effect of abuse on my ability to work

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Blueberry

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effect of abuse on my ability to work
« on: March 13, 2018, 03:05:51 PM »
In a bad way, it seems somewhat incredible how badly my ability to work has been affected by all types of abuse done to me by close FOO members in my childhood and teenage years.

On a post I made this morning while struggling with merely asking a question or two in the forum of my professional association, the underlying topic became clearer. It's M and B1 questioning my competency. Not 'questioning' really. Disparaging of more likely.

I remember B1 saying things at the dinner table like he had 'nothing but contempt' for me and neither of my parents took him to task for it or told him it was inappropriate or even told him it was his opinion but their opinion of me was different.

People (including FOO members) have asked before why I listened to B1. He's not even that much older than me. So why? Because together with M he had a leading role in the family. In some ways M looked up to him. In some ways he was more like a partner for her with her depending on him emotionally. I'm not saying that it was easy for him, because it wasn't, but at least his hardships were acknowledged and his unhealthy reactions (including beating me up and general emotional abuse and gaslighting of me) excused. I was a handy outlet for his anger / rage at M.

M and B1 often appear together e.g. when I do Screen Processing. My T now says "Not you two again!  :thumbdown:  :aaauuugh:" Not as criticism of me for them coming up again, but more criticism of them for being a disturbance in my life so much.

In a certain other way, it's not so surprising that cptsd has had such an affect on my ability to work. My saying "incredible" is more  expressing :aaauuugh:  :aaauuugh: :pissed:   Sometime the anger will probably come. For the moment, it's good that I'm feeling more clearly what's going on, feeling connection between the abuse and so many difficulties I have with working.

P.S. Probably mis-spelling 'affect' and 'effect' and for the moment I just don't care!!
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Three Roses

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Re: effect of abuse on my ability to work
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2018, 08:42:50 PM »
This has affected my life the same way. I've not been able to hold a job for more than a few years at a time; always had a hard time keeping friends except for people who are like me, severely withdrawn/isolating at times. It's left me without any kind of compass to reliably navigate normal things - schedules, social interactions, self care, you name it. I'm sorry for it, for you and me and all of us here.
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songbirdrosa

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Re: effect of abuse on my ability to work
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2018, 09:41:53 PM »
Same here. Most things I've tried to do I had to quit from because of depressive episodes and panic attacks. I too don't know how to relate in a normal environment and have trouble keeping appointments and responsibilities. I hope with time and patience we can all learn our ways to cope with it
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Blueberry

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Re: effect of abuse on my ability to work
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2018, 08:31:01 AM »
 :grouphug: for all of us on this thread. I'm struggling again today, though not with people skills. I'm working on my own sitting at the computer. What looked fairly simple and straightforward was basically that with a few really tricky bits. If I worked out my hourly wage, it would be under minimum wage. The price I charged was normal to good. It's just I'm tying myself in knots as usual.

I used to feel like this doing homework as a little kid. I could have done with somebody showing me how. Like sit at a table to do it instead of lying on the floor in my room. Probably I felt safer in my room than at the dining-room table, but I didn't have a desk back then, so I lay on the floor. I wasn't too sure about reading books and summarising information. That's still a problem, though there's not much summarising I have to do in this work. More a bit, should I footnote this and explain? If so, how much do I explain? Then decide against it, too much time, probably nobody cares anyway. Forget to breathe in case somebody complains. By which time it'll be too late. Some members of FOO would say "Oh weeeeell" but I can't. "Oh well" is probably OK if you're not the one to be automatically blamed when things go wrong.

I call some of what my FOO did to me 'intellectual abuse'. They made it very, very difficult for me to trust my own judgement and function without very unhealthy crutches (like eating and pulling out my hair) and problems that seem to automatically happen like my brain switching off in what is a pretty intellectual profession. Manual work wouldn't have worked out either, doing anything with my hands used to be way, way worse than anything intellectual. It made me feel like going crazy inside. A memory I do not want to go into rn. But just saying, it wouldn't have been an option. Cuz people sometimes suggest that. No, it's the abuse that has caused these problems, not me choosing the wrong profession. In fact, my old employer said ages ago I was really good and that it was a real shame I wasn't back in my profession. Well, I am now off and on. More off than on.

That's the  :'(  :fallingbricks:  I seem capable but something comes and makes everything go haywire.

