Anyone Have Trouble Functioning with Jobs/Careers and in Society due to CPTSD?

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ajvander86

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Hi all,

So one major issue cptsd has beset me with is trouble functioning in the way of a career/jobs/school the whole nine yards.  To this day I still work multiple low paying jobs just to get by.  Does anyone else struggle with this?  I'm working on putting together an online business which is coming along nicely so that I can work from home and also work anywhere I'd like to live and focus on my healing and recovery, but I've always had such a hard time in this area and feel kind of hopeless.  Also, has anyone found an area of work that really works with having cptsd?

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songbirdrosa

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Hi ajvander,

Yeah, I've had a lot of issues in that regard. I've left several jobs and quit a lot of study because it was too hard for me with the c-ptsd. I'm not sure that there's one area of work that's going to be suitable for everyone, I think it's going to be specific to your personality and situation, but if it helps I've found that I've had the most success in things I'm really passionate about, and where I can work slowly and methodically. Things tend to go south very quickly if I'm too pressed for time. But again, that's just what goes well for me, I hope you can find something that fits you

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woodsgnome

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I was lucky to have fallen (totally unplanned) into an unlikely career niche that actually helped lift me out (temporarily) of a deep void following my stunted youth. Alas, even the good vibes from this career turned out to be illusory as the aftereffects of cptsd eventually caught up with me anyway.

Otherwise, my 'accidental' vocation (improv acting/character development) was good for me in that it was creative, unique, and I had a fair amount of independence concerning  the situations I found myself in. Money (other than having enough for basics) meant little in my overall scheme of life. Service, integrity, and honesty were what mattered the most.

Later on, the career path diverted a bit from its start, but on the whole was satisfactory. I suppose the down side would be I've never gotten fully past the basic fear of people, typical of a freeze type per Walker's scheme. I remained hindered by the core inability to develop full relationships.

This social anxiety hampered my ability and/or willingness to step past my self-imposed dire need for social isolation. I turned back from opportunities if they involved too much social interaction. Even though I'm mostly retired now, I'm still pretty much hampered by this inability to socialize well. I know I still have lots to contribute--but no idea how, either. Then again my path to this point is something I could never have foreseen.

Not sure if this helps at all. One thing I would suggest is just to stay open to surprise(s). I fell into what turned out okay to an extent. I think the main thing is staying on track with winning your own sense of self back. In my case, it helped that I could do so within a creative vocational scenario, but always within a milieu of finding peace for my fractured sense of self.

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Sceal

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I struggle with work and study. Right now my GP and my T has deemed me only fit for 20% work.  I don't work though. I am in therapy that require as much attention of me as 20% work would do. And I'm trying to study, although not doing very well.
I have a lot of time to myself, I'm not sure if that is always the best sollution either.

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Libby12

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Most definitely.   It is only after finding out about cptsd that my employment difficulties make complete sense. Beforehand,  I just thought I was useless.

I think that starting your own business is an excellent move.  Had I realised the full nature of my issues years ago, I think this is what I would have done. Especially so, if the business involves something you are really committed to.   

Above all, for myself,  I would avoid any job dealing directly with people.  I was steered into nursing because I was made to believe I was so pointless that I had to do something worthwhile for society. Thanks, parents.  Absolutely the worst choice possible.   I would have been better doing any other job.  I briefly worked cleaning a restaurant,  on my own, in the morning.  I just did it as a favour,  but with the exception of phone calls,  it was the best job for me. So I would say, don't be down on yourself about having a variety of low paid jobs, if you can cope with them. Hopefully, that way, you aren't over involved with people at each one and can step back from any stress.

I wish you every success with your business.   I really believe that is the way to go. 

Libby.

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Rainagain

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I would echo what others have said, go for what you are passionate about.

I'm abruptly early retired and thinking of small scale horticulture/farming.

I like nurturing things and enjoy the continuity you get from seeing things grow and thrive.

Another idea was dog kennels/ dog walking as I love dogs.

I seem to get exploited in the workplace so something under my control is attractive.

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Blueberry

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Totally, as you'll see by the number of posts of mine in the Employment section. I work a bit freelance but I get triggered a lot and have difficulty working in my two areas. I wish you better luck! Idk if there's any one area of work that would be good for somebody with CPTSD. We don't all have the same triggers...

For me though, it is better that I keep trying, and keep going even if it's just a little bit.

 

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woodsgnome

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 :spooked:   :doh:

I feel drawn to add just a wee bit to what I wrote above, about how I fell into a vocation that helped me.

Specifically, I'd like to touch on how I was the least likely sort of person to go into the improv acting/theatre field. I was, and still am, socially awkward, extremely withdrawn and introverted. Yet I ended up being a pretty fair improv actor. What's with that--ending up in a somewhat social position seemed so unlikely?

I had a certain academic expertise (history) that was noted and one night at a gathering where I was trying to 'blend into the background' someone just asked me to talk about it. I began but couldn't as 'myself'--but soon began doing a first-person characterization that felt more 'me' than the straight-on talk did (I got out of my own skin). Nowadays I feel I was reaching the inner core of what I'd been denied as a youth--creative expression.

The reason I feel drawn to add that is to reiterate stayinng open to being surprised at what might happen, whether it be job related or not. There just might be a surprise for you that will kick in a talent or something you didn't realize you had or was repressed and buried under the cptsd effects

Okay--forgive me for wanting to add that, but I feel it's critical; as if that surprise hadn't happened to me that night, I shudder to think where I was headed, job-wise anyway (but also personally suicidal as I'd lost all meaning). Finding out I had that talent, I was so lucky to be able to incorporate it.

