My Relationship Has A Rocky Path Ahead

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It is looking as though my relationship with Fleur will be very rocky over the next few months. The main reason for this is her work – or rather the effect that her work has on her. She’s now in a very busy period for her job which won’t end for about three months. During this time she will be working much longer hours and will be under more stress than usual. Unfortunately Fleur doesn’t cope well with stress at the best of times and it makes things difficult between us. I do my best to be there and offer support whilst trying to lift her mood, but the results are mostly negligible whilst draining me significantly.

Over the weekend Fleur was getting very stressed about returning to work and was having mild panic attacks. She likes to have orgasms when she is feeling like this to help her relax, but on the Friday night I was incredibly tired and not really feeling in the mood. On the Saturday morning I began to play with her but she was acting really strange. I stopped and we talked about it – she was worried that I wasn’t in the mood and was only doing it for her because I knew that she wanted it. I did know that she wanted it and that was the main motivator for getting me in the mood, but I wanted to do it. She seemed to have trouble trusting my intentions and motivations and that hurt me. I discussed with her that her distrust in me was upsetting and she kept arguing that it wasn’t that she didn’t trust me, it was because of her stress making her paranoid. I didn’t really understand this argument – trust is trust – you either trust somebody or you don’t in my opinion.

We sort of patched things over and she eventually left to visit a friend. She surprised me by coming back in the evening very apologetically and in a somewhat better mood. We indulged in some oral sex which was very enjoyable and she stayed the night. The next day she continued to hang around, cancelling her other plans. This was frustrating to me because I had spent the vast majority of the past two weeks with her over the festive period and she was getting more and more boring. The problem is that she wants to spend time together, but has no suggestions of what she wants to do. I have plenty of activities and hobbies to keep me busy at my home, but she wasn’t bringing anything to keep herself occupied. When I suggested we just sit and read books for a while she complained that she didn’t want to read because it made the time go too quickly and that means that she would be starting back at work sooner. She wanted to drag out each second that she could, but dragging out her own time didn’t appear to be enough – they do say that misery loves company!

I’m rather glad that I am able to get a bit of a break from her over the next few weeks whilst she is working a lot more. I feel like I need a little bit of personal time and that I will appreciate her more when I see her. I just hope that she won’t always be in a very bad mood and project those feelings on to me. She has mentioned that she will probably be too tired or not in the mood for sex play over the next couple of months, which will be difficult.

I do care a lot for Fleur and a lot of the time we are really good together. My biggest problem is her obsession with this job that she despises as it seriously damages her mood and makes up roughly 90% of what she talks about. I hope that things will be better between us when she has a different job – though I am worried they won’t be.

Working With Depression

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Things seem to be looking up for me right now. I couldn’t possibly have envisioned it two months ago when I was suicidal and very hopeless. My financial situation is slowly but surely getting better and it looks as though I’ve met somebody that I like and who may like me in return. My main issue right now is my work.

I absolutely love my job sometimes. I couldn’t imagine another job that would allow me an equivalent amount of creativity and autonomy. I feel respected and valued by my colleagues and I am building more confidence in myself and how I interact with others.

The problem I have is that the work load is very inconsistent for me. I have regular staples in that I administer and moderate the social media channels and the forum, I have to maintain and update the website and I’m getting more and more involved in the management of our information leaflets’ production. In between this I get given other projects, such as creating videos, writing booklets and designing posters. These different projects vary a lot, but they tend to be too few and far in between.

At the moment I am spending the vast majority of my time at work procrastinating. I am still providing a useful service here, but it is just day-to-day maintenance, nothing that will help with the progression of the charity. I feel I am being underutilised and I feel a lot of guilt for that. That guilt is affecting my mood I think.

I do actually have things to do, in fact, it is a relatively long list of things. This is what is causing me even more guilt. I’m not sure if I’m not working on these because a) I don’t have the motivation or concentration due to my depression or b) I’m afraid that if I complete these then I will be left with absolutely nothing to do and prove that I am surplus to requirement.

I’m not really scared about my job security. I’m very valuable (invaluable really) within the team and the stuff I do is punching above my head. I guess I just don’t want to give the impression that I don’t work to my potential. I feel like I need to work in a more dynamic environment, on something different, but for the time being I’m not really able to change jobs. I think I need to stay here for at least 6 more months. I’m just not sure how to survive it that long if it continues as it has been?

Dead Inside?

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My recent contact with E revealed something to me. I realised how cold and hard I have become inside recently. When I saw E post on Facebook about how moved they were that I still cared and I wanted to be with them, it felt ridiculous to me. I’m filled to the brim with apathy and it is toxic. 

