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Treatment, Self-Help & Recovery => Self-Help & Recovery => Recovery Journals => Topic started by: Alter-eg0 on January 25, 2021, 02:56:17 PM

Title: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on January 25, 2021, 02:56:17 PM
I've been toying with the idea of starting a journal here. It took me a while,  but here I am  ;)

I'm in a weird place. Some kind of 'in between'. Where you're not really 'sick' anymore, or at least, not visibly. But there are still things that need work. And it's hardest when people then see you as a functional adult and expect more from you than you feel you can offer at that time. I feel like the deepest, hardest-to-kick patterns are only coming to the surface now. In part because the superficial stuff has been resolved, and in part because so much * hit the fan over the past two years, that I can't really look away anymore. I don't feel safe enough in my own skin and in my social connections to share everything that i'm dealing with at the moment. So I guess starting a journal here is a good first step.

Short back story for context, for anyone who wants to know *TW*:

I'm a female in my 30's. Throughout my childhood, some hard things happened. An immigration and a re-migration, sexual abuse by a neighbour, a lot of bullying by peers.
In my late teens/early 20's, I was in an unhealthy codependant realtionship and I got married. I divorced about 1,5 years later. Around that time, I also started struggling with my mental health more than ever before. I became depressed, developed an eating disorder, self harmed, and was suicidal. I spent about 10 years in the whole mental health world. In and out of therapy, psych wards, on all kinds of meds, etc. The term CPTSD was never coined, I didn't figure that out until later. In the mean time, I did manage to finish my studies, get a job, and all that other stuff you're supposed to do.

A few years ago, I finally got the right kind of help. I fully recovered and was doing really well. I also retrained, so that I could make a carreer switch. In 2019, I took the dive and quit my job to start my own business, together with my father. Shortly after, I discovered that my father isn't who I thought he was. A whole lot of sh*t went down, and a lifetime of lies and abuse came to light. My father is a communal narcissist. I broke contact with my father, losing my business, my dreams, future plans and not to mention my income in the process. I did manage to find a little part-time job to stay afloat, and I started to rebuild my business. Just when I started to feel like things were getting better, and I had time to process and heal, the pandemic came along.

Currently, i'm in survival mode. I feel like i'm back at square one, although I rationally know that i'm not. I just have a lot of new information now, and a lot to process. Granted, some old wound have re-opened and some things were uncovered that I didn't even know were there. I think that's a good thing, although I don't feel "happy" about it, haha. I'm coping better than I would have a few years ago. I'm doing the best I can, and i'm surviving without harming myself, I know there's a lot of work to do, a lot of healing to be done, etc. I know that's a good thing, yet at the same time I find myself feeling really hopeless and frustrated a lot of the time. And mostly, very very alone.
So that's about it in a nutshell.
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on January 25, 2021, 03:56:28 PM
Today I had a performance review at work.

The work I do is nothing special, just a way to pay the bills. It's a perfectly fine job, but it's not like I'm passionate about it or plan to turn it into a career.
I do my best, and I do my work pretty damn well, if I may say so myself.

Anywho, the performance review hit me hard. In particular, because my boss had exactly the same feedback for me, that my boss at my previous job had for me two years ago.
At the time, I was so hurt and frustrated that it was the last little push that I needed in order to resign and start working for myself. In retrospect, I was definitely running away.
And I thought that if I would be my own boss, I wouldn't have to worry about that stuff anymore. But as you can see, it has reared it's ugly head once again, and I need to ask myself:
if I keep hearing the same thing, is it true? Is it something that I do need to address? The thought terrifies me, angers me, frustrated me, and makes me very sad. But i'm worried that if I don't, it's going to keep showing up on my path.

She told me that she gets the feeling that I don't really like my job, my colleagues, my customers. That I don't really feel connected to any of them. Some of the things I'm asked to work on, is for example, making more smalltalk or investing in "relationships" with said colleagues or customers.
Here's the thing: I feel like the way that I show care or interest, is not aligned with how others do this, or expect to see this. I'm introverted, and I can't stand smalltalk. Also, i'm just not a very overtly expressive person. Except when i'm on stage, but that's a whole other story. (Side note; the fact that I seem extroverted on stage does confuse many people into thinking that i'm just arrogant or not interested, when they meet me in real life and i'm really quiet and keep to myself).


I show that I care, mostly with actions. And often times, these are quiet, secret, rather invisible. Because doing it "out in the open" terrifies me. And I also have a hard time talking about things that I feel going on in interactions, below the surface. For example, if I feel that someone is having a hard time, or (god forbid) that someone is angry, I'll avoid it bringing attention to it. Not because I don't care, but because i'm terrified. I'll work my * off, pick up shifts, pick up tasks that others don't get round to, I'm someone who does a lot "behind the scenes". Also, It's not that I don't connect with anyone. In fact, there are a few colleagues that I get along with really well and that I even consider friends now. But obviously, my boss doesn't know that who I speak to in my free time, or how we interact when she's not there.

An example: I had a colleague who recently fell on the ground, in eyeshot of where I was standing. I saw it happen. She got really angry, threw her things on the ground, mumbled that she'd be back, and ran out the door. My heart was in my throat. I picked up her things and neatly folded them, and laid them out for her for when she got back. That was, I suppose, my way of showing her that I care. But I never asked her if she was ok. Not even after she came back. I was scared that i'd make it more awkward for her. So I hoped that my gesture of taking care of her things, would be enough to convey the message. But today in the performance review, my boss told me that my colleague had felt that I "didnt see her". I felt awful.

The first time (at my old job) that my boss called me out on this, I was very hurt. I always work hard, I always try hard. I'm always there, perfect attendance. I'm the person that people come to (again, behind the scenes) when they need someone to talk to, or when * hits the fan. Something needs to be done? I'm there. But i'm also introverted, I keep to myself, and I value my own time. And I felt like I wasn't being appreciated as I was, and for what I did, because I didn't meet the standard for HOW they wanted me to do it. I felt like they expected me to be more extroverted, and that i'd have to take on a persona that didn't fit me, just to be valued. I felt like I wasn't being seen, in all the steps i'd taken. In how far i'd come, and in how much I did offer (albeit in my own way). Needless to say, I felt rejected. And I left.

