Don't Know Where to Start
I am not sure why I am sending this to you, or even if will arrive in one piece, but perhaps it will help someone else, or help you to help others. Thanks for your podcasts, they have been so so helpful. I guess I am asking for help because that's definitely what I need. I wrote this passage below to a friend:
I 'm not sure how this will come out, but I'll do what i can to write it down, to help me break free if this cycle. I have let things take a turn for the worse and am not sure I have the strength to fight it. I'll start with work.
I have been carrying on, doing what I do, over the last 3 months. I have recently and suddenly moved departments, as the project I was on ran out of budget and people have been assigned to other things or laid off. I am now working for another engineer, who has given me some very mundane work to do, suitable for a graduate.
I went to our Christmas Party on Thursday, which was at a pub for the afternoon with everyone present (about 300 people). Booked the pub out. While there I spoke to an old friend who I haven't seen in a long time, who is a senior staff member. For some reason, I had a 'moment of clarity'. I could kind of tune in to his cryptic messages he was laying into his sentences...I know that sounds like paranoia central but stick with me. He pretty much told me that I am not favoured at all at the moment and alot of the problems i have had hasn't gone unnoticed. He called me a 'boy in a bubble', said people were waiting and waiting for something, anything to happen, but all they got was excuse after excuse about why this that or the other hasn't been done....and this has gone down very badly. My girlfriend was there so I told her what I thought, she heard pretty much the same message. She hasn't denied this as nonsense or all in my head.
I spoke to other people after that. Or rather I listened to what people had to say, and I allowed them to say anything they liked. I heard plenty of phrases like 'that's not what an engineer would say' 'we have to give people a chance' 'negative, negative, negative' 'we need young people to take over for us guys so you do what you can' and 'weird principal structural engineers'. there is obviously an advanced copy of the staff review for senior members, which my friend has seen.
I think the only time I tried to say something in reply saying I used to work hard but don't anymore was met by a turned back. This has left me with a spinning head, a defeated attitude, and not much hope. I believe all of this to be true and it rings true from what my actions over the last 9 months. And on that night I felt like I had a rude awakening.
The thing is I am a boy in a bubble. I find it incredibly and unnaturally difficult to make a decision. On anything. I also find it incredibly difficult to express any true feeling or emotion, or preference. I have withdrawn so much that even simple tasks are too hard to manage, like Christmas presents, and I have given up trying.
I fell like I had given up along time ago and now it is finally coming to a head, and I have had my head in the sand all this time (ten years). I cannot function at work anymore, even the graduate work I have been given is sloppy and not suitable, but will do. I cannot sustain this level and deal with my future at the same time. I think that in my review I will be slammed for my inability to do anything, which shines in stark contrast to the salary I am being paid. I was trophied as someone who was one of the best, and now have been shown as a fraud, slimy, suck up, who is good for nothing. The truth hurts. the truth is I allowed people to think I am good, by doing nothing. I allowed people to promote me and said nothing. all I ever did was cover over those crack with some sort of words and no-one challenged it.
The reality is that's all I do. I think that's all I have ever done to a degree. And now I think I am going to lose my job, then lose my career, lose my flat, lose my health, lose my girlfriend. And I cant do anything about it. I am trying my best to pull in some support where I can, but ultimately, I should be able to do something, and I can't, I am paralyzed by it all. And as I am writing this, I should be taking it all in, writing this to myself, but I cant feel it registering within me.
there is something in my frame of mind that prefers no action to action. It is as if any wrong action, in anyone's eyes is much much worse than no action at all. Its as if by admitting there's a problem is admitting to myself I am flawed, so I do nothing. This situation can only last so long, and work is the first sign of the problem. In an odd sort of way my mind is relieved, partly because the truth is out, and partly because I don't have to do anything about it...I cant work out why I am being so lazy or inactive.
I don't know where to start, but I need to start somewhere fast as money is going to be the next major unsustainable problem, followed by my health. I don't know why I cant do anything, except suffer the consequences. If I could manipulate the world around me I could at least feel like I am doing something. The truth is I cannot even manipulate the thoughts in my own mind in order to make myself feel better, in order to do something. I have given up completely, and the negative thoughts have won, as I am not even present to tackle them.
I hope that this will let me get back to sleep, and maybe even help me get somewhere. But I think that as tomorrow surfaces I will get swept up in the day and get carried along as usual.