I love the job, I think that’s clear. I love that I get to help people and I love that I care about it and I love that I might actually be good at it. I admit though, this last week or so has been unexpectedly harder. There are little things that have surprised me. Let’s call them triggers. TW hun xoxo.
The first was going up on the roof for a fire safety check. I wrote on Facebook that this was terrifying, and so it was. I would think a fair few people would be unnerved by being on the top of a six floor building staring down at a very busy road. I didn’t go into what specifically made it terrifying for me. I have always been afraid of heights so there’s that. But that has taken on a new dimension since I found myself fantasising about jumping off a roof into traffic. After that, I see it. I saw it vividly when I stood on that roof. I saw myself throw my body off the edge and smack on the ground just in time for a bus to flatten me. It just took a split second but I couldn’t get that image out of my head and it was simultaneously awful, breath-taking and captivating. I got off that roof as fast as I could drag my eyes off the traffic.
Imagination. Someone was having a blood test this week and I was there too. As the rubber thingy went round the arm I saw me with a pair of scissors, snipping open an artery and blood pumping everywhere. I stared at the ceiling and willed myself not to cry and not to run screaming from the room and prayed that I hadn’t actually done it and wouldn’t ever do it.
This isn’t nice. I say that in the present tense and not the past because it’s a thing my brain likes to do to me. I stamp on my cat’s tail, I cut nipples off a squirrel, I snap my nephew’s neck. Whispering over and over, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t, I promise, I promise, I promise, I love you, I love you, I love you – does that cancel it out?
Not being sure and not knowing if I can trust my memory. Emails. FFS, I was shit with emails in my last job and a lot of my working life revolved around the fecking things. My life does not revolve around them now but they still exist. When certain things are done, we write them up and email them to everyone in the group. Simples. But you know what my last job has that this job doesn’t? Gmail. I’m stuck with Outlook now and there’s one godsend I haven’t found – the ‘undo send’ button. I can’t tell you how much I love that button, or how many hours must have been lost to it. Send email, unsend. Send, unsend, send, unsend, send, unsend, send, unsend… Not sure you’ve got the right people? Unsend. Not sure you’ve got the right wording? Unsend. Maybe spelt something wrong? Unsend. Think someone might not like what you’ve said? Unsend. Does it sound clever enough? Unsend. Did you accidentally say fuck? Unsend. Sure you didn’t say fuck? Unsend. Definitely didn’t say fuck? Unsend. Maybe just check one more time in case a fuck slipped in when you weren’t looking. Unsend.
Same with attaching documents. I used to write minutes and I would scour them for fucks and shits and bastards and wankers. I’d check and check again and check again and make a coffee and check again. Then I’d save the document, save again, save again, close it, open it and check again. When I did attach it, I’d stare at the file name and open it from the email, just to check I’d attached the right one. Then I’d unattach it, reopen the document and check again in case I’d accidentally saved it as a new document and slipped a fuck or shit in and not remembered. IT COULD HAPPEN, OK.
And I always had my faithful friend, undo send. :)
I don’t now, so WTF? I avoided my first thing this week. I delayed emailing a thing for a day because I just couldn’t be sure. It’s had a knock-on effect of making me get nervous about other things, stammering a bit, heart flipping a bit. Need to nip that in the bud.
On what might seem to be an unrelated note, since I started knitting I’ve become more enchanted by colours and textures. I have happy mugs, happy cushions, happy colours, happy bags, happy dresses. I keep them around me to engage my imagination. When I finished my last job we went ‘glamping’ for a few days, in a wood in the middle of nowhere. It was like fairyland. That’s a fantasy I use when scary thoughts get a bit much, I cancel them out with woods and glades and dappled sunshine and fairies sitting on brightly coloured mushrooms. :)
I’ve come to realise the power of imagination. It allows me to feel, really feel. I feel the emotions of others and that’s showing itself to be useful in this job, because although it’s sad to feel so deeply the pain of other people, at least now it’s being put to good use. I love that. The new context for triggery tricks is unnerving, but it’s the flip side of imagination. It can go too far, turn on me, make me doubt what’s real and what’s not. And you know what I think might help? Mindfulness. There’s nothing wrong with imagination. Harnessing it is powerful stuff. But when it gets out of hand, when I’m staring at a ceiling, frightened of an artery that hasn’t been cut but could be, having the ability to pull myself back to reality would be a benefit. I have to live with some things. Like maybe a fuck in the wrong place? Living with the possibility of nasty things, nasty consequences.
I haven’t done a mindfulness practice in ages. Why not? I guess I just don’t want to be bored by my own thoughts when I could be knitting. So this post is supposed to serve as a kick up the arse. ;-)