And now, in my current job, a job where (simple as it is) I certainly hadn't expected this to be an issue for anyone....here it is again!
So now i'm sitting here feeling frustrated and all kinds of things mixed together. Frustrated that "the world" was harsh enough to me as a child, casting me out when I tried to connect, that it damaged my ability to connect. And now that I've done my best to heal (and am still doing so) and venture back into the world, and make do with what I can do...i'm cast out yet again, but this time for not connecting. It seems so unfair. And I don't want to throw a pity party, but there is that hurt child in my who feels pretty bad right now. All she's thinking is, for the love of god, leave me alone! Let me be! Just let me be me, instead of constantly trying to fit me into your mold.

And as an adult, I realise that if this is the feedback i'm getting from multiple angles...there must be some truth in it. And I can stay angry at the world, but the only one I can change, is me.
It means there's work to do, again, but I'm so tired. Ugh.
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on January 27, 2021, 03:02:24 PM
Today was a little better. Having a few days/nights to let it settle and put it all back into perspective does help (at least to get out of the EF). I realize that when she said it, I got back into that feeling of not belonging, of being incompetent and worth less than others, and that feeling of impending doom/going to be cast out). Now that it's had some time to settle, I don't really agree with everything that she said. There's obviously some truth in it, but it's not as black and white as it felt yesterday.

Obviously, my boss doesn't see everything I do. What tasks I perform without anyone asking me to. Which customers I do talk to, or what kind of "bond" I have with some of them. The way that she makes customers feel seen, is different from how I do it. And mine, in my opinion, is equally valid and needed. It's not my fault that she doesn't see that, but next time we talk about this, I will be more prepared in what I can say to illustrate this. For example, not all customers want to chat. Some may be very happy that there's someone like me who lets them go about their business, and who already knows their ususal order (and has it ready for them) when they show up. That's my style, and in my opinion, there's worth in that , too.
Also, she's not always around to see how I interact with colleagues, and I probably behave differently when she's around, too. I noticed at work this morning, with my regular morning colleagues, that we blend really well together and have fun. Just because my boss doesn't know/see it, doesn't mean it isn't there.

As for the "not being flexible enough", well, I beg to differ. I do my best, within my boundaries. And i'll admit that I am very protective of my autonomy (with good reason). But I already explained to her, that this can be resolved with better communication (e.g. actually asking me if i'm availible before changing my timetable and sending it to me without a heads up).
Also, it's strange to me that my flexibility and my willingness is being judged by comparing my overtime with others. The fact that we are all consistently doing overtime and that this is considered normal, in my opinion, is weird. Why do we all have a contract for a certain numer of hours, then? I think the fact that I work overtime at all, shows enough willingness.
And the fact that I sometimes say no, is perfectly normal. I'm not a pown, i'm a human being with a life outside of work,

I also spoke to some of my collegues about this, this morning. They were as irritated as I was, and had enough to say about the matter. I was also happy to hear that they do not find me to be "not social enough".

The only thing that worries me, is that my boss is still in a position of authoroty. Weather I/we agree or not, she has the power to day, if you don't agree, I won't extend your contract (and i'll go find someone who does). Which is her right (although, good like finding new people every few months, who like being treated like pawns). And losing my job, especially now, would be disastrous.

Anyway, I don't want to make it sound like she's that bad (she's quite nice, she's just not good at being a boss, to be honest...) and I don't want to sound recalcitrant. I do take responsibility for the element of truth in what she said, and i'm willing to work on those things.
The task of making more small-talk and "being more social" seemed really daunting, because I felt like I had to do it with everyone, all the time, and right away. Instead, i've decided to set an intention: break the ice with at least one person (that feels safe enough) every day. And by ice, I mean the ice inside myself. It doesn't have to be a big thing, it can be anything and it can depend on how I feel that day. It's more about stretching my comfort zone. And I won't beat myself up if I skip a day or I fail (thats why I set an intention, instead of a goal). But it's a good start, and today I already managed to chat with one customer that I vaguely know.
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Blueberry on January 27, 2021, 11:29:05 PM
AlterEgo,
I want to let you know that I read your posts. I see you making progess. I hear that you have stepped back a bit and really thought about what your boss said and also what your female colleague said not feeling seen and you've formed your opinions without taking all their stuff onboard :thumbup:   It really doesn't seem to me from what you wrote that you're responsible for the colleague who collapsed. I mean, not responsible for giving her the empathy or recognition she wanted the way she wanted it.

I can't really say anymore because I'm still too mixed up about my own issues, except that my Journals on here have been very helpful for me, I hope yours turn out that way for you too.
Blueberry
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on January 28, 2021, 08:30:27 PM
Thanks Blueberry, for your validation.
It's already helping to be able to vent and then take a step back, and to do this in a safe place.
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on February 02, 2021, 02:55:27 PM
The past few days have been double.

I've been taking steps as I intended to do. Making an effort to connect with at least one person every day, as promised. I don't always feel like it, and it takes a lot of energy, so I need to remind myself why i'm doing it. Sometimes, it actually feels good.

My boss is on holiday this week, and it's nice to to have her around breathing down our necks for a while.

Despite the fact that i'm making an effort, I also feel a lot of resentment and hopelessness towards the "you're not social enough" situation.
Sometimes I feel like there's no place for (someone like) me in this world. It can really make me angry, frustrated, sad and anxious. The way people can say "just be yourself", but mean "no, not like that." I'm an introvert, who also happends to have CPTSD resulting in social anxiety and awkwardness. And I know that i've made huge progress, but to the outside world, especially those who don't know how I used to be, i'm still "not social enough". What makes matters worse, is that I'm completely different on stage. When i'm performing or teaching, i'm in my "stage persona", i'm fun, energetic, powerful. And when I'm offstage, i'm quiet, low key, withdrawn, shy even. Many people who know my stage persona, get confused by this. If i'm quiet in real life, they assume that i'm arrogant, that I don't like them, that i'm in a bad mood, whatever. Both my current boss, and my boss at my previous job, have made this comparison. I tell them i'm fine and that i'm just an introvert, and they will say: "But you do it on stage...why don't you do it here?"
Well, because if I did that, i'd be burned out within a day or two.
It frustrates me that people are forever trying to drag me out of my comfortable place. And i'm perfectly aware that there's a little truth in what they say, yes, I can let go of some fears, get more comfortable, resulting in more spontaneous interaction. And yes, I get lonely. Yes, part of me being withdrawn is more fear-based than just introversion. But it's almost like they expect that if i'm no longer afraid, i'll become a raging extrovert. And the little steps that I take, just aren't good enough for them.
Come on guys, how about you let me be me and get to know me, instead of trying to force me to be someone else?
And part of me doesn't care what they think, but the other part is like...well, if I don't make an effort, i'll continue to lose people, and even jobs! How am I supposed to survive in this society, as a no-much-of-a-people-person....

