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  • #399567
    greenshade
    Participant

    Hey all.

    I am hoping the good folk here can help me with some things. I have been at my current place of work now for 2 years. I was ready to quit last July (because I was being thrown under the bus by seniors, I was being offered criticism based on supervisor’s mood rather than actual performance, any leaves I took the expectation was that I would be available for surprise meetings). However, I ended up negotiating for a new roll with my boss which was aligned with what I wanted to do at the time.

    Long story shot, I got the role but it was a grueling process. It was explained to me again and again that this was a probationary thing, and my supervisor had to really fight to get me this role, and that he had pushed with different members of the hiring committee. That made me feel pretty shitty. In addition, the paperwork took 6 months to complete, in this time I was expected to work in the new role but was still being paid for the old role. In fact, there was a month in the middle where I worked 5 days and was paid for three. This was all under the heading of “doing me a favor”. Right now, I have a six month probationary period, where I cant take time off and its been two months since the paper work got completed, my salary got updated and i was officially part of the team. The expectation is that I will be available during holidays, evenings. And I do try to be, but I also try to protect my time off, and this is leading to  frequent clashes with the bosses. Already, going in to this position, I had decided that I would leave at the end of the year, and use this year for a few specific projects that would set me up for the future. However, what I have noticed is that the pace of work is pretty slow here and it is likely that I will only meet 50% of what my personal goals for the year were. It also seems that my dread and anxiety around my work are growing and thats making it harder for me to be 150% productive and do the extra stuff thats needed for my own career progression in addition to the tasks i get assigned. I’m still being shit for taking time off on annual holidays (we had our version of christmas recently and I took time off and it escalated while I was away). Basically, im wondering if I should leave during the probation. My intended next step is to start my own business in addition to some part time work, and I should be okay for 3-4 mths. But I am afraid that I am passing up a great opportunity, that leaving in this way might close some doors for me, and also that maybe its my attitude thats off. No one else I work with seems to struggle with putting in 150% or working holidays. Is this the normal and do I need an attitude adjustment? I have been trying CBT exercises and it extended the amount of time I stayed in this job from 6 months to 2 years now, but when do I stop trying to fit in?

    Thanks for reading!

    #399568
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Greenshade!

    Were you ever compensated for the additional unpaid hours that you were working during the transition to a new role?

    If you were not paid for that depending on the country you live in this is illegal on your employers part and you could potentially sue to receive compensation.

    Is working there really a great opportunity? I think your plan sounds great! If you choose to leave you can always be very polite when doing so and not discuss the reasons.

    Potentially, the company’s bad treatment of you has left a sour taste in your mouth. Understandably so. Perhaps if all of the rest had not happened it would be a different situation and you would have had different feelings about the work ethic and holidays? What do you think?

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by Helcat.
    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by Helcat.
    #399632
    anita
    Participant

    Dear greenshade:

    You wrote today: “I am afraid that I am passing up a great opportunity, that leaving in this way might close some doors for me, and also that maybe it’s my attitude that’s off. No one else I work with seems to struggle with putting in 150% or working holidays. Is this the normal and do I need an attitude adjustment?” –

    – it reads like the problem is a combination of a difficult work situation and your life-long significant anxiety. In regard to the latter, an attitude adjustment would be a good start. I will suggest an attitude adjustment at the end of this post. First, let’s take a look at your anxiety and what it is about:

    Back in June 2016, at 26 years-old, you shared about your anxiety: “Anxiety is a significant problem for me, and over the years I have manifested it as not being able to stop throwing up (involuntarily), headaches and palpitations. I have fairly recently come to recognize all of these things as symptoms of my anxiety“. You also shared that you were living with your parents: “they need my support + it would be culturally inappropriate for me to live alone in my country“.

    In August 2016, you shared: “I’ve posted about recently reentering the work force at a temporary workplace. For some reason, this place is triggering a lot of anxiety for me. People are generally perfectionists here, and everything is a competition… I enjoy the work itself a lot, and it is something I am passionate about, and I wish it could just be about the work”.

    In October 2016, you shared: “I started meditation recently; and it has greatly helped calm my mind. All day yesterday, though, I was struggling with panic attacks. I managed to meditate… My mind is quiet, thankfully, but the feeling of heart crushing anxiety is still there… being around (bi-polar, abusive father) triggers a lot of my fears and anxiety... if I’m not loving towards him a lot of religious childhood fear kicks in (when I was a child, I believed disobeying or hurting your parents means you go to hell, at a subconscious level I still believe that“.

