Monday, March 7, 2011

Rewiring the Noggin - An Ambitious Activity

Right.  I've started to read a bunch of books.  They've provided me with some of the knowledge so I can begin to make my way out of this maze.
Actually, if this horrid funk were an actual maze it would be built of cold, foggy glass bricks, and I'd come across just enough bland-tasting protein bars and occasional bit of limp salad and tepid water to keep me going.
Oh, and sometimes, a big landslide of poo would drop on my head and I'd have to start all over again.

So.  A strategy.  Umm... haven't got one yet, but it's being fervently worked on.
So let's try this for now:

  • Acknowledgement and Reframing

Event - The WorkSafe claim has been accepted by my employer's insurance company.
I got a large package in the mail full of brochures and forms telling me so.

Acknowledged Emotions Regarding Event 
Relief: I will have an income whilst recovering from my injury.

Fear: Receiving any correspondence or contact regarding the incident or my employer conjures up overwhelming amounts of anxiety and causes me to relive the experience in my head, resulting in stammering, incoherent speech and teeth-gnashing.  Unpleasant.  I just want to be left alone to get better thank-you-very-much.

Confusion: I'm not as organised as I once was.  There are forms to be filled in and the brochures are of the 'one size fits all variety', with the general message of 'stay positive and focus on returning to work'.
This would be more appropriately directed towards a someone who's had a physical injury, but it's unhelpful in terms of someone who has had a severe psychological blow.
The people I have been speaking to have not been putting any pressure on me to return to the workplace, and have acknowledged that the printed information can be confusing in terms of volume and language.
Whilst this is a positive, I find the disparity between the literature and the spoken interactions can be distressing.

Resentment: Yes, it's a 'win', (success of claim = acknowledgement that work did royally f**k me up and it's not just me being stupid) but a very bitter one.  This 'win' is a confirmation that there was gross neglect, lying (by omission or otherwise) and abuse of trust.
Why was I put in that position at all?  The company I worked had a set of four values that I lived by.
Yet the decision-makers chose not to abide by the very values they (and their marketing team) created; the money they used in re-branding and selling those values to the staff and public totally wasted.
Is "put your money where your mouth is" no longer obvious?      

Now, this is where I attempt to put the above event under a different microscope and hope to 're-frame' it from an unhelpful perspective into a helpful one.  This is hard, but here goes:

Re-frame 1 - I am fortunate that I shall be receiving 95% of my pre-injury income for 13 weeks.
This will allow me to pay bills, keep up my financial obligations, pay rent and eat food.  Whilst my lifestyle been thrown down the rabbit hole (and yes, I'm still tumbling) at least the basics are accounted for.  I'll also have a chance to do some of the regular things one enjoys, like going to the movies, eating out (not expensively!) on occasion and maybe going on little day trips to the countryside.
Oh my goodness.  Revelation; I currently have the lifestyle of a penny-pinching, lavender-haired retiree.  Laugh? Cry?
Both, I think.

Re-frame 2 - Whilst communicating with my employer, their insurer or having any associations or task relating to 'the incident', all parties involved have tried to be as helpful and courteous as possible, and are accepting of my limitations.
When I say, "this is upsetting", or "I can't speak to you because it can set off an anxiety episode", they generally get it.
When I ask to be left alone, they try not to bother me much.

Re-frame 3  - Whilst I am easily confused and am a cognitive mess (sometimes teacups are misplaced in the bathroom and face cream ends up in the pantry) I have been assigned a case manager by the insurance company that I can call and generally 'dump on' (oh my word, I've never been a 'dumper' and find this mortifying) when confused or freaked out.  Poor chap...

Reframe 4 - I have won.  It's shitty that there was even a battle in the first place, but my position has been vindicated.

And lastly, whilst this is not a re-frame, it's a last-resort, back-against-the-wall thought that sits in the back of my mind - I can instigate legal action if need be.

Horrid, but comforting.

~ Useful ~
Acknowledging the Negative in Leading Lasting Positive Change

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