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Messages - movementforthebetter

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Recovery Journals / Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« on: August 26, 2018, 01:35:22 AM »
Thanks for your words, blueberry, it gave me something else to think about and took some pressure off.

In this week of readjustment I had some moments of... Something. New awareness, maybe. At one point I was triggered by a co-worker, in a situation where I couldn't leave because we were repairing a heavy object. I was on the inside corner, and he started verbally barfing his unhappiness to me, unasked. I saw myself trapped in that moment, physically and emotionally, as I have been in the past. I have had other coworkers physically block me in, or even take hold of me.

They don't know that when they do it, I flash back to any one of the instances of violence that left me feeling so helpless. Nor do I want them to know. I would just like for people to be considerate of others (including me) , which is apparently an impossible ask these days!

I didn't feel as helpless this time. Just annoyed. I no longer care much about my coworkers, which sucks. But I have been away so much that I feel excluded from our team to a degree. I felt it intensely the first time I went on assignment. And it's back this time, too. Always on the outside, it seems. It's ok, I can resign myself to it. And it makes it easier for me when it's time to go.

After feeling pretty down a lot of the past week, I found a spark within myself that reminded me: I have to make the future I want. So at least I managed to clean a bit and do dishes. It's a start.

Recovery Journals / Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« on: August 24, 2018, 02:43:20 AM »
Triggers in this post for graphic talk of self injury.

Spent the first 2 hours at home after work today zoned out and kinda frozen or at least dissociated. I had things I could be doing but couldn't make myself do any of them.

Instead I picked at my skin. I'm mostly picking at hard scars these days, that just swell up, but sometimes I get some satisfaction. Those times usually end with me bleeding. There's still this big part of me that won't be satisfied unless I self destruct. I ruin my skin and risk infection. A couple of  months ago I think I picked a small cyst out of my beast. It was like a huge whitehead, but firm, round, and left a big bleeding hole in my skin. I cleaned and bandaged it, and have a scar about the size of a pen-cap now. I am repulsed at myself yet compelled to pick. And not just with my hands.

When I was younger I had a weird lump behind my last molar on my bottom jaw. I should have gone to the dentist and had it checked, but my mom would resent me for needing medical care and only took me if things were dire. I internalized a lot of that harshness and neglect.

I worked my tongue around it, for a week or two, as it worked up to the surface, then became like a moveable flap of skin. I worked it until it eventually fell out like a loose tooth. I don't remember much beyond that. But a few years later, when I had my impacted wisdoms out, the Dr said I must have had a cyst that went away on it's own because I have a gap or hollow spot in my jaw bone, which could cause problems later, and made removing my wisdoms harder.

My urge to self-destruct is a good meditation topic. What am I trying to destroy?

Recovery Journals / Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« on: August 19, 2018, 11:29:09 PM »
Back from my work trip. Resting and sleeping a lot, then back to work tomorrow.

Overall, I was happy with my work experience despite many issues along the way. I chalk that up to experience and growth on my part.

That said, the issues that came up were serious, and I'm not sure how and when to address them.

2 days before the end of the project I was told a significant change was needed. It became a rush to complete it. I made a mistake during the last day that could have been risky to others. It wasn't. I feel it's important to note that I was never trained to do the work I was doing, just thrown into it. I completed my portion of the work.

The mistake was discovered by a supervisor in another department, and he was very angry with me. He angrily ordered me to redo it in front of others, and when I was doing it said I had been cutting corners. I managed to stick up for myself a little, and said I wasn't intentionally cutting corners, and that he was being very rude. But the damage to me was already done.

I was weepy for an hour or so after. He eventually apologized to me. But it's not ok. This has tainted the whole project for me.

I believe this one incident is an example of a toxic and abusive work culture that undermines and exploits its workers. And I think it's probably rampant in the company. At least in my country.

I don't know if I should tell my supervisors or managers about this. I had another co-worker with me who witnessed all of it. If I file a complaint, I don't have faith that anything would come of it. He's "more valuable" to the company than me.

I already know I want to leave my location. I was on the fence about the company. I keep wondering which new straw will actually break the camel's back.

Recovery Journals / Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« on: August 17, 2018, 04:28:05 AM »
I'm on the eve of my last day of this work assignment. I'm ready to go home. But I have enjoyed most of my time here. I think I made the most of it. It was certainly a rare experience for me. I learned a lot.

It was very hard at many points. I felt like a failure a lot. But there were some notable successes. And tonight, on the eve of the close of the project, I had a woman from another department tell me to my face that she doesn't value my department's work, thinks she can do it just as well with her own workers who don't have my skills or education, and resents the time spent meeting with us. She told us that nationally her team wants to replace everyone on mine because they don't see the value we add.

