Read this in whispered distress

The ghost is not gone. She is haunting me. You know the ghost I mentioned in previous blogs that lies within myself. She RUNS from relationships. Physically RUNS. I tried to be brave. I tried to end it. I said the words. But here you are, as if I’m in heat, chasing me through the dang store. I liked to be chased. Not necessarily by someone I told not to chase me… Thank goodness I have a sister who will put on a show with me last minute as I call her in whispered distress. ‘I need you to stay on the phone with me… if I say the word sunflower, I want you act out a level 10 emergency and I will put on my best fake nurse performance and run to the car’. I shouldn’t of chose today to claim my free kind bar with my coupon… gluttony got the best of me. I won’t make that mistake again.

Code word for code red

I did a bad thing. I played hot and cold with you. It’s a little game people play when they aren’t too interested in you but they give you attention here and there to string you along in case they get bored… I shouldn’t have done that. I know that now. I tried to correct it by being blunt and telling you how I felt. Yet here you are still pawing at the hem of my skirt as if I never left. Why? Word of advice, if the faucet is running hot and cold, SHUT. IT. OFF. Do not entertain someone who is playing games with you. This is your life, not a game. If they are entertaining multiple people SHUT. IT. OFF.

Why did I need this?

You don’t have to be rude about it, just politely decline anymore advances and show yourself some respect. Women are attracted to people who love themselves, respect themselves, have values and standards. When you pursue someone who has made it clear they aren’t interested in you, then you are giving them permission to use and lose you. Don’t be that person. I’m sorry I was that person to you, I’m still growing myself and will heed my own advice.

That ghost came to protect me from things like this. She has seen this before and knows EXACTLY how this goes. So she helps me disappear before the crazy comes to get me. I attract crazy… or maybe I create it? They don’t start out that way. But they end that way. It’s a mystery to me but for right now I’ll let my sympathetic nervous system take over. My heart is currently trying to escape to walls that enclose it as I run frantically through the market like an animated cartoon character with James Bond moves. Weaving in and out of aisles, and hiding behind cereal boxes.

Behavior Modification

You know that old saying, “People don’t change”? Well that’s incorrect. Before posting those memes or quotes do yourself a favor and fact check them. Who said that? Were their words evidence based? What credentials does the person posting hold?

I testify that change is possible. The relationships you have can be mended, whether with your children, spouse, coworkers, friends, change is possible. You also have that extra tid bit added onto the saying, “people only change if they want to”… hmmm. That’s part of it but it’s only a half truth. People can change with a nudge in the right direction, encouragement, support, advice, and most of all RESPONSE!

One of my very favorite movies is War Room. If you haven’t seen it, add it to your watchlist! The story line is based on a married couple who are in the thick of it, constantly bickering, forgetting why they ever got married in the first place. An older woman comes into play to counsel the wife on how to create change in her relationship. The thing that happens here is that the counsel given to the wife was to change her own behavior. She had to change the way she acted and responded, she changed her life and worked on herself before her husbands behavior followed. And if it had played out another way she could’ve just left high and dry with her new found self. I think this is very wise information. No it doesn’t work every time, but it’s the best fighting chance for that change to happen.

Find it, watch it, live it.

If we have people in our lives that have continued behavior that effect our own lives, our response to that can change everything. I once went through a behavior modification course to work with people suffering from developmental disabilities. We were taught how to modify their behavior because most came from rough situations and displayed negative responses to situations, such as self mutilation when they felt they had done something wrong. The system for correction was categorized by cognitive function. I took this information home with me and practiced it on my own kids. It worked! It included praise, correction, consequence, and a way to respond to the situation in the future.

I feel like we too often forget our children are still learning, they need to know how to respond to future situations they are disciplined for. Instead of doing this do that! The way we respond to behavior displayed can change EVERYTHING!

