Category Archives: Civil Rights

So, so very tired.

I wrote a poem.

On Being Bipolar

The hateful voice wants me alone;
                         he wants me to die.
I don’t know how he doesn’t see
                       that we are bound, he and I;
When I die, so does he

A friend suggested that perhaps the illness itself is the one who wants to die, as I want very much to live (especially if it’s sans illness.) It’s an interesting premise, and one I might use. I sort of pity it in that respect; but it is self-destructive to the point that *I* am self-destructive, and that’s crap I can’t tolerate.

I am supposed to do a 5K tomorrow. I’m supposed to be up at 6:30. It is currently 3:30 and I haven’t been able to sleep out of anxiety about the aforementioned 5K. I am afraid my family will ridicule me for it if I don’t go. Being fit (and also not fat, but less that in recent years as my activism has gotten MUCH more vocal) is an obsession in my family. Last year my stepdad bet my mom $50 that I wouldn’t complete it. So far this year I’ve already missed another 5K. But I’m so tired now…

I don’t want to go to Thanksgiving. I don’t want to be surrounded by family and especially by noisy nieces and one noisy nephew (though he and I get each other.) I had Thanksgiving at work and am a bit Thanksgiving-ed out, to be honest, especially as I spent ten hours at work today, and at least ten additional hours purchasing and preparing food in advance. Not to mention all of the planning and logistics I had to put in all month, on top of my usual work. I am just so wrung out. I just want to be home, where it’s quiet, hang out with Chihiro, and binge watch Netflix or something.

Only one resident thanked me for my hard work, though most complimented my cooking. (Which is amazing, by the way. Everyone wants my recipes for my turkey, sugar cookies, and pumpkin pie.) The other residents ‘thanked’ me in their usual way; eat everything, complain about dishes that weren’t made despite the metric fuckton of food present, and then demand dessert before I’ve even had a chance to enjoy my own plate. Half of them wandered off before I got around to dishing out pie because they were too impatient to let me finish eating. (I didn’t. I was tired of being hassled for pie.)

The case manager helped me a great deal today, but she was the only one, and she was trying to get other things done in the morning so she could just help me this afternoon. Some of the residents helped with set up/tear down, which I am also grateful for. Some staff helped with serving but disappeared as soon as it was time to clean up afterwards, which took me, the case manager, and a resident two and a half hours to do. I am *very* thankful for that, I was so tired I could barely stand up, and I spent ten hours mostly on my feet today.

Next week is a CARF survey, Wednesday through Friday. They’re a huge accreditation program whose stamp of approval helps us function. We’re trying to get my day programming certified, which means I will be put under a microscope. I haven’t had a lot of time to really prepare due to Thanksgiving taking up so very much of my time this month. My program is fine; I do a fantastic job, I commit waaaay too many of my evenings and put in long hours making everything happen. My groups are good and well attended overall, the work program is successful, and all of my ducks are in a row. I just want to get things ready by Wednesday to show off, y’know? I’ve been tidying my office which is in a perpetual state of “mostly organized chaos” and I’ve got a lot of pictures to hang up/rehang in the craft room. Oh, and the leaky spot in my ceiling opened back up today, due to a lot of melt from the snow over the weekend. I’m sure our maintenance guy will be *thrilled* when I tell him on Friday. He thought the leak was fixed. HAHAHAHAHA no.

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Going to the doctor is always *so* much fun.

So I had a manic episode Wednesday night/Thursday morning, likely from a combination of work stress and waaaay too much caffeine.  I finally passed out around 7:00 Thursday morning, after calling (emailing) in FMLA.  Been a month and a half since my last FMLA day, and I think I just went home early that day.  I really am doing better overall.  But it worked out, kinda, as I already had an appointment to see my primary care doctor today.  I hadn’t remembered to tell my boss or HR about it and was wondering how to sneak out of work for about two hours. >_>

So the main reason for going is I wanted to switch birth control brands to the one my insurance covers for free, instead of paying a $25 copay.  I’ve been duking it out with my insurance for a while, over multiple things.

