A new year, a new beginning… and the end of the year made sure to dump some last minute things on my plate. Work related this time. An event happened that is going to make my first week of the new year potentially difficult. As it was unfolding, people realized that since I started, we haven’t had an event like this. So I heard “If you need anything, I’m here,” a bit. I have a job where I can’t come home and talk about it with my spouse. Just co-workers. So it wraps itself up in my head and lives there.
Most days it isn’t bad, I can get in and get out without it lingering. At one point it was asked around how X, Y, and Z happen. What I do is drop as much stuff at the office door as I can and just roll with it. I do this both coming in and leaving for the day. I was told it was impossible to do this and basically that I was full of it. But if I don’t do those things, everything that happens would live in my mind and never leave. I love my job because I am good at what I do, but sometimes the needing to bite my tongue because I can’t publically speak out gets tiring. That’s why I have to disengage almost entirely at the end of day. I honest to God cannot come home and even really tell my spouse how my day was. I can say it was good or bad, but beyond that I can’t say a word. I understand why and that makes perfect sense to me. Some days though, I really just want to talk something through with my spouse, not my coworkers. They don’t need bullets to shoot me with if they don’t like or understand my thought process.
I end up retreating into my head quite a bit, especially when I feel as though some people are thinking that we shouldn’t be ranting and venting to one another. Who else can we even talk to? There’s pretty much nobody. Yea, I talk with my therapist sometimes about specifics because nobody is ever going to tell me what I can and cannot talk with my therapist about. I will not lie to him, so if it’s something at work he’s going to know.
I take it all on and I make sure I keep the brave, happy face on. I don’t let people see what’s actually going on in my head. It’s not okay to let people know what is going on. It’s never been okay to let people see how things are actually affecting me. I grew up learning that we don’t tell people what’s going on. I’ve carried that well into my physical adulthood. In some ways it has made me better suited for what I do, because it makes it easier to just ignore it and let it slip past. However, my work isn’t sunshine and roses so there are times when it’s actually worse that I keep it all in. My mask though has been made from years of practice and while it has many different shades, I don’t bring it down for people. My spouse gets to see what’s underneath and I willingly brought it down for my old white dude. Everyone else gets some version of my mask. Some get a more transparent one while others are looking at an iron mask.
Some days you have to make others think that there isn’t a mask between you and them. Those days are rough, because those are the days where it feels like you need a whole wall not just a mask.
Balancing what was already going on in my head and this added strain is going to make the next 11 or so days interesting.