#freedom

Adult Goldilocks

As a mental health clinician, I have the right to diagnose myself. Lately I believe I have been suffering from MULTIPLE OZARK PERSONALITY DISORDER. (MOPD)

MOPD is located in the DSM-V: Diagnosis code: 69692020. ICD-10 Code: 2337.

Since quarantine, I have noticed that I am taking on more and more characteristics of these Ozark personalities. (You WILL definitely relate to this, whether you watch Ozark or not. Truly… no spoilers here, anything discussed is all pretty obvious.)

What I find ironic and hilarious is that my husband will no longer watch this show with me because he found the show “ridiculous” and “unrelatable.” He stopped after season one…typical. Season one of any show is comparable to a psych 101 class; basically playing just-the-tip with character development.Sheesh.

Anyways, the irony is, that the more outlandish and ridiculous this show becomes, the more I find it relatable.

Let’s be real, everything is ridiculous in the world right now. I mean who would ever think we would not be allowed to attend live sport events and there would be cardboard fans? Who would ever think that kids would not be attending school in person? Who would ever think that in the midst of massive change and uncertainty there would be a presdential election? I digress

These real-life events make some good old-fashioned, illegal activity seem refreshing. What’s the big deal about a dad who wants to make some extra bank on the side for his family?

Since we were encouraged to do nothing but sit at home, scroll on the phone and binge watch tv; we extinguished our coping skills. Now, everything is different at one time. All this change is just too painful for my brain to tolerate; my psyche has now split in order to protect my sanity…

Split Personality #1:The first episode of the third season of Ozark, Ben is introduced. He is a substitute teacher who seems pretty cool; but then he is exposed to the reality of tweens and smart-phones when a student begins to cry in class about a text with a photo received. The lack of eye contact, respect or response from the rest of the students infuriates the him. He then proceeds to take all the kids’ cell phones and throw them in a garbage. (I think this is a completely appropriate reaction.) He goes too far and throws them all into wood chipper. I find myself relating to this entire scene up until the last 17 seconds.

Take it easy Ben, you are just a sub. Substitute teacher: https://youtu.be/Dd7FixvoKBw

Split Personality #2: Ruth Langmore, who can make you blush with her raw cussin and brutal lack of filter. Ruth’s demeanor, even while having sex, gives off that don’t-fuck-with-me vibe that can make you cringe. She has also channeled her white-trashness into some useful business woman tips. What is cool as hell about her is she owns her mistakes; no excuses. Fuck is now a noun, verb, adjective, pronoun, adverb and a language in itself because of Ruth. Anyone else speak fluent fuck nugget?

Straight up…my Spirit Animal.

Personality #3 The matriarch of the show, Wendy Byrde, who manages being a mom and wife with political policies. Wendy Byrde is completely transparent with her kids, does whatever the hell she wants in her marriage and uses her political knowledge to commit illegal crimes legally.

First episode of season one: Wendy is an ordinary, stay-at-home mom who gave up her political career/power to raise her kids. Her life was uneventful and easy, and she was unhappy and bored. She thrives in chaos. She had a rough childhood. 👈🏻(This article is brilliant about her acting out when she doesn’t belong.) She comes alive while juggling negotiations with a mexican drug cartel and her power soars when she comes up with strategies to legalize her husband’s money laundering operation. Wendy spins these webs from the safety of her minivan.

Just like any mom does, “Wendy’s got this.” Mom’s know what to do. Wendy can handle almost anything and plow through the day, unaffected. However, what is so relatable: it’s the little shit that throws her over the edge. Everything is cool until her damn emotions slow her down.

She can blow off a call from a drug lord👇🏻.

She can answer her kids tough questions without missing a beat.

Wendy’s-mentality: Don’t sugarcoat anything. Throw us a bone and let us know where we stand. Mama Byrde: OK, here’s a bone…straight up your ass.