It is always awkward, being checked in. Thankfully, the nurses accept my polite “No, thank you” to being weighed, though I have requested they flag my chart somehow so they know not to even ask, as it is very triggering for me and likely is for other people as well.  For some reason it doesn’t bother me when my psychiatrist does it, but he does it himself, never comments on it, and I know he’s watching for changes due to my psychiatric drugs, which makes it actually a medical necessity, as often weight change is the first sign that something’s not right with my meds, or my overall mental status.

Then came the fun part, where I explain what I need, and asked if there was any way I could also get an IUD put in, or a tubal ligation, as I have no plans to have kids, and launched into my list of why it is A Very Bad Idea for me to actually birth children anyway, as with my current medications, by the time I would realize I was pregnant, very irreparable damage would’ve been done to the kid’s brain.  Not to mention the horrible genetics I’d be passing down.  (And with my new boyfriend, *his* genetics are equally awful, so the poor hypothetical kid would never have a chance.)  She didn’t think my insurance would do both an IUD and hormonal birth control, but they might consider a tubal, as I am now 31 and now magically able to really decide what I want for my reproductive future.  Maybe.  I don’t know if it’ll be covered, of course, but she said she’d be happy to make a referral to a surgeon.  I’ll have to call my insurance and see what they would be willing to consider.  I’d rather go the IUD route than actual surgery, but either way, I just want that extra layer of backup, y’know?

I actually made my doctor cry, though, when I started in on my It’s A Bad Idea schpiel and she could see my overall level of frustration.  She’s really nice, I like her quite a bit, and felt badly when she got choked up.

Oh, the best part of my visit?  As I have been out of birth control for three weeks, and had *protected* sex about two weeks ago (I’m not an idiot) I still had to do a pregnancy test before she could actually prescribe me birth control.  As much as I knew it was a veeery low chance, I was still nervous.  She was happy with the negative, especially given how adamant I am about not having kids, and she prescribed it.

Of course, then the pharmacy discovered that while I had the correct *brand,* the little numbers after it were wrong, so the brand I switched to *still* wasn’t free.  Gotta call my doctor’s office AGAIN tomorrow to correct that.  (It’s supposed to be Junel Fe 1/20 and she’d written for like, Junel Fe 28 or something.  I couldn’t tell you what those numbers mean if my life depended on it.)

Seriously, someone shoot me.  At least my pharmacist found my pent-up-rage ranting against my insurance company funny, and she agreed with my frustration, as insurance companies rarely send formularies to pharmacies so they don’t know what is covered, either.  She appreciated my frustration with how the birth control formulary I received- that had to be mailed to me, as it wasn’t even listed on my insurance company’s website- only listed the brand names they covered.  No chemical information whatsoever.  So I had to do my own research to match the brand they’ll cover with the chemical formula I am presently prescribed, that works juuust fine, thank you.  Evidently the ACA only requires the insurances cover one brand of each compound, rather than just, y’know, paying for all of them.  UNIVERSAL PAYOR SYSTEM, PEOPLE.  IT IS A THING THAT WORKS IN QUITE A FEW OTHER PLACES VERY NICELY.  If only America wasn’t positively allergic to anything that smacks of socialism/communism, we’d have nice things, AND save money, and this last month of absolute nonsense of trying to change and fill a prescription wouldn’t have happened.

I also remembered to stop at a lab on the way home to get bloodwork done that I’ve been forgetting since February, too.  I was just full of medical compliance today.

…And did I remember to mention I have a boyfriend?  That’s a topic for another post. XD

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Feeling rather numb

I have a client who is anorexic, and actively dying. He was down to about 83 pounds the last time he was weighed, and he is just so sick. Hospice was scheduled to come in Monday to get him in the system and work with him- and us- about how best to handle his impending death, as he refused all treatment for his anorexia. As I was the second shift monitor of the clients in the independent apartments over the weekend, I spent as much time as I could with him, and was constantly checking to make sure he was still breathing when he went to sleep. He was simply a walking skeleton, and watching him move around made my heart ache in so many ways.

