Forum Replies Created
March 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm in reply to: Life is worse than ever since being diagnosed. What do I do? #93059
Patte RosebankParticipantMarch 25, 2010 at 1:22 pmPost count: 1517
Glen, don’t think, “I’m going to be fired anyway,” and just roll over and take it. Don’t be aggressive; be assertive. This situation can really energize you.
Be prepared to advocate, and even fight for your rights. And though you may have doubts along the way (and perhaps get a little weepy when you hear songs like “The Impossible Dream”), choose to take action instead. You’ll have a purpose, and by fighting for your own rights, you’re preparing your self to fight for the rights of others. You’ll have research to do. You’ll have to keep a journal of everything that happens on the job—especially “what I said”, “what they said”, in unpleasant situations. Write these notes as soon as possible after the situations so you’ll remember every detail, but keep that journal on your person at all times, and don’t let others know about it. That’s what I had to do.
Twelve years ago, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. At the time, I was working as a programmer at an IT firm, and I’d been transferred to a new boss who knew all about computers, but had no people skills whatsoever. He was a bully and a brute, who had a “TCB” (“taking care of business”) coffee mug, which served as a warning that he was a classic Type-A. (Just do the job and spare me the excuses.) He’d spring meetings on me when I was wrapped up in other things. He’d micromanage. He refused to accept that I had a disability—or as I considered it, a handicap, since I could still do things, but it was a lot harder for me to do them. And when my mother was in the ICU, waiting for an emergency triple-bypass (and you can imagine the state of mind I was in over that), that bully just dismissed it with, “Oh, she’ll be fine.” He didn’t have a flippant answer, though, when I pointed out that she’d just gone through breast cancer the year before, so her system was already weakened.
A couple of months later, this bully cooked up a very negative quarterly review for me, which said, among other things, “Basic logical concepts appear to be beyond her limited capabilties”. (Note that he misspelled “capabilities”. A further irony is that I was shortly thereafter determined to be in the 93rd percentile for intelligence—just slightly below MENSA—even though I was under so much stress and anxiety. So much for “limited capabilities”.) As all my prior reviews had been positive, this one not only didn’t make sense, but was a total slap in the face, especially since he used it to justify immediately terminating me, and having me frog-marched out of the building.
The following week, when I returned at the appointed time to clear out my desk, the HR person (who was actually a human being) who accompanied me, asked if I’d like to be alone. I replied with an icy, “No, you’d better stay here. I wouldn’t want to be accused of stealing anything.” She looked rather shocked that I would think the company would stoop to that. (Good. I’d got a little of my own back.)
As I’d disclosed my disability several times, I had grounds for filing a Human Rights complaint. It dragged on for 3 years, during which, the company used the services of not its regular law firm, but a law firm very well known for viciously aggressive tactics. They responded to my complaint by trying a little character assassination, and claiming that the company was completely unaware of my “alleged disability”. But as I had taken the precaution of getting copies of everything in my personnel file before I was fired (something you should do too, since you’re legally allowed to), I had a “smoking gun”: his notes on me, which included a couple of references to the fact that my performance had improved when I’d started on antidepressant medication. When the Commission pointed out this little gem to the company’s lawyers, the company offered me a settlement ten times greater than the one they’d offered me when they’d fired me. Unfortunately, I’d racked up so many expenses related to my diagnosis and treatment, that the settlement was wiped out as soon as I got it. Still, I’d fought a long fight for what I knew to be right, and I’d won. (And I still get weepy when I hear “The Impossible Dream”.)
I later found out that this bully had done the same “bullying followed by negative review and immediate termination” thing to others at the company (particularly “ethnic” employees), so he was responsible for numerous Human Rights and Employment Standards complaints. And yet, they promoted him. So much for all their touchy-feely BS about valuing their employees.
The topper is that, a few years ago, I heard that the bully had died of a massive heart attack on New Year’s Day. He was only 55, and nearly everyone who’d ever worked for him was glad to see the end of him. It was Scrooge’s vision of Christmas-Yet-to-Come, in real life. And dying like that, making so many people in the world so happy that you’re out of it, is the absolute worst way to die.
And all of us that he bullied are still here!
