New Job

Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh! I got a new job! I got offered the job yesterday during the interview. It’s for a learning center teaching job (I wanna say it’s more of tutoring job) where I will be able to perform duties such as:

  • Preparing for each instructional session; Gathers and prepares materials as appropriate
  • Evaluating and recording the progress of each student on their program assignment
  • Managing students, tasks and time to create a balanced and robust instructional session

It starts at $12, but that’s fine, because at least I will be able to practice my teaching skills. But what’s even better is that I got this job before the school year ended this week. I was so worried because I was afraid I wasn’t going to get a job before the end of this month. I feared of being homeless again. I didn’t want to relieve what I went through last year living in my car especially during the upcoming summer months (it’s already hot right now, but it’s going to get worse). I don’t want to roaming to place to place looking for places to park my car.

I’ve been putting in applications since January of this and NONE of the jobs contacted me for an interview. I was wondering what did I put or put down for me not to be employable? I mean…I have 7 years of customers service skills under my belt. Yes it’s been AWHILE since I’ve worked at such jobs, but it’s not hard to do. Anyways, a couple weeks ago, I got called for an interview for another job I wanted, but I didn’t get it (which is fine because it was only for the summer).

Let me tell you… the thought of NOT getting that job, the ONLY job which contacted me for an interview was heartbreaking. I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, the fear of my landlady kicking me out of my room haunted my thoughts. And like it wasn’t bad enough, I gained weight (due to stress; not eating)! I was bloated! When I’m anxious/stressed I tend to develop a lot of gas, most of it going to my stomach, making me look (as students have told me) pregnant. But after I received the good news of getting interviewed at the job I have now and getting hired on the spot…I let out a BIG burp! In fact, I gave TWO big burps. I was THAT stressed out and I could’ve sworn my stomach got smaller after that.

I got my needs met which was to be financially stable. Without that, my anxiety disorder and depressive disorder will worsen. But now it looks like I can take a breather (for now) and just focus on the upcoming training I’ll be able to partake in. Finally…I’ll be able to sleep with a peace of mind.

Titans: Hank and Dawn (Part 2)

 

In the last post, we learned about Hank. This time we will learn about Dawn. Before Dawn sported the hero apparel, she was an accomplished Ballerina. In fact, she was able to perform a dance, when mother came over to visit her from England.

Minka Kelly as Dawn Granger

As she catching up with her mom, Marie Granger, she found out her dad was still being abusive to her. Each time Dawn tried to talk about her getting away from him, her mom made an excuse like how he wasn’t as bad as he was in the past and that he is “trying to change”. What Dawn’s mother is experiencing is called “Intimate Partner Violence”. Intimate Partner Violence or IPV describes physical sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse.

IPV doesn’t just affect women, it also affects men too. According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC) about 1 in 4 women and about 1 in 7 adult men revealing having had experience some form of physical violence from their intimate partner in their lifetime. So, if Dawn’s mom knows he’s abusive why did she make an excuse for him? It’s easy to say, how you would have done better, but it’s not that simple.

There are emotional and situational reason why victims like Dawn’s mom would stay with their abuser.

Emotional Factors include

  • Belief that the abusive partner will change because of his remorse and promises to stop battering
  • Fear of the abuser who threatens to kill the victim if abuse is reported to anyone
  • Lack of emotional support
  • Guilt over the failure of the relationship
  • Attachment to the partner
  • Fear of making major life changes
  • Feeling responsible for the abuse
  • Feeling helpless, hopeless and trapped
  • Belief that she is the only one who can help the abuser with his problems

Then there is also the situation factors

  • Economic dependence on the abuser
  • Fear of physical harm to self or children
  • Fear of emotional damage to the children over the loss of a parent, even if that parent is abusive
  • Fear of losing custody of the children because the abuser threatens to take the children if victim tries to leave
  • Lack of job skills
  • Social isolation and lack of support because abuser is often the victim’s only support system
  • Lack of information regarding domestic violence resources
  • belief that law enforcement will not take her seriously
  • Lack of alternative housing
  • Cultural or religious constraints

Marina Sirtis as Dawn’s mother, Marie Granger

From what it sounds like to me, Dawn’s mom believes that her husband will “change” and will stop abusing her. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen. From what I remember, she never mentioned, for example, admitting how he has hurt her or stopped making excuses and blaming…nothing. To be honest, I was hoping she wouldn’t return to him, but unfortunately, it seemed like she already made up her mind to return.

I remember feeling disappointed when my mom returned to my dad once a long time ago…like Dawn, it was hard to see my mom go back with my dad. I felt like mom deserved a better life than to return with my dad. He never stopped making excuses and blaming, he never took responsibility of his behavior, he never showed respectful, kind, and supportive behavior….nothing. It hurt me to see my mom not just hurt physically, but emotionally as well.

So how can you help a loved one who is undergoing domestic abuse? According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, loved ones should:

  • Acknowledge that they are in a very difficult and scary situation, be supportive and listen
  • Be non-judgmental
  • If they end the relationship, continue to be supportive of them
  • Encourage them to participate in activities in activities outside of the relationship with friends and family
  • Help them develop a safety plan
  • Encourage them to talk to people who can provide help and guidance
  • Remember that you cannot “rescue” them.

