I feel as if I’ve come through this boss problem – I feel better.

Yesterday I went off to my twelve step group, and this time it was a good experience – I was so glad I went. Not that I had a fantastic time there, because sitting listening to people’s very painful issues can be hard. But I felt better afterwards – more connected to the world somehow. One of the people there makes a point of coming over to talk to me – she’s kind of a leader, so she’s being friendly as a matter of policy. But I’ll take it. If people want to be kind, I’ll  accept.

I spoke briefly about this boss situation. It was a very large group – I’d say almost thirty people, and everyone is theoretically supposed to have a chance to share, so there wasn’t much time available for each person. But that’s OK – I don’t tend to go on for a long time, I kind of say my piece and stop. I’m not relaxed enough to expand on things anyway.

I like to speak about my daily life, rather than deeper issues of trauma or parts. I find I get a lot out of just sharing life stuff, and I’m not sure the vulnerability needed to share on trauma would pay off for me in this group. I just want to feel some connection, and to feel less alone in my struggles. Plus it’s surprising – sometimes someone relates to an issue I share. Like this time, I woman came up to me after and said she related to my troubles at work. I felt too emotional to discuss it with a stranger, but I thanked her before I left. It’s nice to think, oh yeah, other people, normal looking people, struggle with similar things.

I’m considering getting more into step work. I think what really propels people along are step studies. However, I’m a little leery also. I’m leery of being more triggered than I am already by my therapy. Plus, I just have a hard time committing to things when I so often shut down and can’t get out to attend. But – I would get to know people better, and the steps might be beneficial.

I’ve been again trying to watch House of Cards. I don’t really like it. I can see that it’s good, well written and acted, complex. I just don’t emotionally like it. I think it reminds me a bit of work, of how I fear things are really happening there. Paranoia anyone? The clothes, the self presentation, the need to act a certain way at all times. And in a show, I need to connect to someone, and everyone in House of Cards  is just evil, basically. Not even misguided, but downright bad. So, I might give up on it. I don’t know why I can’t just sit back and be glad I don’t work at the White House. Maybe at another time in my life I’ll like it.

Two more days of work. Mornings of work. Of sitting in my cubicle anyway.

I’m trying to reframe the boss’ actions. He has generally been polite, so likely he left for vacation and just didn’t think about my leaving. It doesn’t have to be deliberate. So I’ll think of it like that. I still feel angry at the way he swooped in and took away my project. But – maybe that’s the way he always works. It again doesn’t have to be personal. I think I’m through the worst of the triggered feelings, and am trying to tell myself a happier story.

I’m also stopping myself from thinking pessimistically about my next contract. Why not expect good things? Why not expect that I will have good work to do, with a decent manager, and that I’ll be accepted and appreciated? This could happen after all.

In general, I’m trying for kindness to self. Especially kindness to younger parts, who seem to believe everything I think. I need to send B good positive messages – Ron is coming back, he hasn’t gone away for good; this next contract will most likely be a good change, with good people; allergy season only lasts a few weeks – it’s not forever. Stuff that I know, but need to explain to younger parts.

  1. Sirena said:

    I’m glad group went better. 🙂

  2. leb105 said:

    Glad you’re feeling better, E!
    I’m interested that you were able to feel connected in the group by sharing a layer of your experience – I wonder how that would have sounded. Our sharing in group has centered on interactions between group members, and our feelings about same, it seems like there’s a little bias against sharing outside experiences, altho if we can relate our outside experience to what’s happening inside it can get pretty interesting.
    I noticed that you discount the woman’s friendly overture as ‘policy’ – I guess it would be risky and naive to think that she might sincerely like you and want to know you better. Very House of Cards!
    It seems like it’s helpful (and new) for you to consider that the bad stuff might not be personal – or doesn’t have to be – but you still tend to think that the good stuff isn’t personal, either!
    Do you think that the way your Dad treated you was personal, or was it about him, and what got triggered?

    • Ellen said:

      This is a 12 step self-help group – the focus is completely different from a psychodynamic therapy group. For instance there is no cross-talk allowed – members share, but no one may comment on what they say. There is no discussion of group or personal dynamics. It’s surprisingly helpful – it feels sometimes quite nurturing and accepting to me. I am curious – are you finding your group therapy helpful?

      About the friendly woman – it’s true, she could also like me, and I would likely do better thinking like that. However she is often the group leader (it rotates a bit) and a longtime member, also a social worker. I think she’s fulfilling a role by trying to be welcoming. Which is great really – newcomers need that. She seems like a real nice person. I’m sure she does like me at least a bit (we don’t know each other), also though, thanks for pointing that out. I don’t think I ever thought of a House of Cards level of manipulation – he he. What does she really want? What’s her game???