I just want to be (allowed to be) me. :Idunno:
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on February 06, 2021, 06:31:23 PM
Something i've noticed over the past two or three weeks, is that i'm finally starting to relax a bit when i'm off work. This sounds weird, I mean, when you're free, you're free. Right?

Comparing this to the past two years since I quit my job and started my own business, the difference is definitely showing. It's becomeing clear to me now, how much i've been running on adrenaline and numbing myself. Although I had time off (probably more than when I worked as a teacher), I could never really relax. I always felt this knawing in the back of my mind, that I should be doing something. Anything business-related that I could write up hours for. And business was always running in the back of my head. Anxiety over things to come, whether it be a difficult client, feeling insecure about my competence, worries about money, whatever. There was always something. And sometimes I'd "block it out", but that isn't really relaxing either. That's just numbness, and it's still draining, even though you can't feel it happening.
Then when everything with my dad happened, I went into survival mode. So all those unprocessed feelings are still swirling around, and triggers are everywhere. And then Covid hit and caused even more trouble, so i've literally been in full on survival mode for two years straight. I'm so tired, and yet I felt like even when I was technically 'free', my feet wouldn't touch the ground.

Anyway, at the end of 2020, I finished my second year as an entrepreneur, finished up all my administration, and came to the conclusion that for 2021, I wasn't going to bother with it.
Like, i'm not going to bother trying to make enough hours to qualify as an entrepreneur for tax reasons. I've already lost my office, my clients, and with all the covid restrictions, there's a slim chance that i'll be up and running again this year. And to be honest, with everything that's happened, I don't even really want to anymore. I wasn't ready for it when I started, and I feel less ready now. And there are other things that I want more than this. So I just want to continue working those few hours at the supermarket for as long as I need to, while I wait for a better job to come along. And in the mean time, i'm not going to go out of my way to keep my company up and running, or to rebuild it. Whatever happens, happens.
I felt such a sense of relief when I decided that. Especially since, if anyone asks, and I don't feel like explaining why I "quit", I can just blame covid. I don't need to explain all the other stuff that goes into it, unless I feel comfortable doing so. It's such a relief to let go of doing all those things that i'm too scared to do. It's such a relief that I don't have to spend every waking hour (and sleeping hour for that matter) "switched on". It took a while for my nervous system to catch up though.

Over the past week or two, I found myself waking up on my day off, taking it easy and doing whatever I wanted, and just drinking coffee on the couch watching youtube...without feeling on edge or guilty. I just realized, hey, i'm actually free today, and i'm allowed to hit here and do nothing. And I exhaled, and let it go. I also found myself playing computer games, or suddenly noticing things that I used to enjoy...and actually enjoying them. Even discovering some new hobbies. It's like i'm slowly thawing.
I still shoot back into freeze at the drop of a hat, but it's progress none the less. I'm starting to come back down to earth. I sure hope the earth starts coming back to earth too  :whistling:
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on February 10, 2021, 09:37:52 PM
I am SO pissed right now!

It's 22:00 and I just got an email from my boss, stating that she's been changing the work schedule again.
Last week we had that performance interview where I was told, in a nutshell, that I wasn't flexible enough, and that I wasn't invested enough/social enough. She was referring mainly to the fact that I can't just take any random shift or make insane amounts of overtime, because I have a second job (and a life) outside of this job. I work the amount of hours that I have on my contract, and help out with extra shifts where I can, but apparently that's not good enough.

And now she sent us this new schedule, and she's put me down for two sunday shifts a month (alternating weeks), knowing full and well that I generally can't work weekends and evenings since that's when I do my other job. Technically i'm free sunday afternoon, so that's why I sometimes take that shift if they need someone. Even though it's a long day for me, since I already have my other job on sunday morning. So now, i'm stuck with this sunday that I never wanted to begin with. And if I say no, I already know she's going to refer to my "not being flexible enough" again, with the risk of not getting my contract renewed. But if I say yes, i'll be working myself to the bone. It's a lose/lose situation.

And she sends this just before bedtime, too. I was tired, and now i'm just worked up.  :fallingbricks:
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: deepbreaths on February 13, 2021, 08:58:00 PM
Hi AlterEg0. It sounds like you have a lot going on trying to manage the situation with your boss. I'm sorry, it sounds very frustrating, and I also get triggered when people change plans impacting  me without asking! It sounds like, despite that, you are doing a great job of staying in touch with your needs and boundaries.
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on February 26, 2021, 06:41:13 PM
It's been a little while. Just haven't been motivated to write, although there's plenty happening, good and not so good.

First off: I'm now an aunt! I went to visit, and my ovaries exploded. That brings me to the second point: this week I had an appointment at the fertility clinic to get an ultrasound. Just to check that everything is looking good down there, for future baby purposes. I'm on the waiting list for a donor, and should be at the top of the list about a year from now. Next week I need to go back for bloodwork. It's exciting and terrifying all at once. Terrifying for the most part because i'm all alone where I live, meaning that my family all lives far away and most of my closeby friends don't have or want kids. That's a bit of a scary thought when I think about becoming a single mom. I know i'll need help if i'm going to work and raise a kid by myself, and I know things will work themselves out along the way, but it's still scary. Sometimes it keeps me up at night. But I want children so bad, that it's worth it.

Another important step: I made an appointment with a psychologist who is specialised in the name-changing process. We have a call on monday, and if I decide to go through with it, she will be writing up the report that I will need in order to file the request. It's expensive and a huge hassle, but i'm actually excited about it.

