A Visit With My Parents and More Daughter Drama

I visited my parents and sister today.  They’re doing pretty well, considering.  My sister is trying to write a eulogy.  I tried helping her but I don’t know what to say.  We’re trying to focus on all of the good things about our brother.  He had some problems, but he still didn’t deserve what happened to him.  People keep asking my mom and dad if they can come or invite someone to his graveside ceremony.  My parent keep saying yes.  They just wanted it to be a very small ceremony, just a few close family and friends, but it’s turning into something much bigger than that.  My mom says that she doesn’t know what to say to people at things like this.  I don’t either.

My sister and I exchanged some photos of our brother.  I have a few new ones now.  I’ve just downloaded them onto my computer, and I scanned a few in yesterday.

Their landlord just got a new baby donkey.  It’s so cute!  My sister and I got some pictures of it.  My sister got a bit of video of it jumping up and down like a bucking bronco, and running circles around its mother.  I love animals!

Our daughter came over today.  She harassed her dad for money.  She didn’t get her Welfare cheque yesterday.  She insisted that we owe her money and that we can afford it.  Nope and nope!  We don’t owe her anything.  And we definitely can’t afford it anyways.  By the time we get a few groceries and pay a few bills, we’ll be so broke, it’s not funny!  She should get her cheque on Tuesday.  If not, no big deal at the moment.  Her and her boyfriend are staying with his mom and stepdad right now.  I’m sure they’re not gonna demand payment ASAP.

Thanks again for listening.  Till next time,

– Joyce.

P.S.  I haven’t been sleeping well.  I’ve been taking a couple of my husband’s Lorazepam for the last couple nights.  It’s been helping a bit.  I hope I sleep tonight.  Wish me luck!

Feeling Overwhelmed!

The things that I usually find enjoyable – eg. checking out Facebook posts and blog posts, is very overwhelming for me right now.  I wish I could enjoy it.  It’s the only thing that makes me feel better usually.  That and blasting music on the headphones while playing games on the computer.  Which I did last night until about 5 am.  I woke up about 8 am.  I enjoy doing that but not for hours and hours in the middle of the night when I’d rather be sleeping.

Just needed to let this little rant out.  Thanks again for listening,

– Joyce.

Trying to Soothe Myself

I haven’t slept well for the last few days.  Even if I do get some sleep, I feel as though I haven’t slept a wink all night, which is nothing new.  But it’s even worse than usual.  I usually try to eat somewhat healthily.  But right now, I’m allowing myself a little bit of self-soothing through junk food.  I’m not worrying about not sleeping.  I’m just blasting music on my headphones and playing games on the computer.

I’ve been looking for pictures of my brother.  I hardly have any.  I have about 11.  Not much to show for his whole life.  I can feel sadness lurking inside me, just waiting to come out.  So far it hasn’t.  I know it will eventually.  I feel a lot of guilt.  I wish I could’ve done something for him.

Thanks for sticking by me on this journey.  Not sure where it’s gonna take me but I appreciate the company so much!  Till next time,

– Joyce.

My Wellness Box

Originally posted on Marci, Mental Health, & More:

The outside of the box.

The box had slits in it to let the magic out.

Bubble wrap to pop when frustrated.

Brain flex stress ball.

Smaller tigger from keychain. Soft to touch.

My Wellness Journal. Here’s a post with video on more about it.

An older “book of encouragement”

iPod and earphones with soothing and distracting songs. (Really helps with voices.)

Soap bar my case manager gave me for my birthday one year.

Smooth rock (self-soothe touch also good for grounding)

Labendar bath bubbles (self-soothe smell and relaxation in the tub)

Crisis numbers.

Bath salts (smell and relaxation)

Candle (self-soothe, smell; pleasing sight of flame,)

Smash activity book (distraction)

Raspberry sorbet gum (self soothe- taste)

Lavender fragrance oil. (Self soothe, smell)

My magic wand.

Ideas and extra comments to add to wellness journal.

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DBT Skills: Vulnerability Factors

Originally posted on Pride in Madness:

This week in my DBT class we went over an emotion regulation worksheet that had us list something that had never occurred to me before and I think something many of us may not think about: vulnerability factors. I feel that many of us (and I include myself) get wrapped up in potential flawed chemistry and brain structure when we experience emotion regulation which means we are ignoring very important factors that can make us vulnerable to feeling negative emotions and becoming dysregulated. Vulnerability factors can include,

  • physical illness
  • poor sleeping
  • poor eating
  • use of drugs or alcohol
  • stressful events in our environment

I have noticed within myself that around the time I am getting my period (about 1 week before) I become angered more easily and my ability to use DBT skills goes down a little bit. During this time, my body is going through physical changes associated with my…

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My Brother’s Service

I just got off the phone with my mom a little while ago.  She said that they’re having a service for my brother on August 22nd (my husband’s birthday!)  It’ll be a day to remember that’s for sure!  We both agreed that it feels like a dream, that he’ll come walking through the door any time now.

