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Emotionally Hypersensitive, Adult ADD, Unable To Separate "Personal" From "Professional"

I'm 45, single-never married, 5 cats, laid off from full-time job, a hoarder, adult child of alcoholic, struggles with love addiction. A lifelong sufferer of major depression, I was diagnosed with ADHD, inattentive type, 2 or 3 years ago; I have been unable to find adequate therapeutic help tailored to adults in my large, urban, metro area. Not that I could afford it if I did- see first sentence!

No matter where I work, no matter what type of work it is, I always absorb others' feelings and perceptions, and thus experience heaps of extra stress (compounding the normal job stressors plus the executive function deficits of ADD). I take EVERYTHING personally.

Why can't I just be like a normal person and "park" my problems at the door? You know, separate the personal from the professional?

Considering my experiences from my first memories around age 3 to this day, I realize I've never been able to distinguish my emotional life from whatever it is I'm doing outwardly- they inseparably intertwine like pantyhose in the dryer with a wool blanket. What I do, I am and I feel.

I used to consider this an asset, in that I'm genuine, authentic and "what you see is what you get." But I'm realizing lately, as my overwhelming emotions are preventing me from doing anything without paralyzing fear and anxiety (causing my job search to feel like I'm stabbing myself in the eye), the world doesn't reward authenticity.

The world gives jobs to automatons and rewards the punctual, rather than empathetic, loyal, dedicated and creative rogues like me. (Perhaps this is why there are thousands of janitors in the US with PhDs.) To succeed in this world, it's not who you are- it's who you pretend to be.
arynix arynix 41-45, F 1 Response Jan 28, 2013

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Your words ring all too true! I find that I have to have a recovery period between jobs because I feel so betrayed. In a state that is "at will" employers don't need to have a reason to fire someone. My recent job I worked for over a year and constantly went above and beyond always creating new ways of efficiency and trying to show how much I care about the company and how appreciative I was for the $7.25/hr. Even working extra hours every week off the clock to ensure the store received a 100% on the health inspection instead of a 95% or worse if I hadn't been the only one to clean. Of course there was no loyalty coming back from the company when a stranger prank called corporate office and made up a story just for the fun of seeing someone they don't know get fired. I too have been looking for work and have been rewinding the disloyalty over and over. You're not alone in this emotional life. I'm 37 and since the age of 10 I can't remember a day where I haven't been either on the verge of crying or following through with it. I too haven't the means for therapy and haven't had a total diagnosis either. I hope you can find the coping skills to progress in life! Good luck!