The B Word

There seems to be a love affair with the B word in New Zealand education: bullying.

There’s no denying that bullying occurs. That would be like denying breathing keeps us alive. But the use of the word disturbs me in the fact that, from what I have encountered in my professional life, the B word is thrown around a bit too freely and a bit too quickly at things that are not usually bullying.
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7 Years After the 22 February 2011 Quake

Memorials at the CTV site, where 115 people died in the building’s collapse on 22 February 2011. Credit: Joseph Johnson/Stuff

Today is an anniversary date in my life that I could live without.

Actually, it’s so bad that the other day Noel asked me, “Isn’t the anniversary of Grandpa’s passing about this time of year,” the day after that anniversary, and I felt guilty about forgetting that. (My Grandpa passed away on 19 February 2004.)

Last year, I spoke about feeling stuck, like 22 February 2011 is a fixed-point in my timeline, and, like a black hole, the rest of my life slowly spins around it, stuck in its gravity.
Read 7 Years After the 22 February 2011 Quake

Not Recognizing Myself in Dreams

I’ve written about the familiarity in dreams, the missing of what was once there with someone else but amplified so there was a sense of longing and desire in recovering what was lost. This has been an ongoing dream state in my mind over the last several years, even stronger after the quakes, during which we lost so much: not only physically but also spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.

Since my depersonalization diagnosis, a more disturbing dream state has emerged: not recognizing myself. On very rare occasions, this is quite literal. I’ll look into a mirror and not recognize the person gazing back. It’s not me — something isn’t quite right about my face.
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Avoidance of Feelings

Yesterday in my counselling session, we spoke about how I tend to speed up when talking a lot of the time. Of course, most of the time I don’t actually know when I am doing this, but it is something I have done for most of my life. This isn’t the first time we have spoken about it, and lately, I have been trying to be very conscious of slowing down my speaking and pausing between when someone else talks to gather my response and then reply. (It sounds like it’s a long process, but it is still pretty quick.)

My mind can work in this fashion too. It throws out a million things at once to distract me from the here-and-now and what I am really feeling. Both the speeding up of talking and the multipronged thought processes are away I have learned to avoid what I am feeling. It is rather automatic now.

Something like this takes time to unlearn. I may never fully unlearn it, but it will take a lot of practice and time to discover the best way forward for me. By doing this, it will help me live more in-the-moment and be more “present” to things.
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After an Election: Our New Government

In my last post about the excitement around the 2017 New Zealand General Election, I (correctly) stated that the outcome could see either National or a Labour / Greens coalition form a Government with the support of king-maker New Zealand First. The final tally of votes rolled in on 7 October 2017, with National losing 2 seats to place them at 56 out of 120 seats and the Labour / Greens grouping gaining those 2 seats to put them at 54 out of 120 seats. What that meant was either one going with New Zealand First (with their 7 seats) could form a majority Government. Interesting times indeed.
Read After an Election

Me Here, at Last, on the Ground; You in Mid-Air

I’ve spent the last week or so on school holidays doing pretty much sweet nothing work-wise, and it feels great. Sorry, not sorry, right?

One of the things I’ve been doing is catching up on sleep, and with catching up on sleep comes lots of dreams.

In one of my last blogs (see Familiarity in Dreams), I wrote about having those dreams that haunt you. Coincidentally, I had one again on Thursday night.
Read Me Here, at Last, on the Ground; You in Mid-Air

After an Election

Voting by Cle0patra
“Voting” by Cle0patra (Flickr)

Saturday was our General Election in New Zealand, and I personally found it quite exciting that so many people got out to vote — a record number of us voted early! — and that the results are quite close.

Under an MMP system (Mixed-Member Proportional for those of you not in the know) in New Zealand, several parties are elected, ranging in number from 1 member to the maximum of 120 members, and this election delivered a doozy.

Our two major parties — National (conservative) and Labour (liberal) — ended up with no clear majority. In Labour’s case, they would have to do a deal with the Greens (also liberal) to be close to National’s numbers at this point in time.

Neither group — National by itself, or a Labour-Greens coalition — can probably govern alone because they have too few seats to have a majority. In our Parliament, a party usually needs 61 out of the 120 seats to have a majority to govern.

So there are options, interestingly enough, and one party — New Zealand First, led by Winston Peters — holds the king- or queen-maker position. They can go with National, or they can go with Labour-Greens, to form our next Government.

I personally find that really exciting because there are options out there.
Read After an Election