and so on. For Day 1 I have decided to make cookies. That sounds great, right? After 2 different types and a couple of hours later, I am staring at bags of cookies. 4 bags to be exact. I made almost 100 cookies and have only 1 grandson who is able to eat cookies. Looks like my kids will be munching down on cookies too. I end up eating cookie dough as I cook, just like I can plop a piece of raw potato in my mouth when it comes to making mashed potatoes. All this cooking sounds great, but now I am even more bloated than I was when I walked into the kitchen.

To answer my posing question, yes, I am struggling.

Single?

I have been single since 2016. I don’t think I am making the effort to fix the situation. I am not sure if I am locked down emotionally, making myself accessible to meet someone, and willing to become a couple. Living single for 3 years creates a self-sufficient person but to what extent? Is this the best way to be? I watch couples get together and fail after a year or many years. I watch the scenarios and when I start to feel I can open and start to talk with someone I can shut them down the moment I am uncomfortable or feel as though I am chasing someone. I have tried online dating and end it every time I become exhausted. Months later I tell myself try again but wonder what the reward will be and what type of effort or behavior I should have.

I had in my earlier days found myself feeling sexual and wanting to be with someone. Then I realize I don’t want to have a relationship anymore. I realize that I am not feeling up to give a relationship effort. I try but realize I am pushing the person away. I believe it is I am wanting to feel wanted not just sexual but emotionally. I feel that because I get into a relationship with sexual desire, I realize I put my feelings and heart before my head. When this is the case, most relationships, I then realize they aren’t right for me, I can’t trust them, and I had to leave the relationship.

The hardest part about this is that I leave the relationship with hurt feelings and put everything in a box. The unfortunate thing is the box doesn’t reopen and doesn’t get resolved. I have a dozen boxes in my brain that has never been resolved. I have the ability to retreat as a way to hide my feelings, whether it is happiness, sadness, or anger. I am happy unless I am treated with a lack of caring, being cheated on, or if a man tries to out power me. Sadness comes when I put in an amount of time to only become disappointed. The anger comes up when I am cheated on. That is when I end it and have a hard time letting go and move on. I think rather than trying to work out the problems.

I put a wall not as a primary solution but to not be vulnerable. It is easier to hold back and withdrawal than it is to open up and fix the relationship. It could be because my parents were married for over 60 years, or my mother not speaking to me when I got a divorce from my husband, who at the time was cheating. I don’t feel I can deal with a man, but I know that won’t work when it comes to being happy and open with another man. But I either open and find my way or not just be disappointed by a man but be disappointed by myself for not letting someone in. Bottom line, being single can be a choice but a harder choice is having faith to be with someone new and seeing where it goes.

Teens and Smoking

When I was in my teens, I tried a cigarette and was not enticed to do it again. Many of my friends continued to smoke. About a quarter of these individuals are still smoking cigarettes today, 30+ years later. Since the 80’s many doctors and law makers have been creating ads, school lectures, and visits to try and slow down the number of teens taking up cigarettes. The new problem facing teens is flavored vap juice. The beginning of vap juice had many thinking this would be the better choice over cigarettes, not seeing the issues it would create.

Teens lungs and decision-making skills are still being developed. The more they are told not to smoke they push back and want to do it more. A teen is more apt to do what their friends are doing creating a stronger need to pick up a vap pen or a cigarette. Both still causing issues. As more individuals end up in hospitals and doctor offices with lung issues. At this point New York is in the midst of banning flavored juice documenting the damage it is doing to individuals and not having enough data to keep the product on the shelves. These types of bans can ruin the industry. I personally don’t believe the vap juice should be on the market and when it came out I couldn’t understand why people thought it wouldn’t hurt their lungs.

I am glad to see the changes are coming early in the process. I also and very confused as to wanting this item removed but cigarettes are still going strong. The Wall Street Journal has written about the ban, how it is affecting the shop owners, and why the government is willing to stop the sales.

Hundreds of vape shops across New York are scrambling after state health officials last week issued an emergency regulation temporarily banning the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes and nicotine e-liquids. 

The Wall Street Journal Menthol and tobacco-flavored products are still permitted, but store owners now have to stop selling all the other flavors by Oct. 4, or face stiff fines. Public-health officials will also soon consider adding menthol flavors to the ban. On Wednesday, a trade group representing business owners who sell vaping products in New York sued Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Department of Health, seeking to halt the enforcement of the emergency regulation and asking for it to be annulled because it is “in excess of their constitutional, statutory and administrative authority.” “Our children’s future is at stake. Bring it on,” said a spokesman for Mr. Cuomo.