As my weekend is on Mondays and Tuesdays, I was at home on Tuesday when I checked my gmail and saw that something had happened, though I wasn’t positive what. A few frantic texts to coworkers let me know that he was in the hospital, and medical intervention was the only reason he was still alive.

We’re having an all-campus grief counseling session at 11:00 Wednesday.

I feel numb, and very much in need of a crying jag. I was trying to talk to my mom about it, but my stepdad interjected with a “I had a bad day. I don’t want to hear about your clients.” So I shut up and went to my room to cope with my emotions as best I could.

We’ll see how well I manage to hold it together tomorrow. I’m not confident that I’m going to be able to, but I’m going to try.

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Filed under Mental Health Rights, Now

Holy worst weekend ever, Batman!

So last weekend was my first weekend as a DSW (Direct Service Worker) which a) means I’m getting paid less as I am responsible for less and b) am working hours and days where I am the only clinician present, though I am not acting in that capacity officially.

The 1-1 staffing wasn’t bad, as the client is presently in the ‘honeymoon’ stage with me, so he isn’t pushing his luck with me… yet.

Activity driving? GOOD LORD. We got lost going to the first scheduled event, and then we had a complete breakdown in the van as two of the clients got extremely angry with me and started yelling and calling me names, resulting in my scrapping of the backup “let’s get a beverage somewhere instead” plan and simply returning to campus. I misunderstood that one of the clients that isn’t “true” SIL (supported independent living) as we basically are providing him all the services as the cottages, but he just can’t live there as he terrorized everyone, and I didn’t think he could go on the SIL grocery shopping, so he was pissed at me. (This is the same client I was 1-1 with on Friday and Sunday. Those days? Complete angel. When I screwed up because it was my first day and I was confused? HOLY MOLY.)

In the interim, I had a client who has been decompensating all week and threatening suicide, again threaten it while I was talking to him, and then producing the bloody razors he’d been hiding him his room for self-harm. Razors confiscated, I called 911, and then had a 20-minute argument with the responding paramedics that yes, you’ve taken him every day this week and that is frustrating, but we can’t keep him safe on campus as we can’t very well lock him in his room and campus is not fenced in or anything, and yelling at me for wasting your time, and subsequently wasting MORE of your time, is not productive in any way. I had to get the program manager on the phone to yell at them, but I was holding my ground and wouldn’t let them leave without my client. This was immediately before the 6:00 outing, so those clients interested kept milling around, wanting to know when we were leaving, and looking hurt when I had to set boundaries with them that yes, we’d be going on the outing, but can’t you see I am presently handling an emergency?

I was a bit frustrated at how the cottage staff didn’t seem all that concerned about his threats of suicide. Sure, it’s a bit of a constant, but this isn’t attention seeking behavior as the paramedics insisted; he has attempted in the past when the voices are really bad and “torturing” him a lot, and they’ve been really bad, as he kept saying the “mental torment is worse than Auschwitz!” Yes, he kept referencing the Holocaust as an example of how bad it was in his head. (Sidenote: this client looks and sounds a lot like Lewis Black, including his overall intensity, so I was trying SO HARD not to break out laughing when he was clearly upset and needed help.) Sure, the wounds thus far have been superficial, but he has multiple extremely detailed plans that are 100% plausible, so FOR THE LOVE OF GOD TAKE HIM TO THE HOSPITAL ALREADY. After five attempts last week, he was FINALLY admitted. Hopefully they’ll tweak his meds and he won’t be so tortured anymore.

The final outing, to the Tim Horton’s up the street, took THREE trips, for seven people, so nobody killed each other in the van. And nobody wanted to just sit and drink their coffee and talk; everyone drank their beverages of choice and/or inhaled their pastry and immediately went outside to smoke, which took twice as long as the rest of the process. It would be funny if it wasn’t somewhat sad.

Today I return to case management, which is MUCH more within my comfort zone, and today is the “Walk a Mile in my Shoes” event hosted by NAMI. I’ll be going along, I think, and I hope it’ll be a good day and not soggy raining like it’s been doing all week. I think it’ll be fun and the clients who were interested hopefully will have a good time.

