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Thread: I feel like I'm going insane

  1. #1
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    I feel like I'm going insane

    Sorry in advance if this is long. But i feel like there is so much history to understand how i am where i am now. I have no idea how to fix myself and i feel like at any moment i'm going to snap.

    I am a survivor of emotional abuse from my parents. I lived at home for 23 years and was told i was failure, I was useless, I was stupid, I was fat. I was given impossible tasks to complete, or would complete tasks only to have them ruined and be forced to do them again (There would be days i would clean the kitchen 2 or 3 times because in the 15 minutes since i finished my mom would come in, destroy it, and then i would have to clean it again and be "grounded" for weeks) From this, I take thins very personally and view a lot of what is "Normal" as a personal attack and personal insult.

    I don't know how to undo this.

    It is affecting my life with my husband (who is amazing and very loving and supportive) and work (but in all fairness, my job is toxic and I'll get to that)

    I work an office job as a contract administrator (sounds way more impressive than it really is) but i work with a ton of men who like to ignore me or remind that i am a dumb woman. I am always getting more and more work to do (more than the other ladies in the office. Winter we usually sit and find things to do we are so dead, but this past season i was singled out and given more tasks to do than anyone in the office.)

    If i try to pass work off, i am screamed at because that is not what i am paid for. At the same time, i am CONSTANTLY called up to the owner's office to help him with technology problems. I am not tech savvy in the slightest (i am 26 and can't even work snap chat and barely understand Instagram, let alone Excel or the programs they run) If i don't know something i am yelled at for not knowing. However i know a good deal about Power Point (thank you high school presentations) so i guess that makes me a computer expert. despite having another girl who is actually a computer expert. she is never called for problems. only me. I am yelled at almost daily for not knowing something. When i point out things that aren't working, i am ignored and told to go away, but once these problems start affecting my boss's work, I am screamed at for not telling him, and for trying to trouble shoot on my own to make my job function.

    I am yelled at by my boss for things that are 100% out of my control. For example, I have to book hotel rooms for our construction guys. Not only is this time consuming, but it is extremely tedious because the guys don't understand why i cant get rooms for 20 dollars a night at places that also serve free breakfast. These are also the same guys that ignore cancellation policies, so we get charged for unused rooms. Well I am the one who gets the confirmations and cancellations and has the displeasure of giving them to my boss. Once the guys check in, I have no control over what is used and what is cancelled. But, because i am the messenger, I am the one who gets screamed at. Yes. Screamed. the management likes to solve problems by screaming at their employees. Instead of yelling at the guys in the field who i make sure to tell the cancellation policy to and they blatantly ignore, i am the one who gets yelled at and gets to "fix" any problems.

    The project managers, although some of them are really nice, are so difficult to work with. I feel like i am constantly put down with snide comments or the reminder that i am wrong. today i was in the middle of something else and one of them comes to my desk to ask for something. I say give me a minute, let me finishing what i'm working on. I print my document and he says "Um. I only need the first page, but ok." to which i reply "Well, this is for another project." i go to set it in my pile of other paperwork for said project and he grabs it from me, looks at it and goes "This isn't what i wanted. This is the wrong project." He is also the same person who every time i need to write something up for him explains to me how to do my job. I have been doing this for 2 years. I had one of the guys yesterday ask "Who writes the subcontracts?" again. I have been doing this for 2 years.

    My out is i am quitting in 73 work days (who's counting?) to go back to school full time for Dental Hygiene. I was accepted early into my program, which makes me feel really proud of myself because it is a very small and selective program, and i not only got in, but i got in 2 months before acceptance letters went out.

    The funny thing is i feel like despite that accomplishment, i am told through my perverted view of social interactions and subtle and not so subtle reminders (answering phones i have actually had men tell me they need to speak to a man because i am not educated enough to make decisions) that i am just a stupid woman and what i do in life does not matter because it's always wrong. I am always wrong.