I'm sorry if this sounds a bit confused and confusing. I'm just venting.
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Blueberry

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Re: effect of abuse on my ability to work
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2018, 03:15:49 PM »
So as not to hijack:

Absolutely. I'm drawn to employers that say I'm a great worker and they love having me, who then tell me there's no money for raises and that they'd love to promote me but they just can't, and of course I'm just so happy to receive praise that I'll put up with it for years, while everyone around me moves up. "

When replying to this, I'm seeing a picture of F dancing around a bit in a silly way looking as if he likes having me around, maybe even saying so, but then... but then.... When it comes to the crunch, he's not there for me. Not to protect me from elder brother or M or anything like that. Not to even stick up for me verbally. No, more likely to attack verbally on behalf of B1 with half-baked lies "B1 is so upset at the lies you tell."  :stars: I couldn't figure it out because I hadn't spoken! I'd cried and I'd been fighting with B1 (but he had also been fighting with me) but I hadn't said anything, so what was the lie?? Idk but I was punished. I was just a kid.

I don't want to go into further examples of how F was not there for me. It's more the dichotomy here. And seeing the connect between F's behaviour and what I put up with from employers / potential employers. I've allowed myself to be strung along in the past too - the donkey and carrot trick. (Next week we'll let you know. Ohhh, sorry no, we'll have to wait another week because of this, that and the other...)   I tend to put up with that kind of thing too long. Especially from male employers. That went on for 6 weeks once. (Female employers are pretty hard going for me because so much active abuse came from M. Different kinds of problems evolve there.)

Male employers - let's see: I have compassion and understanding for the 'difficulty' of their position so I'll accept low pay etc. I had compassion and understanding for the 'difficulty' of F's position because that was his role in our family - 'poor blameless easy-going F, married to a difficult wife'.

Just recently I asked at the farm about a more permanent position, and a real paid one. For various reasons - which I do understand - they can't offer me one atm. But then when I heard that they are still paying the guy I would be taking over from minimum wage after 20 years on the job, I see red just a bit. I would expect to start on min. wage but come on at some point you give an employee a raise!

They're very generous to me in my non-monetary position but i'm still getting this picture of F, so it's something to keep in mind, and explore.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 08:48:33 AM by Blueberry »
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Blueberry

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Re: effect of abuse on my ability to work
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2018, 01:23:36 AM »
I'm struggling again with work. Able to do a few words, then need a longish break. Then maybe a sentence, then longish break.

 It reminds me of the year I spend breaking down until I finally collapsed. Then it was such that I got sick more and more often (from once every two months to once a month, to once a week, to all weekend, to 2 days at work, 3 days sick or vice versa till I finally collapsed).

I wanted and still want so much to be able to support myself financially, partly to be financially independent of FOO. I know there is welfare, but actually I'd have to use up most of my savings first including most of my private pension funds, and worse I could only keep 50% of my freelance earnings. Those would be the rules in my case (it's a bit different if you get welfare and are registered as looking for at least half-time work).

Small steps, small steps, I remind myself.
Should is
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Blueberry

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Re: effect of abuse on my ability to work
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2018, 12:59:53 PM »
I'm getting closer to giving up work. I have been trying and struggling for so long. Years in fact. It takes so much out of me. It seems the further I get along with healing from cptsd (or whatever it is I'm doing in T and with self-work), the harder and more strenuous work is.

The work I do on the farm is good for me in the main but what I do isn't like a job on the regular job market. That's what I'm beginning to accept I can't do. I'm too slow and I'm too particular about what I do. I often can't be flexible enough to go and dig up weeds instead of dealing with cheeses. Atm I also feel very vulnerable. Because I don't have a proper job there, I don't get hassled much about working faster etc. Volunteers have it easier. The thing is: I need the 'easier', desperately.
Should is
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Blueberry

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Re: effect of abuse on my ability to work
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2018, 03:22:16 AM »
Deep Blue, it's not a terrible idea at all. I do it already and I generally really enjoy it. It's my forte in fact. I love being able to work directly with one person, teaching according to their strengths and weaknesses. Noticing how they react to this and their improvements gives me energy.

 I was just hoping to be able to teach groups on top and now I realise I can't. And with that comes a deeper understanding of how my own particular brand of cptsd affects my work ability.

My tutoring students come by chance or word-of-mouth mostly. I do advertise but I need to work on my marketing. The thought is overwhelming and that also in my case is cptsd-related. For so many reasons I don't want to write atm, but just say: 'believe me! I know how it is, I've been dealing with myself so long. '  The 'overwhelming' part includes the fact that I get drained so easily, a lot of things including marketing and my second more difficult profession take up so much of my energy.
Should is
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Blueberry

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Re: effect of abuse on my ability to work
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2018, 04:17:57 PM »
Schools here don't take flyers. And even if they did, sometimes the mere act of phoning somewhere to ask if I could give them a flyer actually is too much. There are a few other places that have or have had my flyer displayed, like my gp and I got 2 students out of that.

It really is the case that cptsd prevents me from working more than I do. It's not for lack of ideas on how I could advertise or where. I have flyers in a holder on the outside of my building too.