I've been talking to some people at work, and it turns out that the vast majority of us feel that our boss is not doing the best job when it comes to communication. Today, one of my collegues ended up throwing everything on the table with her, in a more blunt way than the rest of us have done up until now. The question is: will he get is contract renewed next week, or will the boss fire him and continue doing what she's doing. In the mean time, I feel better knowing i'm not the only one who's frustrated with her. It's not just me, and it's not my fault. At the same time, i'm frustrated that I can't really stick up for myself more than I already have, for fear of losing my job in the middle of a pandemic. I'm currently looking at other jobs, but have not found anything viable yet. It causes anxiety sometimes. Other times, I just trust that this too will sort itself out in time. One way or another.

I'm a little worries about money. Money is tight. I'm surviving, but there's no wiggle room and it's not sustainable. I'm constantly worrying about the future. Hence the need for a new job, especially now that Covid ruimed my business.
My tax return won't be as big as expected, so I can't do all the things that I was planning to do. I can afford the name change, but may not be able to replace my car just yet. It's no disaster, i'm sure the car will last a little longer, but it makes me feel anxious knowing that it could give out (que expensive repairs) at any time. I also still really want to move, but I haven't been on the waiting list long enough to get a place that is better than what I have. Fingers crossed on that one.

I've still been working on making contact at least once a day. I think it's been going well, even though it's really awkward at times, and often I really don't feel like it.
I need to keep reminding myself that i'm doing it for me, and it will make my life easier and more fulfilling in the end. However, I still have those moments where I really feel like there's no place for an introverted weird person like me.

Anyway, that's my little update for now.
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on March 01, 2021, 07:55:04 PM
Today I had an appointment with an independant psychologist who is willing to help me get my name changed. I was nervous when she called, because I didn't know how I was going to "convince" her of my case. Thankfully, she told me right away that she was already 'beside me', and assumed that if I had gone so far as to contact her, she was going to assume that I had a good reason to want this. She said that it was more a matter of organising the story in a way that will sway the people who will be deciding.
I had already written the letter of motivation that she needed, and furthermore we just talked for about a half hour, with her asking a bunch of questions. It was emotional, but it was good.
She said that she thinks my chances are pretty good. If I want to go through with it, I can let her know and she'll start writing up the report. The whole process is going to take a few months and cost a lot of money, but I already feel so relieved. Today was good. Progress.
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on March 04, 2021, 03:55:12 PM
I've been so increadibly tired lately. Yet, at the same time, I'm feeling so much more relaxed. It's weird how those things can go together.

I find myself more and more letting go of things that aren't really serving me at the moment (not forcefully expelling or fighting, just letting them be until they fade). For example, this sounds really silly, but for years now, i've been doing this thing where I will jog on the spot (at home), just to meet a step- or calorie goal on my smart watch. It wasn't really bothering me, but I know rationally that it's kind of silly to be doing this alongside all the work and workouts I already do. Sometimes i'd even do it before going to the gym, just to make sure I hit my mark (the arbitrary 3000 kcal a day). And in my brain it had become this thing that made me feel like I was in control, productive, and wouldn't gain too much weight. In a way, a remnant of my anorexic past, even though I wouldn't consider this jogging thing disordered. It doesn't control my life, and I always figured i'd just keep doing it until I got tired of it. Well, I got tired of it.
I'd been having trouble with a foot injury that wouldn't let up despite physio, and I also found myself having trouble just doing things like sitting back to read a book or play a game, because i'd always feel like I still had to move more. So I decided to stop doing it for at least a week, and see what happened. Nudged myself through the discomfort. And then found that it really made me feel better to just sit the f*ck down and not have to do anything all day. I mean, i'm always telling people that recovery time is just as important as workout time. But I wan't really giving myself any downtime. Huh. Also, my foot is feeling a bit better. And i've even lost some weight (probably the cortisol levels getting back to normal, haha).

I simultaniously find myself getting more back into the habit of intuitive eating. Just having whatever I want, whenever I want, no questions asked. Over the past few months i'd been chewing and spitting food, which is clearly a coping thing that's (for me) kind of a safe midway between normal eating and full blown eating disorder. These past few weeks I haven't done it at all. Haven't even really felt the need. I'm just chilling.

I've been just letting myself do what I want, however frivolous or silly it may seem (wohoo, pokemon planet). It helps balance out the hard work, and also is helping me get back into contact with myself. Be myself. Figure out who I am in the first place. It's like i'm starting to come home.

Things are by no means perfect, I have a long way to go. But i'm glad to be feeling better, slowly but surely.


i've been having trouble with my right foot since november, probably plantar fascitis. Been seeing the fysio for it, but it was not really letting up.
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on March 05, 2021, 06:03:19 PM
I'm feeling really sad today. Last night, too.
I saw a picture on instagram, from the school I used to work at.

I miss my school. I miss my students. I miss teaching. I miss my colleagues. I miss my tribe. I miss feeling like i'm contributing. I miss feeling at home. I miss belonging. I miss feeling like I know what i'm doing with my life. I miss my sense of security. I miss my future prospects, my plans, hopes and dreams. I miss that part of my identity. I miss my life. I miss myself.

I feel like i'm in limbo. Like i've broken up with someone I still love, realized i've made a mistake, and now i'm watching them move on without me. And i'm still standing here.
Doing what I can, or what I should, just to survive. But my heart isn't in it.

Whenever I see them, I feel that happy, secure, belonging feeling for a split second until my brain kicks in and remembers what's up.

I feel heartbroken. Even more so when someone says: "Just get a new job.' It feels the same to me as when a beloved pet or a friend dies, and people say: "Just get a new one".
It wasn't just a job to me. I don't want to "just get a new one". I can't even explain what it meant to me. And then people ask why I left, and that's a long story of manipulation, misinformation, broken promises. I'm aware that I chose to leave. Yet, it wasn't really what I wanted. It was what I thought I was supposed to want.

I just want my life back.
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on March 12, 2021, 05:09:59 PM
I've noticed lately that i've been slowly feeling 'more like myself'. Like I said before, letting go of things that no longer serve me, and "collecting" things that do.
Silly, seemingly trivial example, selling clothes that I don't really like or that don't suit/fit me (anymore), and using that money to buy items that really speak to me. I recently got a new tattoo that i'd been wanting for ages, with musical notes/keys on my fingers. I got real dreads done in november. Yesterday I even put make-up on (normally I can't be bothered, but I just felt like it). And I caught myself looking in the mirror, and feeling "hey, I recognise myself! And I like what I see". It's obviously not just physical or superficial stuff, but this is an example, and it feels good.

