Jun 15, 2014

I'm submissive, but I'm rather good at defending myself

I'm not really comfortable at work right now, which bugs me since it has nothing to do with my actual job or anything I'm hired to do. As far as I can tell, I'm performing perfectly adequately, possibly a bit over expectations, as far as my actual job goes.

Unfortunately, that's not all that it takes to be a good enough employee, and this... this place doesn't really mesh with me. At least not in all aspects.

Last week I had an unfortunate run-in with an arrogant, 70-year old male doctor, who didn't think I provided him with enough service and maintenance when we had a joint assignment with a patient. And I didn't, since I figured he was a colleague and a fellow person whom I supposed I would be cooperating with - not cater to and serve. He didn't appreciate that, and I didn't appreciate him telling me so much.

So. Yeah.

It's the third time someone over the age of sixty kindly but sternly has attempted to tell me how I'm supposed to act and how things are actually done here. I'm getting a bit sick and tired of it.

In the moment, I seem to always find my feet. So far I have an exemplary record of answering calmly and with poise something along the lines of "that's not part of my job description" or "I'm sorry that [this thing I do] makes you uncomfortable, but I'm going to keep doing it for [this and that work-related reason]."

But. That's in the moment. I know I come off as sure of myself, as confident and tough and able to take care of myself. But in the long run, I'm none of those things. I don't want to pick fights with people. I don't want to be critisized or corrected or told I'm doing things wrong, no matter if I agree or not. I don't want to have to defend myself.

Because at the core of me, I'm submissive. I don't want to stand up for myself against arrogant, spoiled old doctors. I want to please and be liked and accomodate. And when I don't, and get called on it, it hurts and rattles me, and now I'm all afraid and unsure of myself and worried and have this angsty feeling in the pit of my stomach.

So why do I do it? Why do I enter a strictly hierarchical system like the public health care system, with ancient traditions of strict ranks and expected obedience, and then refuse to conform? Isn't that kind of stupid, especially if I don't actually like being a rebel, and the consequences of acting like a rebel?

I do it because I really really want to be a psychologist, and because I'm good at it. It's a job I can actually do, and do well, as far as the job goes. The things I've been defending myself against are the demands from the work place that interfers with my ability to do my actual tasks, because the demands interferes with my disability.

I can have ADHD and be an excellent psychologist and therapist. Those roles plays to all my strengths, and barely touches on my weaknesses. That's what I want to do, and something I can do, despite being a scatterbrain with low attention span and a distinct lack in stamina. Under the circumstances offered by this position, I can actually succeed, and perform well above par for the course at this very specialised task.

But. I can only do it if I'm allowed to do precisely that, and not a thousand other things that female employees who's not a doctor routinely are expected to do. I'm not a nurse, or a medical secretary or an orderly, and I'm not any of those things for very good reason - one of them is that I suck at that kind of work. It's not that I think I'm to good to be doing it, it's that I know I'm to bad at it. Very much the same issue I have with being a stay-at-home-mom, incidentally. It's not that I don't want to do it, it's just that my disability covers exactly the skills that kind of serviceoriented, multitasking job requires.

I can barely administer my own patients, I'm not going to take over those tasks for some doctor too. I can sit in for hours and hours on meaningless meetings where my input isn't asked for - but it takes ridicolous amounts of energy from me, and to preserve some for, you know, my actual job, I've taken up knitting. Straight up scarves, no patterns, and wooden knits that doesn't make any sounds. And still someone felt she had to come and tell me "we don't do that here". Ah well, yes we do. I do - because without it I'm not going to be able to do my job, and I'm not willing to compromise with that. And so on, ad infinutim. It feels like I'm constantly surprising people or disturbing people, just by trying to exist in the workplace and create a space where I can do my job.

So basically - I have a job with tasks I love doing and that I'm good at. I want to please and accomodate and be a good employee, in accordance with my submissive, labradoresque soul. But, unfortunately, other sources at work gets in the way, and my tactics for trying to do my job crashes against unwritten rules and expectations in the workplace. And since I'm very very anxious to do my job, I'm unwilling to compromise with the groups informal rules and the informal leaders display of status.

