Tag Archive: radical acceptance


Yes, my title does have undertones of sarcasm in it, if you were wondering.

So it has been 9 days since my last significant post. Apart from the one earlier today about Postpartum Anxiety.

A few things have been happening since 9 days ago. The Gateway Assessment for my 2 younger kids was mostly ok. Though they 2 people doing the assessment did mention that they felt my 4 year old may be delayed. Not significantly, but still, she is not where she is expected to be in certain areas. They would like to do a baseline assessment on her. Which is around hearing and eye sight.

Last weekend, my fiance tried to make me feel stupid at the supermarket, due to something that was actually not my fault, it was the checkout operators mistake. And my 4 year old was being difficult, as while I’d been out that day, my fiance had let her play on the PS3(playstation 3) the whole time. And once we all got out of the house, she was all hypo and misbehaving. We were trying to leave the mall, but she wouldn’t get off the electronic rides there. My fiance decided to walk off and be of no help, leaving me there to deal with her. And due to the fact I have been experiencing a lot of stresses in my life lately and I was experiencing PMS, I could only handle so much stress, before I ended up just sitting on a seat having a quiet cry. This made me feel really unsupported, him leaving me there to deal with my 4 year old. And then my insensitive and overreacting fiance said “well you’re clearly not coping if you have a breakdown at the mall”. Hmm, I would hardly call having a little cry, because I felt stressed and unsupported, not coping. I would call that, being hormonal, having a lot of stresses in life and having emotions. I mean I had dealt pretty well with it all I felt. As, after my fiance embarrassed me at the supermarket and was being a bit of a dick to me, I did feel like kicking a few things out of frustration. But decided that wouldn’t be a good idea, as it would draw negative attention to me, would scare my child and might result in getting in trouble with the mall security. Not to mention, it’s kind of acting like a child and having a public tantrum.

Then as we were driving home, I said to my fiance, that I felt it was his fault that she was behaving that way and said to him, has he not learned from this whole situation of having involvement with CYFS(child, youth & family). As we are supposed to take on-board their observations and concerns and change our behaviour and parenting as a result. As that is something I have whole heartedly done. I have taken away exactly what I was supposed to from this experience and become a better and more involved parent as a result. And he responded by yelling at me and saying “I’m the only one here supporting you! And you repay me by insulting me!” and then punched the dashboard a few times. Which I, with having violent relationships in the past, felt very intimidated and scared by.

Eventually once he calmed down he talked to me. And he told me something interesting about his parents and why they appear to not like me so much. He said it’s because I am opinionated, confident and intelligent and they prefer people who are push overs, who they can control and who don’t challenge their ideas. As they think they know it all and are always right.

Regarding our intention to move to Nelson at some point. I do get annoyed with the fact that his parents always talk like they expect we will leave here long term. Which is not the reality. But my fiance doesn’t do much to tell them otherwise. And I find many people involved with us, think it’s all my idea, not a joint decision. When in fact it is a joint decision. But my fiance doesn’t tend to speak up much, which doesn’t help.

The latest stress I have had is receiving several letters from IRD(inland revenue department) saying I am expected to pay child support for my oldest daughter and they have already given me a bill for this month and are expecting me to pay $73 a month. Which I found a real slap in the face. As my oldest daughter not living with me is a temporary thing, not a permanent thing and I already feel punished enough in so many other ways, for becoming so unwell with my mental health last August. And, not to mention the fact I have brought her up for the past 10 years and we are struggling so much financially, that it is impossible to contribute anything. I feel they should be seeking child support from her father. As he doesn’t have my expenses and 2 young kids at home. And neither my fiance or myself are working. So I have sent a Notice of objection to the IRD regarding that.

I am also finding it hard, that she spends more of her weekends with her Dad’s parents or her Dad, then she does with me. As I am supposed to see her weekly and that is not often happening. And it has a bigger effect on my family, not seeing her very often. Especially with regards to her younger sister.

