I had recognised what was happening in my life (this blog is my history – well, its work in progress) and I knew certain aspects of it had to change for my mental health to adjust to what I want as my normal. I don’t want other people passing their crap to me as though it was a right they paid me for. I for many years considered this type of working relationship a necessary evil to make progress on both the work promotion front and to get a job finished. I had to change how I responded to external stimuli in my life.
At work I am trying to become detached from the everyday chaos that is still the modus operandi. I am now able to let things flow past me and not become inwardly angry with what is happening. This is a cultivated response which is fuelled by my desire to let those responsible for the problems they cause to remain responsible for them. Time and arrogance will be the only witness!
Due to how we are being managed at work, when something is brewing that I should have a professional interest in, I ask myself … Is what I might say going to add any information and take the debate forward; if yes consider carrying on. Next, … will what I might say be remembered for what it’s worth and taken in the spirit it is intended; if yes consider carrying on. Then, … Is this just a rehash of a previous problem being re-asked because the previous answer was not liked; if yes consider stopping. Lastly, … will I just get the bums rush and ignored regardless of my contribution; if yes don’t bother, just stop there and don’t get involved.
This again is a cultivated response that is becoming easier to use as it is stress neutral by reducing the frequency of being given the bums rush and having the personal problems and grief associated with it.
In my private life I am rearrange things to rebalance my wellbeing. I am spending more time doing less. I am not planning every minute of every day at home. I am emotionally neutral if I don’t complete something I am working on and I am happy to take a break in another room whenever I want and for however long I want. I am not worried if I don’t leave the house on time if I don’t need to.
I have pressed the reset button on my emotions.
I appreciate there are lies, dammed lies and statistics and we only have to look at how politicians bend statistics to tell the great public things that are utterly plausible and accepted as true on face value.
The term was popularised in United States by Mark Twain (among others), who attributed it to the British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” However, the phrase is not found in any of Disraeli’s works and the earliest known appearances were years after his death. Several other people have been listed as originators of the quote, and it is often erroneously attributed to Twain himself.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lies,_damned_lies,_and_statistics Accessed 26/03/2016
That is until the facts are dissected by people who know about this type of deception. Once the facts are understood in context of their source rarely do they represent their original claim.
Facts are facts so depending on many factors you may considered enlighten or duped.
So, in summary many political outpourings such as in manifesto or worse policy are unadulterated propaganda that is skillfully dressed up and presented as facts. I draw no distinction between any political party with their spin doctors or a lobbying company with their money and in some cases charities and note the more totalitarian or tyrannical the organization or country the more they believe their own stories or want us to believe them.
Long gone are evidence based policies: just another example of irrationality in life. We seem to suffer from a rash of self-serving people whose aim is to increase their personal wealth by slight-of-hand and to the detriment of anyone and everyone who is there. Statistics are a wonderful tool and when aimed at a sheep mentality audience who aspire to ape the presenters they are believed with the same fervour as an athlete gasps for air when (s)he crosses the finish line. By the time (s)he gets their breath back the damage is done!
I mention the above as trying to find sources of data for mental health issues is difficult. I can find interpretation of facts but at present not facts. I have visited the ONS (uk) and mentioned then earlier and I am sure will do so in the future.
My research will now start in earnest: I will be looking into the main political parties last manifestos and policy statements; key charities statement of intent and other policy documents, the NHS and local commissioning agencies.
If you have any suggestions I would be pleased to have them.
This research is starting to reveal hidden depths that people will step down to get either what they want or what they have been told achieve while not being discovered.
Passive aggression is a deliberate and masked way of covert feelings of anger (Long, Long & Whitson, 2009). It involves a variety of behaviours designed to get back at another person without the other recognising the underlying anger. In the long run, passive-aggressive behaviour can be even more destructive to relationships than aggression. Over time, relationships with a person who is passive-aggressive will become confusing, discouraging, and dysfunctional.
Paraphrase of Extract:
Without intent it is not considered as aggressive.
So, my own claims of being verbally aggressive were not ‘aggressive’ at all as they were done at a time when I was responding very quickly to a situation I was manoeuvred into. There was no premediated intent. I did not want to be aggressive in fact I mentioned twice how much my action really hurt me.
