Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Hello all. Is anyone still bothering to read my blog? It's been quite a while, and, as usual, there have been so many things going on in my life, that I haven't had the courage or inclination to spill my guts here for all to see.

But maybe it's time for a little spillage, eh?

For the first time since 1994, I started having really awful anxiety/panic attacks. I really do not know why, except for the fact that I started working on site again--something I never wanted to do again, but beggars cannot be choosers.

You would think at my age that I would stop making decisions based on emotion, and that I would listen to what my gut told me about certain situations. However, when one hasn't had a new client in over a year, and the money starts to dwindle, a certain feast or famine mentality ensues.

Bluntly, I accepted a job that did not meet my salary expectations and that I had real reservations about, because I was panicking about money.

When I went on the interview, the woman I would be working for seemed very pleasant, however she and the HR person seemed very unprofessional during the interview. Other interviewees were brought up, and denigrating comments were made about them, and it looked like I would be the oldest person working there. Most are/were in their 20's. What really bugs me, although it happens quite a bit these days, is that I was immediately asked what my salary expectations were for this position.

I don't like playing my hand that early in an interview.

Needless to say, I was iffy after I left the interview. As well, I was given an application to fill out and the company wanted me to go back over eight years or more!! I have worked, primarily, as a contractor for the last 10 years, so to make me have to go back that long and see if any of my contacts/references were still around was a lot of work.

Of course, I was asked to list my salary at each job, which is something I really abhor because it's usually asked in order to low ball on salary negotiations and I just see no reason for having to cough that information up. But I dutifully did it, reservations and all.

I was offered the job, and I took it without any salary negotiation because, well, I needed the job. From the first day, I started to get that tight feeling in my chest but I attributed it to first day jitters, etc.

As the days progressed, nothing got better. This is a very modern and 'open' environment, so you have absolutely no privacy whatsoever. Any and everyone can listen to your phone conversations, or any of your conversations in general. What bothered me more was that I was given a 'test' on my first day there. No joke. It was some hour long test. It just sort of bugged me. I mean, I figured I passed the 'test' by the fact that I was hired for the position, which was nothing like I was told it would be in the interview.

Basically, what I thought was a Senior Research position, turned out to be nothing more than a glorified telemarketer. Nothing wrong with that position, but it's not what I signed on for at all. I was asked to tell 'white lies' concerning what the company did, when I called potential contacts and clients and asked for their job title, email address, etc. I didn't feel comfortable about that at all, nor did I feel comfortable being watched and listened to, when I spoke over the phone. I felt like I was in high school again.

Add to the mix, it was such an 'open' environment, that employees were allowed to bring their pets to work. I love animals, especially dogs, but I don't want to watch or hear a Golden Retriever run through the office, barking its lungs out, as I am trying to get information from a client that really doesn't want to give it up and has no real idea why I am asking he/she for that information.

I was starting to really loathe getting up in the morning, and I started to have that 'fight or flight' feeling when I went to work. Don't get me wrong; the people there seemed nice enough, but it just seemed very unprofessional to me. The lack of privacy was really hard for me, coming from working alone, independently, from my home.

Then came "Miss Awe-SUMM"...

She was the manager over the 'confirmation callers,' which I wasn't a part of, but they sat right next to me.

It's obvious that she went to some management empowerment retreat, or something, because she constantly praised the confirmation callers, even if they just showed up for work. Everything was "Awe-SUMM," as she declared, sounding like Tori Spelling from a 90210 repeat, and she would repeat that lovely phrase ad nauseam along with "You ROCK!!!"

Now, hearing that oft used euphemism once or twice is tolerable--taking anti nausea medication helps, too--but having to hear it every single day, up to 15-25 times per day is enough to drive Dr. Spock to beat a child.

The cacophony of barking dogs, "Miss Awe-SUMMM," along with having SIRIUS Satellite Music piped in, usually on the Rap or Funk channels just added to the ambiance.

It went something like this:

dogs barking

I kid you not.

I will spare you the "Afterschool Special" dramatics that resulted in my panic attack, but needless to say, I could not take it anymore and I just wigged out. I just got up, sent an email to my boss, and walked out.

