Archive for Psychology

Father

What seemed to be a typical day at work, was not.  I just received notice of one of my coworkers father being in the hospital.  I know a little about the health history of his father, so the news was devastating.  The only thought going through my mind is death and it is causing me to recall the memories of my father before he passed away.

I remember it was the 25th of November.  I was out having lunch with my daughter and boyfriend at that time.  We were in a restaurant listening to Mariachi and enjoying a lunch.  After the lunch we were going to go to the hospital and check up on him.  He had been hospitalized for a couple of months prior and I had already been accustomed to visiting him at least four times a week.  So today I did not think anything else of it.  But what happened was when I was sitting down enjoying my lunch my phone had been ringing in my purse.  I could not hear the phone because of the music playing on the background.  It was not until we were getting ready to pay for the check and leave that I decided to look at my phone.  I found 4 missed calls and they were all coming from my sister and brother.  My first thought was fear.  Fear that something might have happened to my father.  So I called them back right away.  Once they answered they asked where I was at and requested that I go to the hospital.  They seemed well and not stressed, so I assumed that we were going to talk about other possible treatments with the doctors.  Even though in the back of my mind I was still scared I tried to think positive.

When I arrived at the hospital my father had just had his last breath.  I vaguely remember my mother telling me that he could still hear me.  The doctor has said that his last sense to go was his hearing.  I was in shock and could not react, I just cried.  I stood there looking at him and just kept crying.  My boyfriend at that time was Native American and his first reaction was to sing to him. He began chanting to him as he slowed passed away. 

Now that I hear one of my co-workers is in the hospital with his father, the memory came back as if it had happened yesterday.  It is the saddest, emptiest feeling anyone can feel.  I hope that his father will be in peace and of no pain.  Losing a father is like loosing a piece of the soul.

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Mud Run

I was approached today by my boss about a Mud Run in Camp Pendleton.  I was never really stationed there, but I have been there plenty of time visiting friends.  The last time I was there was about five years ago, so when my boss approached me and mentioned it, I was static.  The mud run is held annually and I hear it is sold would within hours upon opening registration.  When he told me that he had two tickets from two people of the group who had cancelled I got anxiety.  The thought of getting in was a powering feeling, but being around my second lost family, was even more powerful. 

I can already picture me running and getting chanted by other marines.  “Come on Marine, finish”, oh I have chills just thinking about it.  It brings back memories about the events we had.  I have never really participated in a mud run, I have been an observer but that was it.  I heard stories about the agonizing pain, but it is justified with the feeling.  So on Sunday June 6th at around 8 am I will be full of anxiety.  I will be among my second family being a part of them one more time. 

The fact that I will be getting attacked with the fire department water hoses does not intimidate me.  I will be soaked running up hill overcoming on hill at a time, while a Marine cheers at the top of the hill telling “this is the last one”, and realizing once I am on top that there is more.  Typical of Marines, lie to give motivation and have yourself push harder. =) 

I will admit I am little concerned about the quarter mile swim/walk.  The water is about 4’ deep and I am not very tall, so I will have to swim and after running in mud it might become challenging.  But then again, being around my second family at Camp Pendleton, I might just not even realize the pain.  Is it June 5 yet?

Mind and Body

Last week was not a very good week.  The signs were there, but I was refusing to acknowledge them.  People around me were asking, and I kept denying it.  My face was starting to show and I had no choice but to admit.  Once I admitted it to myself my body started breaking down.  My body began to emphasize the pain.  I felt my body heavy and dreadful to carry. My head seemed like it was pounding with aches.  I had a hard time breathing through my nose.  My body was adjusting and I had to breath through my mouth. I was getting drowsy and sleepy. I found it difficult to think or even focus.  My mouth was dry and my lips were cracking.  I was not thirsty and had no taste in my mouth. My nose could not stop running.  Swipe, after swipe, and still no control over my runny nose.  My nose started to become red and irritated from the continuous behavior. I realized I had the cold.  Once my body and mind were in sequence I began to heal.  I slept, took medication and just rested.  The healing process took no more after two days to pass me by.  After I had prolonged admitting I was sick for about three days prior.  Maybe if I had admitted to myself that I was ill, my body would not have had just a painful experience.

