Good morning … This is me and us and we’re all pretty much in this together. We’re going to give writing for fun an hour or so this morning to see if we can get back in the stream of things. I have been writing for the last half year in a personal correspondence and while that is very gratifying, it doesn’t give me quite the same freedoms of thought I have here in that the writing is not focused on one person it’s more like talking to someone – some one person, but the person doesn’t really have a face and he’s multiple meaning many as that he or she could take the face of anyone … maybe not so odd coming from someone with multiple personalities.
Rich is saying that we are avoiding too and maybe that is so. We need to be working on homework and we would like to save enough time so we can sew later on tonight. We’ve got this new project happening for Vickie and were just exuberant about it. We’ve just finished the quilt for Emily and have been very pleased with it.
Yesterday we got together with most of the girls and just had the greatest times first exchanging gifts and then in sewing and talking. CS didn’t make it and the twins had to leave early because they had World Series tickets to the Brewers game. They later called to say that they had won! It’s a really big deal. We’ve got pictures of a small portion of the day and we got pictures of the twins’ tickets … I hope they go all the way and they get to go to THE World Series game number 7!!! That be really something to put in their memoir book of life.
Wow this is going to be a little difficult at first to get into the constant stream of consciousness … I’ll have to learn to pace myself so other things get done during the day, but I want to get into the dialogue we used to have with ourselves too. The report writing for school is so much more structured. I think the way we used to do it was to go over things that were happening with our life and then we could go off on some tangents here and there until we discover the crux of the matter we’re trying to get to.
For now it is about 9:20 am on a Sunday morning and both Rich and I actually have time at home just with each other for the entire day. This hasn’t happened for a long time. He gave me about 15 minutes of time where we just talked, but he was eager to get into his routine of watching Sunday morning and that’s an hour and a half show. YEEKS! I had woken up before him about 5:30 am and he got up around 7:30-8:00 am. I really don’t remember exactly. I do know that we’re on our second pot of coffee. It goes really much quicker with the two of us drinking steadily. Hmm, that doesn’t sound good … Drinking coffee, I mean.
A good part of my morning was in getting past yesterday which was the sewing Saturday with the girls. Of course, there is always going to be a bevy of pictures. I love the part of Facebook where I can load the group easily and then I can go through and comment on the group of them one at a time. I think I only took about 40 though so it wasn’t too bad. Hmm, thinking now we already mentioned the get together. It would be too much to talk about the conversations that were happening because of their privacy, but I suppose I could go into a few of my thoughts toward the event. If you read anything you would know I was in heaven. I love recalling feelings especially … thoughts are a little harder to come by.
I was very proud of the gift that we gave to Emily. The fabric had come from CS, but the effort was mine. It was a summer quilt which meant that we were sewing back and front rows together as we went. It was a technique I’d learned earlier in the year and this was the third quilt we did. One was for Rich’s physical therapist, one was for one of Maury’s step-daughters, and now this one for Emily. It is 14 x 16 squares that are each 4” and then we chose the mossy green color to highlight in the satin that went around the border. Emily really liked that part. I think that’s the new mother in her thinking of her daughter’s joys already. On one side of the quilt we did things organized and the other disorganized … we know that Emily is very organized and we wanted to throw some options toward her for days when she or her daughter are not up to speed. It’s kind of a funny thought now after the affect that we are adding this much conscientiousness in the young blanket life of her daughter, but it was a thought that carried throughout the making of the quilt. The organized side is diagonal strips of the six block colors and the disorganized side is using the same six colors but they are more randomly placed. I’m pretty sure that Emily liked it.
I do know that it feels very special in giving a gift to a new born … especially to one of our closest friends. Em said she was going to use it on the floor for the baby and that made me quietly remember how babies can be left on one spot on the floor and then eventually they will learn to creep to the sides. I think it’s going to be a reward for her when she gets to the silky parts … and I’m thinking Em was going of that mindset as well. Rich commented on it being too big for a baby’s quilt and I know that he was right, but it seemed just the nature of the quilt that it should be this big. I’m thinking the real baby part of the quilt was that its feature print fabric had children’s blocks in it. The rest of the colors – the two greens, blue red and yellow were matchers to the colors found in the print.
The fabric came from CS and we’re grateful that she sent it along. She had gotten it from trading in Linda’s quilt magazines to her friend in NY. She sent me another group of fabrics too, but this one had enough of each to do this particular kind of quilt. CS had given Em quite a few gifts. She gave her three quilts one she’d purchased from a friend with little pieces to go with it like bottle holders and bibs, and then she got two different Noah’s ark quilts, one for the two boys Em lost and one for the girl she was going to have very soon. Her birth date is being set now for November 2nd, on Maury’s birthday. I thought that was very special though I know that infants are on their own schedule so they might have to go before that. It will be a special delivery where they are taking particular good care of Mom and baby. We’re all looking just so forward.
We’re trying I realize about as much as the other girls in nudging Emily so that she brings her daughter to the future meetings. This is the last one before she is born. Emily won’t be at the quilting retreat on November 9th which will be the first one she misses and there is no group meeting in December and January. I hope that we can do something together, but it will be a busy season with the holidays and everyone will be tightly scheduled into their own activities.
That is one of the things we as a group did yesterday. Janet got out the calendar and we started penning in the days we are going to be meeting next year so we can reserve the room with plenty of advance notice. I’m thinking February, March, May, June, August and October. I guess that averages out to one every couple of months. Like mentioned Jan and Dec have too much between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and then April is Easter and July the 4th of July. Then in September and the quilt fest and we have Labor Day and again the next year in November will have Ann’s quilt retreat. That’s like a five day get together for all of us. Way too exciting!