    In the same month, in a different thread (“Working 9-5”), you shared: “I wish I could leave work when I wanted to and plan my schedule as I wanted. Alternatively, I wish I could stop obsessing over the fact that I can’t leave my office whenever I want”.

    In November 2016, you shared: “I do think that being home saps me of a lot of my energy and strength…  even my dad is not saying or doing anything, as long as he is around, I am still fighting a lot of guilt and anxiety as soon as I around him

    In January 2017, you shared: “When things are going well, I get overwhelmingly anxious, like something bad is going to happen IMMEDIATELY or I’m going to be punished somehow. The thought ‘how do I make this good stuff last; I must not mess it up’ starts playing through my head at such a furious pace I get a headache. I also become paranoid that I’m going to say something that’s going to offend everyone when relationships are going well. I end up self-sabotaging because I find the anxiety that accompanies good stuff happening harder to deal with than the pain of bad stuff happening

    “Any change, good or bad, or any event at all could trigger a manic episode for my dad. So, if I had schools’ exams they would trigger it, my birthday would trigger it, and he was most abusive during manic episodes, so I dreaded any life event or change in routine”.

    In October 2018 you posted that you recently moved abroad for your master study program. In June 2019, you posted that after 10 months abroad, you were back home, living with your parents. You shared that while away from your parents’ home and country, you had a relationship with a man you trusted, a relationship where you “felt healthy and happy, and loved”. But back home with your abusive father and passive-aggressive mother, you shared: “<b>going back to my life with my boyfriend… feels far off and not real… I am definitely feeling like I had moved backward since coming home</b>”.

    In June 2019, you mentioned post-traumatic stress disorder: “I have tried discussing the things that seemed like red flags on a ptsd forum I belong to”.

    In September 2019, you shared in regard to your passive-aggressive mother: “I have been letting her know more and more how her behavior impacts me… She communicates her needs instead of giving me the silent treatment for days… She sometimes still says minimizing things, but I am able to stand up for myself with her.  I do still need my own place because that is still better for me and seeing my dad every day is still very triggering for me”.

    In the same month and year, you also shared that you were feeling rage and exhaustion living with your parents, and considered moving out of their home, but you were too exhausted to do so: “Don’t have energy-> can’t work-> no salary-> can’t move out”.

    In your January 2021 thread “Breaking Point“, you shared that you were living with your mother while your elderly father stayed in a care facility following a manic episode and getting infected with Covid. You oversaw his care but didn’t visit him often, and you felt guilty for it. You wrote at that time: “I don’t know how to escape my life, or to fix things so that they are okay. In my culture, you are the worst if you neglect your elderly parents“.

    My input today: your anxiety has infected every part of your life as an adult and ever since you were a child. Some of the anxiety symptoms you listed: “throwing up (involuntarily), headaches and palpitations… heart crushing anxiety… obsessing… When things are going well, I get overwhelmingly anxious, like something bad is going to happen IMMEDIATELY… (thoughts) starts playing through my head at such a furious pace I get a headache. I also become paranoid… ptsd… don’t have energy”.

    No wonder you’ve been suffering from so much anxiety, being that you grew up (and still) living with a very abusive father and a mother who (1) defended him (“I was taught to believe how he was acting wasn’t his fault, because he was sick and not in control of his behavior… how he was acting wasn’t who he was“), and (2) turned passive-aggressively against you. No child can grow up in such abuse and not become severely affected.

    Having read about your father, I didn’t come across a single good behavior on his part. In regard to people who use his bipolar disorder diagnosis to excuse his abuse of his wife and child, I have this to say: people who do not suffer from a diagnosable mental illness can be primarily good people, or primarily bad people. Same is true in regard to people who were diagnosed with bi-polar disorder: some are primarily good people; others are primarily bad people.

    In other words, bi-polar people are not all the same person. Your father, appears to me, is primarily a bad person: he repeatedly terrorized you and your mother for decades, yelling at you and at her, demanding that stay put and not move while he kept yelling at you for hours at a time. At one time, he poisoned your mother’s food so to see her sick. And he was never held accountable for any of his bad (and even criminal) behaviors. No one protected you from him.