So, we managed to have sorted things a little to improve our financial situation. I have finally convinced my fiance to change internet and phone provider. Though it took our phone being disconnected for him to agree. And we now have a debt of nearly $500 to Telecom. We found out the company who my fiance has the loan with, has a clause for financial hardship, so we applied for that help and were approved mid this week. So that means no payments needed for a couple of months.

We went to WINZ(work and income) to apply for help with the Telecom bill, but they will only pay the phone portion of it and we applied for assistance for buying a car seat and they declined that too.

The frustrating thing is, it all gets left up to me organizing the majority of this stuff. And relationships involve 2 people, so I get annoyed at how much of this is put on me.

The FGC(family group conference) review is in a few days. On Monday 31st March. So the CYFS social worker came over yesterday afternoon to discuss the upcoming review with us. I think she got a bit of a shock from all that I had to say. And was stuck at times for an appropriate answer to my many questions. I made her explain all their concerns and expressed that I felt frustrated that so little of the focus is on how I can get back to having more of the day to day care of my children and how the younger 2 being in childcare makes it extremely difficult to prove my capabilities and the lack of visits to observe me with my child, by them, makes it hard for them to see how I have improved and how capable I am. Eventually she softened her approach and agreed that I can have more opportunities to be with my younger 2 unsupervised. I also brought up, that it doesn’t help, me not being able to actually do things with my baby by myself and that we as Mother and Son, miss out on a lot of opportunities due to these restrictions put on me by CYFS. I also talked to her about how I felt the original FGC did not go by the exact protocol that it is supposed to and that I am quite sure there were some breaches of how FGC’s are supposed to be run, on that occasion. She had some trouble explaining her way out of that one. My approach and attitude and confidence has changed a lot from the original FGC, which likely came as a shock to her. As when the original FGC happened, I was still struggling and felt quite defeated and wasn’t as prepared as I would like to have been. Plus, I do agree, it was the right decision at that time the plan that was formulated. I just felt quite disrespected in the fact that CYFS still seemed to view me as too mentally unwell, even after the fact and all my improvements. And it really sucks how hard it is to get your role back due to all of this process. I said to her, it is actually a trauma in itself, my role been taken so significantly and that it has not helped the bonding process with my baby, how much of my role was taken away. I felt, I could have had started developing my bond with him sooner, if part of the original FGC plan, had something in there to support this and some tasks for me that helped me regain my bond with him. Rather then the only task being “get therapy when offered”.

I had week 5, or the 6 weeks of DBT Resiliency ‘Distress Tolerance’ course, this Wednesday. Next week will be the last one. I shared some pretty personal stuff about what I go through when I am quite distressed, which wasn’t easy, but at least I was real about it and myself. I talked about a distressing situation and having feelings of rage and wanting to self-harm. As the subject for the homework was to give examples of pro’s and con’s to either not tolerating or tolerating distress in a situation. So my view was, not tolerating the distress, would have meant the consequences could have been, me self-harming and therefore having a scar to remind me, acting on the feelings of rage, would have meant, potentially getting in trouble with the law, drawing negative attention to myself, scaring my children and those are definite con’s. And there are of course no pro’s to not tolerating distress, nor are there any con’s to tolerating distress. The pro’s of tolerating distress were, not harming myself, therefore not having a scar to remind me, not scaring my children or getting in trouble with the law. The last week is on ‘Radical Acceptance’. Which I already practice. All these tools are drawn from DBT(dialectal behaviour therapy).

The quetiapine has been helping with sleep, so that’s good.

I’m pretty sure that all I wanted to post about today. Thanks for reading.

So I don’t know if what I’m going to write is something I have written about before. The downside to having a crap short term memory. But anyway, I will write about it either way. As it is on my mind a lot.

I personally do not want my suffering to be for nothing. So, no matter how unpleasant, how uncomfortable, how scary, how unfair and how horrible this journey has been or is, regarding my mental health. I will always try to turn it into something positive, useful and purposeful. So that way my suffering has a purpose.

