The meltdown on Wednesday followed a predictable pattern. It’s simple – I was already tired and experiencing anxiety and then I almost got into an accident in an unfamiliar city. When I arrived at work, I faced a mountain of things that I brought on myself (to prove my worth to the office who had been nice enough to choose me for this detail) and then the computer started to malfunction. Then the co-worker whose constant snacking I could tolerate (loud chewing), suddenly I could no longer bear in the slightest.
But the main thing is that I lost control – I lost the ability to control my emotions. OK, partially – there were moments I could pull it together, but overall, my mind was somewhere else: somewhere dark and desperate.
I was invited to take the next day off which I did. I returned yesterday wondering if I could ever overcome the stigma. I didn’t know who talked to who, what conclusions they had drawn, how I would be looked at for the next 90 days this detail runs. I felt humiliated. I had blown it again.
So now I know: no matter where I go, there ‘I’ am. Nothing will change. I look forward to going back to Pittsburgh and resuming the rest of my life and certainly my work ‘career’ feeling the dread of knowing that these demons will never leave me. The farther away from one incident, the closer I’ll be to the next (like California earthquakes).
I’m 56 and never felt like a real adult. I’ll always be the alienated 12-year-old looking for a clue how to grow up. I mean, it’s too late now and perhaps ‘growing up’ is overrated.
I’ve worked in Pittsburgh for almost nine years. I have been through every possible cycle of acting out and melting down I can think of. I managed to keep my job but at a great cost. I will never be the person I was in 2010. I must live with that. I must live with this. So, it’s the devil I know and there’s enough familiar places to run for comfort when things get too bad. There’s a hotel room here. That’s it. I would rather work with people I already have a history with than work with people that I might land up creating an even worse history with – and having to go through the rigamarole of moving. I don’t have the energy for that.
The scariest thing is that I don’t realize when I’m falling into these states. Sure, all the symptoms were there, caused by all the triggers. But when you’re ‘in the moment’ your brain isn’t working to the point where you can just say – time to go home. In fact, my supervisor said it might be best if I went home – she wasn’t angry but concerned. But I get stubborn when these things happen and dig in my heels and insist on fighting through – even though it’s akin to fighting to get out of a pool of molasses. You can fight, but it can make things worse.
I don’t like walking away. It makes me feel weak.
This . . . thing makes me feel weak and worthless. I constantly fear what people think and constantly fear the next episode that I won’t be able to pull myself out of. I know I’ve mentioned this before. I guess perhaps, I thought I had one last chance to start fresh with people who didn’t know my history.
But the devil will follow me everywhere I go. So, I might as well go home.