    You wrote in regard to living with parents: “they need my support + it would be culturally inappropriate for me to live alone in my country” – did you notice that the following are culturally appropriate in your country: (1) men abusing their wives and children, if they so choose, (2) mothers abusing their children, if they so choose, (3) parents abusing their adult unmarried daughter until she gets married… if they so choose, (4) mother in-laws living with their married sons abusing their daughters-in-law… if they so choose?

    In my culture, you are the worst if you neglect your elderly parents” – in your culture (and in other traditional cultures), abusive parents are not the ones who are considered the worst, they are not the ones made to feel guilty; it is the abused children who are made to feel like the worst people, victims of false guilt.

    <b>When I was a child, I believed disobeying or hurting your parents means you go to hell, at a subconscious level I still believe that</b>” – for too many obedient children, living with their parents is hell. No abused child can be … obedient enough to avoid the wrath of an abusive parent, because the abusive parent will always find (an invalid) reason to abuse.

    The nature of living with an abusive parent (as a child and as an adult) is that the anxiety does not disappear at times when the parent is not being abusive; the anxiety lingers because the abused knows, from experience, that there will be a next time. You wrote at 26: “even my dad is not saying or doing anything, as long as he is around, I am still fighting a lot of guilt and anxiety as soon as I around him“.

    When you lived away from your parents long enough, you finally felt healthy and happy, and loved, finally safe far, far away from them. You even had a healthy relationship with a man for some time, for the first time in your life… but then, you did the culturally appropriate thing and went back home.

    In regard to the workplace, in August 2016, you shared about a job you had- you enjoyed the work itself but the people you worked for, or with, were “triggering a lot of anxiety” for you because they were “generally perfectionists here, and everything is a competition“. Fast forward more than 5.5 years, and you are anxious in a different workplace: “my dread and anxiety around my work are growing“. In October of the same year, you shared about a 9-5 job where you were anxious (obsessing) because you couldn’t leave the workplace whenever you wanted-

    – I am assuming that you are still living with your parents, that you have lived with them your whole life (minus the ten months abroad), and so, you never really had the opportunity to heal and lessen your anxiety. Living with your parents (now at 32 or so) is serving to maintain or maybe even exacerbate your anxiety, and so, I can’t imagine a workplace where you will not feel significantly anxious. Anxiety is not confined to a place: anxious at home=> anxious in the workplace. Having said this, it is also true that there are very difficult and abusive workplaces where no one should work, inclined to significant anxiety, or not.

    You asked in your current thread: “do I need attitude adjustment?“- my answer is yes: you need to stop obeying your culture’s attitude that abuse is okay when it comes to parents abusing their children (as minor age children and as adult-children). It is time to move out and away from your parents (no matter how old they are) and do what is right and just for greenshade.

    anita

     

    #399693
    greenshade
    Participant

    Heyy @Helcat thanks for your response! Yes I do think that is part of it. I have studied at this place before as well and have so many biases against it from that time as well, in fact its when I was studying there that I first developed my anxiety symtoms that Anita has also described in her reply. But since I have experienced burn out before I am also more anxious around enforcing my boundaries for time off, and it feels like a violation when someone tries to encroach on holidays. I also interpret it as them playing a control game (I’m the boss and I need to know you’re available whenever I ask).

    In general, however I feel if someone is more respectful of my boundaries generally, I also have less of a reaction if they reach out over holidays (I feel in those cases that I know they wouldn’t  disrupt my time off unless it was an emergency) and the intent and energy of that interaction feels different.

    I guess it is a conflict of – I feel like the hierarchical work environment is not a good fit for me, but I am also tempted by what is achievable in these environments and the amount of impact you can have + the benefits of being paid on time are pretty great (Ive worked in more lose environments where sometimes I wasn’t paid for months) so a part of me is trying to see if I can CBT myself enough to fitting into this environment.

    M

    #399694
    greenshade
    Participant

    Hey @Anita ,

    Thanks for taking the time to read through all of my old posts.  It was interesting to read through and it seems like my need to be incharge of my own time is a pretty recurrent theme that I cant let go off even though I’ve wanted to.  With the poisoning memory- I struggle to attach significance to it (like I almost cant believe it happened) even though it did, so reading someone else write it was strangely validating.

