So December has dawned finding me suffering an alarming amount of fear which I can only describe as paralysing. It’s the hypnosis that is the problem. I’m just so scared of going out on my own and not being able to make it in the big wide world without a permanent “real” job to fall back on.
Will the clients be there? Will I be able to make ends meet? What happens when I have a lull and my schedule isn’t full? How will I keep a roof over my head? How will I manage the stress and anxiety of not having a mainstream job to fall back on? I am one person with no partner or family to fall back on. I’m it. There’s me and there’s destitution. If I can’t make it work, what happens then? This is a lot of pressure which other new therapists don’t have to deal with.
Just questions, pressures and no kind of answers forthcoming.
I have had some very unhappy moments here at work this year. Having a new Manager and finally getting rid of that incompetent troll who called herself our Manager was a bonus. A massive bonus. Seriously, there wasn’t one person who was sorry to see her go.
I had personally tolerated her unmitigated ineptitude for a very long 15 years. Hearing that she had been promoted to a role in the Corporate division and wouldn’t be our Manager any more was like being given notice of parole. Our entire department was ecstatic over the situation and looking forward to a new Manager as a breath of fresh air. We all had such hopes. Mine were quickly dashed.
Being dragged to HR twice and given two warnings was a highlight. Having the new Manager go after me like a bulldog at HR was a massively disappointing shock which had me in tears on more than one occasion.
Not in front of her mind you. I don’t cry at all regardless of the situation, and least of all in front of someone who has become the enemy. It was just that I thought I had a good relationship with her and was going to be treated with some respect by Management at last. I never saw the fierceness of that attack coming and it was brutal. She went for the jugular without reservation and now in the aftermath, she can’t work out why we’re no longer friends.
Since then, every communication I’ve had with her has been yet another episode in the endless litany entitled “Things I’ve Done Wrong”. It’s genuinely demoralising when your Manager incessantly berates you for trivial things just to have something to rail at you about. I mean, this is how you treat me and now you can’t figure out why we don’t enjoy a friendship anymore?
So the universe is pushing me to get out of here and open my own practice – and there the anxieties begin and swell to truly epic proportions, then it’s paralysis city all over again.
This has got to stop. I cannot continue procrastinating about starting my own practice because I’m living in fear 24/7. It’s not sane and it’s in no way healthy.
So to this end, I put out an SOS. I posted to one of the hypnotherapy groups for some help saying only that I had issues which I felt would benefit from time line therapy and would someone be free to work with me. I had several responses and chose a therapist.
Thus far we have had two sessions. Naturally they required a brutal level of honesty about what is going for me. I would normally, and have, kept those feelings hidden except from a few select people – until now. If you’re one of the few that knew, count yourself as one of my highly valued, extreme inner circle.
So I have sucked it up and spilled my guts about the specific pressures I am under plus how I have always felt WORTHLESS and undeserving of any kind of respect. That’s how I grew up. I was always being treated as “the CHILD” and never given any kudos at all no matter what age I was.
I still am treated as insignificant and inconsequential by my family. They are more than happy to lecture me and speak down to me confirming those feelings of worthlessness any time I care to ring them and entertain them. To them, I’m still a 5 year old who needs constant instruction and to be ordered around.
Additionally, I am always seen as STUPID in their eyes. I have no intelligence, no anything of substance to contribute to any conversation. Thus I am consistently shut down when I try. It’s demeaning and debasing on so many levels that I can’t even begin to list them all.
This would be why my family and I have spoken but a single handful of times over the last 16 years and I’m in no rush to repeat the experience. I received no support, no encouragement and no help from them on any matter. The first time I heard someone say they were proud of me I was 15 years old and it was a school friend who said it. My family never have and I have no doubt that proud is one attribute they would never ascribe to me.
In an astonishing and somewhat amusing turn of fate, they have outlasted their value. I no longer need them to give me those sour, miserable, demeaning messages. I can do it quite capably for myself and by now, I’m a constantly achieving expert in the field.
Would it surprise anyone, therefore, that the inner voice was the place I needed to start working?
So my therapist and I set about working on ‘worthless’. A tough ask indeed but in the week since, I have noted some differences in myself so we must have made some break-throughs.
For one thing, I feel that my speech pattern has changed. It is no longer simple language but far more complex in its structure, more adult.
I have also managed to take some initial, but essential, steps in working towards my own practice. Things I couldn’t do before because they scared me too much as part of the overall picture.
I also began to do some pro bono sessions with volunteers as a means of building my confidence. Unfortunately I ran into a tough nut who is more in his head than connected with his feelings. Working with him is challenging me and forcing me to think outside the box and stretch myself. This is in no way a bad thing.
I still came away from my second session with him and the first thing I did was tell a confidant that “I suck at this”. Even as I wrote it, a part of my head was thinking “no I don’t” and it meant it.
Challenging that huge monolith of mental messages is a big ask by any stretch of the imagination. I have 50 years of set-in-stone habit to try to kick. If you thought giving up smoking or weight loss was hard, try this!