I’m no longer really thinking about emotional connections with anybody. All I think about is fulfilling my needs. This means having somebody for company and to share in the things that I enjoy and also in getting sexual gratification. Sexual gratification seems to be my main concern right now and I hate that it is. I hate that animalistic part of me. I know that I have the feelings because of a biological imperative, but being aware of that fact doesn’t make them any less poignant. If I didn’t long for sex with women then I would probably be a happy and well adjusted person.

I’ve had difficulty empathising with people for a long time. I think the main reason for this is my upbringing and my family. The members of my family are all very independent. For as long as I remember, we don’t talk about our problems with one another and we don’t help each other out. If I tell my mum that I’m really stressed out at work, I’d generally get a response along the lines of, “I hope things improve soon”. We pay lip service to each other as a family. I’m not saying I want this to change. It would never work if the dynamic of our family suddenly became more codependent. It’s just when I look at some of my friend’s families and see the close friendships they have and the support on offer, I wish that my family could have been like that from the start.

The fact that we don’t talk to one another and don’t really offer support to one another means that I find myself unable to deal with people who are emotional. It is so foreign to me so I start to panic. In my line of work this is a bit of a problem. Occasionally I have to speak to people that are very emotional because of their illness or because they have lost somebody. I can’t really identify with them and so I don’t know what to say or do. I don’t want to say something that could offend them. I don’t want to say something that could patronise them. I don’t want to say something that will make them worse. I just want them to get over it quickly. I’m quite male in that regard. I am a fixer.

I don’t think I’m completely dead inside, but every time I get hurt I seem to be filled with more despair and bitterness. I think that there is only so much one person can carry. I wonder if I can ever fix the damage that’s been done to me?

Work

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I have a good job that I really enjoy at times but it is also one of the biggest causes of stress and anxiety in my life. Work is particularly stressing me out at the moment. I’ve fantasised about applying for other jobs, but I always see myself ending up miserable. The level of autonomy and the rewarding nature of my work should mean that it is fantastic. If I can’t get the most out of this job, then surely I’ll never be happy elsewhere?

Five or so years ago, I would never have seen myself in this job. It never crossed my mind to work for charity when I was younger. I never really had a solid idea about what work I would like to do. When I was applying for university, I was really enjoying economics as a subject (mostly because I was very good at it), so I wanted to find a career that I could use it in. Most careers for economics are in the financial sector and I have never been interested in working in that field. One of my passions at the time was the environment, so I figured a career in environmental economics would be something I’d enjoy.

Of course when I got to uni, whilst I was still great at economics, it no longer really interested me that much. I didn’t really want to pursue a career in it. I’d made an error by studying it. Young people have to make life decisions when they really aren’t prepared to these days. If I’d made a different decision 6-7 years ago, my life would have taken me on a completely different path. Who knows, I might even be happy? I was really stressing out in the second half of my degree because I had no idea what I wanted to do and I my friends were all applying for jobs. I did eventually decide that I wanted to work with people, but I wasn’t really sure how.

I graduated and didn’t know what to do, so I took a Summer job and then went backpacking in the Autumn/Winter. When I returned home at the beginning of 2011, I started applying for jobs, primarily with charities. I soon heard back from the charity that I work for now. I had a meeting and started volunteering part time. After 6 months, they were very pleased with what I’d done and they offered me a full time job and a wage.

There is a bit more to the story for why I wanted to work for a charity and this one in particular. I’ve always felt pretty worthless. Other people are more important than me, so putting them before me has always felt natural. When you work for a charity, you put the cause first so I was very suited to that. In addition, there was a vain reason to work for charity. I wanted to have a job, that when I told people about it, they would be interested. If you say you’re an accountant or a waiter etc. then nobody is interested. If you work for a charity, people want to hear about it. I’ve never been successful with women, so I thought being a more interesting person, might help with that.

I work for this particular charity because whilst I was at uni, I had a friend who died of the condition we help people with. I’d only known her a few months, and in fact, I didn’t really know her well at all – but it shocked me. I was having suicidal thoughts at the time when she died and I just felt it was ridiculous that she should die and I should live. Since then I have supported this charity.

The job is generally good and when you do really help somebody it is very rewarding. The problem is, that for me the workflow isn’t very strong. At times I can be very busy, but times like now are really quiet. It’s the quiet times that stress me out the most. I find myself wasting a lot of time, which is a really terrible thing to do, especially when working for a charity, because it is a waste of resources. I want to work harder and get started on new projects, but my depression takes away all my motivation, energy and concentration.

I’m not sure if my job is one of the biggest contributors to my depression, or if my depression is what makes work so hard. I imagine that if I had more drive and concentration, I could push new projects harder, which would help more people and I would feel good about that. I’m caught in a viscous cycle and I don’t know how to get out of it. I think about other jobs or other organisations and I doubt I would be happier anywhere else…..not in the long-run anyway. Right now, I just don’t feel able to work, but with no support available, I have very few options.