I can’t believe how quickly it is now coming up. We’re thinking it will be about what 5 weeks from now? Yup yup that’s about it. Hopefully we’ll be sharing baby pictures by then. We’re like a big bunch of Gramma’s for the newborn J fortunately we paid for the retreat not too long after the last one. Really good since we aren’t on an income, but that too in just a little bit … we’re still thinking happy thoughts. We’re also going to be rooming with Linda which will help to cut down on the costs. The quilt retreat is like the pinnacle of the year … and as the girls talked about it yesterday it occurred to me we hadn’t put in a plan as to what to be working on. The quilt we’re working on now is a surprise quilt paid for by a friend for her son and DIL wedding in December. We thinking it will be done before next Sunday. We have a formal quilting day for it from CS on October 31st and then we will ship it on its way. Hard to keep things like this secret and fortunately the Mom said we could post in facebook. We’ll just be careful not to mention her by name. I want her to be able to surprise people she cares about.
What our thinking is is that we might bring the two quilts from the trilogy that we haven’t finished yet. All three quilts are different from each other, but are cut from the same fabric stash. It is one of the first quilts we were able to choose fabric from. The first one was CS log cabin quilt and in that she’d chosen the fabrics we just had to choose between each one for the strips we were cutting for her. It was a good learning technique. She had us cutting and then she would sew and then we would iron. Good team work. But, after that one, I had found the patterns and she let me go to town on her stash. It’s going to be a really nice set of quilts. We will also most likely have to put at least one more in-between those two.
I’m not sure. We could finish Rich’s fishy/deer quilt. That’s for sure. It got nudged aside when we got the sewing machine in August because there was too much on the table and that mess was so explosive we put EVERYTHING away just to get the table back to sanity, and in so doing the quilt got behind a few other more demanding ones. OHHH I know … we’re going to need finishing another summer quilt for Maury’s oldest step-daughter. I think Maury might be pushing it to say that TWO of his family members are getting quilts for their birthday in November. I’m behind the quilts that are to be for Nikki’s birthday AND Maury’s wedding day.
Oh man lots of quilt thoughts here. I’d forgotten about all for Maury’s family. The oldest girl for sure … I had picked out one for Maury for his wedding quilt, and now … well you’ll hear it much later, but we had TWO weddings in one week … both Maury and Thom went through ceremonies. Maury invited Rich and I to participate in the court wedding as witnesses and Thom called AFTER he was married to say that it happened earlier in the day. We didn’t even know he was engaged?!! Eh, that be the way kids are.
But, one way or another we’d talked about creating a signature wedding quilt and depending on how this one turns out and how the kids feel about it, I might like to repeat it. Ann surely wouldn’t mind providing the fabric. Maybe what will happen is wedding gifts and Christmas gifts will turn into the same thing. If I have enough money to pay for them. Maybe the money I’d thought of paying for other kids gifts would go into this … AND I have to remind myself that Joe hasn’t gotten his wedding quilt yet either. Oh Lordy. Do I make three of the same quilts? That’s about $400-500 of fabric. AND we’re going to have to wonder if the boys would complain about not getting something more individualized. I don’t know I’ll really have to think about that … I love this fabric so much. Some Ann would have to replace like I know she doesn’t have any more of the black.
So, ok … where are we with quilts
Wedding quilt for friend’s son and DIL (October 9th)
Wedding Quilt for Joe and Cari (December 25th)
Wedding Quilt for Maury and Nikki (December 25th)
Wedding Quilt for Thom and Guyen (December 25th)
Finish Rich’s fishy/dear quilt (October 23rd)
Complete a summer quilt for Jade (November 7th)
Office Trilogy quilts #2 and #3
Nikki’s birthday – Bear Quilt (almost done)
Maury’s birthday – HE’LL HAVE TO WAIT!
Quilt Retreat Wednesday the 9th through Sunday the 12th – thinking here that we should get in the wedding quilts then at the retreat – at least to get started. That would give me about 7 weeks to do them. I shouldn’t need that much time, but there’s school and other things. Maybe that’s what we should do then. If I were to buy the fabric I’m going to need putting in a special order through Ann, because she won’t have enough. Maybe we could arrange too to have the backs slightly different or to use some of the other Japanese prints. BUT, we’re really going to need having more of the Black, I love that color. We’re going to need shaking the order through Rich to see if we can use some of the money from the savings though … I don’t know if that is going to be doable. We’ll have to talk with him later in the day in that he has gone grocery shopping now.
I think his other plans of the day are to separate and file bills for the two of us. He’s going to vacuum the carpet and then work on the floor in front of the TV. Eh, if it works for him, I like stacking paperwork and not doing so much bending and stretching, but to each his own. The thing would be is to figure out what kind of fabric we are talking about, trying to get a discount, and then placing the order soon enough so we’d give Ann a month to figure out if she will order some more. I wish I would have taken a picture of what she had. I really don’t know about the money because Rich is obviously going to ask where is it going to come from. Not having an income really throws a damper on the project.
Ok, then I guess it be safe to say … this is what we’re projecting, but we need to check it out. If each of the boys quilts took like 1 ½ - 2 weeks then we’d have a spare week to work on the trilogy, but that will then have to be our back-up.
Hmm, thinking we got all of them in here. I know I don’t have time right now to check measurements, because it would depend on what Rich said for the money. BUT we could tell him if HIS daughter got married, she could have the same quilt! Probably no to Chris … his mother might set it afire. We got a bug in our email system and it sent out emails for drug prescriptions to everyone on our mailing list AND she got one too as well as our boss. The “ex” wrote a nasty note saying “leave me alone bitch.” I could never in my entire life remember anyone saying something like that to me. At least to me directly (through email) and we’re thinking is seems pretty crass, but again … we’re thinking she wouldn’t like a quilt in her son’s place NOR would he four years and still not meeting us. *sigh* Jillian is more independent of thought. Let’s thank goodness for the small details.
Ok, so we’ll rest it from here and see how that goes.
