Solitude within the storm

Some days, you just want the world to slow down… preferably stop.  It feels like you’re being swept along on a tidal wave of noise, anxiety and demands from others… but all you want to do is stand still and ask it to stop.  The thing is, it will never stop… our only hope is to change the way we deal with those feelings.

The past few months have been a fairly constant series of tidal waves, dragging me under and tossing me about.  This has come to some sort of head this week… my mother is visiting for her 70th birthday; the Rugby World Cup starts tonight (the hoopla associated with such an event has been intense); Winnie’s health is failing; and I was offered the position of team leader.  Being offered the job seems to have been the last straw.  As soon as the offer was made, an internal cacophony erupted… “Yes” … “No” … “$%^# NO” … “What?” … “YES” … “I’m scared“…

Possibly because there was so much confusion, I didn’t do an immediate people pleasing response of “Yes”.  They gave me the weekend to think it over, but it feels like I’m running on a mouse wheel, going nowhere.  I already struggle to cope with work, so why would I want to increase that stress?  My manager and current team leader say that I am ready for the move… but, am I?  Is someone who needs fairly major doses of sedatives before they can teach, really be able to lead a team?  I’m already showing physical signs of the stress, so would this push me over the edge?

It feels like I’m being pulled in all directions.  It feels like the only way out is through the old coping mechanisms.  To say “Yes” and take the punishment.  Be a good girl, and play the game.

You always have to play the game, no matter what.


I just want to be alone… alone and clean.  I feel so dirty and disgusting.

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18 thoughts on “Solitude within the storm

  1. I’m sorry things are extra difficult right now. I understand somewhat how you feel about the job situation. I was faced with a slightly similar situation. It did not end well for me.

    However, I was not ready for the promotion (which was to a newly created position that was outside my realm of experience), and the promotion came with a new boss -a very abusive boss.

    I know we are always concerned with saying no at work, but sometimes it’s actually the best thing we can do. True, it may lead to difficulty in the future when you are trying to get a promotion. But difficulty getting a promotion later is better than difficulty living now.

    I wasn’t aware of my DID at the time. Of course, if I were in that situation now, I would need to take everyone into consideration. Looking back, I used to hide from my boss in the bathroom!! lol, I’m thinking, perhaps, that wasn’t me, but one of my younger alters!!

    On the other hand, promotions can be exciting and great ways to bring about renewed enthusiasm in your job. You deserve BIG congratulations for receiving the offer! That, in itself, is an awesome accomplishment.

    Do what’s truly in your heart and gut. Fill out the pro and con lists. Make the decision based on your needs and not your employer’s needs. You are allowed to say no, and there is nothing wrong with that decision.

    • Hi releasing lunacy,

      Stepping into any sort of newly created position can be difficult – especially when the outcomes are not detailed in any way. I’m so sorry it didn’t work out for you. Often the knock to your confidence from that sort of thing can be difficult to recover from.

      Sometimes hiding in the bathroom is a very smart move… gives you a break from the chaos at work, and allows you to re-group. So it might have been a young part, or it might have been any part of you realising you needed a break. If your boss was abusive, then the break sounds like it was needed, and deserved.

      Thanks for the congrats 🙂 I did thank the manager at the time, but I was also guarded about it all. It will set me down a path which I’m not sure I want to go down. I tend not to do politics well, but I think I can do it on the team leader level to a passable level. Will see… I’ll odds are change my mind another few times before tomorrow 🙂

      Thanks for you input, and again, sorry about your experience… sounds really rough.

      Take care,

  2. I have to agree with releasing_lunacy. Make the decision which is best for you. You don’t have to take the position if you don’t want it. I understand it can be difficult turning someone down even if it is in everyone’s best interest in the long term.

    Maybe tell them thanks for the offer, but you enjoy where you are and don’t want the added responsibility at this time, or maybe it is something you should talk to your therapist about and come up with a good reason with compromising anyone.

    Take care.

    • Hi Ringonz,

      I’ll talk it over with Allison tomorrow. I was hoping to use the mother as a bit of a sounding board, but I realise that I don’t trust her enough to talk to her like that – or may be we don’t have that sort of relationship. Anyway, although part of me doesn’t like it, I will talk it over with Allison… not to see what she thinks, but to get that whole “thinking out loud” thing happening. I often make my best decisions when I can do that.

      They want an answer by Monday, but I can easily delay that by saying that I’d like to know the full offer – including salary, which they haven’t mentioned yet. However, I think the salary would be generous, considering they’ve had trouble filling the position.

      Thanks and take care,

  3. OH CG, I understand why this Offer make you such a stress and there’s no advice in this point. I think the best is, that you try to make a internal conference and collect the different opinions from all parts. Making a list with pro and contra? and the position as team leader…. besides the extra stress and responsibility.. have you to spend more time at work? Can you handle this permanently?
    Up to my breakdown I was a department manager and the only thing I regret today is, that I’ve sacrificed myself so long for the job and didn’t paying attention to me and my health. After I got problems with my health I was extremely mobbed and this has made everything worse. Work was always very, very important for me but it’s meaningless if you become so ill, that you can no longer work. You get no thanks.
    Take the time for a decision. Maybe you can make an arrangement, that you try it for a “trial period”?

    But please remember, work is not everything in life. That’s what my psy. and my thera told me several times.
    Please, take care and warm safe hugs to all who want them ((((CG))))

    Extra gentle hugs for poor Winnie 😦 My heart goes to her. I’m soooooooo sorry that her health has become worse.

