One thing we discussed in my session is how very fraught the situation at work seems for me. Instead of being a bit disappointed that it’s not working out as well as I’d hoped, or maybe thinking I don’t know that much yet about this boss or co-worker, I’m likely projecting a lot, to what I think they’re thinking, and I go right to wanting to jump off a bridge. I could take it easier. Ron didn’t say that exactly, but I think that. I’m going to extremes here.
Why is that. The situation must be triggering me into old feelings. One thing I thought of is how very isolated I was as a child. Especially as a teenager actually. I found high school very very rough. I had few social skills, and felt like an outcast. Then at home, my father had stopped speaking with me, and my family more or less colluded in this – they pretended it was not happening. I felt surrounded by people who would not talk to me as if I were a normal human being, who counted.
Writing this is scaring me a bit. In session, I said that basically, in my family, no one cared how I felt. I kind of didn’t know what that would be like, if someone actually cared. Once in a while, I’d experience bits of caring, mostly from women. Some aunts were kind to me, and treated me like someone with feelings. The nicer ones were in old European country though, so very far away. One of my mother’s friends was kind, but in an over-emotional kind of way I found difficult.
The consequence of this was, I didn’t really learn how to be kind, how to care, and what people were like. People just seemed dangerous to me, and I mostly pretended no one else was there. That seemed the only safe thing to do. Any feelings I had, I’d mostly try and pretend I didn’t have them.
So that was hard. Now I’m an adult, and things are different. I’ve changed – I’ve learned that people have feelings, that people might care about me and I about them. Even if I haven’t found a lot of friends, I know how to care and how to show some caring also.
So with the people at work being so very reserved, I must feel triggered back into that time when no one cared and when the only safe thing to do was to pretend no one else was there. That was so painful.
I don’t know if that is what the people at work are doing. I don’t understand Chinese culture and what things mean. Surely I’m not catching the subtleties. It is definitely a different culture, and I can’t expect people to act in a typically Western way.
Anyway, that’s why I want to jump off a bridge. It’s not so much what’s actually happening. That might feel strange and unusual, but it would not normally be devastating.