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Quaddie

PTSD at work (and in life)

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Quaddie

I just realized this morning that I think I have ptsd re: being in workplaces and re: working, as a result of all the heinous crap I've been subjected to.

(This is in addition to my other ptsd things.)

It's not even "just" that I hate it, and that it's totally the wrong type of situation for me....And that it actively prevents me from accomplishing what's important to me, and that it actively causes physical problems.

I don't know why that didn't specifically occur to me after the whole being-terrorized thing, and then what happened at my last (which I don't really want to get into trying to explain)...

AND / BUT - that doesn't mean the discomfort I feel at being *additionally* treated in ways I don't like, even now, is due to just "being triggered" and not real and legit. So if I have ptsd that doesn't negate the legitimacy of the wrong/uncomfortable treatment. 

Rather it continues to **add** to it...continually.

And I don't want to "cope" - because if to really knew and understood how constant and unavoidable this type of situation has been, it'd be understood that escaping is the only best option.

Only I can't figure out how, doing my best, desperately for years to find that answer. But I can only do so much.

It feels inescapable and I'm so unhappy.

If it were a relationship, everyone would understand my not wanting anything to do with one anymore. But this is what a person "has to" do, and I don't have options.

 

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Confused714

I don't know much about what happened or your current job but do you think a job change would help?  A different type of job that isn't anything like you did before? Or maybe a job where you can work from home. I'm sorry that it has been so bad for you. Right now when I am at work I actually feel I can relax even tho I am totally overloaded all the time. I have had a position that was totally horrible for me along time ago and it pushed me off working on that field for a long time. It was all because of how the place was run. Not the actual position. I am not back in that field but it took many many years before I was comfortable with it. I hope you can figure out what is best for you so you don't have to deal with this anymore. 

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whitebutterfly11

(((Quaddie)))

It does make sense to me that you'd have PTSD from your past, horrific work experiences. :(

It is, at its base, some important information that validates how awful your work experiences have been that they inflicted trauma. I wholeheartedly believe that what you went through was the stuff of nightmares. Truly the worst sort of experiences with people who undermined and ganged up on you in ways that are harmful to a soul. And the fact that you've had to endure this all, and that it is still perpetuated in your workplace, really just makes my heart hurt.

I'm also glad you mentioned the fact that having PTSD shouldn't undermine the current experiences we have or dismiss them as simply "triggers". I believe firmly that PTSD recovers in a safe environment, so the fact that there are "triggers" to me means that there is still trauma in the environment. I know this isn't always the case with veterans of war, for example, who come home and get re-traumatized by reliving the traumatic experience in nightmares or when they see or hear certain places/sounds. In cases of ongoing abuse, however, it's more C-PTSD where it's built, layer-upon-layer, experience after experience, trauma after trauma. And that feels like this huge culmination of distress emotionally.

I guess in all that I'm saying that the fact you are noticing PTSD-like symptoms now, to me, is an indication that you are still going through significant pain and distress in your environment. It would only make sense, given the circumstances, to feel that way. If you were in a place where you felt you were treated fairly and where people didn't vomit their toxicity all over you, like you're supposed to absorb it (grrrr), then it would be conducive to healing. 

I believe you in all of it. I believe it's really that bad. And I believe that people in your past workplaces were soulless, horrible human beings to treat you in such a way. :(

I also hear you in that complexity of having to continue to expose yourself to an environment that is painful because it's your career and your income. Not something you can easily walk away from, like we do relationships. It's hard too, when we feel so weatherworn from trauma, to do the normal self-care things that could help us feel better, like use our gifts. To be able to engage in those healing endeavors requires a soul that isn't hurting and a physical body that isn't bogged down by the stress of it all (I am saying from personal experience.) 

This is all stuff you are wise about, though. What I can offer is my deepest empathy and concern over what you are feeling, and a wish to help "share the load" (as Samwise Gangee said to Frodo) in any way that might possibly help.

