April 3, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

ANGRY AT BOSS

I don’t think I’ve ever really viewed Jean as a boss. [Reference post: Dysfunctional Work Family, and also other posts where she is mentioned.]

I know that she’d been promoted to be my boss, but to me, she’s a child who was given a box of matches and she became a dictator by going around, burning others and threatening others with her given box of matches. That’s not a boss. That’s not authority worthy of respect. It’s a child who is a bully, with a fragile ego.

Deep down inside, skills are missing and the bully knows it. Important skills that authority figures and leaders should have, in my opinion, include time management, critical thinking and the ability to figure out core problems, ability to inspire the team and to promote team work, and the process made more efficient through the presence of that leader.

Instead, Jean procrastinates on projects, she ignores and denies core problems to protect her ego, she promotes secrecy and division among department members and is unable to promote quality design since her background and skills in design are very poor. The process of completing a project now becomes longer and less efficient with the presence of this extra “middle man.”

Hopefully the psychic is right, and I’ll only be here for a few more months.

RELATIONSHIP DYNAMICS WITH PARENTS

When I was a teenager, my dad took me on a motorcycle trip, riding around in Colorado. It was fun. I think I felt like his wife. I was certainly mistaken by some restaurant servers as such. My dad doesn’t feel like a dad to me. He feels like an ex-boyfriend stalker that I want to get away from. Is that a sign of emotional incest?

His marriage to my mom wasn’t going well at that point. Maybe he was looking for a replacement female figure. That trip to CO felt like a honeymoon and should have been taken with mom, instead of me. There was no sex that I recall, but I’m not sure of the emotional safety, underlying the trip.

After the divorce [1998-99], my mom invited me to a cruise in Alaska. Again, the way the boat was [romantically] set up and everything, she probably should have taken a significant other, and not a daughter. Was this emotional enmeshment?

I really need a lot of space from these people. I feel trapped.

I think there was a mixture of enmeshment and abandonment/neglect. Perhaps both parents jumped between extremes and that’s why it’s now difficult for me to find a happy medium.

THERAPY HOMEWORK: SPECIFIC RESENTMENTS TOWARDS MOTHER

[Note: My mom died in 2004. Also see: letter to my mom]

Dear mom,

I resent you for making me go to church, even after I began to question beliefs.

I resent you for bursting into my room at night, with the bright hallway light on, upset and angry and waking me up. [This happened several times.]

I resent you for making me wash my hands when I was experimenting naturally with my body.

I resent you for threatening me with punishment from dad to get me to do what you wanted. It wasn’t about doing what was right… it was about who gets to be right. And whoever is “right,” has the power. It was a power struggle. I wanted power over my own life. I resent you for controlling me.

I resent you for expecting me to be perfect. I resent you for pointing out my pimples and taking me into the bathroom and popping them. It made me feel ugly and deformed. Like you were ashamed of me.

I resent you for the time when my sister and I asked what the middle finger meant. You took us into the bathroom, one at a time, and whispered that it meant “Fuck You” and that it was a great insult. Why so secretive? I felt ashamed for asking a question, as if I was stupid for wanting to know more about a topic.

I resent you for not protecting me from the monster that was dad.

“Healing Your Emotional Self,” pg. 212, Chapter 13. There is a quote from a person named Isadora Duncan. It immediately reminded me that my mom occasionally called me that name. I never really researched that person.

The quote is, “You were once wild here. Don’t let them tame you!”

I resent my mom because I think she knew of my “wild spirit.” She often said I march to my own drummer. She knew I was different in my own way, yet she still tried to shape and mold me into some sort of image of a little girl in her mind. Even as a teenager, she refused to let me be my own person and discover who I was. She was in denial that I wasn’t a cute little baby who did what she was told. If she knew I was like this Isadora person, then why did she hypocritically trap me in a cage? No wild spirit can be kept in a cage.

SHAME AND SELF-BLAME

I often felt blamed for the family’s problems, like a scapegoat. I hated that role so much. Even today, I take that role at work and I don’t know how to stand up to people who have authority over me. It is often difficult to tell when something is really my fault or the other person’s fault. If something goes wrong, I tend to reason that it’s because of something I did.

I feel angry and ashamed at my inability to stick up for myself and be my true self, especially at work. My solution in the past has always been to run: divorce, dump, quit, etc. I have to remember that it’s not my bosses I’m really angry with (although they do annoy me often). It is my controlling parents who deserve to get the anger.

My parents needed to be adults. I did not deserve abuse or neglect from them. Especially as a teenager. They were responsible for caring for me. If they abused me, that is THEIR fault. It’s not my fault.

I am responsible for me.

I am responsible for my own feelings.

Other people don’t “make” me feel a certain way.

Take it back.

These feelings are mine.

If I feel anger or shame, stop blaming people like my boss. These feelings are my own. My boss doesn’t control me.

How would I be acting, feeling, if I didn’t make my bosses responsible for how I feel at work?

Happier?

I’d want to do a good job, even if the work isn’t design as I was taught to properly do, in college.

Sometimes I am still the angry, rebellious teenager. If my boss wants me to open my door, be friendlier, smile more, etc, then I have a great urge to do the opposite, even if I’d rather be friendly. In fact, my natural state is to be open and friendly. It’s hard, though, when I have such negative influences, like my bosses, around me.

But am I blaming them again for how I feel? Where is the line drawn? Am I to blame for my misery at work, or do the bosses really have hidden motives like I suspect they do? It might be half and half. No one is fully 100% to blame. It’s still difficult to tell which part is my responsibility—maybe how I act? Is that all I’m responsible for? My boss is trying to blame me for any poor representations of the department to others, and the public, but isn’t she responsible for that, too?

She tells me to be more friendly, but aren’t I already? I handle all business professionally. I have good relations with vendors. The only people I’m not friendly to are my two bosses. Is it possible that Jean is projecting unfriendliness onto me? How can I stand up to her? My mind often goes blank when I am nervous. Maybe acting it out in therapy will suffice.

QUALITIES AND SPECIAL STRENGTHS OF MINE

  • Resilience
  • I search for lessons, to learn and grow, from most situations
  • good sense of humor
  • good at picking up patterns and using intuition and research, to figure things out
  • understanding of others
  • I dig deep, to understand concepts and people; I am good at “looking beneath the surface;” look for deeper meaning
  • creative solutions and ideas
  • willing to do the work and lay a solid foundation, to fully understand what’s going on
  • non-traditional; I look for new and better ways of doing things
  • good listener, kind, compassionate, accepting, caring
  • very good at thinking through situations and “seeing around the corner” to predict likely outcomes
  • musical talent, leadership skills (not really tapped into yet, though)
  • friendly
  • good at analogies
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