Appreciation

I got a bit of a surprise today. Every day we have coffee break for our group of engineers and technicians in one of our shops. Once or twice a week I bring in some kind of home-made, from scratch, baked treat that I’ve created, concocted, or experimented with for the guys to try and hopefully enjoy.
This week was Honey-Orange-Lavender Biscotti and Pumpkin Spice cookies with Cranberries and Pecans.
The cookies are what I brought in this morning. I was just like, Happy Friday guys, I made cookies. One of the techs was like “Well we appreciate it; in fact, we have something for you too”.
As a token of their appreciation they got me a greeting card and gift card to Trader Joe’s (awesome organic grocery).  I didn’t actually look at the gift card right away other than to glance at where it was from. I’m still looking at the card and what everyone wrote and signed. Later I looked at the gift card and it was for $100! Holy crap.
I was absolutely floored. And speechless. I didn’t have any clue how to respond other than to say that thank you and they didn’t need to over and over.  Tech Boy later told me they’ve been talking about doing this for a while now. They figured I must spend a ton of money on them with all of the stuff I make (which I guess is true, but I don’t even think about it. I just like that they let me experiment on them haha) and they wanted me to know how much they appreciated it all. He also told me it took them 2 days to figure out what to write in the card. Too cute. Too sweet. I love the guys I work with. They’re absolutely the greatest.
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Unintentional Abandonment. Never even saw it coming.

I am officially on information overload. And trying to stifle the sheer panic I feel. One of my coworkers just told me he is leaving to take a better position in California. I’m devastated. He’s the guy that was really able to pull me out of my shell and is always dragging me off to this and that. He has an incredibly wonderful way of making you feel included and is always interested in everything you have to say. His constant good mood is contagious, and not in an obnoxious way. He’s also one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing (and I’ve know a lot of brilliant people). He has the exceedingly rare quality of being both a genius and incredibly personable. I don’t know about you, but I deal with a lot of genius types and they tend to run the gamut of anti-social, socially clueless, or condescendingly asshole-ish. He’s definitely one of my anchors here who’s helped inspire my confidence and make me feel like I am contributing as an integral part of the team.
He’s leaving.
I’m crushed. And panicking. I’m terrified by the thought of him no longer being here. Somewhere over the past few months without me even realizing it he became something of my anchor here. A steady rock solid source that I could rely on if I came up against something that I hadn’t encountered before. Which is a lot. This is actually not me second guessing my own wealth of knowledge. I changed engineering fields with this job so there’s a vast array of new information, skills, and techniques to take in. I’m learning, growing, and expanding my own abilities at an astounding rate, in large part because of the guidance I’ve received form this guy. He’s definitely my mentor here. He already said that any time I had questions I can call him or e-mail him and he will be happy to help out, but it’s not going to be nearly the same as being able to walk across the hall and sit down and figure things out in a hands on way.
My mind is reeling from the thought of not having his support.
And then I want to kick myself for letting myself rely on him or anyone else at all! Everybody leaves! But I never even saw this coming! Never suspected! Everything seemed so nice and stable and everything was working out so well! Out of nowhere. If I had just stayed more to myself I wouldn’t be so devastated at his departure. At least this doesn’t feel personal to me. I’m not internalizing it as my fault. Of course, it won’t actually happen for 3-4 months so I may just not be processing it fully yet.
In the mean time I’m spending as much time as I can just listening to him. The amount of knowledge he imparts in only 5 minutes of conversation is enormous and my brain feels like it’s ready to burst, but I have to soak it up to prepare myself as best as possible for when he actually goes. For my job and for myself. I’m hoping that the more I can learn and understand, the more confidence I will have so that I will reach a point where I do not feel the loss so deeply.
If I can push myself to learn more, be better, than I won’t need him. ß—- As I write this I’m looking at it and my schematherapy is smacking me in the forehead. See, I do learn.
::sigh:: I’m just so sad. And angry. And lost.
My mind just runs down these paths of destruction creating worst case scenerios where I get fired for not knowing everything that he knew. I feel like I should somehow already know the 20 years of experience he’s had dealing with this specific field and because I don’t I’m in danger. I know this is irrational, I was hired knowing that I’d never done quite this kind of thing before and that it would be a learning experience. The FEELING is still there. That I should know everything already. Where’s my matrix hook up? Jack me in. Upload. Bam. Done. I should know everything. Fuck.  

