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bad day

I’ve been awake since 3 am and it’s now 5:30. Sigh. I’ve been waking every two hours for a few weeks now, but I have been able to go back to sleep until tonight. During the day I’m tired and tearful. That black frustration with myself for being unable to sleep sets in.

I’m lonely. I’m worried about never working again. I met a former colleague for coffee last week, which was nice, but i did learn that a number of people were hired back to a project I was on over the summer, and I wasn’t called. Whatever. I didn’t enjoy the project. At the same time, I feel I’m not valued and I could have used the work.

Last night I attended my 12 step group. It did not go well and added to my sense of disconnection from everyone. I am not very able to tell a story. I do share, but what I share is these fragments, instead of a connected thing. I don’t know how to share in a way that will mean something to anyone else. I do feel I’m a failure at 12 steps. I don’t get how they work and how they would apply to me. The first one is I accept that I am powerless. OK, but for me, how does that help?

A lot of the people there keep saying how grateful they are to the program. I tend to feel that they think if I was serious about the steps, getting a sponsor, finding my higher power, then I would get better. The fact that I’m massively depressed shows that I suck at the program.

This is really negative. I haven’t plunged into step work etc partly because when I’m working I get too exhausted to go to things. In addition, I think a lot of it is not that applicable to my situation. I don’t really identify a lot with co-dependence – the idea that I don’t value myself but instead try to feel better by controlling/helping others. I don’t think that’s my main issue at all. And, to be honest, I’m afraid of being triggered into more issues that I won’t be able to handle.

Part of it is that I can’t figure out what my issue is. I don’t have a diagnosis. Is it the social anxiety? The dissociation? The depression? The anxiety? The work difficulties? The feelings of disconnection? The isolation?

Being unable to form any connections in this kind of a group seems especially telling. People here are kind. They are there to listen to each other. Truth telling is encouraged and feelings are accepted. I just have trouble expressing my feelings in a way that others can relate to.

I am actually quite competent compared to some who go to this group. I am able to work at fairly complex jobs. But others like me seem able to then also discuss themselves in a complex way that makes sense. You can see they are intelligent and have a grip on what’s going on. I lack that entirely. I probably sound kind of remote and disconnected in what I do say.

The thing I like about it is that I can go and feel really bad and not have to disconnect from how I feel necessarily. In any other social situation, you do need to have a social manner and can’t sit caught up in your own depression or whatever. So I did sit and feel bad, which was at least staying connected to my own truth in that moment. But then, not being able to communicate and connect with anyone ended up feeling really bad also.

Maybe the feelings I have towards this group echo the feelings I had in my family? My family feels very disconnected. When my father stopped speaking to me when I was a young teenager, I must have felt invisible, as if I was nothing and worthless. My mother entirely discouraged any expression of feeling whatsoever. The myth was that feelings were maybe unclean, unacceptable, and that intelligent worthwhile people didn’t have them. Of course, now I know that feelings made my mother uncomfortable, and that it was just nicer for her to pretend that feelings don’t exist.

And yes, that would feel disconnecting. Like I feel so painfully in this group – that feeling of being different, not being liked, being entirely alone.

That would be enough to keep me from sleeping. That frightening feeling of absolute aloneness. If I cry, nobody comes.

I remember one way of trying to feel part of the group is to go up to people after and say how I relate to what they shared. This time I didn’t greatly relate to anyone’s share though. Maybe next time I will try again.

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Things were chugging along, but now once again not so much, so of course I am writing another post. Why bother with them when things seem OK right?

I fear I’ve landed in yet another contract which sucks. Or is it me that sucks? One or the other, but when the same type of thing keeps happening, albeit in completely different ways, you have to wonder.

Today I got home and was just so angry. I felt furious through and through.

I’ve been working a week and a half now at the new big corporation. My boss is, it turns out, an IT person who is now tasked with getting a particular new project off the ground. They have also engaged an outside contracting agency to do some of the work offsite. I’m onsite, ’embedded’ as it were, while the people from this agency are off site and working together elsewhere.

Anyway. It has emerged that my boss has severe communication problems. She seems to dislike speaking and struggles to explain herself. So she was almost completely unable to explain even what the project is to me. Eventually after a week and a half I have gathered the basics from other people.

Unfortunately I’m not at all an expert or even knowledgable in this particular specialty. I just have worked a fair bit in the financial sector, which is very broad. To be fair, I was not hired to be an expert, I was hired to write. However, I can’t pull the info out of my manager as to what she’d like me to do. I’ve spent a lot of time reading their collected files and intranet. Sometimes she gives me something very brief to do, and I send it off to her, and she never mentions it again.

Meanwhile, the group is under severe time pressure to deliver a part of this project by end of week. I have the strong feeling that I’m expected to be doing things, but I can’t work out what.