And of course, I have a life long experience of never fitting in, of never being good enough, of never getting the social codes anyway, and of always feeling slightly like an alien. If I was good at conforming and listening to what other people expect of me, I wouldn't have my family right now, because me and Mistress wouldn't have been together. So, on the whole, it works in my favour, I would say.

I'll just hang in there, be myself, keep on not letting people bully my or push me around, defending my position as psychologist and my right to do the job I'm actually paid to do, and to not be burdened down with a thousand other tasks that's not part of the job description (because I'm to handicapped to deal with that - I don't have the resources), and if it all goes to hell in a handbasket, let the bosses fire me, if that's what they want to do. I'm not backing down, and I'm not quitting. I'm goint to keep going straight ahead in my valued direction, in being as good as I can be at my job, and not take responsibility for the myriad of things that aren't working in the organisation and that I don't have any power over.

But I long for the move. And for vacation. In to weeks time I have three weeks off, and when I return to work, I'll be living with Mistress again. I need her. I need her to tell me what's really important, who it is I'm really supposed to be pleasing, and who I belong to. And it's not the public health service organisation, nor it's elderly employees.

Jun 1, 2014

Moving, and different strategies

Moving is hard. We got into an argument yesterday over trying to plan things out. Suddenly we couldn't talk to each other, we just got mad and desperate and nothing she said made sense to me, and she looked at me as if I was talking a foreign language. At one point I declared "well, if you're going to be like that, you can plan it all by yourself!" and stalked off to a different room to sulk.

Slave of the year, that's me.

Anyway, ten minutes later she ordered me back, showed me a chair and said I wasn't allowed to leave again until she said I could, and that we would resume our planning, with her using any tone of voice she damned well choose and I just had to stand it. And that, of course, made everything much better.

Later on we talked about it some more. What went wrong, why we seemd to bump heads all the time. And one of the things that came up was that I'm really really afraid that she'll change her mind. Either that she would decide that it's to much hassle to move, and I'll have to quit the job and move back home, which would be a bummer, but I could live with it. Or, worse, that she would say it's to much hassle to move and I should keep commuting to my job for another ten months, since I've been pulling it off so far. And that I couldn't live with. Not with my sanity intact.

And since that's what I'm secretly afraid of, every change of plans or possible delay freaks me out. When Mistress said she'd rather not celebrate Midsummer at our new apartment but rather at her parents cabin, I freaked. Likewise when she worried that we won't be able to afford movers.

Add to that that we have radically different ways of processing difficult situations, it gets really interesting. I get through hard times by ignoring as much as possible, focus on the end goal, and muddle through. Mistress worry and fret and complain and plan everything in detail, and borrows a lot of trouble in my opinion, but she always manages things in the end. For her, things mostly turns out to not be as bad as she thought they would be. For me, there's always disaster in the wings, unforeseen troubles attacking me without notice.

The point isn't whether the strategies are good or bad, they're both and neither, but that they tend to counter act each other. When Mistress worry and fret and complains, she wants me to be her sounding board, to hear her out and listen while she solves the problem, by coming at it again and again from different angles. Reasonable and effective and something I'm good at when the problem in question isn't something that matters to me, like her work or things like that.

But for me, I either do or I do not. If I'm ever at the point that I'm saying or thinking all the negative things Mistress gives voice to when planning something difficult, I'm already out of there. When I start worrying about something, I'm ready to give it up. If I'm going to do something, I do it, and after the decision is made, I can't go back and ponder it again, because if I do, I quit. But Mistress needs me to listen to her pondering about it, and well... it freaks me out.

Especially when I forget that she's a different person than I am, and interpret her behaviour as if it was me doing it. Then her problem solving to me means she's given up and isn't going to go through with it. Which, in my deepest fears, leaves me stranded and alone in a strange town, hours from my family, abandoned and dispensable.

That's not what's going on, of course. First she gave me a solemn promise that as from the 1st of July, we're all going to be living in the same apartment again. And then, she ordered me naked, used candle wax on me, beat me and fucked me. And then all was right in the world again.

But moving is a hassle.