TO HUSBAND: “Quite Frankly, I Don’t Give A Damn If You Like It Or Not, Cause I Feel Pretty Good About It. It’s A Good Idea, And I Did It For Our Family. What Did You Do Today… For Our Family?” Wendy Byrde (boom)

Marty replies flatly: “I bought a strip club.” (He is pretty bad ass but I haven’t gone numb yet;)

Everyone has a weakness and Wendy’s is: she cannot handle her brother and his “irrational” behavior. Why can’t her brother just understand that they are laundering money for a mexican drug cartel and everything is going according to plan? Why won’t he leave things alone and stop trying to make everything moral and just? Why doesn’t her brother “get it” that it is normal to be disintegrated in an acid barrel when you stand up to the cartel’s lawyer or you work with the FBI? Why won’t he stop behaving like a toddler and involving the police? Jeez…

Wendy. loses. her. shit. with her brother. The flooding of emotions causes her to get hammered in a parking lot in her minivan for days. When she does eventually come home, she wants to hide under the covers. She doesn’t want to get out of bed. She doesnt care about any of the stuff she was relentlessly working toward. She lost her tenacity and drive. She fell apart.

Which brings me to my “Wendy Moment”. No I did not get hammered in my minivan. What are you nuts? I do not drive a minivan😜.

Backstory: The last seven months during this global pandemic, I’ve taken pride in that I’m a Gen Xer. I have been thriving in this chaos. Watch movies with my kids every night, psshh, my dream come true. I have loved not having to go anywhere. I accomplished so many projects and got in the best shape of my life. I was kicking ass at work and rolling with the changes. My relationship with my kids and husband has never been better. Even when I struggled with e-learning and juggled my kids being home while I was working; I persevered.

Then the little shit happened that threw me over the edge. School started for 2 days, then was canceled for two more weeks (something died inside me that day😜). I broke my own phone and had wait 6 days for a new one (I am still re-doing every password in my life). My daughter received her scoliosis brace and she was NOT happy. This clusterfuck of events has triggered me to split. These are all NORMAL, regular, solvable problems, yet I cannot deal. Like Wendy, I can deal with the crisis and big stuff. The little, unpredictable, emotional shit…not so much ..

👆🏻Mama Byrde broke into her old house in Chicago, then acted out by pulling an adult Goldilocks. She drank their beer and sat on their beds. She realized she no longer belonged to this life anymore.

MOPD Examples:

Monday: I was picking up some girls for a volleyball camp carpool and my friend was talking briefly about her day to me as a elementary teacher; now teaching her students online. It sounded unbearable, extremely stressful and overwhelming. A flashback of me teaching my daughter in May, triggered a depersonalization episode. It was as if I was hovering above both of us, looking at our life thinking “this cannot be real.” Similar to the Wendy-Goldilocks moment when she realized she did not belong in that life anymore.

The no longer knowing is terrifying.

The not knowing how to do our job, not knowing how to be a parent, not knowing how to behave in public (That awkward-should we hug, I want to hug but, are you hugging?…)

Everything we once “knew for sure” we no longer know.(split) In comes Ruth Langmore: “This is crazy. I don’t know shit about FUCK!”

Tuesday 9/28/2020 – I Drive kids to school, attempted to listen to the news on my way home. The discussion about the presidential debate …Flood of emotions …I walk past my office, get in bed and hide under the covers…(split) Ben Davis “I will not fall into line with the others. What you walked into is normal… this is all normal….No, nope, no it’s not …smh…” (split) In comes Ruth again…

“What are you going to do, kill me? you bitch wolf?

☝🏻Ben the sub: insubordinate and churlish☝🏻
Wednesday: My son was excused from school for a golf tournament. I drive him to golf course at 5:30am. By 8:46am: My son has a golf-injury, I shit you not. He hit a ball, it ricocheted off a tree and knocked him in the chin. He was gushing blood apparently. I had to stop working and bring him to urgent care to get stitches. The day was shot. Anything my family said to me after that, I replied:
Kid: “I’m going to ride my bike to Dunkin.”
.
Me: “The fuck you are.”
.
Kid: “I’m going to the skate park.”
.
Me: “The fuck you are.”
. Everyone just stay here, stay safe, stay uninjured. But…wait…we already did that…and that’s not living. Of course I thrived when we were all in a bubble. Nothing ever happened. We were all zombies. That’s not normal. It was a nice break; a reality check on what’s important. Yet it is all a blur. You don’t remember the nights you got plenty of sleep. You remember the nights you almost died in a field while you were at a “sleepover.” “Ok, ok you can ride to Dunkin after you do the dishes, and get decaf”. Look both ways when you cross the street (dipshit).”