I felt like I had to walk out. I felt compelled, as if something really bad was going to happen, if I didn't get out of there. I felt like I was under attack in some way. This was a feeling I had not had since 1994, but it was back and worse than it had been, previously.

It felt like I was going crazy. Maybe I was. I couldn't breathe, my back was tight, and I have no idea how I drove home.

After I got home, I felt miserable. I felt like I had let my partner down, myself down, and that I was just nuts.

Since then, I have realized that this, indeed, was a huge panic/anxiety attack and that there are many folks who suffer with this malady. All I can tell you is that it really, well, is not "Awe-SUMM" at all.

I have no idea why I am spilling my guts about this here, but maybe it's cathartic. I have been really embarrassed to even discuss the fact that I deal with anxiety issues, coupled with depression at times, and I was embarrassed that I left that job because of anxiety.

It wasn't the perfect job. I didn't like it, but it was a job. In many ways, I guess it wasn't a bad decision, because soon after, Susan's grandmother died and she needed me to go with her to the funeral. We didn't make it to the funeral, as we got snowed in at Winchester, VA, but she needed me to be there for her.

As well, one of our cats--Ollie--had a cancerous tumor that was removed, today, and he will need someone here during the day. I guess I am learning that I worked for so long from home that I prefer working at home, and I just have to find a way to get more clients, so I can pay my bills.

This Easter was special to me, also, as I felt the love of Jesus upon me, and I realized that Jesus died on that cross for all of my pain and all of my sins. He already paid the price for any and everything I ever do in this life. As well, His promise is steadfast, all we have to do is accept it and not worry. It's so simple, yet it is so hard at times to do that.

My anxiety gets the best of me.

I worry that I will not find new clients.

I worry that I will have to file for bankruptcy.

I worry that my 'stuff' will push my partner away.

I worry that I'm not good enough to worship God.

I worry that I'll never reach my dreams.

I worry that those that constantly tell me that I will go to hell for being gay are actually right.

I worry about my mother, who is losing her memory.

I worry about my friends.

I worry about the troops in Iraq.

I worry about the state of religion and the church in this country.

I worry about our government.

I worry about global warming.

I worry about what kind of world will this be when my nieces and nephews grow up.

Yet, Christ paid the ultimate price, so I would no longer have to worry. I just have to have faith, period.

So, I try to have faith that I will overcome this setback and that I will continue on. With a little help from Lexapro, the anxiety is lessening, but I'm still dealing with chronic pain issues and other health issues.

If anyone reading is going through the same thing, maybe you won't feel so alone.

I'm big on singers and songwriters, and Martina McBride is a favorite. She's releasing a new song today, entitled "Anyway." After I heard the song, I was in tears. It's exactly what I needed to hear, and I think all of us need to hear it.

Martina McBride/Brad Warren/Brett Warren (BMI)

You can spend your whole life buildin'
Somethin' from nothin'
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway

You can chase a dream
That seems so out of reach
And you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway

God is great, but sometimes life ain't good
When I pray it doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
I do it anyway

This world's gone crazy and it's hard to believe
That tomorrow will be better than today
Believe it anyway
You can love someone with all your heart
For all the right reasons
And in a moment they can choose to walk away
Love 'em anyway

(Repeat Chorus)

You can pour your soul out singin'
A song you believe in
That tomorrow they'll forget you ever sang
Sing it anyway
Yeah sing it anyway

I sing
I dream
I love anyway

© 2006 Delemmava Music Publishing (BMI) © 2006 Bucky and Clyde Music adm by L’ile Des Auteurs Music / L’ile Des Auteurs Music (BMI). All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission.


MissGoldBug said...

Oh, my. You're going through quite a bit, now... Leaving a horrific job was the right thing to do. Life's too short to do something you hate... Perhaps you can find some alternate employment... like a coffee shop? I know the pay is not great... but even a little extra cash can help you get through until you find something better... something that won't bring on panic attacks...

Take care of yourself, that's most important.

Good Luck,


Min O'Pause said...


Belated thanks for your reply. Things are looking up. Thank God and good meds!!