Employment with Fear

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New Here
I had read the post on employers and employees at work.

I took a contract dispite my doctor's advice to see what shape I was in for working now.

I mentioned to my boss that I had PTSD and would I be able to leave 1 hour early once a week and I would make it up by coming in an hour early.

He is a very nice guy but said that it was impossible as there was an upgrade at work and too much to do. He seemd very surprised by the request.

Since then I have kept in silence out of fear.

After my 2nd car accident one day I was waiting for an employment letter from work (which they had said was no problem) for purchasing a home and instead I was called called down and told I was being let go. I wasn't allowed back at my desk just told I had to leave right away with some severance. Lost the condo and the job that day. I had been there 8 years.

I had a breakdown and landed in the hospital. While I was there, work had someone come and give me a letter saying that my disability wouldn't cover anything that had happened to me in the last month. I suppose I could have fought it but I was too drained to try.

Now I live in constant fear of being let go. A few weeks ago while I was training a class, my boss emailed me and said I had to come up right away. I taught a bit more shaking in my shoes and he emailed again and said you have to come up now.

I barely made it up the stairs I was so scared that it was happening again. When I got up there they were singing happy birthday with a cake and he said "so did I have you worried, did you think you were in trouble", I was so shocked I just stared. I know he thought it was funny and he is the nicest boss I have ever had but for me it was just pure shock and fear happening all over. I could barely focus the rest of the day.

I don't know what to do or how long I will make it. I stare at the screen when responding to a call because I can't remember how to spell words. If someone calls for help I can't remember what they said, even if I try to write it down. My head goes crazy if more than one thing is going on at the same time. My fellow employees keep looking at me because sometimes the most simplest thing is lost on me. I used to be such a high functioner and now I live with the fear everyday that they will see how stupid (may sound like a harsh word but sometimes it is the only way to describe it) I am now. I sit there everyday waiting for the hammer to drop once again living in constant fear.

Can anyone please me advice on what to do? If I quit I have to go bankrupt. Suicide just seems to be getting better and better. Where do I go from here.....

Thanks for listening to my babble....


Lost and Scared
I don't know what part of the world you are from, Moey, but there are laws against bullying and harassment at work. You have rights. Is there anyone who can help you find out what you can do about work? Maybe your doc would know an organisation or two that could help?

Don't let the bastards beat you Moey! I know that's easy for me to say, but it annoys the hell out of them if you hold firm on your beliefs.
I experience a lot of fear!!!

moey...take a few deep breaths...inhale/exhale inhale/exhale inhale/exhale
This is done by slowly drawing in a breath then letting it go slowly out Just focus on one movement of air at a time...do it till your fear calms down to a manageable level :wink: My mind will go blank too under the level of fear you are experiencing...you are not odd in any way...I have experienced the stress of wondering about keeping my job..which means SO much!!! as the loss of it really would have sent me to financial ruin!!! When I use this breathing TOOL and get to a relaxed state...I have found that my memory gets back to working!!! I encourage you to try it!!! as for the worrying itself----repeat a mantra "I have my job now" "I have my job now" & "I can do my job" "I can do my job" ....which is a definite reality for you because if your boss didn't think so...you wouldn't have been hired!!! :cool: I hope this helps....GO FOR IT!!!!! ..........wildfirewildone
totally relate

I can't believe how much you sound like me. I thought I was the only one who got so scared and could only guess of what I did wrong when I'm called on. I'm so bad, I freak out on e-mails.:wall: I try to calm down. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. But I'd really like to talk more. I bet we have a lot in common.
Suicide just seems to be getting better and better. Where do I go from here.....

Well, certainly not there! I have to say something to this cry for help. I hope it helps you.

I had those thoughts before and more than once, but it was before I was diagnosed and had no clue what was happening to me. All I knew was it was getting worse and I seriously thought I would end up in a padded room some where. It was the hardest point and I almost lost my husband as he had no clue what was going on either, he just knew I wasn't the same woman. We both thought I had just gone insane and off the deep end some how. I did not even know I was at risk at losing him I was so blind. I lucked out and did not. He knew my past, I felt he should know as time went on, but we did not know that was doing this, basically we did not put 2 and 2 together. The doctors and therapist did.

I was treated by my GP and it calmed me a bit but things were not right still. After a year of blindly fighting/succombing to this condtion I got to the proper docs. I can't stand my shrink but DH thinks she has my best intrest at heart so through him dragging me to see her (bet you can see claw marks on my dooor way) and me cussing the whole way there for each visit until I finally just complied. I went on my own to find a threapist for CBT. I see them both. I am very pleased with my therapist and he hit the nail on the head telling me it sounds like two Alpha dogs in the room when my shrink and I meet. So we both want to be in charge of my threapy, she screwed my meds up bad that landed me in the hospital twice in four days from my first visit, honestly I am lucky she did not kill me. Then I realized I was horrified of dying even if at one point I thought it was a better option.

