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Did I really want this?

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  • #366792
    Mr. Ritz
    Participant

    I’ve always looked forward to moving to a different part of the state and getting a fresh start.
    Now that it may actually happen, I’m nervous instead of excited.
    Let me explain…

    For years I’ve talked with the wife about this, but thought it was either never going to happen, or at least way off in the future. My wife teaches school and has been at her job for 27 or so years. They have good insurance and she’s been happy there so far. After this year she will be eligible to retire, but as far as I knew, she was going to keep working till 65 (we’re almost the same age, I’m 58, she 57).

    Lies from the school about the pandemic, the risk of catching the disease again (we had it in Aug), the stress of completely changing all her lessons to accommodate  the on line & in person students, the 14 hr. days.. She’s not going to work at this school anymore after this year. They finally broke her and she’s looking for something else.

    I’ve never cared for our house, it doesn’t have what I want, and it’s expensive to heat & cool, but we’ve been here 25 years and it’s nearly paid off.
    The thought of paying for movers, finding a new house in a fast moving competitive market, and committing to paying for a house for the rest of my life suddenly hit home, and it’s scary.
    If the wife finds a new career far from here we’ll be moving, but even if we stay here, the security we had with her teaching job will be gone now.

    What about me? I’m no one to rely on. I’ve been through more jobs, layoffs and stretches of unemployment than I can count. It’s not that I’m a poor worker, it’s just the nature of the career field I’m in.

    We both have health conditions that make it vital that we have good affordable insurance. I guess I’ve leaned on her so long that loosing the secure feeling is gone.
    I have anxiety all the time, even when everything was fine. Now this pandemic and major life shake up has me feeling really unsettled.

    #366794
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Mr. Ritz:

    Welcome back! Your first post here was May 14, 2016, and last Dec 26, 2018 (the day after Christmas), way before the pandemic began, a time now lost to us all.

    Regarding losing your wife’s health insurance, given your ages- you have 7 years before you qualify for medicare, and she has 8 years to go, so you have to arrange for something until that time, correct?

    I want to re-read our previous communication and reply further when I am back to the computer in about 11 hours from now.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 6 days, 2 hours ago by anita.
    #366807
    Mr. Ritz
    Participant

    Hi Anita.
    Didn’t realize it had been that long since I’ve posted. I’m still dealing with anxiety, but I had seen a very good therapist who used EMDR on me which helped some of my issues.

    I feel like I have made peace with my job, and they are currently allowing me to work from home, with the occasional guest appearance at the building for training or meetings. I’m not sure how long this will last however.

    I was furloughed for 4 months once this pandemic started and on the days when I wasn’t having anxiety over getting the virus, the state of our country, or if I was going to have a job to return to, I found myself enjoying the time off. I started a garden and was able to spend the day on my terms. I was always debating on when to retire, but now am convinced that I’m going to semi/sort of retire at 62. The days went by very quickly however.

    Money is still a concern and I’m afraid that unless the wife gets a job that pays enough to bring her income back to where it was (either job alone or job + her pension), and a potential move is going to really break us financially.

    #366815
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Mr. Ritz:

    I re-read this morning all your posts in your four threads.

    First, all that you wrote about your father is here: “Started out working for my father as a machinist. He owned his own shop and as years went by, I found myself doing more and more and even took shop classes in high school (I think just to impress dad), but never had a real interest in this type of work and my father was a difficult person. About a year out of high school, I found myself working for dad full time… After 8 years I.. reverted back to being a machinist, eventually ending up back at my father’s shop again… when college was mentioned, the replies were ‘we can’t afford it’ and the phrase ‘college educated idiot’ was heard more than a few times. Seeing as how my father was successful without higher education, he didn’t put much stock in the idea. My father passed away in 2012 and I thought that I would feel different after but the ghost of him still lingers…while working for my father around 20 years ago.. We got into a huge argument and at one point he said either get back to work or get out. I had a family to support, it was a hard decision, but I could take no more and left. I did not speak to my father for a year!… Maybe I have to be working in order to feel useful and not be accused of being a lazy person (something I think is a holdover from my father). Even though he passed away 6 years ago, I still feel him over my shoulder sometimes”.