There are a few other things happening. Let me think … anything else on First Saturday. There’s so much I suppose, but it is more the kinds of analysis you’d have to sit down and really get your mind around and I’m not at that state yet. I know I have to do school work.
Maybe we should note just a couple major changes. First is that I’m going back to school and we’re in the fourth week. The second thing is that I no longer work for the center and third, we are applying for disability. Ok, that’s about enough to knock you off your chair right?
I would like to talk more about it later, but under the time crunch I just want to say a few basic things. First with work. I couldn’t be more disappointed in the center, but also for me. I did not have what it took to constantly go up against the totality of all the sisters’ anger and frustration with me. The more I undertook of them yelling or sniping at me the more deteriorating my mental state became. We had been battling poor relationships with sister since my last review in January. In February, we’d come up with a new system to try and complete all the work in front of us and to put things more orderly especially because we were forgetting so much. We couldn’t recall what we were supposed to be working on unless we saw it in writing and I know that’s still a problem we’re having in facing school deadlines.
The system became that we started writing down everything that was happening with the clients from many different reports like the Q-Notes, the DSP notes, the incident reports, all contacts with the family, attendance, behavior and such. We also were making notes for all the contact that we were having with the clients. One of the other things that happened about at that time is that we started working two days from home to take down some of the pressure of Sr. always finding something to be angry about. We really have problems dealing with people being angry at us which Dr. Marvin says is in part because of having grown up as we had.
The other part was in trying to make order was that we started writing down everything … Sr. was saying we were forgetting things and we probably were. She’d come out of the blue and say where’s this where’s that and we couldn’t recall. We know that we have a moderate disability in being able to recall, but the more frustrated she was the worse it became. We also had conspiring thoughts of others in that Holly, Rosa and Robyn – the up front (of the building) people were making our lives harder. While sister complained she chose these people to listen to her griping. Twice we stopped her because she was stating negative things in front of our peers with me in the room. There is no doubt in my mind that it was happening frequently without me there. I could see it in the way my peers were looking down on me as if in disgust.
Sister did several other things with staff that made the situation even worse. For example when the staff did their surveys, she told me she didn’t want me in the room when the staff went over the comments. We asked her why and she just said, “I have my reasons.” But, there is at least one question, maybe two where the staff is asked about the staff training meetings I direct. Sr. said she wanted to get the staff’s real feelings, but we know how sister operates in that when she’s being biased by one of her opinions on staff, she will push others to be feeding into that quagmire and then she hunts for evidence that she is right and that the other person is terrible and worthy of group disgust. At these times when she focuses on you, not much of what the other people are doing can seem so wrong.
It is a very terrifying feeling to know that you cannot go to defend yourself and that the staff were called together to discuss how they felt about the center and myself, knowing what sister would lead them to be stating and thinking about us, and then knowing later she would use that as further evidence against us. She has this means of ostracizing staff she’s angry at. So by this point, you know conclusively that not only are you fighting the hatred of your boss you are being submitted to others hatred too. We tried to distract ourselves in keeping up the work load. From pretty much February through mid-July we stayed on top of most things – though you never get caught up with client files, but we were going through maintaining the new client system and getting done with our annuals in one day’s time.
Partly due to bad progesterone medicine that our gynecologist was having us take for hyper-plasia and in great part due to the pressure I was feeling at work. We went through about 3 months of very dangerous suicidal levels. We started taking sleeping pills and we were trying to talk to Dr. Marvin about things as they were happening as we have all along, but we remember screaming at him, but we want to be dead, we want to be dead. We started taking just a few of the pills, but we had gotten to the point where we were up to 36 pills for almost the entire week. By then I’m pretty sure we were driving Dr. Marvin crazy, but he said no more of the progesterone medicine even if prescribed by the other doctor. He was talking to the other doctor on the phone, and there had been an operation D & C during that time as well. We weren’t having an outright problem with medical although it added stress, but the thing we kept going to was the problems being presented by or through Sr. Theresa.
One of the other things through her we were battling was that she had decided that Robyn should be a Q … she’d been doing work for Holly and me every other Friday. There was no secret in that she was in a very good relationship with Holly – Holly and her had gotten to be quite close because they were both upfront together and talked very frequently. Robyn wouldn’t do anything without Holly’s approval and Holly was telling her whatever she might, but it was certainly not pro-Ann. Robyn started disappearing during more and more of her time with us, and she was showing signs of disrespect.
Sister decided to give her her own caseload and wanted me to show her how to do the annuals. So we did, but during her first attempt she couldn’t get a handle on our procedure and she went off as to how math was impossible for her and that our system was too complicated and that Holly didn’t need to do it and neither did we. She spent time daily with Sr. Theresa complaining about me and then sister would come to me complaining that her staff wanted to quit because of me. This was said while she was pulling in the staff to look for evidence that I was not only wrong thinking, but as well not a good person. The situation with Robyn continued deteriorating until the final meeting. There’s something else though that came before it.
We were supposed to have had our 6 month evaluation in June, but sister backed it up until July. She said she didn’t know what to do with us that we were too time consuming and she had other things to be doing. On one day the day of the staffing, I had gone up front to find if I had the staff because sister had been taking so much time to have private meetings with the staff without me. She had asked what we were going to be doing and I told them I wanted to work with them on the computers. She threw up her disgust and went into a tirade on this being one of the many things the staff were complaining about. She stated that for some of them, the work with computers especially was too easy and then the other staff were complaining that it was too hard.
As it turned out, it was too easy for Robyn (who had her BA) and too hard for the other staff. Each meeting we had with the computers, we would have to say … ok, how many of you remember how to copy and paste with the mouse. When Robyn complained about it being to easy we told her we’d talked to Sr. Theresa and Robyn didn’t have to stay with it. Robyn made statements that she knew everything on the computer and there wasn’t anything we could teach her. We asked everything? I said do you know how to collect pictures from the screen? (as one example) and then she changed saying she knew almost everything. She started to leave and then she got to the door and turned around as if she didn’t really want to leave. So we said, of course if you would like to stay you could help me with the staff in training them on the computer. I was showing them things they could do with the Excel spreadsheet.