To delineate the range of behaviours that can be considered aggressive workplace behaviours, researchers have developed schemes of classification for workplace aggression. Neuman and Baron (1998) offer these three dimensions that encompass the range of workplace aggression:
- Expressions of hostility – behaviours that are primarily verbal or symbolic in nature
- Obstructionism – behaviours intended to hinder an employee from performing their job or the organization from accomplishing its objectives
- Overt aggression – violent acts
In an attempt to further break down the wide range of aggressive workplace behaviours, Baron and Neuman (1996) also classify workplace aggression based on these three dichotomies:
Aggressive acts can take any possible combination of these three dichotomies. For example, failing to deny false rumours about a co-worker would be classified as verbal–passive–indirect. Purposely avoiding the presence of a co-worker you know is searching for your assistance could be considered physical–passive–direct.
Other researchers offer a classification system based on the aggressor’s relationship to the victim.
- Criminal intent (Type I) – this type of aggression occurs when the aggressor has no relationship to the victim or organization.
- Customer/client (Type II) – the aggressor has a relationship with the organization and aggresses while they are being served as a customer.
- Worker on worker (Type III) – both the aggressor and the victim are employees in the same organization. Often, the aggressor is a supervisor, and the victim is a subordinate.
- Personal relationship (Type IV) – the aggressor has a relationship with an employee at an organization, but not the organization itself. This category includes victims who are assaulted by a domestic partner while at work.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workplace_aggression Accessed 17/03/2016
All this to me is starting to make me believe that while I felt wrong and inwardly hurt at work and because of my behaviour I was actually being far more rational than I had thought or even given myself credit for.
No, I am not paranoid, and I am not searching for excuses to offer on my behalf, I am trying to understand. Others are now starting to challenge the action of others as things are catching up with them as well
I have spent nine hours today motorway driving. This included about an hour this morning in slow and sometimes stationary traffic. I enjoy driving, apart from the journey of my recent accident, which came up in thought on both the outward and homeward journey.
I nearly have the need and reason to explain why I have not been as proactive as I should have been. It’s not critical but a curtesy thing really. I started to play through what I was going to say and it naturally gravitated to explaining about my accident. At which time I welled up and wanted to cry. I don’t really know the chap although he has always been friendly and encouraging towards me I don’t know his politics. I don’t mean Politics I mean how he views things such as this: which is a barrier, he is a stranger really.
On the way home I had to drive under the bridge where I had my accident. This I have done for nearly every working day for six months, but the lighting conditions were near as they had been on the night AND a car driver used their breaks in the roughly the same spot as the accident. My memory flow stopped, my hearing stopped and my gaze froze: I just passed the scene in splendid silence.
As I move through this time of thinking and reflecting on what happened and how I am returning to my former self (I have an internal debate about that) I am starting to notice mental health issues everywhere.
It might sound contrived but a day does not pass without a comment on the radio or a news item on television about mental health. It may just be the typical situation that when something touches you, you become more inclined to see things associated with it: Much like why people become involved with charities.
I feel I want to comment on these things as they have had a direct impacted on me, all be it lightly in my view, but the problem is there are many better qualified people writing about current affairs and being active in this area than me. I only have one view on this and don’t want to just rant about it, or just moan because I can see injustices.
OPEN OFFER: If you are personally affected by a mental health issue or know someone who is and feel they would benefit from having a coherent article written for them please contact me. I will talk with them over an extended period of time and photograph them and write accordingly.
This is not an offer to be their champion and challenge anyone or any organisation on their behalf, but simple to portray their predicament accurately. I will publish their story.
There will be other things to setup to ensure we are working together in a professional way and only after these are in place will we start.
I don’t want to be an isolationist but I fear talking to people about PTSD who have not experienced it; it is difficult because I feel I don’t want to have to explain why I feel what I feel and I don’t want the knock-back because they don’t get it. I don’t always have the right words to say. Its not the same in anyway to typing this now: I am in control, I can rewrite and rewrite as many times as I like to express exactly what I want to say.