According to Adler it was an ongoing debate as to what governs what.  It is the mind that controls the body or is the body that controls the mind?  The debate between the idealist and materialists still stands.  What do you think?

Self-fulfilling Prophecy

It is a Monday morning and the calls are starting to come in.  They began since early this morning.  First I heard of my voicemail, “I do not feel to well.  I have been sick all weekend, but tomorrow I should be ok”. The voice was cracking and sniffles were heard.  Then an email, which read, Sandra I am sorry but I will not be able to make it to work today.  I want to be honest with you.  I had a rough weekend and I want to take today off to rest.  I should be back in to work tomorrow.  I take both reasons into account and ponder.  Even though the tiring excuse is weak, it is a more acceptable truth.  I heard the voice of a sick person on the phone message, but I have heard that many times.  What triggered the email to be more acceptable was the fact that it was a different reason.  It was a reason that “I” would have imaged to be truer than the role-playing of a sick person.

My reactions to both scenarios differ in the sense of my acceptance of each.  Both reasons may be very well true or false.  What I found myself doing was fulfilling my self-fulfilling prophecy. According to Merton’s concept of the self-fulfilling prophecy, “If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences”. 

Do not get me wrong, I am experiencing cognitive dissonance for each situation, but one is easier to accept than the other.  The role of the sick person seems to be a well-known excuse that makes me question whether the true factor still stands.  For the other person who was honest, I seem to be experiencing less dissonance because the reason falls more on “my” reasons of reasonable actions.  In other words, I am hearing what I want to hear from the person who was honest, which makes her excuse more acceptable.

Self-Actualization

Self-actualization is defined as the full realization of one’s potential.  At least, that how Maslow simply puts it.  There are common traits amongst people who have reached self-actualization.

–          They embrace reality rather than denying truth

–          They are spontaneous

–          They are interested in problem solving

–          They are accept themselves and others

Have you reached your self-actualization? I believe I have.  I was reading the reading about Maslow and his theories and this theory caught my eye.  I, for once found a definition for my happiness or self-fluffiness that I felt inside.  I could relate with little or no effort to what was being explained.  It also made me wonder if age was a factor? I began to drift into thinking about wisdom? Is that the stage that people consider wise?  I don’t think that I have reached my full potential as far as my life or identity stands.  So in a sense I disagree, but I can relate in the sense that I have accomplished up to date what the common traits of self-actualization.  I wonder if there are various points in our lives where our self-actualization is challenged. 

Where do you fall into Maslow perspective about self-actualization?  Do you think that self-actualization falls in place throughout our lives or once it has been achieved there is no more motive?

Accepting differences

Today at the gym as I was looking around and noticed all these women who were fit and looked like magazine models.  They had the hour glass figure and were working out.  My first thought was “man do they really have to be in here with bodies like that”.  But then I gave it a little more thought and accepted that maybe they were here to maintain what they had achieved from vigorous workouts.  So I continued working out and focused on the TV again.  Then again, I see this girl who I hadn’t seen in about a year since I had started working out in the gym.  She looked great.  She was a little over weight the last time I had seen her and now she was fit.  She looked like she had lost at least 30 lbs.  After the admiration I started making excuses as to why she would look that way and I still hadn’t achieve it.  I was a little upset, not at her, at me.  How is that she had come about to look the way she looked?  Well, since I didn’t know her or her life style I began to make excuses, for me.  I said to me “you could have looked just as good if not better, but because of your busy schedule and life style you are unable to”.  I began to justify within me to make myself feel better. 

What I found myself doing was fighting my aggression.  I had a reflection of my identity and was not contempt (id), I was supposed to have lost all this weight and look better (superego), but because I am under different circumstance I was unable to (defense mechanism).  So what I realized was that we are all different and I am should be happy for who I was (ego).

Conditioned

At work today I realized that I had been conditioned by our customers, but I am waiting for them to catch on.

