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Michelle

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  • #294447

    Michelle
    Participant

    Morning.

    Yep, you can’t change a person into what you want them to be, no matter how hard you wish or demand it.  This was always going to be about you eventually either accepting him as he is or giving up on your vision of how it could/should be, accepting the reality of what is, not what you want it to be.

    I know you’ve never believed you can have a good future. In some ways I still think you don’t feel you deserve it. But you do and you will. How do I know/believe that?  Because I can tell you are kind, smart, funny, honest – and trying to be the best you can. You just need to look after yourself more. So I know you will survive this, one day at a time. We’ll be here for you.

    #294417

    Michelle
    Participant

    Yeah, it’ll hurt just the same, I know. And it’s harder when you can’t share with those around as you hadn’t said you’d got back together.

    So, my 2p worth. Be proud you tried against all your fears and if at all possible, cling to the feeling at least the decision is made, no more agonising about will it/won’t it work. Be sad, be mad, feel it all, shout/scream at the walls if it helps 🙂   And then just focus on looking after yourself, eat/drink/exercise well, you know the drill, sadly.

    There is a better future for you, I know it.

    #294413

    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey Tom.

    So like Anita says, everything is a risk/reward balance in life.  It sounds like you are more than ready to leave your current role – once you know something inside out it quickly leads to stagnation. I suspect if you tried to imagine yourself doing the same thing in ten years you’d pretty quickly be wondering why you didn’t take the chance.

    If you wanted a long-term move into contracting, then absolutely, I’d be saying go for it. But you sound like you would be happiest back in a perm job eventually. It’s not too unusual to start as a contract and then apply for other perm jobs once inside the new company – i.e. use the 6 months on offer to build networks quickly and make it very clear to everyone you are looking to move into a perm role. What do they say when yo ask them about future perm roles – it’s a lot different than just regular reviews as to if the contract is extended or not. What’s the notice period on the contract  – sometimes it can be as short as a week and sometimes up to a month? There’s ways to ensure you protect yourself from the financial risk such as mortgage unemployment insurance and ensuring you have savings to cover 3 months payments – given it’s average time to start new job etc, which can help manage the risk.

    Most contracts don’t include holiday as the higher pay is to reflect the lack of that and sick pay etc, all the other benefits of perm roles. So the way to work out if it’s a good offer is to adjust the wage for the same proportion of holiday/sick/other benefits you would have in a perm role to make sure they are paying enough to cover that.

    At the end of the day – you need a role which stretches you and something where you are growing. But like said, may be worth talking to a few other agencies/companies proactively before deciding just on this one. You may be surprised how sought after your skills are if you haven’t looked for a while.

    #294399

    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey Shelby,

    Not too surprised no, but disappointed for you, know you wanted it to turn out differently this time around.

    Take care, we’re here as/when you need us.

     

    #294175

    Michelle
    Participant

    Thanks for the vote of confidence Anita, much appreciated.

    Tom – yeah, I’d tend to agree, if no payrise offered with accepting a promotion, not much is going to happen by staying put.

    Doesn’t necessarily mean this contract role is the right one to jump on. How many other opportunities have you interviewed for?? Usually for a contract they want a decision pretty quickly. What’s your longer term goal – stay contracting through your own company ( big tax advantages in UK at least ) or do you see yourself happier back in permanent employment long term??

    Moving companies sounds a good thing – just make sure you jump to the best opportunity you can, not necessarily just the first one offered as an escape.

    Happy to help more where I can.

    #294063

    Michelle
    Participant

    Hi Tom.

    Which would you say is the bigger driver for you from the potential move – the lack of interesting opportunities to continue to progress/grow in your current company or the pay-rise?

    It is not necessarily the number of employers on your CV that matters but being able to show that you are continually progressing, gaining new skills and additional responsibilities in each new role.  It sounds like you have done this well to work through the ranks so far but are now hitting the classic brick-wall of mid-management? As you know, contract positions pay higher because of the financial risk involved – often if they then want to hire you on permanently it will be a reduced rate, so worth bearing in mind if you are not looking to stay contracting long-term. It’s also pretty well known that joining a new company is the best way to get a promotion/pay-rise if you are now stuck at your current place and it’s not unusual at all in the early days to move around to do so.

    Often, it’s worth talking to your current employer first about the new opportunity and pay-rise on offer, as you will be surprised how often it gives employers the prod needed to realise you are still ambitious/ready for more. The more concrete you can be about what you want the better those conversations go. Steer clear of the obvious “I just want to be better paid”, you can say the same thing by describing what additional responsibilities you want to take on and it comes across as looking to be a leader, not just asking for a grade promotion.