If I break a leg and people see it in a plaster cast they can qualify easily what has happened and a have a good idea of what they could reasonably expected me to do. They would also recognise I had recovered when I have my plaster cast removed.
My PTSD – my appearance has not changed. I physically look the same and on the whole I now behave the same; I might have coping strategies in place to deal with certain situations that I want to avoid but people who know me judge me based upon their hang-ups in their minds not the facts before them or an understanding of what I am thinking.
Broken bones can be fixed, mental health issues, for many onlookers, can’t be fixed – ever or at least until they forget. From my perspective, i.e. not an expert witness or mental health practitioner, I feel many things just rebalance themselves. I have stronger feelings about allsorts of things now, but balance is there.
I feel I am lucky and now appreciate there are many thousands of people who bear witness to being stigmatized because of a label that has been used to group similar attributes, in this case mental health conditions, so easy reference can be made to them: they can be counted, sorted, rearranged as statistics to either prove or disprove a theory, or be tested upon with treatments: and perhaps worse of all ignored by politicians as they consider them as a minority group who cannot organise themselves and as such will not have an impact on their political ambitions.
This is not a scientific based theory and I don’t know whether any research could actually prove, or disprove this come to that matter, but I suspect there are far far greater differences in people and people’s attitudes about life and politics in general than separate people with mental health issues from those who think they are normal – it’s that word again ‘normal’. So why the hang-ups?
Please let me know what you think normal is?
With help I packaged up many thoughts from my conscious mind and stored them in a safe place where I can choose to look at when I want. The deal is; they stay there as a complete memory; anger, unhappiness, feelings of sadness, self loathing as I could not help – to name a few, so I could move on; and remember them when I want on my terms. I was scared to just dump them as I felt it disrespectful. They are my history, they have forged a different part of me, which, like it or not, is now well embedded within me.
I have after two months of putting these thoughts aside successfully I have visited them once – just now. Why, I have no idea. I was able to remember things, replay the two separate events, see my self at the scenes – still disliking my responses of the time. I replayed the encounters with the irrational people I have the misfortune to work with and don’t feel my blood rising.
They are now back in storage and happy for being remembered and glad not to have been forgotten.
It has in someways been like rereading a paragraph of a book that I thoroughly enjoyed the first time and had great expectations of reliving my enjoyment again only to find it an anticlimax. Strange – I feel really good about that. I never thought an anticlimax could be enjoyable or even beneficial.
I am not very good at remembering birthdays and anniversaries so to ensure I do pay my respect to all people I know, whether here with me or departed I have for many years used Remembrance Sunday in November as my key date for recon-pence. That day is a ‘collective humanity day’ – for me at least.
I have mentioned before that want to know more about what make me tick. Again I have mentioned a blog I have started to read in which ‘Passive Aggressive’ behaviour was mentioned, so, I followed through and a clip of a description is below.
Extract: Passive Aggression in the Workplace
In the workplace a passive-aggressive employee or employer may use these techniques as a form of control and/or intimidation. The worker might sulk, make faces, scowl inwardly when given jobs to do or may agree politely and then take ages to do them. By doing so, he they are showing annoyance in the hope they will not be asked to do those tasks again. Employers can also use passive aggression when confronted with employee problems, turning a blind eye, not facing facts or dealing with genuine cases of bullying and intimidation. This avoidant behaviour can be very damaging to individuals and teams of individuals within organisations.
Consequences of Passive Aggressive Behaviour
In being passive aggressive you are not giving yourself or others an opportunity to listen to what you think or feel
When on the receiving end of passive aggression, you can feel confused, upset, offended, guilty and frustrated. You may think you’ve done something wrong, but have no clear idea what it was
- It avoids communication in a very negative way
- It creates insecurity in all parties
- It creates a bad atmosphere between people
- It is a form of conflict where either both or one party cannot engage sensibly in the issues
- It avoids the real issues
- It creates negative feelings and resentments in an unassertive way
It hurts me to think how ignorant of these things I am!
To cut a long story short – I have been on the receiving end of a ‘Passive Aggressive’ manager, and in combination with my PTSD suffered.
