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bad day

This holiday season has been so rough. Sometimes I think it’s been better than in the past, but tonight I don’t. I’ve been unable to sleep at all – very unusual for me actually. Though I struggle with sleep, my usual pattern is fall asleep quickly, then wake up in the middle of the night. I don’t recall ever trying to sleep for four hours, unsuccessfully.

I’ve been going to the gym despite the issues it causes me. Today I went. I did the same small routine I’ve been doing for weeks. It helps with depression and hopelessness but plunges me into a kind of anxiety sometimes. Like today I suppose. I spent a lot of the rest of the day trying to feel things, because the exercise blocks feelings, and so makes me anxious. Why does it do that for me? I never hear this happening to others? It is part of my self-care and to have it backfire like this is beyond frustrating.

Last night (tonight) I went to a 12 step group, because I’ve been so very lonely. I guess it didn’t go that well. No one speaks to me, and two people I made remarks to cut me dead. I wonder what I give off, when I’m in this exercise anxiety blank state. I think it’s something that scares people. Of course, I try and talk to the wrong people. One old guy, because I’ve seen him many times, and I think I kind of know him, and he’s been friendly a few times. But the last two times I saw him, he’s turned away when I said anything to him and started talking to other people. Maybe I trigger him.

So I also am triggered. I am so afraid I am emanating some kind of vibe that makes me scary to people. The other woman I just made a remark about a coffee shop being closed, and she kind of ran from me. I know she’s very vulnerable and likely I trigger her also. Both of these people, I’m going to remember not to bother speaking with since they seem so freaked out.

What else bad has happened. I went to an interview last week for a short contract. It seemed like I was basically a shoe-in for this role based on my resume, but once the manager saw me she decided she needed to interview other people, and I did not get the job. It was a day where unexpectedly I was overwhelmed with depression and sadness. For some reason I couldn’t control it, though of course I put on a professional face over top. I think when something is that strong, a lot of interviewers will pick up on that. I am disappointed.

I am out of a job this holiday season, as I was two years ago also. That is discouraging.

My one friend whom I usually see a fair amount of has not been calling me, even though she’d said we’d spend some time together over the holidays. I called her once and we met, and she was in a very bad mood. I know she is pining for an internet date gone wrong and is likely made more unhappy by it’s being the holidays. Perhaps she doesn’t want to speak about it, since it’s been going on for years, and her friends have told her she needs to get out of the situation, but she cannot. I would listen and not judge I think, but I guess she doesn’t trust. In any case, she has others she can be with, while I have few others.

I’ve been worried and grieving about my son. He is completely disabled, he may be getting worse not better, he collapsed a few weeks ago and was taken to hospital in an ambulance, yet tests find nothing wrong. My opinion is he has both something physical but also emotional trouble. He doesn’t connect with anyone, and only speaks to his father and myself. I have been reluctant to go and visit him because I feel I’m only just holding my own head above water. It’s draining to see him and makes me sad. I wonder how much is my fault. The way he will not speak with anyone might be my fault – maybe I did that to him to some extent, though not on purpose. His childhood was pretty bad. I was in a bad situation, I was deeply unhappy and felt trapped, and overwhelmed by motherhood.

Then I fell out with my family. I try not to think about it. It was worse this year than last. I did feel some peace thinking about not going back to family events in the future. Like I was setting a boundary to protect myself rather than get back at them. But it hurts a lot to give up even the illusion of a family, people who’ve known me all my life, people who would help in physical kinds of trouble, to an extent.

Then my ex phoned me two days ago screaming at me about his internet/phone issues. He is older, and cannot understand how the technology works. He doesn’t understand he can google problems. I try to help him, but he is so frustrated, he feels it’s fine to unload all that anger onto me, especially when I don’t immediately have the answer for him. I felt quite battered and upset when I ended the call. I’m going to ask him not to call me in future about his tech issues. He’s no longer my problem, and I don’t have to help him. I want to be helpful, but not to an angry fuming impatient person.

My ex can sometimes be supportive, so him turning like this right at this time was one more blow.

