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Lots of changes, positive and negative

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  anita 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #338338

    Anonymous

    life is a bit overwhelming at the moment. There have been a lot of changes in a short amount of time and I’ve been struggling and I’m exhausted.

    long story short. I got a new job (very positive change for the better, in work atmosphere, people, supervisor, pay, etc.) and I had to make a move for the first time in my life (grew up in a small town).

    while I was getting used to the new job (about a month in) my father unexpectedly passed away and I’ve been having a tough time. We were very close and thankfully our last conversation was very good and I said I love you. It just breaks my heart that he’s gone and I can’t see him again and talk to him. This is the biggest loss I’ve dealt with in my life. I have siblings to talk with, but my current situation I live alone so no longer have family close by.

    I made an appointment to see someone to talk to (counseling) but I’m hoping for any advice or words of wisdom. I just find myself crying randomly and am quite overwhelmed and exhausted.  I also feel scatterbrained and am having trouble concentrating, which is not the norm for me. Lots of wonderful things to be excited about at work, but I don’t feel any joy lately.

     

     

    #338340

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elle:

    If you feel comfortable doing so, will you share about your father, what do you miss most about him, what did he leave behind in you, what special memories and life lessons.. what did he teach you about yourself.

    If you share, I will read attentively and respond with an attitude of outmost respect to you and to the memory of your father.

    anita

    #338374

    Anonymous

    I am quite similar in some respects to my father-an introvert, quiet, anxious. He struggled with some traumas in life, but always had the strength to ask for help when he needed it. That is something that will stay with me. Also how he was able to quit smoking and drinking when I was very young, that is something I am very grateful for.

    He was very frugal, resourceful and did carpentry as a hobby. He could fix broken things and made myself and my siblings furniture. I have several pieces he made for me. He was very skilled in woodworking. He loved the outdoors.

    When I needed something, if he had it he would say take it. He was very generous with his time and what he had. Before my recent move I would visit him a couple times a week and he would prepare a nice meal for us to enjoy, or we’d prepare something together. He was especially good at baking bread and cooking soups. He also had gardens every year and shared the produce with the family.

    Mostly I miss talking to him and being able to see him. He was really good at listening, and knowing when you just needed to vent and when you needed advice.

    #338380

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elle:

    I read what you shared but I want to feel it (best I can),  not just read it. I will therefore re-read tomorrow morning, in about 13 hours from now, and reply then. I hope you have a relaxing day/ evening, and a good night sleep.

    anita

    #338382

    Anonymous

    Thank you Anita, I look forward to hearing from you.

    #338430

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elle:

    To help me understand more, I always read a member’s previous threads and posts and integrate those into the new thread. More available past and present pieces  of information help me see more and more of the story. This will be long because I am learning as I type, taking my time and not rushing:

    In a reply to a member,  July of 2019, you shared that you are “a highly sensitive person and an introvert”, that you were a librarian working full time and studying for your master degree full time as well. You shared about your job: “If I could just go to work and work and not deal with people I would freaking love my job… there are parts of the job I dread. It’s the people that tend to stress me out”.

    You got overwhelmed with the busy schedule of work and study at one point and cut back on the number of classes you took. Your job supervisor at the time allowed you to do school work while on the job, after you finished your work and it was quiet.

    You shared with the member what worked for you, offered valuable advice, suggested that the member chooses an academic subject that will lead to a job that will be suited to both his interests and his “introversion and being an hsp”, and that he takes on a “routine of self care and relaxation” and recommended yoga and walking.

    Your reply to the member was excellent: empathetic, logical, sensible, presented in an honest, gentle and humble way, very gracious, very pleasant.

    In September 2019, you replied to another member. You shared there that you “grew up in a family with alcoholism”, that the alcoholic immediate family member attended Alcoholics Anonymous and it helped that member, but that it may not help everyone, and you offered a link  to an article about “the irrationality of alcoholics anonymous.. which talks about aa and other treatment methods… ranks AA 38th out of 48 methods”; you quoted from the article, including a list of the treatment methods at the top of the list.