So in my latest session we did some work around all those mental messages. In the imagery I had set myself at Badger Weir which is a place I absolutely adore. I haven’t been there in about 2 years and I will give myself a treat by going there again at the earliest opportunity just to walk around and soak up the air.
And what changes have I noticed thus far? Well I’m blogging again for one thing. I’ve been exceptionally silent this year and writing again is something out of the ordinary.
Secondly, I had a dream yesterday which just about brought me to tears it was so frustrating and depressing.
In the dream, I was working at a conglomeration of places I had worked previously. They were all mixed up. However, the upshot is that in the dream one woman who was an executive secretary had chosen to resign very quietly. She was leaving that very day and hadn’t made any announcement about it to the other staff.
When I found out, I went to the Office Manager she worked for and asked him if I could have her job. That was a huge thing for me. Even in my dream I was anxious and terrified of making the request and I was absolutely positive that I would be turned down. Happily, be broke into a huge grin of relief and told me I was EXACTLY the person he wanted in the role and so he was delighted that I had asked.
I took over the job that day and had the inestimable pleasure of writing out my resignation to the previous department I had worked for. I can’t even begin to describe how joyful I was to be able to deliver it although I was leaving them in the lurch because I was supposed to work the following two weeks and had been rostered on for them. However, I was wanted in my new job immediately and since my new Manager trumped my old one, I was transferred instantly and the old department could just go sink.
I woke up believing I had written that resignation for my current work and overjoyed that I had. Not one more day of this living hell I call a job. I was so soul destroyed to discover it had been only a dream that I almost broke into tears right then and there.
I make no bones about it. I despise my job. Answering a hospital switchboard is a job a monkey could do. It has no prospect for advancement. It is nothing but a dead end job that I could sit here and do until the day dawned that I was to retire and/or they dragged me to HR one time too many and sacked me.
This is not a job that is going to provide me a future. It will not allow me to amass enough money to fund my retirement. It will not provide me enough assets to buy a house. I will go from working here to spending all my money on paying rent and finally destitution.
Even if I found another job at retirement age, it would still be a stop gap measure until I was forced to give up mainstream paid work. The question of “what then?” looms large on the horizon. I am 50. My working days ahead are numbered and it’s high time to start thinking of the future and planning solidly towards it. I can no longer afford to be reckless.
So I have come into work tonight and found myself posting the following to my Facebook page. “I despise my work. Let’s just get that out there up front. It’s a dead end job in a toxic environment. I could find another job easily but I think I’d be just as unhappy there as I am here. So it’s time to set a timeline. I want to be out of here by June/July 2017. The happiest day I have will be the day I write out my resignation from this place.”
What change indeed! I am now not only lacking in fear of the future as a solo practitioner, I am looking forward to resigning and getting on with it. Yes, okay, while it’s true I look to resigning for a number of reasons, they are no longer the ONLY reasons. That is an important distinction to make.
I have also found myself mentally setting a timeline date as well. This has been brought to my attention by another member of staff who IS retiring in July. She has mentioned several times her ‘cut off date’ and seems buoyed by the substantiality of it. It isn’t a pie-in-the-sky date or a general time frame. It’s a fixed, it’s-happening-then date that is not negotiable. This has impressed itself upon my psyche no doubt.
I am looking at June/July. My therapist did some ciphering and has decoded that I need just 8 clients a week in order to come out with a paycheck somewhat equal to what I make now in a fortnight.
While I am planning, and have always planned, to work at hypnotherapy only on my days off while I continue to hold this job, I feel that 8 clients a week or some combination equalling that is more than doable for me. Surely if others can do it, I can also? I AM smart and I AM capable. I CAN do this.
So I have my time line. Within this time frame I know when I need to have things done by. I have already spoken to my web person about my upcoming needs and that is in progress. I have my ABN and have registered Dream Esteem as a current business name.
I was amused to find that Business Affairs wrote back to me to confirm the name has been added to the register and to quietly inform me that for $120 I could register the domain name as well. Sorry, I think I can do it for less than $120 or get myself a fantastic deal for that price, ie: several years worth of registration.
Another, and perhaps most important, change I have noticed is that I am sitting here writing this piece with full intention of publishing it to my blog for all and sundry to read, and I’m not afraid of that either.
As I mentioned, there are an awful lot of things I have kept within my inner circle. I have been very reluctant to bring them out into the public eye despite the fact that I’m pretty honest about the rest of my life. Suddenly I am no longer reluctant. I am able to sit and write this piece knowing that I am being brutally honest and yet, without anxiety about it.
Perhaps I am coming to accept that the things I have kept hidden aren’t anything to be ashamed of and in fact, have value. Perhaps I am also coming to accept that I am becoming less ruled by fear as each day passes.
Whatever the reasons why and whatever the outcomes, I can see myself in private practice as a reality rather than as a pipe dream.
I have taken some giant steps over the last two weeks and I’ll give myself kudos for that.