Then my T is away. I was appreciating not being triggered by therapy, but now I’ve ended up in this state where I can’t feel anything. I’ve decided to keep my appointment next week. I’m not going to try hard with the therapy. I just need some kind of supportive person so I don’t fall apart like I seem to be doing.

There are so many difficulties, and I can’t see that I have anything much at the moment. No deep connections to anyone. An off-putting manner that people shy away from. So many small supports taken away over the holidays.

Well. I have a place to live. I have enough savings that I am not immediately worried. I like that exercise helps with depression, if I could work it out that it doesn’t put me into this blank shut down state. I am able to learn from books, and have checked out a bunch of self- help from the library. Changing my thoughts sometimes helps, though I suspect for today it’s also pushed me into this blank anxiety state. Something about the denial of feelings. There’s a fine line between focusing on the positive and slipping into a damaging denial that makes things worse.

These are my thoughts. I wonder if I’ll sleep at all this night.

 

 

 

This is my fourth day of being mostly unable to function after a therapy session, if I count Thursday, when I had a session in the morning. Yesterday a friend phoned me, and I answered the phone, but when she asked me if I wanted to do an activity with her, I couldn’t answer, I was so down. I apologized and told her i shouldn’t have answered the phone, and she said she was going to hang up and if I decided I wanted to do something together I could call her back. OK.

It would have been nice if she’d asked me what was wrong or if I wanted to talk. But I know this friend doesn’t really do feelings. Still a bit hurtful that she didn’t say anything but that she was going to hang up.

I thought I’d be better by now. I thought at least I’d make it to church, and it seemed impossible to go when the time for it came. Since then I’ve been lying on the couch and in bed mostly. I did do the dishes, showered and dressed.

I am obsessed with this last session. Or my feelings about Ron. But it’s not like normal thought, it’s more like a crisis. It’s as if I’ve been shocked, and can’t calm down into a normal state. I’ve started doing a meditation tape I have in an effort to relax, to let this stuff move through and process instead of staying stuck.

I’ve been going over what happened. First of all, I’d wanted not just to give a recap of my life in the last week – I’d wanted to go with something meaningful. I told Ron a dream I remembered, as he’s really good with dreams. This was at the start of session – maybe that was too intense for me. The dream had to do with my childhood. It wasn’t obviously distressing, but my childhood is distressing, and talking about a dream seems to bring feelings rushing to the surface.

I think it’s a problem that when I’m discussing things with Ron from an adult perspective, it’s like speaking from a distance, because a lot of my feelings are stored in parts. So I don’t get the full force of them, and then I don’t communicate them to Ron, and he thinks apparently that what we’re discussing isn’t having much effect on me. I can be thinking that also actually. I feel vague uneasy feelings that things are going on in the background though, and then all of a sudden it’s too much, and so I try to stop the discussion because I’m truly overwhelmed. Ron then thinks I’m avoiding my feelings about whatever we’re discussing, because I’m afraid of the pain, and that it’s his job to push and persist at this point. Then we have an unpleasant mild type of conflict, where I never do get to express what’s come up for me, and I don’t get his support, as he thinks I’m avoiding the whole thing. Then I go home and cannot function. This time for days at a time.

I’ve really just figured this out. It’s been happening all along, but has been worse this past year. And then Ron feels I’m not making progress, and it’s because I’m avoiding, so he escalates his part in this.

I did try to explain a part of this to him. It is extremely hard to explain how things are working to a therapist in the middle of your own therapy. The transference is this black and sticky substance, and somehow, you have to try and ignore it and explain something, which goes against what your therapist believes, and it’s his profession, so he’s not likely to change his mind on anything he believes. Especially as you cannot put your emotions aside far enough to make any kind of convincing case.

At one point, I said that a problem I have is parts are involved in these emotions. So why not let parts speak here. Which Ron is agreeable to. The problem being, I don’t have control of parts. They do not wish to jump into a current discussion. They want to be themselves. If B comes forward, she starts speaking on a completely different track to what we’re talking about. Then Ron concludes that I’m distracting and avoiding. So B stops speaking, her feelings very hurt, and more frustration and conflict with Ron ensues.

