So another day frozen to my desk not sure of what to do. My boss is back – she was sick yesterday and simply didn’t tell anyone. One of my co-workers emailed her in the morning and that’s the only other person that knew. Common courtesy is an unknown concept among management here. God forbid one of us would take a sick day without calling or emailing! But then, we don’t walk among the gods. . .
So her door has been mostly closed anyway. I have given her the work, it is her responsibility to give me back the approval of the plans I drew. But she’s already jumped the gun on one of my plans and instructed two of my co-workers to start executing products without telling me. She rescheduled our 1-on-1 for tomorrow so I guess I will be able to go over everything then – after a handful of Ativan. In the meantime, I avoid and nervously check my email.
I hate myself. I should go in and insist on being treated with consideration – my work should be as valued as anyone’s. But I can’t trust my temperament. I doubt I would start yelling at her. Most likely I would do what I normally do – broken voice, stammer, stutter, stare at the ground – and hate myself some more.
Because I know: one outburst and under the new Trump rules for VA, they could move right to fire me. It would take about two weeks and in the meantime, I would be put on admin leave and sit at home running the calculus of ever getting another living wage job again, suing them, or tying a particular knot for a necktie since that would leave the family with enough money to not have to worry.
These new rules on firing employees were supposedly to get rid of bad managers. We all knew that was bullshit. Instead they are being used to fire rank and file employees.
THIS. THIS is why I am the way I am and there is no way out that I can see. I met with my shrink yesterday and I got a cheat sheet of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) strategies to concentrate on. Should I make a laminated card and take it out whenever I even think I might be in a stressful interpersonal meeting at work?
The problem is I DO think of these things and try to anticipate. But it just happens before I know it – 10 second, 30 second, 60 seconds, words fly out of my mouth and I’m disassociating – watching it happen. And then it’s over and the ‘my God, what have I done’ sets in immediately and I hope my apologies will suffice.
The genuine fear is that someday the perfect storm will happen again and I’ll be triggered at the wrong place at the wrong time and then all the horrible things that happened to me two years ago will happen again and I just won’t be able to take it. That will be the end.
I picture coming home and having to tell my wife and having that be the end of everything. I will not be a Wal-Mart greeter. She knows that. Because of age discrimination in America and the fact of my mental condition, I’m not sure I would be able to secure and keep employment. Working in retail would kill me because of the constant customer contact – I can’t do that. Trust me on that – I can’t. We will lose the house. We will lose everything. I could not bear that.
THAT is the pressure I carry every single day – where one little outburst could end my world. It’s like trying to defuse a bomb every day. One day, you’re luck runs out. With BPD outbursts, it’s like earthquakes in California – the farther you are away from one, the closer you are to the next.
I told my shrink yesterday with carrying that kind of pressure and the anxiety and hyper-vigilance that go with it every day, that I was frankly amazed that I have not had a stroke or heart attack yet. In theory, it would be OK. Either death or time recovering in a hospital would be an excuse to be away from work.
I live as a man walking across a chasm on a very thin wire. And, like America, there is no safety net.