Categories
off topic open thread

Open Thread for Personal Stuff: Very Belated May 2014 Edition

Le chien, so chic
Le chien, so chic

An open thread for personal stuff, continuing from here.

As usual for these threads: no trolls, no arguments.

681 replies on “Open Thread for Personal Stuff: Very Belated May 2014 Edition”

Okay, another bit of unsolicited advice. Working in a capitalist model is going to clash with your ideology, and that will chafe, and be very frustrating. If you do get the job in the bookstore, cool, books are good, but the STORE is still a capitalist enterprise with a profit margin to maintain. You will come into situations where there’s the human thing to do, and then there’s the thing you have to do for the store to make money and continue to pay you. And this will happen regardless of where you work, and it’s really freaking hard to learn.

So, my advice: wear a mask. Pretend to be the person you need to be to do the job. A lawyer friend calls it his lawyer drag. It’s a uniform or costume you put on, or a symbol you wear, that signals to your anarchist self that, for this period of time, you are infiltrating the system as a spy. You may be a retail serf, but you are a subversive retail serf. You are scoping out enemy territory, gaining intelligence that you will ultimately use to bring the system down.

A little silly, and maybe a little bit of a self-inflicted mind-fuck, but it works most days. And I do like to eat.

Also, do your best to avoid your dad. He destabilizes you, which you really don’t need right now.

/unsolicited advice

@Unimaginative

Unsolicited? I’ll have you know that you are among those awesome people I was alluding to in those comments of mine about my appreciation of the people of WHTM (among others). So no need to feel bad about giving me advice.

I guess your idea of wearing a “mask” makes sense. I’ve been thinking about that for a while. I’m just so tired of pretending to be someone I’m not, so I have all of this bottled-up frustration. And I’m also worried about being made to wear formal male clothes like polo-shirts, business attire, or whatever because they all make me feel very dysphoric.

(I’ll have to pass on the idea of telling myself I’m potentially subversive, though. I don’t think much about praxis these days – it’s just that my value system is at odds with a lot of things in my life.)

Unimaginative – like an extended role-play!

Well, not “like” so much as “is”.

Ally – yeah, I know what you mean about not being sure where to look. I’m floundering a bit too, even when I do spend time job-hunting. What are the main internet job advertisers in the US?

I’ve an appointment Tuesday with a job agency, as it happens. Clowns sent me a text the other day saying “You missed your appointment this morning”. Hello, what appointment? I’d had no calls, no messages, no emails from them. Nitwits. They should give me a job there actually SENDING the messages they claim to have sent.

Ally, I know you will make it work; you are a real survivor. Please let us know if you think you will need to go back to your dad’s and let us see if we can help you find other options. I really don’t want him to hurt you again.

Ally – would it help with the dysphoria if you could look on the male clothing as part of the disguise, part of the role play?

(I apologise if that was out of line.)

If you’re working somewhere like a book shop, you wouldn’t be in formal attire anyway. Tee shirts are unisex, and so are jeans, really – I used to wear men’s jeans before my hips got too wide to fit in ’em.

would it help with the dysphoria if you could look on the male clothing as part of the disguise, part of the role play?

Not really, unfortunately. I’ve worn formal male clothing before and it’s made me feel horrible no matter how I try to think about it. I’ll just have to try to find a place that won’t ask me to wear formal clothes.

Most entry-level jobs won’t require formal clothing, I think, except wait staff some places. Doofy vests and suchlike are much more likely.

Ally, don’t worry about lack of experience when applying for the job. I got called back for an interview at a bookstore a few years ago as a 15 y.o. with no experience, you’ll be fine. Also job interviews at geeky places are, in my experience, the least stressful because you can just geek out (which boosts your confidence) and it actually gets you points. Good luck!

@katz

Ally, I know you will make it work; you are a real survivor. Please let us know if you think you will need to go back to your dad’s and let us see if we can help you find other options. I really don’t want him to hurt you again.

Thanks, and I will. It’s just so much to deal with at once. Part of me even feels like I’m a horrible child for not wanting to spend much time with my dad, and while I know that’s not true, I can’t help but feel like I’m somehow being emotionally abusive.

