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I just cannot take the pressure

(24 Posts)
Freedomfreedom123 Sat 21-Jan-17 10:48:27

I have this issue that has caused so many problems in my life, I just don't know what to do and need some advice please. I'm getting desperate and feel sick with worry daily.

I cannot take any kind of pressure, especially at work. I hate and fear being judged by managers it makes me feel sick and anxious. I have very dark thoughts about being imprisoned and trapped at work,although I would like to point out that I am not lazy at all.

This is so overwhelming that I have avoided working as much as possible because of these feelings and I have relied on others to support me. I have even stayed in relationships that should have ended over my fears of managers, nasty colleague and workload pressures. Because I have had such awful experiences in the workplace i deemed it the the lesser of the two evils.

I tried to become self employed and even that pressure had serious negative consequences on my mental well-being.

Obviously this problem affects everyone around me, but especially my partner.

I really don't know what to do this has been a problem since I left University and started working. My work record is horrendous.

Please could somebody give me some advice on what I can do, as I don't often hear about people having this issue. Does anyone else feel like this?

Thanks for listening.

Casmama Sat 21-Jan-17 10:51:43

It sounds like anxiety that is particularly focussed in these areas. I would have thought your go might be a good starting point and counselling would be useful.

Happybunny19 Sat 21-Jan-17 11:05:58

Would you feel the same pressure in a voluntary role? With no commitment to a contract I wonder if that would be a positive step towards improving your cv.

pocketsaviour Sat 21-Jan-17 11:07:25

You need to explore this with a trained psychotherapist. I would suggest that the problems are stemming from your upbringing and I wonder if your parents were extremely demanding and punished you harshly for perceived failures?

Freedomfreedom123 Sat 21-Jan-17 11:26:54

Thanks for your replies. I have a job at the moment and although some of my colleagues are nice to me, my team manager is not very nice at all. She has a very impatient tone with me that she does not have with others, so much so that I feel like I cannot ask questions anymore as she either ignores me and says wait a minute and then doesn't help or she won't show me the process, so I will never learn it. My colleagues have picked up on her unhelpfulness towards me in my new role and have approached me about it. This is very nice, but I think my colleague got into trouble for voicing her disgust at my treatment since day one.

The point is the way I'm feeling is here we go again a nasty manager. It doesn't help that I heard her slagging of someone else's performance to her manager and her manager taking her word for it immediately. It sounded as if they were going to get rid of whoever it was. I have also heard that my predecessors have struggled with the workload. It all just adds to my fears and worry about having her sabotage me and criticise my performance.

The problem is there is a valid reason I have these fears, I have experienced very real horrible experiences in the workplace and this new role is just validating my concerns so far. In this respect I do not see how the gp could help me. I feel pressure and anxiety for good reason. With voluntary work I will still have to get a paid job eventually, but thank you for the idea.

Anyone else ever had this problem?

Freedomfreedom123 Sat 21-Jan-17 11:31:02

Hi Pockersaviour, my father was a physically mentally and emotionally abusive, narcissistic tyrant that abused the whole family.

But these awful managers and colleagues and workload pressures that I have experienced and the depressing situation of it all is still very real.

pocketsaviour Sat 21-Jan-17 12:20:52

Sorry to hear that OP and it doesn't surprise me. Of course the situations you have experienced are real, but I suspect your upbringing hasn't given you the tools to deal with these situations effectively. Do you feel that if a manager criticizes you, you kind of go into "child mode" instead of being able to relate as one adult to another?

If therapy isn't an option at the moment, I'd really recommend the following two books:
Toxic Parents by Susan Forward
A Woman in Your Own Right by Anne Dickson

Happybunny19 Sat 21-Jan-17 12:31:28

Your anxiety surrounding work pressure is more common than perhaps you realise, you may have an extreme version, but I can identify with some of your worries.

As for the bullying you are experiencing from your manager, she is clearly a terrible manager of people, but if you're stuck there you are going to need to stand up for yourself. I've seen far too much bullying in various workplaces over the years and noticed it's the ones that put up and shut up that endure unacceptable treatment.