“Ok. Ok you can go to skate park after you take out the garbage. You better wear helmet, knee pads, elbow/wrist guards…and here’s some bubble wrap (dumb ass).”

In the end, the little shit is all that matters and that must be why it’s so hard. -Quillan Kelly-Dunn

#freedom

That Was Way Harsh, Tai

As my 14 loyal fans are aware😜, I am a huge fan of the REAL & RAW AF @markmanson
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He posts a free newsletter every Monday. I highly recommend it. How to sign up: https://markmanson.net/newsletter

It’s called MINDFUCK MONDAY. Which I usually read on Tuesday because I’m too tired on Monday to be mindfucked.😂
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Sometimes Mark is way harsh… and I want to crawl back in bed and hide under the covers. 😂 I eventually process and see where I’m wrong…or think more about what he means in ways that make sense in my brain…then move forward.


My kids are at this stage of where explaining to them how to make decisions based on their personal values needs to happen… (yes we should be helping them figure that out- knowing your teens personal values also helps us understand them better.) #homeschoolingrealshit

https://markmanson.net/values/personal-values-guide

Perhaps you don’t even know what your personal values are. It’s okay, just figure it out now by using above guide. It helps you understand why certain situations piss you off more than others.

By Teaching yourself, then you can assist the kids; and your spouse😜.

I am sure we are all teaching our kids the COST of their decisions even while toddlers; without even realizing it. Teaching them the consequences of their actions. However, I think with teenagers, we want to teach them the consequences BEFORE they actually make the decision. Then they won’t ponder “what would happen if I did this?” Example: “Will my mom lose her shit if I say this? Let’s try it….”

Teaching our kids the COST: I.E. spending a half hour reading before playing a video game and a half hour exercising may SUCK. However, what you do now sucks and you will spend one less hour with your friends online; but the BENEFIT outweighs the cost. The COMPOUND EFFECT of this sucking over a year equals GREAT, BIG, HUGE results.

This is also a great read to reinforce daily habits.

Here is an example of Mark Manson link from newsletter:

“Our minds are poor at compounding things over time. We overestimate the pain of doing something for 30 minutes today, without realizing the compounding effects it can have if we fail to do it every day for months and months on end.

Mark Manson

“For example, let’s pretend there’s some imaginary skill that if you practiced for 30 minutes a day, that you’d get 1% better each day for the next year. Now, let’s say you actually did practice for 30 minutes per day — how much better would you be at the end of the year?

But the real answer? You’d be 3,778% — or almost 38 times — better than you were at the start of the year.” https://markmanson.net/decision-making

Thinking of my shenanigans as a 13 and 14 year old has resulted in my having some minor panic stricken moments…

Now I am no expert, however I go with my gut with most decisions and in my few stellar parenting moments. Yes I think Mark Manson is brilliant. However, One thing I have that @markmanson doesn’t have is…offspring.

I have experience with my offspring. The vulnerability of loving someone so much that you created and you are 100% responsible for; that is some real, hardcore shit. Parenting ain’t no joke.

Before I had kids, I believed “KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.”

Post kids belief, “APPLIED KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.”

I thought and believed a lot of things before I had kids that completely changed once I had kids. My personal values are completely different now than they were 15 years ago. Or having kids strengthens the values you did have or causes you to modify your values.

Example: One thing I hated as a kid and teen and now as an adult is mixed messages. I did always value transparency. “Do what you say, say what you mean.” Clear communication and concise messages makes a difference to me. I’m not into games, assuming, expecting someone to know what I’m thinking.

I hate when people expect me to read their mind. I’m not a fan of those work emails that are vague, and sent as a blanket to the whole department addressing someone’s mistake (usually mine). “Please remember to not have sexual intercourse on your desk.” (That was wrong? Should I not have done that?)😜

Then everyone becomes paranoid, “Did I do that? I didn’t know we couldn’t have sex on our desk?!”