Robyn stayed, but she did primarily her own thing on one of the end computers. She did help one of the staff – Margarita, but it wasn’t consistent, because we were having to cover Margarita too as well as Imelda, Maria, Theresa and Cathy. By that time Karla had gone already to her other job. After the meeting I went to tell Sr. how I thought they had done, but Robyn was already in there pointing and gesturing as if throwing hands in despair. I just turned and left. This kind of reporting was occurring almost on a daily basis as far as I could tell.
Throughout this entire 8 months, other than the staff survey she gave everyone, sister NEVER came to me once to find out how any of the staff were doing or how the Q-trainee was doing. It’s as if I had an opinion but it was worthy of nothing … which impressed me as if she had told me directly she had no good opinions of anything I was doing or of anything I might think or as if she really considered me a trainer or was anything but disgusted.
There were things that were happening on a daily level and before we left from about February through September we wrote about 500 some pages of things that were happening. We wrote about everything we were receiving, any problems we were having with our boss or co-workers, or just basically the stuff we had to do or had gotten done. We were trying to establish a memory for ourselves. People would say I gave you that and we finally took some charge in saying no … I wrote that down … it didn’t happen. I was feeling like we were going crazy in that there were so many things going wrong all at the same time. At one point we complained about Rosa holding our reports from CSO for up to two months and sister would snap at us because of how busy Rosa was as if to signify her work was more important than anything happening to us. Or we would say something about Holly like sister telling Holly something without telling us and she would then go off because she thought we were making Holly to be worse than we were stating. She said that was one of our problems – was that we were always blaming Holly and that she didn’t want to hear any more of it.
By the time she finally concluded she was ready to give us our review there was so much animosity from her against us that it took everything we had to hold ourselves still … we were hurt and angry and felt in terrible despair. I remember telling Dr. Marvin – because we were waiting for something bad to come from Sr. that when it did come … we could state, but we’re not dead, Sr. was as mean as she could possibly be though were sure she thought she was holding back, but that we didn’t take ourselves home to kill ourselves that night. We were so proud that we had withstood.
There will be so much more to say about that meeting, but it will have to be for another day. We took notes through the meeting so we wouldn’t forget. I’m feeling terrible with recall, but the papers will help us sort it out later. Rich got the papers for us and I believe they are now in his car. After we wrote them during the meeting, we couldn’t tolerate to even look at them. We copied them with the scanner as we had everything else that was happening in that work journal. That copy is still at St. Rose on my old computer. I had to have a way of proving that what was happening was real. The first thing that does come up in our memory was that we had looked purposely at the clock going in and we looked again after the meeting was done knowing we’d want a record. The meeting took one entire hour … and for almost the entirety of that one hour sister yelled and screamed.
There were ideas that we presented that she thought were ludicrous such as us working with all the clients for certain aspects like recording and coming up with details for the annual meeting as we had been newly doing with our clients. We were sure that we could use the stats to do the performance analysis that CARF had required. We had wanted to do an agency-wide report but Sr. was stupefied as if I asked the most ridiculous thing that could be asked. It went downhill from there. Most of the material was from the interrogation of the staff, from her own observations, the observations of her staff, and because especially the report I had written for my staff evaluation. Even though I intended my evaluation to be thorough and assistive of the situation especially in looking forward, Sr.’s yelling had really begun because as she stated it had been the worse report that she had read in her entire life. I knew it couldn’t be like that because we’d shown it to Dr. Marvin and he said that we were very tactful, but Sr. had it in her hand and there were marks all over it … and as I said not going into it all now I would rather have the documents back in hand, but that it went on for an hour.
Rosa was naturally listening in the next office and though sister shut the door, she did nothing to protect our privacy so through Rosa it also was being put out to Imelda, Holly and Robyn what was happening in my professional life. At one point the sister was disrupted because Rosa had come in to let her know the men were in to fix the dishwasher in her kitchen. We heard her say to Rosa, “Look at what I have to put up with!”
We didn’t argue with Sr. it had simply been too much and we’d determined no matter what she said we were not going to leave the office in tears. We didn’t look up at her a great majority of the time because we were writing notes. We would look up as she was taking breaths. During the last 15 minutes as she was winding down she sat – sometimes she was standing, but she looked more reflectively at the situation, because instead of just yelling she said a few things that allowed us to speak a sentence or two at a time without her going into another tirade. I thought something had happened beneficial in that whatever we had said she took just the fewest of seconds to state not to me directly, but to herself out loud … basically that if it were something were happening did it mean that other staff were thinking the same things, but not expressing themselves directly with her as I had done. It lasted for just a couple seconds – the sister being slightly deflated – because then she got angry again and with what seemed the last of her immediate energy she hissed out some more cruelties and innuendoes … sometimes saying things like how much she had done for me implicating me that I’d taken so much of her effort.
Her end conclusion was that I’d taken up enough of her time and that we would complete the discussion the following week, but we never had that second meeting. She had gone back to saying negative dismissive things of me and she continued to curry favor from me and rewarded staff for their negativity of me. We were grateful that that day had been a Dr. Marvin day … I know that we started and then continued and continued in his office trying to get out the basic of what had happened. We had our notes, but couldn’t tolerate looking at them. Dr. Marvin didn’t look at us in disgust as sister had been doing. On the contrary he thought we’d done well all considering. Our “all considering” was that for that direct time being things were slightly better in that … we didn’t feel as if we were going to go home that night and kill ourselves. We proved stronger than that … we had “given over” a terrible thing happening to us in notes and with Dr. Marvin.
