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Quite a juxtaposition

Woke up with about 90 mins before I had to go to work. Nerves made me a little uneasy when I pulled up in the car park, but before then I was doing ok. I had a couple of messages from Meg in the morning which helped. Although it's my usual bias in terms of how much I write and what I receive in reply. But that's with a lot of people, I just notice it more with those I'm dating I guess.

I quickly picked up fatigue and despondency in people working in the office. The usual - too much work, kinda downtrodden that this is their job etc. Not much office drama yet, most people seemed friendly, but the noise levels weren't great. The room is about 6 x 8 metres. But the building has 4 floors and a lot of departments. The room we're in has over 25 people. I did notice quite quickly that some people used headphones.

Also saw that there's basically no incoming calls. This is a relief compared to every other job that I've worked. Still, I realised a lot of people switched departments and staff turnover for people quitting was high. The room had 3 new starters in one day and another apparently joining soon. 1 person leaving in a week and another swapping teams in a few weeks.

Was quite surprised that 2 people travelled 90 minutes each way to work. That seemed insane to me. Here's me, with my shortest ever commute - at 20 minutes or less. 36 mins on days I choose to cycle.

One new starter has a thick Essex accent, and 3 in the room are in their late teens. A few in their early 20's. So there's that youthful energy that I quickly find exhausting to be around. The guy sat next to me seems like quite a lad. Very chatty. Said at one point he had ADHD. He chatted a lot to this 19 year old girl who sits in front of us. The small talk was pretty constant and it was slowly poisoning me. At times the background noise of people talking was too much.

I had a training procedure document to read. About 27 pages in all. It was so dull and the background noise was so much that it took an hour to read 6 pages. I noticed the new starters arrived after I did, and both of them were paired with people very quickly and starting their training. I was sat with a couple of documents to read for 3 and a half hours.

Then we had an induction. The guy had a colossal, cratered nose. I found it alarming and fascinating to look at. I've read about this before with neurodiversity - and spotting odd features or literally finding frustration or even disgust in odd bodily features on people. Strange really, as I find various differences in appearance very endearing on people, yet this person's nose really unnerved me.

The short company video was so bad. The generic music, the horrific interviews and the company values: Excellence, forward thinking, together. Jesus christ - someone blow my brains out. I know it sounds melodramatic, but it was so shockingly cheesy and generic, I felt embarassed to watch it.

At least 3 people were quite intrigued, if a little concerned that I was the new person on this "Hot Jobs Adviser" role. Sounds like it'll be stressful and a lot of responsibility. Then again, the more I spoke to the woman training me, the more I realised she's being made to do multiple people's jobs, and the role I'm doing shouldn't even be done by her right now. So yeah - it sounds like the same story of every company I've worked for.

Got half hour lunch. Always had an hour in every company I've worked for. Still, I found out that you could start at 7:30, 8 or 8:30. I happened to see my manager near the end of the day and asked about starting at 7:30 and he said that'd be fine. Means my day finishes at 4 which is nice. Half hour lunch doesn't give me time to do much though. I sat outside on one of the picnic benches they have. It's between 2 of the buildings, but it has a decent amount of plants surrounding it, but it does back onto the car park. So it's not exactly scenic. I didn't have my headphones, but I ate my lunch on my own and read my new book on autism. Sat nearby was a woman, a man and a very camp and loud gay man. They spent my entire lunch break loudly talking about weddings. Once again - vivid mind's eye images of me smashing my head against the table in protest to the utter nonsense they were talking about in very loud voices.

Tomorrow I'm bringing my headphones. Won't be able to use them in a work capacity until I'm trained up and able to go solo. But for lunch breaks it seems like a necessity. I really would like to get off company grounds on my break though. But 30 minutes is a tiny window and there isn't any woodland, lakes or rivers feasibly close enough to be able to spend more than 10 minutes there before I had to head back.

I really felt exhausted before I headed to work. Running on so little sleep from Sunday night's sleep, plus doing that double dose of mushies kind of melted my brain a bit. Still, it helped with some soul searching. Mind you - it did bring up the fact I was dangerously fatigued and that it wasn't sustainable to carry on how I am. Also, worrying about the van. Thinking about my plan to move out and live in it. I felt terrified that it was the wrong choice, that it wasn't me.

Still - compared to living alone in a rented place, or sigining up to a mortgage in an affordable place - AKA some horrid flat somewhere, van life actually seems like the most sensible plan. Can't stay at home, well I can - but it's rekindling a lot of past issues, emotional traumas etc. It's not a stable place for me to live.

Speaking of unstable, Saturday night's dinner at Guy's has left quite a big mental scar on me. It was traumatic. I'd put off doing it for a very long time, and how it played out was even more intense than I'd expected. Much like I described to Meg on Sunday morning - sometimes the mind feels like a bramble/blackberry bush. All tangled and knotted and covered in thorns. Traumatic thoughts, anxieties and depression feel like thorns. Once they get a hold, it's hard to free yourself from them.