    I have started to binge eat food and have gained 30+ pounds since working in the office from solving my problems with food. I am so stressed out at work and panic when i go in. I don't sleep (i have problems falling asleep and staying asleep. I have nightmares every night) my hair is falling out, my nails are breaking. I am sweating through my deodorant. I apply a clinical strength before bed, and in the morning, and apply a normal one up to 3 more times a day.

    I know i have an out, and i am quitting a week early to have a week to myself to "recover mentally" before school starts. but i feel like i am losing my mind. I hate myself. I am so bitter. I am so nasty. I don't even remember what i like to do because i spend so much time being told i am nothing. I feel like i am back in my parents house, where i have unrealistic standards to live up to and i am drowning in failure.

    It is affecting my relationships. I interpret everything in the most backwards ways...i just want to be normal. I want to tolerate my job. i want to love my friends and not think they all secretly hate me when i make a joke and noone laughs. I keep everyone pushed away because i don't want to be needy and i don't want them to see how ugly and screwed up my head is. I am pushing my husband away because i feel ugly and feel like i trapped him in a marriage with someone who is so mentally ill he would run if he knew how screwed up my thoughts were.

    I am also seeing a therapist. I have seen her since i was 16 in high school, and she was there when a lot of the abuse was at its worst. I started going back to her about 8 months ago when i realized i was putting myself down a lot and trying for unrealistic standards. I was doing pretty good, but as work got harder and more stressful, i feel like a lot of the progress i have made has been undone and some. i am trying to get this across but i feel like at this point, a lot of the trouble i complain about are brushed off and i feel a lot of the time i am complaining about first world basic white girl problems...which makes me feel even dumber for complaining. some guys said some mean things to me at my job oh boo hooo....but to me...its soul crushing.

    I have gotten to a point where i teeter between wanting to throw up food so i have some type of control (since i have no control over anything else, including how and what i eat) and just ending it. I dont because i think if i end it now, i will never get to school. I will never have a family. I will never get to see the world with my husband. i also know his is just temporary...but none the less i feel like i am trapped, and suffocating and like i am so alone.

    I just want to be normal.

    Edit: I would also say this is a request for help on how to undo years of abuse, and also for attention. I definitely think i was so deprived of attention of any kind that i crave the attention. it's sick and stupid and i hate it.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by samloverzpie
    I just want to be normal.

    Edit: I would also say this is a request for help on how to undo years of abuse, and also for attention. I definitely think i was so deprived of attention of any kind that i crave the attention. it's sick and stupid and i hate it.
    Normal is a setting on the dryer not an outcome to achieve as a human being. And there is no way to undo years of abuse.... people who overcome it learn to live with it and overcome the various challenges around it by taking back their power and taking control of their lives.

    You have been giving your power away to food, to people at work, to your parents... it's no wonder you feel so out of control and trapped right now. And it's good that you are here venting vs. letting all of this sit and percolate in your brain without talking about it.

    One of the things that comes to mind with your post is that you seem to be complaining without taking any action to change anything about your life. You are allowing your emotions and feelings to control you instead of the other way around. It seems like you chose to work in an environment that triggers feelings about your abusive past... I suspect no one forced you to take the job with them or to stay as long as you did.... by doing this you continue to declare to yourself that you are not worthy of anything better, that you deserve to be treated the way you are being treated, instead of believing in yourself and taking steps towards making healthier choices.

    Taking action can be super scary and hard. And it can seem like it won't make a difference at first. But it is absolutely necessary to start the healing process. Going back to therapy is a great start although if you are stuck in this kind of spiral of negativity I question whether she is still working for you... maybe it's time to find someone new.

    Another positive step is that you are eventually moving on from that position... I have to ask though, why on earth can't your husband support you for the couple of months until you start your course?? It's not like it would be a year away. If you have the option, get away from that toxic environment.