Overall, having a weekend helped, though my weekend is Monday and Tuesday, and I spent Tuesday afternoon with a feverish, sick nephew, so that cut it a bit short. Ah, well. :/ He’s doing much better, but can’t go back to daycare until he hasn’t had a fever for 24 hours. Glad the family friend who watches him sometimes can come over and do so again tomorrow, as I think I was going to get the short end of that stick and have to stay home with him otherwise.

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Huh. Never had to delete something that wasn’t spam before.

I got my first angry comment the other day. It was mostly unintelligible, to be honest, but it was railing against Health at Every Size, and Regan Chastain of Dances with Fat in particular. So it wasn’t even really MY hate response, it was more hers that got sidetracked on my post. Honestly, I think I’ve mentioned Regan once, maybe twice, so I’m not really even sure how I ended up getting an angry comment about her. Google search, maybe? I should’ve saved it for posterity, but my finger was itchy to use the delete button for the first time on something that wasn’t spam.

If I haven’t made it abundantly clear in this blog, I do apologize. I am a fat activist. I am a firm believer in Health at Every Size, and I highly recommend actually reading Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight. It opened my eyes to a world where I don’t have to hate myself, and where I can be whatever size I am and still be healthy. I am not going to be convinced that it is a crock, no matter how much you rail at me about it. Believe me, my family does it enough just fine on their own. Also, I will not be persuaded by abundant scatological references. Telling me that I shouldn’t believe someone that it is okay with who she is, and insisting that she is more or less whitewashing the fence, with lots of colorful shit metaphors? Yeah, that one’s not gonna fly.

No matter what, I am going to be a fat person for the rest of my life. I am fine with this. Hell, I’m content with that, if not happy. I am fond of all of me, even the lumpy bits and the bits that jiggle when I move. I am most assuredly NOT fine with being told I should be ashamed of this amazing body that does so many amazing things, and being told that I should hate myself skinny. I have done enough of that to last a lifetime and thank god I came to my senses before losing any more of my precious time here on this planet.

My opinion will never be a popular one in my lifetime, at least not at the rate it is going. I will be verbally abused for the rest of my life by just about anyone; people who are cruel, people who are well-meaning but horribly misguided, and by people who love me and think they are doing what’s best for me. But none of that will change who I am or what I look like. None of that will change the research out there. Insisting that said research is like “the six articles that make a case for the earth being flat” isn’t going to change the fact that the dieting industry has been selling us a bill of goods for a long time. It isn’t going to change the fact that hundreds of messages about how I am not good enough because I am fat are being thrown at me every day. It isn’t going to change the fact that the diet industry is raking in $60 billion annually, and this number will likely only go up.

I guess what I’m getting at, is that my mind is not going to be changed about this, no matter what. Mostly unintelligible diatribes in my comment queue certainly isn’t going to do anything but amuse me for a minute, or piss me off, and will be deleted. You have a right to free speech, sure, but this is my blog, and it is a dictatorship. So feel free to go rant at Regan, as she posts her more interesting hate mail on her blog, so at least it’ll see the light of day, maybe. Or rant at me if you need to get it off your chest. But it will most assuredly not be published.

I am fat, and I’m ok with that. I’m more ok with being fat than I am with being bipolar, in fact, and that’s 95% of this blog. So please take your vitriol elsewhere.

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Blog for Mental Health 2014

So I just found an interesting little thing on WordPress. There was an article entitled Mental Health Bloggers Widen Their Support Systems on WordPress.com that I noticed on my homepage, so of course I was curious and clicked on it. As a result I discovered A Canvas of the Minds, which is a whole team of mental health bloggers. Just the sort of thing I’m totally into! I’ll add links to the blogroll later. Anyway, there is a thing called Blog for Mental Health 2014″ which is to help eradicate stigma and raise awareness which is… pretty much the entire purpose of my own blog, so taking the pledge is easy. Ahem:

“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”

There is even a badge, which I may or may not have any success with adding here:

art by Piper Macenzie

I love being included. I often feel sort of left on the periphery, so being able to connect with other people here is awesome.

