13 weeks (and one less job)

I’ve made it 13 weeks. Thirteen grueling weeks.

I spent most of today laying in bed, and by most, I mean I just got out of bed about 10 minutes ago. I was that physically and mentally exhausted. I should be at work right now, but I can’t work there any more. I made it three days before I realized what a bad decision it was.

It wasn’t that I couldn’t handle the physical demands of the job. The job itself was easy; probably a little too easy. It was a popular baby store. It didn’t even cross my mind that there would ever be an issue for me. My therapist asked me before I started the job if I was sure being in that environment wasn’t going to be triggering to me. I didn’t think it was, so I brushed it off as a non-issue. I didn’t have any problems the first day because I was in the back doing training. The second day was slow and I was kind of out of it a little, but I bounced back. Yesterday was a nightmare. I lost complete control. I couldn’t stop crying; it got so bad sometimes I had to run to the bathroom. The nausea was so intense, I thought for sure I was going to puke. I felt like I was floating away. I don’t even think I heard half of what was going on, I was just trying so hard to make it through the night. It is exhausting trying to stay grounded for a few minutes. Imagine trying to stay grounded for a few hours.

When I finally made it home, I broke down completely. I couldn’t stop crying. I could barely open my eyes because my face was so swollen. I couldn’t handle being bombarded with all of these happy families, with mothers proudly holding their babies and toddlers. What happened to me that my mother hated me so much from the start? What did I do that these children didn’t? Why did I miss out? I won’t ever be able to experience what it’s like to be loved by a mother, or even by a family. And now I was being constantly reminded of it every few minutes at work. It just wasn’t going to work out.

My roommate heard me crying and made me open the door. By this time it was well after 11 o’clock at night. I was so exhausted, which just made me cry even more. My roommate tried to comfort me. She told me I didn’t have to work there if it was going to mess up all of the progress I’ve made (what progress?). She said I wasn’t a failure if I quit. But I wasn’t having it. Still crying. She took me outside for some air and a cigarette (smoking used to be one of the few things that calmed my nerves before I quit). We tried to figure out the best way to go about it. She said she would go there for me and explain everything if I wanted her to. Instead, she called me out of work today just so I could have a day to think. I was finally able to stop crying, or it could have just been that I ran out of tears. We came inside and she told me to stay and watch a movie to clear my head a little bit.

By 1:30, I had been awake more than 21 hours and I knew I couldn’t fight it anymore, so I went upstairs. I checked my e-mail and saw that my therapist had e-mailed me back. I e-mailed her in the middle of my breakdown out of desperation. I must say, it’s a privilege not only to have a therapist who willingly deals with my shit, but also one who answers e-mails at 1 o’clock in the morning. Some of the things she wrote were the same things my roommate was trying to tell me. She wrote that it is not a failure to admit that this work isn’t the best place for me right now, and that I’m still grieving the loss of the family I never had.

“Success is not rigidly adhering to a plan that is not working.  Your mental health is more important than that particular job, and for you, I would count a decision to value yourself and your healing process as a success. There are other jobs you can take.  There is only one Crystalie, and she is worth protecting.”

I’m still having trouble seeing this as a success. I’ve never had to quit a job before, let alone quit one like this with no notice. I don’t even think I can tell them face-to-face because I will just break down again. I considered writing a note and slipping it under the door tomorrow while the store is closed so I don’t have to see anyone. I just don’t want anyone to hold it against me. I don’t expect them to understand. I don’t expect anyone to understand. I don’t even understand it myself. Things like this shouldn’t bother me. I shouldn’t have to leave a job because I can’t mentally handle being there. This isn’t me. This isn’t who I should be.

So now I need to reassess my life once again. I am going to take a couple of weeks and figure out what the hell I can do to survive, because this isn’t going to work long-term. I absolutely refuse assistance of any kind. I am capable of working. I am capable of supporting myself. I don’t want help. I just want to be normal. I want to be able to experience the world without experiencing a flashback, or a breakdown, or dissociation.

My heart hurts more than anything right now.

I just want the pain to go away.

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