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longstanding mental health problems, first job but facing a big hurdle, any advice

(13 Posts)

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GreatlyTroubled Wed 24-Jun-15 19:48:47

Hope you all dont mind but i am using my partners account (she is a regular user/lurker) as she said you mumsnetters might be able to help me with how i'm feeling. i have long standing history of mental health problems, i.e. Depression, OCD, anxiety, social anxiety, i also feel i have borderline personality disorder, and up until recent times i have been managing well. ok....

I’ve been at my job for 10 months, it’s my first job since leaving uni in 2007 (due to mental health reasons) i'm in my early 30's. My colleague at work is driving my crazy, I hate her so much. She’s manipulative and has nothing but negative things to say about everyone. I have to be in an office with just me and her all day, and it kills me. I can’t even look at her sometimes. As well as being a manipulative and negative woman, she kind of bosses me about and thinks she’s my boss(we’ve got the same job title and wages), and she’s the kind of person that gets a thrill when someone does something wrong so she can spend all day ranting about how crap that person is, and she’s the kinda person that takes immense pride in the fact that she say’s the word 'cunt' regularly. She’s also made a few racist comments, some of which are extreme, including having an extremely low opinion of African people and saying that one of the staff is “a typical fucking N*gger”. The thing is, she really likes me, we have banter and she rates me for it, so despite me hating her, I’m willing to pretend I don’t just cos it’ll make my life easier. But even though she likes me I’m not immune to her bullshit. Because of all this shit my anxiety levels has hit the roof again. I’ve been considering leaving the job, but it’s not that easy. I feel that, for someone who hasn’t had a job and has done fuck all since leaving uni in 2007, I have no right to complain, and that even though I don’t like fruits, I need to just man up and grow a pair/pear.
I’ve been so proud of myself for getting this job. Other than this colleague, I’ve really enjoyed the company of the other staff (but I don’t share an office with any of them), and I’ve built great relationships with everyone else, something I thought I could never do with my SA. I’ve been a changed man for stepping up and my confidence has improved massively. And I’ve discovered that I’m actually capable. It’s all made a difference to my life outside of work too. But I hate her so much, and with my BPD when I hate someone or am angry with someone I can’t let it go, the anger and hate is all consuming and I obsess about it, obsess about how much I hate her, obsess about all the reasons why I hate her, etc. I’ve lost the ability to put things into perspective and I know my feelings are irrational. All this shit with this colleague has brought me back to this dark place where I’m over thinking things, analysing things to death, thinking the worse, wanting to run away and find another job, and a loss of confidence. I’ve almost forgotten what this place felt like. I don’t feel I’m in control of my emotions or mood anymore. Working with her has brought me down so much that it’s got me listening to the album ‘Doolittle’ by The Pixies, which I only listen to when I’m feeling like this. It’s a bloody good album, so, you know, every cloud.
Usually my automatic response would be to run away, which I’ve always done, but it’s not that simple, I can’t quit, I’ve got a baby to feed.

I don’t know what to do, I don’t know who to turn to, I don’t know if how I’m feeling is irrational, I don’t know how to deal with feeling like this everytime something happens, I don’t know how to put things into perspective.

sorry for long rant/post. Thanks for reading

GreatlyTroubled Wed 24-Jun-15 19:56:09

Oh I was supposed to post in mental health. I have asked to be Moved there

lougle Wed 24-Jun-15 20:00:19

Do your employers know of your mental health conditions? Could you ask to be moved/separated from her?

GreatlyTroubled Wed 24-Jun-15 20:02:09

No they don't know, it's a small organisation so nowhere else to go really.

helzapoppin2 Wed 24-Jun-15 20:17:45

Congratulations on getting this job. You don't sound irrational at all, but you need to formulate a strategy to get away from your colleague. It sounds like you'd feel a whole lot better working with people who don't have her extreme views. In two months you will have been doing your job a year. Since there's nowhere to go in your company, then capitalise on your current experience and search for another job. The best of luck, you can do it!

IonaMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 24-Jun-15 21:30:24

Hi folks! We're going to move this to Mental Health in a moment at the OP's request.

GreatlyTroubled Thu 25-Jun-15 06:37:12

Thanks Iona at mumsnet

NotAJammyDodger Thu 25-Jun-15 10:39:46

Hello Greatly. Well done on holding on in there. It sounds so tough. I don't have BPD but there are quite a few posters here with BPD who may be able to help you.

Clearly, your work situation with your colleague is not ok. However, I am guessing you might want a few more months under your belt for your CV before looking elsewhere???? Also, from what you say your colleague appears to be the one with the problems so I would be reluctant to bring up my mental health with my employer at this stage (she has the problem not you).

Also, whilst others may also have issues with your colleague - it's unlikely you are the only one - it doesn't sound like anything will be done about her. So, complaining to her boss may just make her worse. These things suck as they can feel like lose-lose situations.

Are you seeing a therapist at all to help you manage the here and now. This would allow you to vent your frustrations and discuss specific ways of coping with your colleague until your decide whether you want to look for another job?

NotAJammyDodger Thu 25-Jun-15 10:52:15

Sorry, re-read my post and I was a bit negative. When I returned to a new workplace after a long period off I just wanted to keep my head down and avoid office politics etc. as I found it triggering. There are people who really press my buttons but I found discussing them at my weekly therapist session helped me look after me and I am in a better place not to let them trigger me.

GreatlyTroubled Thu 25-Jun-15 15:16:37

I had some sessions over a year ago when I felt bad but that mostly focused on my social anxiety as that was bad at that time.

NotAJammyDodger Thu 25-Jun-15 15:28:21

There are many types / flavours of therapy which use different techniques. Some methods are short term and aimed at addressing immediate presenting issues (e.g, reduction in anxiety) some are more 'deep dive' and longer term to explore any unconscious issues that may be effecting how you feel and behave in the present.

Would you consider going to therapy again either via NHS or private / self funding?

GreatlyTroubled Thu 25-Jun-15 20:04:23

Yes I tried calling my Drs to get an appt but nothing available as yet. I wIkl try again tomorrow. I wish I could afford private but I can't so I will have to go through the nhs system again

NotAJammyDodger Fri 26-Jun-15 10:58:05

Good on you greatly!

Just a thought, have you looked at any charitable organisations? I know some in my area (Essex) offer therapeutic services on a sliding fee scale to be upon agreed with the client.

Also, some private therapists offer a sliding scale. I know you said you can't afford private but if it helps you stay in work and earning may be re-examine your finances?

Other posters have also said that their local MIND offers therapy services.

Best wishes smile

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