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I’m surrounded by armchair psychiatrists

So Monday morning/afternoonish, I was in a bit of a funk. I’ve been having trouble falling asleep when I want to and staying asleep (more the second bit,) and so I end up needing to sleep later but my nephew (who now lives here) is Very Two and Very Loud at obscene o’clock in the morning, so… yeah, not sure about the overall quality of my sleep in the last few months. I had been having weird dreams and woke up unsettled, and then watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and felt even MORE unsettled. I’m starting to think Harry Potter is a bit much for me, to be honest. My brother has all of the movies except for The Deathly Hallows 1 & 2, and my nephew loves Harry Potter, so he’s equally as likely to be watching that as he is to be working through the Pixar collection. I watched my nephew for an hour or so while my brother went and talked to a general manager somewhere, and finished out the movie once my brother and nephew left for a while, and just felt unsettled, and a bit angry.

Lately, it seems that everybody around me- my parents, my mom’s therapist, my boss- knows more about my mental illness and what I need, than I do. It feels an awful lot like what happens when other people who make my fat their business, and doubt my own experiences as a fat person, so I’m going to go with the idea that I’m being completely ignored because clearly I don’t actually know what’s best for me. It’s rude, it’s demeaning, and it makes me feel like I’m incompetent and need a guardian appointed by the court or something.

It just keeps coming up, different variations of the same theme; I’m not pushing myself enough, I’m not really that sick, I give up too easily, I could do more if I wanted to and I just don’t want to. I wish I could let some of these people spend a week in my head and see how well they manage. I’ve actually gone more than a month since missing any work, which is a goddamn miracle and hasn’t happened in YEARS, but I’m working around 28 hours a week because more than that and I had problems. I wonder how I’ll handle a 40 hour week, but as I doubt I’ll be doing quite the same amount of physical labor, and I’ll hopefully be making more than minimum wage, I think I’ll be able to handle it. I can handle mental exhaustion far, far better than physical exhaustion, for one, and for two, just about every other career field in the world is less in-your-face stressful than customer service.

Being physically busy does quiet my brain a bit, so that’s nice, but as soon as I slow down the noise is back, which is part of why I’m having trouble sleeping. I’m struggling to process through a lot and so much has changed. I’m not going to group anymore, as it was mostly a waste of my time. I’m halfheartedly looking for another support group but I don’t really get anything out of the format. I tried, and I’ve genuinely tried in the past, but it just doesn’t work for me. Of course, this is another thing that everybody else knows more than me about how I can handle it, and I just didn’t try hard enough, or participate enough.

It’s like religion all over again. I walked away after being told one too many times that if I just had more faith, God would heal me of my mental illness. My every failure was because I didn’t have enough faith, even though I was pretty damn sure I was as faithful as I could be. It wasn’t the lack of faith, it was how nothing on the other end was changing. I was being blamed for being sick and not fixing myself… and it’s happening again. It’s my fault that I’m still bipolar. If I’d just do what everyone else knows I should be doing, I’d be better. I’d be employed and get to live independently again, get my cat back, get my life back in order, but I’m not doing what everyone else wants, so I deserve to suffer.

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Healthy self-talk

So I saw this interview a few days ago, and its message about humiliation versus shame has been percolating in my head for a few days. It’s an Oprah interview with Dr. Brene Brown, who is a researcher who focuses on shame, where they discuss how one’s self-talk determines whether or not they will feel humiliated or shamed by a negative event. I’m not thrilled at how she says that shame is the #1 teaching tool and she sees it all the time in classrooms, as I’ve only been shamed by one or two teachers in my own academic career and it was definitely not something that was encouraged during the time I spent as an education major. (However, the education department itself had a grand time shaming me for having a mental illness, but that’s a story for another day.)