I work in a warehouse and for security reasons our doors are kept locked throughout the day.  In order to enter the premises the door bell must be rang.  We have regular customers who pick up at that location at least twice a month.  They follow the same procedures as everyone else.  They must ring the door bell to alert someone in the warehouse of their presence and in respond by opening the door for them to enter.  Since my office is about 10 feet way from the door, I can not only hear the door bell, but hear them attempt to open the door.  It happens every time.  On the door the knob can be twisted but it is secured through the alarm system so you cannot literally open the door.  As the customers turns the knob and pulls on the door they jerk the door making a distinct sound. 

Taking into account that I am only 10 feet away from all this action and at my desk at least 6 hours of the day, it was evident that I was going to be conditioned by our customers.  It turns out that at the sound of the door bell, I can immediately predict that sound of the jerking door.  BUT that is not the amazing part of the story.  What mostly intrigues me is that, our regular customers will perform the same act every single time that they show up at the warehouse.  They will ring the door bell and a jerk of the door will be heard as they attempt to open the door.

Love and Work

Love can be a challenging feeling to deal with.  Sometimes we do not want to lose someone we love so we change our behavior, beliefs in order to satisfy the other.  This does not necessary apply to a partner relationship.  Think about it from a mothers and child’s relationship as well.  Before children come along it is your life, you lived by the moment and could be careless without considering the pain or discomfort of others.  When you become a mother, you have a dependent that is just that a dependent of you.  They depend on your feeding, caring and love to them.  It is the ultimate feeling and bond for a mother to have.  Fathers can share the same feelings, I am just speaking from a mothers point of view because it is what is most immediate to me.

When it comes to our work it works in similar ways.  We find a job that we might not be so excited about it, but because of necessity we conform to it by changing our behavior or at times beliefs in order to make it work.  What I mean by changing our behavior is by having to change your routine.  If the work hours are during second shift and you are normally in bed by eight, then it might cause a behavior change.  We bite our tongues sometimes because we disagree with what our boss is stating, but because we give them benefit of the thought we change our beliefs that it might actually work.

Love to others is similar to our work.  If we find ourselves that we need it, we will change our state of mind or behaviors in order to make it work.  Both are options in life, but are needed at the same time.

Anxiety

Have you ever felt like you were not in control of your body?  Was the feeling of distress and frustration controlling the situation?  You are not alone.  It is called general anxiety disorder (GAD).  It is normal to experience such disturbances as long as they are not severe and continuous.  And if they are, don’t worry there is treatment =). 

It is normal feel anxious when we are running late to an event that is of importance to us, or the anticipation of a test or an exam.  For some people the anxiety can be managed, but for other it may cause social problems and conflict with daily life. 

What causes anxiety? Well it turns out that it is a chemical imbalance in the brain.  These chemicals are transferred within the brain and at any disturbance in the brain, it becomes apparent to your body.  Your mood changes, sense of frustration increases, your body shakes and can be hard to control.  Researches suggest that anxiety is due to genetics and environmental factors.  Your family’s history or anxiety might have been passed on to you or a stressful environment like a job can be the cause of your anxiety.

The good news is that there is treatment and only a specialist can assist with controlling your anxiety.  There are even tests online that make it easy for you to diagnose whether it is severe or normal.  Only you and the help of a specialist can conclude what is best for you.

Common Grounds

Can you recall the last time you anticipated an event? We often experience anxiety when we are in distress of wonders as to what is to be expected.  The mind takes us through circles, through obstacles that might not even be encountered.  Building schemas and assuming the unknown is a common cognitive behavior that we all experience.

 This past weekend the GWT was being held and what appeared to be over 100 students were anticipating to test.  Looking around and hearing the comments it made me at ease to know that I was not the only one who was in distress.  This is an exam, which determines your success or failure.  Everyone testing is filled with anxiety because we do not know what to is to come.  No one really knows what is expected; there is no study guide, no idea as to how or what it is going to be about.  All we know is that it is a writing test that will pass or fail you.  The ease of mind at that moment is the social reliance that you are not alone.  For whatever reasons sharing, having common grounds makes you feel a little better about the situation.

 So next time that you find yourself feeling anxious about an unknown experience or event, remember that you are not the only or the last one who will be under the same pressure.  It might just make you feel more at ease knowing that where you are going other have gone and will continue the journey after you have passed it.

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