Through CBT I have made wonderfully big steps and some days I still feel like I am just dying inside.

My husband has gone above and beyond in helping me now we know what is wrong, he has to remind me how far I have come, when all I can think at times is how far I have to go and it is a nasty road to get there. On my really off days I am beating myself up he reminds me this is not a race to recover, I will ge there. But to take my time and don't push to hard. And on my good days when I feel like tossing my meds that I am tapering or I want to taper a larger dose off he is there once again reminding me it is not a race and pokes my prescribed dose at the prescibed taper down my throat, as withdrawals whip me if I cut too fast.

If you are not in some form of threapy I don't know how you can do it on your own, I am firmly set in CBT as it has done wonders at seeing things about me (flaws) that I could not before. We cannot "afford" threapy and the meds. We have made big cuts everywhere else and cashed out retirement. But my husband being the good man he is also pointed out we can't afford NOT to have me in it and treated properly! He had to go to his boss and tell him what I was diagnosed with as he has to take off of work to get me to appointments every week, he also had a 3 week leave to care for me when they changed my therapy. It cost him a promotion and we desperatly needed the money, but did not cost him his job. During that time he figured out he hates his job and is looking for a new one while still working.

I hope this note finds you feeling well and I hope you are in some sort of threapy at this point. I also hope that you find support here you can use.

You talk about suicide a lot, and its a word used a little loosely IMHO from us all at times. We have thoughts of it, but 99% will never see it through, as we discuss it because we want help and support, and I think that is what your trying to accomplish here. There is no need really to use suicide, as we are here to just support you Moey, and try and help you if you want help. We cannot jump through the computer screens and make everything better, we cannot put false hopes upon you and tell you everything will be ok, but we can be honest to you in regard to responses.

Lets face facts here shall we... PTSD and work suck. They just don't go together well at all, regardless how well you think it goes, you always end up with more issues than someone without PTSD, and generally unbeknown to your work colleagues, the stress we suffer at the end of the day can be quite overwhelming. Then on the other end of the scale, for some, if your not working, you have no income at all, and with no income everything falls down around you, thus making PTSD much much worse, then suicide does become a very serious issue.

I had suicidal thoughts for 3 straight years, so I know what your saying, but I don't use the word loosely, because suicide is a serious thought, one that must be met with professional help. Nobody here can help with suicidal tendancies Moey, as its not within the scope of normal support, instead you are now requiring professional advice and if the thoughts are not diminishing even with medication, then possible hospitalization to help you get past some of the worst of what PTSD has to offer.

Please get yourself some professional help now if your suicidal thoughts are not diminishing or you can not control them much longer.
Hi Moey:
Thanks for your courage in writing about your problems at work. This is my first post and I have been a silent sufferer of PTSD in the workplace for many years.

I'm finally making the connection in my head between the wierd sensations that overcome me in meetings, especially, and in the training room in the middle of classes (I am a trainer).

Lately Ive had the courage to confront and report coworkers who have taken advantage of my vulnerable states when I'm symptomatic (especially under heavy stress).

I still feel guilty, ashamed and responsible for my illness when symptomatic, but I am full of anger and strength when it's under control. Noone has the right to make you feel afraid, ridiculed or in danger!

People need to learn that their 'harmless' teasing isn't fun for you. Is there an employee assistance program where you work? This may be a good place to seek help right away.
Welcome Anonymous. I'm glad you are here and helping people like Moey. Thank you.

Thank you for your words of welcome. It's really nice to be welcomed to a club that I never really wanted to join, but I do belong! :smile:
I don't know if you are in the US, but if you are there are two laws that offer some protection. The first is the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which alllows employees in many cases up to 12 weeks unpaid leave in a year if needed for a serious health condition. The leave can be taken in small increments, like an hour, as you needed. The employer must accomodate the leave if it applies and is looking at serious trouble if they don't. Contact U.S. Department of Labor or lawyer for more info.

The second law is Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which requires that employers work with employees with covered disabilities (if requested by the employee) to see if there is a way to arrange things so that they can perform the essential functions of the job with a reasonable accomodation. Time off of a limited and scheduled duration may be reasonable under the Act. Contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for more detail. There are also State counterparts to these laws that sometimes offer even better protection.

Frankly, if in the US and you have been working for your employer for at least a year, have worked at least 1250 hours in a year for the employer, and the place you work isn't real small, I am guessing that the FMLA is likely to give you the right to the leave you need. But check this carefully with the Feds and/or a lawyer. And I can't tell you employers who must honor the leave law will not sometimes try to find workarounds to the anti-retaliation provisions. The good employers have folks who make sure there is no retaliation, but there are %$#@#&* everywhere.
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