I would prefer my boss to address my screw up personally in 10 words or less; then give me the consequences. It sucks at first but I won’t ever make that mistake again. Then move on. The rules are in the handbook. No need to involve everyone. Sheesh.

I see this a lot with my kids. When I am not being clear or specifically asking them what I want them to do; this results in big arguments. They check out after about 10 words. So I attempt to count the words prior to addressing them.

1.) If 2.) You. 3.) Want 4.) Money 5.) You 6.) Have. 7. ) To 8.) Do 9.) These10.) Chores

As far as letting your kid know the consequences before the decision is made, then there is no assumptions. If we are upfront about our expectations and what the consequences are if they do not follow these expectations; there is less battles in the long run (compound effect).

Example: My son has not given me any indication that he has used alcohol yet or has tried to sneak it. However, the more I learn about alcohol and binge drinking; the more I wonder how me and my friends are alive right now. I think about how lucky we were. Anyone else relate?

Sadly, I know some that were not so lucky.

Anyways, I told my son one day in May this year while we were hanging out watching TV “Oh, by the way, If you or any of your friends drink alcohol anywhere, you will lose your phone for a month and no one will come over for the rest of the summer.”

His eyes bulged out of his head and replies softly, “We won’t. I won’t.”

Clear concise consequences stated before the decision. There is no “I didn’t know.”

Now I am aware of the other loopholes that I would have also used with my parents, “You said alcohol! You didn’t say anything about weed or his moms prescription Xanax.”

That is where going with your gut and personal values comes in. Does it feel wrong? Then it probably is.

Last summer, we both told our kids that if they are in a situation that feels wrong; call us and we will pick them up…no questions asked. If they want to talk about it, they can, when they are ready. Also, they also won’t be in trouble for telling the truth.

It was premature to tell them last summer, but I think the shock value of this statement stuck with them so early. Like “what situation could I possibly be in that I would have to call you to pick me up?”

This year, my kids have been in situations that seemed like they are no big deal to me (their friend said or did something they didn’t like or felt wrong) and they came home early or asked us to pick them up. To them, it is ALL a big deal.

I hate FaceTime but I would prefer my kids do that with friends instead of texting. Texting is helpful sometimes, however so much can be misconstrued via text. I tell my kids “have conversations with your friends” and “don’t put anything in writing or post anything you wouldn’t want their mom to read.” Once it’s out there in the “cloud”, it can always be discoverable.

Dealing with peer pressure is difficult, even as an adult. When you do stand up for what you believe or stick with your decision; it stings like a mfer when your “friends” provide you with their consequences for your decision.

Teaching your kids/teens the crabs in a bucket metaphor helps them have a visual. The metaphor of someone pulling you back down “stay here and be miserable with me.” It tough time find a video of crabs in action so I edited one I found from you tube. https://youtu.be/UJdtaaDOkEo

Lastly, my last two parenting tips for yourself and your kids in “five words or less.” #parentyourself

“Nothing good happens after 2am.”

Even if your kids aren’t going to late night bars such as Brewbakers or Grouchos; 😜 staying up at home watching TV or playing video games past 2am is usually not wise. This is where your friends get overtired and start saying stupid shit to stay awake or act out such as kick you out of “video game party” (whatever the hell this is).

Stick with this mindset

How this leads to bad habits as adults=After 2am bad decisions. This is where those last two dranks throw you over the edge; leading to a massive hangover or blackout. Past 2am is where you have beer goggles and hook up with someone that’s a “full-on Monet”…(see below) you wouldn’t have looked at before midnight.

If you have a friend, preferably gay, that calls you “Duchess” or something close to that 😉 . Any friend that makes you blush with how special & supported they make you feel; keep this friend at all costs.
Questionable friendship?
Ross Stores, Women's Fight, Yoga Pants

Fight Club: Business Women in Yoga Pants

Fight Club: Business Women in Yoga Pants

The First rule about fight club is that we should talk about fight club.

We should talk about the constant fight for women to do it all. We are supposed to be business women, short order cooks, waitresses, housekeepers, unpaid Uber drivers and oh yea, moms.

