Something I Find Puzzling Regarding Shutdowns.

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Mountain Goat
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10 Sep 2019, 5:47 am

The week before last I was working a temporary low hours part time job. I was only normally doing 4 hour shifts and most of the time I had a day off inbetween work days to recover. I rarely worked more then 5 hours a day. And the work was not stressful. What I did was regarded as a blessing and a great help. What I couldn't get through somone else would take over after my shift ended. My job was to relieve the sales staff from building bikes during the busier season so they had more time to deal with customers. My role was a background roll where I was not working on the shop floor. And though if I did not do much they would be dissapointed, it was ot the end of the day as aslong as I did some work it was a help. (They had accumilated enough spare credited hours to the store so even after I left, they have many left over so they can employ extra help at Christmas).
So not much stress. The job I have done before many times over many years... (Over 25 years on and off)... And yet... I was going through partial shutdown after partial shutdown. They hit me so often that I would start to recover and get the next... Trying to work therough thw shift with my body shutting down was horrible. It was absolutely horrible. Every movement took great effort. To try to see to true wheels and to direct my energy and sight to true them... I was relying on touch and feel more then eyesight to set up these bikes. Not something that is safe to do, but I had no choice. (No way could I use the conventional work gloves. I hate wearing gloves while working as I can't "Feel" through them. They did give me some claustrophobic gloves with two fingers only half covered. Is regulation to wear them now. Actually I crushed my finger this time because of the gloves as my finger became trapped as someone else was turning some bicycle forks to free the stem, and due to the gloves, my finger was still caughtnin the stand, and he turned the forks again assuming my finger wasn't there! I was shutting down so I never booked it as I couldn't go trough with thinking about it. Booking it would have made me totally shut down.
But anyway. You get the picture of how easily I am shutting down in the work enviroment.

Now this is puzzling. I don't normally start shutting down when driving, and if I do, it is more on the fringes of a shutdown. The only risk I habe of shutting down is in a lengthy traffic jam which is not moving. If I panic, that is whenI am at risk. BUT if I panic when driving, I get adrenaline instead so I find I could easily be inch perfect at high speed during such a time. I have never totally shut down while driving. If ai did it would scare me so I wouldn't drive. I have been on fringes of a shutdown and also partly shut down, and if partly shut down, I can still drive ok and be in control of the car. (I drive slower and am more like a pensioner driving when I partly shutdown, where I will be naturally looking for a place to pull in so I can recover, and if needed I can drive miles like that to find a place to pull in... I can drive fine partly shut down, but if I opened the car door and tried to stand up and walk, it just ain't going to happen!) But for me to partly shut down is rare. Never fully shut down. If a partial shutdown comes while driving, it comes on me slowly. I can delay it. I have an element of control over the partial shutdown (Unlike what I am in work where a partial shutdown can come on much quicker whee I am fighting with it to prevent myself from fully shutting down!).
Now why is it, thet when I am driving, I rarely ever even partly shut down, but... When I was in work in the easiest job for me to do... No customers to deal with...Doing work I knew back to front and inside out... It was becoming impossible to continue. When the temporary job came to an end... They asked if I was available for Christmas. I had to say "I don't think I can do it". Christmas time is not relaxed work. It is stressed work. I am on the fringes of a partial shutdown writing about this!

How come driving, I can drive for miles and miles and miles. Not a hint of a fringe of a shutdown... Yet just thinking about work... I am almoat in a partial shutdown. What's going on? :roll: Is my brain telling me something?


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Mountain Goat
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10 Sep 2019, 5:53 am

I would like to add to this that trains and model railways are my primary special interest, and bicycles and cycling etc is my secondary special interest. I do also enjoy cars and driving.
In all my employment history, only one temporary job which was 8 months long did I do that didn't involve one of my special interests, except for a few days one year being an "Elf" wearing ordinary clothes collecting money for a charity so kids could go in and see Father Christmas. It was hillarious! Haha!


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ASPartOfMe
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10 Sep 2019, 7:00 pm

It could be a lot of little imperceptible stresses that have piled up over the decades and you are now at your limit.