Today I recieved the last documents I needed to file for my name change, so I took care of that right away. It will take 4 to 6 months before I hear back. Fingers crossed!
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: rainydiary on March 13, 2021, 01:20:15 AM
And I caught myself looking in the mirror, and feeling "hey, I recognise myself! And I like what I see".

This part really stood out to me.  Best wishes with your paperwork. 
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on March 15, 2021, 01:44:46 PM
I'm so triggered right now.
I was at work, my shift had ended, and I went downstairs to grab my stuff. I stumbled into the middle of a conversation between my boss and a few colleagues, which ended up being about the pandemic and the current rules in our country. My boss is very opposed to all of it, and that's fine. Another colleague had a different opionion, and my boss somehow felt the need to convince her otherwise by basically (no in these words, but it was implied) calling her naieve etc. She was talking louder and louder, and my colleage was just trying to convey that she saw things differently. My boss, in my opinion, was being rather hypocritical, considering she's always complaining about how people call her crazy for her opinion, and we should be able to agree to disagree, live and let live, whatever. But here she was, doing the exact thing she hates, to her colleague. Anyway, I was standing there, trying to be switzerland as I always do. I don't really care what either opinion is, I do feel that we're all right in our own minds and the thing we're lacking in uor current society is the ability to let various views co-exist without constantly snapping at each other or trying to drag people to "the other side". Anyway, I was standing there and I felt the anxiety creep up and I just had to get out. I looked at my watch, made a remark about that it was about to rain and I had to go, and I left. And now I feel really tight on the inside, and part of me is afraid that my colleague hates me now (for not sticking up for her, or whatever) and that my boss thinks i'm on her side (i'm not on either, but I have a tendency to try and please/appease someone who has authority over me) or will try to get me there.
It reminds me but all too much of living in my family, where my N dad didn't tolerate other views. He's always subtly or less subtly make you choose between losing connection with him, or with yourself. Because there was no room to be true to yourself, and still be connected to someone with another view. I feel hyped up now, and I have a headache.

I'm also waiting on a phonecall. Someone I know from a training I took a few years ago, a fellow coach, sent me a text yesterday. She has a student who is suicidal, and she has a meeting with him later this week. She wanted some advice on how to go about it. That's fine, I know the ropes. But ever since I closed my own coaching practice (partly because corona, partly because of everything else that happened in my private life over the past two years), I can't do anything relating to my business without being triggered. I don't want to open again any time soon, but I also don't want to tell anyone that, let alone tell them why. It's personal, and I can hardly explain it to begin with, even to myself. So i'm nervous, even though theres nothing to be nervous about. I just want to get it over with, so that I can relax a bit this afternoon. I'll need it.
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Jazzy on March 16, 2021, 12:31:08 AM
I hope you're feeling less triggered by now (I think it was a while ago you wrote this, I'm not sure with these times though). But it's understandable why you would be, with everything you've written here. It's not about me, but I can really relate to a lot of this, so you're not alone in this kind of reaction. Please take care of yourself, you're important too!

With what you ran in to at work, I think that would be difficult for anyone, and most people would do the same as you did - look for a reason to politely exit without getting on one side or the other. I understand you want to support your co-worker, but you don't have to fight everyone's (or even every) battle, and unless you positively affirmed ("yes, I agree") with your boss, they are wrong to take it as such. It sounds very similar to your old home situation, as you described, and it is only natural that you would make such a connection, but you are not a child in your NF's house any more. :)

I hope things go well with your phone call. That sounds very stressful as well. Even if they are curious, you are not obligated to tell anyone anything if you are not ready to do so. Its understandable to be nervous about it though, setting appropriate boundaries like that is difficult, but rewarding.

I hope you can relax soon. Take care!
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on March 21, 2021, 08:55:29 PM
Pffff. Feeling pretty d*mn depressed at the moment.

My emotions are all over the place lately. Or, well, I don't know if that's true. It's more like i'm numb and surviving a lot of the time, and when I get triggered or when I thaw out, I suddenly feel that cascade of anxiety and grief come over me. Don't get me wrong, I certainly have moment's that i'm ok or even feel great. I'm not going to trick myself into believing that this depressed feeling is always and forever, because I know that's not true. It always fluctuates.

Yet, right now is especially hard.
Yesterday, I spend all morning (and evening) having an awesome time recording vocals for a track that I was suddenly inspired to make. I got my microphone out of my storage cupboard, downloaded some software and spent hours recording acapella stuff, and I had a blast. Then, I had to go into town to pick up a few things. As I went down there, I felt really extatic, still buzzing from the inspiration and the excitement over the track. Then I got a text from an ex colleague from the school I used to work at, before I quit. She told me that another colleague was quitting after this academic year, and that there might be work for me. So I went from happy, to extactic and nervous and anxious and OH MY GOD. I was already thinking: this is the break I was waiting for. I miss them so badly, and my current financial and professional situation is rather *. I've been missing them and wishing to go back, and feeling horrible over the fact that they don't have a place for me naymore. So naturally, I was suddenly in overdrive, thinking: THIS IS MY CHANCE. So I texted another colleague and asked her what the deal was. And she said: "Oh, yeah, as far as I know, we already have someone else lined up who already works with us." So I said, well, I might as well try, you never know. And she said: "I've never in all my years of working here, seen someone be hired back." I felt completely gutted. Not only because chances are slim that i'll get what I want/need so badly, but also because I feel like this collegue is saying: forget it, we don't want you anyway.