What I envision when someone says “Business Woman” is Sigourney Weaver in Working Girl.

1. Power suit with huge shoulder pads

2. Big office with name& Big TITLE on the door

3. Briefcase & Business cards

4. Stiletto heels

5. Big coffee

6. RBF

This vision seemed to be the only kind of women who could support a family on their own.

Have you ever tried to cook dinner in a dress, blazer or pantyhouse? Total fire hazard.

I could never imagine myself in this role, nor did I ever want to be. Plus I like to be comfortable in my clothes. I thoroughly enjoyed being a worker bee and a mom. I tolerated some humiliating treatment in the past because I thought that’s “just the way it is” and some things “will never change”.

When my kids both were in school full day, the “mom-brain fog” seemed to lift and I was able to think about myself again. I got my health and nutrition back in order and found personal development.

It began with podcasts by Chalene Johnson. I noticed that my day went so much better when I would listen to her podcasts before work. I felt more empowered all day and I finally believed that I did not have to tolerate anything I did not want to.

These podcasts brought me to the realization that after working at the same job for 12 years; I was bored. I was unchallenged, frustrated, fed up with coworker-scheduling dynamics and micromanagement. In my heart, I knew I was meant for more. I was also tired of working evenings, weekends and holidays.

I was ready for the next step…BOSS.

That is what “moving up” means, right?

You become what you think about.

So, I made Pinterest Boards entitled “CEO” “Like a Boss” & “Boss Bitch”. I began actively looking for clinical supervisors and managerial positions.  

An opportunity presented itself and I was offered a Clinical Director position.

I enjoyed giving my two weeks notice to my manager and advising him that I would be leaving to be a DIRECTOR of a department (a title higher than his). I fantasized about this moment for months and his uneventful reaction solidified that I made the right decision to leave. (However I was disappointed he did not beg me to stay, counter with a pay increase etc.)

If you could fight anyone who would you fight?”

“I am the Director of this department” was  broadcasted by me as many times as possible throughout the day. I relished in watching people’s facial expressions change or check their tone when speaking to me.

I am IMPORTANT.

I am POWERFUL.

I thrived on getting up early, working out, sending emails, checking the status of “MY” department.

I owned it.

I rocked boots and $12.99 dresses from ROSS (I know-I am so fancy).

I listened to audio books on my commute. I was UNSTOPPABLE. This is what I wanted! I made it happen! I am killing it. I am making more Money and MONEY IS POWER!

After one month, I was hysterically sobbing after working late…again… and receiving a humiliating phone call with the CEO on my “day off”. My brothers wedding was that night and I didn’t want to go. I went with puffy eyes.

After two months, I was miserable all the time .

I was so confused.  After all, this is what I wanted?

Why am I so unhappy? I assumed it was the growing pains of change. I missed the connections and laughing with my coworkers.

I was lonely.

However, I told myself every morning

“It’s lonely at the TOP” and I persevered.

I focused on what I COULD do. I created a cohesive, unstoppable team like a tribe! I worked on empowering my team members. I devoted time cultivating relationships with my staff and knowing them personally. I got in the arena with them and did the work. I became the manager I always wanted: Someone who has got your back!

I EARNED the title I had and proved to my team that I am their fearless leader.

That did not matter to management though. Now I understood my previous boss a lot better.

Now I was miserable…empty, exhausted, and depressed.

Yes I made a lot more money “per year”. However, In reality, I was putting in 55-60 hours a week at work and spending 3-5 hours in my car commuting.

How much more money was I really making?

Also, I noticed I never felt free. I finally was “off” on weekends with paid holidays; but I was never truly off.

I had no clue what was going on with my kids. I was missing the kids games and planned dinners with my family and friends. I was passing out in my work clothes next to my kids because I missed them so much.  I was not sleeping well. I was getting massive carpal tunnel in my hands from holding the steering wheel so many hours and from typing, writing, and holding the phone.

The coworker “drama” I used to deal with became silly and comical; like a family argument that you look back on and laugh about.  The coworker drama I was exposed to now was some serious shit and I was the one who was supposed to handle it!