My old boss was awful at times and tried it with me once. I took him into a side room and told him I wouldn't tolerate it and could find another job easily. He never treated me like that again, became quite a good friend and valued me more after that, he seemed to gain respect for me. He did however start on a newer employee a while later and I tried to encourage the new starter to defend himself, but he wouldn't confront the boss and the treatment continued.

Freedomfreedom123 Sat 21-Jan-17 12:54:14

Thanks for the helpful replies.
Yes I totally agree I go into child mode. That is a very good insight. I didn't think of it like that. I do not have the tools to deal with it at all. I go into fight/flight or fight mode. I feel intimidated, powerless, humiliated and dread every day of my life.

However I have done things in the past trying to be assertive and gone higher or approached the person in question and I've found I've been picked on in more sneaky sabotaging ways. It just goes undercover.

What I have also found is managers always stick together and get rid of the new person as opposed to their right hand man/woman.

Coffeegrain Sat 21-Jan-17 14:15:53

I used to be a bit like you when younger. I have a bullying manager however I do not let her get away with it and am assertive, do a good job , defend myself well and to her face. She moves onto different people and has had many grievances made against her. The fact is most people fear her. If you show her you're as tough as her she leaves you alone! Something she did in particular I probably could have got her sacked for however at the end of the day I don't want my life to be more difficult and need the job!
So, in summary.. a different more direct approach?

Happyinthehills Sat 21-Jan-17 14:55:19

Ah - child mode.
Read up on Transactional Analysis - the trouble comes because your child mode will also trigger critical parent in the other person.
Here's an article but there are many out there.

Freedomfreedom123 Sat 21-Jan-17 14:56:04

thanks coffegrain. I think you are right, this time instead of running away and jacking it in - Which I've done in the past because I don't want my adult life to be as hellish as my childhood - I am going to ask mumsnetters advice for how to win l/overcome this battle.

Any experience, useful mindsets or tips on how to manage my anxieties and a sabotaging manager would be gratefully received.

Freedomfreedom123 Sat 21-Jan-17 14:59:36

I've never heard of this before but will definitely be reading this with great interest.

Thanks for the insight x

SABeeTiger Sat 21-Jan-17 15:34:51

I have the same problem, I am trying to quit my health care professional role because I can't take the pressure or the responsibility. I think I have figured out why but it's taken GP, tablets, CBT and therapy to get me here. The GP can help I promise, but I know how hard it is to take a first step and how easy it to want to withdraw altogether, thus making you seem not interested/bored/unwilling at work. It's very much a double edged sword x

Mermaidinthesea Sat 21-Jan-17 15:51:41

I have constant anxiety at work due to low self esteem issues. However I have managed to overcome those issues and carve a good career for myself. You can too but you'll need counselling to get to the bottom of it all. If you can't get out of your comfort zone you won't have the life or career that you want so this really needs to be sorted out sooner rather than later. Go see your GP and get referred.

Freedomfreedom123 Sat 21-Jan-17 15:53:21

SABeeTiger, I'm very sorry to hear you have had similar problems to me.

All I know is that I do not want to dread everyday, life's is far too short for that and too many things can happen that can shorten it.

Freedomfreedom123 Sat 21-Jan-17 16:03:35

Mermaidinthesea, what you have said has really resonated with me and I know what you have said is correct. This has been going on for 20 years or so. I have let myself and others sabotage me and I've not achieved or obtained the life I wanted because of this.

I definitely need to see a psychologist. I just didn't think GP could send me to one anymore due to cuts. I'll just have to ask.

SABeeTiger Sat 21-Jan-17 17:38:18

They can refer you, but it may take a while, the initial assessment can be quite quick but the wait after that can be long. Until then there are options like tablets and help booklets you can download, you are right, life is too short to feel like crap all the time, but when you have bills to pay it's not easy to commit to big decisions x

springydaffs Sat 21-Jan-17 18:52:25

I think you may be right that NHS MH is very underfunded, sadly. However, cbt offers excellent baseline skills to learn and you will be fast -tracked to a course through your gp. I recommend you do it.

However, ime I had a lot of other stuff I needed to address (work phobia being one of them) and managed to carve out quite a lot of therapy in one way or another. I've read all the books and been on all the courses, joined (and still join) all the support groups. I've had to carve out my own healing iyswim - bcs it sure ain't available on the nhs. Ime. I hear of some ppl getting some good therapy on the NHS but I'm blowed if I know how they did it...