I cycled into dispair. Everything i've been pushing away for the past two years, came rushing back to the surface. Losing what I cared about, because I trusted the wrong person. Giving up something I cared about deeply, and that was not just a job, it was like a safe place or family to me. Not just security. And now, being in this situation where I have a meh job that doesnt earn enough to keep me afloat. And a business that is now closed and that I don't want to start up again. Not being able to find any relevant jobs within my profession, and not wanting to have to start all over again anyway. It takes me forever to start to feel safe somewhere, and make friends etc. I don't want to have to go through that again, after fighting for so long. I wish I could just finially cruise for a while. But it seems like every time things are going well, something happens and everything goes to * again.
I feel like I don't belong anywhere, and nobody wants me anyway. I feel anxious and hopeless about the future, and I'm having thoughts of death again.
Not that i'd do it, but thinking of death is like a way to blow of steam and keep me "sane", because it helps to remind myself that there is always a way out.

It just saddens me that i'm here again, while two years ago, I had everything going for me. I was genuinely happy and doing well, on my own two feet. Then I trusted the wrong person (my father) and lost it all, because of him. And now i'm here, stuck, unhappy, lonely, scared, and having to start over. Which wouldn't be such a big deal if I wasn't in a phase where all I want is to settle down, start a family, etc. And it saddens me because I actually like living. There are many things I like about life, and want to experience, still. But not if it's going to be like this all the time.

So yeah, i'm having a hard time.
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on March 30, 2021, 07:37:15 PM
I'm not quite sure how I feel. Maybe that's because a lot of the time, i'm not feeling. Just to survive. I seem fine, or neutral, until I look a little deeper under the surface.
I feel heartbroken, devistated, terrified, angry, all that. I still can't believe that I faught so hard for so many years to get to a point where I was happy and healthy, only for my very own father to see this and think: hmm, that's not going to work for me. I can't control/use her if she's healthy and independant. And then manipulate me into making a choice that would ruin my life, block all my future plans and dreams, and basically put me back where I started only with less time on the clock to fix it. Because I accept that it's my responsibility to do my life, and to deal with the consequences. Ultimately, I was the one who made the choice. It pisses me off that I trusted him and that his hands are technically clean, though. The thing is that now, i'm 34, and I desprately want to have children. I always have, and the clock is ticking. I don't have a partner (my trouble with long term relationships is a whole other story, and that's also got to do with him), so i'm taking steps to do it alone. But in order to make that work, I need stability, a good support network, a good job, etc etc. And all of these things have been completely DESTROYED over the past 1,5 years, mostly by my father. After all the years it took me to build that up. After going through * to heal and get my life together. Just like that, he cunningly coerced me to make a choice that would tear it all apart. And now i'm frantically trying to fix it, while at the same time, I feel....I don't even know how I feel. Numb. "Never mind". Like I might as well give up.
And that breaks my heart even more, because not only did I fight so hard to regain my life and my will to live, but I actually like living. There are many things I love and look forward to. And now it feels like...I don't want to give up, but I also do. I hate this. I just want my life back.
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on April 02, 2021, 04:01:49 PM
So yesterday, another ex colleague texted me to let me know that there was a position opining up (which I already knew). It's nice to know that they are thinking of me. It's not so nice to know, that they are not the people who decide. I'm pretty sure the people higher up in the organisation don't want me back. In part because of what I was told last week, and also because after emailing both the principal and the vice principal about it last week, neither of them have responded at all. None the less, I have sent in a formal job application as well. Because you never know.
The annoying thing is that part of me is now really excited and hopeful, and already seeing myself walking around there again. Not to mention the prospect of a proper income.
Yet, the other side of me is already sad and hopeless thinking that it's not going to work, and knowing that i'll be even more devastaded when I am indeed rejected. Because the tiny bit of hope that had been keeping me going, hoping that one day i'd be there again, will really be officially gone.

Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: owl25 on April 02, 2021, 10:57:43 PM
I hope it works out for you, Alter-eg0. When will you know?
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on April 03, 2021, 10:41:07 AM
I hope it works out for you, Alter-eg0. When will you know?

Thanks, Owl. I don't know, the site said to send in applications before April 12th, so it'll be after then for sure.
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: notalone on April 03, 2021, 02:54:25 PM
Good for you for sending in the application.  :applause: Your feelings of hope and excitement as well as sadness and hopelessness make sense.
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on April 13, 2021, 01:47:18 PM
I've been feeling pretty numb lately. I'm not doing it consciously, but I am aware that i'm doing it. And when I look at the state of the world, my life, everything that's happened over the past two years, it makes sense. I sometimes think "I wish I could feel happy again", but then i'm also aware that allowing myself to feel that, would mean allowing myself to feel everything. You can't selectively numb certain emotions, it's all or nothing. And right now, it just doesn't feel safe.

I'm still waiting on news from my job application. There have already been four ex-colleagues who have tipped me, separately from one another, about the job opening. It's nice to know they are thinking of me and want me back. It just sucks that they aren't the ones making the decision of who to hire.
When one of them texted me today, I started feeling really excited and relieved imagining what it would be like if I got the job. But I automatically shut that feeling down pretty quickly, because I just don't want to get my hopes up. If I end up getting rejected, i'll be gutted enough as it is. I don't want to make it worse. So i'm just numbing. That way, it feels more like: whether i'm in or i'm out, it's both equally good or bad (depending on how you look at it).

Life feels like limbo at the moment. I feel like i've been waiting to start living again ever since I left that school, and all that crap went down. The situation with my dad, the pandemic, etc.
It's frustrating, too. Because I had come so far in healing. I'd finally come to the point where I decided to take a leap and trust someome, and I thought trusting my father would be a safe choice. It ended up ruining my life. And these past two years, so much has happened, it feels like every time I get up, something else comes along and pulls the rug from under me again.
I'm just surviving.
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on April 15, 2021, 08:11:07 PM
Bad news.
I did indeed get rejected for the job. That's not even what i'm the most gutted about. The worst part is, I was rejected via an automatic rejection email.
I worked there for six years. Six years. I even continued to drop in and help out after I left. And they saw how heartbroken I was when I decided to leave. I can live with the fact that they won't have me back, thats their right, and there are more people suited for the job. What hurts is that I emailed both the principle and the vice principal weeks ago, and neither replied at all.
It's like bumping into an old friend on the street, saying hello, and being ignored completely.
It's nice that four ex-collegues tipped me about the opening, so at least they did bother. But that the very people that I worked for, that I put so much time, energy and loyalty into for all those years, didn't even bother to reply to my message personally or even say hello...just an automatic rejection email. Zero acknowledgement. That really hurts.