Aaaanyway, I was thinking about how I talk to myself and about myself, and about how I’ve internalized that shame very, very well. I’ve pretty much beaten it when talking about my body, as I am happy with my body physically and have learned to love myself and advocate for myself and other fatties out there, but mentally? Mentally is a completely different story. I beat the shit out of myself mentally on a pretty frequent basis, and usually over extremely inane things. The general manager at work told me the other day, “Sometimes I don’t think you have as much confidence in you, as other people have confidence in you.” It’s so very true. I am a rock solid ally for anyone else, and do not hesitate to give other people the benefit of the doubt and encouragement when they screw up, because we are all human after all, but when I do something dumb? I throw myself to the goddamn wolves.

I read something about how women in our society have been conditioned to treat themselves so poorly, that it would be considered abuse if they treated another human being or an animal that way- denying themselves food, calling themselves horrible things, never loving themselves or finding themselves worthy of anything, constantly berating themselves. And I realized, that how I treat myself mentally, how I think about myself mentally, is abuse. It’s the same abuse my father meted out, in fact, that has led to my spending a lifetime in and out of therapy, still trying to grapple with that little kernel of self-hatred buried deep inside. All of that shame that my father heaped on me when I was a child, I have taken upon myself to self-flagellate with now. I’ve let that shame and self-hatred live rent-free in my head for YEARS. The voices in my head that are so quick to judge me wanting might have started with my father, but I took them in and let them stay long after he was out of my life.

It’s not something that can be changed overnight. After all, my journey to accepting and loving my body has been one years in the making. After so many years of being abused and then taking on the role of my own abuser once the external one was out of my life, it’s going to take a long time to learn to love me for all of my mental flaws. And unlike in my journey to make peace with my perfectly good body, my mind is not in such great condition. It’s very broken, very fragile, and takes a lot of work to just keep myself feeling okay. It’s hard not to hate something so broken in myself, because I don’t WANT it to be broken anymore, but it’s not something I can really mend. I will have to love the bipolar disorder, the PTSD, and the anxiety if I’m going to love myself mentally. I’ll have to love the neuroses and compulsions and derisive voices.

I am visualizing my mental self as a child, my child. I would not treat a child so poorly as I treat myself. I would not hate a child for having shortcomings, or for making mistakes, even big ones. I would not bring up every failure the child has ever had over and over and over again. That’s already been done. It’s time to treat myself with respect, and learn to love my mental self.

It’s going to be a hell of a journey, and I’m not sure how well this one will play out.

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So Monday went a LOT better than this weekend did…

Monday I had the interview for the office manager position at The Adventure Park at Frankenmuth, and I think it went fabulously. I was interviewed by two separate people and only let go so I could go get to Wendy’s on time for my shift; they wanted to take me around the park to see it up close. I think this job is PERFECT for me, and said so about seven million times. Both were very impressed by the scrapbook I keep of notes and accolades from previous jobs (though it needs a bit of updating.) They want to get someone in ASAP, and as I applied Friday night/Saturday morning at some obscene hour and got a call on Saturday, and was able to schedule an appointment for Monday, and they had interviews Sunday and Monday and plan to do callbacks for second interviews Tuesday. I have Wednesday off, so I would easily be able to go interview again if they call me back. The position is salaried and year-round, and there is an office assistant position that is seasonal but would get me in the door for a position at the park they’re building somewhere outside of Detroit that will open next year. This one is up in Frankenmuth, which is a huge tourist place, so finding another job to get me through the off-season (Bronner’s, anyone?) If I could just find SOMETHING that pays enough that I can get my bills under control and be able to get independent again, it will be worth it.

I haven’t heard back from Michael’s, though they said I’d hear something this week and it’s only Monday as I write this, so enh. If the office manager thing goes through, I won’t worry about it, but if I end up with the assistant position, which is usually only about 30 hours/week, I would need to find something to make up the rest of it. I’m just trying to find jobs that are fairly low-stress so I don’t end up in the hospital due to working too much to make ends meet.

