Monday, May 31, 2010

it was an awkward situation but I handled it well

I haven't been around blogland much this weekend because I did some impromptu camping with my sister, her boyfriend, and about 50 member's of her boyfriend's family. Ok, so not 5o. It was me, my sister and Kevin, and 3 other families. That's alot of new people for this shy girl to meet, but I put my best foot forward and I think I did ok. Well, how could I go wrong when I had Annie with me, she is so cute and everyone just loved her. Emma was at her dad's house so she wasn't there, and I missed her the whole time.

So here's my personal drama/awkward situation from this weekend: one of Kevin's (my sister's boyfriend) in-laws (who was there this weekend) is a staffperson at the UIHC eating disorders program!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You know, the place I was hospitalised at 5 times, where I was drug in twice in handcuffs (once still drunk from the escapade I chronicled in my previous post, once kicking and screaming like a lunatic)! The place I escaped from in '98, only to end up back 3 months later. The place that still gives me nightmares. Yeah, that place.

When I looked up and saw Staffperson there I felt like the universe had shifted, or I was in some weird time/place warp, or possibly I was hallucinating. What was Staffperson doing on a campout with my sister? I think it was a little suprising for Staffperson to see me there as well, but they handled it well (yes, I'm being specifically vague and not even revealing the gender of staffperson, because maybe someone who reads this might end up in UIHC sometime, and if it got back to Staffperson that I blogged about them I would just die).

Fortunately, this Staffperson was one of the few people in that program who was nice to me and who I didn't have a problem with. So that was good. We actually got along really well this weekend. It did get a little weird once when we were alone and Staffperson said "so, how have things been going? Things going ok?" I felt really uncomfortable and wished that it hadn't been brought up, but fortunately I was have been doing ok in the ED department so I was able to answer truthfully "Good! Things are going really good!". Staffperson has a little boy who is Annie's age and they played together alot and sometimes I felt a little funny, like if you would have told me 8 years ago that we would be camping together and our kids would play together and I would be helping Staff's son catch fireflies, I wouldn't have believed you.

I know I will see staffperson again because Jessica and Kevin's relationship is serious; they just bought a house together and I wouldn't be suprised if they get married. Jessica hang's out with Kevin's family alot (including Staffperson) and so I will probably see Staffperson at barbeques/camping/ect. But I think after this weekend I can handle it.

One thing, though. Staffperson has kind of a unique voice. Not really a lisp, but there is something about it that is just different. It is definitely a voice I only associate with being at UIHC. So once in awhile this weekend, Staffperson would say something and I would be caught off guard hearing the voice and have this weird fight or flight response, the one I get when I am in Iowa City, or hear of someone going into treatment at UIHC, or spend time in therapy talking about my experiences there. So yeah, there was some some anxiety this weekend. But I handled it well.

Other things crossed my mind this weekend. Like, if Staff sees me drinking Diet Coke with breakfast, will they think I am still sick? If I have to go to the bathroom right after a meal, will they think I am purging? You know, stuff like that. I had to take a deep breath and remind myself that the world does not revolve around me. Contrary to my paranoia, other people are not thinking about me all the time. Other people are thinking about their own lives! Duh! People have better things to think about than how much food is on my plate or how often I go to the bathroom. It was very helpful to remind myself of this.

Mostly, I just had a really good time this weekend and did some really healthy things. Things you can't really do well with an eating disorder, like swimming and boating and climbing a really tall observation tower and roasting marshmallows (and eating them). I had a blast!


Angela E. Gambrel Lackey said...

I'm really proud of you! That had to be hard and you handled it well. Then you continued to have a good time.

I give you the award of Awesomeness In An Awkward Situation. (I created it myself - do you like it? )

Keep it up, girl!


Jennifer, aka beautiful mind, complex life said...

Hi, I am new to your blog but not new to eating disorders and mental illness. I think you handled the situation well. I would have been completely freaked out to be in that awkward situation, and it is totally understandable that it bothers you.

I look your blog and will be coming back in the future! If you ever want to stop by mine, I posted some facts about mental health for Mental Health Awareness month (May) there recently.

jodilynn said...

Oh my goodness! I am sooo proud of you for the way you handled this. I won't ask who the staff person is, but I know that this program was especially traumatic (not quite the word I'm looking for, but you get the point) for you. I honestly dread even going to the doctor (non-ed) because I always seem to run into some staff from EDO/1JPW. I have this with like everyone though, it's not just UIHC for me. I like freak out when I see my current T around town or in wal-mart or whatever. I know her favorite places to eat and specifically avoid them. I don't go to our young adult group at our church because she goes to it. So, I am proud of you!!!!

Cammy said...

Sounds like a lot of victories here!!! So glad the camping went well and you were able to do some fun activities! I can imagine that the situation with Staffperson was awkward, but props to you for keeping your head up and still having a good time!

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