It was not a question of coping well with life post-accident as I did not appreciate there was anything untoward to cope with. It was my life and I was moving forward etc. It was only when I passed a ‘flip point’ with a manager by having to respond to him in a verbally aggressive manner did it became a problem for me. Until I read the above I categorised the encounters as just not being able to work for an irrational person, when in fact he fitted, and the situation fitted the descriptions above much better. He is still irrational though!
Musings of a mad woman Please read her blogs – I enjoy them for her honesty, I understand her.
Hi there. I have mentioned before I like your blogs. I think I enjoy the freedom you write with and how you express your normal.
I only understand a little about being bipolar as I shared a studio with a lady artist whose work was produced in low times and always in black and white. They were large paintings and showed commitment to her chosen bent. I always had to suspend belief when I looked at her work as trying to say it’s this or it’s that did not work for me. They were abstract really and the beauty I saw in them was me wondering what she was thinking and saw when painting.
I am here because I am trying to find out what normal is for me. I have/is/was/may do again suffer with PTSD and just cannot get my old mind-set back. I am not sure whether I actually want it back either. I enjoyed my life but as I said my normal isn’t no more. I don’t know whether to just drift along and over time return or whether I should say just start again and let go of my ideas of what I thought I was.
I belonged to a kite club and for many years would go out with other people and … yes fly kites. It was a good pastime and I made some good friends who I might not see for a long time but still enjoy their company when we meet.
I enjoyed the fly-ins not only because I enjoyed flying kites but also as no one spoke about what they did for a living. Yes, we would talk casually but no one declared they were a ??? or a ??? we were all equal and help was always offered and accepted openly and keenly. No one judged anyone else based upon a side of person they did not see or know; sterotypical people did not exist.
I accept many people look at me and define me by my job. I don’t like that at all, it’s a very shallow approach, not too dissimilar to how much money you have or don’t! Over the last few months I have spent many hours thinking about me: It started by working out diversion plans on how to avoid particular people and how to draw conversations with others to a quick close. It then morphed into what qualities do I like and dislike and now is whether to make a conscious attempt to change my external appearance. It seems a crisis of my own making, perhaps a delayed mid-life crisis – I don’t know.
On a humours note, my distain for being defined by your occupation is not a new concern, as when I completed a form for one of my children while at school, I was asked ‘Occupation’ I answered ‘Trainee Astronaut’.
I attended a NPL course many years ago and liked and appreciated its purpose. A key factor for me on this course was to be able to recognise what normal is, find a base marker, so I could recognise and respond to changes in my feelings, and be in control. My efforts now are not to dissimilar to that time.
I feel I want to comment on these things as they have had a direct impacted on me, all be it lightly in my view, but the problem is there are many better qualified people writing and being active in this area than me. I only have one view on this and don’t want to just rant about it, or just moan because I can see injustices.
This is not an offer to be their champion and challenge anyone or any organisation on their behalf but simple portray their predicament accurately. I will publish their story.
I’ll start at the end: No. Now I’ll qualify that.
Cross: angry and annoyed; ill-humoured; snappish.
Happy: delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing.
Aggression: Psychiatry. overt or suppressed hostility, either innate or resulting from continued frustration and directed outward or against oneself.
Frustration: a feeling of dissatisfaction, often accompanied by anxiety or depression, resulting from unfulfilled needs or unresolved problems.
dictionary.com accessed 07/03/2016
I believe being cross or happy are just part of a straight line continuum, cross being near one end, say the left hand end, and happy being near the other end, say the right hand end. Normal being somewhere in the middle. I expect that during any day we float between these two markers and don’t see any danger, neither getting cross or happy.
Apply pressure, negative or positive, and we may go past these markers and start to experience noticeable differences to our responses. Again these responses may be negative or positive. Looking past ‘cross’ we may get verbal aggression and subsequently physical aggression and looking past ‘happiness’ we may get excitement and ecstatic feelings.
I should add this is only my take on this subject and my response, and is not based upon rigorous science, but on what I think when I take a detached view on where I am now and what has caused me grief over the last six or so months. But as personal reflection is such a good tool I am finding mental gremlins in my past that have waited until now to surface. … I am really working hard at this reflection stuff and shifting my thoughts about does cause me pain.