How do you prepare yourself for something you don’t even see coming? My crazy relationships I can at least mentally prepare for usually. Not this. This was so normal! If even the normal things can change and leave so suddenly, how can I have hope that anyone will ever remain solid and in place?  I know this is life, and things like this happen all the time, but it doesn’t make it any easier to process.

Investing in my mental/emotional… financial future

I’ve noticed that the more emotionally invested in my coworkers I become, the more invested in my work I become. It’s not just a matter of doing a good job because I should do a good job. It’s a matter of I NEED to do a good job to not disappoint CoWorkerA or I NEED to get this done because CoWorkerB is counting on me. I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me that this is what it takes for me to be intensely invested in a job, but still, as I have never had social ties at my places of employment I find this interesting. My personality is so split between home and work I’ve never made human connections at work. I go. I do my job. I leave. Collect paycheck. Now it’s different. I’m really getting to know everyone I work with. I enjoy their company. I’m becoming invested in them as people, not just colleagues so I want to do things for them. Because I like to do things for everyone I’m emotionally invested in. At least here I’m getting paid to do all the things I’m doing for people.
I’m liking the people I work with, and by extension I’m like the work that I’m doing. I’m not sure I find it personally satisfying, but knowing the job I do is of benefit to the people around me is satisfying in its own way. I’m sure there is something screwy with this. I need to think about this more. Just a thought as my very, very hectic and productive day has gone alone. As an added bonus I am becoming hyper efficient and more productive than I’ve probably ever been in my life.
By Haven Posted in work

