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Re: what we see and feel

Posted by spoc on May 6, 2004, at 14:43:47

In reply to Re: what we see and feel Dr. Bob, posted by Fallen4MyT on April 30, 2004, at 22:53:36


For so long now I have wanted to post some insights about what I gained through this thread, before too much time passes and no one is reading it anymore. But every time I try to put something together, it veers off into areas I didn't mean for it to. All of it has been useful to me, but wasn't turning into the focused point that I had sought to add to this thread. So, one more try!

I fell into some helpful self-reflection after this, and while I do believe I am pretty self aware, I realized a few things -- or the extent of them -- that I hadn't before. One of the biggest is that some of what was going on here -- and in me in general these days -- is coming from situational factors in other parts of my life, that lately have me predisposed to anger and feeling unappreciated. Oh, I have always had my various issues, but here I mean that things get stirred up in me lately that in reality weren't part of them before. And that probably make me sound like I have standing issues with things that I don't.

The biggest situational factor I have going on is that years ago, I found the "perfect" -- and most nightmarish -- work situation to put myself into. My tendency to seek space and flexibility lead me to an at-home job wherein, due to complicated particulars I won't go into, there is virtually no possibility of feedback of any kind, and definitely no possibility of a future; verbal or financial reward/bonuses/benefits; or even market-rate pay from my absentee boss.

For years I have agreed to work for peanuts as a "permanent" independent contractor, responsible for any and all business that comes in (and on-call 24/7 for free due to that); and to receive no reinforcement of any kind. All in order to procure this "flexibility" (and INvisibilty!). And I never have to come face to face with anyone to do my work, or even get dressed.

My boss, who is a far-away retired speculator who now wishes he had never bought this tiny company, never sees my work, speaks to clients or even has any familiarity with this industry to be able to assess if I *am* particularly good at what I do. Due to that he even occasionally questions the hours I submit (and if you knew what the amounts are that we're talking here, you would laugh... or cry!), at the times I have worked the hardest and actually deserve a compliment.

Because of his absence and unfamiliarity with the field, I also have to keep us administratively and legally afloat and compliant, but he looks only at client receipts (and I am not in sales for us, but rather I perform our service for a client base that HE was supposed to bring in). And sometimes he takes off on a trip and doesn't pay me, our vendors or even return calls for weeks at a time. After so many years, this began making me feel worthless and even guilty for submitting pay requests, even though in my heart I know I do a great job, go above and beyond as a rule, and that he has a real bargain in me.

(Note that I even subtract at least a third of the time I spend working to adjust for the fact that I know I am *too* much of a perfectionist. And when I say -- as I have -- that I sometimes use my flexibility to be on the Internet, I am of course not billing for that time, and my work isn't the type that needs to all be done during business hours anyway. I add that just for perspective, not that any such particulars have ever come up between my boss and me or should.)

I live alone, and exacerbating the vacuum I have put myself in is that during this same time, I began backing away from friends and my social existence. *THAT* move in itself has surely been exacerbated by the tendency of someone like me to go downhill in general, if allowed to give up all structure. Which is what I have orchestrated in this job. So while by nature I don't think I do need very much from other people or by way of luxuries, I have for years now put myself in a position that ensures I will receive absolutely nothing of any kind (unless someone connects with me on the Internet!).

I am throwing away my potential for a reasonably happy and fulfilling life on all fronts, and that probably is *not* just the depression or lethargy happening *first* and then causing this shut down. The longer I stay in this the more entrenched and unable to change or motivate I get; and it's been going on for so many years now that more than anything else I am terrified of regrets... But paralyzed.

And most germane of all, I have realized that I have a lot of anger in me, and feelings of being unappreciated. That's actually not something I was very aware of before, and of course I don't like it, but at least now I have made the connection. I now also think this is the main reason I continue to keep real-life friends at arms length, as well as potential mates, because I know I have this anger in me (that is actually anger at myself). I don't have a tendency to express it by lashing out at people or putting them down, fortunately, but I can get impossibly oversensitive, defensive, and "paranoid."

And I have historically been given reason to believe I am pretty perceptive, which probably makes times like this worse, because my first inclination is to believe myself and my instincts about what I've taken offense to! And then to back off and hide away since I can't be sure how realistic I'm being, but do know that something is bothering me. So my answer is to keep it to myself until a time I may be better able to.

In their own way, these realizations have actually given me some peace. Because I know only I am responsible for setting myself up for all this -- few 'men' are probably TRULY islands unto themselves (and it's pretty darn hard for me to meet my bills at the rate of pay on this island). It was destined to blow up in my face someday. But is also reason for hope -- hope that if I change my circumstances, most/much of the anger will go away, and isn't really me.

Ok, don't know if I managed the succinctness I had in mind, but I'm letting this version stand before it gets too late! And thanks for letting me vent about the job too, which YES YES YES is my own fault for having! ;- )




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