We by no means felt safe I think mostly we were in a survival mode we wanted to be alive despite her. The unfortunate part was that although we looked fine on the outside our inner walls were crumbling. We weren’t able to do the work we had been with annuals, clients, staff, enthusiasm, wherewithal. We’d have encounters with her and the staff, but then afterward it was like going through periods of shock. We were fighting to get things accomplished and coming far from a recovery of where our mind had been at. We’d say things to sr. trying to get her approval and she’d just snap at us and walk away.
It went like that from that time to the end. She was mean during administrative meetings and there was one meeting in particular that seemed to be the end of us. We found out later that everyone else knew about the meeting but us. We could tell because they came prepared for what was going to happen and sister told us just an hour before that she had forgotten to tell us that there was going to be a meeting between her four Q’s. From the last couple of meetings things Q-wise were getting out of hand. There was two things that had happened and counted directly toward this meeting.
First was that Holly and I were actually the only two St. Rose Q’s. A week or two before, another Sr. had come to St. Rose Center. We were told that she was sister Janet and that she’d been an administrator at St. Mary’s and other locations for the sisters. We as most the staff I believe were told that she was going to assist Sr. Theresa for a while and that they were all three (Sr. Marcelina) were going to Rome for the beautification of Father Guanella and that the Sr.s were in general in transition because each three years there were changes in sisters and locations. We were told that nothing would be decided until they got back from Rome, but on the otherhand Sr. Janet came to me twice asking for information. The first time she asked about the processes through the state for “becoming hired” by St. Rose Center. She tried to say that this was just a general “what if” situation, but I had a hard time believing she wasn’t going to be the next administrator and that it would most likely happen when the sisters returned. She had asked about what was necessary with the fingerprinting and such. We couldn’t bring to recall exactly how to coach her, but we had thought she must then not be registered at least at St. Rose. She had quickly hurried into our office and then quickly hurried out like she was in too much a rush. We found the information 3-4 pages from the State site of what new hires were required to do. We walked it up to the front office. Both sisters were sitting by the computer and we handed the material to Sr. Janet and said this is what I believe you need. She took the paper.
Then in a couple of days she came the second time asking me how to get in the state site because Sr. Theresa told her I would know or something to direct her back to me. She was saying that I should have a code about how to get in. I couldn’t recall how to do it. I had told her that I’d given Sr. Theresa a copy of the necessary papers and her passwords and such. She left before me, but then afterward I followed her up to the office where she was sitting behind sister’s computer. At the time I couldn’t even remember the site name let alone how to access it … I had set it up and then gave sister the information so I wouldn’t be held accountable.
That’s what I had gone up to say … I felt panicky because I was being asked to remember what I couldn’t and both sister’s were being snide … kept waving me off with tsch tsch and a quick twist of their habits. I felt I was being dismissed as the town idiot. Sister Theresa though had been going through her stack of papers. All I can remember or at least put together was that it was on a small 3x5 card – and it was probably attached to other regular sized sheets of paper. Sister Theresa found a document and asked if this was it. I was SOOOO grateful I read the sign-in and password. And brought it over to the other sister I was shaking and nervous. And she said what is the link.
It was on my God I don’t remember … so I suggested to her a couple probabilities where it could probably be found, but they weren’t working and she seemed furious with me for wasting her time. After a handful of attempts I couldn’t handle her furry … and I told her I could find it, but it would take me a few moments. I reached for the sheet with the clues on it … I’d been through this with Sr. Theresa too, but this was another kind of impatient nun. She had had absolutely not one conversation with me, but she was quick to put judgments in after I had said whatever as if finding again and again I had wrong information, not that it was just different, but that what I said, thought, felt or did was of no importance to her and worthy of her disgust. I felt positive that in explaining staff from one nun to another that Sr. Theresa had already shared with her the negative things that she had recently yelled at to me. She never had a conversation, but she seemed to dislike me immensely … and I was the only one being signaled out for the kind of treatment. She seemed to laugh when she made dismissive statements to me. Like she would say, you don’t need to it her way … meaning she was taking down the things I was doing for the center and with staff in front of my boss and my peers.
It was especially hard because it was hard to understand her relationship in the agency. She was critical and seemed to have Sr.’s right ear. Things that she said Sr. Theresa was taking as authoritatively, sr. was explaining things to her to clue her in and she appeared at the administration meeting and the staff meeting. We were told that she would be taking some of the staff training meetings. Because of the questions she was asking, I knew she wasn’t registered to be working at St. Rose because she was asking how to register with the state. Someone had told her about the state’s web portal and this is where we left off
She wouldn’t give us the papers back with the codes on them, but we felt we had enough information to go back to the office and start to sort it out … find the site … we hadn’t been able to remember, but we were ok at figuring things out. We did find it and we put it on an email and mailed it to Sr. Janet, we’d discovered before she was using Sr. Theresa’s email account. After We sent her the link, we went back up front to assure that she’d gotten it. She found it and then without me sticking around to see what would happen next, she literally dismissed us saying that we could go. So, we did. We went back to the office.
But, than after about 5-10 minutes the sister came back and she was very upset. She said that the code didn’t work. She threw it on the desk and left. I felt so panicked. I knew the password had to work, because we were so careful in writing it down. So I went to the site and called the person from the state who was responsible for it. She gave me a new password and was patient enough to walk through entry with me into the site. We too found it didn’t work, but then she told us that there was a couple drop down menus and we had to put on them the right thing. This wasn’t something would think of looking for and the message she had us hit wasn’t one you would naturally think to hit. But after a couple of prompts were followed we were led into the portal and we were showed the right link for the space sister was asking for … I think it was the nurses registry, but its called something else now. The only reason I’d found it in the first place was going through old emails I had kept in a St. Rose account.