    -a very thorough reply, educational, clear, not too long, not too many details, possibly a most helpful reply. Your thinking is very organized, methodical. No wonder for a graduate student/ graduate of library science to be very good with information. Wikipedia on Library science, states, that this science is about “the collection, organization, preservation, and dissemination of information resources”, and it states: “Information literacy is the ability to ‘determine the extent of information needed, access the needed information effectively and efficiently, evaluate information and its sources critically.. use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose..”. Elsewhere (lac- group. com/.. librarian skills information curation), it reads: “The following are some of the primary capabilities you should be developing and promoting: Research- the ability to locate and discover worthwhile information on a variety of topics from a wide range of sources, Editing- the ability to filter information in order to identify and select integrity, originality, significance and relevance to the people and organizations you serve, Editorializing- the ability to contextualize and summarize information for deeper levels of understanding, Classification..”, and more.

    Five months later, yesterday, you started your own thread, sharing that “life is a bit overwhelming at the moment”, that you have been struggling with “a lot of changes in a short amount of time”, and that you are exhausted. The you listed the following changes: a new job, better in work atmosphere, people, supervisor, pay, etc., a new place, bigger than the small town where you grew up (you live alone with no family close by), and a third change: your father unexpectedly passed away.

    “It just breaks my heart that he’s gone and I can’t see him again and talk to him. This is the biggest loss I’ve dealt with in my life.. I just find myself crying randomly and am quite overwhelmed and exhausted. I also feel scatterbrained and am having trouble concentrating, which is not the norm  for me. Lots of wonderful things to be excited about at work, but I don’t feel any joy lately”-

    – it is interesting how you listed the most powerful change that happened in your life as the third on the list of three. You placed a positive change as first, a less positive, perhaps somewhat negative change as second, and the most negative and painful change third.

    It is not unusual, to place the most distressing information in farther away from awareness, a third item instead of a first item, a less significant item- it is less overwhelming to do so. It is like placing the most distressing information in a smaller box so it doesn’t scare us as much.

    And then, you shared about you and your father: you are similar to  him, “an introvert, quiet, anxious”.

    “He struggled with some traumas in life, but always had the strength to ask for help when he needed it”- I wonder if your interest in Information, which led you to library science, was born out of a desire to help him, gathering and processing the information that will help him. You shared that he quit smoking and drinking when you were very young, but maybe you helped him to remain sober by gathering and processing (researching, editing, editorializing, etc.), in a similar way that you tried to  help the member here back  in Sept last year.

    “He was very frugal, resourceful and did carpentry as a hobby”- highly sensitive like you, introverted, maybe like you, preferring to “not deal with people”, and like you, “It’s the people that tend to  stress (him) out”, he preferred to not engage in (costly) social activities, to have a quiet life, often solitary, working with wood, making and fixing furniture, growing vegetables in his gardens, cooking soups and baking bread, and being in nature (“He loved the outdoors”).

    – He loved the quiet life, and it was that quiet that he enjoyed that made it possible for him to be “really good at listening, and knowing when you just needed to vent and when you needed advice”.

    This was not the situation for him before, his life was not quiet (“He struggled with some traumas in life”). When we are significantly anxious, we can’t listen well to others because our own thoughts are too loud, and our emotions pull us away from paying attention to another person. The life he chose for as many years as he lived that quieter life, made it possible for him to spend the quality time that he spent with you.

    You miss him and you miss that quality time, that quietness with him.

    I don’t know the evolution of the choices he made to change his life circumstances from noisy/ stressful to quiet/ calmer, if it included perhaps divorce, quitting this or that job, having a stable relationship with a woman or living alone (I am inclined to think he lived alone), but he made some changes.

    You grew up in a noisy/ stressful home yourself, a home where relationships were unpleasant, stressful, leading you to be repelled in general by relationships, or needing relationships and interactions to be limited and defined,  and much time in between to be spent alone. I think that you take care of yourself emotionally, not inclined to ask for help, more inclined to provide help.

