• Quote of the Day
    "In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived,
    and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you."
    The Buddha, posted by David Baxter

braveheart

Member
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
1,485
Points
36
How might I tell my manager that I have another self that sees life and others and relationships and myself differently to my regular conscientious, caring and insightful self, and that it can take me over without me necessarily being aware of what's going on ?

Long story short, my reactions at my recent review meeting were covering up some deeper issues about my need to accept myself and value myself more. Other me was ... pushing this aside and making out everyone else was getting it wrong and I was being excluded. [as I was over and over in my past]

I am meeting with my manager tomorrow, and need to somehow explain. Simply. I was thinking of putting it down to low self esteem making me see things differently, and get the wrong idea, misinterpret. Which is partly true.

I know this sounds complex.
 

ladylore

Account Closed
Joined
Jul 7, 2007
Messages
3,855
Points
0
I have some experience in this area. A couple questions I have Braveheart: 1. Does the other self know about you, communicate with you, cooperate with you? 2. Have you ever made a contract with the other self that you would be the one responsible to go to work.....?

Besides knowing that at times you may be under stress I am wondering if it is a good idea to tell your manager at all about your other self. If your other self can co-operate with you and agree to allow you to have full control over certain situations, especially this one - you may not need to tell your manager.
 

David Baxter

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
38,320
Points
113
Is it really wise to tell your manager about this? My guess is that the odds are she won't understand it and that it will alarm her.

Maybe it would be a good idea to discuss this with your therapist before divulging the information to your manager.
 

braveheart

Member
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
1,485
Points
36
Thank you both.

Ll, no, my other self doesn't know about me, not in the sense of being really able to communicate and cooperate. Rather it reacts and responds defensively to me often. I know about her, but she doesn't know about me. Its through my focus, effort etc that I usually am the one around all the time at work, but it's not always that clear, e.g. when there's a trigger, usually the other me comes forward when something reminds me/her of my past, sometimes I have control, sometimes I don't, if it happens really quickly or if I'm really tired.

I hear you David and I understand. I don't want to alarm my manager. She does know, because I've told her, that when under stress I can lose touch with present reality and go into a past painful reality. She does also know its more complex than 'just depression'. I did speak about things some with my therapist yesterday.
I'll simply use the low self esteem explanation for now. And see how that goes.

You see even now, it's part of my other self somehow that wants to tell my manager about her existance. Because she's terribly anxious that everyone knows the truth about her, and can punish or take care of her accordingly... She wants people to either lock her up in total isolation so she never has to interact with humanity and the pain of that ever again, or look after her completely. She's totally invested in me being ill.
Whereas I want to accept compassionately both my strengths and my limitations. It's a subtle but clear difference.....
 

braveheart

Member
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
1,485
Points
36
I had to tell her, pretty much, but in simple language. Because she raised some concerns about several 'incidents' [where I have been taken over by that self defensive other me, and] where I appeared rude and hostile, when it's 'simply' self protection against old wounds.

I feel ashamed. I'm hurting.

But I suppose disclosure is always exposing. And relieving. I told her some of my background, too.

But I'm being referred to Occupational Health.

I am only starting to accept, and work on in therapy, the effects upon others of my other self's hostile self defensive defensiveness. And this was a bit of a painful jolt to say the least.
Apparantly it upsets people.
Because of course they don't know how upset, frightened, out of control and powerless I feel. They don't know.
They just see ... rudeness.

I want to curl up under a blanket and cry. But that won't solve anything.

I just told my mum about the Occ Health referral when I was speaking to her on the phone, and her response was - 1) Don't think about it, put it to the back of your mind, and 2) That she's not sleeping well. :(
 

David Baxter

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
38,320
Points
113
I'm sorry to hear about all this, braveheart. It's partly why I generally advise people to tell employess only as much as is necessary.

On the other hand, at least now your employers may be able to see you as someone doing her best rather than someone who is just rude and doesn't give a damn.

Maybe you can talk to your therapist about "disability" legislation in the UK and what protections are available to you in the workforce (I know those exist in Canada and the US). Of course, I hope you won't need any legislated protection but it never hurts to be informed about what exists and what options are available to you.
 

ladylore

Account Closed
Joined
Jul 7, 2007
Messages
3,855
Points
0
I am only starting to accept, and work on in therapy, the effects upon others of my other self's hostile self defensive defensiveness. And this was a bit of a painful jolt to say the least.
Apparantly it upsets people.
Because of course they don't know how upset, frightened, out of control and powerless I feel. They don't know.
They just see ... rudeness.