Lucid Analysis – Trials in Therapy

Yesterday was a nice day in therapy. It’s the little things that make me realize someone knows me. I walked in to therapy and as soon as I sat down Therapist was like “Something happened, did you meet someone?”
I think I actually blushed. I told her about hanging out with Tech Boy. I told her why I think it’s a bad idea, but even as I say the reasons it’s a bad idea I feel myself not caring at all. I kind of don’t care if it’s a really bad f-ing idea. I can say no, no, no I won’t do it all I want. I know perfectly well that I’m incapable of saying no because it might be wiser to do so. In fact, the worse of an idea it is, the more appeal it kind of has to me. How messed up is that?
Therapist doesn’t think it’s a bad idea though. In fact she thinks it’s progress in a healthy direction. I’m taking safe risks. As long as I take it slow and take care not to divulge too much about myself too soon, it should be just fine. Not really an issue. I’m fantastic when it comes to keeping secrets, hiding things about myself, and only letting people see what I want them to see (at least until I get seriously wrapped up in someone, then it all goes to hell, but we’re not there yet).  She was actually more concerned with the potential to overshare information with my co-workers in general. I have something of an alternative lifestyle. A lot of people are not open minded enough to accept the kind of person I am. But seriously, I’m not going to go around shoving my homosexual preferences or my desire to take up stripping again into the faces of people I appreciate having respect from. Some things just aren’t peoples business and a professional environment is a professional environment.
She asked me how Friend felt when I mentioned hanging out with Tech Boy on Saturday. He hasn’t really said anything. In fact, whenever I bring it up our conversations kind of die, or he gives words of discouragement hinting that it would be a bad Idea for me to do this. And my subtle I mean sending me things like this:
Anyways, Therapist thinks that coupled with him being increasingly affectionate with the wife directly in front of me is him being pretty passive-aggressive and trying to make me jealous. And frankly, a jerk. I gotta say, I don’t disagree. It’s seriously making me reconsider spending as much time there as I do. And actually not doing it, not just thinking about not doing it.
We probably spent 50 minutes talking about the social choices I’m making and my submersion in my work. She flat out said she was reluctant to talk about serious things because she didn’t want to bring me down. It was nice to see me smiling for a change. Finally though we did get around to talking about homework.
My homework from last week was to expound further on the sentence: I wonder what I would do if he left.
My response: I wouldn’t know what to do. Almost every morning he’s the first person I talk to. I think I’d stare at my IM list and want to tell him things but then knowing I couldn’t, would be incredibly frustrating. I’d be lonely and feel empty, like something was missing from my life.  Eventually I’d probably shut down towards him, if not right away. I’d throw myself into distractions just to not think about it. Anything to bury the lonely place I  feel when we’re not chatting. I’d always wonder if he ever thought about me. If he missed me too. If he ever had any regrets about how things went or turned out. I’d wonder how much he could have really valued me if he was able to just walk away, or watch me walk away without putting up any  kind of resistance. That would probably hurt the most. Realizing I didn’t mean that much to him at all if he was ok with our lives just drifting apart. I’d feel depressed and worthless. It shouldn’t be so easy to turn away from someone you had such a supposedly strong connection to.
As I was writing it out though I felt pretty mixed feelings. I think I’d feel hollow, but I’m not sure I’d be devastated. In fact, I was pretty f-ing angry at myself. Why should my self-worth be determined by how someone else does or does not treat me? My self-worth should be determined by how I think of myself. It pisses me off that he still has that kind of influence over my emotions.
Then I think, well, that’s how I feel at the moment. Tomorrow the thought could terrify me. But at that moment I was pretty riled up. Anger always makes me feel strong. I bottle and bottle my anger and don’t let people see it, but it’s a powerful emotion.
Right now though, I seem to be moving in a good direction. And in the first stages of my revenge! Ha-ha! As they say: the best revenge is a life well lived. Therapist thinks I’m moving forward in the best way possible. I’m not being manipulative, I’m not trying to make him feel guilty, I’m not trying to stir up problems in their tenuous marriage (which believe me, would be super easy for me to do). No, instead I’m putting myself out there, taking safe risks, and trying to move on. And actually feeling pretty decent about it. Take that.
Egads, I’ve even been enjoying work. It helps that I have a cute face to look forward to, but I’ve also been getting really involved in the projects I’m doing, getting a lot done, being very productive…. It feels good for me to accomplish things. Plus the atmosphere at work is really excellent. We have breaks twice a day where my colleagues and I basically have coffee and hang out. We plan lunchtime BBQs and we’re organizing a wine and cheese night for after work. I’ve never had this kind of socially inclusive work environment before. I’ve never had people at work I considered being social with. It’s a major change for me. A healthy change for me. There are days I really feel like an adult. A competent adult.  
I’m making new connections and that’s a really big deal for me. I have major trust issues. I don’t trust people at all. Especially coming off of something like the emotional rollercoaster I went through with Friend, but I’ve also had a lot of trauma and abusive relationships.
She asked me if I thought Tech Boy was nice or would have issues with me having male friends. I don’t think he would, and frankly, I won’t deal with it again. When I was living with Evil-Ex he didn’t want me to have my own friends. When I moved here I didn’t know a lot of people. The only person I was close to was him. I met one guy at a party and we started having a regular TV night on Tuesdays. One night Evil-Ex stormed over, nearly kicked in his front door, screamed at me in a shaking rage and stormed off. I was desperate to find him after that. He went to the house of a girl’s that wanted to screw him. I got there before she got home though and we ended up going for a walk and talking. He threatened to move out, leave, and tried to convince me that this guy only wanted to take advantage of me. Which I knew wasn’t true, but I stopped hanging out with him anyways because I was in love with Evil-Ex and I would do anything to keep the peace and him from leaving. Then when I finally started making my own female friends, he accused me of fucking them behind his back because I dared to want to make my own friends separate from him. When I would go to hang out with them he would invite girls over that he knew, I knew, he was attracted to. Anytime I wanted to do anything without him it meant I was going behind his back. Anytime I showed independence and that I didn’t need to rely on him, I was humiliating him. Every time I tried to expand my life, I became more and more terrified that I would lose him. He had to come first or my world would dissolve.
Never again. That’s not the first time I’ve had boyfriends try to control who I’ve hung out with, but it’s definitely going to be the last. It’s not ok.
So I open up slowly. Epic-ly slow. But I’m still opening. Baby steps. Even slow progress is progress.
Homework:  is still to finish writing a letter to friend (that I won’t send him) and release all of the things I wish I could say to him. I’ve been subconsciously avoiding this.
Total Random Aside:  I have a black eye. I think it’s funny enough to mention. I gave it to myself. I woke up in the middle of the night, still in that super brain fogged half dream state and got out of bed to walk straight into my nightstand/TV. I managed to hit it hard enough that I totally smashed my face on the TV. I didn’t even realize I’d cut my eyelid and was bleeding until I got back into bed.  I’m totally going to tell people I was orchestrating an epic space battle of good vs. evil.

