During my therapy appointment the other week, Deb offered me an additional form of communication I was previously unaware of, in the form of encrypted e-mail messages. The idea was for me to have an outlet of some sort as I deal with the emotional fallout of my recent… can it really be called a “break-up”(?), with The Guy.
I didn’t take her up on it. I mean I made it available to myself, but I never actually used it. I didn’t know where to start. I felt – I feel – compelled to make my writing logical, and fluid, with a clear beginning, a middle and an identifiable end. It needs to be… Entertaining seems like the wrong word… But certainly it needs to be interesting. It needs to hold the reader’s attention. So I wrote a little bit here. Targeted, specific stories to convey the strongest of my current emotions, and the utter defeat that I feel. But I never wrote to Deb. I thought about it a few times, but I just didn’t know what to say. I have no idea how it works. Would she respond to my e-mails? Would it just be a dumping ground for all the crap that I’m thinking and feeling? Would it result in stored up ammunition to use against me in our next session?
I have no one else to talk to… The couple of people I started to talk to about this, gave me songs and dances and bubbled over with platitudes that don’t interest me in the slightest. As I mentioned on my Facebook page (and then subsequently deleted)
“The next person who tells me how awesome / amazing / special I am and how lucky somebody is going to be, damn well better follow it up with a declaration of love, and gratitude for how lucky they feel to be that person.”
I’m absolutely sick and tired of being told how great I am and that someday, somebody will want me. All I hear is, “I’m sure there’s someone that would want you… It’s not me, but there’s bound to be somebody somewhere…” The fact that it took 38 years to find one person with whom I thought there was a real possibility (and proved to be dead wrong) would seem to suggest that, in fact, there might not be somebody somewhere who will want me. I don’t think anyone has done me any favors by ignoring that fact and pretending everything is bound to be just hunky dory.
As it happens, there actually are a few other things going on in my life right now that don’t center around The Guy and the resultant breaking of my heart. Admittedly, my broken heart and the litany of emotions that result from it (hurt, sorrow, anger, depression, resentment, jealousy, fear, loneliness, desperation…. Just to name a few) are highly prevalent in my mind and I do frequently come back to them. But there are other things in my life, things that are affected by said broken-heart-induced hysteria.
In the meeting I had with my boss last week, the one in which she offered up a different (but equally problematic) cubicle for me to try on, she also told me that I really needed to think about whether this was the right job for me. She said that I seem to get really frustrated a lot and… Actually I don’t remember exactly what she said, but the implication was that I’m not being nice enough to people who come to my desk. She asked me when I started, and when I reminded her of the date, she said, “Ok, so you’re about halfway through your process.” We had been discussing the fact that I’m process oriented (something I was very clear about in my interview) and that we don’t have enough processes for how we get things done for people to know how to ask for things. Process was, I’m quite certain, a misspoken word on her part. She meant probation. The organization where I now work has a six month probationary period. And as much as I’d like to come up with a better explanation, I can think of only one reason for her to mention that in the context of that conversation.
Now, in addition to all those feelings I just listed above, I’m also feeling threatened, and vulnerable. I suspect she is thinking about firing me, and my only option is to stuff down all my feelings and pretend that everything is great and wonderful in my life, and welcome each new frustration– er, interruption as if it’s the greatest thing that could have happened to me. I’m supposed to never let on that anything is bothering me… Even though, everyone else does at one time or another.
In a recent ill-fated text conversation with The Guy, he made a comment about me “snapping at folks”. I don’t believe I am. But if I am, I’m unaware of it. What I am aware of, is that I’m struggling with a lot of negative emotions without possession of any coping skills to make it better, and in spite of that, I have been very deliberate about not taking that out on other people. There was one instance when I vented some anger about a specific thing to but not at my manager, and I do admit that I was wrong about the thing I was angry about, and wrong to vent in that moment, but I also give myself credit for the fact that it was an isolated event (to my knowledge) and that I’ve actually done a pretty good job of containing my feelings… Or so I thought.
But now I can’t help but wonder. If my boss is telling me that I’m not being nice enough to people, and The Guy says I’m snapping at folks, and I’m not aware of it…. Well, what does that mean?
I admit that I’m not happy right now. I have lots of very good reason not to be. I also admit that I do not possess the proper coping skills to compartmentalize and separate my personal problems from my work life, which, admittedly, would be better. But from where I’m sitting, there’s a huge difference between not being happy and bubbly when I talk to people, and being aggressively angry with them. I am under a lot of pressure and stress right now. I get that my stress is not someone else’s problem and I don’t mean to make it so. But who is to say that “how can I help you” spoken without a smile is less appropriate than “how can I help you” spoken with one? I may not be happy to speak to someone at any given moment, but I still give them my complete attention. I still acknowledge and fulfill their request as efficiently as I can.
I’m actively searching for some affordable and feasible anger management or stress management programs. I can, and might, write a whole separate post about the anger management thing. It’s a very touchy subject that stirs up a lot of feelings on its own. But if what I’ve been interpreting as emphatic passion, on my part, is being seen as anger to everyone else… maybe that’s something I need to look at. There’s no question that I experience a considerable amount of stress. I imagine the two are related… But it’s a lot harder than you might expect to find what I need, when I need it.
So, I’ve thought about writing e-mails to Deb… multiple times. But… It’s like my fingers are a funnel. They take the big, wide-mouthed vessel full of emotions, a vat of roiling, battling, conflict, and as the emotions roll around and around in the vessel, making smaller and smaller concentric revolutions, they reach the narrow mouth of the funnel, only to find that they all want in at once. And the battle is amplified there as everything tries to escape at once.
My funnel is clogged and I don’t know how to clear it all out.