(((Quaddie)))

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hoping

Quaddie

On ‎9‎/‎25‎/‎2017 at 0:23 PM, Quaddie said:

I just realized this morning that I think I have ptsd re: being in workplaces and re: working, as a result of all the heinous crap I've been subjected to.

(This is in addition to my other ptsd things.)

I think you are right, you have been through so much trauma in the work place. It's so sad that people are so mean and blind to the truth. They choose to believe the lies that they or  others are better if they have a lot of money, fame, or a nice appearance. We are the lucky ones because we can see the truth and build close connections with each other not based on superficial things. I hope soon you find a way to be happier even if it means leaving your job.

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whitebutterfly11

((((Quaddie)))))

:hug008:

I only know a hundredth of what you are going through, so my above thoughts might be way off.

I'm so, so sorry you are going through this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Quaddie

....this is a already a brand-new job that took me about 2 years to find, and I had to escape an impossible situation.

I wasn't altogether happy to be forced to leave, because it had well-suited my unique needs in a number of ways. If anything does...which it doesn't. And I was already "done" with this incredible repeating scenario on so many levels. 

The basis of the issue, its core, is in having to fit into boxes where I should not and cannot. But survival requires it, and I have no other choice, and have not yet found the magical answer no matter how long or desperately I've been trying.

 

I just can't anymore.

 

Another and another and another of the exact same thing presenting slightly differently...isn't the answer.  

 

And even if there were one that didn't start out as that, it still 1. would turn into it, add 2. still isn't the answer for how I need to live.

 

I'm too old for this crap, I've already wasted too much of my life, and I don't even want to have to care anymore about someone else's b.s. workplace. Or trying to "navigate" other people's treatment. I can't deal and I don't want to even have to try, anymore.

I have zero left for it. Not in a way that's temporary or that should"heal."  I'm completely done, yet have no other option, and yes, I am continually, desperately trying to find the answer, but failing.

There is a great deal that I am trying to accomplish, I am only one person, I have challenges enough, I can only do so much, I can't be or do what it takes.

None of the common memes or advice apply. I know the general answer, I just can't find the doable solution - especially on top of all my other life imperatives.

 

I'm in a bad place, however.

 

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whitebutterfly11

It would feel awful. Just awful. I can't imagine. :(

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hoping

So sorry it is happening again. I wish you didn't have to go through this. Lots of hugs....:hug005:

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Quaddie

Sorry not to say thank you for the responses. I'm bad that way. I just ... it's too hard sometimes to even deal with the expression of what's in my head.

It's not getting better. In fact, it's worse, there's a new person who is doubling the issues and there will be a third in a few weeks.

I can't deal.

I don't know what to do.

None of this is the right option no matter where I go.   But this is just so over-the-top.  Nobody would be okay with this. This is making me "miss" the ones in the past who hurt me very badly but were still better to deal with than this situation. Unbelievable.

I have too much on my shoulders.

I just don't have the magical answer.

There is no immediate answer.

 

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whitebutterfly11
On 10/5/2017 at 2:48 PM, Quaddie said:

 

None of this is the right option no matter where I go.   But this is just so over-the-top.  Nobody would be okay with this. This is making me "miss" the ones in the past who hurt me very badly but were still better to deal with than this situation. Unbelievable.

 

 

This made my stomach twist in knots, knowing how bad it was before. :( 

It is so unfair that you are in this situation, I cannot imagine. It would be a nightmare.

Have the new people come in yet? How has it been going so far?

(((Quaddie)))

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Quaddie

One new person is here, and it's even worse.

All I hear about is what I'm (constantly, evidently) doing wrong, or asked did I do, or am I sure, or blah blah blah. Mostly doing wrong.

 

While I'm busting my butt but not doing anything right or well enough or reading minds. 

And then they don't know the right terminology for things that everyone else seems to, so then I don't know what they mean...and if I ask to clarify, they treat me like I'm a totally stupid idiot.