I was pretty excited to get the information up to the Sr. I was trying to please her and to show her I had some value. I said to her that I knew how to get in and that I had called someone to show me and I asked her if I could stay a few moments just to walk her through it … she allowed it and I apologized I told her that it was recorded but that I had a moderate impairment in my ability to recall so when she popped in very quickly to ask for information and then left quickly I didn’t have the time to pull up reminder markers. She seemed to listen, but just turned away not saying anything. I walked her through the first couple of steps, and then she tried to dismiss us again. I said please if you’ll just wait a moment there is something you have to do that is tricky. I was so panicked about not being able to handle another dose of her anger, but I couldn’t remember the next link. I had like 3 letters though so when she opened it I was able to point to the right one. Then I said there’s just a couple more things. I walked her through it, but the next time she said she could do it on her own, I just left.
I knew that she wasn’t a “proper” Q, but she made me feel very shaky in her abruptness and discouragement. There was not thought of a thank-you it was more a feeling of you’ve been wasting my time and you should have known this. I can fairly guess it was one of those times we went back to our office and just fell apart.
One of the reasons I’m thinking about this now was in explaining the relationship with her as we came into the meeting sister had called of her four Q.s. It had come up during one of the administration meetings that sister wanted Robyn to continue handling the 5 clients sister assigned to her, but that she told everyone at the admin meeting that I didn’t have to be concerned with Robyn and more and that from that point on her and Sr. Janet would take care of the training, and that she was sending her to Anixter center for her 40 hours.
That hit pretty hard, but between all the rustling that was happening it wasn’t surprising. They had gone on to other issues, but then we interrupted. Sr. had said that we didn’t have to do anything and that she was going to enroll her. But after a few moments we interrupted to say that Robyn would have to be registered with the state before she could be enrolled at the program. Holly disagreed, but for the one and only time the other sister seemed to be agreeing. Although it was then dismissed .
After the meeting I went back to the office and brought Sr. Theresa the written 3-4 pages from the state saying she had to be approved by them before going to class which meant she would send the form, her resume and her college transcripts to the state. I had brought sister the form she would need.
When we had “the four Q” meeting, sister started by saying that she was taking care of the registration … I think I asked a clarifying question, because there was a short discussion on the part of Robyn not having transcripts so they were in the process Writing to her old school for them and they had not come in yet. Apparently Robyn had had only a copy of her diploma when hired, which wasn’t going to be enough for the state.
After that was gone through there was this terrible terrible terrible set of things went down. Again we took notes, but I haven’t looked at them again. I was acting more boldly than I felt on the inside … I felt like it were a life or death matter to be in the room with these three people. To my understanding there were only 2 Q’s in the room, but sister was saying that all four of us were qualified to be in her Q meeting.
The first thing she did then was to repeat that Robyn would be taking 5 of Ann’s clients and that she and Sr. Janet would take care of the training. Robyn was in an uproar from the very start. There were several areas addressed, but one area was the annual report, another the Q Chrononotes I’d been taking (full account of what was happening with my clients), and then as well the client goals and Qnotes. Each of the others had known going into the meeting what was involved.
Oh there was one part in front of this. Sr. Theresa had gone from Robyn’s “Q-case” to stating factfully that she’d given everyone a copy of what was to be in the annual reports. She had written 3 things down on paper, we remember one was goals and another was the preference survey and we don’t remember right now the other. She had drawn a conclusion that was all that the annual needed to say … there was a discussion because I told her those were good things and some required (I knew the preference interview I had created 11 years previously and it was my deal not the states), but I referenced something that Holly had givin me and noted the state 119 regs, but there were other things involved. Sr. had addressed me meanly in stating that I didn’t even bother to get back to her. But, there was no note as she was now stating there was, but there was not note saying I was supposed to contact her or sign or anything. I had no idea. I took as she was delivering it now to be a statement of fact for her.
Through the discussion Holly and Sr. Janet added some things, which left me to guess they too knew that the document wasn’t complete. I had started the process of putting together from all the references I knew including Holly’s a complete list, but I’d been blown away by the other meeting with sister – the review. I felt that my job was in jeopardy and that somehow I had to get through writing the several annuals I was behind, but now it was confusing, because we all had different interpretations of what was important to an annual report.
Sister brought out a copy of mine and started to complain about the statistics on the cover page. Sr. Janet was quick to say that none of that was necessary. Each blow is hard, but we were prepared. I said I understand that it is not required for the state, but I needed something to back up the performance analysis for the center required of CARF. I needed some kind of numbers to work for to prove we were showing changes by the clients being in our agency. Sr. didn’t know about that but said that It wouldn’t work anyways because we weren’t keeping these records for all the clients – meaning none of Holly’s clients were going through similar analysis. I told Sr. I understood that but she had told me during the review that I couldn’t make anyone else do the same and that I definitely wouldn’t be given Holly’s clients to work with … Now she was saying as proof because I only had half the clients that it wouldn’t work. But, she didn’t know how to argue against my point that some kind of records.
She said and it went around the room that no one understood the numbers. I said that I could explain them to anyone, but no one wanted to bother with it. By this time Robyn took a predominant part of the meeting as if to highlight how ridiculous my way of dealing with annual reports were she said it was impossible for her to understand. I told her that’s because you started from the reference point that you didn’t like math and that it was impossible for you to do anything with numbers. I led her through a little of that case point. It only made her mad though and sister Theresa stepped in by saying that nobody had to do it Ann’s way. We asked to specify for sure … does this mean we couldn’t do it the way we were doing it? She said no for the time being we could do it as we had been, but after we finished with our report we were to hand it to her and she’d give a copy to Sr. Janet.