    Focus on what you are doing WELL, not what you are doing wrong. Look into other options to help you overcome your PTSD and that will help you change the narrative in your head. And practice making little decisions every day that are good for you and positive that will start to lift you out of this funk.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Well, at least you're honest about it. Look, an unhealthy workplace would drive most off the deep end. That's why skilled leaders are hard to come by and people who have an ability to manage others or motivate and encourage others are wanted in well-ranked/established companies with very good morale. I think your industry is a bit suspect. From what I'm learning you haven't established in the two years you've been at the company what your role is with your supervisor. If your role is contract administrator and this is what a contract administrator does, then you're either going to have be so good at it (much better than you are now) or you'll have to leave. At this time it doesn't sound like the people issuing your paycheque are very impressed with your work. This is a hard pill to swallow. You may also be making mistakes in your work because of the unhealthy environment and shaken to your core, completely demoralized and anxious about performing so much so that it actually affects your performance overall.

    I had the unfortunate task of working in an architectural firm many many years ago when I was still in uni, part time in an office to pay the bills, and it was very much a gentleman's club and a blurring of responsibilities and expectations (just as you were, I was also asked to complete tasks that were out of my skill level and not part of the job description/specifically IT related). There was considerable talk downs and put downs and verbal abuse and an overall bad vibe. Needless to say I didn't last long but I didn't let it stop me and went on to do other things. What really happened was one day, I got so fed up with the verbal abuse, I literally checked to see where I'd parked my car outside the window, I neatly put everything together and closed up my work station, returned everything to its place, closed items on the calendar and walked right out without telling a soul. I sat in my car, put my things on the passenger seat and drove away. The reason why I did what I did is because I knew no amount of communication on my end would have changed anything. The employee/company culture was out of my hands. Jobs came anyway after that. I ran into one of the architects at the beach later that year and his jaw dropped and he said that they told everyone I was so ill and on sick leave. All the employees actually believed I would come back. They lied to their employees about my position to keep the peace which I understood. I just laughed and told him I was gone for good. I wished them well. He said he was leaving soon too as it was not a good place. I just kept my eye on the ball and what I wanted to do. You should keep your eye on the ball too and think of your long term goals with dental hygiene. This is just a means to an end. I'm not encouraging you to walk out on your job but I am letting you know that you need to know your limits and what you're capable of and what other positions are available to you after your accumulated experience of two years here at this office. There is no reason for you to stay here. I'd suggest you speak to a hiring agency since you already have two years. See what they come up with on their end and let them work for you.

    I'm not an expert with psychological issues but I know enough about people to know that bad environments do enough damage overall and can affect a person's psyche and self-worth. Do you still intend to work at this office while doing your courses in dental hygiene or are you taking time off from work (quitting this position)? Is this a part time or full time program?

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    I am so sorry for your work experience. :( I'm glad you were able to get out. How did you handle the place until you walked out?

    For right now, my husband is so amazing, but because we need all the money we can save up for school, I am basically stuck working until school starts in August. Although I'm quitting the week before to have a mental health recover week. I think I could use more time lol but it is what it is. My program is full time, so I definitely won't be continuing where I am now. I have 72 work days at this point left? I have a calendar marked with how many days are left and when I can put in my 2 weeks. A suggestion from my therapist to help with anxiety but....it doesn't really do a whole lot.

    It does make me wonder though....every job I've had I have ended up hating because I feel like people are purposely out to put me down or make me feel miserable (and I feel like some moments are justified, like when I put in for time off for my wedding a year in advance as a dog groomer and still had to work it anyways) but at the same time I really struggle with are people being mean on purpose to me or is this normal and I'm just interpreting it way wrong. (Like me telling my current boss good morning and him saying good afternoon, so glad you could join us this afternoon on a day I was running late. And. I had stayed late the night before and skipped my lunch to get work done.)

    I am actually really afraid that when I start school, I will love what I'm doing, spend all this money to get my degree to get a much better job to find the same problems...hating my work place because I can't interpret social cues correctly.