I explained some of it in this post: http://cptsd.org/forum/index.php?topic=9294.0 It's a slightly different bent on the topic, but basically existing and being noticed are still very problematic in many situations.

I know therapists ask things like: what's the difference between a situation  where I'm triggered and a situation where I'm not? LIke why can I tutor and be noticed the whole time but can't increase the size of the advertising on the outside of my building in case somebody sees it??  :Idunno: :Idunno: My present T doesn't ask these types of questions because he knows it doesn't help, more the reverse in fact. Too many questions like that trigger me totally. The answer comes when it comes as a realisation.

I think you maybe mentioned you're a teacher? if that's the case, you undoubtedly work at least half time. That's just a different kettle of fish from someone like me. I can't imagine working half time and it's not for want of trying.
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Blueberry

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Re: effect of abuse on my ability to work
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2018, 04:37:02 PM »
No really Deep Blue as I've said, it's not for want of trying or want of ideas that I can hardly work. It really is cptsd-related. Among other reactions, my SH impulse goes sky-high and since I don't even need any tools to do it, I can hardly control it.
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Kizzie

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Re: effect of abuse on my ability to work
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2018, 10:27:47 AM »
I was okay with one-on-one tutoring too. I was a volunteer with a few adult literacy programs and enjoyed it.

The thing that was so difficult for me with teaching groups was that I could not always predict when I would be sidelined by symptoms and then that awful feeling of vulnerability and the potential of being exposed would descend on me. I did move into online teaching and It was less triggering, but still tough. It did get better as I worked on recovery but then last year when there was so much stress I found it hard and draining again so I retired in Jan of this year. 

I may have missed this BB but would you be eligible for disability do you think? 
« Last Edit: June 17, 2018, 10:30:30 AM by Kizzie »
When it comes to trauma, time does NOT heal all wounds. It is deeply embodied in our mind, body & spirit & requires compassionate, knowledgeable treatment & self-care.

If we want more/better trauma informed treatment & services, we must advocate for ourselves when & where we can.

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Blueberry

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Re: effect of abuse on my ability to work
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2018, 12:24:25 PM »
Kizzie I have disability already. Usually you get it on a year by year basis in this country for up to 7 years and then they give you a permanent one if you haven't managed to get back in the workforce. I don't have a permanent one yet because I haven't given up trying yet. I still do my freelance work.

I didn't pay into the communal pot for very long, and that governs how high your disability pension is here, so mine is really low, so that 's one reason it's good to earn a little on the side and the other reason for me when I first got disability I was pretty young - mid-30's maybe though I'd been sick since 30 years old. It seemed to me too young to give up. Now I'm approaching 50 and my other reason to keep going attempting to work has been: it keeps me alive, keeps me out of depression, until something else triggers me. I don't think retiring completely is the answer for me, so I'm trying to figure out how and where and in what form to continue.

It's not easy and some of the difficulty is connected to the soc. security system in my country, believe it or not. I need to speak to a lawyer for labour law and somebody else about disability law in the workplace. Disabled people actually have a right to work in my country if it's possible to integrate them in the normal workforce with some allowances or integrate in the non-normal workforce. So these are all things I need to start looking into. This isN't something people on the forum can help me with. I'd most like to see if I can wangle some deal with the farm.
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Blueberry

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Re: effect of abuse on my ability to work
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2018, 12:34:49 PM »
The thing that was so difficult for me with teaching groups was that I could not always predict when I would be sidelined by symptoms and then that awful feeling of vulnerability and the potential of being exposed would descend on me.

 :yeahthat: Not to mention mental confusion, having trouble remembering things I actually do know but can't think of on the spur of the moment and sometimes I've even had an Inner Teen taking over.  :aaauuugh:
And for me also difficult is: you have to be able to lead in a certain sense otherwise even adults will all take advantage and everybody goes off on some tangent and there's no cohesion in the group and the group doesn't move forward with learning. Depending how I'm doing psychologically, I can or cannot lead and it's unpredictable. I can't decide: today I'm going to be able to lead. It doesn't work that way.

One-on-one and face-to-face tutoring is best for me.
I've decided to turn down teaching the group. The business I'm working for won't be happy but my health is more important to me. I won't be teaching groups again either, that's final.
Should is
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for me.

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Kizzie

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Re: effect of abuse on my ability to work
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2018, 09:09:21 AM »
Glad to hear you're figuring out what you can/cannot or will/will not do in terms of employment BB.  :thumbup:
When it comes to trauma, time does NOT heal all wounds. It is deeply embodied in our mind, body & spirit & requires compassionate, knowledgeable treatment & self-care.

If we want more/better trauma informed treatment & services, we must advocate for ourselves when & where we can.