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CPTSD and Others => Our Relationships with Others => Employment => Topic started by: plantsandworms on March 25, 2019, 07:35:17 PM

Title: Built A Career, Now I Need Out
Post by: plantsandworms on March 25, 2019, 07:35:17 PM
My driving focus since childhood has been finding stability in my life for the first time. I poured all the energy I never really even had into clawing my way out of poverty, while trying to undo the impact of my CPTSD on the go (not effective). Now I'm a few years into my dream position in my dream career and I'm realizing the career I chose is too much for me to take with my CPTSD. It allows me to live comfortably financially, but what is that worth when it drains me in so many ways? I'm perpetually emotionally exhausted. The workplace culture is toxic. I'm triggered and tired all the time. I use my limited energy each day to do my work and I have nothing left for any other part of my life. I'm trying to find a new job but everything that sounds interesting either seems like the same exhaustion trap or it pays not nearly enough to cover my bills. I'm really really feeling my lack of familial safety net right now, and it's crazy to think how easy it would be to go from being in this dream job to being homeless and penniless. I barely have any savings because I've been paying all my debts, I couldn't last more than maybe a month without an income. I don't feel confident that I'm gonna find a way out of this situation, and I know I can't continue living like I have been. I'm scared and I don't know what's gonna happen to me. Hoping I can find some shred of hope and motivation when I see my therapist this week, but also hoping that someone on this board might have been in a similar situation and could tell me about their experience.
Title: Re: Built A Career, Now I Need Out
Post by: Kizzie on March 25, 2019, 08:04:20 PM
I'm so sorry to hear you are struggling P&Ws, trauma just sucks up so much energy and leaves us with little left for all the things we have to do in daily life and the various roles we have.  It's frightening to come to the realization that we can't keep on going and not know how we're going to live if we don't work.  And right now it's particularly difficult b/c not all professionals know just how debilitating CPTSD is for survivors. 

Does your workplace have any accommodation policies in place (i.e., so you could negotiate working part time or 3/4 time or take a leave of absence to focus on rest and recovery)?   

I don't know where you live but there may be disability programs available through the govt.  I know Boatsetsail is in the UK and managed to get disability recently.

Your T may also know of possible programs/benefits/sources of help. 


Title: Re: Built A Career, Now I Need Out
Post by: saylor on May 04, 2019, 10:47:29 PM
P&W, I feel for you. CPTSD can have a profound effect on our ability to function and be happy in the workplace.
I've been going through something similar. I currently have the best job I have ever had, and so far, they seem to like and appreciate me and what I bring to the table, but... I think my CPTSD symptoms are finally getting to be too much for me, and I'm considering leaving this career I've worked so hard toward all my life--something I should instead be embracing and relishing. I just don't think I can keep up with putting so much effort/energy into basic functioning much longer. In my case, I'm contemplating leaving the work force altogether (so not exactly the same as what you're talking about--but it would put me in a situation that is not exactly ideal, financially).
Several members shared their own experiences related to this issue on a thread I started recently. Here it is, in case you haven't already seen it:
Like Kizzie mentioned, some folks have managed to go on disability, so that may be an option for you to consider(?)
I wish you clarity and serenity as you consider your next steps, whatever they may be
Title: Re: Built A Career, Now I Need Out
Post by: Boatsetsailrose on May 07, 2019, 10:26:13 PM
Hi plants and worms
You have pretty much told my story and I'm happy to say I'm somewhat out the other side..
I know the feelings you talk of so well..
'i'm perpetually emotionally exhausted. The workplace culture is toxic. I'm triggered and tired all the time. I use my limited energy each day to do my work and I have nothing left for any other part of my life'..
yep that was me.... All of what u are experiencing..

Firstly I told my employers I had cptsd which I can appreciate is not the right thing for everyone. I worked for the health service and so there was a lot of understanding and empathy. I had 9mths off in total out of 18mths and worked with a union rep around getting reasonable adjustments for my job.. Cptsd can be  classed as a disability as it impacts ability to carry out normal functioning and certainly had a huge impact on my being able to work.
I reduced my hours (and in hindsight I could have afforded to go down to 3 days a week but couldn't see this at the time, got extra supervision and support and was exempt from working night shifts. In the end the reasonable adjustments weren't enough to sustain me and I just knew I couldn't go on. After reviews and a final meeting I left the health service on health grounds.. ( ill health retirement can also be looked at if a pension has been paid into..
I went through a period of shock, worry and fear but I knew it was the right thing to do and a day hasn't passed where I've regretted it. I felt and feel so free leaving, the weight and responsibility of the job let go of has been nothing short of bliss. My inner critic was rife when I was there and I always felt I was falling massively short, dragging myself around and collapsing when I got home.
So it's been 7 mths now... Intially I looked around for other types of work and decided I'd just do a simple admin job however the stress of applying and going for interviews proved too much and I needed to stop. My resilience and stress threshold is just not what it was and I really needed to just stop any work related activity. I used my nursing union throughout and they supported me with financial advice and  applying for goverment support..
My first thought to you Plants and worms is you will be OK... I know these are just words but trust that you will be OK. I spent such a lot of time worrying about ending up without any money and  homeless and I didn't need to do that.
First off do u have a diagnosis? Any doctors backing? Read up about disability and seek out charities /voluntary sector services that could support u. Does your workplace have a occupational health service/ employment support scheme. Is there someone you can speak to at work in confidence? Can u take sick leave and get paid? Do u have access to a union?

Lots of questions here take what may be helpful for you these are just suggestions..

Finding out our rights and getting support to advocate those rights and what help is available to us  is key.. What I learnt  to do is educate myself on being my own advocate using  the support of others. it wasnt easy (not as hard as being in a job that was killing me though) and required persistent effort but now I'm where I'm at I feel hugely empowered by the process and in awe of my strength when I didn't feel I had any.. I can't stress enough how important it is to get AS MUCH support as possible... From as many services as possible..
So for me I applied for UK benefits of universal credit including employment support allowance and PIP (personal independence payment). I used a charity to support me with applications and a forum to gain other peoples experience. I learnt about how the system worked and the criteria for assessing. I provided medical evidence and had a mental health worker with me at assessments.
The final outcome was that I have been awarded full benefits and am more than comfortable to meet my living costs.
I can appreciate this isn't everyone's outcome but if I'd been refused I would of kept going using the appeal process etc.
Also to add there are charities out there that can help financially for people struggling after loss of income..

Of course for you it may not be the route you take and it really is just taking it one day at a time to feel your way through.
There are so many jobs out there and it may just be that some career coaching could open u up to possibilities u haven't thought of yet..
Ive come into the fact that any future employment has to be creative and this would best suit my nervous system and needs. I'm tentitively looking into Floristry. It's important to me that whatever I do in the future is very manageable and enjoyable....
Cptsd is a demanding disorder but it only points to what we need and what is needed is our health and healing..
I've learnt I'm not my job I'm a delicate human being who needs nurturing and loving back to health...
I send u my best wishes and that your ongoing courage will lead to better health and happiness

Title: Re: Built A Career, Now I Need Out
Post by: Boatsetsailrose on May 07, 2019, 10:32:51 PM
The leaving the workforce thread what tab is that under please?
Title: Re: Built A Career, Now I Need Out
Post by: saylor on May 09, 2019, 03:30:58 PM
The leaving the workforce thread what tab is that under please?
Symptoms/General Discussion
Sorry, Iím realizing I should have put that thread here instead of over there