Hysterical over work and life

I should preface this with yet another warning that what follows is the incredibly hysterical ranting of an emotionally stressed person and should probably not be taken as anything other than an expression of the emotions currently running through my head.

Oh my god! This can not be happening to me. I simply can not deal with this.

There has been an ongoing issue at my work about training. After the absolute disaster at the last engagement I was on, I was promised three weeks of training–something I’d been asking for since after I finished my “official” training that I felt didn’t really help me at all because of the unorganized, utterly abysmal experience that was. Then it was two weeks. Then it a little more than one. Then it was just cancelled, and I was next put on an assignment that allowed me to work from home.

This working from home thing was awesome, because it meant two things. First, that I would get the chance to actually use the product I’m supposed to be an expert in supporting as opposed to looking over someone’s shoulder while they use it because they don’t want me touching their computer network due to the company’s security restrictions, which is what was happening at the disaster client. Second, it gave me the chance to work from home (duh), which is honestly not something I really care that much about for any reason other than the fact that it meant I don’t have to dress in ways I don’t feel comfortable and maintain this mask of someone who I’m not for the sake of the business. Admittedly, that is a big deal, but it’s not a dealbreaker, y’know? (I don’t actually have any problems being professional, but there’s a huge difference between being myself professionally and being a certain kind of professional that has to fit into the molds of the B2B corporate American mold. I can be professional, but I will never fit into that mold, not by a long shot.)

The really annoying thing about getting the chance to work from home, however, is that all this opportunity to spend at home is happening while Sara is in freakin’ Australia on the other side of the fucking world! Sara has been gone since january 24th (and I missed her a ton immediately), the same day I fell awfully ill with the flu for half a week. It’s been an unbelievably long amount of time and the whole experience, for many reasons that I won’t go into here, has been harrowing in ways I wouldn’t have imagined to the point that I’m insanely anxious about simply getting to see her again because the thought fills me with a crazy sort of unimaginable fear. (I feel so stupid for being this scared about it.)

Now she is finally returning, though because of flight delays I don’t know exactly when, and I expected a call from her some time this morning but haven’t yet gotten one and it’s already 2:30 PM, so this whole airline delay thing may very well cut into our weekend plans. I have already booked flights for myself to Maine and for us to come back on Sunday night. I had to juggle my plans around because this next week at work was planned to be a formal Oracle database training intensive, which I have been looking forward to ever since my first day on the job when I learned about these training intensives because one of my bosses told me I had just missed (by a couple of weeks) the week of intensive Python training taught by Mark Lutz, the author of Learning Python, Second Edition. In brief, I cancelled my Monday day off that I would have spent as an additional “welcome back” period with Sara in Maine that I had asked for (and earned because of the fact that I worked the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday) in order to attend this Oracle training–because I wanted to.

Now, I just got an email from another engagement manager (a boss, basically), that they want me to fly out to Washington State so that I can be there on Monday through (probably) Friday. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!?!?! If I am made to go all the way across this fucking country on the first week of Sara’s return (this upcoming week) for a client who has offered me no real idea of what the fuck I’m supposed to do instead of the training everyone else is getting and that I was expecting from everything I was told at my interviews (I literally asked people “Why did you join this company,” and everyone told me because the learning opportunities were immense–which is true, the opportunties are immense and wonderful, but I want some of them too, damnit!), then I am seriously considering simply saying no and quitting my job on the spot. I simply don’t think I’ll be able to handle that, and with all of this turmoil and absolute torture this job is putting me through, I don’t think I’d feel as if it were such a loss (except financially).

I feel like every single fucking thing is going wrong right now. I don’t feel as though I have a damn shred of support (I know I do really, but it’s so far away), an ounce of understanding (again not really true, I have friends who can understand, but I don’t think Sara really can on anything but a cognitive level–not to say she doesn’t have struggles or that her battles are less important or easier than mine, but she does not have these struggles that I have and by that very fact simply may not be able to relate experiencially to what I’m going through), and the worst luck (and please don’t tell me to count my fucking blessings, that is not what I need right now; I know damn well what my blessings are, thank you). What makes it so unbelievably painful is that the whole of my experiences is so much less priviledged than Sara’s, who’s just been on a wonderful vacation for six weeks and is returning to the wonderful feeling of coming home for a weekend ski trip and to her boyfriend who is supposed to be ecstatic to see her. And I am ecstatic to see her again, but I am so stressed out and emotionally high strung right now that I feel as though I wish she isn’t going to have to put up with this from me.

I spoke for hours with my friend who’s staying with me (after her own horrendously painful breakup the week Sara left for Australia) and she told me that I have to start thinking about myself, not worrying about what kind of a burden I’m going to be on Sara. This is smart, and is probably what I should do, but it’s so hard for me to do that when I have this incredibly powerful urge to just focus all my energy on making everything good for Sara. (Why is that such a powerful urge? Oh my god, for many reasons, all of which are valid and many of which are perfectly healthy, but none of which I’m going to go into right now.)