As well, the clients have been complaining bitterly about the other consulting agency, that they are not delivering what they need. Well, if they communicate with them the way they do with me, I’m not surprised to tell the truth. And I suspect they are saying similar kinds of things about me as well.

Today at end of day, when I’d normally go home, I received a final file from the consulting group. Now my manager and I are supposed to modify this, ready for executive review tomorrow at 11. As well, my manager was in meetings all day, and again disappeared at four. So, I left. I had no direction, I’d spent a lot of the day filling time, I didn’t know when the manager would be back. She didn’t seem concerned about this upcoming deadline. OK, so I decided I’m not either. So I left instead of staying late. No one had asked me to stay late, I had no direction to speak of.

I also feel guilty for leaving. I don’t want to leave her in the lurch after all. But honestly, there is no one more aggravating than a boss who cannot speak. But if she won’t say what should be done, I will simply keep asking, and when it’s time to go home, I’ll go.

I must be triggered to be feeling so very angry. It’s a feeling of not being enough. As if there is some huge expectation that I can save this project, but I’m not doing this, for some reason, and therefore I’m not good enough.

I am so aggravated by this manager. She’s bantering with co-workers and such, and doesn’t seem worried by this looming deadline. On the other hand, she did say she worked until 1 am a couple times last week. It’s not that she’s not conscientious. I think she’s likely one of those people who only work alone. She doesn’t know what someone else would need to know. We did have one working meeting booked, and she simply sat and typed while I sat and watched her. She surely didn’t want to have any kind of conversation. I suppose that made me feel unimportant. Which I realize I am, but why book a meeting with me then?

In other news, I’m also trying to feel feelings instead of dissociating them, as when I do that, they come and hit me later and make me feel exhausted. Plus, feelings can have needed information on how to act or on what is going on. It’s a hard road to try and do this. At work, the temptation always seems to be to be a talking head, with no feelings.

I hope to move through the anger instead of pushing it down. It’s not at all easy.

I also have fears of being let go. As a contractor, it’s easy for them to decide to let you go, if you’re not all that they hoped and imagined. So probably fear is driving my anger as well.

Definitely depressed today, Sunday. I am exhausted by work, and then I end up resting and doing the basic chores, and don’t make the further effort of doing anything special. But when you always want to lie down, it’s tough to push for things.

I’m not sure what’s going on with me. Yesterday I cooked dinner for a friend. It was quite satisfying to be the one giving, instead of having someone cook for me. It was hard being social though, even just with her. She seems to be going through a rough time herself, and hinted at being down, but she doesn’t like to discuss her problems. At least, not the big ones. I know she is pining for a boyfriend and feels sad about her life as a single woman.

I am relieved I am not pining for a boyfriend. Yes, I would like one, but mostly, I don’t think about this. There’s no one specific anyway. And, I had more than my fill of a partner who was destructive and whom I wished gone for a long long time before I finally was able to leave.

She asked me about my therapy, just casually, and asked if it would ever be over? I said who knows…..It is one of my anxieties, that this therapy process is so open ended. On the other hand, if I don’t go, I’ll still have the same issues, just without a therapist. I’ll still be me. This friend doesn’t ‘believe’ in therapy, though she doesn’t go so far as to tell me not to go. She just doesn’t understand it.

Anyway. I did get my back balcony planted. It’s kind of artistic, if I do say so myself.

I should have gone to visit my son and didn’t. I don’t think I’m much good to him depressed like this.

My session last week was good. It didn’t seem a chore to go – I was eager to see Ron. We had a low-key, companionable type session. We talked about how I might get more people in my life. I’d been trying with an ACA group and with church, but have given those up for now. They took a lot of my limited energy and I didn’t end up with much social contact out of it. Ron wondered if those situations, because they focus on the person, make me even more self-conscious, and if an activity based group would be better.

I liked how Ron was trying to help me think of what concretely I could do. I’m kind of assuming that once in social situations more, I would make pals. I seem to be doing OK at work – I enjoy the cameraderie there that comes from just sitting together at a table. I feel like I’m having companionship even if we’re not best friends.

Activities might work, assuming there’s nothing terribly wrong with how I speak to people or how I’m being perceived. I kind of think there isn’t, really. That if I had people around, I would make friends.

This was all OK. Towards the end of the session, I brought up a visit to my family the previous weekend that had not gone well as usual. I tried to explain to Ron what had been bad. It’s hard to explain about my family. I don’t want to get into it here – this is likely the cause of my depression. I get the strong feeling they blame me for my son’s condition and for him living with my parents, which I know is very hard on them.

My family is such a unit. They all stick together, dancing the family dance, and I don’t fit, don’t want to fit, and get judged.

Anyway, if they’re so great, how did I end up in parts? That happens only in severely dysfunctional situations. They are not that great. They were a terrible family for me.

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.