Remember that these parts in you were designed to protect you way back when. As with many coping mechanisms, they served us well when we needed them to survive - but as we get older there are some parts of those same coping mechanisms that don't serve us anymore.

For me, it was about honouring the parts in me that kept me alive and to keep fighting. So saying a genuine thankyou, and remind them that I am in a different place and some behaviours need to change to accomodate present situations - especially the ones that are stressful and triggering but are not life/soul threatening.

:hug:
 

braveheart

Member
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
1,485
Points
36
Thank you David and Ll.

I don't think my therapist is that aware of disability legislation. That would be more my dr's arena. Thing is it's my therapist who knows the full nature of my PTSD and dissociative disorder, which are the main issue here. My dr doesn't know much about psychiatric diagnoses beyond the most basic. Agggghhhhhh!

I am indeed doing my best. It is bloody hard living with this alter ego/protective persecutor/internal trauma response constellation. I don't WANT it to be there. But its developed gradually over nearly 38 years of cumulative trauma and abuse, so I don't have a lot of choice. Its there. It seems like double the punishment, it messing up my life, work and relationships now. It feels like being punished for being ill, being traumatised.

I am gradually gaining some choice and internal power, but its a lot of hard work. Its not something I can fix overnight.

I am just so tired.

Plus of course I was physically really ill recently, and then moved house, so.....

If I have to take some long term sick leave, so be it. But it's not like this alter ego is forefront all the time. Its complicated.
My manager did point out that I tend to push myself, and come into work when really I would be better off at home. But I've been 'trained' to be hard on myself, and don't know where to draw boundaries.
I did suggest to my manager that having someone tell me that I might be better off not in work some days could help.

I am just so exhausted.
 

David Baxter

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
38,320
Points
113
Even if your therapist doesn't know a lot about disability legislation, s/he might be in a position to find out on your behalf. It's something she should probably learn about anyway in this profession.
 

braveheart

Member
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
1,485
Points
36
Thanks David. I'll talk with her about it all on Monday.

The difficulty I see is that depression is logged as my 'disability' but its far more than the depression that's causing the problems for me. They've told me to look at the customer care charter stuff and base on that. Thing is I know all that, but this other one who's, well, not me, but part of me, and she, well, she has no comprehension, and I know she has to learn to live with me more... peacefully.

All I can see is that I'll be advised to take some longer term sick leave.

And I don't know how to explain a dissociative disorder/Complex PTSD to an occupational health person.

I'm scared.

And I am hurting so much.

But I can't cry.
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2006
Messages
5,390
Points
36
i can't imagine how difficult this must be for you right now, braveheart. i am sorry you are hurting like this right now. all i can offer is some hugs. :hug: :hug:
 

texasgirl

MVP
Joined
Aug 13, 2006
Messages
703
Points
16
I am so sorry, too, Braveheart. I hope that you are able to get the support and direction you need regarding the disability issues and from your therapist. My thoughts are with you.

TG

:hug::hug:
 

David Baxter

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
38,320
Points
113
I don't know how to explain a dissociative disorder/Complex PTSD to an occupational health person.

That's what I'm trying to warn you about. If you were my client, I'd advise you to keep it on the level of Major Depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, period.

I would advise you to leave out the "Complex" part and the dissocative disorder part.

The rarionale here is that there has been enough information in the news, in TV programs, or in movies so that most people can understand sort of what depression and PTSD is about.

But very few will understand either complex PTSD or dissociative disorder. For many people, this will just say "crazy", "lifetime mental illness", "no cure", "psychotic", etc., because what little information there is in the popular media is likely to be very distorted and probably rather scary.
 

braveheart

Member
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
1,485
Points
36
Thanks lb, tg and David.

David, thanks, I get what you're saying now. *breathes* sorry it took me a while. It hurts that people would think that about what was once a survival mechanism to cope in a hostile world, and which sadly remains long after the world has mostly stopped being directly hostile. But so....
 

David Baxter

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
38,320
Points
113
Thanks lb, tg and David.

David, thanks, I get what you're saying now. *breathes* sorry it took me a while. It hurts that people would think that about what was once a survival mechanism to cope in a hostile world, and which sadly remains long after the world has mostly stopped being directly hostile. But so....

