We Teach People (and ourselves!) How to Treat Us

I am reporting from the desk at work yet again. This post will be more of the stream-of-consciousness type ramblings that I find necessary to get off my chest in order to focus on actual work, but I will make an effort to be brief. Things have improved greatly since my last post, however, this is not about that. It is about how far I have left to go, starting with my main source of consternation, my job.

BACKSTORY: At the end of last year (2015) the entire office rallied to finish several projects that required multiple all-nighters on my part to accomplish. I am not good at that type of thing (I don’t sleep well anyway, and require lots of caffeine to be alert on a normal day) and the pressure really got to me because most of the work we were finishing was technically “my” job and I needed mountains of help to get things accomplished on time, or even several months late…I ended up costing the organization a very large amount of money, think tens of thousands. However, my boss sees how hard I tried and, as I may have stated before, said she wouldn’t fire me unless I stole or sabotaged her or something awful like that. We both know I would never do that.

This year, once that shit-storm blew over, another smaller one hit as I was still two months behind in my work (the two months I had been catching up on for the previous six) and my boss wanted to have everything turned in before she left on vacation a week ago. We had been directed to turn in our work for the last two months of 2015 “asap,” because of a turn-over that is happening at a level above us. I believe the hard deadline would have been February 15th of this year, but honestly I didn’t ask. Regardless, she was not happy.

The thing about this, though, is that when I started this job the work was already three months behind. I was handed a very thick manual, given a rudimentary though helpful tour of the office and essentially had to learn on the job. I had a personal tragedy in September, which I was not really given time to handle, and my boss does not know how to talk to people in a respectful manner, at all. The list of bullshit that occurred from the time I started this job to the end of 2015 (not necessarily related to the job, just life) is ridiculous. I lost and found my cat, sprained my ankle, had my car broken into, lost my wallet, etc.

This is NOT to excuse my poor performance, or even explain it. I have to remind myself of these things because if I do not, I will hate myself. If I do not say to myself, “Hey, this job is difficult in the first place, then all that awful stuff happened and you persevered! You kept going without complaint and minimal tears. Good job!” Then I start to think that I am not worthy of love, or any other good things that happen to me. I start to not feel worthy of life. I start to have suicidal thoughts.

NOW TO THE MATTER AT HAND: This past week I started off incredibly depressed and anxious because I felt that I was slipping back into those dark days of colossal fucking up, plus I got mildly but annoyingly sick, so I have not been in the best head-space, but holy crap have Youtubers helped me feel better, particularly Ashley Mardell. I do not even remember how I came across her (Youtube K-holes are a real thing, guys) but I do know that I did not actually get the concept of self-care until watching some of her more recent videos.

Intellectually I absolutely understand that we as humans should treat ourselves as gently as we would treat others. The problem is that I struggle treat myself even as poorly as I would treat someone I actively dislike. Every one of my friends is aghast at the long hours I worked and how stressed I got, but in my mind I “deserved it.” In my mind, I have to be better than others because I have more to make up for. In my mind I have something to prove for which others just inherently get a pass. I am so grateful to Ashley and every other Youtuber, there are a ton including John Green and Jessie Smiles, who have opened up about their mental health struggles. The thing about the U.S. (where I live, duh) is that mental health services are obscenely expensive, so our friend groups and fandoms serve as support groups. One day soon I should be able to take advantage of my relatively great health insurance and seek out a therapist, but until then, that’s all I have. So THANK YOU!

So much for being brief. I will address the external part of this topic in my next post.


Lady A.V.O.M.




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