    As someone who used to have a 2 1/2 hr commute each way for over 15 years – I can safely say it does get very tiring. But it can also be worth it for sure if there are no better opportunities nearby and you are not interested in moving/renting near the new job and renting out your current house, if all went well.

    Hope helps.

    #293853

    Michelle
    Participant

    John. Seems you have tried a number of times to get your girlfriend to move out and each time has failed as you caved in.  At this point, she’s never going to believe you mean that she needs to go as history and experience now tells her that so long as plays on your soft spot, you will cave again and she will not need to change anything.  So the time will never be ‘right’, she may get a fantastic job, earn enough to support herself and so on but whilst she still hangs on to a relationship with you, she will still stay.

    The thing with soft spots is, sometimes it’s also a way of trying to hide from being the ‘bad guy’. Whereas there is no ‘nice’ way out of this one. Even if you get her mother to agree she can come back – she is still going to think you are a bad guy for a while, after all, you are rejecting her, finishing the relationship.  So you need to work on accepting there is no ‘nice’ way for you to do this, you can absolutely be as respectful as needed, especially with the kids but you are going to have to set clear boundaries that this relationship is over.

    Have you actually finished the relationship with her or are you still together as a couple?  As in, at least as a first step, be clear that the relationship is over regardless of everything else. You can still be living in the house together but not being together in a relationship. You can start dating others if you want, then being a single guy, though do tend to agree some time by yourself is not a bad thing, so just going out with friends, doing things by yourself, spending less time with the kids and no time alone with her. If no spare room, put up with sleeping on the sofa for a bit. You need to bring it home that the relationship is over, that things will be changing regardless if she moves out or not.

    Being clear and setting boundaries is not the same as being heartless. You know by being nice you are actually being cruel in the long run by dragging this out for both of you.

    Hope helps.

    #293653

    Michelle
    Participant

    PS – Kkasxo, we’re missing our tales of Ikea chaos…….how goes it?

    #293651

    Michelle
    Participant

    Well done on sticking it out for the masters, I know how tough they are – I’d had more than enough study by the time I finished my BSc for sure.  Is the industry in general not paid well or just this particular employer/role?  As in can you look to move jobs or take on management positions etc or is it as good as it gets?  There’s some interesting data published around on the difference in wages of people move roles/jobs every couple years in the early days of working vs those who stay in the same place. Seems staying put and relying on wage increases/promotions doesn’t do you any favours if you want to be better paid and I’d have to say it’s very true in my industry but obviously I don’t know if yours is the same way.

    But yeah, I think it’s pretty natural to want to feel you are progressing, even if just a tiny bit, each month/year rather than still just treading water. It’s tiring, right. If I thought you had any spare time I’d suggest you read some of the FIRE ( Financial Independence, Retire Early ) blogs, they have some great advice on escaping from that loop and it’s pretty inspiring stuff. It’s how I’m doing what I’m doing now so I may be a little biased here…but happy to share more if interested. Funnily enough, it’s not that different to relationship type advice, i.e. deal with reality not how you wish things were, do what can be done and don’t try to control what can’t be controlled.

    What has surprised you about your ex recently ( ignoring he whole South American side-trip business!)?  I think there’s a difference between feeling genuinely surprised or figuring out if it’s more like just disappointed or even anger or fear, all of which would be understandable. It’s useful to know which you really feel as it can help you figure out what response is best to deal with it before simply reacting to whatever happened/didn’t happen.

    I don’t think you can ever successfully pretend to be something you are not, not for long anyway.  So yes, you are who you are and you aren’t naturally strong, resilient or secure now. I wasn’t either, remember. But what’s incredibly powerful is knowing that, accepting that – and then still doing the brave thing anyway, like your Aus trip, like not getting anxious over your ex.  It means you are stronger than a naturally confident person – think about it, they aren’t facing their fears all the time, they are just being themselves.  But each time you face and conquer a fear, it gets easier the next time, it loses it’s power over you.  There’s nothing brave or courageous about doing something if you aren’t scared of it in the first place. It’s much smarter to know the risks and then decide that they are worth it.

    Last thought for today – it is worth spending the time to make sure you are facing the right fear. For example, planning a trip to Aus is awesome – so long as it isn’t because it is easier/less scary than dealing with issues with work/life at home. Likewise, trying again with your ex is a brave decision since you can’t know how it will turn out this time – so long as you aren’t trying again as the fear of giving up on this relationship is greater than the fear of trying. Make sense?

     

    #293325

    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey Betty.

    Even without thinking about any potential future children, it’s not exactly ideal for you right now either is it?  It can get really tiring always being the one to have to build the bridges, especially when the event wasn’t even triggered by you in the first place..  Sulking and staying angry is a pretty immature way of dealing with conflict – it sounds like he’s pretty much retreating into defensive mode, probably because he knows deep down this behaviour is not that healthy and he’s probably ashamed to be copying his Dad even if he didn’t approve of how he treated his Mum.