      The way my dad treated me was all about him.

      Thanks for commenting Laura.

      • leb105 said:

        I find group helpful, yes. for me, it’s about staying in touch with myself while also listening to other people talking about their experience – I tend to tune myself out, and what I “share” are my thoughts about THEM. Maybe that doesn’t surprise you! I feel as if I haven’t made much progress, altho people disagree. I enjoy the effort.
        I hadn’t really thought about how that would differ, speaking without expectation of a response. It reminds me of the graveyard scene in Our Town! How do you choose what to share? You don’t have the difficulty of making it relevant. Occasionally I consider making a practice of sharing for 2 minutes – you’ve revived this idea!

        • Ellen said:

          Good to hear you are getting things out of group. One of the things I learned from it also was to try not to abandon myself when others are present, trying to make them feel a certain way, or to make them like me. I don’t want to do a ton of that in real life, but it’s good to know it’s even an option.

          For a self-help group – I guess you choose what to share the same way you do for a therapy session, just there might be added considerations. Whatever issue is plaguing you. The other way, is if you are working the steps, you can talk about how that is going for you. Or some people talk about the readings. People are very individual in what they decide to talk about, much more so than they were in my therapy group.

          Sometimes someone will come up after group and you might discuss your share then, if you want. But it’s a lot tamer than it might be in a therapy group.


          • leb105 said:

            that’s so interesting, Ellen, that there’s comfort to be found from that kind of parallel sharing. Thanks!

  3. Cat said:

    House of cards is not one I know, but I’ll look out.

    It’s hard, but there does not seem to be any point worrying what the boss thinks, he wasn’t thinking a lot of you by all accounts. He’s evidently a bad manager and I do hope this next job is better. Is it another short contract?

    What is the 12 steps for?

    • Ellen said:

      Actually, at times I enjoy House of Cards – it’s just not a feel good type of show. If you enjoy political shenanigans – watching them I mean, you might like this show.

      You’re right, he wasn’t thinking much about me. And most of my interactions with him were pleasant and low key. I just get triggered into my stuff, is what happens. The next job is again six months, but may extend. I hope it does – six months is too short.

      It’s an ACA meeting – adult children of alcoholics and dysfunctional families. Which includes pretty much anyone who wants to go really.

      Thanks Cat

  4. e.Nice said:

    I’m glad you feel better. The triggering sucks, but do you feel like you were able to come through it ok? it sounds like you have and that is important. I’m really impressed that you went to group, and glad it was a good experience. That sounds too scary to me! 🙂

    • Ellen said:

      I do feel I came through it completely OK. Today was my last work day, and I feel resolved about it, more or less. I feel OK.

      I like groups – I’ve been to quite a few. 12 steps feels quite safe to me, because there’s such a ritual about it, I know exactly what to expect.

      Thanks e.

  5. Rachel said:

    So glad you made it through all of those tough emotions. It sounded so painful. I remember 12 step groups and thinking people were just being nice. And maybe they were, but it was still human contact and someone reaching out. I’m glad you let yourself take some of that support in, regardless of the motivation behind it. You’ve certainly been doing a lot of work around the boss stuff, and I think it paid off.

    • Ellen said:

      It was horribly painful, thanks Rachel. I think of it as if a bubble of emotions from the past was popped, and suddenly I was in all that. I feel OK now about this boss.

      I know, about people being nice. In the end, does it matter why? Like you say, it’s still a good thing.

      thank you

      • leb105 said:

        I like that idea!

  6. A lot of rough emotions around the end of this work, but I’m surprised and impressed at how quickly you’ve been able to come to a place of greater peace about it. It is true, the interaction with the boss is most likely not personal. It’s also true that the next contract is likely to be better. This is not just positive self-talk, but it is pretty realistic. I’m so glad you are feeling better!

    • Ellen said:

      I think endings trigger some of my feelings about all kinds of other endings that I’ve gone through, as well. And I really think that my path involves going through the emotions, to some extent anyway. I seem to get through them, and then they change, luckily.

      Thanks for your comments re realism – I’m inclined to think you’re right on that.

      Thank you Q.

  7. Ellen, I like your ideas for not taking the boss things personally. Good job. Do you like funny stuff? If you do then you may like big bang theory. Its very funny and I love it. Never watched house of cards. X

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