    • Hi LSC,

      My current team leader doesn’t do much more outside of work than what I do, so I don’t think that will be much of an issue. What will be an issue, is the pressure to do more research. That will end up being done in my own time. Someone also suggested that I do my PhD this week, so I could in some ways avoid the research by doing that. But, I don’t think I could cope with a PhD level of work at the moment. I could do an easier qualification though.

      Thanks for your support LSC. I’m so sorry that you were put under so much pressure in the position that you were in. I’m glad you’re getting the help you need now though.

      At times I look at Winnie, and think that her life has no quality, so I need to do something… then she will bound across the room like a kitten, and I breathe a sigh of relief. I think that the Summer heat will be the telling factor. I can’t bear to think of it.

      (((warm safe hugs))) to those who want them,

  4. I’m really sorry things seem overwhelming, too. I also agree with the others – the promotion is flattering, a justified recognition of your skills, congrats! Of course, the extra money that comes with a promotion is always welcome 🙂

    BUT… you should do what YOU want to do. You DON’T have to play the game. I am living proof that you can step away from the game and still be ok on the work front 🙂

    I disagree with Releasing Lunacy on one point – saying no now does NOT have to make a promotion difficult later on. You can always say that you said no because you had some significant things in your life that needed your attention; that those things have settled now, and you can now devote the attention to the promotion that you want to devote. But that’s later. For now, do what you want to do.

    Remember to breathe as all these thoughts and feelings wash over you. Remember that you know how to swim.

    • Hi Kerro,

      Thanks 🙂

      I’m still not sure if I want to take the job, and the confusion around the Rugby World Cup is not helping.

      I can easily say no based on the job title – it infers something that is opposite to where I get my job satisfaction. That is my big worry. I know there would be ways to achieve that satisfaction, but I can easily use that as the reason why I’m saying no. It is well documented within my files as to where I get my job satisfaction, so it wouldn’t come as any sort of surprise to anyone if I turned it down.

      Oh, I’m firmly back in the kiddie pool of life… with my water wings on, trying to not splash the other kiddies 🙂

      Take care,

  5. As soon as I saw that the Rugby World Cup was starting I got sick for you. I know how horrible that time of year is for you and I’m so very sorry.

    I hope that getting to talk about out loud will help you to make a healthy decision for you. Promotions aren’t always good but it’s also good to believe in yourself and feel that you do a good job. That’s hard call and only you can make it. I would just remember that even if you say no, take pleasure in the fact that they believe in your abilities. That’s something to be proud of.

    I was wondering how Winnie is doing?

    • Hi tb,

      It’s ok, I’ll get through this. The opening night was rough, because the All Blacks won, and there were parties around the neighbourhood… so lots of triggers back to the past. There’s a game this Friday night in the town I’m in, so that will be challenging.

      It was a difficult, but worthwhile session with Allison today, so that helped to clarify a few things – and gave some good practice of basic grounding skills 🙂 We had a safety contract for the last week, and we’re doing another one for this week.

      I still haven’t fully decided about the job. Will see what tomorrow brings 🙂

      Winnie is not doing well. Her breathing has started to become laboured, she doesn’t have much energy, and is eating a lot (for her) but is thin. It sounds awful, but I think I’m going to have to take her to the vets soon. I will see how she goes as the weather warms up (which will put more strain on her system). Because we were talking about her, she came up for a cuddle – something she never used to do.

      Thank you for asking…

      Take care,

  6. Just read about the Rugby World Cup 😦 It must be awful for you. I’m so sorry. Safety contracts are really helpful. You’ll make it. I’m sure! and Winnie needs you for cuddling 🙂
    Take care and please be safe

    • Hi LSC,

      I was trying to avoid having a safety contract for the coming weekend, as it felt like a promise that I couldn’t live up to. But Allison has said that we need to try. We were going to try to stay safe anyway, but we worried about putting something in place that would add another layer of stress.

      Yes, Winnie loves cuddles now. She will go to sleep on her bed (which I brought her an electric blanket for), get too warm, so go on the floor for a bit, then jump up on me for a cuddle and to be carried back to her bed. She’s getting old and unwell 😦

      Take care,

  7. Do what’s right for you as to the job situation. It’s better to stick with a job you know you’re competent at, than stress out about taking on more than you know you can handle. If it was a job you were confident you could learn and efficiently perform, it would be a different story.

    No the world doesn’t slow down, and it doesn’t stop, but we can slow ourselves down and carve out planned and tactical retreats. Sounds like you could use one soon.

    • Hi Storm Dweller,

      I’m going to wait to see what the financial offer is going to be before I make any final decisions. I will be able to do the job intellectually, and on a skill level; I’m just worried about the stress aspect. So will see what the full offer is before I make up my mind.

      A retreat does sound rather nice.

      Take care,

  8. This is a great post because it’s paying attention to what you feel, and giving it some value when you don’t usually.

    Ah, the people pleasing “Yes.” I keep forgetting not to do that. But I ALWAYS do these days! Hope you are settled with whatever decision you made.

    • Hi Paul,

      I wish I’d kept on listening, but I didn’t.

      People pleasing is such as easy pattern to fall into. It initially feels so much easier, but it often ignores your own wishes.

      I decided to take the position, but it’s become more complicated. Will see what happens.

      Take care,

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