A night of what was supposed to be celebration amongst colleagues with the end of this years-long project has deflated and left me feeling depressed and insecure about my future. My years of schooling and trying to establish myself feel like they were for naught here. My dream career is nothing but dissolutionment in reality. I am resented for the opportunities I took advantage of, and for privileges perceived that I worked hard for. And still in debt for this supposed privelege.

I had suspected that I was possibly being sabotaged, or at least experiencing active opposition and hindrance in my work. I tried to brush that off as paranoia, but now I think I was actually right.

Recovery Journals / Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« on: August 10, 2018, 07:35:31 AM »
One of the toxic traps I keep stepping into is insidious ableist thinking.

Like with being sick right now, I had to realize that I was mad at myself for "letting myself" get sick. I heard others say that they couldn't "afford to be sick" and then my inner critic started up with me that I'm somehow inferior because I am sick. But I'm not. Our working conditions aren't the healthiest, and the fact that more aren't sick is either luck or physiogy or both; neither of which are anything I have control of. I still feel guilty taking a sick day. But it's not my shame I'm feeling, it's theirs. It's like a subtle bullying.

I'm pretty sure I'm sick enough to stay home today, but if I don't get my timesheet signed today, I don't get paid properly. And even having done all that, I didn' t get paid on time last week. My bank's fault, it turns out. And it was rent cheque payday. So all that extra stress plus dirty working conditions, and here I am sick. I shouldn't be surprised, and neither should anyone else.

Still, here I am, sick and unsure how to proceed. And that's what so many better-off people don't want to understand. Being sick wasn't a choice. The only choice I have now is how to navigate the difficult situation it's left me in.

Recovery Journals / Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« on: August 10, 2018, 03:18:50 AM »
I am worn out. Physically sick. Missed work today. I literally can't handle working hard for so long - my body eventually gives out. I was actually being pretty good to my body, too. Eating a fairly balanced diet and was highly active every day. Didn't matter. My immune system isn't as robust as some people's. And so I spent the day off work sick, and probably should tomorrow too, but won't because the project ends next week, and I'll be heading home. Then I can start crafting my next stage. But one thing at a time, first, more sleep.

Recovery Journals / Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« on: August 01, 2018, 03:00:36 AM »
This post may be triggering re: boundary violations and touch.

Today I'm thinking a lot about interactions that are perfectly normal to others, but foreign, uncomfortable, and even scary to me.

I saw a co-worker braiding another co-worker's hair. Like a mother would do for a daughter, or close friends.

The last time I clearly remember a friend braiding my hair was in junior high school. It may have happened in college, too, but I don't remember. I remember that it feels lovely.

The other thing that struck me happened today. A co-worker wanted to show me something and grabbed my hand, leading me along. It wasn't done maliciously, but it blew past my boundaries ans she didn't ask. She's half my age and so sweet that I didn't get mad or pull away. Just went with it. It startled me but happened too fast to get wrapped up in it.

These things made me think about the vulnerability so many people have no problem sharing with others. The lack of fear. The way it doesn't occur to them that someone might not want to be touched.

I am basically ok with being touched by my friends, but that's usually it. Would that ever be able to change for me? Can I change, and do I want it to?

The wall I built protects me, but also keeps out the kindness in others. I am living a cliché.

Recovery Journals / Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« on: July 31, 2018, 03:28:42 AM »
TRIGGERS in this post for self-harm/injury, eating disorders, suicidal ideation, destructive behaviour and inner critic/negative self-talk.

An Internet friend of mine posted on her Facebook today that she is in treatment for an eating disorder. She is pretty open about her struggles with ADD, anxiety and depression. And now this. I want to be supportive but it's triggered me into negative headspace. I feel very alone and unsure how to show my support in a more meaningful way than an electron heart. Not sure that my support would even matter. She has many, many online and irl friends. I don't think my voice matters significantly to her.

It's triggered me in a few ways. The big thing is a huge amount of shame I feel. Mainly like I am not worthy of help for my own struggles. She is severely obese and has a child. I could lose 30lbs and have no dependents. There's no comparison of needs there. And yet I feel needy, and ashamed of my need.

It occurs to me that my country's healthcare system does contribute to my feeling worthless. I would be more motivated to get help if I hadn't been outright dismissed more than once by doctors. And if our system provided treatment for people at more levels than urgent. For me, anything less than dire has been met with "wait and see", "it's in your head", or "that's not what you're experiencing". I had written examples here, but deleted them when I realized I was just trying to convince any readers that I had been done wrong. It doesn't matter.

I feel narcissistic because her pain has triggered this in me. It's not about me. And yet here I am and it is about me because I empathise and am reminded of my own struggles.

Once things go well for a while, and people see that I am reliable, things start coming at me faster and then I get overwhelmed and can't keep up. I struggle to maintain boundaries and then my routines go, and I start to spiral out. I would say I am early spiral now. I picked until I was bleeding in several spots.