I’m also stressed out about jobs because one of my dreams is to get a stable job that will allow me to not only pay for transition health care, but also help out friends and family. Regardless of the reality of my financial situation, I can’t stop thinking “But will this job help out anyone else?” And I’m starting to realize that such a plan is unrealistic. I feel like I’m letting everyone down even though no one has asked me to get a job to help them out.

Kittehserf, Ally, we can all be on the prowl together!

I’m also hunting for a paid job. The department has been awesome and they’re letting me live at the station for free even though I’m pretty much a rookie. But since it’s a volunteer department…

… I need to be able to buy food without using up the rest of my savings from the student job that I can’t do because graduation.

I’ve mostly just using the power of google and door signs with ‘help wanted’. The job networks for my state only really seem to exist for the one big town, with some pity for the second largest.

Would a cashier job be a bad idea for someone like me? Everyone I know to whom I’ve told about me considering such a job has strongly warned me against it because it involves standing for a long time, but maybe I can just deal with that since I stand a lot restlessly anyway.

Ally, on the “will it help out anyone else” thing:

If it helps, could you get a job to feed yourself, and then find something to volunteer for on weekends (or every other weekend) for a couple hours? Food bank, library, bread-line, ext? It wouldn’t directly help your family, but it would help someone, even if you only volunteered for a couple hours a month.

It might reduce the stress of ‘I have to get a well paying enough job to do good things, or feel like a bad person’.

I don’t know if that’d work for you, and if it wouldn’t, it doesn’t mean you aren’t awesome. You are awesome.

You can totally do this, because you are strong and absolutely amazing. It might just take a bit of couch surfing by night, hunting by day.

I’m definitely crossing fingers for you on the bookstore job. Bookstores are the best.

Cashier might work! Lots of standing, but if you can take that and smile at people…

You never know till you try it! Even I you end up disliking it, there’s nothing about being employed that means you can’t keep looking for a better job.

If standing and not being able to sit down or move about is a problem, then no, I wouldn’t suggest it, unless it’s somewhere like a supermarket where you might be doing packing and stuff as well. That’s pretty tiring physically, but it is moving around, at least. I avoid those jobs, ‘cos I can’t do standing jobs, plus my numeric skills are almost nonexistent. Always loathed being on the registers at the Museum.

What about a job as a postie? I know the USPS is deep in the shit, but do they still have delivery jobs advertised?

contrapangloss, doesn’t it suck the way one can’t get into training programs as a graduate – or even with a pissy Cert III that’s good for nothing?

I’m also stressed out about jobs because one of my dreams is to get a stable job that will allow me to not only pay for transition health care, but also help out friends and family. Regardless of the reality of my financial situation, I can’t stop thinking “But will this job help out anyone else?”

And that’s because you are a really sweet, caring person. But taking care of yourself is the first step to taking care of others.

All right, it’s 1:30 AM and I need to wake up in about 6 hours to get ready for more mowing. Thankfully I won’t have to do 5 hours like yesterday. All I’m doing is obsessively looking for jobs and it’s not helping me. I’m so anxious all about this. So it’s best that I hit the sack now. See you folks later. Thank you so much for all of your help.

Ally,

Do they have laws against anti-trans discrimination in your state or municipality. Since the laws in most of the country are still really shitty on this issue I’m guessing no. A small business that is run by cool people is likely to be more accommodating than a corporate chain I would guess. I do think in most entry level jobs you should be able to wear unisex clothes at least.

As for the discomfort at working within a capitalist system, it sucks. It really does. Unfortunately compromising your ideals to get by is a part of growing up. Don’t be too hard on yourself about it. A lot of us go through the same thing 🙁

Even I you end up disliking it, there’s nothing about being employed that means you can’t keep looking for a better job.

It makes your chances of being considered for that other job better, too!

Well, shit. I was just filling in the application process for Australia Post and the stupid bastards want two referees. Hello, I don’t even remember the names of bosses from more than a decade ago, let alone have any contact details! Long term jobs, what are they?

Ally, try Googling trans-friendly businesses – I just did and it comes up with some good lists. They might be places to try, or at least know about.

