In response to your questions:
At age 18, how were you ambushed? What was the feeling you experienced?
I can't remember a particular incident that occurred where I felt ambushed. It was the year I began University. I started out with a plan to do an engineering degree , and half way through the year I struggled with the decision to change to a Psychology degree course. I had had a lot of pressure from teachers at school to do a degree that was less traditional for women to complete, as I had had excellent marks in science subjects. In the end I completed a Science degree in Psychology with Biology and
During this time I also split up with one of my first
boyfriends - mainly because he was becoming very possessive. I remember being very upset/sad about this - because in other ways he made me happy - we had a lot of laughs together.
At age 5 how were you ambushed? What was the feeling you experienced?
At age 5 I started school. I don't have many memories of that time. However I did not like my teacher and I found her quite scary and strict. She wore black every day and a hat. I remember being told off by her in front of the whole class because I shared some gum I had bought to school during class. I remember hanging my head in shame. I may have tried to blame someone else.
I remember another incident in school when I was a bit older where I was playing with my vagina while sitting on the mat having a story read to the class by the teacher. I remember the teacher telling me to stop it in front of the other students. I felt
embarrassed, ashamed and angry.
I remember a number of incidents with teachers. At age 10 I had a teacher who was quite mad and left half way through the year after a breakdown. That class was very stressful. None of the student knew what to expect from moment to moment. This teacher claimed to have ESP and would test people to see if they were telling the truth using ESP. Kids were regularly strapped in front of class. I was not (being a good girl) but I did live in fear while in class.
At age 13 my mother had a manic episode and spent six weeks in a mental hospital. The time when she was manic was very stressful for myself and my
family (Father and younger brother). She has had one other manic episode since then when I was 29.
Looking back at my child hood now - I think my mother may have stuggled with depression for much of my childhood. I remember always feeling responsible for trying to keep my parents relationship together - acting as a go between and trying to listen to them. Don't get me wrong - there were fun times too...
How does your current situation make you feel ambushed? What is the emotional pattern at 5, 18, and now?
In my current job I am a Human Resources and Training Manager for a Community Trust
that provides support and accommodation for people with a psychiatric disability. My job is to look after employment issues - recruitment, employment contracts, employment grievances, provide employment advice to managers, manage the employment aspects of restructuring etc. Employment law in New Zealand is very different than America. It is very difficult to discipline or dismiss employees. I often feel
ambushed in my work. My job is to protect the company from ambush by employees. I need to anticipate possible ambush and make
strategic moves to ensure any conflict is handled and does not escalate. In addition some of the people I work with are not very supportive and I feel I need to watch my back and have to be able to justify my actions. There is more work to be done than time to do it in. My boss is not particularly good at setting realistic timeframes for the completion of work. I often fear his disapproval. What I do at my work I generally do very well but I sometimes don't get through the volume of work that there is to be done.
During the early part of my relationship with
Dxxx he had difficulty with anger due to his accident and the circumstances that followed. He would sometimes surprise me with an outburst -- that felt like an ambush. This happens a lot less frequently now. The circumstances in
Dxxx's life have been very stressful for both of us since his accident but they are getting better all the time. We now have times when both of us are less anxious and fearful and are relaxed. I have a lot of love and respect for Daniel.
My mind is often occupied with my work and things I
perceive I need to do that aren't getting done. This is quite stressful. Often lately I feel too tired to do things even when I do find some time.
What do you know that, if you would have known at age 5, you would/could have
reacted differently and it would have made your life less stressful then and now?
I think I am always having to watch myself
for being over responsible for things...And I worry too much about what
other people think. This causes me a lot of underlying anxiety. It also
makes it difficult to share my feeling and opinions with other people in
case they reject me or yell at me. My dad and his parents used to
communicate that way a lot) Dxxx has helped me a lot by encouraging me to
speak my mind.