I also overate today. Then I came back to my room and ate a bunch of fudge. It had been intended for coworkers. Now I have to eat it all and buy more for them, so I take a health and monetary hit. Double self-sabbotage.

I don't know the definition of an eating disorder, but I'm sure I have one. I eat to forget, feel better, and sometimes to punish myself. When punishing myself, it is because I am trying to destroy myself... To kill myself a bit at a time. That would probably sound absurd anywhere but here.

I've had intrusive thoughts for a couple months that I don't want to live. Not that I would act on them, but the thoughts come in once or twice, nearly every day. I think maybe they are always there but lately I have been consciously noticing them.

Recovery Journals / Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« on: July 30, 2018, 04:02:39 AM »
Today has been an unexpectedly introspective day. It's a good thing. I've enjoyed working out here in general, and certainly exploring in my off hours. But my self care could be better. 

I realize now that around the time my therapist went on mat leave, my progress had plateaued. In the 10 months since, I have been backsliding.

Today, somehow, something in me woke up and I see that I'm ready for another leg in this journey. Because of that, I'm now impatient to go home. Also, it would be nice to skip the final weeks of work chaos, even though that's just a dream.

Medication / Re: Night sweating on venlafaxine
« on: July 29, 2018, 11:59:07 PM »
Night sweats, day sweats... Thinking about sweating sweats. I empathize completely.

I changed the timing of my dose because of the night sweats, and it helped a little in my case. But that also impacts drowsiness and other side effects, so definitely discuss any changes with your Dr before making them. I try to carry a hanky now to help mop up my sweat.

Good luck, and stay hydrated!

Recovery Journals / Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« on: July 29, 2018, 11:52:06 PM »
POSSIBLE TRIGGERS for parental bereavement in this post.

Things are moving along ok out here. At least from my end. I have no control of anything and for once I feel some perspective and am not taking it devastatingly personally like I normally would. I am not a failure because there are significant delays. I am doing what I can to work hard and be productive. For whatever reason, the industry I am in is short-sighted and adverse to allocating adequate resources to allow a project to run smoothly, or at least smoother. It's not on me to fix that.

I successfully asserted myself when a co-worker / supervisor kept interrupting me. It's ironic because I do this too, to get a word in edgewise, but also when I am impatient. I recognize it's a control thing, and I do it more when I feel like the other person is monologuing to dominate the conversation. Not equally giving as well as taking focus. So in this case I just kept on talking while he talked. He thought I'd drop off and listen but my sentence was longer and I just kept going. Didn't call it out, didn't get annoyed, just didn't give him my attention while I was working through my idea. For myself, I recognize I do it, and I'll try to be aware and do it less. I don't know if I needed to do it, but I got fed up with being cut off by him repeatedly, and I'm not very patient with rudeness.

I'm probably not writing as much as I should. I know I shouldn't should, lol. It's just that I feel like I have so much to put down when I get here that I end up missing realizations and explorations. I'm doing what I can, and that has to be enough for now.

Been thinking about fatigue again. Working on recognizing and appreciating my limits. Am generally listening to my body better these days. I don't do much after work but sleep. Physical work makes much else almost impossible. It's ok for now.

I read an article about the grief of losing a parent unexpectedly as an adult and the physiological and psychological effects that has. Basically nodded along the whole read. Made my chest tight for a half hour or so. Again, irony. The anniversary of my dad's death is in a couple of weeks, on my 2nd last day of working out here. He died of a heart attack.

I am homesick. But also homesick for a life that's not actually mine. A life I want. One that feels out of reach, because in order to have it, I will be disappointing people. I can't avoid that. Everyone wants something different.

Recovery Journals / Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« on: July 23, 2018, 05:08:02 AM »
It's the middle of the night where I am. I had a very full weekend and it was fun, but it left me exhausted and asleep by 7pm...and so I am awake now.

Someone told me that the sleeping in chunks tendency is like an instinctual trait, left from times when we needed to wake and stoke the fire or add another log... That 4-5 hours is about the longest an average camp fire lasts on it's own, and at that point a person would start to feel colder and wake up.

That could be balserdash, but it makes enough sense that it gives me a little comfort, and it's a nice way to spin the chronic insomnia.

Over the past year or so, at points, I have realized aspects of my progress. Most have been good. But today I am wondering about my emotions deadening from my medication. I am wondering about whether or not it's a good thing. And the irony is, I still suffer, although possibly not as much. It's really positive experiences I am noticing are curbed.

I did a thrill-seeking activity today. I had done it once before on a smaller scale, not Ike today's dramatic setting and size. Today, I barely felt nervous, and had only a short peak of adrenaline for maybe a minute before and a minute after, and the I was tired within a half hour. The first time I did it (8 yrs ago!) my legs were shaking for an hour after. It's an interesting change.