I wish I wasn’t so anxious and frustrated. All after being in a nicer mood. I’m sorry I’m strange like that. I was doing so good two days ago but now I’m back to depressive self-loathing and anxiety. I really do hate myself for that.

@kitteh

It makes your chances of being considered for that other job better, too!

Can you please elaborate on this? I don’t understand how this could be the case, mainly because I don’t know much about applying for jobs.

@Ally

I don’t have any advice, but good luck on finding a job, and good thoughts from me.

Can you please elaborate on this? I don’t understand how this could be the case, mainly because I don’t know much about applying for jobs.

Being recently/currently employed, regardless of what type of job it is, means you will be considered more “employable” and will have a better chance at getting other jobs you apply for. Which is stupid, but there you have it.

Ally, I think Kittehs was referring to a trend in the States where “Unemployed Persons Need Not Apply”. I’ve been seeing a lot of articles about that, ever since the economy crashed. The employers seem to think that currently unemployed people have a stench of desperation about them, and (especially for the long-term unemployed) there’s something undesirable about them that’s causing them to be unemployed. Because reality-based unemployment numbers? What are those?

It’s not usually a problem for entry-level positions, though.

I think the main thing is, don’t get fixated on a particular type of job and ignore other possibilities. In my area, being a night-shift shelf stocker or cleaner is actually pretty stable work, and you don’t even have to deal with dress codes or customers (just physicality and being dirty).

And like contrapangloss said, you can build up your resume with volunteer activities. I know arts organizations are always looking for cheap/free technical support for their websites.

@kittehs, if your previous employer still exists, you can just list their HR office — they should be able to confirm that you worked there, maybe what your salary/duties were, and that there were no disciplinary issues. Or you can try listing two references from your most recent job.

Thanks for answering my question, everyone. I’ll keep your suggestions in mind.

@Unimaginative

In my area, being a night-shift shelf stocker or cleaner is actually pretty stable work, and you don’t even have to deal with dress codes or customers (just physicality and being dirty).

Hmm, I like that idea. I’ll try looking for those jobs as well.

(Also, completely unrelated, but I just tried some kava kava tea per your suggestion, and it’s great! I do notice a decrease in my anxiety. Thanks for suggesting it.)

I just got off the phone with my brother. He said that I shouldn’t worry about jobs too much and that I’ll probably be able to find even a gas station job easily since he thinks I deal with people cordially and whatnot.

Postscript to my previous tale of woe. The funeral was on Friday. It was a casual, non-religious affair and was quite nice, actually. I was very pleased that they disclosed that his death was due to suicide. Keeping it in the shadows as though it’s something to be ashamed of does no one any good.

On the financial front, I was still a couple years away from receiving a full pension from a former job but I asked them to send me the details of what I’d receive if I applied now. It looks really good. It’s not enough to live on by itself but will go a long way to supplementing what income I can scrounge up until I’m eligible for old age pension.

@Ally, I wish you all the luck finding a job.

Oh man, I feel awful. I was originally going to use the donation money to buy a plane ticket, but it turns out I have even less money than I initially thought, and now my older siblings are going to buy it for me. I have to give it back to the donors now since I feel like I’ve cheated them.

Ally, didn’t people give you that money to help you? I think most of them will be happy to let you keep it if you still need it, which you do.

Ally,
No, you don’t.
No, you haven’t.
Keep it and feel good about keeping it.
You’ve done nothing wrong.

I’ve asked them if any of them need to take back the money they sent. So far one person is okay with me keeping the money for living expenses and whatnot, and so I accepted her offer. (I haven’t gotten answers from the other two donors.) I still feel extremely guilty, though. When things like this happen, it becomes a lot harder to resist the thoughts that tell me I’m burdensome, exploitative, etc.

Ally, they did it to help you. If you must, because of your conscience, call up or email each of the donors and confirm that it’s okay for you to keep their contribution, you can.

Most (probably all) of them will be more than happy to let you keep it.

Is there a way to chuck funds your way, still? I can’t afford much, but I’m sure I could come up with something. It sounds like you could still use it way more than I could…

Is there a way to chuck funds your way, still? I can’t afford much, but I’m sure I could come up with something. It sounds like you could still use it way more than I could…

If you want to donate, you can email me at aaliyahsyed94[at]gmail[dot]com and I’ll provide you the PayPal info. (I don’t feel comfortable sharing it publicly since my PayPal email includes my birth name.) Please don’t feel pressured to donate, though, especially if you’re in a tight situation yourself.

