Today’s struggle to be in the world

One of my greatest joys is a job well done, even something as simple as a needed email or inputting a transaction correctly. I recently realized this is likely because growing up I could rarely, if ever, please my parents.

Today I am in a job that I love in a company that severely understaffs my department because we don’t produce revenue. Alas, they forget the fact that we are a large part of risk management. On top of working too many hours, I have two cases that are particularly triggering for me right now. They are reminders of past trauma. I am holding onto the cliff edge with one finger in this situation, so it seems. It has taken me a while to admit I need to look for another job. I like the job I have, but I have to finally admit it is not going to get any better. In fact, the understaffing situation is full of risk because there is a greater chance that something important will be accidentally overlooked. Oh wait, that already happened.

I have cried from the stress more days than not this past week. I am left with this feeling of abject hopelessness. Over and over again I go back to this fear of homelessness and joblessness. I’ll be wiping down a counter at home, and just suddenly burst into tears. This fear takes residence within me, and intermittently goes dormant and then springs to life.

I want to contribute meaningfully at a job in which success is possible. Success is not currently possible in my current situation, and though I work with lovely folks that does not change the impossible workload.

My life feels like it has become truncated. I need to find a way to feel hopeful again.

Life on life’s terms

My life has changed tremendously since I last blogged. I married my lovely wife in May, and I’ve moved to a different part of the country so that we can live together. The hardest part has been quitting a job, a job I loved, that was in a toxic place. So here I sit in Starbucks in a new city with no job. Of my own accord I quit my job to be with my wife. It’s wonderful sharing daily life with her, rather than one of us getting on an airplane every month, sometimes twice a month, to be together.

Though it is stunning to voluntarily place myself among the unemployed. I didn’t plan it this way. I’ve been actively applying for jobs since May, yet this is where I am. It’s rather humbling, and scary. For many years, my identity was wrapped up in my career. I stayed at terrible places for a multitude of reasons: too scared to leave, cared too much about my cases or people I worked with, resignation that nothing out there was better, etc. It was sobering to realize that my place of employment was not worth the suffering.

Even with the disastrous workplace that it was, it was still hard to leave. In any work environment, there are always good people to be found. I will miss the gals I worked with, and the accidental mentors that materialized for me.

Who knows what comes next for me. It could be something completely different. I’ll try to be open to it, and not let my trauma history take over my actions and mind-set. Sending out a prayer to the universe that work will come my way when my bank account needs it.

Dear Boss, I’m glad you missed all of that

Dear Boss,

Today was a crazy banana day. You had some dorky assignment with an expected quick turnaround from the big dogs, and I had to go track down silly attorney dude who keeps bankers hours. We had an employee emergency for which I needed his involvement, and Sabrina emailed him, called him, and sent him a meeting request. Sabrina joked aloud that she was going to go sit in his office chair to wait for him. You heard that, and I could tell you weren’t sure if it was a joke. I told you not to worry, we weren’t going to do that. You smiled, and I could tell that you still weren’t sure if it was a joke, but you were glad for the confirmation that we weren’t going to do that.

Our director ordered pizza for the office as a morale booster because it was a crazy day for many of us. Well, here’s a secret I wish I could share with you. Letty loves pizza. There is no describing her love for this dish, except that it’s exuberant and ecstatic. When we were young our mother often fed us three girls one small frozen pizza among the three of us that we had to share as there was no other food. Back then, in order to deal with the hunger, Letty would imagine endless amounts of pizza. She would imagine that she had all the pizza she needed in order to curb her hunger pains.

The director asked us to email Sally to let her know what kind of pizza we wanted, and how many slices we expected to eat. Later, I walk by Sally, and she bursts out laughing, “I loved your email, girl! Cracked me up!” Stunned and confused, I went back to my computer, opened up my sent file to read my email to Sally, “Cheese/pepperoni please and 4 slices for me to be honest :)” I didn’t know whether to laugh or be embarrassed. Apparently, Letty ordered 4 slices of pizza. But, then I hear the pizza has arrived, and Letty has come to the forefront again. We go to the conference room, and see two huge boxes of pizza, and no people. Letty asks me why we can’t just go in and eat. I say to her that it would be rude to start without everyone. Nell then walks by my office, and says, “Found plates, time for pizza!” I then hear Letty’s voice come out of me yelping, “Ya! Pizza!” Lucky for me, Nell thought it was funny, and yelped back, “Pizza!” It didn’t seem to register to Nell that a little girl voice made that sound.

We eat our pizza, and, yes, all four pieces of pizza were consumed by us -2 cheese, and 2 pepperoni. After lunch, I am back in my office when Marge, our clerk, walks by at the exact same time that Letty raises her arms in the air, and exclaims, “Pizza!” Thankfully, Marge just responded back by saying, “Pizza!”

You and the director were busy, and missed all the Letty Pizza Excitement. You’re more observant than the others, and I think you would have noticed the exuberance, especially since the me you know is not exuberant. You don’t miss a thing, and as much as I like you, I would rather you not know this side of me. I believe if you saw the Letty side of me you would likely start to figure things out. You’re the best boss I’ve ever had, but you cannot know I have dissociative identity disorder.