One thorn is this illogical worry I have. It's all fuelled by trauma, feelings of inadequacy and abandonment issues. I worry that somehow, at some time Guy and Meg will become an item. Logic dictates that's unlikely. Me and Meg are together, and even if we were to split up, I'd assume, much like Guy assumed Marcus wouldn't get with his ex (now that they've become friends), I'd assume Guy or Meg wouldn't do the same. Meg has repeatedly assured me she isn't the type of person to cheat.

Problem I have is that 3 ex's cheated on me, and even before they had done, my trauma issues and mental health made me convinced I'd lose them in a traumatic circumstance, and sure enough it happened multiple times, with 3 partners. So trust isn't something I put much stock in, because day in day out I encounter catastrophic thoughts.

For instance, this evening Meg messaged me saying she's walking into town to meet her friend. I was happy she would have a nice time, but selfish enough to think I wouldn't get to talk to her much. But then my mind realised the evenings are drawing in, and the thought of her walking back alone conjured up fears she'd be attacked or in danger etc. Bit like how I worry when she's parked up in the van on her own etc.

So yes, you can take a step back - see what you're doing. Rationalise the fears and try and replace them, or at least calm them down a bit with logical alternatives. But it doesn't lessen the fatigue, or the initial explosive thoughts and energy of anxious thinking. Even when you try and steer things in a positive direction - you end up more and more exhausted.

Back to Guy - truth is I see a pattern in who I befriend. Much like my parents, I'm replicating their personalities. People who talk at me. Talk my ear off. Company where I tend to spend most of the time sat in silence, whilst a barrage of talk comes at me. Slowly becoming more and more fatigued. Ever louder internal desire to go home, or to simply speak my mind for once and just tell someone to STFU because their inane chatter is driving me doolally.

Truth is, Guy is a nice person. But I quickly picked up a pattern in how he'd keep inviting me over when he needed help, lifts, things. How he'd steer conversations into getting me to come over. How I've been increasingly telling him I'm worn out, yet still he persists in asking me to come over. I also don't like the hinting and attempts to get me to visit. It feels duplicitous, and it starts to anger me, because I feel like I'm being pestered.

With his heavy drinking and heavy smoking - I am triggered in his presence. With that, plus the fact he talks at me, and repeatedly talks over me. Then there's the countless times I do talk and he simply isn't listening. Then when he meets Meg and my inner critic just tore me apart. The panic attack, vomitting 3 times. My first ever hug with Guy and I burst into tears. And Meg only met him once and they have a happy departing hug.

Yeah. All of it felt like a steaming ball of s*** to be honest.

I was trying to distance myself from Guy because I started feeling guilty and responsible for him. That his mental health was bad, and how I needed to visit him regularly to keep check on him. How he's told me several times how I've helped and that he'd be in a worse place if I hadn't. And Marcus telling me each time he sees me how we need to keep check on Guy.

You know what? I'm tired of associating with people who drain me. Guy isn't a bad person - but right here, right now it's bad for me. And Saturday night really messed me up. It cut deep. Vomitting 3 times in a short space of time due to anxiety is unheard of for me. This isn't good. And even though logic tells me it won't happen - this fear about Guy and Meg is overwhelming each time it comes into view. It literally hits me like a truck, my heart sinks, I panic. I know it's not real. It's a worry, a fictional thought. But it's humbling me, it's terrifying me, and no amount of logic is lessening how hard it hits me. I do trust Meg. I just find terrifying "what if's" keep hitting me. Its like a replay of the intensity of trauma when I was cheated on in the past. Waves of sheer terror at the thought - the worry. Its fiction, and I needn't fixate or ever believe it. Yet it's leaving me feeling overwhelmed multiple times a day at the moment. It should get better. It's not a constant. One worry replaces another. But this brain thorn is in quite deep at the moment.

Last nights trip though - I felt my fatigue and tiredness on a whole new level. It was literally telling me that I am dangerously tired. As in - this dynamic can't continue indefinitely. Between the stress, smoking, history of alcohol abuse, dad's heart issues, and my car crash of a diet since childhood - I am convinced without a shadow of a doubt one day I will die because of a heart attack. As in - I don't even doubt it anymore. I know it in my gut. Kind of sobering.

Anyway, Meg is back from seeing her friend now. Far earlier than expected. She's talking more on WhatsApp than normal. It feels nice as I know she's told me repeatedly she doesn't like spending ages staring at a screen or being on instant messangers. Whereas for me it's my main form of communication. When you keep reaching out, putting in effort and sometimes feeling like it's not reciprocated? Inner critic. Mind you, the same goes for my fear of now talking about love with her, as it's not currently reciprocated. More brain thorns.

There also seems to be a building anxiety in the bedroom. Overwhelm at times which has seemingly increased in frequency. The last time she said it might be my stamina causing overwhelm for her. Strange, as I felt so in tune with her physically that my stamina has been better than with anyone else I've dated. Yet that is now a cause of overwhelm? I guess all of this is new and unchartered waters in many respects. Also, in recent weeks with her seeing my overwhelm, the depths of my mental health struggles - it's put up boundaries, it's led to her own overwhelm, and I think it's thrown several spanners in the works. The fact we haven't been dating 3 months yet - and yet there's been multiple meltdowns, tears, anxiety attacks etc. Reminds me of amour fou - mad love.

Ed

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