    I did move out in March 2021. I am currently pretty happy with my home situation but the work situation is what is spilling over more. I have also been happy in work places although because of financial reasons (places not being able to pay me full time, me needing full time employment) I have not been able to stay in such places for long. I usually prefer working in smaller less formal set ups with people with similar value sets but I am feeling internal pressure to change that about myself.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by greenshade.
    #399697
    anita
    Participant

    Dear greenshade:

    You are welcome.  I am glad to read that you moved out of your parents’ home in March 2021, two months following your last post on your previous thread Breaking Point (Jan 11, 2021), and about two months following my reply in that thread, where I suggested that you “move away from your parents, leave them both… Away from them both, you have a chance to escape misery and experience a better life”.

    Fast forward a year and two months, and currently, May 2022, you are living away from your parents (but in regular contact with them, I assume?). Congratulations for moving away!

    This is what you shared today: “I am also more anxious around enforcing my boundaries for time off, and it feels like a violation when someone tries to encroach on holidays. I also interpret it as them playing a control game (I’m the boss and I need to know you’re available whenever I ask). In general, however I feel if someone is more respectful of my boundaries generally, I also have less of a reaction if they reach out over holidays… the intent and energy of that interaction feels different“.

    As difficult as a workplace may be, it is your early life experience, particularly with your father, that is encroaching on your workplace experience, and as a result, you feel much more anxious and distressed in the workplace than you would have felt if you didn’t have the childhood experience that you had.

    Growing up, it was your father who disrespected and violated your boundaries, encroached on your right to move, to go to the bathroom, and to sleep (see quotes below), insisting that you avail yourself to him whenever he wanted you with him; he was the one who played control games against you with the intent to do so.

    Here is what you shared about that early life experience (June 30-July 1, 2016): “if he got angry, he would yell for hours, and we would not be allowed to get up or move. If I had to go to the bathroom while he was talking, he would get angry and would not let me go. I remember sitting in one place being yelled at every day for 3-4 hours… We had to do whatever he wanted irrespective of what was going on in our lives. If he wanted to drive around the city for hours, we would do that it did not matter if I had homework or tests… Once I remember I had 104 fever and I had to go walking with him because he wanted exercise. We were not allowed to sleep at night… He would take our cell phones and house keys and we would not be allowed to talk to people without him being present. We weren’t allowed to cry or get angry. If we were quiet, he would get angry too… When he was manic, he became cruel and enjoyed hurting us” –

    – he held you hostage. No wonder you felt very distressed, as an adult, in that 9-5 job (“I wish I could stop obsessing over the fact that I can’t leave my office whenever I want“, Oct 4, 2016). In the current job, any limitation on your freedom is likely to feel worse to you than it would feel to your co-workers, because as children, they were not repeatedly and for many hours, held hostage by their father.

    On October 11, 2016, you shared about your father: “Once he apologized to me for treating me badly, he was crying, with his hands covering his face but I saw him peak out at me from behind his hands and smirk. There are other multiple instances where he’s told my mum I’ve said things I haven’t and vice versa, not to set us against each other but to get his own way. I also feel he tries to control me using guilt; when I was travelling for work, he would call every few hours and keep telling me how lonely and sad he was”, etc.  –

    -this was your childhood experience; your father was repeatedly insincere, and he repeatedly played control games.

    Today, you wrote in regard to your current workplace: “I also interpret it as them playing a control game“. You also shared today you react less negatively to being asked to work during holidays if you feel that the intent is not to control you, “the intent and energy of that interaction feels different“- your father’s intent to deceive you (and your mother) and his cruel, selfish energy caused you a lot of distress as a child, a distress that you re-experience as an adult, when you sense such intent and energy in the workplace.

    Your last sentence in your most recent post is: “I usually prefer working in smaller less formal set ups with people with similar value sets, but I am feeling internal pressure to change that about myself” – it makes sense that a more relaxed workplace is a better fit for you (and for anyone who suffers from excessive anxiety). If you want to change that about yourself, that is, to endure a higher stress level in regard to employment because of significant professional/ financial benefits in doing so, you will need to create a separation from your childhood experience with your father, so that this past experience does not encroach on your present experience. Did you ever discuss this topic in therapy?

