I've had jobs over the years but never really picked a career. When I realized I had PTSD among other problems it has given me insight in my life about myself and that's been good but have found it hard working. How have you coped with working and how did you go about picking a career in your life? How do you detach from other people and stay focused on others without draining your energy because you get too involved with others emotionally?

13 Replies

  • willingtoheal, good question. We had a small business for over twenty years and saw customers daily. Mostly they just came and went though others occasionally stayed and waited. I got very attached to some of those people, and was devastated when they moved away. I mean devastated! Overly dramatic, it was like the end of the world for a short time. Some I even stayed in contact with for awhile after they moved. Others were horrible and I once had to leave while one customer was there. I didn't care if he robbed us blind. I simply left the building unattended.

    I've had a few other jobs during that time and quickly found myself intolerant to 'stupid' people, doesn't matter if you were my boss or not-I don't really know where this has come from-watching people too many years, keeping myself safe or whatever. I can spot 'em a mile away-and I'll just walk away. I'd sooner starve than have someone make me feel as small. There is rarely any 'trying to get along' around here. Things could change but it's doubtful.

    As for careers, I do my art which keeps me from going totally insane.

  • Thank you for sharing this with me. I thought I was the only one feeling this way. I don't feel so alone in this anymore. Thanks.

  • The only way for me I feel is to become an entrepreneur concentrating on the things I enjoy doing example my art like bendown2times does

  • Wow that is wonderful. So glad you found your talent.

  • I work with animals. It was my career. Now I volunteer in animal rescue and also visit special needs kids with my pet assisted therapy dog. It is perfect for me. Animal care and behavior is my passion and it involves less interactions with people.

  • That's a good idea. Animals are so loving. They never talk back, they have so much love to give. They never go away to college. That's wonderful. Thanks for sharing this with me.

  • I too have had jobs over the years but I find it too hard to keep working. My energy is very low at times and I have social anxiety too. I really find it very difficult not working and it only adds to my shame. Now I am working with a therapist I hope this will change, but he said it will take time.

  • Thanks for sharing how you feel with me. I don't feel so alone. I hope to find something fun, enjoyable and I really want a part time job with benefits to start out with. I hope that you can find something that brings you what you want and need. Take care. Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone with these feelings.

  • Oh no you are not alone that I guarantee

  • Sometimes when i read these posts I feel like I wrote them myself! I sooooo identify with this one, willingtoheal. I have had over fifty jobs in my life, and I'm only 30. Some of them were pure survival but the ones I put my heart and soul into never seemed to work out- I always ended up overworking to the point of burnout, clashing with micromanager-narcissist bosses, being on the losing end of "office politics" I was completely unaware of, getting taken advantage of left right and centre because of my inability to say no, and lack of self esteem.

    Right now my psychiatrist has recommended I take a break and focus on my therapy, which puts a huge strain on me financially, but so far its been worth it even with having to live on like 10 dollars a day because I appreciate the little things so much more, and my freedom, and not being absolutely terrified to get up in the morning and go into an environment where I am so stressed out I end up disassociating to cope. The worst ones were customer service jobs, where people would suck the life out of me and tell me their whole life stories and complain and (worst of all) ask me intrusive questions about myself that I felt forced to answer.

    Sorry that was so long winded. Anyway i feel you! I think that when we learn better coping strategies, protect our boundaries and how to say no to people and not overexert ourselves we will be better equipped to find and hold the job of our dreams. Believe that you are worthwhile and love yourself- so cliche, but I guess it all starts with that annoying inner work that they always talk about. I love Lisa A Romano (youtube life coach) for her observations about self esteem and also she is hilarious... "dear ones, you are enough!" listening to affirmations/ healing meditations in my headphones while I go for a walk is also helpful. I tried the mood gym training website which is supposed to help (cognitive behavioural therapy), but I find doing the exercises boring. :P Anyhoo I hope any of this made you feel better or was helpful. Love and light :)

  • Thanks littletraveller. I enjoyed reading your story. I don't feel so alone when people share. I've worked in some jobs that I've had people that I worked with that were so miserable to be around. So dysfunctional. So yes I'm learning more about boundaries. Yes I also have had people too many times in my life just target me and tell me too much about their lives. I used to feel like people owe me back pay for all the free therapy I've given them. Just yes very exhausting. Just too much giving too much and no receiving. This forum is great because it feels like a balance. Share and receive. So it feels really validating, very hopeful. I was reading the book Get out of your mind and into your Life by Steven Hayes yesterday. I lived with people growing up that were in constant trauma where I learned all about worrying too much, drama, creating the what ifs about what will happen next. So anyways I was reading that book I just mentioned and was really reminded instead of worrying about whatever was bothering me or the what could happen scenario just to concentrate on the moment. It's such a conscious effort to do this. Anyways I just feel better knowing I'm not alone and thanks for reminding me that I'm not alone and that I'm not perfect that's okay and everyone else isn't either. So thanks for sharing.

  • great topic willingtoheal, me too.

    I have the same question. And I identify with what you and others wrote. I feel the only way for me to work is to work by myself, for myself, online, with plants, animals, in silence, in a silent meditation place, something like that. I tried and tried and just cannot have people all over all the time, a boss, my PTSD gets triggered all day and like someone else said, the dissociation too.

    Good news is that it is far easier today to make some money online maybe, or at least people are working from home, for themselves again more, etc. To find what we enjoy, that is key probably in some form.

    Funny what you said about animals and not going away to college :)

    I hear ya and get it, asking the same question.

  • Thanks peacefulandcalm. Thanks for sharing what you wrote. I would like to go back to work. I hope to find something that is meaningful. I think I'm really good on the phone. That is when I'm at my strongest. I'm good with the public too. I wish I could work from home. I'm good with my neighborhood and being encouraging with them and sharing what I have with them or local thrift stores donating and such. So I really just want to keep getting better so I can be my best self. Kids leave. I never had children but no wonder people love their animals they are with them until they aren't.

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