    Second, in the following, the ghost of your father, before and after his death, is indeed over your shoulders, wherever you go, whatever you do, except for short breaks: “I’ve pretty much hated every job I’ve ever had… joined the Air Force.. I was completely miserable.. and wanted out… a local RV company took me on as a customer service/ tech support person… I really began to lose patience with customers and the unrelenting phone calls… quit my job and went to school… was hired.. didn’t like working there either. Had a super annoying co-worker..  and a new boss that I could not please no matter what I did… hated the co-workers… Next job was tech support and CAD work.. part of the benefit was the boss lived out of town and I was pretty much free to work as I pleased… There was one especially abusive person working there.. When he was nice, things were cool but when he wasn’t, it was anxiety attack city… I left this place and went to another RV company.. I was extremely uncomfortable there. I just did not click with the other people working there… no  one wanted to get to know me and I didn’t really care to know them either. Left that company and am now at a new place as a designer. Close to home, more money, only a handful of people work here.. Sounds like a winner, right? Wrong. Still get anxiety and am uncomfortable being there. One of the guys in my office is super obnoxious and annoys the sh** out of me. The boss.. seems unpredictable. I feel like he is expecting me to know a lot more than I do… I can totally see him letting me go with no warning… not liking work, and yes it’s a lot to do with my co workers and my feeling that I don’t have control of my situation… My company only offers 6 paid holidays per year and no sick days or personal time. ‘Go  work somewhere else if you don’t like it’ is he answer you get if you complain… the most annoying co worker.. cannot take a suggestion or criticism without becoming  angry… he should know more than me.. a lowly drafter/ designer… Happy to report that I am doing better… The boss has told me he likes the work I do and my attention to detail. People have started to ask for help and advice. Confidence is what I think I have been lacking. Starting to see the company as ‘mine’ rather than someplace to work… It’s Christmas day, been off for the past 4 days and the boredom is terrible… I’ve been looking forward to not being at work.. got a week off with nothing to do and am hating it… If I’m not doing something I get anxious. I keep imagining retirement is going to be great… Or will it?… I’ve always looked forward to moving to a different part of the state and getting a fresh start. Now that it may actually happen, I’m nervous instead of excited… I was furloughed for 4 months once this pandemic started and on the days when I wasn’t having anxiety.. I found myself enjoying the time off. I started a garden and was able to spend the day on my terms.. The days went by very quickly”.

    Third, what I learned about your experience with your father based on the second part of this post, using many of your words (italicized): you hated working in the shop with your father, and often you hated him. Tension was thick in the air, anger often bubbling up inside you, and yet, you kept working because you had to. You were extremely uncomfortable,  completely miserable, and wanted out. Your father was too often super annoying, and super obnoxious. You could not please him no matter what you did. He never praised you, or hardly ever; he was critical of you and your work, telling you that you are lazy. He did not want your input or advice, did not want to hear what you had to say, and when you said it anyway, he got angry and told you to shut up, basically, or get out; letting you go without warning, telling you to go work somewhere else if you don’t like it. 

    He was unpredictable, at times he was nice, or relatively nice, but you never knew when he will get on your case again, criticizing, complaining about your work, attacking you or complaining about other people who are dishonest, who steal, who mistreated him, perhaps. So often the shop was anxiety attack city.

    He didn’t want to get to know you, the two of you did not click at all. He made you feel likely a lowly employee, and a lowly son, incompetent doing the job. He did not treat you like a valuable son or a valuable worker. It was nice when once in a while you found yourself alone in the shop, for the day, or for longer, feeling free to work as you pleased, without him looking over your shoulders.

    Days working with him seemed very, very long. You could hardly wait for the end of the work day, to go home and relax, do nothing, imagining retiring from the shop altogether. But when you were home, doing nothing, which is what you imagined and could hardly wait to enjoy, sooner or later, you heard his critical, annoying, obnoxious voice, calling you lazy, taking calm and joy away from you, not only in the shop when with him, but at home, away from him.

    Mr. Ritz: if the above speaks to you, please let me know, because I have more to say.

    anita

    #366818
    Mr. Ritz
    Participant

    Interesting. Please go on.

    #366819
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Mr. Ritz:

    What’s  interesting? (I wrote that I have more to say, but I should qualify: I have more to say after you say something back to me)

    anita

    #366820
    Mr. Ritz
    Participant

    Yes, I think you are on to something. Please share your thoughts.

    #366822
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ritz:

    It is not at all your fault that this has been your subjective emotional experience for more than half a century, when you were young and older, through changing external circumstances, periods of economical growth and decline.. different presidents, same subjective experience. It is your father’s doing. During the time that you were most vulnerable, most needy of him, he has wronged you. Even if he was alive now and expressed his regrets etc., he will be too late. What you needed from him was time-sensitive.

    And now, while the pandemic is ongoing, the fires are raging (in my part of the U.S), civil unrest, suffering economy.. and your arthritis, and so forth.. what is possible for you?

    Start with a modest hope: to suffer less. Less anxiety, less distress; more calm. Your hope for more calm long term,  is not in external circumstances changing (living elsewhere, working elsewhere, having a better health insurance, etc.) It is in changing your internal circumstance of having the ghost of your father call the shots .

    anita

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