At Wendy’s, I didn’t get a chance to talk to the general manager before she disappeared (I was going to go in before my interview, but I was too worried about being late to stop. I was over a half-hour early, so I just hung out in the parking lot for fifteen minutes or so before going in.) At any rate, I was put on the opposite side of the store from the manager I have problems with, and we just mutually ignored one another unless I had to talk to her specifically. Another manager basically managed me the whole night. I work tomorrow during the day, so I’m hoping to talk to the GM then, but it seemed a bit obvious that the manager I talked to on Sunday shared some of my concerns with somebody, or maybe the one that fielded my panicked call on Saturday told her. I still want to explain things to her myself, of course, and maybe sit down with both of them to work something out. Being on opposite ends of the store definitely helped, as I wasn’t under her constant scrutiny and allowed more autonomy. I really dislike the front register, but I definitely don’t dislike it more than being stuck in that corner with the bully manager breathing down my neck.

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So let me tell you the story of the last week or so, since I fell off the map at some point last week.

So… I sort of had a breakdown at work/after work on Friday.

The manager who bullies me was more horrible than usual, going out of her way to say nothing to me for about three hours. She ignored me completely and would work around me. When she did talk to me, it was with a lot of eye-rolling and huffing, and making snide comments behind my back. As I was only about four feet away from her, I got to hear it all. I started having a panic attack about mid-shift and took a klonopin. When I got home I felt awful, but I hoped a few hours of time on the internet would help. I took two klonopin as usual with my evening meds, and went to bed by midnight.

I spent the rest of the night unable to breathe or sleep, as my entire shift continued to play repeatedly in my head. I had wanted to set boundaries, or just leave, but I didn’t, and I beat myself up not standing up for myself. I wanted to talk to the general manager about this manager’s behavior but couldn’t until at least the next day. I ended up taking two more klonopin as the night went by, trying desperately to stop the panic attack. I was dressed and ready to go to the hospital when my mom got up. She had noticed I didn’t look quite right when I got home, and was surprised that I didn’t hang around to watch Iron Man 3, which they had rented, and I love tremendously. She and I talked for a long time, and went for a walk, and I was starting to feel better, and very tired, thanks to waaaaay too much klonopin. I knew I was in no state to work, so I called in, which must’ve been frustrating because I’d picked up half of those hours the night before. I knew I’d be comatose or a complete zombie on my feet, and that’s not safe. I spent most of the day asleep, and went for another walk with my mom once I got up. Once I’d had some dinner and a walk, I was feeling better, though I still felt like I was someplace outside of my body, just observing, and emotionally numb.

I slept SO WELL Saturday night, and was so conked out, I couldn’t wake up until about 3:00 PM on Sunday. I got ready for work at 4:30 and realized I had a bunch of messages on my phone. The GM had written the hours I’d picked up for me, but evidently I agreed to come in earlier at some point with the closing manager for Sunday night, and was supposed to have been there by 3:20. Oops.

However, I also got a call from a job that had weirdly enough popped up on my Facebook feed, for an office manager. I had applied to it on a whim, and was actually called back. I was able to get into contact with the woman who was doing the interviews and scheduled one for 12:30 on Monday, so wish me luck!

Sunday night I still felt weird, and was up front for a few hours. I don’t know where anything is up there, and the sandwich maker was coordinating the orders just fine on her own, so I felt mostly useless and exposed. I came home on my break because it was quite frankly much warmer there, and talked with my mom about how I was feeling sort of paranoid and weird. She told me to try not to read so much into how people were treating me, as half of the staff still don’t know what to think about me and give me funny looks a lot. I was put on the drive thru when I got back, and the return to comfortable familiarity did a lot of good. I was able to talk with the closing manager, whom I’ve worked with for years, about what happened and my hopes that a conversation with the GM on Monday would help. She didn’t share my enthusiasm but hoped for my sake that something might come of it. All else fails, I will involve the nice people who help with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and who will mediate problems at jobs. If it doesn’t end up helping me in the long run, it should help others. Managers should not be rude and bully their employees, at least without consequences for that behavior. The job is stressful enough without help from within.

Hopefully this office manager job pans out, as it is full-time, and hopefully reasonably scheduled, paid, and insurance’d. We’ll see tomorrow.

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