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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-11 02:53 PM
Original message
I need some feedback, please.
Edited on Fri Jan-28-11 03:01 PM by HereSince1628
This is about me and Wisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Last summer on the advice of Wisconsin Workforce Development counselors I made contact with the W-DVR to get assistance with getting back into the workforce after my breakdown. Being considered enough of a danger to other people that the place that fired me had me arrested and involuntarily detained, my teaching career is shot and I needed, still need, help figuring out how to go forward. I had hoped that by the time I was off the DVR waiting list I would have been months into some effective psychotherapy. But that never happened.

So now I have got to do the DVR thing knowing I am not well and without help to lean on. In the past my interactions with social workers have been very challenging and have sent me home in a dark funk that turned into bad behavior (raging-dissociation-self harm). I tried desperately throughout Dec to get some help lined up, knowing that my DVR appointment was going to come, and wanting to avoid repeating past scenarios.

(Just so you know...This past Monday I was hospitalized with what looks to have been an anxiety attack that just swept over me with no warning (I really wasn't aware I was worrying about things anymore than usual, I was just laying down watching _House_). My blood pressure sailed up near ~180/140, my heart raced. I thought I was chilled to the bone and shaking like a dog left out in freezing rain. They held me overnight, more out of concern about me harming my self (that always seems to be something they trip over) than concern for my heart, or gall bladder or whatever caused me to have 4 hours of intense chills, violent shaking and remarkably high BP. No one is sure what it was, and my follow-up is scheduled for Tuesday with primary care, not a psychiatrist.)


Yesterday, I had my first appointment with a DVR counselor. It went sort of OK for 10 minutes and then while outlining things we'd be doing he dropped the line that I had already used 30 of my 90 days of help with him. I switched mental roles in an instant went into defensive posture and split him off as an enemy. And I fumed, then, and all night. All of which is pretty much the way my social interactions always seem to go.

My request to you isn't about my borderline. It's about whether the following letter that I sent to DVR headquarters in the state capitol seems, at least on the surface, to be a reasonable response to what I experienced. I just don't trust my own responses to the world anymore...When I am in defensive mode aggression is always a first thought. I can't afford to do that, but I never seem to be able to get off defense without feeling I've defended myself...and I did this:


"I understand the authoritarian tone of much of your department's communications has to due with anxiety about fraud. I also understand that lack of individual motivation to seek work is a problem your department anticipates from consumers of your department's programs. Still, I think that one practice of your department is just very strange; indefensible in common terms. It seems that in the authoritarian climate of the DVR, the administrative interest to defeat fraud and malingering may have moved the department's policy into a circumstance that both is unfair and violates equitable treatment between DVR consumers.

My concern has to do with the 90 day deadline for producing an individual plan for employment with the assistance of a DVR counselor.

Yesterday, at my first appointment after coming off the waiting list for services, I was informed by Mr W-H that my 90 days were actually about 60. That is because I had already used up more than a month of days between when I was notified and the January 27th appointment that I was given. I have no idea what is true and what is not. But I find the policy as I was introduced to it to be perverse for several reasons. If that policy actually exists I want to approach my Wisconsin legislators to push for changes in the laws/ code/ regulations/ and or rules that have created it.

On the one hand, a user of DVR services has no choice about when a first appointment occurs when coming off a list. The consumer is in effect being penalized for the availability of a counseling appointment. That is a matter completely out of the consumer's control. On the other hand, the number of days between when consumers are notified they are coming off a list and when an appointment is available is UNlikely to be uniform between consumers, owing to the relative positions of work holidays, and variability in caseload. Consequently, different consumers are probably being assigned unequal durations of DVR services.

At first glance, it seems very unlikely to have been the purposeful intent of any legislative or administrative rule-making body in the State of Wisconsin to create such an inequitable implementation. But then, I do appreciate that I am not familiar with the governing documents and authorities under which the DVR must operate. I accept there is a possibility that your department could be legislated or otherwise administratively directed into what seems to be an unusually distrustful and hostile attitude toward consumers of its services.

If you could, please direct me to the section of Wisconsin Code, or DVR regulations or policy directives that stipulate the above described policy. I would appreciate it."
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-11 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
1. well, the tone is a little cranky, but
it makes sense. i presume you didn't write it in crayon, so i think it is ok. the situation does seem pretty fubar.
i know that most of the dems got beat up there, but is there any chance you have a state rep that would help you? i think if yours is worth their salt at all that they would have to intervene in this. or is there an ombudsman for the program at the state level? it's a fine letter, but i suspect it will not really lead to anything, just bureaucracies being what they are.
can you get disability? would it do you any good to do that?
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-11 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks...
This has spawned a crisis between me and the SO. Too many issues to get into...but it's a mess, I let her hear my recording of the counseling session and she just tore into me using it to validate all of her own disappointments.

Ah well...pointless to pursue this thread while in this mood.