Fight the fight, Glen!REPORT ABUSE
Patte RosebankParticipantMarch 25, 2010 at 3:28 amPost count: 1517
I’m not really a burlesque dancer, Lianne. My dancing days are long behind me. I was laid low by flat feet, exacerbated by the fact that the dance studio had a concrete floor. But I can still tap a little bit, and I can at least put “moves well” on my resume. Even so, it was a real shocker when I had to sit out most of the finale when I was in the Canadian premiere of “Jerry Springer – The Opera”. My joints and muscles rebelled to the point where I could just manage to march on to join the kickline across the front edge of the stage, at the very end of it. The second shocker was realizing that I was twice as old as some of the cast members, and at least 15 years older than the rest of them. (But socio-emotionally, I’m still only 28.4!)
I’m a burlesque singer, with songs like “Otto Titsling” (from “Beaches”), “Bring On the Men” (from “Jekyll & Hyde”), “I Never Do Anything Twice” (a rare bit of Sondheim, from “The Seven Percent Solution”), “Sweet Gypsy Rose” (from the wife’s point of view), and Liza Minnelli’s “Ring Them Bells” (with strategically placed jingle bells on my red sequinned mini-dress). And I can ad-lib some great banter with audiences.
Though I know how to twirl tassels, and do on rare occasions, I always keep my corset and tights on, because if I were to remove them, the resultant jiggling would cause a tsunami in Lake Ontario. I sang in the last (actually the first) two Toronto International Burlesque Festivals, and I’m applying to perform in this year’s, which will be in July. I’ll also be making and donating something fancy to the Festival’s bra auction in aid of breast cancer research.
If you feel like doing something wild and impulsive, and you’re in Toronto, the Toronto Burlesque & Vaudeville Alliance is having another “Strip Search” contest, to find new talent for the Festival. There are Burlesque (for girls), Boylesque (for boys), and Variety divisions, and the winner of each division gets a place in the Festival. I won the Variety division in the first contest, and that’s how I got into the first Festival. Even if you don’t compete, it’s still amazing to watch people come out of their shells the first time they do burlesque onstage. They start out a little timid, but by the time they get to the tassel-twirling, they’re flushed with triumph and exuberance and the thrill of just letting themselves go and have fun, and to hell with what anybody else thinks. It’s the same thrill you can get from playing a character who has hysterics in a sketch or a play (wonderfully cathartic, especially if you get big laughs or a soothing, “Awww…” from the audience while doing it), or from singing in a crowded karaoke bar. And you need to be totally sober to really enjoy it.
One more Vegas tip: If you’re in Vegas on the first Thursday-to-Sunday in June, you’ll be there for the Miss Exotic World burlesque festival, at the Plaza Hotel, in old Vegas. I won’t be able to make it, but many of my friends will be there, along with many of the legends of the burlesque world of the 1940s-1970s.REPORT ABUSE
Patte RosebankParticipantMarch 25, 2010 at 3:21 amPost count: 1517
I always feel better when I’ve walked for a couple of miles. My feet may hurt a bit, but my brain feels great!REPORT ABUSE
Patte RosebankParticipantMarch 25, 2010 at 2:50 amPost count: 1517
College is always a big transition, and it usually takes about a semester before it really hits you. It took about a semester for it to really hit me, though I’d felt totally out of my depth from day one. That was a long time ago, before anyone knew of a disorder called ADD. For me, we just thought it was major depression. And it didn’t help that I was in a shoebox of a dorm, which I shared with another girl, who kept bringing a half dozen friends into the shoebox, where they’d all babble away in Chinese. Finally, I snapped, and my parents had to pull me out of the dorm, and we had to make special arrangements with my profs, because (surprise, surprise), I’d left all my assignments ’til the last minute and was completely overwhelmed by the fact that they were all due in the same week. Several years later, I used the experience to write a song parody called “The Last Night ‘Til It’s Due”, so at least I could laugh about it…eventually…after I’d graduated…
The biggest adjustment I made for my own sake was that I decided to study part-time and take 5 years to earn a 3-year B.A. This meant that instead of being swamped by a full course load, I could participate in student drama groups, and work part-time in a theatre. Even so, I was clearly in the wrong program—English, which my parents had insisted I study, as a more sensible degree than Theatre, even though everyone else who knew me could see that I ate, slept, and breathed theatre, especially comedy. Somehow, I managed to just barely get that B.A. in English, and to go on to discover that there’s a reason why there’s a song called “What Do You Do With a B.A. in English?”.