Two things.

Being a cashier involves standing?

What?

Is that an American thing, like the job is to help you sort and pack or do they move around? When I did it ( and when my sis does ) there was-is chairs. Been the case in every supermarket I’ve seen. I do dimly remember you lovely USians standing a lot when I toured the northern 11 states, but…. Yeah? Cashiers stand? I hope that doesn’t sound like a stupid, sarcastic question. But cashiers stand?

Two:
Good luck to everyone that wants it. Job hunting can be hard, what with the “am I qualafied” and the “do they like my cv” and the “Am I perpetuating an inferior, exploitive system that uses my blood, sweat and soul to enrich others at great cost to the social world around me?”. Also I fucking hate pronounciating “curriculum vitae”, so there’s that.

three TWO’er:

Everything hurrrrrrrrrrrtttsssssss. Aw aw aw aw aw. Aw. I’ve got blisters in places I didn’t know I had skin. My hands are splinter infested hell holes. I’ve got running stains of black make up everywhere and some oppertunistic twelve year old got past my guard with his sword and near chipped my other front tooth, instead only giving this nose that just won’t stop bleeding. I stopped counting bruises after i ran out of fingers and toes, includinh the fake six around my neck.

Good weekend. Give it five minotaur horns out of six. Would do again.

( job hunters? Don’t get a job that involves standing and being hit with swords )

Fibi? Did I miss something? What did you get yourself into?

I hope that doesn’t sound like a stupid, sarcastic question. But cashiers stand?

Retail workers stand. Behind the cash register, stocking shelves, advising customers about the relative merits of brands, mopping the floors. The only chair was in the manager’s office. If you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean. If you’ve got time to sit, you’re fired.

Working retail was where I found out I needed orthotics, just when I could least afford them.

So I know this is a stupid thing to post especially when there are people here with real problems and I know I’m going to regret this but…you guys are really nice and I thought you might have some helpful things to say? Here goes:

I’ve found out about something called “maladaptive daydreaming” and there’s about a 100% chance I have it. The only problem is, I *enjoy* making up stories and scenarios in my head, and now I feel like I have to give up something I love. I mean, I know it’s not all good- it probably hasn’t helped my lack of social skills because I’ve always (since childhood) spent so much time off in my own little world, and that sometimes I don’t go out and actually *do* things, especially social things, because just thinking about them is still satisfying and not stressful, but at the same time, I don’t want to have to give it up completely. It’s fun. It gives me something to do. And I know that some people will say “oh, if you enjoy it, and it doesn’t seem to be interfering with your life too much, then it’s not bad” but thats not really a convincing argument. Honestly, I don’t know what *would* be a convincing argument. Probably nothing.

Anyways, this post was long and pointless and rambly, I know, but I’m just having a really bad day and if I felt like talking to somebody. I’m sorry. Here’s some kittens to make up for my drive-by emotional dump:

http://i457.photobucket.com/albums/qq295/Proudgeek8/IMG_1399.jpg

@throwawaypost

My only advice is that you don’t let go of your daydreaming habit and instead learn to do it in fewer social situations. For instance, you shouldn’t daydream while someone is talking to you, but if you’re on a road trip with a friend, you should daydream all you want. Sorry if that isn’t much help.

@throwaway (Is that an acceptable shortening?)

Don’t give it up completely. I too do the daydreaming thing. I call it ‘zoning out’.

However, it is important to manage it. Just daydreaming the social activity is way less stressful, and enjoyable, but the social activities can be really valuable. Classes are kind of important. A boss talking to you, or driving, or operating equipment, or waiting for the right bus stop so you can get off at the right place is kind of important to do with a straight head.

But zoning out and daydreaming can also be really helpful.

To manage mine, so that my headspace didn’t completely take over in middle school, I ended up dedicating the hour before bed, my lunch break, and all passenger time in vehicles where I couldn’t miss my stop, to zoning out.

If setting a timer would work for you, that’s one method. It worked pretty well for me.

