Talking myself down

I’d forgotten how awful the depression part of all this is. The frantic wish for escape, twirling around and around, twisting this way and that way. There is no escape because this is my mind.

I’ve been too down to write about my sessions. They are pretty good actually. I started bringing up my reservations about Ron’s therapy, and he was good with all that. And he’s changed his approach a bit – he’s more involved somehow. He’s telling me some things that are a bit hard to hear at times, but it’s OK. I want to know what he thinks. Maybe he was being super gentle, and has decided I can take more feedback from him.

Something about depression though makes me reluctant to describe sessions. As if they will hurt worse if I talk about them.

I’m not totally sure what’s caused this latest bout. We did have some intense heat, which I find very stressful, so there’s that. Then the subways seem to melt in the heat – much longer wait times, and then packed into the cars in a way I find super stressful.

Then work, where I’ve basically given up. I can see what’s needed is essentially formatting and checking that nothing bad has happened to the documents. What’s not really needed is making them readable, especially not for a general audience. These documents are only read by specialists anyway. I am wasting the other workers time with endlessly trying to understand. In any case, I’m not given enough time to do much more than format.

I had work once before that was similar – another bureaucratic organization, with engineers this time, and very complex templates that required specialists, ‘writers’, to enforce.

The thing is, I was thinking of taking the job once my contract expires. I so so badly want to not keep starting again, needing to get used to a whole new set of co-workers, a whole new subject matter, and a different boss with different expectations. I just feel I can’t do it anymore.

But I can’t stay at this one either. I’m not sure if this boss is actually triggering me, or just making my life stressful and absurd. No one in my family has her borderline type characteristics – no one is loud and basically illogical. Or maybe I’m doing her a disservice. It’s more like she has severe communication challenges. She cannot seem to imagine what someone else would need to know in order to understand what she’s saying. Instead she repeats her statement over and over, getting more and more frustrated.

So can she be triggering me if she doesn’t remind me much of childhood authority figures? The only part that reminds me is the relationship between boss, J, and my only team-mate, B. J micromanages B, and B responds by being very very soothing and compliant. This is how my mother and father interact. My mother lost what identity she had in complete compliance to my father, who is controlling and will get very angry if his wishes are not carried out. Not that that every happens.

So in that way, yes, I could be triggered. However, B is not an authority figure for me, so it’s different.

I feel crazy for other reasons too. We were talking yesterday about how I feel about being in parts. Ron has often remarked how my mood plunges whenever we talk about this. I do find it hard to accept, even after all these years. I forget a lot of the switches after they are over. And I used to try never to pay attention to what was going on internally, so I missed the sense of being fractured that I’m feeling all the time now. If the dissociation was more severe, I wouldn’t have that, but as it is less so, I feel it.

I feel like this work situation is a tragedy. Which it is not. I’m trying to talk myself down. It’s something I need to do for a few more weeks, it’s not forever. Yes, some interactions are unpleasant, but that’s all they are. I am not being bullied or ostracized. I don’t have more work than I can handle. The work is not that interesting, but a bit of boredom never killed anyone. Excepting my boss, I am treated well. Even with my boss, her behaviour towards me, her speeches to the team on how to improve, are not personal. They reflect what I’m sure is her own troubled upbringing. I’ve been targeted by a boss before, and this isn’t it.

I just need to be as pleasant as I can, and get through this. I thought I could use it for rent money and then forget it while I worked on therapy and other parts of my life, but it sees I can’t. OK. I will find something else, hard as that is for me sometimes.

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16 comments
  1. I don’t think that this is a situation that I could tolerate long term either. For me, the trigger would be having a boss who wasn’t actually reacting to/ seeing me.

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, that part sucks. Though most bosses I’ve had have not seen me, so it’s an extra layer of badness! Thanks.

  2. Grainne said:

    It’s not just your reaction to her that is in question, my friend. She is belittling and a bully, much like one of my two bosses, and that is hard to take no matter what.

    • Ellen said:

      Ugh, that’s true. And it is so hard to take. Thank you

  3. I wouldn’t be able to stay there either, long term. It sounds triggering to me because your boss is mean. There’s just not a better way to put it. She’s mean, and a bully, and she might be that way because she is insecure, but it’s not okay.

    • Ellen said:

      Yeah, I need to leave. I suspect bullies are insecure in general anyway, and that doesn’t make it OK. Thanks

  4. maybe it is the whole her not being able to communicate properly and effectively that s the trigger? you know if you look at the way your mother and father communicatd with you, maybe that’s playing into it too? I hope you will be able to find something else. its ok to try. you are doing this for you in order to heal. xoxo

    • Ellen said:

      Could be. It’s true my parents cannot communicate. Thanks Many

  5. Rachel said:

    Tough Ellen, really tough. I’m sorry the jobs continue to disappoint. Glad therapy has felt pretty good lately, and Ron seems to be adapting to your feedback. Getting into parts is very difficult, the emotions are just so intense from being held in. Hard to modulate that out of the therapy room.

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, parts emotions are so very huge. Thanks Rachel

  6. I’m sorry your job continues to be difficult. It’s hard not to say, don’t go back. It seems very triggering, even if you don’t know exactly what the triggers are at this time. I understand accepting and getting into the parts of yourself. No matter how long we work on ourselves, we have days it seems unreal. However, if you can push through the conversation, allow them to be present, with your knowledge of them, it will get easier. Hang in there!

  7. e.Nice said:

    I’m sorry Ellen. Depression can make everything harder to deal with. Isn’t it interesting how we kind of forget now and then? I do take exception with this statement, “I feel like this work situation is a tragedy. Which it is not.” It kind of is. Not a devastating, life ending tragedy, but a slow sinking of hopes tragedy. Those are just as bad really.

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, the daily wearing down of a will to live – that can be like a tragedy.

      I forget about depression because I don’t suffer from it all the time. It is interesting, how we forget. Thanks nice.

  8. I feel for you and your work situation, as that’s a tender issue for me these days. Perhaps its something about getting older, or the years of doing it, but for me I just reached a point at which things that used to be tolerable weren’t tolerable anymore. Or maybe as I was working in therapy to be more honest about myself and my feelings, I couldn’t keep pretending that the work environment was okay with me. And of course if you are already feeling depressed, a dissatisfying work situation only feeds that.

    Others have good suggestions about how your boss might be triggering you, and maybe they are right. I’ve realized for me, though, that the situation doesn’t have to closely parallel something from the past for me to feel triggered. The feeling can just be similar. So if I feel I have no control over my work, and feeling I had no control over my life as a teen or in my first marriage, I can feel triggered. And then I’ll ask myself, “What’s my problem? It’s not like I am being abused!” But the thing is, some part of my mind/body associates the lack of control with being abused, so for that part, it is the same. I have no idea if it’s like that for you, but as I’ve gradually realized how it works for me, my determination to work in a different way has grown.

    It’s hard, no question about it. And depression just sucks, literally. It sucks the pleasure from life and the energy from your being. I’m sorry you are going through this.

    • Ellen said:

      Hmm….it makes sense that it might just be something similar to my past. The boss does seem endlessly critical about tiny things….and my father was very critical. And the whole environment is very math/techie, and as my father was in that field, I grew up surrounded by that kind of mindset. Though my boss actually doesn’t fit into that herself. It is odd, because she’s the opposite of my withdrawn family – she spills her emotions out. In a way, I like that. If I knew her in some other context, I might like her. But I can’t stand her as a boss.

      You must be in your final week of work – good luck! Thanks Q.

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