But that’s enough about me.
Since you have been diagnosed with ADD, and you are taking your medication, but still struggling in this new situation, I’d suggest a meeting with a counsellor at your college. He or she can help you assess your situation, and may be able to help you approach your profs and TAs for special accommodations or extra help—like having someone else take notes for you, so you can focus on absorbing what the prof is actually saying. You should also meet with your psych/ADD specialist, as you may need an adjustment to your medications or some behaviour modification therapy, in response to this new environment.
Most of all, remember that it’s not just you. College is a huge and overwhelming place. It has a very different approach to learning than elementary or high schools. And most people have some trouble adjusting to it…and that’s the “normal” ones. People with ADD, when faced with having to sit through long lectures, in which the prof talks AT you, while you try to absorb what’s being said, AND take organized notes, will find it particularly tough.
Good luck! We’re all pulling for you.REPORT ABUSE
Patte RosebankParticipantMarch 24, 2010 at 3:38 amPost count: 1517
Lianne, Vegas is an amazing place. I went there in January, and the only gambling I did was to feed $10 in nickels into slot machines. It was fun watching the wheels spin, but I didn’t win a damned thing. The only place I did win a little something was on “Let’s Make a Deal”. The episode airs on March 31st. I’m the one dressed like Carmen Miranda.
Anyone with impulsivity issues should strictly limit their exposure to the temptation of gambling. I set a limit of $10 and stuck to it. I was there more for the shows and the pilgrimage to the Liberace Museum, where one of the ladies who works in the Costume wing gave me a one-on-one tour, and even let me touch one of Liberace’s costumes—which is completely unheard-of, but I guess she figured that anyone who works with feathers and rhinestones so much that she can identify bird (in the case of the feathers) and colour & size (in the case of the rhinestones) probably wouldn’t break anything.
Look into discounts on show tickets. There are heaps of them out there, but beware of people handing out vouchers for free tickets to a show. These require you to buy a drink or two, at $10 each. So it may be cheaper to just buy a ticket and go without the drink, especially if your drinks of choice are non-alcoholic. $10 for one of those is really pricey.
Mack King’s comedy magic show is wonderful. Penn & Teller consider him a god of prankster magic, and he lives up to that distinction. It’s a G-rated show, and he has a wonderful rapport with the audience, which often includes children…or, in my case, children who refuse to grow up. After the show, he comes out into the lobby to sell and autograph his magic sets and books which teach you how to do things like swallow goldfish, or puncture your eyeball with a fork very graphically. Of course, I got one of those books. You never know when you’ll need to know how to do stuff like that.
You should also see “Jubilee”, at Bally’s. It’s the last of the old-style (topless, but far from nude) showgirl revues, and the costumes are truly breathtaking. When they were first mounting it, about 30 years ago, they actually caused a worldwide rhinestone shortage, primarily with Bob Mackie’s finale costumes. With coupons, you can get a $90 seat for around $40, and there’s even a backstage tour you can go on. I saw this show twice, but then, I really love my feathers & rhinestones & excess.
I couldn’t afford a ticket to see Donny & Marie at the Flamingo, but I did see Donny’s “Technicolor Dreamcoat” and Marie’s “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” costume (from “Dancing With the Stars”), in glass cases in the lobby of the Flamingo. I noted that the rhinestones on Marie’s costume were size 20ss Swarovski crystal flatbacks in Aurum, with a few in AB Crystal along the cuffs, and some 30ss in Jet on the tie. (I really have worked with rhinestones too much…)
Vegas has a weird sort of perspective. Things look really close by, but once you start walking towards them, you discover they’re actually a mile or more apart, which is great if you’re looking for exercise, but can be hard on the feet. And everything there is fake. Like a movie set. It’s a really odd feeling to be in the middle of it. It also has some great cheap eats, but you have to take the Deuce (the double-decker bus that runs along the Strip) to Fremont Street (old Vegas) to get them. Still, it’s worth the trip for 12-ounce prime rib and all the trimmings for a mere $7.99.