    I compared your childhood experience with your father to being held hostage (the detention of an individual, against their will and without legal authority, for a particular motive).

    I want to close this post with a quote from an apa. org (American Psychological Association) article titled Adjusting to life after being held hostage or kidnapped: “According to research, hostage survivors often develop an unconscious bond to their captors and experience grief if their captors are harmed… This is typically referred to as the Stockholm syndrome” – if this is true when the captor is a stranger and the one held hostage is an adult, it must be true when the captor is the child’s father (although in the latter case, it will not be called Stockholm Syndrome).

    An encouraging quote from an article from The National Library of Medicine, titled Kidnapping and hostage-taking: a review of effects, coping and resilience: “In recent years, there has been a move in the trauma field from a ‘pathogenic’ model (which emphasizes illness and problems of adjustment) to a ‘resilience’ model (which emphasizes coping and ‘personal growth’ through adversity) … this perspective offers a more positive and optimistic approach”.

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by anita.
    #399700
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi greenshade!

    I can understand that! It is also interesting learning about how it links into your background.

    Personally, I don’t know if you are biased, this to me would suggest that your feelings aren’t an accurate representation of what has been going on. You workplace has mistreat you so in my opinion these feelings are justified even if you have been treat worse in other jobs.

    But regarding the history of abuse. I was wondering if there are any specific people that trigger you?

    I only ask because I have a history of abuse and in an unhealthy work environment there was an an individual that was a trigger. Fortunately, I’m in a much better work environment now.

    I guess, if you want to try to continue working in this environment the question is can you emotionally separate the past indiscretions from the irritating behaviour regarding micromanaging?

    Lots of workplaces do irritating micromanaging. However, wage theft and being thrown under the bus by management is abusive.

    #399957
    greenshade
    Participant

    Hi @Helcat,

    Thanks for your response! Yes there are people who trigger me more (specifically there are two people, both quite high up in the organization who throw their weight around. I don’t know if I can separate them. I have been trying. But then something else happens and I get triggered again and its back to square one, there have been three triggers within this last week and it seems like my treshold is getting lower rather than higher, by that i mean Im getting triggered more rather than less. I dont know how much I should put up with, how much is normal. I am afraid that since most work places have people like this in authority positions, I am making things difficult for myself by deciding to leave jobs because I feel triggered at them and that I will pretty much end up unemployed and looking for handouts 20 yrs down the line unless I suck it up now. But my brain seems to be in a continous grey angry fog. Dont know.

    Best,

    M

    #399958
    greenshade
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you for your effort in reading through the past messages. It helps to have this information here for perspective and the analysis resonates, and yes this website and especially your responses did play a large part in helping me get the momentum to move out so for that I am very grateful.

    “Your last sentence in your most recent post is: “I usually prefer working in smaller less formal set ups with people with similar value sets, but I am feeling internal pressure to change that about myself” – it makes sense that a more relaxed workplace is a better fit for you (and for anyone who suffers from excessive anxiety). If you want to change that about yourself, that is, to endure a higher stress level in regard to employment because of significant professional/ financial benefits in doing so, you will need to create a separation from your childhood experience with your father, so that this past experience does not encroach on your present experience. Did you ever discuss this topic in therapy?”

    With my therapist we do discuss when I am projecting my father onto other situations, and people and it is good insight. However, in the practical scheme of things, it hasn’t helped because even if I know I am projecting it still becomes impossible for me to see the situation or person in a positive light or want to engage with them again. I’m not sure I want to change that about myself, its more like a part of me feels like I will need to change this about myself in order to survive, the other part feels like maybe this is who I am, its my personality, even if I didnt have trauma I may not have liked working in very heirarchal large organizations so why am I compelling myself to fit into a box I dont fit into? I bounce between these two states a lot.

    I also struggle with – yes, I know I project and get triggered, and that is more about me than the situation I am in, but the painful feelings that come up feel pretty real, and it feels unfair to myself to stay in these situations that feel bad because I might be projecting. How does one decide where the line is for themselves after which they will not put up with triggering behavior, whether the behavior itself is problematic or not?

    Best,

    M

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by greenshade.
    #399960
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Greenshade!

