Bad day

My last session was fine and so far, I’m not badly missing Ron, who is off on a European vacation for two weeks, meaning three weeks until we meet again. We did talk about how his leaving felt to me. I just said it seems as if everybody leaves all the time….I remembered leaving my home country, where yes, I left, but to a child’s mind, it was as if everyone I cared about suddenly left. Then relatives who cared about me came to visit in North America, but then left again. So I have experience with being left and it doesn’t feel good. However, dealing with it in sessions seems to have helped. I don’t feel that need of Ron that I’ve felt in the past when he decamped temporarily.

I remember last week, after a really difficult parts heavy session, I felt a need for Ron all week. I didn’t contact him though, for some reason. If felt too hard to risk reaching out. But this week, I don’t have that, luckily.

That said, I had this horrible day at work. Horrible day piles on horrible day, and I wonder how long I can last. The plan was to wait out this contract until September, then find something else. I just don’t see how i can do that.  However, I do have this impulse to do something right away, to end the pain of it, and that impulse is not a great thing to follow.

For the last few days, I have had no work to do. Meanwhile my co-worker stays late every day, busy with tasks. I am supposed to help out with her stuff, as assigned, and my boss is ignoring my existence.

I find being ignored quite triggering. I was ignored by my family, I was punished by being shunned, and I find it difficult to stand this. This is a cubicle situation, and my co-worker and i are sitting opposite each other, so the boss comes by all day long to tell her what to do and how to do it. She really pretends I’m not there.

Besides the being ignored, it gets hard to fill that much time. I no longer care that they see me surfing the internet or on my phone, but still. Eight hours of nothing. I feel quite useless.

I know I haven’t done a great job perhaps at downloading the files. I make mysterious mistakes, which the boss then corrects, copying my co-worker. The thing is, she never gives me enough to do that I can gain any competence – I guess she just prefers to give the work to the co-worker, who already knows how to do it.

And I hate this boss. I know she’s damaged. I can see she’s been traumatized, or had a difficult childhood at least. She’s always switching tones, copying different people’s speech patterns. She’s loud and doesn’t make sense. She treats those below her on the hierarchy as completely lesser.

It’s like she can hurt by sub-consciously figuring out what you can’t stand, and providing that. Maybe I’m exaggerating. But I don’t think she thinks out how to cause pain – she just follows her instincts and does that beautifully. It’s not in her interest to drive me out, at least not before this contract is over. Her last employee in my job quit. If I quit too, it’s going to look bad on her.

At the same time, I wonder what I did wrong. I’m getting more and more paranoid. Is it the email I sent today, to team leads, the scheduling email? I did say something about how to estimate the editing time – was that over some line that I should know not to cross? Is it the actual editing? I have had no feedback whatsoever on that. Editing is not black and white – do they want me to do something differently? Is that important director, the team lead, now treating me more coldly than he was? He seems to be. What is it that I’ve done?

So my mental state is not good. I had similar issues on Thursday when I went for my session. Ron thought perhaps I need to take action, the way I did previously. It’s true I felt empowered last time I asked for a meeting with my boss, and before that, when I resigned. He said if I don’t take action, my energy is going to go into paranoid thoughts. Maybe.

I have to do something. I cannot stand eight hours on eight hours trapped in a cubicle with no work to do, with paranoid thoughts whirling around my brain.


  1. If your boss is really that traumatized seeming, then I think what you are doing “wrong” is probably something that relates to her basic needs as a person: Does she feel unimportant? Left out? Rejected? It’s almost impossible not to trigger someone who has a lot of trauma (as I know from being me 🙂 ) Did she have one idea and you had a different idea? That would do it, because then she will feel rejected. People can usually take it out on the lowest ranking person in the organization, but not on people with more power. Then they would get in trouble, so you are in a hard spot to be in, because you are a contract worker. You are always available to the crazy person who knows you need to get paid. It’s rough.

    • Ellen said:

      Could be. We definitely see things differently and have completely different areas of competence, while my co-worker has training similar to hers. So there’s that. And the big boss has praised me a few times, trying to shore me up. Maybe she didn’t like that. I really really don’t know. Maybe I’m imagining a lot of it, and it’s not really that bad?

      I know she has a lot of trauma just because I recognize the signs – the way she doesn’t connect with people, but kind of talks at them, the way she seems completely driven by her emotions, immediately expressing everything to whoever is available. I am by nature not very compliant – maybe that’s enough to trigger her, even though I am not overtly opposing what she says. I will think about this and try and figure out what might be triggering her.


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