The ban comes amid a rash of vaping-related illnesses and eight U.S. deaths. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has urged people to stop vaping. It says some people were sickened from vaping a marijuana ingredient called THC, though others were vaping only nicotine products. State health officials said they approved the ban to stem rising rates of e-cigarette use among children. During a radio interview Tuesday, Mr. Cuomo said he would meet with officials in Connecticut and New Jersey to create a regional strategy on vaping products and marijuana. https://www.wsj.com/articles/vape-shops-brace-for-new-yorks-ban-on-flavored-e-cigarettes-11569412800

I hope the ban continues to grow to other states and then start to make a change with cigarettes. We need to watch our children’s health and yes teenagers are still our responsibility to make sure they are making solid decisions.

Moving on After Being Attacked

Being attacked can leave many scars, both physical and mental. Everyone deals with the aftermath in different ways. After being attacked and the perpetrators thinking they left me for dead, was just the start of my trauma. I don’t know how anyone can be in control again, however I try all the time. The pattern of what happened to me happens to men, women, and children all over the world. Race, sexual orientation, social economic status, and even in a group setting don’t matter when a person is attacked.

The real concern I have is what happens after the fact. For me I would check all the windows, doors, under the bed, in the closet, and so on. I was so worried that the two me would show up again. I began to have panic attacks, that moved into PTSD, anxiety, and depression. As the progression continued my mood continued to swing. I acted out in very negative ways and became self-destructive. How is it that some people can move on and some people fall apart?

I have many years later have found my way through a counselor, doctors, and allowing myself to open up to my family and friends. It will never leave me, it has made my senses heightened with my children, probably overprotective but I just never want my kids to be beaten the way I was. I would never forgive myself as a parent and more than likely want to kill the person who would try and hurt them.

I wonder if I will always carry these feelings, if I will always be scared, and if I will ever get over my fear and PTSD. On PsychologyToday.com Some of the triggers after an attack:

Replaying the Memory. Many people find that the mind returns over and over to the upsetting memory, almost as if on a loop.

Nightmares. While the actual experience probably felt like a nightmare, it’s common for real nightmares to haunt our dreams in the aftermath of a trauma.

Flashbacks. A flashback occurs when the trauma memory gets cued and makes it feel as if the trauma is happening all over again.

Fear and Anxiety. Perhaps the most common emotional reaction to a trauma is feeling fearful and anxious.

Anger. In addition to fear and anxiety, anger is a very common reaction to trauma. We might feel anger at the person or situation responsible for our trauma.

Sadness. We often will feel sad and cry after a highly traumatic event.

Guilt. If the trauma involved someone close to us being injured or killed, we may blame ourselves and feel guilty that we didn’t somehow prevent it.

Feeling Numb. Sometimes rather than feeling strong emotions, we feel shut down emotionally, as though we’re made of wood.

Trying Not to Think About the Event. By definition, a traumatic event is not a pleasant memory, so it makes sense that we would want to avoid thinking about it.

Avoiding Things Related to the Event. Sometimes we avoid people, places, or things related to our trauma because they trigger the painful memory.

Difficulty Trusting People. When we’ve been attacked by another person, it can be hard to know whom we can trust—especially if we were caught off guard.

Believing the World Is Extremely Dangerous. Immediately after a trauma, the mind is likely to see the world as very dangerous. Whereas we might have underestimated the danger in the world before the trauma.

Blaming Yourself for the Trauma. It’s common to feel guilty after something terrible happens to you, as though you’re to blame that it happened.

It’s easy to use the advantage of hindsight to see the “mistakes” we made. In reality we almost certainly overstate our own responsibility for the traumatic event, and as a result feel unnecessary guilt.

Thinking You Should Have Handled the Trauma Differently. So many trauma survivors I’ve treated have talked about how they “should have” had a different response to the trauma,

Seeing Yourself as Weak or Inadequate. It’s not uncommon after a trauma to start to see ourselves as being “less than” in some way.

Criticizing Yourself for Reactions to the Trauma. In addition to beating ourselves up for having experienced the trauma, we might also be upset with ourselves for being upset.

Feeling Constantly On Guard. When the nervous system has had a terrifying shock, it doesn’t immediately settle down.

Seeing Danger Everywhere. When your nervous system is highly attuned for danger, it’s going to be set to detect any possible threat, which probably means you’ll have a lot of false alarms.

Being Easily Startled. A nervous system temporarily stuck in the “high” setting is going to be easily startled by things like a slamming door.

Difficulty Sleeping. Sleep is a vulnerable state, and when the brain and body are revved up, we’re likely to have a hard time sleeping.