Oh! and I totally woke up to this in my inbox this morning: Click here for the key to a geek girls heart.

Lucid Analysis: Trials in Therapy – Career Change

I’ve been very bad about posting about therapy. I switched therapy to Thursday. I’ll be honest. I really did not want to go in yesterday. I was very worried about it in fact. I was consumed with RAGE. I wanted to crush and destroy everything around me. I can usually contain it but there was no bottling it up yesterday. I worried that my therapist would reject me and my mood swings like is so stigmatized with BPD. Of course, my fears were unwarranted. If anything, she was even calmer and less scattery than ever.
I was frustrated and angry when I went in. All she said was anger is normal and expressing anger in ways that are not impulsive is healthy. Almost as soon as I sat down my frustration bubbled over into tears because I didn’t know what to do, why I felt this way, or what to do about it. She assured me that by just expressing that I was angry and allowing those emotions to surface was good, especially as I was not engaging in unhealthy impulsive displays like thoughts of suicide, cutting, binging or the like. So cheers to me.
The combination of the massive heat wave and the stress from work, I think, are what really set me off. Fortunately, we talked about my plan. I brought up the fact that I was thinking about going to school again. That I was interested in Clinical Psychology and as a secondary study Art Therapy. She was a little dubious at first since this was the first time she was hearing about it, and she wanted to make sure I wasn’t being impulsive. However we talked about my growing interest. I’ve been doing this blog for almost 8  months now and my interest is still consuming. The comments and feedback I get from people are very encouraging in a way that makes me believe what I’m doing has benefit. I feel fulfillment. Which is something I do not feel with engineering. I work. I produce. I do not feel like I am contributing something worthwhile (though obviously the things I design are beneficial and crucial to the projects I work on). Worthwhile in a deeper sense. I find more satisfaction in almost everything else that I do and I want to bring that to all aspects of my life. We talked about my plan. Currently I’m waiting on my transcripts from my previous University. Then I’ll sit down with an academic advisor and figure out which courses transfer, which I need, and go from there. I will begin part time, probably night courses.  One or two classes at a time to start, to see how it fits and if it’s something that does truly grab me. Financially it is well within my means, especially if I do classes at night and keep my current job.  I have no children, no mortgage, no real obligations to anyone else other than myself. And lets face it, worst case scenario, I start stripping again. J/k. Sorta.
Therapist reassures me that I have a positive, healing energy about me. She believes that some people are good at psychology, but it’s those people that have had true need for it in their personal lives that make the best psychologists because they’ve been there. You have to be mindful not to over identify with patients, but since there has been personal experience and need, it brings a greater depth of understanding. I hope she’s right.
I also talked to my parents about this. They’ve known I haven’t been happy with engineering for a long while now. As soon as I mentioned it my mother was like, “Go. Go now. Go talk to an academic advisor. Sign up for classes. You’ll be amazing.” My father was also very supportive even though he grumbled a bit about believing that I should pursue costume design for a local theater. I found that cute but pretty typical of him.

By the time I left therapy I felt worlds better. I’m sure the Klonopin kicking in helped too. Seriously. I hate this Abilify. As far as I can tell it makes me feel sluggish and body exhausted all the time. I’ve never before felt so useless until I started medication. Therapist agrees that it does not seem like any of the medication I have been on has been helping me. She’s had plenty of patients that are on medication that have occasional ups and downs but are basically steady and happy. They might miss the super highs, but the lows are no longer there. This is not the case with me. I am still fluxuating all over the place and I do not have anything resembling a baseline of happy or okay. I’ll be discussing this with Psychiatrist on Thursday. The only things that have ever helped me at all are the situational benzos my last GP had me on (Klonopin and Xanax). I’m actually a little afraid of benzos and their addictive tendencies so I’m very careful about only using them in the most necessary of situations, but they calm me down, help me sleep, and don’t make me feel like I can’t function.
Honestly I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I won’t be quitting my job, but I have a plan for the future and the means to work towards a more fulfilling life.