If I thought the meeting was terrible then it just got worse. Robyn continued to lead the meeting. As mentioned before she was adamant about not doing anything the way Ann did it and she stated that she wanted to do things Holly’s way which meant that I truly had been undercut by the other Q although I was very specifically told that sr. had wanted me to teach Robyn, because I was better at that sort of thing. Through the meeting we got ourselves to a point where we were thinking fine, fine … don’t do anything as I had instructed because I just didn’t want to deal with her. She was throwing a temper tantrum because my way was too hard and sister was telling her don’t worry you don’t have to do it ann’s way and when Robyn said she would do it Holly’s way, Sr. Theresa told her she could do it her own way and that she was supposed to come up with a way that worked for her. She went line item down one document after another. Anything that I could ever teach her about being a Q was being thrown in my face, there was no warning it was coming although she had all the documentation with her as Holly had documentation there about the annual. They knew what was happening and I felt just purely dumbstruck.
Here was this person who failed at her first pre-report as a Q in training, who wasn’t authorized by the state which is where I was the one to get in trouble before for not doing things properly and here sister was acknowledging that Robyn didn’t even have her college transcripts, nor her 40 hours training, nor successful Q anything was given 5 of my clients and told to do whatever way she wanted to do them. She couldn’t even do the simple item completed divided by number of items to complete for the goal. Sr. Janet backed her up saying she didn’t have to do goals Ann’s way and that she was supposed to just do them the way she said to do them. So without my knowledge the four of them Sr., Sr., Holly and Robyn had decided that not only was I not Robyn’s trainer any longer, but that Sr. Janet who I also knew wasn’t official with the agency had taken my place as trainer. No one thought to tell me individually and I was horrified that it was happening in a big group. Sr. Theresa was the very worst in that this was the person who I had trusted before. This was the person who was supposed to be my boss and trust me and back-me up as a worthwhile person, but she was sitting in this meeting not only attacking and encouraging the same as others like this was like an intervention of Ann.
It just kept getting worse and worse until there was nothing left. Though sister confirmed that I would continue staff training and the Thinking group and the Circles group – which was a total of four groups. It was like how … there is nothing of me left her to scrape off the floor. And all the time sister sat back in her chair as Robyn and Holly and the Sr. Janet were all raving and she took it in with a smile as if someone had handed her a bucket of popcorn at a meeting.
There might have been a few more days at the center, but there was no way I could survive that … I tried, but I was having a very hard time. Dr. Marvin had put me at a couple of sessions a week and during the next week wrote and medical excuse for me not to go back. I was headed back toward depression. I had work to do that I hadn’t been able to do for a month or more. The nail was in the coffin. There was one last ditch effort to keep my job. After I had three days off for medical, Dr. Marvin told me on Thursday that he would write sister and tell them I would need another week. I couldn’t bring myself to work on getting the papers done that were so far past anywhere my mind could go, but there was a feeling of responsibility too. I wrote a note Sunday morning reminding sister I had written a note saying somebody was having a staffing on Monday I had thought. I couldn’t remember who and my computer at work was jammed up from my attempt to access it through the normal means of “Go to my PC”
The note Sunday morning stated that I needed someone to turn on and off the computer, and I needed to know who the person being staffed was, but that I would do a report for them so they had it for Monday’s meeting. They didn’t get back to the note until Sunday evening. I was feeling panicky. Sr. Theresa and Janet – Theresa was giving me over to Janet for anything that had to do with the meetings or computer was saying that not only did I have a meeting on Monday, but as well on Wednesday and there seems to have been a couple others it was blowing me away to have to think this hard, but I figured if I could just get through the Monday meeting that would be a step in the right direction. I worked until 10-10:30 Sunday night on the report and I got up about 2:30 am the next morning. I worked until about 6:00-6:30 am when I emailed the report to Sr. Janet through Sr. Theresa’s mailbox. About 7 am Sr. Janet called or wrote and asked about the goals. I said that I didn’t have the DSP available to go over goals. She asked then about the old goals. I had forgotten that part, so I went through old goals, changes and suggestions for new goals.
I was exhausted and spent the rest of the day trying not to worry about work. There was probably a note to Dr. Marvin and or Linda, I do remember after whether the same night or the next day getting out to Dr. Marvin a scan of a note the Sisters had sent home with Rich. She said because of my physical and emotional condition that she was going to insist that all my reports be do one week before the annual meeting. Then she said that I should consider the written note to me as a verbal warning.
I couldn’t pick up the work after that … I felt devastated and I knew that it had been enough. We had worked with Dr. Marvin 12 VERY LONG years trying to get past Sr. Theresa’s irrelevancies angers and upsets. She was very smart one of the smarter women I knew but if she didn’t know about something it was very hard to talk to her about it. She might give you permission to go forward, but there was never any support like the very first year. The very first year she handed me CARF to figure out because I was so smart. She was accommodating. She said if there are any questions, just ask (we were in the same office for 3 years) and she would answer them. There was nothing left of that woman for me now. Others younger and much less experienced could go to her … Holly and Rosa could go to her and staff could go to her, but she never lent me a hand. She just put out firmer and firmer assignments. Because we hadn’t had time for one thing she’d give me another and another. I had set up the programming as the center knows it now quite a few years ago. They had been working in areas like math and cleaning and food preparation, but we grew things forward especially through the 13 program areas, she never understood completely.
Sometimes we were helpful to her and at other times not. Dr. Marvin recently stated it probably the best. He said that Sr. Theresa loves it because of how smart you are, but then for the same reason she hates it. We had put in a very good attempt over the last 6 months knowing we displeased her during the January review that we weren’t going to displease her again. After a while of taking notes we found that we were scared not to take notes because their system was going to swallow us up and engulf us.
I’m scared to death now as to what is going to happen. We still have to get back to her some of the records we have. We’re terrified to look through them although we know we’ll send them through Rich. We know they have taken over the office, Sr. Janet asked for the computer password and we gave it to her. She’s going to be so angry when she finds out there is annual work to be completed. We sit here in terror thinking never again never again will I ever see her or the others again nor will I step in the center again. Just shake my head … no no no. NEVER.