I went to my Craft Group at the Mission this morning.  I grabbed some pamphlets on grief for my parents and sister.  I haven’t read them yet but I hope they find them comforting.  Maybe this weekend I can visit them.

Everyone that they talk to about what happened to my brother wants to come to the service.  They want to just keep it very small, only close friends and family.  I understand totally.  We aren’t ones for crowds anyways.

My sister has been thinking about all of the good qualities about my brother.  Which there were some:  he was a hard worker when he wanted to be, he could be very charming.  I’ll never get to hang out with him again – no more lunches or Bingo or anything.

Thanks for listening again.  It’s really appreciated.  Till next time,

– Joyce.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Validation Strategies for Parents | Dialectical Behavior Therapy Understood

Originally posted on Borderline & PMDD:

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Validation Strategies for Parents | Dialectical Behavior Therapy Understood.

How Do We Validate

Validation and active listening techniques are specific ways of approaching your child to increase cooperation and balance the change we are often asking for from our children.

  1. Responsiveness: Addressing our children with interest in what they are saying, doing and understanding. Expressing concern about his or her wishes and needs.

  2. Warm engagement: Approaching kids with warmth and friendliness. Active positive communication with our voice, tone and posture.

  3. Self-Disclosure: Communicating our own attitudes, opinions, and emotional reactions to our children, as well as reactions to how they are behaving.

  4. Genuineness: Being ourselves, rather than always acting as “parent” or “authority figure.”

  5. Vulnerability: Empowering them, rather than having an exclusively high-power-low-power relationship.

  6. Cheerleading: Cheerleading is helpful in validating the person’s inherent ability to overcome difficulties and learn new skills. It is believing in our children…

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My Counsellor’s Away

I stopped by the local Community Mental Health agency yesterday morning to leave a message for my counsellor to give me a call as soon as possible.  The receptionist said that she was on holidays until next week.  I left her a voicemail for when she gets back.  It figures that she’d be on holidays.  Things like that always happen when you really need them.

I was just talking to my sister on the phone.  Her and my parents all think that lack of money had a lot to do with what happened to my brother.  Ontario Works (Welfare) had given him some money and they wanted him to pay it all back.  But he had no income.  My parents and sister have just cleaned out his room/apt. he was staying in.  They said he hardly had any food or possessions.  He had just gone to a car show with a friend before the incident.  He must have felt really desperate.

Thanks for listening again.  Till next time,

– Joyce.

High & Low Functioning PDs

Originally posted on Borderline & PMDD:


High and Low-Functioning – A High-Functioning Personality-Disordered Individual is one who is able to conceal their dysfunctional behavior in certain public settings and maintain a positive public or professional profile while exposing their negative traits to family members behind closed doors. A Low-Functioning Personality-Disordered Individual is one who is unable to conceal their dysfunctional behavior from public view or maintain a positive public or professional profile.

Low-Functioning – A Low-Functioning Personality-Disordered Individual is one who is unable to conceal their dysfunctional behavior from public view or maintain a positive public or professional profile.


Contrary to a popular myth, personality disorders have little correlation with intelligence. People who suffer from personality disorders span the spectrum of IQ from the lowest to the highest.

High-Functioning Personality-Disordered Individuals are those who are able to keep up appearances outside of the home and participate in society convincingly in the workplace, in social…

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A BPD BRIEF by John G. Gunderson, MD

Originally posted on Borderline & PMDD:


*DSM-IV-TR Diagnostic Criteria

A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

(1)  Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.

(2)  A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.

(3)  Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.

(4)  Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating).
Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.

(5)  Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior.

(6)  Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).


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Blocks to radical acceptance

Originally posted on Borderline & PMDD:

Blocks to radical acceptance

  • Radical acceptance does not mean that you embrace the person who hurt you as if nothing happened.  You go forward with knowledge you didn’t have before. You stand up for yourself with respect. The anger and resentment serve as messages to be more careful in the future, to stand up for yourself in effective ways, to strengthen your support system, or to use whatever knowledge you gained to be more effective in living your life. Holding onto the anger or resentment handcuffs you to the past and keeps you reliving a painful event. You continue to suffer though the event is past.
  •  Radical acceptance does not mean you are agreeing to a situation or action. It means you are acknowledging that the event happened and is real..The truth is that you did whatever you did. You don’t have to approve or agree, but the facts are…

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