I've also noticed this in love. I know that I love, but the butterflies don't come anymore, even though my boyfriend and I have great chemistry.

Good experiences are still good, they're just a lot more low-key. I hope they will prove to be just as memorable, regardless.

General Discussion / Re: Communication is so painful.
« on: July 20, 2018, 07:49:22 AM »
In my experience, only sometimes is it a case of overreacting. Sometimes it's a case of underreacting... Not enforcing boundaries.

If you find yourself limiting interactions with certain people, you probably are enforcing boundaries. Some people need to be the star of every interaction, without any awareness of how draining that is on others. With some people I have to say I wasn't finished, or bring them back to what I was saying. Or just limit contact.

One thing that may ease this, although it's an unpleasant thought exercise, is to examine the expectations for certain interactions. If I am talking with a neighbour, I might rather think they don't much care... They're preoccupied with their own lives. As I probably am with my own. I can  think of times I may have behaved in the same way. And why was I expecting more from them?

 Unfortunately this can come a cross as cynical at times and can make it hard to have authentic interactions. I've become more misanthropic over the years.

I empathize because I struggle with this all the time, too. I find that frequently conversations or other interactions can progress too quickly, so that these invalidating moments pile up before I can even catch, let alone process them.

Not sure this helps, but I wish you well and am curious what other ways of dealing with this people have tried.

Recovery Journals / Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« on: July 18, 2018, 02:40:56 AM »
My thoughts have turned lately to what my life might look like if I was primarily focused on self care. This has been a nice part of being away from my home location this time. The work is about executing, rather than planning with limited information. Overall, I like that better. I still get overstimulated at times, but it's not so desperately overwhelming as at home.

There's been much talk this year of how women live in rape culture (and still do), but now I realize that it falls under the greater influence of abuse culture, and that permeates everything, especially workplaces.

So if my work is just work, and I accept that I can't do as much as I had been doing at work once I put my needs first, then I need to look for a couple things. Either less responsibility, or less time at work.

I guess I'm accepting that recovery for me won't be a path to some kind of middle-class independence. It's more likely to be a rejection of it, because every employer I have worked for has been abusive in one way or another. I know now that I need to work much more independently, or with instruction that is clear and concise. I don't think I have room to be flexible in that. It costs me too much.

A focus on self-care means I am placing my emotional and physical health above my job responsibilities. This is literally the opposite of what I was taught by an instructor who said that there will be times where you have to go to work with no sleep - just make sure you shower. It means actually calling in sick more, going to the Dr more, and acknowledging that I need more help to function daily.

On one hand, writing this is triggering, because when I first acknowledged my mental illness, my world fell apart and I ended up on welfare for a while. But on the other hand, I am approaching my needs with awareness this time. It doesn't have to be the same as in the past. It's not even likely to be. I am not in crisis, I am just exhausted.

Still, not being in crisis exactly, being able to put on the show of normalcy, I don't know how to cope with the outside world. All I can do is live one day at a time, and think in terms of time either away from or back in my safe zones. All I can do is create my own little world, no matter how small, since the big one, though beautiful, is full of such rubbish humans.

Recovery Journals / Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« on: July 12, 2018, 04:48:42 AM »
Trying to hold the fragments of a dream. It was somewhat a memory, but then it went further. A final exam essay I wrote about indigenous people and the challenges they face in America today. The essay had earned me an A+. Somehow I ended up discussing it with an estranged friend, who is First Nations. In real life my essay was based on a short story by a famous American Indian author. In the dream, I based  it on the work of a famous white author. Because of the source being outside, my friend stopped me in my tracks and refused to hear me, even though I was on his side. The source was enough to sew mistrust. I wanted so badly for him to hear me but fell silent. No matter how much of "his" pain I empathized with, I was letting mine eclipse listening and learning.

No matter if it feels like it, I am part of a majority that profits from exploiting and abusing others. And then I tried to excuse myself by claiming I understood. In doing so, I was essentially also profiting from the pain of others.

One of the oppressed who is also an opressor, rewarded by one of my own race. An abuse victim myself, I still benefit from abuse. And then I wanted him to absolve me or something.

I don't know if I can hold any lasting learning from this dream. Listen more and be humble, I suppose.

My inner critic is strongest in my dreams. I just don't know what to do when I wake up thinking it may be right.

As I struggle to heal myself, I have to be selfish, even though that goes against my ideal nature, to the exclusion of others who are suffering more. Is healing worth it if I can't help others while on my path? I'm hoping I will still have a chance to both heal and help, but I am terrified of feeling pains greater than my own, when mine have already burdened me so much.

That is possibly the narcissistic flea of my abuse. I maybe could do more, but don't actually want to if it will cause me more discomfort. Not a nice reality to acknowledge in myself.

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