Our propensity to do either, be cross or happy is, I would assume, based upon the baggage of life we are carrying and our state of mind at that precise moment of interaction. If we don’t resolve the feeling of crossness or happiness at the first attempt the emotion is just rolled forward to adds to the dilemma.
For me, when we engage in a discussion we all start ‘normal’ and as equals – both having something to contribute. Both possess different life experiences, facts, and supporting information, which may or may not generate personal preferences. Perhaps with more people involved more facts or knowledge are known and it could contribute more to the solution – this is good and creates situations where people learn through osmosis.
I feel getting cross is just an expression of super-sensitive feelings towards something; where I have actually run out of words to say and I feel I still have not been allowed to get my point across frustration builds and can trigger into verbal aggression directed at the person who is not listening. In my eyes the situation is still unresolved and it needs to be completed. It is not about winning, it’s about being listened to with respect and decorum while resolving a problem.
You might think I am just a sore loser, but I am not. I have learned how to enlist help from others, how to construct a case and present facts, build a defence and assess whether personal preferences are valid for inclusion and until recently what arguments to actually pick.
The point is the frustration stays with me as I have to live with the results of an inconclusive debate which often means doing a job badly as that is deemed appropriate.
I have concluded my verbal aggression is really frustration in a super-sensitive state; that manifests itself as a flash point when I have to decide whether I should fight or flee: it’s my flight. I can do no more and I now accept that. But it lingers within me as suppressed verbal hostility playing with my mind, which I know is not necessarily wrong, but detrimental to me and it keeps building and building while I am consistently being pressured, which I resisted, by irrational people who have no compassion.
As a footnote: it has taken a day or two to type this blog, in which time a good working colleague has tendered his notice and left with almost immediate effect. He had been forced to sign documents confirming he approved work which in his professional capacity he considered to be sub-standard. A sorry state of affairs in a professional organisation.
Today, many years ago I was in a train crash at Purley.
Anniversary of personal hurt. Not physical.
I am not sure about this, and whether this is a natural part of recover, but I spend an incredible amount of time just thinking about my state of mind while I am doing things. I am balancing everyday occurrences for what impact they are having on me and whether I think they are right or wrong based upon the events of the last six months and a fragile mind of the moment. The thoughts and the process could just be what I did think about but was not really aware of them or their significance. My mind is doing overtime!
There have been occurrences at work where I have become very churned-up inside because someone has spoken badly to someone else, or where irrational logic, based upon ignorance or bravado is being applied and therefore the answer can only be wrong or misleading. This discredits people and causes their future conversations with people to be not trusted before they even open their mouths.
This churned-up feeling starts by me stopping listening to details of the conversation and trying to separate fact from fiction or personal preferences of one party or the other. I create my own response based upon the facts I have heard and my understanding and I get a build-up of rhetoric that wants to burst out; I then have to subdue this emotion as my aim is not to get involved. It’s difficult as I know I want to keep out.
I have been lucky, I believe the manifestation of my problems is only mild and I fear what could have been and must maintain this level of ‘normality’ and not allow anxiety to do its ugly work.
There are lots of times when I have to be amongst people to function to do my job. There are times when I am there I would rather be else where: not because I actually want to be elsewhere it’s just I rather not run the risk of confrontation so being out of it removes that incendiary moment.
The situation at work is not really different at all. Chaos upon despair coupled with anguish and anxiety for many people in the team.
I can only make an analogy with a part of the film Santa Claus in which Dudley More stars. A peasant woodcutter becomes Santa Claus and foils an evil toy manufacturer’s scheme to take over Christmas. One bright spark decides that the production line process is the best way of producing all the toys and quality control is dispensed with. The following Christmas all the toys break quickly and there is hell to pay.
This is us. Quality is being dispensed with and while it appears everyone is happy our wheels will drop off before long, and our hell will open. Retribution will follow.
The really annoying part is we are having to work harder to produce less and still we cannot maintain quality.
Still no one listens! Frustration ensues – I find it very difficult to keep quite and had to speak out today. I let my self down greatly. I must not get sucked into this quagmire, only I will fail.