    I also think of how I am now...and eventually my husband and I plan on having kids in a few years. I think of myself now And could never properly take care of a child. It is terrifying to think of having to care for and raise another human being when I can't even care for myself or my husband or my friends. I feel like I have no idea how to be a good social person....which is ironic because I am very bubbly and can entertain a conversation with people. Granted at the same time I freak out internally because I always wonder am I saying the right things? Am I too selfish? Did that come out right? Are they getting bored with me? That PROBABLY was really really stupid.

    And because I am in such a bad place....I feel really selfish to reach out to my friends or husband....they have their own problems and their own lives....I feel so guilty making it the me show all the time...but at the same time love the attention.

    I have been thinking about keeping a journal of these thoughts and just handing it to my therapist for my next session. I'm too polite to say anything in therapy...

    I have also thought about looking into emotional abuse support groups. But I guess I'll see where the road takes me.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Get a check up from your doctor. Rule out metabolic, neurochemical and other medically treatable factors. Also consider getting a referral to a different therapist if you think nothing sticks and you are still going in the same circle so many years later. Do you think this therapy/therapist is keeping you in victim mentality mode and not helping you move forward to healthier thinking, attitudes and behaviors? There is only so long you can live in the past, including the same therapist since you were a teen.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    samloverzpie:
    Regarding your question about handling the place before I walked out, I just watched people and did my job. There were one or two who were just incorrigible and extremely difficult to work with (prone to anger and blaming others for their own mistakes) and another who was easily angered by blurring of lines or any work relationships between creatives and administrative staff. I was on the accounting side of admin and was lectured never to speak to the creatives in my first month as it would cause something along the lines of anarchy or some sort of melodramatic chaos in her mind. I really had full respect for the creatives (architects) but they seemed to be treated like a subclass of human beings and I felt sorry for them. They made the work place fun and they came up to me to chat and talk.

    I don't mean to insult you but I think that your jobs prior to dental hygiene seem like they didn't require further education or licensing (lower level jobs). There is nothing wrong with that but there is a different crowd. You also can't control others. You can just make smarter decisions about companies you're interviewing with or clinics you're applying for positions for later on. Do you research and look into those clinics. Talk to your school staff and program advisors and be engaged in class and also during any internships. I don't think you should worry too much regarding your new chosen career path. In the end you should be the one to decide how far you want to take your career. After this course and after working in the field for awhile you might want to take an extra night course here and there to upgrade and you may be required to take courses to stay updated annually. I know I wouldn't let anyone off the street dig around in my mouth. Not assuming anyone would want to anyway (average layperson would think it's odd but I bet you wouldn't because you're going to be a respected licensed professional). Don't be afraid to be proud of yourself like you said you have been for getting in with your early acceptance. Stay humble and keep being open to learning whether it's new ways to work in the office administratively or whether it's upgrading your skills and keeping on top of technology and staying tuned with what's going on in the dental industry.
    Last edited by Rose Mosse; 04-26-2019 at 12:09 PM.

  8. #7
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    Im going through the the exact same thing you're going through! I don't come from an abusive household but being in an abusive relationship for 5 years with someone who makes me feel unworthy really damaged my self worth and self esteem too. What really helps me is to watch videos on YouTube about how to feel better about yourself and alot of Abraham Hicks she's amazing. I also try to accept who I am and where I am today without being so hard on myself and just tell yourself that all you want is to feel the good and stop resisting your feelings and thoughts, just believe that you're better and you're an amazing person and you will feel great!Just remember everybody feels this way we're all the same! I was doing exactly what you were doing too, my boss would say good afternoon when I was late too but instead of feeling bad about it I would just try to laugh about it and tell myself that it was just a comment. The more you believe that you're awesome and normal the more you will feel it! The brain doesn't know the difference between if your thinking about something or if it's real! Things always get better! Keep your head up! 😁😍👍


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