    Does anything in particular trigger the sock throwing? Does it happen when you assert yourself for example?  Are you guys able to deal with conflicting views outside this particular issue?  Is it the only thing you are worried about?

    #293319

    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey guys,

    Yeah, it wasn’t easy but then good things rarely are eh. I’m lucky in that what I’m apparently good at was well paid, if not very meaningful. Are you thinking of building up your own business once you have finished your course? One of my family runs her own nail/treatment business now and whilst tough to get going she’s now fully independent – and much better paid!!  All you can do is try your best, which you are doing and that’s worth celebrating/being proud of.

    Anything in particular you are trying to understand??

    And yes – incase you are wondering – this is from my very warm & sunny balcony over here in Granada after a mammoth hike around the nearby mountains and an equally mammoth lunch!  It’s practically a cliche sitting here sipping cheap red wine, spanish guitar playing and wonderful moorish buildings all around……back home tomorrow though, hope you guys have got the sun out ready for me….

    #292115

    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey Kkasxo.    Sounds like the tablets have really helped give you the breathing space you needed – and just getting decent sleep will make a huge difference. Everyone has up and down days, that’s just normal….some days you feel you can handle the world and others you’re just happy to make it through and crawl onto the sofa at the end of the day!

    The trick to it I’ve found is to recognise that it’s just that you’re just having a bad day – it doesn’t mean that everything is wrong/bad. I’ve learned (painfully….is there apparently any other way??! ) to only make decisions/choices whilst I am in a good place as that is when I am balanced, able to consider clearly what I think is best based on what I know at the time.  If I try to make decisions when I’m down/stressed then they tend to be governed by fear, uncertainty. So now if I start to feel that happening, I’ll stop even trying to decide, let go of trying to be in control and I’ll just wait it out until I’m in the right place to do so.  So turning off your phone and vegging out instead, distracting yourself away from the worry was perfect, nice work.  In a few days, if not already, you will be back up and feel very differently about it again.  The decision’s made, you know you are going to give you guys one last proper try and see what happens. If you need something to think about instead, then spend your time thinking about what will be the deal-breakers for you, establishing your personal boundaries ahead as a positive way to know you will be ok, that you are still looking after yourself whilst still being brave enough to go ahead.

    Wales sounds great with the friend, hope you get that sorted out. We always try to go to places in the so-called shoulder season, much cheaper, less crowded and the weather’s usually still good. Travel ‘hacking’ is another way to make travel much cheaper too – e.g. our flights back from Granada are costing us £7.50 each since we’ve used credit card points to buy them through BA’s reward scheme. Likewise – house-sitting is an amazing way to stay places you couldn’t afford to rent and since they are homes, very easy to live cheaply in whilst indulging in a few beers in a sunny cafe.  Like everything in life, once you look outside the ‘normal’ ways of doing things, there are so many different ways of living, it’s very eye-opening…..and addictive!

    Griff.  You sound like you are where I was at 3-6 months after my awful split. I basically spent that time getting back into amazing physical shape as that was the one clue he’d given to me as to why he didn’t love/want me anymore. I was convinced that by doing so he would see the light, realise how much he had missed me and how desirable I really was etc.  When I got back in touch with him it was exactly what I needed to hear, if not what I wanted. The emotional distance in him just spoke direct to the part of me that logic/reason couldn’t reach – he had moved on entirely and in reality just wasn’t even ‘my’ guy anymore.  So it’s going to be scary but I absolutely understand where you are at and that at some point you will need to reach out to her to do the same. Sooner is better for you, as once done, there is no choice but to face forwards. But only when you are ready. I’m glad you have a found a good therapist to help you through this.  Looking back now, I can see clearly the early signs it was coming as I was very insecure, dependent in the relationship but at the time I thought it was amazing and was likewise completely blind-sided.  You don’t need to stop loving her, you are right, your love for her doesn’t just disappear because she no longer wants you. But at some point it does change into being grateful for having had the relationship, having had that love but now fully recognising the reality that it is in the past, not your future.

    Hope helps, wish you well.

    #291955

    Michelle
    Participant

    Ha ha – I remember so very well my first trip to Ikea – what a maze that place is!  We actually still have and use the dinner plates we got there so make sure to choose well….we also did the classic ‘hmm, so just how do we get all these large boxes into our car…..’. Good times.

    It is fun setting up home for the first time. First night on your own sofa, wine and pizza and all that. Enjoy it.  To be honest, I no longer think of things as ‘mistakes’, just things I have done that are part of who I am today. It is always better to try, to ask, to speak up, to not let the fear of looking daft or getting hurt stop you from trying. And trying is way better than to wonder ‘what if’ for the rest of your life.  So yes, go in to it with your eyes open but go in regardless. No point trying to second-guess how it’ll turn out, that’s just trying to have control over something that you can’t whereas the only thing you can control is you. Good work on the reigning in the over-thinking, know it’s hard at the beginning. Gets much easier with practice until at some point it’s almost like second-nature and you look back on how anxious you always were in amazement.