You aren't the only one with toxic parent/s by a long shot - there are hoards of us out here! All desperately trying to manage the effects of a very damaging childhood. To that end, perhaps have a look at ACA (can't link), which stands for Adult Children of Alcoholics.. but the long name for it is Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families. You'll fit in there.

Ime of therapy, take a look at the BACP site and draw up a list of therapists in your area you like the look of ; contact them all and gradually whittle down who you would like to meet to see if you'd get on - you have to feel comfortable with a therapist, like a good pair of comfortable shoes. Most therapists offer a free, or cut -price, first session. Many also offer a sliding fee scale, just ask, if finances are an issue. They won't be offended.

Imo for some of us therapy is an essential. I've had to find some way, any way, to pay for it. It has had to be a priority - and, believe me, I've never been flush, so it can be done.

Freedomfreedom123 Sat 21-Jan-17 20:47:30

Thank you Springydaffs for your reply.
I read the children of alcoholic parents website (Even though my father was not an alcoholic, just a nasty sadistic bastard!) and wow most of the characteristics are my personality.
Some of them I have tried to solve by doing lots of my own therapy too, mainly through reading books on things I think i need help with.
I have had a psychiatrist before due to developing a severe eating disorder as a child which was on going well into adulthood. That's conquered now. Obviously we didn't discuss work then, but I guess everything stems from the same thing anxiety and fear of people who have power/authority over me and very low self esteem.

Thank you all for recognising this as more than somebody who doesn't want to work and is lazy, as I am far from that. I just want to be treated fairly that is all.

I think working with a psychologist is the way forward as I could explain present situations that I am struggling with and they can help me to deal with things in the right manner. X

springydaffs Sun 22-Jan-17 14:25:44

A psychologist does a different job to a psychotherapist. The former gives info, the latter takes you through the horror. I'm not selling it well here am I...

Imo it is essential to get out of our heads and actually experience the effects of our desperately damaging legacy. Hence the need for a qualified therapist who has the skills to hold us safe as we negotiate this challenging terrain.

It's not all bad in therapy by a long shot. But it's important to challenge coping strategies we had as children that no longer serve us. And the only way through that is, well, through. There's no way around it, sadly ; no amount of information does it, or even touches the core pain imo (how do I know this..)

Freedomfreedom123 Mon 23-Jan-17 18:58:21

Springdaffs I really appreciate all that information as I did not know the difference.

I also thought I could just read information and heal. I will definitely look into a psychotherapist and find a way to afford it. Xxx

pocketsaviour Mon 23-Jan-17 20:01:46

Really good posts from Springydaffs.

Do be aware - it's entirely possible to be totally mentally healthy and still be in a shitty work situation. I've been stuck in some in my life! But therapy will give you the tools and confidence to say "This isn't right for me" and walk away.

One thing I have found is that if a lot of colleagues say "Oh wow, so and so is awful, but you know what she's like" or "Let's just do this extra work that we're not paid for, otherwise you know what so-and-so will say" - you're not in a good situation. You're being taken advantage of. Walk away.

Freedomfreedom123 Mon 23-Jan-17 21:14:17

Thanks for the advice everyone, it gave me a lot more self confidence today.

I made a mistake today that was easily rectified, but the manager started to tell me off and made a point of trying to shame me when there was really no need. At first I could feel the child mode coming on - I started to stutter, feel humiliated and ashamed - but then I caught myself doing it and thought fuck you I'm doing my best it was only a little mistake and I refuse to let someone else make me feel these things when it is not warranted. I did not say anything to her because I never know what to say in the moment because I freeze, but I felt so much more relaxed.

Pocketsaviour you are so right, the people who work here seem to do many many hours of unpaid overtime and it is DAILY. I will not be able to keep up with that pace as I have family commitments and if this is what is necessary to keep up with the workload, then I think I'm in for a rough ride and may have to think about walking away if I start getting in to trouble for being behind. One colleague was in tears today because of trying to keep up and another I found out is leaving after just a few months. Either she hates the job or did not pass probation. Either way I going to have to try my best but have a laisser faire mindset.

Thank you for the insights you all have to me, much appreciated.

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