I will always be honest and open about my suffering and not be ashamed of it. I will always share my experience and blog about it. As I want others to know the real me, I want others who are suffering to know they are not alone in their suffering and I want to encourage others to share and be open about their suffering, if they feel they can be. And I want to help give others the strength to reach out, ask for help, hopefully inspire others and help reduce the stigma of mental illness, as well as any shame felt.

So, even though at times I may feel broken, no matter what, this journey will not break me.

Now I want to touch on a really good DBT(dialectal behavioural therapy) technique called ‘Radical Acceptance’. It is a technique I learnt about last year some time, but have only really put it into practice since mid-December. And more so lately.

Radical Acceptance, as I would describe it is, accepting your reality, feelings and emotions, no matter how unpleasant those feelings and experiences are. It’s about saying to yourself “hey, this feeling, situation or emotion might suck and may be unfair, but I will accept that this is where I am at and how I feel and that’s ok. And I don’t have to like what this feels like and that is ok too.”

Using this technique has been a life saver, literally and has helped me get through everything I have been through since August last year.

And another part of DBT is accepting your emotions and letting them come and sit with you and eventually pass. As emotions ARE healthy and are definitely necessary. I believe this technique is referred to in DBT as ‘Emotional Regulation’.

I found this website, which covers the DBT techniques and explains them more: http://www.dbtselfhelp.com/html/dbt_lessons.html

‘Distress Tolerance’ is another DBT technique that I know a small amount about and will being learning more about in the next 5 weeks. As I am attending a DBT based Resiliency course through Lower Hutt Community Mental Health, that goes for 6 weeks and covers the technique of ‘Distress Tolerance’. Last week was the 1st week of this course.

I definitely acknowledge my need for one to one therapy though. As it is really difficult having been through what I have been through and am going through without having any therapy at all. And I really do need something that is just for me and about me, where I can go and be totally honest and start to work through things. This reality was making me feel quite upset last night and I was crying for some time about it. As I desperately need some therapy. And I definitely do feel frustrated that only half the fix has been addressed. That being the chemical imbalance component, which is managed with antidepressants.

Pretty sure that’s all I had on my mind to share today. If not, I’ll come back and write another post.

That it certainly can!

At times it is getting to me this week. But I’m trying to practice the DBT(dialectical behavioural therapy) technique of ‘radical acceptance’ and sit with my emotions and unpleasant feelings.

I started the 6 week DBT ‘distress tolerance’ course this week. It was good meeting the others in the group and starting to touch on some DBT techniques. I’m looking forward to the next 5 weeks.

I have been feeling close to tears last night and today. Things like the fact our food grant entitlement through WINZ(work and income) has now been all used. So we have no option there on the week we don’t have enough to cover food and petrol. So I’m feeling worried about that.

My fiancés parents think even worse of me then I was aware. They called him this afternoon and were bitching about me wanting to move to Nelson at some point. It’s not just me wanting that, it’s my fiancé as well. And they said they want to talk to him privately about it.

We both feel what they will be wanting to talk to him about is our relationship and they will be trying to talk him into leaving me and staying in Wellington and pretty much them bad mouthing me.

I feel this shows that they clearly don’t respect him and certainly don’t respect our relationship.

My fiancé was telling me that his mother bad mouths me a lot and says very vindictive and nasty things about me. But he doesn’t repeat those things to me, as he knows how much it would hurt and upset me.

Fact is, I have felt like nearly all my partner’s parents have disliked me. So it really does hurt hearing all this.

The CYFS(child, youth and family) social worker did one of those unannounced visits that CYFS do, earlier this week.

I told her(the social worker) of my intentions regarding my children and how I want to have time unsupervised with my youngest 2 kids and that I want my oldest girl back full time. I think she was shocked to hear that. And she made it clear she doesn’t support my desire to be with the kids unsupervised. But I told her that is my goal and that is what I will be working towards. Also, I will get professionals behind me, to support me and advocate for this. As I know how much weight professionals carry and that CYFS pay a lot of attention to their opinions and recommendations.

So that’s where things are at presently. I will do all I can to remain strong.