I have asked Rich to get my stuff when and if he can, there are three desk drawers with the personal entrapments of 12 years of my life. There is the loose objects on top of my desk like my pictures and stuffed animals in cubbies that used to be the extra security we needed to get through the day. We also have a lot of books. I think Rich got the coats from the coat rack.
We’ve talked to Dr. Marvin about a lot of stuff. We’re as scared as hell. We’re afraid to tell her we’ve quit though officially the last day of work was September 9th. I think the meeting of the “Qs” was on the 7th. Dr. Marvin has been giving us double sessions (two times a week). The Friday before last without Rich here I was taken by ambulance to the hospital because we were experiencing vertigo that lasted two days. I don’t know if that is related to stress or the way my face has been broken up as if I were a teenager. But, I feel under the stress of St. Rose. We had returned to school and we’ve been going through issues with it too … out of the shock of living past St. Rose and some to have feelings of due dates and such or fear of angering the teacher. We’ve been late now in a couple of assignments. If I can’t make school work I’d be just as good as dead, because all the financial parts of my life are going to bury both me and Rich.
We went in last Thursday to apply for disability … we don’t know if they will allow that … it’s pretty terrifying to know that everything you knew is gone and that you might not have enough money to survive. We’ve taken our car into Carmax as suggested by our son in case it has to be sold we know it’s value more than we know our own. During some periods I feel relief for not being there anymore, but I think of it and it seems to fill my brain. Dr. Marvin was supposed to send a note to Sr. saying we would be off on medical for three weeks, but we know that it’s over. We’re afraid if she knows we are not coming back she will not give us the medical, personal and sick days we have coming. After we know when that is – don’t know how many days we have … we will need to trace down how many days of insurance we have. The people at disability say that after there is no more income we can apply for Medicaid for help with insurance and SSDI for a little extra … not sure how much. We have an idea what we will get from disability from a report we received for 2010. It is about 1/3 of my regular income.
Things like this … shoot is there a word bigger than terrifying!?? I’m doing mental gymnastics and Rich says that we might lose the apartment. Part of the threat is that Sr. knows that Rich is my boyfriend and he gets paid to work at St. Rose too. We’re afraid that she is going to fire him because of his relationship to me and then we would have about $1000 income between the two of us. Sr. seems to hold all the cards. I remember being at her mother’s funeral and crying because I thought the mother and daughter looked so much alike … I don’t know what happened to that relationship where she used to be so important to please. Dr. Marvin said that some of breaking away from her psychologically is in getting over a mother complex. I don’t know if he were teasing or not. As kids you are taught you can never disobey without punishment that’s what it seems to be here. Feelings of fear are just tremendous … We are trying to calm ourselves down again … this whole stupid situation keeps flaring in my face. I know I should be doing homework because its late, but its like if I don’t maintain some control over this other I will be sucked under. I feel like I’m fighting for my life if not my livelihood.
The lady at the social security office asked if I filed for some other kind of disability or workman’s comp or any other kind of benefits. I haven’t. I don’t know any of that. To be honest though all we want to do is disappear like dirt falling down a hill. I think if she threatened Rich’s job directly, we would probably fight in that we’d try to tell somebody besides ourselves in this blog what is happening. I don’t know if she’ll try to destroy me and Rich with it. At one point very early on I had become angry with her because she told me to come to a meeting with her with the transportation people back when we had bus service. She told the bus driver negative things about me and berated me in front of her. The other lady didn’t know how to respond. But, going back into Sister and my office I remember facing the desk and being so angry and her telling me I didn’t have that right. I remember going back toward Holly’s office and sister then standing within the door, we felt we had to get out of there and went to walk quickly past her and she grabbed out and held onto my forearm … I don’t remember what she said although she gave me an out in saying that I had to go out to my car until I could calm myself down. Why I didn’t just drive away that day I’ll never know. All these years in trying to please her. All these fucking years. It’s worth Jack Shit. How the hell am I going to convince myself I’m worth any more than that. What happens I can’t take care. Am I going to end up in a state ward as Rich goes back to live with his mother.
The sanest area of my life is working at school and sewing and in doing simple housework and taking care of myself mind and body, but I feel so God damned crazy. Dr. Marvin called to check on us after he knew we were telling Rich we were quitting. He got soo mad at us … he said we were going to end up in federal housing and that he was never going to be happy again … can she take away Rich too? I think he’ll stick it out, but there’s only so many directions he can bend. I don’t mean to devastate him … we’ll cut him free before then. We’re thinking we can give up the car and he can store the furniture and live with his mom until he can get into another apartment. Between Rich, the boys, Dr. Marvin and a few others, I don’t know who it would be harder to displease. I think in my mind that I could survive a state institution, and then I realize that I couldn’t … I don’t want to go through the suicidal thinking again, but it seems to be sitting here still at our doorstep.
The remembering of that call from Dr. Marvin, we cried throughout telling him all the things that Rich said as to failing if I didn’t go back to Sr. Theresa that it wasn’t too late, but truthfully I’d much rather be dead. These are horrific thoughts to have. I know I have to stop stop stop … I can’t go down that tunnel again of taking pills. Just don’t know what to do with the feelings of fear that come between being furious with her and the control she still has.
Back to Dr. Marvin … he would be telling me like the night he called that we can’t get into this reminiscing and that we were going to need occupying ourselves with school or sewing. I know this and I can hear this from him … and just say that it’s so very hard. So much of me would rather be dead. But, how am I going to tell that to Dr. Marvin or Rich, or Maury or Linda that they have to go through that last three months with me all over again … where is the relief? How come I can’t get her out of my fucking head.
I wonder if I laid down Rich would let me just sleep for awhile, just stop my brain from cycling. He’s watching football behind me. Would he let me rest with my head on his lap. He’s in the third … we’ve been listening to the soft gentle music on the ear phones. Maybe the Bears would play on long enough so he’d just let me rest.
Maybe then I could do the school work?