I think maybe we are going to be okay. I say ‘we’ meaning me and the parts, not K and I – I’ve kind of always known K and I will be okay again at some point, I just couldn’t imagine the system (myself) ever being okay within that dynamic. I sometimes wonder if it is dissociation that means I can’t ever imagine feeling suicidally low or totally emotionally overwhelmed or anything else difficult when things are more stable, or if this is a normal part of the human experience. I used to split a lot, so when things were difficult that was all that existed, but quite often now I can hold onto the fact that things will feel better even though it’s hard to believe when everything feels so awful. Either way, at the end of the session today we admitted to K that we felt a little bit cosy (I think this is our word for safe and connected, a kind of snuggly feeling like a cuddle is inside us) but just a little bit. And she said a little bit sounded good to her and to take it into my heart, and that we will keep working on that together until we feel all cosy (but we don’t need to worry because it will just happen). I definitely feel like we’ve reached her a bit this evening, although I have the sense it will drain out relatively fast because it wasn’t that tangible. That is okay though. We are okay. All of us.
Young parts were very present right from the start of our session today. Whilst we were breathing together at the start of the session I could feel their excitement bubbling inside me, could sense them rushing around excitedly and knocking into each other, bursting with all the things they wanted to tell K and bursting with just being there with their cuddly toys and about to finish watching the film we started last week with a blanket and tea on the sofa in front of a log fire. I knew if K could see them she would say ‘not too silly’ the way she does to her dogs, because really they were being very silly. When I told K what was happening inside she said that after the long period of silent shut down, particularly the past few sessions, it was very good that they felt able to be there and express how they were feeling. It did feel nice to have them back to be honest, things had been very quiet!
K and I spoke a little about seeing my sister yesterday and all the painful memories and feelings it brought up, but I don’t want to write about that now as I cried a lot in my session and I don’t want to go back there tonight. And we spoke a little about work as well. I had some frustrations and some triggers around ending my probation last week. I submitted my application (there are two enormous forms and a statement to write, evidencing that I’ve met all the criteria and targets) a couple of weeks ago and was told I would hear by December 13th, but for reasons outside of anyone’s control it will now be mid-January before I find out if it has been accepted. There is also the chance that my application to end probation early (my 5 years is officially up at the end of December next year, so just over a year away still) will not be accepted because whilst I’ve easily *met* my targets, I might not have been *quite exceptional enough* to justify my appointment being confirmed early. My new Head of Department will write a statement, and him and our HR lead had made some suggestions on how to edit my form to make certain things sound better and demonstrate areas where I’d excelled as they felt I had undersold myself at times, but there is still a huge panel of very senior people from right across the institution who must approve it – those people don’t know me or all I’ve done, only how I look on paper. I just kept looking through the forms after he left on Friday seeing how much I’ve achieved and contributed to the department and external agencies over the past 4 years and felt incredulous – and disheartened – that it still might not be enough.
In the meantime someone who doesn’t give a shit about many aspects of our job, or about collegiality, is going to be promoted early I heard from the HR man on Friday, because her research profile is so strong because she has focused on that and not cared how much she fucks up other stuff. She has done nothing to contribute to the department and aspects of her work are crap because she doesn’t care, so she has created extra work for others. It makes me so annoyed because I just want to be off probation and not have to spend another year doing so much and making myself ill, and it makes me mad because I want this for the sake of my mental health and not because I care about status or impressing others (once I’m off probation I will probably disclose my disability, but until then I definitely don’t feel able to). And it’s not even really about comparing myself to others, because actually I would rather have my integrity and goodness than be that other woman who is so driven by success that she can’t let herself care how others are experiencing her or whether she is letting people down, it’s just that I am aware that I’ve said yes to a lot of things I perhaps didn’t need to (and definitely didn’t want to) because one of my survival strategies has been fawning and people-pleasing. And I’ve also spent a lot of time pursuing things which turned out to be a waste of time, things that I took too long to walk away from once I realised they weren’t going anywhere, because I didn’t want to upset people or make them think badly of me. So it seemed on Friday as though, yet again, attachment trauma was fucking up my progress and making work harder than it needed to be.