Mind you, there were also times I used that talent as a shield to hide behind, while still ignoring the inner work of cptsd recovery I was avoiding. While I'm still shy and seriously introverted, it was because of those acting gigs that I was at least able to occasionally find ways to communicate and get out of the lonely shell.

So it's a minor passion with me to value that surprising twist, even though it seemed highly unlikely. Out-of-the-box, as it were.



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Blueberry

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The reason I feel drawn to add that is to reiterate stayinng open to being surprised at what might happen, whether it be job related or not. There just might be a surprise for you that will kick in a talent or something you didn't realize you had or was repressed and buried under the cptsd effects

Good point, very worth reiterating.  :thumbup:

For a while I was teaching classes, though atm I can only do one-on-one, but when I was teaching classes, occasionally I was like  :blink: "Is that really me standing there in front of the room?" Sounds slightly dissociated even, but in a good way. It allowed me to get the work done and earn money.

Mind you, there were also times I used that talent as a shield to hide behind, while still ignoring the inner work of cptsd recovery I was avoiding.
Don't we all? (Find a shield so we can ignore taht healing work for a while?) Or at least most of us. Some of my shields are far less healthy. 

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Gromit

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I work for myself, although I don't earn much.

For those thinking of doing this money issues are a consideration. What do you do about people who don't want to pay you? Asking for money, sticking up for yourself, it is hard at times, I don't always get it right and I have learnt a lot since I started.

G

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Blueberry

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For those thinking of doing this money issues are a consideration. What do you do about people who don't want to pay you? Asking for money, sticking up for yourself, it is hard at times,

 :yeahthat:

because asking for money requires belief in myself and the quality of work I produce. Not easy for me.

I also find 'slow times', when not much work is coming in, difficult. Even emotionally healthy colleagues of mine say the same. They feel a bit on edge about it. I often feel like giving up in these times, and then all of a sudden somebody wants me to do some work for them, and everything changes, the sun comes out again.

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ajvander86

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Thanks everyone for your replies, this helped a lot. 

It's amazing to me to find out I am not alone with these things, and I feel so much better about my situation/have more self compassion. 

You all are very inspirational to me as well, I relate to pretty much everything anyone says here.  I am currently working as a night auditor in a hotel which, although the pay isn't so hot, is fantastic for my cptsd and being able to heal.  I see maybe 4 or 5 people a night and have the whole night to be alone and to do personal work on top of my work at the hotel. 

I also uber on the side which is great because I can work as much or as little as I like, and it allows me to get some socializing in without having to go too deep with people and let them in to close. 

You know I was surfing around on the web looking up good careers for people with ptsd/cptsd and I found a site that talks about earning money online through affiliate marketing for one.  Has anyone heard of this or tried it before?  I looked more into it and it looks really interesting.  I definitely like the idea of being able to set myself up to earn passive income on the side if I ever need to take some time for myself just to recover. 

My business idea is that I am in the process of creating a personal healing/empowerment course that's online that I created as a result of having to help myself heal from cptsd.  I realized that other people might be able to benefit from it also and put it together.  Also because I really like self empowerment workshops and things like Tony Robbins, but I've tried a couple in person and due to my freeze type cptsd it was almost impossible to really open up and make some progress.  I mean it was like going from 0 to 1000 mph all in one weekend.  I realized that having cptsd and other people with other issues might like to benefit from something like this without having to be in a huge room with hundreds or even thousands of people they've never met before, so that's what I'm putting together. 

Btw is there any way to reply directly to particular comments on these threads???

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Three Roses

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Btw is there any way to reply directly to particular comments on these threads???

I've seen members answering people directly by putting the @ symbol before their names in the replies.

I.e., @Three Roses thanks
@ Kizzie I know what you mean.....

I'd also like to put out a reminder - business advertising is not allowed on OOTS, our Guidelines can be read in full here; http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=1616.0

(Not saying that's what you are doing, by the way. :) )

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Boatsetsailrose

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Such a good topic ajvander and so relevant for me at the moment. Thank u for posting.
Like @ Libby 12 I was socialised into being a nurse from the family I was in. Iíve just woken up after 10 yrs of doing it to say ĎI canít do this, Iím burnt outí. The role has been a mixture of things demanding, draining, enjoyable, enlightening, interesting, caring and exhausting. I would say the hardest thing for me has been supervisingí or at less trying to junior staff. My ego has liked it but my cpstd has not. Itís really hit on my Ďpeople donít like me button and Iíve found that a difficult area to deal with. Also lots of multi tasking that has proved difficult and of course the responsibility. On the positive side working closely in teams of people has meant it has pushed me to socialise and interact more, it has meant I am less socially isolated. Also Iíve been surrounded by, on the whole, caring people and been able to share some of my inner world, struggles and get support. I am signed off sick Ďagainí and this time I canít put myself Ďback in ití it just wouldnít be a kind or sensible act to do to myself. I am working with god and the universe surrendering and stopping to Ďstrive Ď so hard because I truly donít have the answer anymore and that is ok.

@ajvander I think itís awesome that you keep yourself going and afloat with work. Also, that you are developing your own business as well, that is v inspirational.. you have a plan of something you want to do and you are making it happen whilst keeping yourself in work. Celebrate what you are doing :) I understand it that sometimes we get hopeless in our thinking/ feeling that is part of human nature maybe more so for us.. at these times I find I need to ramp up self care and be extra kind to myself, be my own best friend.

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Sceal

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I asked at the SA center how many approximatedly are able to get back into fulltime work, or work at all. The lady I spoke with there said from her experience most do. I am happy for those men and women who are able to function enough to participate in society.  And I also find myself envious of them, I too want to be productive and resourceful for society, for others who can need and use me in a positive manner.
But I'm not able. I'm not sure if I am able to study either... I have no idea what the future holds, and that is scary!