It also works for behavior we want to see more often too! I remember being a young girl and having to do chores, one night I wiped the kitchen table off. I wasn’t expecting it but my mom walked by and said, ‘You did a really good job cleaning off that table Annabelle!’… you better believe that for the next week I cleaned that table every night even if it wasn’t on my chore list because I was the best dang table cleaner in the house! Praise the behavior you want to see more often. Change the way you respond to negative behavior, provide correction and consequence when need, and give an alternative for future mishaps.

Enter their darkness to bring them light

I want you to imagine that you’re at home with your kids. You’ve cooked them breakfast and are preparing to send them off to school. Your husband kisses you goodbye as he heads out to work and you load the kids in the car to take them to their studies. Your children engage you in conversation about the abandonment they feel is coming as you approach the school doors. You then console any worries they have by saying you’ll be returning after the last bell rings as you give them goodbye hugs and tell them to mind their manners. As the last child disappears into the school, you feel a freedom you hadn’t before. The day is yours to spend as you choose.

After doing a few chores at home you venture out to town, visiting the post office, library, and finally the market to grab some missing dinner ingredients. You’re in aisle 3 comparing the price vs lbs ratio on some pasta and out of the corner of your eye a lady in scrubs is approaching you holding a cup of pills. It’s odd. She calls you by name but you don’t recognize her. You look around and no longer recognize where you are and you can’t seem to find an exit. The lady in scrubs has a friendly affect and she knows your name so you confide in her, asking where you are and how to get home. You have children to tend to remember… you need to pick them up from school or they’ll be lost and abandoned just as they suspected they would be this morning when you dropped them off!

What you don’t remember that also happened this morning is that your children are now in their fifties, one of which even came to have breakfast with you, your husband has passed away and you’ve been living in a nursing facility for over 10 years. That friendly nurse has brought you a cup of pills to help manage the effects of Alzheimer’s although there is no cure. But that’s just it, you don’t remember these things. This morning you were 40 years younger and you can’t be convinced otherwise. Not with a mirror, not with photographs or videos. This stuff is all some sort of witchcraft to manipulate you. The government has taken you hostage. It’s mind control at its finest.

Approximately 10 years ago I was introduced to this disease while working at a skilled nurses facility. I watched an elderly woman roam the halls for hours searching for an exit, she wouldn’t eat lunch and when dinner came around I tried encouraging it to her and through her blood shot eyes and damp cheeks from the tears shed that day she said, ‘How can I eat when I know my children are out there hungry and waiting for me at home?’ She pleaded with me to help her find her way home. I remember going into the staff lounge that night and praying for peace for this woman.

The ones in the scrubs

Treat the people you do know suffering from this disease with understanding and patience. Enter their reality and do whatever it takes to ease their worries, ‘Billy called he’s staying at your moms tonight because there’s a storm coming, and the bus isn’t running right now so we are giving you a free nights stay here!’ The way you approach this situation could determine the rest of this persons day, make sure you approach it with a kind heart! And heed my warning when I say do NOT try to bring them into your reality, you will not win. This is a disease, their cognitive state has taken them to another time and telling them they cannot leave to go home is a declaration of war. You’ve just put their children’s lives in mortal danger, they will starve or be kidnapped on the way home from school. And if this is the approach you choose to take, be prepared for a fight. These elderly people may not look like they have much fight in them but put a threat like this on their kids lives and you’ll be in a battle for your own soon. That cortisol stress response will turn that frail old lady into a MMA fighter with the snap of a finger. Trust me, I’ve had the wind knocked right out of me… ‘Easy wasper, I’m just trying to love you!’

My inspiration for what I do!

I’ll have to credit my mom for the passion she has instilled in me to love and understand our elders. She was the Attending provider for NHC while I was growing up and often let me round with her. I was able to contract her contagious kindness and knowledge that she has for this disease process. There is nothing more humbling than working in this field. We’ve discovered effective coping strategies and distraction techniques but no cure to this day. So today hold your family closer, cherish the time you have with them and thank God for your cognitive well being. Because in 10 minutes you could be the one waking up in a different time, place, and without your loved ones.