My Forum Comments
Omg…reading this, I feel like I could be your psychological twin!! I suffered debilitating emotional trauma from my workplace of 20+ years, and possible PTSD from the gaslighting, head games (almost like they were trying to drive me insane on purpose), every project I was assigned was often scrutinized in some irrational way, when I would volunteer to take on certain projects I would be instantly declined, constantly told that I don’t offer suggestions, but when I did, I was quickly shut down with “No, we’re not doing that”. One day, the President of our company took it as far to scream at me at the top of his lungs because he didn’t like the way I responded to an e-mail that he was on, because no one else in my department was responding to it, so rather than blow it off, I simply replied, ok, I’m sure we can get together as a group and discuss your thoughts…rather than look as if the person that sent the e-mail was some sort of hero and kiss his ass publicly (mind you, this discussion had already taken place in a phone conversation with the person who sent the e-mail, and I had advised him then to schedule a meeting on the calendar so we could all get together and discuss-and shared my agreement with what was said literally 2 minutes before he sent the e-mail). To me it was a blatant ass-kissing move on his part to try to overstep the entire action to make himself look good. As I was being screamed at (and having just had a talk with my boss about it), my boss sat in the doorway, just staring, not saying a word to explain any of it. I looked like the biggest idiot. And this was not the first time this particular person had done something like this to me.
For years, I had to play referee between my boss and another co-worker because they could not communicate and would end up in screaming matches in meetings. I physically had to inject myself in between them on a few occasions. But then I would be told that I was the one with the problem??? My upper manager even took it upon himself to tell me that I should probably go seek professional help cuz I seemed depressed. I continuously was made to look like I was the one that wasn’t a team player, when in my eyes, there was no team? Finally, HR came to their senses and saw what was happening, but then she retired and I was left to fend for myself.
When Covid hit, we were sent to work remotely with no warning or preparation. I used my home laptop because we weren’t supplied one from the company. I worked from March-August remotely, then all of a sudden it was a “problem” that I has been using my home laptop. My daughter was beginning school in August remotely and I inquired about what was going to be in store for us? I made it known on several occasions that if I could not continue working remotely, then it would be a problem for me cuz my daughter was going to need to be home-schooled and she had asthma. Next thing I know, I was told I needed to report back to the office, at the end of August, and that I needed to move my office for social distancing, after I had already been moved about 5 times in the last 5 years. Not only would J need to move, but now I was being moved next to the main hallway (I had been in an office very segregated from people and that would be safer if I HAD to go back to the office). We discussed this plan and agreed the co-worker I shared am office with would move. Suddenly, these plans changed. Then I was told to go in a day earlier than I was told to report, so I could move my office. Then when I went in to do this, I was given a new desktop computer and monitor ‘to take home. I asked why, and they couldn’t tell me why. That was a mixed message to me. It got to the point where I was having a panic attack at the thought of going back because I did not have another option for my daughter. Then I found out that some employees were being allowed to continue remote work. I was like, wth??? I had had enough. I sent my boss and HR my letter of resignation the Monday I was supposed to return. Oh, and that was on the cusp of thinking I had Covid the week before and was told to go get tested. So I did. It would take 3-5 days for the results. Then my boss played stupid and said he didn’t know what my “status” was after I told him.how long it would be to get my results. He said it was the first time he heard about any of it. Blatant lie because my husband worked at the same company and had to quarantine until I got my results back. He said HR would send me paperwork, but sent it to my work e-mail, the same e-mail I was reprimanded for because I had responded to an e-mail after I was supposed to be off the clock. After all the head games, failure in leadership for either of my managers to support me, I did what I thought I needed. It may have seemed spontaneous, but after all the abuse, it really wasn’t. But now I feel so traumatized by the experience I had while being there for over 20 years, I am really having a hard time to try to get my anxiety under control to get a new job. The first few months felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. But now having been home since March 2020, I am really struggling. I filed for unemployment and was approved back in