    So after Granada we are trying to spend some time in the UK and our own home, with lots of cycling nearby and round the Norfolk Broads here which is beautiful in summer.  Have a couple of weeks away to go hiking in North Wales, assuming the weather allows us this time….  And then off to South Africa in late Sept for 8 weeks, which is going to be amazing, again.  Thinking about some hiking in Maderia before that, will see how we feel. We also keep getting a lot of really tempting house-sits sent our way at the moment so may well cave into one of those, who knows!  Ofcourse I will send updates but just tell me when they are too irritatingly cheerful!

    #291823

    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey there! Kammy world, love it…

    Very very happy to hear you have found a flat you love and are excited about moving into, that’s awesome.  I totally get the ironic humour of the situation – it took the classic you pulling away again to make him step up and come forwards.   Quel surprise eh.  But hey, everything in life is about taking worthwhile risks – and this is a pretty good one to take in my view.  You guys need to try living together, like you say, away from his family & their influence on him. It will either work or it won’t and you know you will be ok either way.  But having the security of a home whilst you deal with your family leaving is huge, I’m really pleased you will be settled in time and can take one worry off the shoulders.  I think I said before but for me, it was always the pre-decision time that’s most stressful – once the decision is made and I’m committed, it’s just dealing with the good/bad as it comes.

    Funny you are also wondering about therapy like Shelby.  If you get the right person, they clearly can help see things differently and provide a safe space to talk through things you don’t want to or can’t share with people close to you. But I do think it’s often forgotten or not talked about that for growth to happen it takes action as well as learning.

    Yeah – my crazy world eh!  Although I know I have worked my proverbial off to get here, I do pinch myself most days as to how lucky I am and remind myself to make the most of it and not worry about all the myriad of things that could ruin it. Doubtlessly there will be days ahead with cr@p to deal with but I’ll deal with those when/if they arrive and not before.  You will laugh but I have to think of these trips as ‘travel’ not ‘holidays’ since it’s more like living our normal lives but just exploring them in a different country for a while – otherwise I’d be hugely fat and near alcoholic pretty quickly!

    It was defn a shock both culture and weather-wise coming back to the UK. Easter was a lovely time but yeah, very glad to be leaving again on Sunday for Granada. I just like being free, being outside in the warm and exploring, it’s not easy for me being inside too long or doing things that clearly have no value – a big part of why I had to dream up and put into action this plan of how to leave office life.

    Good to have you back, missed you too – look forwards to our next installment of Kammy-World!

    #291673

    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey Shelby.  Not too surprising about therapy I guess but your therapist should know when you are ready for a gentle push.  I imagine going forwards is still too scary for you for now.

    What I have done in the past to help loosen fear is to pick one small, tiny thing unrelated to what I was scared of at the time, something I would normally have decided wasn’t worth being assertive or confident on, letting it go or agreed to for the sake of not causing a confrontation with others or myself. And so I would pick this one tiny thing and then use it to practice, to show myself that I could do something scary and the world wouldn’t and didn’t cave in ( slight exaggeration clearly but you get the idea 😉 ). So it might have been as simple as speaking up in a big meeting, aware I’d be blushing madly, stomach screwed up in anxiety at doing so, that I was going to look stupid. But I’d do it anyway and sure enough, the world was fine, people would comment or not, the meeting carried on, I was fine.  Sounds stupid now but back then it was incredibly hard for me to think my opinion mattered, let alone stand up for it. But each time you do a small thing like that, it’s such a boost to your self-esteem to know you conquered it and it lessens the power of fear over you in all areas of your life.

    Perhaps that’s why you have plateaued now with therapy. Progress and growth is a mixture of learning and directed action.  Like training for a marathon, all the time in the world spent reading and talking to others for advice about how to train, what to eat, what trainers were best etc, would not get my feet actually on the road and running. Likewise, if I just dived in with no idea what I was doing, what my aim was and how I would be able to measure progress I’d probably make it through a couple of runs and then give up. It’s the combination of being able to take the learnings and advice, individually assess them as to your own values and come up with what you think is right for you – and then crucially – taking action.  It’s only by combining action with learning/thinking that we move forwards.  Worth thinking about and perhaps discussing with your therapist next time perhaps.

    I’m sure Kkasxo is doing ok, she is stronger than she knows even if she is panicking right about now about the impending house and family move. Be good to hear some of her funny and intelligent comments though for sure.

    How’s it going Griff?

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