Has something changed at work, the lighting, a new boss etc?. Is something different at home?


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Mountain Goat
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11 Sep 2019, 5:11 am

Jobwize....
Just over a decade ago I hit a type of burnout stage (I don't know if it is actually burnout, but everything hit a downhill spiral where my sleeping patterns went all over the place, I was only sleeping 4 to 6 hours... My mind started to jump all over the place due to this... uld be put for her and an hoRest days/weeks off I kept going down with any passing virus so I wasn't recovering my sleep patterns... I found myself becoming aalmost suicidal and was looking for a way out... (Almost jumped out the back of a train but a passenger requested my attention...).
It was then when I decided to quit.
Pressures at home due to my dad having multiple personalities due to his medication and drs not believing it was happening so were refusing to do anything. As soon as I left the job my grandmother went in hospital. They lacked staff and as she had cataracts, so only saw shadows, and as the catering firm was private and was not allowed to do any nursing care, her food would be put there while an hour later they would remove it without it being touched. She wet from 14 stone to 6 stone.
Oe nurse per 4 wards which was 80 patients, and that nurse could be requested elsewhere if heavy lifting was required on other wards as two people to lift a patient. It was common to have three or for emergency buzzers going per ward for ages where someoe had fallen out of bed.
So we ended up going in twice a day to feed my grandmother, which was expensive due to the hospital car parking charge. I found myself without an income running on the savings I had as I was going to start a business on leaving the last job.
My dad had lung issues and was not to go anywhere near someone with flu etc. But due to patient confidelity, the hospital were not allowed to tell us that the lady next to my grandmother was there because she had caught pnemonia. On visiting my dad caught it and died. (He had also been taking food for my grandmother, and at times we would share it with other starving elderly patients who could not eat the food because they had no teeth and were not strong enough to cut it up etc).
Just before my dad died, he was in intensive care. He didn't know he was dying and neither did we. Just before my mum was allowed to go in to see him, a nurse said "Of course. He knows he's dying". He didn't know until they said out loud over him "We are turning down the oxygen and turning up the morphene". He knew exactly what it meant and started to make a fuss, but we could do nothing, as they wanted my mum to leave. They were extremely short of beds.
After my dad had died, (And the same thing happened to my grandmother) my mum had to sign a form to say we would not sue the hospital or they would not release the body. We later found out that this is not standard practice.
We were approached by a retired council office worker who said there were grants available for burying him. Two grants. One was for a few hunderd and the other for a few thousand. I thought it odd when he was filling out the paperwork that one had to have my mums bank details and one had to have his bank details. We only ended up with the lesser grant, so we had to raise cash by selling things to bury both my grandmother and my dad. A few years later he was done for fraud as he had done this to countless people. None of us got a penny of rhe larger amount.
We still have no headstones for grandmother or dad.
A neighbour died 6 days after my dad so we had to be a support for his widowed wife. Also during this time 43 other close family and friends died. We averaged about 2 funerals a month for a couple of years, many of them I was needed a bearer.
My grandmother died due to neglect at carehomes but she was not eating at all after leaving the hospital. She refused to eat as they didn't use a hoist to move her and would drag her backwards on her heels so her heels were worn out. She had a phobia about falling backwards so was too scared to eat. Just before she died, the nursing home called an ambulance on a 99o call as she was going downhill fast, but as she had caught six diseases when she was at the hospital (Which we were never told what they were due to confidentiality and my grandmother couldn't remember so didn't tell us), the ambulance crew refused to pick her up. she was eventually picked up 48 hours after the 999 call and taken to hospital, where an hour before she died, a dietician tried to force feed her food. (For many months we asked for a dietician, and that was the first time we had one).

Sorry. Employment...