November, but I have not received one check. It’s so awful I can’t even get my thoughts under control to call someone. I don’t want to return to Purchasing (I was a Buyer previously) and because I worked at only one employer my entire career, I don’t even know how to approach the work force. Plus, every job posting requires you have a degree. I don’t have a degree because my husband opted to go back to school, and I had to stay home at night and take care of our family. I couldn’t fathom going back to school now, nor approach interviews, or know how to approach another company without not feeling anxiety that I may be walking right back into the same situation. My old company made no quams about openly discussing work place politics, or demeaning me or other employees in front of me, my husband experienced the same paranoia toward the end because he got let go, but it wasn’t made to look like a secret (they wanted all veteran employees gone anyway). But in that process, there was a history of demeaning, insulting, making us feel like we were not valued employees after both of us being there over 20 years each. I am worried that I developed some type of PTSD, and that something will trigger me, and it will be constant revolving door of anxiety, reignited traumatic memories, and my self-esteem has possibly hit an all-time low. I honestly don’t know if I can go back?. I was hoping to discover something that I could approach as an entrepreneur, and work for myself moving forward, but I am still being crippled with anxiety even thinking about it.
I just want you to know that you are most definitely not alone. And if you discover a way to help cope or get through that barrier, please let me know your secret. It is embarrassing to think I am now halfway through adulthood and feel so damaged by a toxic work environment. I have also approached the company in the past over a man who was sexually harassing me very badly. I used to be able to hold my own on that matter. Until it got to the point where I was almost physically assaulted twice by 2 separate men. I only asked that they be spoken to and asked to stop. Not a big deal, I thought? Well, the 1st one was told he was going to read some literature on the subject. The 2nd one, the perpetrator actually somehow convinced HR that I was the one harassing him!! He actually did assault me by trying to kiss me one day when we were left alone in the office. I was able to turn my head so he only kissed me on the cheek. But the lack of support yet again, and I believe we had cameras in the building for the 2nd incident to prove my accusation. Both times I felt like I was demanded, was left unprotected from predators, and completely humiliated in their lack of support. I had a certain level of safety before but after all that over the years, I don’t know if I will ever feel safe in a professional environment again. If that makes me sound insane, I guess that’s what a toxic work environment can do after years of abuse. But you are NOT alone…not for one second. I hope you can find a level of peace somewhere in it. You are completely valid in your feelings and I feel there are more people out there that can probably relate to this, than most will ever realize. I am so sorry for what you have gone through….and my opinion would be to take whatever time you need to try to heal from this. Because you already got to a good place once. I have faith in you that you can do it again. 🙂
Has he been evaluated for ODD??? It sounds similar to some of the behaviors of my son at that age and he had a combo of things, with ODD being the inflating behavior of everything else. May be worth checking into…it could also be the start of bipolar disease, which drs won’t diagnose in kids that young, but you may be able to get a handle on his highs and lows and dangerous behaviors. Cognitive therapy and maybe a change in his diet (avoiding processed foods) may help. You should have him checked for food allergies also. Sometimes food allergies can cause that, also.
I wish I had heard of this 20 years ago when my son was diagnosed with ADHD/ODD…what a nightmare…my son wouldn’t take medication because of his ODD and the influence of his grandparents telling him he didn’t have to cuz it would turn him into a zombie…they were too worried that with his IQ, it would cause him to not be as functional. Only problem is kids with ADHD/ODD need something that encourages focus and the ability to sit still. I think it would have helped his compulsive behavior as well. 40+ years later, I was diagnosed with ADD, and after always questioning myself if I was the host of his, I found out it is often hereditary. He should be on medication (especially cuz now he has severe social anxiety) but I feel better knowing that what I always felt in my gut, was seemingly validated. And ODD left untreated or unmanaged is a different animal all on its own….at almost half my life expectancy, I finally feel like I have gotten control of much of my thoughts and feelings. It feels good that my brain doesn’t shut down anymore and I can think more clearly. I wish it didn’t take all this time to finally get help for myself and hopefully my son chooses to do something about it also.