Sadly, there is still a great deal of ignorance and misinformation about "mental illness". I guess that's why we need disability legislation and why organizations such as NAMI, the Schizophrenia Society, etc., are working so hard to counteract stigma and raise awareness.
 

sister-ray

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Messages
2,017
Points
36
Braveheart, im sorry to hear about how you are feeling and what your going through,, you could maybe try ringing this place for advice.

Disability Rights Commission (DRC) Helpline
Post: DRC Helpline, Freepost MID 02164, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 9HY
Telephone 08457-622633 - Textphone 08457 622 644, Fax 08457 778 878

I believe they deal with this type of thing or might have other contact numbers you could also try your local job center they suppose to have information on this too :hug:

Theres also this site Employment support : Directgov - Disabled people
 
Last edited:

braveheart

Member
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
1,485
Points
36
Thanks David and Tte.

I keep alternating between despair and anger, feeling enraged.
I know I'm not really being treated badly, despite what the other me would like to think....although it is still frustrating that they only pick up on things when my illness is effecting the feelings of others, when I have to struggle and live with it 24/7.
"We don't want the customers making complaints".
No, but we don't want Katie to land up in hospital either. Who and what matters the most here, I ask myself, the comfort of colleagues and customers, or my health and well being? Or can they really be differentiated?

I've been feeling like hurting myself, but haven't. Partly because I'm so exhausted and drained and numb from it all, and also I hope because I care enough about myself to try and stay with my feelings however uncomfortable they are.
 

braveheart

Member
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
1,485
Points
36
I'm doing better today. Even though I hardly slept last night. With lots of flashback type dreams to when I taught children...

Therapy helped me feel more together. To be heard and understood in all of my complex multi-layered reality/ies is very precious and a great relief.
I know this is very serious.

I had a good afternoon at work.

And I heard back from my manager in response to my email explaining things in more detail, with a link to an article I found on trauma and anger. She said she found it really helpful....

I'm still scared though.
 

braveheart

Member
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
1,485
Points
36
Ok. I hope it's ok that I update this thread rather than start a new one. I don't want to... disappear.

I've now got my referral through for the PMS specialist clinic. I see the dr on 9th January.
This is stirring up things inside connected with, well, being a woman, and are quite adolescent feelings - as part of my alternate self. And a deep sadness that I never was heard and seen and got the help I needed when things were really difficult when I was a teen. When your parents don't want you to grow up or to have difficult feelings, and when your father hates women and calls them useless objects, when you feel so lost and don't know what's going on in your mind and body... I am beginning to understand more of the personality of this other me, who kind of coalesced in my teenage years. I understand more about how the dissociation became so severe, and how aggression got internalised and bottled up, and how desperately lost and alone and depressed I felt. And how this locked-in-time part of me still feels.
I don't have complete words for it all yet.

But it does help to see how the other side of this anger and aggression is pain and loss and sadness and confusion and deep aloneness in the world.
Who wouldn't fight back when everything feels so desperate in their internal world?
Who wouldn't cry out for help?
Back then I didn't.
But now I can.
Although the cry is sometimes muted, sometimes misplaced, sometimes needs translating.

I am human after all.
 

ladylore

Account Closed
Joined
Jul 7, 2007
Messages
3,855
Points
0
Ok. I hope it's ok that I update this thread rather than start a new one. I don't want to... disappear.

I've now got my referral through for the PMS specialist clinic. I see the dr on 9th January.
This is stirring up things inside connected with, well, being a woman, and are quite adolescent feelings - as part of my alternate self. And a deep sadness that I never was heard and seen and got the help I needed when things were really difficult when I was a teen. When your parents don't want you to grow up or to have difficult feelings, and when your father hates women and calls them useless objects, when you feel so lost and don't know what's going on in your mind and body... I am beginning to understand more of the personality of this other me, who kind of coalesced in my teenage years. I understand more about how the dissociation became so severe, and how aggression got internalised and bottled up, and how desperately lost and alone and depressed I felt. And how this locked-in-time part of me still feels.
I don't have complete words for it all yet.

But it does help to see how the other side of this anger and aggression is pain and loss and sadness and confusion and deep aloneness in the world.
Who wouldn't fight back when everything feels so desperate in their internal world?
Who wouldn't cry out for help?
Back then I didn't.
But now I can.
Although the cry is sometimes muted, sometimes misplaced, sometimes needs translating.

I am human after all.

Of course it ok for you to update us - I for one am glad that you are. :) It's good to hear you talking more - it does help. :)

:hug:
 

Top Bottom