Choosing a new direction

Will resume shortly…

Full day of laboratory functions today. Just have a few minutes to get a quick blog in.
Drank late last night. Stayed awake hours past when I should have gone to bed. Tired, little brain foggy. I’ve been so extremely stressed out over the presentation I have to give.  I know last night I broke and just didn’t care anymore.
I feel outside of my own skin now, however not feeling like me is almost useful. Dressed up in some of my nicer work attire, hair pulled back into a bun, glasses, walking around with my laboratory badge and notepad my projected image is on of extreme professional. Dressing the part, looking the part, I feel more the part. It’s all a stage play for me today.
My day:
730a-9a: Analysis and presentation organization
9a-1030a: Vendor Presentation
1030a-12p: Analysis
1p-530p: Colleague Talks and Presentations
4p: My presentation
6p: Mandatory dinner function
8p: Home/fight practice
Long, long and drawn out. 12-hour role play. This will be my day. It would be nice if once I slipped into this persona I actually was this person. No matter how many times I do this, how often I slip in on, it always feels like I’m wearing someone else’s skin; stretched a little too tight.
We’ll resume our regularly scheduled blogging tomorrow.
By Haven Posted in work

Change

I’m contemplating quitting engineering and going into clinical psychology.

Currently all I know is that I detest the work I’m doing. Doing this kind of work has made me nothing but miserable for the past few years. I love school. Psychology fascinates me.

I’m not going to up and quit my job today or anything. I think it would be something good for me to look into though.

Eventually I would probably focus in personality disorders, mood and bipolar spectrum disorders.

Thoughts?
By Haven Posted in work

Lows are low, Highs are high

My moods, have been in major fluxuation. I’ve noticed this pattern before. Often, actually. I’ll slowly slide down. Work myself up with anxiety, with actually sinks me further until one day I have a complete breakdown, massive anxiety attack, or temporary distortion of my reality. Bottom out. Utterly. Then the next day I’m up in a way that I haven’t felt like in ages. My mood is more optimistic, my energy is ramped up, the sun is brighter, the sky bluer… and I can ride this for a few days.
I was ready to give up my life and lifestyle, everything I’ve worked towards… two nights ago. Today I’m renewed. I’m tackling problems and projects one thing at a time. I have plans for what I can do to get the information I need. Plans to further my knowledge and increase my proficiency. I feel like I have the ability to get the work done that I need to do.  I might not know everything yet, but I have the capability to get it. And I will. It’ll just take some time. Time, time, who’s got the time? I need more of it, but not in a projected sense. More of it right on top of the time I already have now. Overlapping experience.  Time on top of time on top of I want to do so much more at once than one limited body is capable of.
With just the barest twinges of anxiety lurking around the edges of my consciousness.
Everything feels hyper focused too. The sun is brighter. Peoples voices are more focused. My thoughts are racing a little faster. It feels like information, ideas, to-dos, are bouncing off each other inside my mind vying for priority.
Everything is starting to feel a little rushed too. I have so much I want to do, that I have to spread it out over time in order to accomplish it… is an angle of anxiety. Like things can’t be collected fast enough. I can see exactly how all these things will fall together, I know what I need to do to get them, if only I could rush faster, push harder, I could have all of them already and then things would slip to place. That time seems so far away, like I can almost touch it with my fingertips but then I have to reach for something in a different direction. I just can’t get there fast enough because I know there are so many steps I have to take first and those first steps don’t flow fast enough.  Fast enough. I want things to move faster. Faster. That they don’t makes me anxious. But not debilitating anxious, motivating anxious.
I want another one of me. With a connected consciousness so that my other body and this body can both collect more information and coalesce the results inside one mind. That would be optimal. Much more efficient. Having only one body, being able to only do one thing at a time is frustrating. Frustrating. I want to be there already. Yesterday, actually.  
I feel slightly like I’m floating to project myself in so many directions.
But, upwards! Haha, and that’s better than downwards any day.
There’s just so much I want to do! I’m motivated and productive at work. Things that pull my attention away are actually disconcerting because there’s so much I want to accomplish and figure out. I want to be home; reading, writing, painting. Did I mention I started painting? I’ve never done it before in my life so last Friday I went to the craft store and bought a set of acrylics and brushes. It’s fun and freeing, playing with color and texture. There’s just so much to do at any given time. So much, so much.
It’s so lovely out as well.
This is actually something I worry about being on mood stabilizers. They stabilize from the bottom up so you don’t feel so depressed, but they also stability from the top down, dampening the good. I don’t have so much good that I want to squash that side of it. Especially since I’m starting to see someone new. I want to feel the highs that could come of it. Seem to be coming of it. I don’t want my moods to be mottled by medicine when I see an ok place.  I want to be receptive to all the good! I want to throw myself in and ride the wave of newness and excitement. I want, I want.
Lots to want. Lots to do. Lots to hope for.  

