The other day I had a major ah-ha moment at work. I have about twelve other post started, or ready to post, but thought I’d share this instead. I know the majority of my life is lived in fear, shut-down, or in between. I don’t have many days where I am able to just be, to just relax and feel peace. In fact, having those type of days is like a privilege, a burden, overwhelm, and a blessing all in one. I can count the times I have felt safe, relaxed, and peaceful, throughout the past twenty years, on one hand, literally, and that makes me sad. Something that I struggle with in, these moments and really always, is knowing my body language, emotion, expressions, etc. and how they affect or present themselves to others. On many occasions it has been brought to my attention that my body language doesn’t match my emotion or that my facial expression is displeasing, but I have never been able to grasp the depth of what that really means–until the other day. I work with a person who is not very exciting or enjoyable to work with. I don’t work directly with him very often but when I do I come home at least 10 times worse than on a typical day. He drains the life out of me in such little time. I have to work so hard to stay in an approachable mood while at work because of the environment. I work in a large building where people are constantly coming and going, the noise volume is at least an 8/10 on the noise-o-meter, and the smells are horrifying similar to the ones of my past-often sending me into flashbacks. This said, if you read the blog often and you know me, you know that this job is a very uncomfortable, dysregulating job for me. I keep it because a part of it is satisfying. Everyday I can come home and tell myself that I have conquered another day and that it’s only going to get easier. I have the satisfactory of knowing that I, out of 75+ people, was chosen for the job and that I am able to do the job well {dysregulated or not}. Now that you know that my job is taxing, let me tell you that I don’t come home happy most days. I come home and am tired, very dysregulated, shut-down, and a lot of times clingy. I come home and most of the time Zhanna and I just watch cartoons, draw, or play for a little while. It used to be that we were inseparable, and most of the time we still are, but there are times now that we just have to have space; it’s usually due to my body language, tone of voice, or facial expressions. This is where my AH-HA moment came into play. A lot of the reason that I can’t stand my co-worker is because of his body language and emotional cues. He is a glum guy. He walks slouched with his head hung low and a lot of the time he talks he is makes passive aggressive remarks. I suppose for visionary purposes we could call him Eeyore. The last three days I have worked with him directly and every time he talks to me he is sure to add a jab. A few days ago after I had finished a specific task Eeyore became really upset, or so his body language and voice tone portrayed, because he didn’t understand why I had done it. We have an area where we hold items for customers, for a short period, and it is to be cleaned out 2-3 times a week. It was overflowing so, naturally, I cleaned it. The things that are returned to our stock are the things with no name, date, or receipt on it. This has always been a rule. About an hour after I cleaned the area Eeyore came out to get something out of the area, that he put in there with no date or receipt, and it was no longer there. His voice became irritated and his body language was quite terrifying. I was upset. I couldn’t understand why he’d be so angry at me for doing my job the way I am had always been instructed. I just let it go. Yesterday I had a co-worker come to me to ask for a task and I didn’t really have anything for him. I told him to stand with me and we would chat and brainstorm at the same time. Eeyore overheard and came out and made a remark to the lines of, “aren’t you supposed to be being a role model” and then was rudely criticizing me. He later threatened my employment and that’s when I realized it really wasn’t about me because I haven’t done anything to disrupt my employment chances. The past three days I have watched him mope around, make snide remarks, and disconnect himself from the world. In the last 6 months I think I have seen this man smile a maximum of 25 times, keep in mind I work 30+ hours a week in the same proximity, and heard him laugh maybe 15. It’s sad, but I don’t think he realized how deep in trapped darkness {or whatever it is} he really is. He takes his hurt, his pain, his hardship out on others and he really doesn’t know he is doing it. I honestly, truly believe that he has no clue how hard he is to be around. A few nights ago, before these incidents, Bailey had this same conversation with me. She asked me if I realized how negative my body language and emotional cues are at times or if I knew that I made so many passive aggressive remarks. To be honest, I don’t. I feel normal in my body and my normal is negative. My normal is fear, anger, and frustration so even when I am shut-down my body language and emotional cues portray negativity and a sense of being trapped. I am hard to be around. I am passive aggressive. I am mean. I have lousy body language. None of this really made sense to me because I don’t feel these things. When I talk to Bailey or Zhanna, I feel that I am being perfectly approachable and okay to be around. I can’t see it because I have disconnected from my reality so far that it’s like I’m looking for the lighthouse in a hurricane. After realizing that I am so much like Eeyore and how un-fun he is to be around, I realized that I needed to change. It finally sunk in that my reality is not okay right now. I am NOT fun to be around and as safe as that is for me, it’s not okay. I don’t like hurting people or making them uncomfortable. Now, I hope to learn from Eeyore, to take note of the aura he sets off and make sure to change mine. Take the feelings I have when I am around him and let myself know that I too am that difficult to be around sometimes and change it. I need to take note of the things that need work and practice matching my emotional cues, body language and tone so they all portray what I’m feeling instead of having my body language look negative, emotional cues happy, and my tone clingy. Is it possible? Hopefully! Am I willing to do it anyway? Definitely!

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One thought on “Take a Clue…

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