The new one is super young and I think condescending, thinking I'm an idiot who doesn't know something very simple, and just her attitude. (They are all "above me")

I was crying in the bathroom. I'd love to just leave. I've had enough in life.

(No, that's not a possibility)

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Quaddie

....Also, the onboarding has been indescribably horrible and frustrating NO real training - much of it in webinars you're supposed to do by yourself - there's no one to just ask simple questions....my boss doesn't know ANYTHING and tells me I'll have to find out, OR she does know but doesn't tell me and then when I screw up tells me I should have done it differently....   She uses the wrong words for things constantly, or breaks off and switches what she's saying, then expects me to magically have read her mind what she meant...   

And I'm supposed to police her and TELL her, but like "when she needs to back off"  - she knows she micromanages, but this is way more than that. How am I supposed to say she's being a fvcking a$sh4le to me? (Rhetorical') That I'm not a stupid idiot? That SHE mis-speaks? That SHE gave me the wrong info she condemned me twice for using? (I emailed in a pc way that she'd given it to me, then when she brought it up in a meeting, in front of the other person, I reiterated that it was what she had given me. OH - But I would check and make sure that everything was included from now on. ) 

 

I'm expected to be perfect from every facet and angle. And I'm supposed to read her mind at all times. And I'm supposed to think of every possible thing in every direction. All while I still am trying to learn not only about the job itself but about the segment this job is in. Without any real help. And without one single positive word. Oh, she says thank you, but thank you is not positive feedback. 

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Quaddie

I want to walk out so bad right now. Seriously bust my butt and all I get is CRITICISM...eff you, eff you!!!!

 

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whitebutterfly11

The whole thing is so unfair. It's like you're the everything police, absorbing everyone's distorted perceptions, their micromanaging, their judgments, their scatterbrainedness--everything.

I hate that you are the container into which they put all of this responsibility.

It would feel like the weight of the world.

:(

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Quaddie

It's gotten even WORSE since I wrote that....expected to do something extremely visually demanding (which no one ever asks for!!!) and it's very difficult and painful for me, not to mention I don't have the knowledge to make all the decisions expected.  And I clearly was unhappy at being told to do this but of course nobody ever thinks that someone might have physical difficulty and I don't want to have to tell them because normally it's nobody's business and I can't do the "disability" thing because there's no accommodation besides not in this moment expecting this incredibly difficult and painful task...

I've experienced a lot of micromanagers in my life but this is WAYYYYY over the top of anything I've ever seen (for someone who isn't actively trying to get rid of me, that is)

I can't...

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Kanga

Can you set up a meeting with this woman and ask for feedback? Tell her you need some positive feedback because you're feeling overwhelmed and heavily criticised. 

You are still new so of course this sort of meeting needs to happen. There's a bit to sort out and both of you should consider it an aspect of your jobs to talk about it. I would bet a lot of money she has no clue about any of your concerns atm. 

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Quaddie

Actually I am drafting a note to that effect. She knows she can be a jerk (actually she thinks all she does is "micromanage" but this is wayyyyyyyy more than that), and she actually has TOLD me that I should tell her when she needs to "back off." 

Every Friday I'm supposed to write up what I did this week, what I'll work on next week, and what I need from her. She's way too busy to meet with because of prepping for an upcoming thing that has her very frazzled. So I was thinking already last week of putting it on the weekly thing. Maybe I'll do it this week. It's something, however, that other people have criticized me for WRITING (instead of talking) but that's how I communicate these things best. 

(btw, I think the weekly reporting thing is a load of micromanaging hooey, I personally hate "work about the work" like that. Like c'mon...)

Anyway, I get the feeling she doesn't think of me as "new." Like if I didn't know how to do something she questions whether I did the webinar. EVERYTHING is a sort of critique. I've already tried to address that part... like, if I ask a question, don't respond with "Did you look...." or "Did you do the webinar." Please just answer my question, because that's how I learn best. - and I've seen her stop and re-think mid-question on doing it, after I wrote that on one of my thingies.