I spoke to my mum earlier, she called me and I just bawled my eyes out. I've fought for so long, and come so far, but there's always something. I just want to live. But there's always something. I'm so tired. I know i'll end up picking myself up and finding another way. But right now, everything just feels so unfair. I got so far, had everything going for me, and I trust one wrong person and BAM. My life is back to * and i'm going to have to claw my way out again. Only this time, i'm ten years older and my biological clock is ticking too. I want to have a kid badly, but I can't even find a freaking proper job. Even with my batchelors degree, that I got with honors. For f's sake, can I just live?!
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Hope67 on April 17, 2021, 03:21:05 PM
Hi AlterEgo,
I imagine that is really disappointing to have that automatic e-mail with that news of the job rejection.  It seems like the personal aspects in the work environment are overlooked sometimes with technology, and I think that's not right.  I'm glad that four of your ex-colleagues mentioned the job to you - that does sound like they care. 

I'm sorry you're feeling upset, but it's understandable that you are.  Anyway, I feel like I'm waffling a bit now, but I just wanted to say that I hope you get some luck on the job front soon. 

Hope  :)
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: dollyvee on April 18, 2021, 12:43:22 PM
Hope you find something  Alter - job hunting is tough to do.
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on April 23, 2021, 06:08:49 PM
Pffff, you know how when you really really need to pee, but you can't, so you hold it and hold it until you finally make it to the bathroom and then when you finally sit down, you're so cramped up that nothing comes out? And then all you can get out is a few drops, a few more drops, and then all of a sudden the dam breaks?
Well, metaphorically, that's how I feel right now.  Like I just reached the metaphorical toilet.

I GOT THE JOB!!!!!
I'm so happy and relieved! Rationally, that is. My body doesn't get the message yet, it's still too busy being stressed. That's fine, the first drops are coming and the dam will break soon.

I haven't told my current boss yet, she's on holiday. And I want to wait a bit, since there are so many people already leaving that I want to give her the chance to get herself back together before I drop another bomb. It's fine, I only need a months notice with this job, and my new job doesn't start until the end of august. So I've decided that I want to leave my current job half way through july, so that I still have a proper "school holiday" to relax an prepare, before the fresh start. I'm really excited!

The funnies thing: I got hired because of my looks. Well, sort of. You see, during the job interview, the guy mentioned the way I looked (my dreads, piercings, tattoo's) and asked about them. He asked "why I am the way I am" (to which I replied: why are you the way you are?) and then he asked me how I see it, since there's often a lot of stigma and it can lead to negative situations with other people. I explained that I'm glad he asked, because that way we can have an open conversation instead of letting ourselves be lead by prejudice. I told him a little bit about my tattoo's, and I explained that I'm just being myself. That if I would be rejected for it, it wouldn't have been the place for me anyway. And that it's important to my not only to be myself, but that my students and colleagues can be themselves too. I also explained that in my experience it has actually often lead to more positive experiences: it opens doors and dialogs that you otherwise might not have. Students often come to me to talk about things, because somehow my looks seem to lower the thresold; I look like an open minded person who has seen some stuff.
So this morning when he called me and offered me the job, he said "we were very charmed by your appearance and the way you talked about it. And we do have quite a few students who are "different", so you'd be a great fit".

I was so amazed, because there had been so many applicants and although the interview went well, I just didn't have anything to go off. I couldn't size up the competition, so to speak.

It's so good to finally have some perspective, after all this "survival mode". I'm not out of the woods yet, but now that i've got a stable basis in the making, i'll be able to start thawing out, processing, healing and moving on.

So yeah, good news. And now...i'm exhausted.
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: notalone on April 23, 2021, 09:32:38 PM
Yea! Congratulations. Glad you are giving yourself some vacation time before starting your new job to rest and prepare.
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Armadillo on April 24, 2021, 04:08:43 AM
 :cheer: :cheer:  :cheer:

Yay! Congrats!!!
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on April 29, 2021, 02:20:58 PM
Thanks NotAlone and Armadillo!
___________________________________

So I still haven't told my boss that i'll be leaving soon. I wanted to tell her straight away on monday, but she was too busy yelling at a co-worker, and I was like...yeah nope.
And the next time I see her, will be tomorrow. I already have my letter of resignation ready, and i've been taking care of some other business that also needs to be taken care of before I get started. I'm really looking forward to getting all this off my back and moving on. Looking forward to my new job, even though i'm scared. I still feel heavy, but now there's a light at the end of the tunnel. I know things won't be perfect by any means, but it's progress all the same and it makes way for many options and growth in the future.

So...looks like i'll have to corner my boss tomorrow and break the news. I'm nervous about how she'll respond (and how she'll treat me for the next 2,5 months before I leave), but at the same time..knowing that i'll be leaving soon makes it easier to deal with.

My new contract starts on august 1st, but classes don't start until august 30th. So i've decided i'll leave my job on july 9th (a friday) so that I have just as much summer holiday as I would have had if i'd already been in the education system. It gives me time to prepare, but also to calm down, relax, do what I want. It's been so long since i've had a holiday that didn't have all the radars running in the back of my head the entire time. So i'm really looking forward to this!
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on May 02, 2021, 12:37:16 PM
I had a weird dream last night. I know you generally process a lot of unconcious stuff in your sleep, sometimes it's more obvious than ususal.

I dreamt that I was with my family, and my father wanted to gather us all together and tell us something. He was walking around all over the place, talking out loud without really checking to see if we were listening, sort of trying to prepare the place for his "presentation". It was a big place with two rooms, a large one to the right with a lot of chairs in a tribune like setting, and a smaller one to the left. So anyway, my father was walking around and blabbing, talking himself up, talking the location up, doing his whole act. And as he was so busy doing his thing, he didn't notice that we had left. We hadn't followed him, we had gone into the room on the left instead. Someone else was in that room (the guy who trained both me and my father, and who is the one who broke the news to me about my dad's narcissism). We were all sitting and chatting with this guy, and my dad must have noticed at some point that we weren't there anymore. So he barged into the room, walked up to the guy we were with, and punched him. He threw the punch in a weird angle, and ended up only hitting the guy's arms (which were in front of him). So the guy threw a punch back, and missed. Which was weird, because we expected (knowing that he has a background in martial arts) that he'd have no trouble knocking him out. It was almost as though he missed on purpose. They sort of went back and forth like this for a while, until the guy knocked my father out cold and he fell to the floor. The guy sat back down, my mum sort of ruffled his hair (which is weird because he's bald, and in my dream he had be bald up until that point) and we all were chatting again. I looked down at my dad, and all I could feel was pity.
I felt so sorry for him, trying so hard to put up that facade of being so great, having everything together, telling himself that everyone thinks he's so great, having to constantly put up that act, but probably being so deeply insecure and lonely on the inside. Always talking about his "good friends" or the great relationships he has with his family for example, and not even noticing that these people don't feel the same way. The fake-ness of it all. I felt really sad for him, purely out of pity.