    If I am correct (and please correct me where I am not), then you need help in providing that quiet life for yourself. A quiet life has to have social interactions and at least one meaningful, quality relationship. Has to– because we are social animals. Other social animals, mammals in particular, get anxious too. What calms them is having social interactions. Having none, or having an inadequate amount of positive social interactions, any social mammal becomes significantly distressed.

    You need more than a good job, a good income, excellent information skills- you need (selectively chosen)  person or people in your life with whom you can and will be quiet, like your father was in the latter part of his life.

    I am hoping to read from you if and when you want to reply to me.

    anita

     

     

     

    #338632

    Anonymous

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for your in-depth and detailed response to my initial posting(s). I very much appreciate your time and hearing back from you.

    Yes, I think I’m still very much in a struggle between denial and acceptance at my father’s passing. My heart and brain don’t want to accept that he is gone. So, I think your insight into my distancing myself from that in how I phrased the changes happening is accurate and insightful.

    And yes, you’re spot on, my parents divorced when I was quite young, though neither remarried or got in a relationship with anyone else.

    I agree, I do need to find out how to make peace and quiet for myself in the midst of chaotic life events and trying to adjust and learn in a new job. I tend to get easily stuck in a certain mindset and once I get going it’s hard to derail my negative thoughts and think rationally. So I’ve been mostly avoiding/denying what’s going on, but every so often it hits me and I have some emotional outbursts (crying).

    And yes, apart from a short blip, the majority of my life I’ve been single. As much as I’d love to have a significant other, the thought is very anxiety-invoking and stressful to me. Putting myself in that kind of situation is scary for me to consider.

    Absolutely, I fully acknowledge that relationships are integral to life, it’s just that a lot of relationships in my life have been painful experiences. Growing up in a small town with people who are narrow-minded and will pick on you just because you’re different. I had a rough time in school and being labeled “the sensitive one.” I do think my previous job was very traumatic as the work environment was very toxic. My supervisor was very aggressive and unkind to me, and I was at that job for many years. I am very relieved to no longer be in that environment, but I think I probably haven’t processed or dealt with those experiences fully. I have a hard time putting myself out there and making true connections with people (outside my immediate family).

    #338698

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elle:

    You are welcome.

    “I have a hard time putting myself out there and making true connections with people (outside my immediate family)”- upon first reading it reads like you mean to say that you do have “true connections” with members of your immediate family members, but that you are unable to make such true connections with other people. Such first understanding fits with: “And yes, apart from a short blip, the majority of my life I’ve been single”.

    About the reason you’ve been single, you wrote: “As much as I’d love to have a significant other, the thought is very anxiety-provoking and stressful to me. Putting myself in that kind of situation is scary for me to consider”.

    On second or third reading of the first sentence I quoted above, I figure that your connections with your mother and father when you were a child were “very anxiety-provoking and stressful to (you)”, and this is why the thought of re-experiencing that is so scary for you to consider.

    I am not referring to your post childhood relationship with your father, reads like it greatly improved. I don’t know anything about your current relationship with your mother. In your relationships with your parents having been very anxiety- provoking, I am referring to your first decade or so relationships with each one and both.

    anita

    #338750

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elle:

    It occurred to me a little while ago that it is possible that it is the relationship between your parents that was very distressing for you to witness and to experience by proxy (children are so empathetic, so involved and invested in their parents’ lives, that they experience their parents’ lives as if it was their own), and it is that experience that scared you so much that the thought of a relationship “is very anxiety- provoking and stressful.. scary.. to consider”.

    The relationship between them distressed each one of them, maybe to such an extent that that “neither remarried or got in a relationship with anyone else”.

    It is a good thing that your father experienced that quietness after his divorce and that he was able to share some of that it with you. I wish this quietness becomes his legacy in your life, something that you can hold on to and make it grow, over time; bit by bit, every day.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  anita.
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