No time for a meeting right now. But I don't do these meetings well. I've had too much trauma. I can't deal at all.

Basically she knows she's a jerk but expects me to police her, only that's not appropriate and I don't want to have to. But I'm on the verge of walking out. And the new person is picking up the put-downs too, already, right away. Like because if boss doesn't call something by the same term the rest of the world does, so I ask very carefully for her to clarify what she means by that term...  then the other gal jumped in with a very idiotic-assumptive "explanation" (which DUH I KNEW that was what the term was... but it wasn't what the boss was actually talking about).

I'm not making sense, I got no sleep, I'm in a lot of pain and I'm going to have to do more because of some a$$holian task she is making me do that I'd wanted to stay last night and get done so I could get the horrible physical pain over with in one fell swoop - but no, she wouldn't let me stay, so now I have to put myself through it for two days...

I'm not making sense, and I'm in the kind of tired mood where I say crap I shouldn't, so god knows what's going to happen.

But it's unending criticism.... you did this wrong, you're not doing that right, you have to do that some other way... NOTHING POSITIVE AT ALL. not ONE THING. Does she even WANT me there???   AND... &hit I can't deal with, like "You need to be more careful when you...."  <-- (only she didn't use the word "careful," she used some other word which didn't mean the same thing at all) - AND it wasn't because I "wasn't careful" and I really RESENT and get ANGRY and OFFENDED and incredibly traumatically UPSET <due to past trauma> when people say &hit like that -  I'd used a thing she had supplied to me, then she criticized ME and told ME I "need to be more careful" blahblah....   WTF. No. NO.

(I DID respond that it was the one she'd given me, but then I laid out a plan to correct it and blahblah. THEN she brought it up again in a meeting with the OTHER gal, so I responded the same there, too. How DARE she. I mean REALLY.)

I don't think she's manipulative "out to get me" abusive the way that others in my past have been, but she's definitely not okay.

 

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whitebutterfly11

It sounds like her emotional regulation is way off, and she expects other people to kind of read her mind, like they should know exactly how she wants to do things without actually explaining or modeling the behavior.

Which, if she's a boss, she's GOT to have those skills. It's not up to anyone else to mind read, micromanage, or absorb her vomited emotions. 

It seems like part of the qualifications for being a leader in a workplace is to know how to communicate ideas with others clearly. 

It's not unlike the underlying pathology of abusers who get seriously frustrated when you can't just "get" what they are thinking, as if you are an extension of their brain and have ready access to their thoughts or word choice or feelings. 

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Quaddie

Exactly :( thank you

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Quaddie

....And just now, she put something (a form) in a basket in the general region of my desk, and I'm betting she assumes I'll just magically know that she wants me to do something with it, even though she never told me anything about those baskets....   And if I ASK her, she'll look at me like I'm an idiot for not knowing, and would never believe she hadn't told me.

The previous gal was in the position for like 15 years. So I feel like I'm expected to just magically know it all.

And it's an entirely different type - segment - of operation than I've ever worked in, so it's different from normal businesses and I'm having to learn a very different way of operations, lingo, etc. (Besides the wrong terms she uses.)

I'm regretting leaving my old job even though I basically had no choice. 

I can't express how bad I feel.

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Kanga

They wouldn't have hired you if they thought you weren't right for the job. They would prefer to sort it out with you than start over with someone else. They want it to work out with you. They chose you. Sounds like everyone is under a lot of pressure.  Does it ever ease off?

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Quaddie

They always think I'm right at first.  But this is not just pressure. It's her modus operandi.

I've experienced more employment situations than I can count, and this is really over the top. 

An abuser "chooses you," too.  Jobs can be extremely abusive. 

 

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Kanga

Did you get a handover period with the woman who left the job? If not or if it was minimal maybe use that as reason to ask for more training and induction to the company. 