    I think you are being a bit hard on yourself. You have been at your current job for 2 years now. I don’t think that would mean that you would be leaving because of being triggered. You have managed to cope with it for two years. I think this is quite a feat sticking around for so long despite triggers and even wage theft. Sometimes environments are not a good fit. A common saying is that people don’t leave jobs they leave bad bosses.

    Where I am from it is perfectly acceptable to leave a role for a new one after two years. I don’t know if this is the same with your area? Sometimes it is easier to deal with a fresh start because there is no history.

    Would you feel anxious leaving for a better role if this situation wasn’t ongoing?

    Can I ask you to describe the triggers this week?

    Or more about how these two higher ups trigger you? Do they remind you of anyone?

    #399961
    greenshade
    Participant

    I’m not sure I want to change THAT about myself, its more like a part of me feels like I will need to change this about myself in order to survive, the other part feels like maybe this is who I am, its my personality, even if I didnt have trauma I may not have liked working in very heirarchal large organizations so why am I compelling myself to fit into a box I dont fit into? I bounce between these two states a lot.

    Sorry just a clarrifying post lol. The “that” in bold and capital refers to :Your last sentence in your most recent post is: “I usually prefer working in smaller less formal set ups with people with similar value sets, but I am feeling internal pressure to change that about myself

    #399962
    greenshade
    Participant

    Thanks for your reply Helcat!

    That is validating to hear.

    I feel excited and relieved at the thought of leaving, mixed with doubt as to whether I would be doing the right thing. This position may (if I can stick it out for 5-10 years and manage to figure out how to succeed here) help me meet a work goal that I have been working towards for the last 4-5 years. The goal would have a lot of impact and help people in situations similar to me so I feel bad about abandoning this goal. I am interested in freelancing now, and starting my own set up rather than looking for full time work as historically I have struggled with it.

    The triggers this week were:

    1) one of the two higher ups (higher up 1/HU1) emailed half an hour before closing time and assigned a task, and said that it had to be done that night. I got so triggered I turned my phone off for the night, even though later after calming down I realized it hadnt even been assigned to me, I was just assuming I would have to do it.

    2) there is a work event tomorrow in the evening. It is the fourth evening work event this week, 1 more was announced today. I have no active role in the event. I was interested and thinking about going, but the other higher up (higher up 2/HU2) emailed and said “I hope you are going to this” and this made me lose interest in the event and not want to go.

    3) Last week, we had federal leaves due to Eid holidays. Half of our team is based elsewhere and were working. I didnt attend a regular meeting (again this is not a meeting where a lot of work gets done, I usually just sit and listen to others updates) because it was my federal holiday and my supervisor emailed  HU2 saying i wasnt present. I had to justify to both my supervisor and HU2 why I couldnt be there in two different meetings and over email.

    4) This week, I was in a group meeting and felt pressured to take on work that I knew would be difficult to complete on time. I could have said no, but froze in the moment and felt triggered afterwards.

    HU1- Has yelled at me once, but is usually nice to me. I see her yelling at her juniors however, which makes me not trust her. Once, in a meeting, I heard her say in a sarcastic/complaining tone about her secretary who has been with the organization for 20 years ” Now he cant do the work because he’s gone and had a heart attack” (dont know if she reminds me of anyone other than a teacher I had for a bit)

    HU2- says he is a good listener and genuinely tries, but is still pretty autocratic and dictates rather than has conversations. Dismisses ideas or work he doesnt agree with as invaluable, which is a lot of my work since we have different approaches to the problems in our field. Is disorganized (will ask you to set aside older priorities and focus on new things, and then you complete the new things says “yes but what about the old thing”, will forget that he assigned you stuff, keeps looping into things that arent my responsibility. reminds me of both my father (nothing is good enough) and my uncle (v intelligent and insensitive but tyring in clumsy ways, imposes their world view on others)

    I know this is a lot but was a relief to put it down lol. Thank you to whoever takes the time to read it <3.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 6 days ago by greenshade.
    #399964
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Greenshade!

    That is a very noble goal! Potentially, one of the few reasons to stay. If you left the role, would someone else take over and likely achieve that goal? Perhaps you can still help people outside of this role?

    I can empathise with how you feel about HU1. In my old workplace management criticised people behind their back. It made me feel anxious and distrustful.