Shadow of my Self

Losing control of my mask.

It was a weekend. A long, long weekend. I’m including Monday in this too, even though I was technically working. I took a day trip to Chicago for my job. Up at 4:30a.m. to fly out, back by midnight flying back.

Friday I hung out with Friend. I don’t know why I was there. Usually I feel some connection. I was alone in that room. Watching movies, geeking out, I couldn’t contribute. He kept talking, I wish he wouldn’t, I couldn’t think. I had nothing to say. I found myself mindlessly agreeing with him. About nothing particularly important, but I no longer had anything to say to him. He doesn’t even feel familiar to me.
No one does. Monday, waiting for my plane I texted all the friends I should feel close to. Nothing. Empty. Hollow tubes connecting where solid ties should exist. I don’t know what to do.
Saturday I knew it would be a bad day. As soon as I got home from Friends the night before I knew I was alone. Utterly. I slept as much as I could. Forcing my sleeping drugs down my throat to not feel. Saved by an unlikely source, my tattoo artist called me and I hung out at the shop going over his design. It’s not right, not yet. I’m obsessing over it. Figuring out how to make it more my own. I’ll sit down with him again this week, but I need to do it before Saturday when I’m having it done. I’m dreaming about it, how it can go wrong. How I’ll settle to not upset him since he put so much work into it already. But this needs to be about me, not just his talent. I will live with this and I can’t let someone else   I can’t. I have to remember this. Too often I let others have too much leeway. This is one area I cannot compromise. I’ll take this for me, because it is for me.
Sunday, I hung out with another guy I’m becoming friends with. I don’t know how to discourage him from liking me in a way that is more than I can offer, more than I care to offer. I don’t want to lead him on. I’m suspicious this is the only reason he’s around. I’m unable to not question his motives. I don’t know if I’m paranoid or perceptive. Got home that night and I finally gave in. Alone in my apartment I drank, ate, binged, purged. The last thought before going to bed should not be, this is how bulimia is supposed to be.
Monday I took a day trip to Chicago for my job. Up at 4:30a.m. to fly out, back by midnight flying back.  Me and a colleague, networking with others in my industry.
I couldn’t maintain my mask. People talk about masks occasionally. That image you present to the outside world to cover up what hides inside. The shroud thrown over your true Self to blend in with the crowd. Masking the madness within. It didn’t crumble completely. The weight of being someone I’m not for so long at one time, for someone that knows nothing of me other than the professionalism I present. There was no walking away. No slipping out to slough off the pressure pulling me down.
I work alone, occasionally mingling with coworkers. I can take a break when I need to drop the façade with no one monitoring me. During the day, meeting other professionals in my field, I held up. I held up for a long time. Too long. Usually I can walk away, take some time to release the pressure building up from crushing down my core. No opportunity this day. Not even a minute for me.

 