Loss of Interest in Sex.​ As with sleep, the brain may be inclined to avoid sexual activity following a trauma.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/think-act-be/201609/21-common-reactions-trauma

Cigna gives ways a person can support their natural resilience to help the healing process, even if a person can’t forget the pain, mental and physical, you can help work through some of the trauma a person sustains:

Allow your feelings. Don’t try to ignore or deny them. You may feel grief, anger, anxiety, exhaustion, or something else. You may just feel numb. These are all normal reactions.

Balance your thoughts. When feeling overwhelmed by tragic events, it’s easy to forget the good in the world.

Minimize your exposure to news media. Once you have the facts, it’s a good idea to limit watching replays of the events.

Focus on what you do have control over. The images we see, the stories we hear, and our own thoughts about what happened can increase our anxiety.

Turn to others for support. Being alone with your thoughts and emotions means there is no other voice in the conversation. Others offer different perspectives, while giving you a chance to talk about how you feel.

Tap into your compassion. Reaching out and supporting others can shift your mental and emotional focus.

Understand what is being done to protect your community. The more you know about what has happened, the more effective steps you can take to minimize your risk and increase your sense of safety.

Move from fear to awareness. Being constantly fearful is not helpful. It can limit awareness. Awareness – paying attention to your surroundings and noticing anything unusual about people and their behavior – is helpful.

Maintain a normal routine and lifestyle as much as possible. When an attack occurs, life can feel chaotic in many ways.

Feeling physically strong can help you feel emotionally strong. Make sure you get enough sleep to feel well rested. Eat a healthy diet. Exercise and being physically active can reduce stress. Avoid overuse of alcohol and/or substances.

Give yourself a break. It may be hard to focus and concentrate at times after a traumatic event. Your energy level may be low.

Try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation, when emotions run high. Even taking a short time-out to bring your thoughts to the here and now can help.

https://www.cigna.com/individuals-families/health-wellness/managing-distress-after-violence

Suicide Watch Is Always Needed

It can happen to anyone; happy, sad, medicated legally or illegally, or being bullied. Do you know what to look for? I remember the first time I was affected by suicide; I was a freshman and a boy in our class shot himself in his family’s barn. That was just the beginning and didn’t think I would ever be touched by suicide. As the years pass, I found myself touched through family, friends, co-workers, and celebrities. Why does this happen? What are people thinking when they try or commit suicide? For me, it was depression. I was able to pick up the phone and call my dad and then a friend. I realized I was lucky to make the decision to call my dad. So many others are not. We want to be mad at them, we cry and can’t wrap our heads around it. Some people leave notes and letters, others do it through drugs and end up overdosing, thinking drugs will make it better.

You can learn more about why people try and do commit suicide. Alex Lickerman with Psychology Today gives 6 reasons why:

They’re depressed. This is, without question, the most common reason people die by suicide. Severe depression is almost always accompanied by a pervasive sense of suffering as well as the belief that escape from it is hopeless. The pain of existence often becomes too much for severely depressed people to bear. The state of depression warps their thinking, allowing ideas like, “Everyone would all be better off without me” to make rational sense. They shouldn’t be blamed for falling prey to such distorted thoughts any more than a heart patient should be blamed for experiencing chest pain; it’s simply the nature of their disease. Because depression, as we all know, is almost always treatable, we should all seek to recognize its presence in our close friends and loved ones. Often, people suffer with it silently, planning suicide without anyone ever knowing. Despite making both parties uncomfortable, inquiring directly about suicidal thoughts, in my experience, almost always yields an honest response. If you suspect someone might be depressed, don’t allow your tendency to deny the possibility of suicidal ideation prevent you from asking about it.

2.They’re psychotic. Malevolent inner voices often command self-destruction for unintelligible reasons. Psychosis is much harder to mask than depression, and is arguably even more tragic. The worldwide incidence of schizophrenia is 1 percent and often strikes otherwise healthy, high-performing individuals, whose lives, though manageable with medication, are often derailed from their original promise. Schizophrenics are just as likely to talk freely about the voices commanding them to kill themselves as not, and also, in my experience, give honest answers about thoughts of suicide when asked directly. Psychosis, too, is treatable, and usually must be treated for a schizophrenic to be able to function at all. Untreated or poorly treated psychosis almost always requires hospital admission until the voices lose their commanding power.

3.They’re impulsive. Often related to drugs and alcohol, some people become maudlin and impulsively attempt to end their own lives. Once sobered and calmed, these people usually feel emphatically ashamed. The remorse is often genuine, but whether or not they’ll ever attempt suicide again is unpredictable. They may try it again the very next time they become drunk or high, or never again in their lifetime. Hospital admission is, therefore, not usually indicated. Substance abuse and the underlying reasons for it are generally a greater concern in these people and should be addressed as aggressively as possible.

