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I need to get back to work and I don’t know where to begin

3 replies

Bearsporridge · 17/09/2022 17:04

(I’ve name changed for this)

I’ve been a sahm for 15 years, largely because now teen son has autism. He is what used to be called “high functioning” but needs a lot of support and downtime to manage in mainstream school.

I’m losing confidence in my marriage. And I think it’s probably wise to increase my own financial security and independence. My pension is pathetic and while as a couple we have assets, (his) pension and good insurance against illness and death, I’d be up the creek if we divorced.

But my degree is 20 years old, I never finished my masters (4 different attempts - adhd issues), my work history is patchy (autism burnout) and I don’t know where to begin.

When ds is doing well it feels like there’s no reason I shouldn’t work. But when he is in a difficult period it all goes pear shaped. I don’t know what kind of work would facilitate me dropping the ball to manage him.

In the past I’ve found working (and also studying) exhausting and overwhelming because I mask (and I have no idea how not to; it’s not something that I’m choosing to do consciously). I worry that trying to also support high needs kids (I’m including dd who is nt because her needs stem from living with an asd brother) is going to lead to burnout.

DH has been a good provider, and a good partner in the main but lacks emotional intelligence and empathy with the dc.

Has anyone navigated this? Or can anyone suggest where to even begin? I know I’m full of excuses - I’m just not seeing the woods for the trees.

OP posts:

OriginalUsername2 · 18/09/2022 19:06

Volunteering will get your CV active again, give you a chance to get used to outside responsibilities again and see what you can manage, and also open your world up a little bit with some new faces. Hopefully you’ll get a good reference from them in the future.

Training / education will do the same things plus get you back into paid work. Do a part time course or open university, perhaps?

For future employment maybe consider a school or college where you get a break every 6 weeks.


CoffeeWithCheese · 18/09/2022 21:15

I did it recently - and did so by being openly autistic from the outset. Went back to university, retrained and then back out into the world of work. The change in people since I was diagnosed and became able to advocate for myself and explain things rather than mask the living shit out of my life and be misinterpreted is fucking amazing - work know that I have my ways of managing things - that I'll use my travel between visits as a sensory downtime and relax a bit then, and that if I'm needing to - I'll block out a day working from home to control sensory overload... and not to read much into my facial expressions and that I might well bung my camera off in those delightful "wall of faces" Teams meetings or have headphones on if I'm working in the office just to turn the sound of people down.

It's surprised me to be honest just how accepting they are of me - from a pre-child career of failed contracts and never quite fitting in to a "oh that's so fantastic that we've got someone on the team who really can understand that section of our client group... and by the way what did it feel like going through the assessments for you"


Bearsporridge · 18/09/2022 21:50

@OriginalUsername2 volunteering is a good idea. I will look into that. And it might give me a chance to sort myself out a bit in terms of managing home and work without the stress of feeling I’m completely messing up a new job.

training isn’t really an option - I’ve tried a few times and it just hasn’t worked out.

@CoffeeWithCheese that’s fantastic. I’m really pleased for you reading that. And maybe even a little bit hopeful.

OP posts:
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