Oh boy…this sounds like I am reading my biography!! So much mumbo jumbo and I also talk at a much lower volume than most. I have to express myself through writing and have clear focus to do so. I do feel anxiety is part of it, but lately I started to question whether or not I had an acute form of narcolepsy also. It’s like part of my brain starts to go to sleep when I am talking and I literally cannot find words in my word bank in my brain. I feel it gets harder at certain moments and I can literally start to see blank space. I do get over-excited at times when I take an interest in what I’m talking about or my passion gets sparked. That is when I feel at my best. But I do wonder where this void comes from, kinda like when your computer hard drive becomes fragmented and you’re looking for the missing cluster…but you are not alone. 🙂
I can relate to this, too. I literally will have documents in my hands at work, be in the middle of processing them (i’m a Buyer) and 2 seconds later when i go to put all the paperwork together, I literally have lost it. It can take minutes, hours, or even several days to locate what I am searching for. Sometimes in front of me, sometimes stuck to something else. It is so frustrating. I also seem to be more forgetful as to where I put my things, and I am usually specific about what goes where, and then I find things in totally odd places. I have forgotten to put my car in park several times, I’m horrible still at managing paying my bills (mostly online), sometimes procrastinating,other times just forgetting. What I am probably the worst at, is remembering where I put things. I have a vision in my mind about what I did with things, but then they are not there. But other times, I am very detail-oriented and organized. I think it may have more to do with where my interests lie. Things I take an active interest in, I usually pay better attention to. I have been taking medication for about a year and a half now, but I honestly think I need my dosage upped, to take it 3x a day, instead of 2. It seems the steadier flow of release helps me manage greater. It also helps with my anxiety a great deal. When I’m focused and devoting my attention to the immediate task or project, I don’t daydrean as much, so I don’t overthink and worry about “possible” outcomes or reactions. I feel more confident in my public speaking or presenting at company meetings. The one drawback, though, is when I’m passionate about something, I can get extremely drawn into making it a success, no matter what it is. If it’s a conversation about something I believe in greatly, I will defend that argument til the cows come home! Lol. I get so passionate, that sometimes words just flow but I have a difficult time remembering what I said. I often have people trying to engage me later, and I totally draw a blank. But I also am trying to learn how to not be a reactor of chaos. I have developed the skills through years of extreme behavior with my son, who has ADHD, ODD, and most likely bi-polar, when he got into a situation, my mind would shut down as a defense mechanism, and I would just respond in robot-mode. That has turned into the key of my survival. So, I think my brain is now programned that when my adrenaline accelerates to a certain degree of excitement, my mind zones out but it’s like having an outer body experience when it comes to managing the situation and taking care of whatever I need to. The things I find myself “detaching from” aren’t necessarily similar or related, but when I detach or zone out, I don’t always remember much of what I was doing or what was happening, while other times, I remember every detail. The worst is driving somewhere and getting to the destination, and not remembering one second of driving or how you got there. That is some scary stuff right there. Not sure I would describe it as self-sabotage, but sometimes I feel our brains “fire” a certain way, I feel. It’s like the wiring gets crossed and our thoughts go to other places, especially in stressful or perhaps triggering situations? Overthinking sometimes, causing forgetfulness, because I can analyze anything to get a better understanding. That can be very frustrating, especially at work when we’re doing problem solving exercises and I just want to dissect everything on a psychological level. Lol. My boss usually steps in and says, no we’re not doing that or I really don’t care; that will not help figure out a solution. But time and time again, I feel I prove him wrong in the long run. I also occasionally have episodes where I am in the middle of something, seemingly focused on what i am doing, and the next thing i know, i look at the time and it’s like several hours have somehow gone by!! Very frustrating and hard to understand at times. You’re definitely not alone.