I don't hate my father, although I am really angry at him. I don't miss him, and I don't want him in my life. But it does make me sad, to think that he's going to end up completely and utterly alone.
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on May 10, 2021, 12:27:45 PM
I just encountered another trigger that I had sort of forgotten about.

I just got a message from a colleague, asking me if I wanted to sing/teach a singing workshop at an upcoming gathering. I immidiately got a knot in my stomach and felt the need to push it away or find a viable explanation as to why I can't or don't want to do it.

Here's the thing. I sing, I love singing, I basically came out of the womb singing, and I'm pretty damn good at it. Although I'm no stranger to the stage, singing is something really near and dear to me and very vulnerable. It's one of the few things that's so intertwined with my whole being, and with my emotions. So naturally, singing in front of others feels pretty vulnerable, too. I'm fine when i'm up there with a band, or at least a guitarist or something, because then I don't feel as "naked". But if it's with a regular karaoke track for example, I hate that. It bores me, and it feels too vulnerable.

The strange thing is, when you have a certain talent, especially when it's something that involves performance, it somehow becomes "public property". It's like other people feel as though they have a right to experience it, and you are obligated to showcase it. You know, the whole "Oh, you sing? Sing something then!". When I was a kid, my parents would push me forward at any chance they got. Birthdays, funerals, parties, it didn't matter, it was always "Oh, no problem, she'll sing something". Nobody asked me, it was just assumed that I would do it, because I can. And by the time I was "asked", it was a retorical question. It was already decided. If I protested, I was told not to be so difficult, it wasn't that big a deal, it was no effort for me so why didn't I want to do someone else a pleasure, etc. I was emotionally blackmailed: "what will people think, if you don't do it. They expect it, you did it for so and so, what will they think if you don't do it for them, too?". You're selfish. You're a bad person.
It was an impossible choice for me. The two universal social fears that humans have, are not being good enough, and not belonging. When I was pushed to perform, I was put in a position where I was stuck between these two fears. Either failing at a performance (always afraid that people were expecting a standard that I couldn't meet) and disappointing both myself and others, or being cast out for saying no and being selfish. I always felt so frustrated and intensely angry, yet terrified at the same time. Having to make that impossible lose-lose choice.
So now, whenever someone asks me to sing, I feel that intense fear and the need to push away, rushing back.

The thing is, I probably would not even mind singing a sing if there would just be a karaoke machine and it would be a spontaneous thing. But the fact that someone asks me to sing, in my brain goes straight to "oh, this person is assuming that since I can, I will, and I must", and I immidiately feel scared, helpless and frustrated. I feel so nervous, my stomach is in knots and my heart it in my throat. I want to say no so that I can stop feeling this way and stop feeling the pre-stagefright all week until the day comes. But I also want to say yes, so that I don't have to walk around there feeling guilty for not doing it. This sucks.
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Armadillo on May 10, 2021, 06:44:18 PM
Oh it breaks my heart that this thing that brings you joy has been made to cause suffering.

For the sake of that joy, I'd guide you to listen to your heart and gut and say yes  only when you want to and are ready to. If that is never and you are happy with that then that is OK.

You don't need an excuse you just say "I am so flattered you asked but I'm sorry I am unable to."

I relate a bit though mine is different. I love to play piano for myself. But if I am asked to play for or around someone I actually completely dissociate and can't even function. Can't find the music in a book i use all the time, my brain and body just stop working. Even thinking about playing for someone causes the same reaction. I'm glad because i literally can't play for someone and it keeps it as a thing for me.
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Alter-eg0 on May 11, 2021, 11:19:28 AM
Armadillo, exactly that!
I get it too. Yesterday I was teaching with a colleague and just singing along to the track we were using, and at a specific climactic part of the song she looked at me and said "here it comes!" and I completely choked. I laughed it off as though I meant it to sound bad, but in reality I felt pretty stupid. It's the same when for example there's a birthday and we all have to sing the birthday song. The only way I can do it, is if I sing really badly and make it clear that it's meant to be silly. Otherwise I choke.

And it makes a lot of sense when you say "that keeps it for me". I feel the same way. So often people say things like "why don't you join in <insert talent show here>" or "why haven't you had your breakthrough yet" or "Why don't you go to conservatory or do this professionally". They say "Why aren't you doing anything with this?? (professionally" and it always makes me feel...resentful? Like...guys, I am doing EXACTLY what I want with this. What you mean, is that you want me to make my thing public property. You're not wanting that for ME, you're wanting that for YOU. How is that pleasurable for me? This is mine. This is a deeply intitmate thing for me, and I only want to do it or share it on my own accord. I don't want to HAVE to do it.
Somehow, people don't understand that.
Title: Re: AlterEg0's Journal
Post by: Armadillo on May 13, 2021, 12:26:41 AM
Quote
They say "Why aren't you doing anything with this?? (professionally" and it always makes me feel...resentful? Like...guys, I am doing EXACTLY what I want with this. What you mean, is that you want me to make my thing public property. You're not wanting that for ME, you're wanting that for YOU. How is that pleasurable for me? This is mine. This is a deeply intitmate thing for me, and I only want to do it or share it on my own accord. I don't want to HAVE to do it.
Somehow, people don't understand that.

Haha. They don't understand it, because I don't think it's "normal" is it? This is trauma speaking, isn't it? Don't let yourself be seen or appreciated. Don't trust people. They are trying to take something from you. They will use it to hurt you. Stay away keep away stop.