If you would just incorporate the timer into your zone, than you might need to figure out some other method…

Hopefully this helps! Good luck! 🙂

Hi, throwaway post!

I’d never heard of maladaptive daydreaming until I read your post, so I’m not likely to have anything to say that’s useful or that you haven’t heard before. My first thought was to wonder if you like writing – would it feel productive to turn your daydreams into stories?

“Not going out and doing things” could describe lots of people who’re happy with their own company at home (I’m one). There isn’t a quota we have to fill of time spent in other people’s company.

I did see this list of things you can do to deal with maladaptive daydreaming. I wonder, could it be adapted (heh) just to cut down how much time you spend doing it, or rather, give yourself times when you focus on doing other stuff? I would add to the chorus of “if it’s not hurting you or anyone else, and you enjoy it, why stop?” – or at least, why stop entirely.

All of which may be total drivel …

Anyways, for what it’s worth, here’s that link:

http://www.wikihow.com/Deal-With-Maladaptive-Daydreaming

(This is throwawaypost, BTW. I’ve posted here a few times under this name, and changed back now because I wasn’t sure if what I just did counted as sockpuppeting. If it was, I apologize. I won’t do it again, I was just…embarassed.)

(also this is long and I’m sorry)

I think some you may have misinterpreted me (not difficult, since I was pretty rambly). I don’t daydream while I’m actively in a social situation, or when I’m doing something that actually requires attention (except maybe during boring schoolwork…but that’s different.) Mostly just while going on walks, trying to fall asleep, or just when I’m bored. Sometimes my mind will start to wander when I’m doing regular household tasks, or doing something I find uninteresting or unengaging. I just worry that I do it too often, I guess? Or that I do it in a way that’s abnormal? Or that it might, in some non-obvious way be screwing up my mental health?

I do try and spend more time around other people, and in the “real world”, so to speak, but it’s hard. I don’t have any friends except my sister (who moved away a few years back), and what I *do* have is a heaping of social anxiety. I also live in a small town, which makes friend-making prospects a bit limited.

Thank you for the kind suggestions. I realize now that I may have been overreacting a little. I was already having a bad day- I had been feeling very lonely, was looking around on a social anxiety forum, and came across “maladaptive daydreaming”, and sort of boiled over at that point. I tend to do that.

Anonymouslazycat,

No problem.

If you feel like it’s hurting you, then you weren’t overreacting. Social anxiety is tough, and being lonely is also tough. Hopefully, you’ll stumble across some coping mechanisms that work, and have an awesome life. Just remember, being an introverted daydreamer is not a bad thing! So long as stuff like feeding and caring for yourself still gets done…

If anything we said helped, than you’re welcome! If anything we said just made you feel worse, than many, many apologies.

Best luck, and hopes for many good days to come!

Anonymouslazycat – now there’s a nym I like. 🙂

No probs!

You know, going on your added description, I wouldn’t call it maladaptive daydreaming at all. I’d call it entirely normal daydreaming! The maladaptive stuff seems (from my extensive ten minutes google research) to be when it really does take up hours of time and stop you doing stuff and actually distress you to some extent.

Falling asleep, doing the dishes, going for walks – those are the times one’s mind is free to wander, and daydreaming is *good* for the mind. So I’m guessing you’ve nothing to fear about it, and everything to enjoy.

Also ::fistbumps:: from another person who doesn’t have any away-from-keyboard friends around. My sister also moved interstate a year ago and my friends are all in the US (swine!), so online contact is my social world, too.

But join in here if you’re comfortable doing so!

I don’t daydream while I’m actively in a social situation, or when I’m doing something that actually requires attention (except maybe during boring schoolwork…but that’s different.) Mostly just while going on walks, trying to fall asleep, or just when I’m bored. Sometimes my mind will start to wander when I’m doing regular household tasks, or doing something I find uninteresting or unengaging. I just worry that I do it too often, I guess? Or that I do it in a way that’s abnormal? Or that it might, in some non-obvious way be screwing up my mental health?

Pff, you’re fine! What you’ve got is a lively and active imagination. If that’s a problem, well, in my case “that ship has sailed” would be putting it mildly.

What kinds of things do you make up?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.