Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Therapy - Part I - ADD & Reputation

Apparently everyone had a bad week last week that I survey.  (Raise your hand? Yeah, exactly)  So I won't pretend that I am unique (although I am, because how many of your other friends can pull off this cube-shape so well? That's what I thought)

It was a quiet week, as you saw, on the Borg Blog.

I did actually write one post and even published it, but got a little nervous about it and took it down. 

See, because I live in a small town. (In case you weren't paying attention, or this is your first time on here (welcome!))

And in that post I wrote frustratingly about how my ADD affects my ability to perform professionally, and my fears of what that might do to my professional opportunities.  And while I like to think I'm anonymous, and probably am, in this day and age you never know who's watching or who's figured things out, and I decided NOT to push my luck.  I just needed one person to be walking by or looking over my shoulder as I tweeted as The Borg Blog to blow my Clark Kent identity.  

I started the week with something I wrote about, though.  Concerns about how my behavior might affect someone else and how to deal with his nonetheless annoying behavior, and trying to understand why it hit so many buttons for me, and how to diffuse that trigger.

I realized two things in that thinking.  One of the central themes in his behavior that annoys me has to do with boundaries.  Usually the stuff that riles me up the most is when he is crossing real or imagined boundaries of what is and isn't appropriate for him to be doing or saying.  The second central theme is his admitted attempts to stir up drama - drop a bomb and then walk away and see what happens.  Well what happens, dear Tom, is I come back and whoop your ass (figuratively) for trying to create the drama in the first place, and you get irritated and annoyed because that wasn't what you were looking for.  Sorry.  Responsibility for your actions, Dude.  But also that these attempts are usually directed at particular people.  He is attacking their reputation with half-truths and misinformation, sometimes downright intentional lies. 

And that hit a huge button for me, once I made the connection.  I've talked a little bit about the end of my long-term relationship with my wife.  And how mental illness contributed to its eventual demise.  At the end, though, my wife was on a campaign to destroy me and my reputation.  Calling all of my friends and my family - anyone she could find who might listen - to tell them half-truths and outright lies about me.  Now because some of them were half-truths, those who weren't close enough found themselves in a hard position to know what to believe.  Well... this part is true, so maybe this other part is, too.  Those who I was closer with, or who just "knew" me, were able to sort through those stories, and those who really loved me, knew better than to even give her an audience (I always found it interesting who she chose as targets, and who she knew better than to even try and spread her stories to...).

And I gotta tell you, those are the hardest battles to win.  Because at the end of the day, either the person knows you and knows your character, or they don't.  Either they believe the lies or mis-information they've heard or they don't.  There really isn't anything you can do after the fact to fix it.  And any attempt to do so, to explain what is going on with your spouse, makes you sound just as crazy as her.  So the best defense was none, and to hope that my actions spoke loudly enough.  In the end, my only option was to walk away entirely, and I did.

So, I find that for some odd reason, having left my whole life behind, that I'm a little sensitive, apparently, when someone goes around trying to trash someone else's reputation.  Who knew?

And that was just the first couple of days of the week.

On Wednesday morning, I woke up in a deep depression.  I really wanted to just stay in bed all day.  And if I could have done so without losing my primary job (I work several jobs), I would have.  But I didn't. I got up, and I drove to work, and then I sat in the parking lot before 9 AM crying.  I was wise enough to call out for help to a couple of friends - to not let myself be "alone" and spiral further.  And eventually I pulled myself together and went inside.  The day improved, and on Thursday I woke up in a much better mood.  I also worked from home.  But Friday came around and I had to go back into work again.

I attacked Friday much better than I did Wednesday.  In fact, I got quite a bit done that needed to be done, and I was pleased with myself.  But I also decided it was time to call a therapist whom I hadn't seen in over a year for a "tune-up" because if things continue along, professionally, as they have, I might not have secure employment, and from there everything spirals.

I blame a good deal of it on my ADD.  And I find myself increasingly frustrated by the short-comings this inability to focus on something - particularly after the newness has worn off - generates.  I have been fortunate in life that I am somewhat intelligent, and can manage to impress people enough that they don't notice, immediately, when I start to slack off, but eventually, like the Wizard behind the curtain, when it continues, it is noticed.

And it's a small town.  This isn't a reputation I want.

So I decided it was time to go back to therapy to work on a few things, again, still.  I can't really afford it.  My "discretionary" money is really quite non-existant.  But the conclusion I reached on Friday was that if I lose this job, I really can't afford not to go. 

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