4.They’re crying out for help, and don’t know how else to get it. These people don’t usually want to die but do want to alert those around them that something is seriously wrong. They often don’t believe they will die, frequently choosing methods they don’t think can kill them in order to call attention to their challenges, but they are sometimes tragically misinformed. For instance, a young teenage girl suffering genuine angst because she feels lonely or has gotten into a devastating fight with her parents, may swallow a bottle of Tylenol—not realizing that in high enough doses, Tylenol causes irreversible liver damage. I’ve watched more than one teenager die a horrible death in an ICU days after such an ingestion when remorse has already cured them of their desire to die and their true goal of alerting those close to them of their distress has been achieved.

5.They have a philosophical desire to die. The decision to die by suicide for some is based on a reasoned decision, often motivated by the presence of a painful terminal illness from which little to no hope of reprieve exists. These people aren’t depressed, psychotic, maudlin, or crying out for help. They’re trying to take control of their destiny and alleviate their own suffering, which usually can only be done in death. They often look at their choice to die by suicide as a way to shorten a dying that will happen regardless. In my personal view, if such people are evaluated by a qualified professional who can reliably exclude the other possibilities for why suicide is desired, these people should be allowed to die at their own hands.

6.They’ve made a mistake. This is a recent, tragic phenomenon in which typically young people flirt with oxygen deprivation for the high it brings and simply go too far. The only defense against this, it seems to me, is education. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/happiness-in-world/201004/the-six-reasons-people-attempt-suicide

A way we can help is with the “Out of Dark” suicide walks.  I have been a part of the suicide walk where people share their stories. The walk is healing because you meet so many people who understand what you are going through. Sharing stories that are sad and give hope to others.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention puts on the suicide walks through out the US. They believe that having the walks and donating monetarily will save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide. The website will have information: https://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=cms.home

Anytime someone is showing signs that they want to hurt themselves, reach out to a professional. We might feel we are imposing but I would rather impose than loose someone.

Financial Success Even With Depression or Mental Illness

Finances can get overwhelming. Worse is to have depression that exasperates the situation. It just starts to spiral out of control. Do you get up and go to work, do you stay in bed and just hope it goes away or fixes itself. We all know that bills continue to happen, it continues to happen on a regular basis and no matter how far we hide our head in the sand it just keeps coming.

As a mother of 3 young adults and 2 grandsons it becomes a struggle just looking at the amount I earn and wondering where does it all go? I always feel I don’t need anyone to be with and I want to be with someone for financial security. I guess I just need to earn more and more and more. If my kids are all self-reliant, I would be in a much better financial situation. I am not as bad as I was in the past. I do get things paid; however, I can’t go to the mall and buy a new outfit. I am in a constant turmoil over why I still am helping my young adult children. I have always been the type of parent that would never let them go without, some say this is an enabler, and I agree. However, I have also been able to be a bit more vocal on what they need to do on their own.

When I crunch the numbers, I know the mall is in my near future. When they don’t need my help, I will be able to look at my salary and understand the end is near and the savings will grow. I would say everyone take a breath don’t let depression creep in and take over the will to stay on top of your bills.

Some easy ways to help is keep a calendar up where you can see it. Hang up a white board and block out areas. Set up set monthly bills; Mortgage, electric, phone, etc. Set up revolving/installment debt; credit cards, loans, car, and other payments that have an end.

Take the revolving debt and each month pay off the credit card with the highest interest or pay off the lowest balance (with the highest payment) while the rest is paid with the minimum balance. As you pay off one credit card/loan then pay more on the next one until paid off. Continue the cycle until all revolving/installment debt is paid off. The biggest part to control is to put the credit cards away. They should not be closed out but put up until all revolving/installment debt is paid off. At this point utilize the credit cards enough to show up on your credit but pay the full balance off each month. Never go over 25% in utilization.

This is the hardest part about being debt free, financially secure, with depression is staying on task. The need to put away the credit cards if it will reoccur when you are depressed and want the high of shopping. These high lasts long enough to buy the items, see them at home, then when the bill comes the depression becomes worse. The cycle can be self-defeating and can send your credit into a spiral of negativity.   

If you are depressed and find yourself in a downward spiral with your finances. Take steps to help yourself. The smallest step is a start. Get the calendar, get a white board, get financial guidance, and make sure you have money coming in. I was able to pull myself out of depression and have a better outlook on how I pay my bills. I hope you can as well.

There are many financial books on how to become dept free, you can get them at the library, book store, audio book, or borrow them from family and friends (if they have them available).