Walking the Ring I felt myself floating away. My mind reeling in that depersonalized spiral. My surroundings surreal. Watching the wall of electronics and machinery I floated two feet to my right. Hovering heady and light. I felt too tall; disembodied.  I’ve become so used to my dissociated emotions, but I have generally felt grounded. My body my own. Not this time.
Next, visiting a manufacturer, touring the machine shop my vision blurred. I viewed everything through a foggy lens that wouldn’t rub from my glasses. I love machine shops, the noise, the smell, the rush of productivity… too much, too much for me that day. I couldn’t focus my thoughts; I couldn’t tune my attention to what was being told to me.  I relied too much on my colleague to keep up the conversation. Interjecting only when I knew I needed to.
By the time we got back to the airport I could no longer project the professionalism. Not an emotional crumble, but too personal. Talk of school, spending my time alone, geekery, movies, forgetting to watch my pronouns, I felt like I was lying when I mentioned past boyfriends knowing that this was not my preference; knowing I did this only to redirect attention from a part of me I’ve embraced. I’m not used to repressing parts of me that I am believe in. Hiding in a closet has never been my way; however I never spend time socially with colleagues making it easy for me to never mention it. Professional is not personal, and my personal has no place in my professional. My identities don’t bleed together. There is no seamless transition. There is one, or there is the other. I tried to toe this line, but even talking about subjects that were safer I felt myself hunching over my beer, staring into the amber liquid looking for a way out. I played to my exhaustion, and his. It’s all I could think to do.
Coming into work this morning I feel well rested. I feel utterly out of place. This is not my environment. It’s wrong. Clothes that don’t fit, an office that is not me, air I can’t breathe. I no longer have a choice. I picked my path and now I have to see it through, but something broke. I don’t know how to pick up the pieces; glue them back together. The cracks in my armor are apparent to me and everyone will see that my façade is a fraud. I’m sure of it. I’m living someone else’s life.

Social Adaptation: Conceptions of Borderline Personality Disorder – Part 5


Skipping around a bit. I may not do all the conceptions as presented by John G. Gunderson. Embarrassing impulsive behavior and abandonment issues are pretty done to death here and I just don’t feel like doing it again.

– Poor social adaptation: in a way, borderlines tend not to know or understand the rules regarding performance in job and academic settings.
Hm. I think often times this is a problem with boundaries. Someone with a Borderline Personality Disorder doesn’t understand the proper boundaries for different environments. So ruled by their emotions they neglect to notice that those around them do not respond in the same way. The instinctive nature to act out, not hold in, is not appropriate for a place external to their personal sphere. What is going on inside does not trump what needs to be done outside.  In the work place, you’re there for the customer, to produce a product that is unrelated to your own life.  Being so often emotionally overwhelmed it overshadows the ability to perform for someone else.
I tend towards the extreme opposite. My identity slips from one to another to completely immerse myself into different environments. I’d like to say this is a tribute to my more High Functioning tendencies, but I can’t. I don’t utterly disrupt the setting, instead I lose myself.  At work, I have almost no personality. I feel awkward and out of place because I have no solid sense of self. If I act the way I normally would, I would, be causing a scene. I would disrupt the professionalism of the environment. Also, being in an almost completely older, male dominated environment I don’t even maintain a steady adaptation of the shadow I do create. When I’m out on the floor, in meetings, talking to shop workers or other engineers, I’m harder, more forceful, business bitch efficient.  But in less formal venues, sitting around my office, training sessions… I always keep a notebook and a book with me. I generally try to hide inside myself, not make eye contact, try to look busy. When I don’t, inevitably, people talk to me. I have very little patience for random people. Especially random boys trying to dazzle me with their less than witty repartee. It’s a physical effort to keep the catty sarcastic bitch reigned in. To not yawn in their face and show my boredom. I fail utterly at social etiquette. Those niceties that make people comfortable around you. Want to be around you. I can ride on my looks a bit here. It’s a double edged sword though. And I have this annoying tendency to smile, which I’m told is rather pleasant. Especially when I talk to new people. I need to learn to smile less when I talk to new people. I feel it gives the wrong impression. That I am less prickly than I really am and invites people to drop in on me rather more often than I would normally encourage. I can’t seem to manage to NOT smile though. It’s like a nervous tick, with more teeth. I don’t want to be unprofessional and stone cold = bitch, don’t want to be too soft and friendly = people won’t leave me alone at all and I have to constantly fend off silly boys bothering me. If I’m too nice I’m girly and it undermines my intelligence. No, this is not a distorted perception. In my field this has been a big problem. If I throw all my education to the fore I’m a snob and people don’t want to deal with me. I have absolutely no balance here. No idea how to fit in. To blend. No matter what I do I feel like I stick out.
My thoughts are disjointed on this subject and I may have missed the point. Mostly I want the day to end so I can go to the gym, draw, write, read, go do something relaxing and more engaging. Dealing with people, trying to maintain an image of myself that I don’t belong in, is exhausting. Wrapping myself in someone else’s skin. It makes my face hurt.