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Quaddie

No, the role was empty for many months, the onboarding and training is ridiculous (and I've already talked about that with the boss who doesn't seem to take any of it personally and lays it all on "the organization") - so she's aware but takes no responsibility that the place is a horrible maze of can't-figure-anything-out but also that her "methods" and constant criticism and lack of anything positive could be problematic at all. We are all at different nationwide locations and so our office only has 3 people as of now - 4 as of Monday. Before I even started, we'd established it would take months to learn, but that doesn't seem to matter. When I started it was just me and the boss. She still expects me to magically be perfect - but not legitimately perfect but rather in some fantasy, IMPOSSIBLE way, because being "perfect" would also involve being able to read her mind, know what she meant rather than what she said - to magically know how to figure out how to interpret and guess that maybe she didn't tell me everything she meant to and ask (which would be too much of an expectation) - and then if I DO ask, treated like I'm an idiot by one or the other...    and in a zillion different ways I can't even begin to describe

I've already had to address one giant degrading issue with my asking questions and receiving very demeaning responses. It kind of helped, but kind of didn't because I can see her process of physically stopping herself, so it's still "there" but just in the background.

This is not about training, however.  This is about people who are horrible jerks to me and the fact that I've had wayyyyyyyyyyyyy more than my share of abuse in workplaces - sometimes incredibly, indescribably devastating, systematic terrorizing efforts involving multiple authority figures. 

Abuse is abuse. Doesn't matter if it's workplace or not. The same things apply. I have not found abusive jerks to be amenable to change - rather, usually if I've tried, it turns back around onto me and then I'm targeted even more.

In relationships we know that it's not about strategizing how to deal with the abuse and that it can't be fixed. In the workplace it's not much different. And I'm sick to death of trying to strategize and cope and blahblahblahblah in workplaces, all for naught as it never works and I still end up being shat-on. The stories I could tell would be incredible - and by that, I mean that people wouldn't actually believe them and would automatically assume that it must somehow be "my fault" and that I'm just "playing the victim" because how could all this incredible, horrible stuff happen to one person repeatedly... and the "common factor is me" so it "must be my fault." But no matter what I've tried, what tactics or strategies or whatever I've done, it doesn't matter. And it's getting worse as I age, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is my appearance which is being "interpreted" as other, derogatory things which are then being applied onto me and I'm being treated as if their projections are true.

Also, can't stand being treated like I'm an effing idiot who doesn't know the basics of, say, software I've been using since before some of them were even born.

I'm way too old for this crap and I've had to deal with way too much of it. NOBODY would be okay with this, and NOBODY would be able to stand this, especially repeatedly and unremittingly and continually for decades. No matter what you do.

I didn't mean to veer off into the whole history thing. That almost always ends up sending a thread askew and then I have to abandon because people just make faulty assumptions that my experiences, my perspectives, my knowledge cannot be accurate and therefore *I* am the effed-up one. I hope I've established by now that I'm reality-based, and that even though my experiences are not "typical" and seem "unbelievable" - just because others haven't experienced this the same way, doesn't mean my life hasn't been like that. And yes, it's horrible. And so obviously workplaces are not the right place for me. But until (and again - yes, I am trying to figure it out) - until I can find and make happen the "magical answer" that will serve my needs without being in a workplace, then I literally have zero choice.

And this kind of thing - right now, here and now, this particular situation - is not even the kind of thing where a person can just lay low and become utterly subservient in order to survive. It can't work, and there's not even a way to do that because everything keeps shifting and changing, the information is never complete, and the onslaught of crazy from every direction  is too constant. I've never experienced a workplace so bad, especially not from the get-go. It's really over-the-top, and there's NO strategy or tactics that will "work" for it.

 

 

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whitebutterfly11

The dichotomy is that the new boss feels entitled to be understood without ever having to explain herself, just magically through osmosis or something, while you are forced to explain yourself and still be misunderstood. :(

 

 

 

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