So what did I do? What does every girl do when they feel empty? I shopped. I bought more stuff. I justified to myself that I, I need to look good: I AM THE BOSS. If I look good, I feel good. I worked harder and got deeper into the trenches of my arena.

I refused to give up.

I noticed at my kids games that I did make, I had to answer the phone and be available. I was preoccupied with how my department was doing.

My kids were not doing well at school.

I actually craved punching in and working a weekend shift like I used to. I missed working my ass off and then leaving for the day, completely free.

I believed I was being immature and this is what being a “Business Woman” is all about.

I have to tough it out. I have to keep fighting.

Then one day a friend said to me, “You never smile anymore.”

I started to cry. It was the painful truth I was avoiding. I was no longer myself. I realized my kids looked sad and stopped asking me to do things with them “because you always have to work.” Then I noticed that I stopped giving a fuck…about anything…

“Worker bees can leave. Even Drones can fly away. The Queen is their slave.”

Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club.

One night another friend said to me, “Your kids need you.” The guilt, pain and loneliness was unbearable.

After a chain of extremely stressful events that left me feeling lost and sitting in the parking lot, crying by my car; I had a moment of clarity.

What I wanted to be is the BOSS…OF MY LIFE…

I knew in the gut that this job was not the answer. I didn’t call my husband. I didn’t ask anyone for advice. I didn’t ask for permission. I trusted myself. No excuses.

Thankfully I kept a plan B, I stayed on as registry at another hospital. My supervisor there said he could guarantee me at least 20 hours a week. 

I walked in and resigned from my “BOSS” job.

I felt like a failure. I felt like a quitter. Yet I knew I made the right decision. It was a terrifying ambivalence.

It felt like I put my heart and soul into building and decorating a house and establishing relationships with a family; only to hand it to someone else. -Quillan Kelly-Dunn

Then I randomly found some podcasts by Marie Forleo who described failing as a “WIN” because at least the risk was taken and there wouldn’t be that “what if”.

By taking a risk, you found what didn’t work.  At least you know now what you don’t want. -Marie Forleo

Not gonna lie, things were rough in my marriage for two months, but I appreciated my kids and every moment I had with them more than I ever did in my life. That was PRICELESS.

I enjoyed going to their games, being present, making dinner and punching in and out. I enjoyed the “freedom” of being a worker bee.

My husband eventually realized how stressful it was without me being home and how much time and money we were spending on gas, tolls, and trying to figure out childcare. I was smiling again without the stress of what to wear, what to eat and was able to sleep.

I assumed the full-time career I longed for did not exist; however, I wrote it down anyways.

I surrendered by trusting the universe and having faith. I let go of worrying about how my resume looked. I let the chips fall where they may. I gave up the illusion of control.

Things became desperate financially. Out of this desperation, I accepted the first job offered to me. It was less money, temporary, and not that great of benefits. It turned out to be an amazing fit for me that utilized all my strengths. I found my passion, my drive, my balance and my purpose again.

It turned out to be a job I had never done before in the field and working from home. I spent less money on clothes, food, gas, childcare, & commuting. I was free to drop off and pick up my kids every day from school. It also turned out to be exactly what I had written down:

I wrote down: “a job where I could balance between my family and career while maintaining myself, my sanity, my integrity, and be in charge of my own schedule.”

“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”

Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club.

I was looking to feel important, powerful, unstoppable, assertive, ballsy, fearless, empowered, driven and fulfilled. I was looking for a job to make me feel that way.

What I truly wanted was to feel in charge of my life=a title does not equal that.

I am without a full time job again today 1/23/28(my company closed 1/12/18). I am writing this in my yoga pants, with messy hair/no make up on; yet I feel more important than ever.

I feel in control and more powerful than I ever have.  

I feel like a business woman.

I can give myself whatever title I want.

My office is anywhere I want it to be.

I can wear yoga pants or a Ross dress if I want. I’m ready to FIGHT.

“What you see at fight club is a generation of men raised by women.”

Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

After all, you do not have to “get ready” to fight if you are already wearing yoga pants.

18727362-8600-4F76-8E15-565D59393051.jpeg

 Next Blog:

https://quillankelly-dunn.com/2018/03/28/my-brain-is-oatmeal/