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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-11 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. i am pretty sure
it is almost always a bad idea to share anything about therapy with an SO. sorry it blew up. but it usually does eventually.
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Tobin S. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-11 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
4. I don't think it's out of line if that's what you are worried about
And I don't think sending it in will hurt you in any way. You come across as reasonable and intelligent.

It seems to me that one thing you are having trouble with is controlling the impulse that sends you into a defensive and maybe a confrontational state of mind. If you can find a way to short circuit that impulse you might be able to make it through one of those sessions without having too much trouble. I can understand being angry in those circumstances, though. I would be, too.

I think I might have gotten a little taste of what BPD can do to a person last week. I was going through orientation for a new job with several other people. One of them was a 26 year old woman who I think might have BPD.

We were all sitting in the driver's lounge (I'm a trucker) and there was one guy there who would just not stop talking. It wouldn't have been so bad if he actually stopped to listen here and there. What made it worse was that he clearly did not know what he was talking about half the time, but he rambled on like he knew everything. The young woman had enough of it and started yelling and cussing at the guy. Everything she said was true, but it was said in a way that was hurtful, mean, rude...and loud. She was really tearing that guy down and at one point I thought she was actually going to attack him. Another woman that was there got her out of the room. A member of the staff went out and had a few words with her and she chilled out.

But she turned on a dime, man. She was happy to be getting into a new job that looked like it was going to be pretty good. She was friendly with everyone and she was actually flirting with me at one point. She showed no outward signs that she might get aggressive and angry. It was like it just came out of nowhere.

After that, everything went smoothly until the last day of orientation. Truckers have to undergo a thorough background check to get a job at most companies. Employment history, driving record, criminal history, and military service must all be checked out. The young woman I was talking about had been in the military, but there was some aspect of her service that could not be verified. I'm not sure what it was, but they were claiming that she had falsified her application in some way regarding her service. The young woman said that everything was on the up and up, but instead of taking the proper steps to clear things up she teed off again. She treated the woman that was working with her the same way that she had treated that guy earlier in the week. A guy came out to the lounge holding a cell phone and told her to leave the building. He was calling her a cab and she no longer had a job there. She refused to leave so the guy called the cops next. She sat in a cop car until the taxi got there.

She pissed away a good job and damn near got arrested and charged with a misdemeanor because she could not control the impulse to get angry, confrontational, and defensive. Everything might have been able to get cleared up with a few phone calls if she just could have kept her cool.

I'm not really sure if she has BPD, but she acted in a way that leads me to believe that she does. It seems consistent with some of the symptoms, especially the quickness with which her mood changed. I know she didn't want to be like that, she just had no control. She was remorseful that she had treated the office person badly almost as soon as the confrontation ended. But it was too late.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-11 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Exquisite sensitivities around self-esteem show up in several
disorders, but it certainly could have been BPD. The stuff I've read about BPD suggests that over-vigilance is part of the defensiveness many BPDs feel. Consequently BPD's are (usually to our own detriment) often very good at finding something to get upset about.

I can appreciate how an irrepressible impulse/emotional need to defend against unfairness or a point of principle might be acted out, particularly if it's a bureaucratic snafu. Attempts to defuse the circumstance (talking to the person in the hallway, etc) could be seen as attempts to invalidate a perception that seems very real (and probably has some justification). Invalidating a person's fears, although it seems like a reasonable thing to do, can be just like throwing gasoline on an emotional fire, because they see it as an attempt to cover-up what the BPD 'knows' as truth. The more defensive a BPD becomes, the more the people around the BPD interpret it as inappropriate aggression. And, there is no denying that at some point it could become that.

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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
6. Feb 7 update...
Neither the Federal Law that funds Vocational Rehabilitation, or Wisconsin Code, or Administrative Rulings is responsible for the policy that results in inequitable timelines for the development of 'Individual Plans.'

My DVR counselor's supervisor says it is a policy. The policy is written on page 11 of their Policy Manual. SOOooo the next step is finding who authorized the policy manual and who wrote Page 11.

It seems to be going the way I thought...somebody--probably mid-level administrator--and not a legislator sensitive to the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution, or an administrator sworn to uphold federal and state law wrote a policy for the Department of Workforce Development-Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Now I can press to find out WHO wrote this awful policy.

Knowing what it is, I can also find out if it has been tested in court. Mean people who distrust their clients make rules that deny people of their rights. I'm going to stop it and I'm going to hold the asshole who wrote it accountable.

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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. BEST of LUCK with your targeted quest, HereSince.
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. There was a committee, there was a member...
who in response to his/her own frustrations decided to act like a martinet.

I will know the committee, and thereby the jerk who wrote the policy.

And I will reveal the prejudice in that person's thinking to current DWD-DVR administrators.

I can only hope, but do not really expect, that the embarrassment will cause the policy to change.
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