At one point we were speaking about my mother. How difficult it is that she doesn’t respond. And Ron had a lot to say about my family, none of which I can remember now. I was feeling worse and worse, and the sense of him going on and paying no attention to how I was feeling was so strong. And I see now I expressed myself poorly. I knew I wanted him to stop talking, but wasn’t clear what the problem was. If I could have expressed my feelings of overwhelming sadness, or despair, or whatever they were, I bet he would have been supportive. It really was as if I was bleeding out at a traffic accident, and the person trying to help me started lecturing on blood clotting properties. I couldn’t pay attention to him or understand him either.

I can see now how he is not seeing how distressed I am, and it’s partly my fault, as I’m not expressing it. I’m so used to keeping my distress under wraps. It would be nice if he was looking for that problem, but he’s not, for some reason. One thing about Ron, he is definitely empathetic to emotions and distress once he sees they are there.

I did send him an email the day after the session in an attempt to repair this. The email was pretty much like my post describing the session. He replied that evening. His reply made things worse though. To me, it read so condescending. “I can see how hard this is for you.” Not addressing a single thing I said in the email. I am tempted to email back Fuck off and die. But – how would I feel then? He would not respond. I would feel like an abuser.

How to wrap this up. I’m hoping if I keep writing, somehow I’ll get my balance back.

 

I had what felt like a bad and destructive session today. It was a longer session again, since i had the time. I wish I’d cancelled. I did have the thought that because I’m currently feeling quite traumatized from ending my job, it’s not a good time for therapy. I already feel overwhelmed, and cannot really talk about anything, and don’t want to open up any other issues either. However, of course I didn’t cancel. I’m supposed to go for a longer session again next time, but I’ll cut it back to a regular length instead. If I go.

I have fallen back into a depression, triggered off by this job situation. Although I still do believe it is for the best that I left. This manager is so toxic, and triggers me so severely, I would just be in an uproar all of the time there.

Stupidly, I tell Ron that I don’t want to get into any heavy issues today, I’m already very depressed and can’t really think. And he gets on his usual ‘rant’ about how this ‘might’ be part of the problem – I’m avoiding talking about what I need to talk about. Which I don’t agree is true. There are times to dive into deep issues, and times to try to shore up functioning again. IMO.

I believe my system gets overwhelmed sometimes, like now. I keep shutting down, sleeping or just lying there. It’s really hard to get up in the morning, figure out what to wear, have a shower and such. Right now, everything feels traumatic. I don’t want to add more to all this, so excuse me for trying to cope and make things better.

The whole time in session felt heavy and difficult. I couldn’t find words for anything. Ron encouraged me to vent my frustration, and I did somewhat, about his approach, and how therapy wasn’t working. And it doesn’t make me feel any better. Though maybe there was a bit of a lightening, when I expressed anger. But overall, I feel I spent time with someone I’m in conflict with.

I have trouble feeling, in general. I get overwhelmed, but I can’t cry or feel regular emotions. I think because it doesn’t feel safe. So a session with conflict with Ron is not helping me feel any safer.

Ron did talk to the part of me that seems in charge of shutting me down. This is also a child-like part. She believes she must stop me from talking no matter what. Why, says Ron. Because she doesn’t know what she’s talking about anyway.

This part was interesting. Then that part got fed up with Ron’s questions, and vanished. So Ron said she was shutting ‘us’ down, meaning that part and him. Why be so negative? He could have been pleased to have talked to a new part who had never come forward before.

Anyway. I wish I hadn’t gone. I just feel more hopeless.

Well, up in the middle of the night. I feel just a sick kind of dread in the bottom of my stomach.

Tomorrow I give notice at my job. Long overdue.

It was an eventful day yesterday in terms of finding out where things stood. They stand badly. I had been somewhat unsure whether I was receiving the silent treatment. As my friend E said, how do I know for sure? Passive aggression is indeed harder to prove in court than overt aggression.

After my weekend of being unable to function, I resolved to speak to big boss about possibly switching to another manager. I finally got a few minutes of her time today. The answer was no. She wanted me to tell her the case against J with examples. I hadn’t actually come to build a case against her, I just wanted to know if I could switch managers, as she’d indicated I might in my first months there. So I gave a lame example and left it at that.

I was disappointed and depressed.