My friend said that I should want to get pampered from Sara for a little while, have her take care of me, be treated to thoughtfulness and compassion and empathy, and that I should let go of all these stresses I keep taking upon myself like worrying about whether or not I’m going to be happy enough for her so she has a good time. Again, this is smart and makes sense; I can’t possibly have a good time or expect Sara to have a good time with me (which is what I want more than anything in the world right now) if I’m going to be obsessing about the question all the time. But I’m really scared.

I’m scared not only about this weekend but the future as well. What’s going to happen if Sara gets accepted to a school far away? Besides the point of fact that means she’ll be leaving New York, it makes me feel like another knife of how differently priveledged Sara and I are is once again thrust into my heart–not by Sara, just by the situation. I would feel much, much, much better about the whole situation where she feels like she wants to go to graduate school for creative writing if I could understand what the real driving force behind that motivation is. I have to know that if she leaves me for school (I evidently have major, major abandonment issues–not surprising considering my childhood with divorced parents and whatnot), she’s doing it for a reason that’s near and dear to her heart.

Not that I think she’d ever do something so big as moving to Australia for graduate school for any other reason than one that’s near and dear to her heart, but it will be easier to take if I can at least understand–not necessarily agree with–her choice of action and why that specific action of going to a graduate school is the right one for her to make, versus something like getting a full-time job and actually getting into the mindset of writing professionally–not just learning about writing–as I know she can do brilliantly. It comes back to the feeling of resentment (and I feel more guilt for having this feeling of resentment in the first place than I ever thought I would ever feel guilty about anything ever (especially since I constantly tell Sara that guilt is not a useful thing to dwell on–we both have our guilt complexes, me from this, and her from being more priviledged in life than I have ever been)) over my being forced by the Fates to fight a hellish battle for every scrap of happiness and capability to follow my dreams that I can get, whereas Sara has the good fortune to prolong her schooling–something she enjoys–and put off the dreadful experience of having a so-called “real” job (it is viscerally disgusting to me that a “real” job is always seen as something you don’t want) and putting up with the rest of the crap of living in the so-called “real” world (again, I want to vomit thinking that the “real” world is so full of strife all the time) for yet another four years (or more, if she goes for a Ph.D. in Writing in Australia).

(As a sidenote, holy shit, that was an insanely convoluted parenthetical paragraph. Also, I don’t actually wish for her to get a job she hates, of course. I would hardly wish this hell on my worst enemy.)

Again, it’s not that I think Sara doesn’t have her own stuff to deal with. But there is simply no arguing the fact that on many scales of measurable priveledge, she got dealt the better hand. She is brilliant, a constant inspiration to me. And she is so amazingly healthy. No other person I have ever met or ever heard of in my entire life, without exaggeration, is so glowing with the unmistakable aura of a uniquely qualified intelligent mind such as hers is and has not gone through a great deal of very measurable pain and suffering as the source for their genius, the likes of which is obvious to everyone who hears about their suffering. That is the case with me. I am very, very smart. I match Sara’s awesome strengths in many ways, such as self-awareness and intelligence, kindness, and skills in our respective interests. But I have so many still-open scars that have gotten me to this point. Her body is enviously relatively unscathed by the harsh realities of life.

I don’t want this whole thing to sound like a self-pity party–because that’s not what this is supposed to be, but I can’t not feel this way right now. I’m working on it, god, I’m really working on it as hard as I can because I don’t want Sara to have to deal with this huge amount of utter shit that’s in me. I miss smiling. I miss being happy enough to just listen to music and hum to myself. I can’t remember the last time I did that.

And of course, I miss Sara. My god, I miss Sara most of all.

Sara just called! Right as I was publishing this entry, Sara called. She had heard my rambling, crying message I left for her and called me back saying that she was sorry for saying that she’d call me this morning because she was thinking in California time, and I’m on New York time, so when she meant morning she meant California’s morning. (D’oh!)

However, also bad news is that because of the airline delays it is looking like she may not be able to get to Maine until 10 AM Saturday morning, which absolutely changes our weekend plans…. I don’t know what else to do about this weekend, my job, or anything right now, except to go through the motions as normal and so I’m just going to wait things out until I can see her and talk to her face to face and actually hold her in my arms again.

3 replies on “Hysterical over work and life”

  1. Sigh. I know the feeling. I feel trapped because I *have* to have a job–I don’t have the financial security to go to school, to travel, to move away, to do anything but work. My one parent is in absolutely no position to help me, even if I were in desperate circumstances (and, depending on how you see 10k of credit card debt that is mostly from health expenses from when I didn’t have insurance, I am in dire circumstances). On the other hand, Jeff’s parents are very well off and he can essentially do anything he pleases. He has no debt to pay off, no obligations to work full-time. It’s a hard balance, inherently unfair, and it puts the future in a weird limbo of compromise. I hope that you and Sara find a way to make it work. Would you be going to Aussie with her?

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