    I think there are a lot of managers like HU2.It sounds like a combination of personal habits and the nature of the role. It sucks when it feels like management doesn’t value your ideas. But this doesn’t mean that they aren’t good ideas. There are likely a variety of factors in play.

    What I liked to do when being given lots of responsibilities is ask which is the highest priority and communicate expected time frames for each item. If HU2 gets upset when you are doing that, it is not your fault. As you said, it would be a lack of organisation on their part.

    1. I can understand why this is upsetting. It sounds like they don’t value the time of their employees.

    2. I can understand since you explained HU2s nature. I am imagining somewhat stern and fatherly why the tone might sound different from other people who might genuinely hope to see you there. It would sound to me like someone wagging their finger sternly. “I want you to go to this.” It would have been more polite if he asked you “Would you be able to attend the event?” or “Would you like to attend?”.

    3. It is understandable why you weren’t there. Was your supervisor present at the meeting? Did you give notice to the meeting host that you wouldn’t be able to attend? My husband likes to message and let people know when he doesn’t attend meetings. The micromanaging seems a bit much. Personally, I don’t enjoy that management style.

    4. I think this links in with the theme of this company. They expect a lot of you. They expect you to sacrifice and they don’t seem to respect your time. It doesn’t sound like they have been receptive in the past when you communicated difficulties with a high workload. You are somehow expected to manage everything perfectly all of the time. When the reality is that we are all human, we all get tired and occasionally make mistakes.

    I wish you luck with your freelancing! Or in your current role. Whichever you decide, I am sure that you will be successful. You strike me as a professional that cares about their work.

    #399970
    anita
    Participant

    Dear greenshade:

    You are welcome.  “I’m not sure I want to change that about myself” – it is difficult enough to change something significant about yourself when you really want to change it, no way to change it if you don’t really want to change it.

    The other part feels like maybe this is who I am, it’s my personality, even if I didn’t have trauma” – seems to me that we use the word personality for what we don’t want to change about ourselves, or for what we wish we could change but we don’t believe we can.

    Why am I compelling myself to fit into a box I don’t fit into?” – no matter what employment you do, even freelancing, you’ll still have to fit into some kind of a box, as there will be rules and regulations to follow and difficult people to interact with.

    Yes, I know I project and get triggered, and that is more about me than the situation I am in, but the painful feelings that come up feel pretty real” – I am sure that the painful feelings that come up in the context of the workplace feel real. The thought: I am projecting, does not prevent the feelings. It takes much more than a thought to change or soften painful feelings.

    I imagine that you regularly visit your father and that every time you visit him, you don’t feel much of anything because you are in the decades-old habit of numbing the feelings of being TRAPPED in his MANIC BOX. The feelings that are numbed in his presence wake up in the workplace context and you feel trapped.

    There is an ongoing dynamic: the numbing of the trapped feelings; the waking up of the trapped feelings.

    I am reading your most recent post: “I feel excited and relieved at the thought of leaving” leaving a box in which you feel trapped is exciting!

    One of the two higher ups… emailed half an hour before closing time and assigned a task and said that it had to be done that night. I got so triggered” – the numbed feelings of being trapped woke up!

    This week, I was in a group meeting and felt pressured to take on work that I knew would be difficult to complete on time. I could have said no but froze in the moment and felt triggered afterwards” – you could have said No, but the feelings of being trapped woke up and froze your No.

    You asked me in the post addressed to me, “How does one decide where the line is for themselves after which they will not put up with triggering behavior, whether the behavior itself is problematic or not?” – look at the quote right above: you could have said No. It was an option available to you. This means that in that circumstance, you were not really trapped in a box because you had an out (saying No). If you are unable to say No, you will feel trapped anywhere and everywhere, won’t you?

    anita

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 6 days ago by anita.
    #400219
    greenshade
    Participant

    Hi @anita,
    Thanks for your response.

    ” “I’m not sure I want to change that about myself” – it is difficult enough to change something significant about yourself when you really want to change it, no way to change it if you don’t really want to change it.

    The other part feels like maybe this is who I am, it’s my personality, even if I didn’t have trauma” – seems to me that we use the word personality for what we don’t want to change about ourselves, or for what we wish we could change but we don’t believe we can.