Anyway, on Friday evening I was feeling quite upset and triggered that it is still 6 or 7 weeks till I hear but also that even then I might be made to wait until either I’ve done something “truly exceptional” or my official 5 years is up, but since then I’ve spent some time processing and trying to work out what is needed first. There are some really powerful lunar phases coming up, and I was looking at each one and thinking about what the energies of that time will bring to my life or help me to release and let go of, and how it all fits with this delay, and I was thinking that although I do now feel ready to end probation and become more senior on a professional level, I’m not sure the lessons from this experience have fully sunk in yet on a personal level. It feels like there are some old beliefs and patterns that need to be released first. And I was also trying to work out how to make sure I don’t push away the very thing I want and deserve by focusing on how much I need it and how bad things will be if I don’t get it because that scarcity mindset is one that attracts more scarcity and negativity. And I realised the key is in being grateful for all I have now and the fact that despite my mind’s best intentions to tell me otherwise, I am able to keep going as things are, with some minor adjustments, for a while longer. And if I don’t end probation and get promoted, along with a nice pay rise, in the new year, things will be okay – I can afford the mortgage, therapy, food, Nina’s swimming, some treats – all is fine and will be next year too, whatever happens. So now I am just working on the assumption that I won’t end my probation early, not in an ‘assuming the worst to protect myself’ kind of way, but in a law of attraction ‘things are good right now and I want more of the same please universe’ kind of a way, and this whole shift in perspective really helped me get to grips with what is going on for me around work and what I need to take from this time (apologies if you’re not a spiritual person who thinks in terms of energies and vibration – 7 years ago what I’m writing would have sounded utterly bonkers to me I know!)
I was really aware of an internal shift last Wednesday, as though I had turned a corner and for the first time in a long time making it to December 13th felt like a possibility. To be honest my mood has still been very low and I’ve had suicidal thoughts since then, but things don’t feel totally unbearable and unmanageable and I feel more present and more accepting of how things are in my life right now. I’ve made it through the worst at work now I think, for the time being at least. So I plan to use the next few weeks to really work out what important lessons I’ve learned about work and my own capabilities and capacities this past few months, and to do some releasing and attracting rituals on each of the upcoming new and full moons to make sure I let go of the things that have held me back and set some intentions around what I want to bring into my life and act on in 2020.
I still maintain that ultimately the career I am in is not suited to a person with C-PTSD and almost-DID, but I think there are ways to make it more manageable in the short-ish term whilst I pay off debts and work out what to do. I actually looked back through my emails and I saw I first flagged serious concerns about my workload and how I would manage in the period from the start of September till mid-December back at the end of July. I was told something would be done but nothing changed, and of course I left it because I’m on probation, but also because I want to be capable. And I was asked to apply for funding for a project back in March and I agreed even though I knew I wouldn’t have time whilst I was on probation and had targets to meet and it is this project (which doesn’t even count as part of my targets for probation) that has been utterly screwing me over since June and has meant I couldn’t spend the summer doing the ‘exceptional things’ which would have meant I could come off probation early. There are other examples and it feels really important to see what I’ve been doing and how it hasn’t always served me, and to make sure that as I move into the next phase of my career, even if it’s a career that won’t last forever for internal and external reasons, I am really clear over the aspects I can control and don’t say yes to things to please people or be visible when I could say no, but only when they are in my best interests from a career and well-being perspective.
So even though it has been a horrible, horrible term so far, and isn’t over yet, and even though the delay is frustrating, I think I am gaining some valuable lessons and it is important I internalise them before I move on. I really hope I will do this so that when my application is considered by the panel on 6th January I will be successful because it is the right time for me and because less of old habitual patterns and ways of being will be carried into a place where they would no longer serve me.