Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Self Sabotage

Lately I have been thinking about self sabotage and the ways we keep ourselves from coping in a healthy way with our challenges and stress.

We each have a way of coping, a comfort mechanism, and the healthier they are the better.

The problem is that the healthy ones rarely have the instant comforting effect we feel we need. Healthy solutions are long-term and take repetition to feel their effects.

This past week or so, I've slipped back into the following pattern:

Come home from work frustrated and demoralized
Have glass of wine while making dinner to unwind
Sit down to dinner and find that I'm still stressed and upset
Have 2nd glass of wine
Feel more relaxed and with reduced inhibitions, sometimes I reach for a 3rd glass
Go to sleep, relatively peacefully, but with a nagging feeling like nothing is better
Wake up in the middle of the night
Maybe due to alcohol
Maybe due to unresolved stress
Lay awake mulling through problems that were covered up with alcohol earlier
Vow not to do it the next night

I am desperately looking for a new job as I have pretty much hated this one from day one, and just this week I celebrated 3 years. The boss is pretending that he didn't promise to finish my review by Friday of last week and that he didn't promise me a 5% raise. I am afraid to call him on it for fear that he will entirely revoke it. Meanwhile, he is talking about restructuring reporting structures, cutting me out of the administration chain of command.

So, I found a couple jobs to apply for this past week. Both referred to me by others. The problem . . . less money and maybe not in line with my original goal of not having a boss, but becoming the boss. My husband was critical of my choices and thought they were not steps up. I got upset and said I just want to stay here, have a reasonable commute and bearable job. I explained the money pressure to make more in a bigger job stemmed from being the bread winner and that we can refinance and he can get a job to make that go away. My husband then explained that I am more ambitious than him. I took that to mean I am stuck being the bread winner. I explained that I could meet my original goal of being in charge at a smaller agency for less money at any time. He was silent.

The pressure and lack of support for my job is insane. My peers have wives making their dinners, cleaning up the house and providing emotional support. I don't and I never will.

Here's the rub, I know I am good. I know that I would be a great general manager/CEO somewhere. But at what cost to me? And why? Do I have to do it just cause I can? Do I have to do it because you are supposed to reach for your potential?

I feel like I'm tired of being the money maker. That I want a job with a good boss. That I deserve a good boss and need to stop being macho and pretending I don't need or deserve those things. I deserve a job with clear boundaries. I deserve a job with stability. I deserve to be appreciated, even if it is not with bonuses, but instead flexibility to leave in the afternoon without getting grilled. I deserve not to be pushed out the fucking door by an insecure micromanaging bully.

And yes, I probably deserve to make more money in the process, but at what cost? More time in the job search? Longer commute? Moving my family? Playing with the big boys who have a better home support structure only to bang my head against the glass ceiling over and over and over?

1 comment:

yertle said...

So sorry this is so hard. Keep the faith that an answer is out there for you. Big hugs to you.

What cam up for me when I read this is a conversation I had with Prof. Cave a long time ago. He told me that my talents were real in chemistry, but just because you are good at something it doesn't mean you have to do it.

Today on my commute home I was thinking about my own self sabotage, and what kept coming into my mind was this idea.

Everything I do is dependent upon my well-being, therefore there is nothing more important than that.

I do think that is the lesson and belief I need to learn in order to stop making everything from the outside more important than my own well-being.