Due to the happenings, I went without a job foe a year or two and did go to sigh on, but as I said I could not work in the evening as I was feeding my grandmother, I was not allowed to sign on, as to sign on one has to be available to work 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I argued with them saying when does one get time to sleep as no one can work that many hours without a rest and I was told it was the rules. So I couldn't sigh on. 18 months later after dad and grandmother had died and all others who had died had stopped dying so frequently, I tried again and signed on to look for a job. But I had such a horrific phonecall which was 30 minutes long at a central office place which we first had to phone to sign on, and as I was nurvous, even though I could hear the lady of sorts (I had to transfer to the downstairs phone which the lady didn't believe me that I couldn't hear me so took offense) and I believe I was also getting moments where I was hearing plainly but my brain wasn't taking it in, so I had this lady really angry with me screaming at me questions down the phone... It was a long half an hour event. I think it took me a lot longer as it was supposed to be half an hour, and I can't answer yes or no as I have to explain things... Which the lady only wanted yes or no, so I had to lie to fit many yes or no questions she was asking.
So when I was then given a date to sign on at the local jobcentre, I went up and an older lady gave me a photocopied booklet as she said they had run out.
Ok. Fair enough.
I went down the stairs and found two other staff who blocked my path saying they wanted me to sign two sheets of blank paper at the bottom left, and they will fill out the forms later as they explained what they were for and said their printers had ran out of ink. (I later foud out that they were not jobcentre staff but worked for a training agency who I was later sent to to copy up my CV's but had purpously made a mess of them and I didn't get them back for many months. They altered past dates to make no sense etc).
I signed off the day I signed on as I sensed some sort of corruption was going on.
It was sometime during this time I had to sell my house as all my money was just enough to cover the mortgage, so it was pointless keeping it. I was relieved to sell it so I had no bills and no responsibilities of owning a house. (I had bought it with a mortgage when I worked on the railways).
I then took a job 20 hours a week in a well known bicycle shop who sells car parts etc... And after 2 years the work had gone down to 4 hours a week (I was promised it would be full time) and I had also recieved a note from the tax man to get in touch. I contacted them and found out those two years the big company I was employed with did not have me on the books).
So I signed back on again, but this time they made me sign a thing that I was not allowed to sign off unless I had a job (As I had signed on and off the same day before without a job to go to). So I was applying for various jobs but few of which I was happy with. I tried retail jobs as I was trained in retail. I once was severly told off by a bakery (Ironically I am distantly related to the owner of the large chain of bakers) wheee the jobcentre said I had to apply and they told me off for applying as I had wasted their time coming in to interview me, as my retail skills and management skills were in a different area to the needs of the position).
I also remembering applying to what I assumed to be a new clothes shop, who due to my first name assumed I was female (I have a name which if spelt differently is a womans name but spelt correctly is a mans mane though it is not a common name). I was kindly told they are not allowed to employ men. The store was called Ann Summers. I think they only sell womens clothes.
I used to sell clothes when covering other departments when head of a bicycle department so I don't know why they didn't want me).
Anyway. The last employer had relocated to get a fresh lot of grantsso I was offered a 7 hour a week job with them. I t went up to 12 hours a week though I regularly had to do many more hours a week but rarely got paid. I also found three years into the job I had to sign a contract... (Yet again I had been working off their books ad I didn't know) but I carried on for another two years where I eventually broke down due to the workload, and handed in my notice as they had also reduced my hours to make my work just two hours a day, but I had to come in an hour before ad start the shift or I would have to work it and lose the days pay, and I was forced to work an extra hour or two, as they would give me a bicycle needing a lot of work (E.g. a two hour job) five minutes before my shift ended andif we started a job we had to finish it before we go. This was a daily occurence. I never got paid for all these extra hours.
So eventually I was stressed out and handed in my notice. (It was like working for three bisses in that store, as one in a much senior position who didn't even have any athority over our department, but held the athority over the rostering and who got overtime etc, used to hold me to ransom. Why I had to do all the extra work without being paid).
So for a few years... I couldn't face signing on... I had no job... So from then on I started selling posessions to pay to keep my car on the road.
Then my cousins eldest started working (I did tell him what had been happening to me) at another branch of the same company which had given me all the trouble. He found it was ok to work there. I was puzzled. But out of deperation I needed a job again, so with the help of my cousins eldest, I had a temporary part time low hours summer job and it was in a different world. I suddenly realized all the troubles in the other store were due to the bullying tactics of the one guy. (I later found out that one staff member working at the last shop was off for several months with stress, and another ex. staff member is not allowed to work again due to stress).
This job was bliss, but I found I had already deteriated a lot in what I was able to do. I was relieved as I was becoming in a state by the time the temporary position was over.
Then Christmas temp work was available there. I did this job, and a week or two before Christmas, and rather reluctantly but I did it anyway on assurances given that this one guy would leave me alone, I also worked to help assemble Christmas bikes at the other store, but I did too much. I was close to being full time between the two stores and I was in such a mess that I was seriously suffering. But it was not for long and then it was over. (Whenever I am working, I seem to be going through partial shutdown after partial shutdown which is extremely tough to work through, and only lately have I understaood what it is I habe been battling with).
Then, this summer I reluctantly took anoter temp job at the nicer store. 4 hours a day every other day. But I was almost in a continual partial shutdown through the time I worked there, and so anxious daily... They did ask me if I wanted to work at the other store as well as they needed help, but I had to say no. Occasionally, which came as a surprize to me, I would be required to work an extra day to cover. A surprize as I only foud out a couple of days before. And inside I would be breaking down and falling to pieces after this change. Even though it was low hours... I was in an internal mess. And the job at this store is fine. Relatively stress free. The people are so good. So patient. So kind. But I just can't do it anymore. They asked if I could be there for the Christmas assembling. I can't.
I have reached rock bottom. I can't face signing on or anything. I am desperately trying to get my life back together.
I started working at that last summer time job just after coming on this site. It was just to earn some money to keep my car on the road when the insurance and car tax bills come etc.