    Why am I compelling myself to fit into a box I don’t fit into?” – no matter what employment you do, even freelancing, you’ll still have to fit into some kind of a box, as there will be rules and regulations to follow and difficult people to interact with”

    I do like my discomfort with hierarchies – I feel they create unhealthy exchanges of power, and cause unquestioning deference to people in power simply because they are in power; and that leads to bad decision making and inefficiency; and also creates opportunities for abuse of power. I see this happen at my work place all of the time. I even participate in it sometimes, because it gets exhausting to be continuously pushing back against a culture I don’t like. I have to believe that its possible to build a work life for myself where I can choose who to work with and when, as equals. I feel those are pretty basic boundaries that I don’t want to compromise on so changing my dislike for hierarchies would feel like changing myself in an abusive way, where I disregard my boundaries. I know I did say that I don’t know if one can survive without adapting to this environment, but in retrospect I think the energy of this statement was a little stockholm syndromy and maybe not reality as I am seeing it when calmer.

    When I say compelling myself to fit into a box, I don’t mean that I am looking for an absence of rules or difficult people, but that I am looking for a place where I am not constantly going against my nature. Freelancing, and its build-your-own-path nature appeal to me more because it seems I would have more choice in how to structure my life . I can’t know without trying it however and I guess the uncertainty is scary.

    Yes, I know I project and get triggered, and that is more about me than the situation I am in, but the painful feelings that come up feel pretty real” – I am sure that the painful feelings that come up in the context of the workplace feel real. The thought: I am projecting, does not prevent the feelings. It takes much more than a thought to change or soften painful feelings.

    That makes sense. What would you recommend?

    “I imagine that you regularly visit your father and that every time you visit him, you don’t feel much of anything because you are in the decades-old habit of numbing the feelings of being TRAPPED in his MANIC BOX. The feelings that are numbed in his presence wake up in the workplace context and you feel trapped.”

    I agree that I feel trapped when I get triggered, and that I get triggered at work, but I don’t think that has to do with visiting my dad. I am comfortable with the amount I visit my dad, its on my terms, and I feel wholesome and healthy afterwards and I can leave whenever I want. It feels like a much healthier relationship on both ends – his mental health is well enough right now that he is able to really present and I find myself able to receive support and love from him. I enjoy my conversations with him and am getting to experience him as the person, not the person in active mania, which is something I have wanted my whole life. I also know that if/when his mental health deteriorates again, I am not emotionally dependent on his support and will be able to back off.

    My interpretation is that I feel trapped when I am in an environment where it feels difficult to communicate because the culture of the place doesn’t support open communication. While I am getting better at stating my boundaries, its still a work in progress and this place requires constant boundary setting to even have enough time blocked out to meet my own deliverables. And the boundary setting is more exhausting than I have experienced within start ups. I am more comfortable working in those because less formal cultures in my opinion allow for more real talk and are built to allow for more flexible work schedules.

    There is an ongoing dynamic: the numbing of the trapped feelings; the waking up of the trapped feelings.

    I am reading your most recent post: “I feel excited and relieved at the thought of leaving” leaving a box in which you feel trapped is exciting!

    Yes! Cant wait till I am out!

    One of the two higher ups… emailed half an hour before closing time and assigned a task and said that it had to be done that night. I got so triggered” – the numbed feelings of being trapped woke up!

    This week, I was in a group meeting and felt pressured to take on work that I knew would be difficult to complete on time. I could have said no but froze in the moment and felt triggered afterwards” – you could have said No, but the feelings of being trapped woke up and froze your No.

    You asked me in the post addressed to me, “How does one decide where the line is for themselves after which they will not put up with triggering behavior, whether the behavior itself is problematic or not?” – look at the quote right above: you could have said No. It was an option available to you. This means that in that circumstance, you were not really trapped in a box because you had an out (saying No). If you are unable to say No, you will feel trapped anywhere and everywhere, won’t you?

    I have worked in 4 organizations, I felt trapped in two, did not feel trapped in the other two. While I was working in the two I did not feel trapped in,  I was also living with my parents, so I think this does have to do with the nature and type of the workplace rather than the fact that I’m still in contact with my father.

    With this sentence, I think what I was trying to say is I am afraid I might be staying too long in challenging situations because I invalidate myself and my triggers by saying “oh these are just triggers; this is my ish to work on, its not really a bad situation”

    Best,

    M

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