Work puzzles

I’ve nearly been in my new job three months. Hard to believe, I know. I’m still enjoying it, which is good news. Two things puzzle me, though.

The first is the triggery nature of the work. I never expected that. I should have, because some of it is so obviously triggering – stuff like child trafficking for s*xual exploitation. Yea, I know, I should have seen that coming. Doh.

Some of the other content is triggering for me as well, though in ways I can’t explain. This week, for example, I was at a seminar thingy and we were watching a video interview with a girl in a far off place. She’s only 12, this girl, yet head of her household, living in the most dire circumstances. Hideous.

Just when I wasn’t paying attention, the triggery thing crept up on me, and I found myself spacing out and fighting back tears. I was a space cadet for the rest of the day, really weirded out. To the extent that when I was in a meeting later that day, I thought I wasn’t there. I was looking at this person, larger than life, like on a movie screen, trying to concentrate on what she was saying. I have no idea why that happened, but I hate it when it does.

The second thing that’s puzzling me is my performance review yesterday. It was all good, so nothing to worry about there. What is puzzling me is what my boss said about me. Things like:*

  • That I’m smart, and pick things up quickly
  • That I have good insights and offer good contributions, and that I’m strategic when I do
  • That I’m clearly well skilled at what I do
  • That I’m a good communicator
  • That I’m a good problem solver
  • That I’m good at pulling together resources and figuring out how best to get things done
  • That I’ve built good relationships with people in my team, and beyond
  • That I focus on outcomes
  • That I get things done

All good things, I know that. But things I don’t recognise as me.

Coincidentally, many of these are things my therapist has said about me, too. Who they are both talking about is just beyond me, coz it sure ain’t “me”!?!?

In completely unrelated news … I found this today. It made me LOL

* I’ve put these things here just for my own reference, not so you’ll tell me I’m good or anything. Just needed to clarify that.


14 thoughts on “Work puzzles

  1. But what if I want to say you’re good? I don’t think you can stop me… nope, you can’t! You are amazing and deserved the positive comments in the review.

    I’m sorry about the triggers. It sounds like you visited a suburb of Dissociation City for awhile there. I don’t know if I could cope with seeing those things every day. The thing to remind yourself of, is that you are making a difference – a huge difference.

    Take care of yourself…

  2. Thanks CG. Sounds to me like I was on the express train to central Dissociation City. But I did recover reasonably quickly once I left work. It’s hard to deal with that stuff everyday… something to discuss in therapy, may be?

    Let me be clear about one thing. I do not personally make a difference here. None at all. I’m not really sure how I contribute at all, or if the money spent on my salary wouldn’t be better sent to the field.

  3. As you know, I work in a tertiary library. At the end of each year, a group of students graduate with various degrees. A majority of those students I would never have interacted with, but my presence gave them options they wouldn’t have otherwise had.

    I don’t know the structure of your organisation, but the fact that you were given the positive feedback above, means that you are making a difference. You don’t have to be in the field to make a difference; there has to be people behind the scenes co-ordinating and enabling those incidents which make the difference.

    Take care,

  4. I’m thinking that somewhere along the road to adulthood (maybe beyond), someone has convinced you that you are worthless. I used to feel that way, too. My T told me once that HE wouldn’t tell me how talented I am, nor would would my manager, coworkers, etc if it wasn’t true. that made me realize that my family and the “bad guys” broke down my self esteem as a means of control. Kerro, it’s okay to look at the work you do and say, “Man, that is a GREAT job!” It’s okay to be proud of who you are. And – I’ve also found that when I’m at work and get too close to the ugly side of humanity, I don’t worry so much anymore because I have alters who do the work for me (they are much smarter than me, anyway).

  5. OK, I won’t tell you that you’re good. You wouldn’t believe me anyway! But when you get a positive performance review, well, I kind of think you have to believe that they are telling the truth. I know that feeling of thinking they must be mixing me up with someone else! It would be so nice if we can see ourselves the way other people see us, wouldn’t it?

  6. I don’t know exactly what you do, but if you are working for an organisation that deals with those sorts of issues then I am positively sure that you are making a difference. I’m so glad that you received positive feedback. I have to admit to being a little envious of the idea of contributing to the world in a meaningful way – for I think surely that is what you do, though I understand that that may not be the way you feel. But above all that, I’m glad that you are still enjoying it.

  7. @ CG – you’re right, I know you’re right. I do contribute, but it’s definitely behind the scenes. I just have trouble translating my “contribution” into something tangible, particularly when I’m surrounded by people who seem to make a more direct (“real”) contribution.

    @ Ivory – I’m thinking you’re right. Absolutely right, about the abusers. Of course they did a number on me so I never think I’m good enough. I know the Wonder Therapist wouldn’t lie to me about this stuff, nor my boss. The funny thing with this is it’s not like I can’t even say I did a good job – it’s like they’re talking about someone entirely different. Hard to explain, but like it’s a totally different person. Re your work with the “ugly side of humanity” (great phrase, btw) – perhaps that’s one of the positives of having DID? That you have someone to “take over” in those situations?

    @ Harriet – this isn’t about whether or not I believe you about me being any good. As I said to Ivory, it’s like those people are talking about another person. I don’t even associate with the things they said… so there’s actually nothing to refute, if that makes sense.

    @ Cat – thanks for stopping by, it’s nice to *see* you. And thanks for your positive comments. It’s really nice to work for an organisation that makes a difference in the world, in a very positive way. 🙂

  8. OK, sorry. Didn’t mean to offend. I thought I was giving the impression that I can relate to what you are saying, but of course I don’t know exactly what you are feeling and thinking, you are a different person than me. Won’t happen again!

  9. When I was confused by positive feedback, I would stop and try to assess what agenda the person could have. Because (and I think this is partly what is so confusing to all of us who have or have had severe self-esteem issues) it is in fact true that sometimes people will flatter you and lie for their own gain.

    I think work performance reviews are one of the most agenda-free sources of feedback, because your bosses don’t have any reason to give you positive marks you don’t deserve. Ditto feedback from classes, professional training, etc. So I’m glad you made this list for your own reference, because I think it came from a good source you can believe. And once you have it from a believable source, it’s easier to start correlating it with feedback you get on a more personal level.

  10. @ David – I don’t know what organisations you’ve worked for, but in my experience performance reviews are soooo absolutely not agenda-free!!

    That aside, I think the weirdest/hardest thing about this for me is that I believe that these people are telling the truth. I just don’t think they’re talking about me. Hard to explain. Harder for me to understand.

  11. Interesting comments from you – particularly about not being able to believe they are talking about you. Work is one thing I know I am good at. At least at this point.

    I think that many of the bullet points on your list come across in your blog – you are a good communicator, you pick up on things and you have good insight (both into yourself and others). When you read the list outside of the meeting – are you able to believe any of the items?

    Although I don’t expect you to share – I am curious as to what you do for those things to come up. Not surprising about the triggers given the subject matter :(( Sorry to hear about that part of the job but I am happy you like your new job.


  12. Just to clarify – in my last paragraph – I meant to say “what you do in your job”. Not how you handle the dissociated feeling at the time.

  13. Hi OLJ – thanks for your dropping by. I’m able to believe some of these things – well, I certainly believe the sources of information and that they’re telling the truth. I do get things done, I know that. But it still feels like it’s not me – it’s weird, in my performance review it’s like my boss and I are discussing someone else, I don’t know.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “what you do in your job?” – do you mean what my role is and why I’m exposed to the triggering material? Or what I do day to day that leads to the observations that have been made?

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