I never knew before that I had autistic traits, but the more I go through life with the more effects where the shutdowns have esculated in frequency, so the more and more difficult it is to work. And as I am very different to begin with, the other store I became a number one target for hidden bullying.

So in a way, the stresses of life have revealed that looking back I always have been struggling with autistic traits but not known what they were... But everything has become so much worse as life has "Hit me hard", that I am unable to function and cope. I have never been so fragile as now. I am at the point that if someone only says the wrong words to me I am heading into a shutdown. 95% of the time it is apartial shutdown, as I can usually hold off having a shutdown... But it is still quite an issue.
I have always been a loner ad done my own things. It is why cycling suited me, as even with others one is alone. Is just me and the bike. But in recent years, due to the fragile nature that these shutdowns have become, I rarely ever go cycling.
Instead of cycling, I am relaxing and enjoying trips in the car when my Mum and I can aford it, and fortunately my lovely Mitsibishi is a very economical car! She is LOVELY!


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squiggle7
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11 Sep 2019, 12:12 pm

The more I read the more that it sounds like your partial shutdowns/shutdowns have to do with anxiety and that they are increasing because you have a subconscious fear of them occurring. You get anxiety about having anxiety. It's a vicious circle. I bet they happen most often when you have lots of time to think without focussing, like when working on the bikes, but not when you're driving because you are preoccupied with focussing on driving. I have felt in a similar place to you with burnout and took away as many stresses as I could but found that I actually feel better when I'm busy as my mind has less time to get anxious about things.

I know many people (read psychologists) suggest grounding techniques and mindfulness but I have not found these particularly helpful. The things I'm finding most helpful at the moment are when I feel that I am close to meltdown/shutdown telling myself that I am in fact safe, and that I will be able to survive because I've done it many times before. That the shutdown/meltdown is not physically harmful and it will go over.



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11 Sep 2019, 12:17 pm

Maybe. I find that partial shutdowns.. As they deepen I am on the floor unable to get up. Full shutdowns my eyesight goes and for a whilw, my hearing as well. My body goes limp like jelly.

I do not want buzyness. I can no longer do it. I want quiet peaceful relaxing days with nothing on. I can no longer do keeping myself busy.

Thanks for reading through my writings. It must seem like endless nonsence.


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