Then I had an argument with J. I pretty much provoked it, I was so fed up with the silent treatment. So she pulled me into a meeting room. First the argument – she went on for a long time. When I could get a word in, I apologized for raising my voice earlier. It’s not how I want to be. She didn’t really acknowledge what I said.

J then launched into what a terrible job I’d been doing as editor. How she’d gotten feedback on all my projects, and that they were unbelievably bad. And she saw this and that project, and couldn’t believe it had been sent out like this. I asked her for examples. It’s difficult to stop the tsunami that is this woman, but I did. Show me. How can I fix it if you don’t tell me it’s happening at the time, if I never see it, if I’m not given the feedback at all until you are furious and throwing everything you have at me.

Then on to a different part of this job, which is supporting what she actually does. She is so overworked it is unbelievable. I wasn’t helping. OK, tell me one task here that you have given me, that I haven’t done. She replied that she was waiting to have the confidence in me that I could do these tasks. Well, how can I help how confident you feel about me? Bottom line, you are furious, because I didn’t do tasks I was never assigned.

Anyway. I ask why then she hired me, just weeks ago, if my work was so terrible. She said she hadn’t had the feedback from team leads yet at that time. Well – surely if you’re going for feedback about a job candidate, the time to do that is before you extend an offer.

This all happened in fifteen minutes. So then I understood big boss’ unwillingness to help me. If I’m not performing to standard, she would not be motivated to help me. I knew J was angry with me, but I didn’t know why. So now I know.

J has this vision of being a perfect corporate person – always well dressed, always with the fast fast fast jargony response, and also dedicating huge amounts of overtime every day, fulfilling every demand no matter what the personal cost. Perfect spreadsheets are so much more important than any people who might be around.

I have a much more low-key style. It doesn’t mean I don’t care about my work, but she clearly interprets this as uncaring and sloppy. It’s not. I just hate that kind of robotic, brisk way of walking, that pressured fast flow of speech that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if you think about it. The idea that accurately transferring information from one cell of a spreadsheet to another is the essence of good work.

Do I ever feel sad. Especially about the team leads giving her negative feedback about my editing. I’d thought I was basically getting along well with others there, and did not know my work was of concern. It’s maybe telling that I did not get this feedback at all until I’d made J angry with a pretty much random comment.

I do feel like a failure. This reminds me of other situations where I could do no right for a manager, and was eventually fired, after months of terrible strain and not knowing how to improve the situation.

I also sent Ron an email about this whole mess tonight and he didn’t respond. I’d think, when I’m losing my job might be a time he would respond, even if just to say this sucks doesn’t it. So as I’ve noticed before, quitting a job seems linked to wanting to quit therapy. Maybe those two similar type events are linked together in my brain.

I have to get through the next two weeks somehow. I do keep trying to stay with the feelings, not spin out into ceaseless thinking about how unfair it is, or how I should have quit earlier. On that score, maybe I just needed to see this all play out before I left.

 

I had another run in with the boss. That stupid stupid woman. I wonder if my own depression contributed – probably. She is never calm, and I could not calm down enough to defuse the situation. Yes, she is the boss, and yes, it’s up to her employees to soothe her distress. Despite the fact that she seems to think we’re stupid, and various other bad things.

The stupid fight did give me some energy, though. I strode out of work just after five, not feeling the least bit guilty for leaving ‘early’. I felt so much anger, so much of an urge to quit immediately. Instead of getting right on the subway, and so home, I walked and walked. I ended up in a funkier neighbourhood than my own. I craved a glass of wine, so sat down in a nice-ish place, and had a big glass of red with some chips. That was very potent wine, but I calmed down, read for a long time, and then walked some more.

I think it’s better than going right home and collapsing. Also more expensive, lol. I could have eaten a nice dinner for what I paid for that wine and chips. Well, at least I feel a bit happier. Why shouldn’t I go out on a Friday night, just because I’m alone. I got to enjoy a breezy evening out on a patio, while my apartment would have been stifling. I actually can enjoy time to myself, while out – it’s sometimes more pleasant than trying to make conversation with people who don’t get me anyway.

I have been depressed for the last week or so, not functioning well, though I do make it into work every day. Then I come home, and often have a nap, instead of doing some small task or errand as I used to.

