Blast from the past: Notes from a Survivor

January 2019

It is nearly a year that I stopped working at the supermarket and while it was not a particularly auspicious decision for our finances it certainly is for my mental health. I did not enjoy Christmas 2018 particularly because of all the emphasis of buying more and more but I was fully, entirely and enormously grateful not having to experience it again working in a Supermarket. But here my blasts from the past about Christmas and the Supermarket

December 2017

It’s another Christmas at the supermarket and it looks like it’s going to be the worst so far staff wise. Looks like we are not getting any extra staff to deal with the extra work and on top of that many of us are checkout trained and spent 50% of their time down there but are expected to get their normal jobs done as well.

I doubt it is only the company I work for that operates like that. So if you come across a very stressed and maybe not as friendly as usual shop worker please give them a smile and tell them they are doing a great job this Christmas because that makes all the difference.

Two years ago I wrote about my experiences with going to work when my anxiety is extremely high and how some people don’t get what that means. I also asked myself the question why I care about what they think. I am pleased to report that I have developed a thicker skin when it comes to these people. It still bothers me at times but mostly I just get on with my job of breathing my anxiety down and thinking “It’s just a job, not a life-threatening situation”.

But here my experience two years ago:

December 2015

I woke up with this rock hard feeling in my stomach that indicates this won’t be a good day.

It will be a day of constantly monitoring my breathing and thoughts, of reminding myself that not all is lost and what I have achieved so far. It will be a day of “forcing” myself to do the things I enjoy and constantly reminding myself not to give up.

The worst is over. It happened in my past. I am safe now. Why though doesn’t it feel safe? Why though does it still feel like I am helplessly in the claws of my feelings and fellow humans some of whom just don’t give a damn.

Don’t get me wrong: I am lucky enough to have a stable support system of family and friends around me who just take me as I am and who love me dearly.

But those others I have to deal with can make life hell. They say things like: “well you get paid for coming to work! ” when I try to explain that I am there even though I am not well.

I see it in their eyes that they consider me a drama queen because I am good at my job and cope most of the time.

These people make that rock in my stomach just that little bit harder to bear.

Why though do I bother? Why though do I care? Why do I give them this sort of power over me?

After my last flashback and break down I told my husband that I feel ashamed of the way I reacted towards them and he looked blankly at me and said: “It’s not you who should be ashamed! It’s them! And I can’t stop thinking about these two sentences. It’s not me – it’s them….

10 thoughts on “Blast from the past: Notes from a Survivor

  1. It usually is about them. That can be hard to accept at times _ I know, because a sibling with whom I was trying to re-establish a civil relationship recently reported us to a child abuse and neglect hotline, This was done without discussing any concerns directly with us, and the charges leveled were things that would have been resolved through conversation, or things taken out of context or exaggerated, or suppositions. There was also an outright lie or two.

    That it wasn’t an honest or founded report was almost immediately apparent to the caseworker who came to investigate, but that’s not the thing that sticks with me most. What is is that I’ve finally realized that I can never trust this person – that, since childhood, there’s been a pattern of winning my trust, then betraying it.

    It’s a classic abuse pattern, but it’s taken my 46 years and then some to see it.

    I think what happens is that those of us who have been subject to abuse sometimes get so well conditioned that we just accept…accept that we should feel ashamed, that we’re wrong, that others have the best intentions….but they don’t, always, and we aren’t responsible for their actions.

    It’s been hard for me to share about the investigation, even though the case was closed as unfounded, and even though I now recognize, at last, that lifelong pattern. I feel oddly ashamed, which I know was in part the objective. I’ve struggled with my anger and a desire to engage in a way that I already know would only exacerbate the dysfunction.

    I wish us both new learning and self-acceptance, as well as the strength to keep becoming more certainly ourselves. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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