Just focus on the shows and the touristy stuff, and leave the gambling alone—especially on the Strip, where the odds are higher and the slots are tighter. It’s all a mug’s game anyway.REPORT ABUSE
Patte RosebankParticipantMarch 23, 2010 at 5:28 pmPost count: 1517
I know the feeling. After weeks of procrastinating, I finally got my taxes done. Now, to finish those sewing projects I started last month…REPORT ABUSE
Patte RosebankParticipantMarch 23, 2010 at 2:52 amPost count: 1517
If the doctor dismisses your problems, then find another doctor who specializes in ADHD. This can be more difficult in the USA, where you have to get permission from your HMO to see a particular doctor or go to a particular hospital. In Canada, you can go to any doctor or hospital you like, provided they’re accepting new patients, or, for a specialist, you have a referral from your GP.
Lots of us have had to educate our doctors about ADHD. You should be prepared to do the same, or at least to have done enough research through legitimate medical sources (not just the hysteria of the internet), that you can discuss this rationally, with proofs to back you up. In fact, this is how you should prepare to discuss ANY health concerns with ANY medical professional.REPORT ABUSEMarch 22, 2010 at 9:47 pm in reply to: organization for kids…. and those of us young at heart. :D #93192
Patte RosebankParticipantMarch 22, 2010 at 9:47 pmPost count: 1517
I don’t know if they still require it, but when I was in Brownies, one of the requirements for the Golden Bar was to keep your room tidy for 2 weeks. And you needed the Golden Bar in order to get the Golden Hand, which you needed to fly up to Girl Guides.
The longest I ever managed to keep my room tidy was 3 days. Finally, when all of us had earned our Golden Hand (except me, because I’d done everything for it, but I still hadn’t earned my Golden Bar), my Brown Owl had mercy on me and said, “Well, cumulatively, you’ve kept your room tidy for much longer than 2 weeks, so you’ve earned your Golden Bar.”
You can imagine what my current apartment looks like. There’s a big heap of stuff I still haven’t sorted through since I moved in here, 3 years ago. I call it Mount Crapmore. I swear, the other day, I saw something watching me from inside it. Perhaps it’s evolved into a new life form…REPORT ABUSE
Patte RosebankParticipantMarch 20, 2010 at 8:47 pmPost count: 1517
Any medications you’re taking, especially those that you’re taking on a daily basis, rule you out as a blood donor. This is because they accumulate (a little or a lot) in your bloodstream. If you were to give blood, those medications would be passed along to the recipient.
Even though you can’t donate blood, you can always donate money to the Red Cross, or to Canadian Blood Services. That’s what I did after 9/11.REPORT ABUSE
Patte RosebankParticipantMarch 19, 2010 at 9:22 pmPost count: 1517
It always takes me a couple of weeks to adjust to the time change. And that’s just one hour ahead or back. Just imagine the fun I have with jet lag!REPORT ABUSE
Patte RosebankParticipantMarch 19, 2010 at 1:50 pmPost count: 1517
My mom was a teacher before I was born. She taught me how to read before I even knew how to walk. She decorated my room in “neo-kindergarten”, with construction paper cutouts labelling the “window”, “door”, “wall”, “closet”, etc. She taught me the delights to be found in the world of theatre. And, as I’ve come to realize, she also has ADHD in spades, and I inherited it from her.
The other day, she was completely flipping out over something, and as I tried to talk her down (imagine, one person with ADHD trying to calm down another one!), she shared this little behavioural gem: When she was a teenager, when the teacher would give an assignment, Mom would write out the title, then draw flowers and things around it to make it look pretty…after which, she’d realize that she’d been so busy drawing little flowers, that she’d completely missed the explanation of what the assignment involved. This, coupled with the fact that she had a few years of being very sick, meant that she failed one grade and had to repeat it, and that she had to attend summer school to make up another grade.