I don’t know if many people here, also pair themselves psychologically with their ADD, but my personality traits also make it quite difficult to manage everything all at once. I am an INFJ personality, but more of an empath, so when I’m not hyperfocusing on my own feelings, I easily am affected by others feelings, as well. Add being an Aries to it, and I’m a hot mess!! That can throw my thoughts off quite frequently. But I also am clairaudient and clairsentinent and occassionally I’ll get approached by spirits, so sometimes it works to my advantage that I can’t focus as much, to distract me from engaging if I’m not in the right head space to do it. I do wonder occassionally, though, if it is myself doing certain things or if I’m interacting as someone else. Because there are times, that I remember absolutely nothing about things I should definitely know about or have experienced. But that’s a conversation for another day! Lol
I am a mom to a son who was diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, depression, anxiety…and highly intelligent. ODD outbursts are far greater than this. The defiance comes in, when to no avail, will your child respond to direction from you or any other authority. They will constantly defy your rules, judgements and argue with you for the sake of arguing. They do not wish to be wrong. I also have ADHD. And I do believe my 14 y/o daughter may possibly have ADHD, as well, but I can assure you that much of her behavior sounds very much like common teenage or pre-teen behavior, brought on by hormones, possible slight depressive thoughts, low self-esteem while trying to navigate their hormones with a twist of society or outside influence. I would be less concerned about ODD and more concerned with her feelings of not feeling adequate, possibly mildly depressed, etc., because everything you shared, sounds just like that. Especially if the frustration lies in not being able to pin-point her expression. With ODD, they are more apt to use terms associated outwardly, and have no trouble saying they hate you or wish ill upon you or even to more the extreme. Kids with ODD many times don’t turn anything onto themselves and will refuse to take blame, turn attention to themselves as being the problem, and their lack of respect will often cause very explosive arguments, to which someone else will always be the cause. But I think you’ve got a pretty normal pre-teen, with unbalanced hormones and the possible onset of depression. I would try to focus more on her diet, mindfulness, talking with her openly about her day and regulate her time on social media. And I will warn you as I’ve quickly learned at this age, that cutting is a very common self-harm technique nowadays, so I would just be aware of that and pay attention if the depression seems to worsen. But her outbursts sound like she has occurences of sadness and she may require more hugs in the process. Vitamin D may help ease some of these symptoms, being outdoors and away from electronic devices, for sure. If you don’t notice any changes in her overall demeanor within a couple weeks, or it starts to seem worse, make sure you bring her in for a blood test and evaluation from her doctor. Sometimes even the chemical imbalance of hormones can wreak havoc in a household. Especially if she’s not sure where to express them or associate them to. If she’s hurting she’ll project them toward to the one she loves the most first. I would establish an open line of communication with her, so long as she can discuss her feelings between the two of you, in a way she isn’t deflecting any of her feelings outward, and let her know that you can’t help her unless you have an understanding of what she is feeling. One thing I have learned also, is teenagers have a way of absorbing other kids actions and emotions on social media, youtube, and other social networking and video sharing sites, so make sure the behavior is hers, and not just a result of what gets rubbed off onto her, be aware that much of this bs on the internet is kids making videos for reactions. Sometimes they have the illusion it will work similarly for them, when they present it to the right crowd. If the behavior is that of defiance, they won’t change their behavior because they see it is upsetting to you. In fact, it will probably become worse and more aggressive. Depressive behavior can be periodically outwardly, but also very isolated/introverted behavior. And mood swings, as intolerable as they can get, are a good sign that her hormones are in control. ODD is a a horrible disorder to experience and I know it neary desroyed our family. But I hope you put your mind at ease by hearing other experiences. As much as hormones can fluctuate, the ODD brain seems to function on one wire only, and it isn’t anything that you want to live through or wish on your worst enemy.