I provide this knowledge, because domestic violence isn’t easy to see or experience and I understand how it’s easy to become judgmental towards someone, especially if it is someone you love, because you can’t understand why they would continue to put themselves in an abusive relationship. All you can do is love them and be there for them when they need it.

References

Center for Disease Control. (2018).Intimate Partner Violence. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/index.html

Domestic Violence Roundtable. (n.d.) Why Do Abusers Stay? Retrieved from: https://www.domesticviolenceroundtable.org/abuse-victims-stay.html

The National Domestic Violence Hotline (n.d.) Help a Friend or Family Member. Retrieved from: https://www.thehotline.org/help/help-for-friends-and-family/

 

Perfectionism

I am terrified of failure. Absolutely terrified. I know that out of failure you can, for example, learn how to write a better or how design a better classroom instruction. But it’s still terrifying, because I want do so well on those activities. I want people to know I’m an expert in what I’m talking about or presenting. It can be so terrifying that anxiety begins to settle in me that I don’t want to do activity anymore…until the last minute, making easy for others to think I’m a procrastinator, when I am not. I’m really a perfectionist.

Perfection is defined as the need to be or appear to be perfect or even believe that it’s possible to achieve perfection. The thing is…true perfectionists think nothing they do is good enough, regardless of how much they have achieved. What they do has to be absolutely perfect. Instead of giving themselves a pat on the back or kudos, they may withdraw from the activity (something I’m too good at). Having such personality traits may lead to and/or coincide with anxiety. Though perhaps if we conquer such unreasonable expectations, we can achieve more practical, achievable goals.

To begin with there are different types of perfectionism…3 kinds to be precise: personal standards perfectionism, self-critical perfectionism, and socially prescribed perfectionism (Good Therapy, n.d):

    • Personal Standards Perfectionism-This person may have a set of standards they live by. These standards may look high to others, but it’s what drives the individual to achieve their goal. This form of perfection (as long as it doesn’t leave the person fatigued, stressed or paralyzed) can lead the person to success.
    • Self-Critical Perfection-This person is more likely to be intimidated by goals they set upon themselves (haha! Me!) thus making themselves less driven, because they feel the goal is hopeless or it may never come true. This form of perfectionism can lead to stress, anxiety, avoidance and self-condemnation.
    • Socially Prescribed Perfection: This kind of perfectionism can affect a person in one of two ways:

A) when a person is in a job in which precision is heavily required. People who work as, for example, lawyers, medical professionals, and architects can be affected by perfectionism. Such jobs can cause professionals to experience hopeless thoughts, stress, and a higher risk for self-harm and suicide.

B) The other form of socially prescribed perfectionism is when individuals aspire to meet unrealistic goals that can be set by high cultural or societal standards. this can include when kids try to meet the goals set by parents or individuals trying to obtain a particular body type high regarded by society.

So which one, do I think I identify with? I would have to say self-critical perfectionist. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have procrastinated on projects just because I fear how I won’t execute them well. I expect nothing the less from myself, but possessing such a mindset can be crippling because I think can’t perform the task well. Such mindsets can also induce major anxiety for me. Speaking of which…

How can anxiety trigger perfectionism…or visa versa? Well that relationship is …complicated (Kvarnstrom, 2016). All that is known is that one, perfectionism is the onset of the individuals’s inability to cope with the stressors they ave set upon themselves and then on top of that, perfectionism itself worsens anxiety that in turn prevents the person from achieving their goal. Huh…go figure. Makes sense why I procrastinate.

So how can you help yourself overcome perfectionism. According to Healthy Place article, “How to Stop Being a Perfectionist” try to:

+ Recognize perfectionism as a problem

+  Set realistic goals for you

+ Look for positives in yourself and your life

+ Love yourself in your entirely, including your imperfections

+ Embracing your uniqueness

+ Stop procrastinating (This includes when something is just not right)

+Think of mistakes as lessons

Speaking for myself, failure should not be looked as a stain that would forever blotch out any opportunity for success. That’s not what failure is. This is what it means to F.A.I.L: First Attempt in Learning. It’s only in failing it’s pushes us to reach deep within ourselves and pull out sleeping and dormant skills and resolve we thought we’d never had or we thought we exhausted. However, this cannot be achieved if we strive for perfection instead. Perfection only leads to a shallow, unreasonable and perhaps unattainable goal(s). As the old saying goes: To err is human. So it’s not just much we should accept our errors, but our humanity as well. We need to start accepting our humanity.  

References

Agathanelou, F. (2015) How to Stop Being  Perfectionist. Retrieved from: https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/buildingselfesteem/2015/09/how-to-stop-being-a-perfectionist

Good Therapy. (n.d). Perfectionism. Retrieved from: https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/issues/perfectionism

Kvarnstrom, E. (2016). Why Perfectionism and Anxiety Disorders Go Hand-in-Hand. Retrieved from: https://www.bridgestorecovery.com/blog/why-perfectionism-and-anxiety-disorders-go-hand-in-hand/

Other Readings:

You Aren’t Lazy–You’re Just Terrified: On Paralysis and Perfectionism