When she became a teacher, she taught the youngest kids—Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 4—and she put together some really spectacular class plays. One was even reported (with photos) in the local newspapers. But she always over-prepared, with way too many visual aids, even when, years later, she taught adult classes. And she’s often said that she overdoes things, because she’s so scared that somebody will find out she isn’t really good at anything. (This is the “imposter syndrome”, which Dr. Jain mentions in “If Bill Had a Hammer”.)
Knowing that Mom has ADHD (though she refuses to even consider seeking diagnosis and treatment, as it’s one more damn thing for her to worry about), I can understand why every fibre of her being reacted with utter revulsion at the prospect of working in an office…as does mine, and probably, yours.
The fact that you have personal experience of the distractedness and fidgetiness that your students are feeling, can make you a much better teacher than someone who just assumes that they’re being bad students and just need to control themselves.REPORT ABUSEMarch 18, 2010 at 1:49 pm in reply to: Life is worse than ever since being diagnosed. What do I do? #93053
Patte RosebankParticipantMarch 18, 2010 at 1:49 pmPost count: 1517
Whenever you feel like a tool, just remember that tools are very useful things. Just think of all the things that would never have been built or done or even designed without tools. Hell, you couldn’t even write your name without some sort of tool, whether it’s a pencil or your own finger!REPORT ABUSEMarch 17, 2010 at 3:18 pm in reply to: Should I get a formal Eval, Adderal and Neuro feedback? #92753
Patte RosebankParticipantMarch 17, 2010 at 3:18 pmPost count: 1517
In the forum posting “Biofeedback/Neurofeedback”, Rick says that every expert they spoke to while making the documentary ADD & Loving It said that so far there’s no evidence that Biofeedback works for ADHD.
I’d save my money and stick with more proven treatments.REPORT ABUSE
Patte RosebankParticipantMarch 17, 2010 at 1:44 amPost count: 1517
That’s funny (strange, not ha-ha). My mom was a teacher before I was born. She started teaching me how to read, almost from the time she brought me home from the hospital. I can’t remember ever NOT knowing how to read, and I also can’t remember LEARNING how to read. It gets better. When Mom signed me up for nursery school (when I was 3), she had to warn the teachers never to leave anything private where I could see it, because if I could see it, I would read it, even if it was sideways, upside-down, or backwards. And I am obsessive about correct spelling and grammar. My family and friends will often phone to ask me how to spell a word, because it’s faster and easier than consulting a dictionary.
Math, on the other hand…
I was great at math when I first started school, but that was when I was in a really shitty school that catered to the lowest common denominator, so I didn’t even have to try to get straight As. When I was transferred to a school that actually taught the proper curriculum, I struggled terribly with math. And I discovered that I’d never been taught a lot of very basic concepts, like the Rule of Nine (i.e., if the digits of a number can be reduced to 9, then the number is divisible by 9. For example, 45 is divisible by 9, since 4+5 = 9.) In high school, it was even worse, and I ended up passing Grade 12 math by 1 mark.
So it appears that, while I have all sorts of advanced skills where words are concerned, I have dyscalculia, big-time. This is okay with me, because a blackboard covered in funny words will make people laugh, but a blackboard covered in math calculations will just frighten people.REPORT ABUSEMarch 17, 2010 at 12:41 am in reply to: Took me long enough to figure this out! Thought maybe I was stupid or something #92689
Patte RosebankParticipantMarch 17, 2010 at 12:41 amPost count: 1517
“Ice Age” is amazingly funny, especially the scenes with Scrat (the sabre-toothed squirrel-rat). His scenes are silent slapstick at its best, and his little noises (by Chris Wedge, who directed the movie) are the crowning touch. I met Chris at a signing when the DVD came out, and I told him that I thought Scrat stole the show. In response, Chris didn’t just sign my DVD; he also drew a thumbnail sketch of Scrat, waving.
The year that “Ice Age” came out, my brother got me a toy Scrat on Ebay. It holds a giant acorn in its little front paws, and when you take away the acorn, Scrat frantically hops around, reaching for the acorn and making weird little noises of frustration. When you give him back his acorn, he gives a big sigh of relief. Taken out of context, those noises and sigh sound quite filthy.REPORT ABUSE