Had a last therapy session yesterday before Ron’s second two week vacation in as many months. It was a pretty good session – I actually felt less depressed right after it, though today I’m right back in it. I hope to describe it tomorrow.

The problem at work was just a problem. I had a discrepancy between what my boss had asked me to add to a document and what the writer had written there, and needed to solve it. Just information, for Pete’s sake. I copied her on the email, she came over to my desk and started talking really fast about what I have no real idea. I couldn’t follow. At first I thought she hadn’t understood the problem. Which she hadn’t. But she cannot pause long enough to grapple with any real problem. I don’t know what she’s doing to be honest. I ended up raising my voice….to match hers. But still – not what I want to be doing.

In the end, I asked her if I should leave everything exactly as the expert had written it, and she agreed yes, just correct one typo. Wow. After all the byways we’d been down, with her trying to ‘explain’ the situation to me.

I realized after she felt threatened. She’d asked me to do something that was contradicted by the ‘experts’  – the specialists who write these papers. So she felt, likely, I was bringing her into disrepute. She feels quite inferior to these experts, I think, and covers it up by being loud and bossy. People in this industry have a habit of talking really fast and using various jargon, as if that will help anything. I guess it’s protective camouflage, to hide that they are scared and don’t know what to do.

I really dislike her again. We had a ten minute team meeting earlier in the day, where she went on about how ‘we’ (likely meaning me) need to take ownership of what we’re working on and not bother her with it. Then a very long rant about how overworked she was, and how she hoped we would carry more of the load ‘next year’.

No way am I going to be there next year.

 

I can see my boss is trying. She is speaking to me more quietly. I have stopped asking her questions except by email, so she doesn’t walk away from me anymore. Also, I seem to have learned her accent – I’m understanding what she is saying to me, which helps. I’ve probably also picked up enough of the jargon there that I can figure out more on that front also.

I am completely miserable.

The heat hurts – my AC is not good. I’ve got an allergy reaction in half my face. Last week, a tooth I had pulled got infected – the site, I mean. Then I had a reaction to the antibiotic I was prescribed. Everything’s cleared up, but now I have a sore throat/allergy in my nose. Somehow I feel I can’t cope with it.

The job is so incredibly trivial and meaningless. As there’s no editing, I’m doing some of my colleague’s simplest tasks. Today’s task was to download a list of about a hundred files from various systems and locations, and adjust the file names. I didn’t know there were jobs like this. Mechanical, yet tricky enough that you have to pay attention. No human interaction. Nothing means anything.

I’m stopping the self-criticism, stopping the inner critic as much as I can, and it’s making a big difference. Maybe I’m talking myself out of my feelings while I’m at work? But still, putting my best foot forward.

I appreciate not feeling in conflict with this boss at the moment. I do. But I’m in such despair after work. I guess the heat is a stress, and it’s the straw breaking.

I feel like if I can just accept that this is a crappy job I have to do for a while, and not let it bother me, it would be a good thing. Why can I not accept this? Instead, I feel humiliated that in my fifties, this is my job. When giving me the task, my boss was even considering, out loud, whether this would be difficult for me. As if it would task to the utmost my five little brain cells that have to work so hard just to keep breathing, for f sake.

My co-worker is the most silent, the most incurious, the most obtuse person imaginable. Actually no, she is intelligent. But how can anyone be so incurious? She kind of dismisses me when I try to make a bit of conversation, and I feel stupid. But she hadn’t heard of Brexit, for goodness sake. She didn’t know what I was talking about, that Thursday when the news broke. And she works for a financial institution.

I need to tune this job out and I can’t. I need to not take it personally. Instead I feel humiliated and at fault. I should have gotten a better degree at school, all those decades ago, when I was struggling with a huge depression on my own, with not even a self-help book. If I had more education, I wouldn’t get these hopeless types of menial jobs.

Maybe I’d be better off taking an admin job, where at least I’d have contact with people.

Ironic that my family’s focus was so much on education and getting some great job, preferably academic. Maybe if they’d had a different focus, I could have gotten a better education for my own reasons.

Well, I’m just a pool of misery. When this weather breaks, I’ll do better again.

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.