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Dear Cynthia... > I am my own worst enemy
I am my own worst enemy
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1 post
Mar 09, 2007
1:55 PM
greenlinda I am a nurse and am trying to 'get back' to work . I left my last job two and a half years ago and took care of my mom until she died the end of October.My last two employers and I had words which doesn't help in getting a job reference now. I am an excellent practitioner, teacher, etc.I received awards and recognition in previously sucessful positions. I have always worked while in school and have even completed a Master's in Nursing. I feel like a disaster now.I haven't had a positive job experience in years. It is as if I can't find any credible references or positive recent work history. A big part of the problem is that I feel like I don't even care to get 'dates'and details right for the past few jobs I had on my job applications. My heart just isn't in it.
I moved in with my parents when I left my last job so I could both be close to my sick mom and not have to pay living expenses so I could be with her full time.
My mom was so sweet.I miss her so much. My dad is difficult yet he still needs help too. I really do not mind staying here for him IF I had my own income.Their home is in the area I have lived in so I was not displaced. When he pays all the living expenses he says he has the right to open all my mail. I have been in so many battles with him, he is a controlling old man. I know what can and can not 'give' with him;I need my own money.
This predicament boils down to me having very low self esteem and now significant depression. I had always paid my own way and was independent. I am in a vicious cycle.
I need my own income but have trouble getting a job
I have health insurance that covers basics, not therapy
I have a history of depression and take paxil 40 daily
I had a therapist in the past, last seen 5 years ago-
he is M.D., neuropsych who mainly does accupuncture now. I should tell you that he is an exceptionally kind person who is a very good therapist.
I hesitated for weeks,but finally called his office and left him a message but never received a call back. I think he is very busy. I really do not want to tell someone new everything over again.I doubt he wants to donate his time.
I am afraid, I keep feeling worse and that makes me more unwilling to talk to anyone. I don't want to talk to friends as I am just not that close to anyone right now.
I guess my questions are:
1. Am I on track with my perceptions or are things better or worse than they seem?
2. Would a different drug help?
3. Why do I feel so hopeless?
I feel like I've been through hell for the last six or seven years.

Last Edited by on Mar 09, 2007 2:14 PM
147 posts
Mar 12, 2007
11:29 PM

First of all, one part of what is going on for you has to be that you are grieving about your Mom dying. She sounds like probably the most important person in the world to you, and she was your whole focus for quite awhile, and now there is a big, big hole she used to fill. Was she your best friend, too? Did you feel close to her, talk to her about your thoughts and feelings? Or did you feel isolated while you were taking care of her? It would be great if you had lots of time to talk about the experience of taking care of her until she died, and about the experience of having to re-join life now that she is gone. Perhaps your doctor would work out a payment plan for you to see him, or are you involved with a church where you could talk to someone free? Or is there a counseling clinic with a sliding scale you could go to--at least for now?

I'm not an MD, so can't advise you on medications, other than to tell you general information, and my experiences. Many times one anti-depressant doesn't work, or stops working, and switching to another one, or adding another one gets people the relief they need from depression and/or anxiety. Try to get a medication evaluation with a psychiatrist as soon as you can.

What is your arrangement with your Dad, exactly? What does he pay for? Does he give you any money for your personal needs? Do you take care of him? You probably need to make the boundaries around money and caretaking clear and agreed upon by both of you--preferably in writing. For example, one way to do this would be if you are cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, shopping, giving medical assistance, taking him places he needs to go, etc, etc, for him, he could pay you for your time, and he should have nothing to say about what you do with that money. You may want to pay some rent to clarify the boundaries too. If mail is a problem, have it sent to a PO box, or a friend's address.

Having your own independent income will probably be an important part of your feeling better, as you said. Have you tried doing per diem work, or being a travellng nurse--would these be easier to get into, and/or easier for you to handle at this point? If you really can't get a job as a nurse, would it work to get a job as a nurse assistant or home nurse, or even volunteer, just so you could build a good source of reference for a future job? But before any of this could work, you would have to be ready to work. Did you enjoy nursing 5-10 yrs ago? If so, what made it turn sour? Do you associate working with some very unpleasant experiences you don't want to repeat? Are you up to full time work at a new place?

I know that is alot of questions, but hopefully they will be helpful to you. If you can answer them, I, or a therapist you work with will be able to get a clearer picture of what you need to get what you want.


3 posts
Mar 14, 2007
11:52 AM
Cynthia, You are very kind to help. I will spend some time thinking over your questions and write back tonite. I did finally hear from my previous therapist.They gave me an appointment weeks away and then called when they had a cancellation so I saw him briefly yesterday. He only made a small med change for now and says I need to come back to do more therapy. I guess I lost some perspective on myself when my mom was so ill. He said I had made good progress in therapy but was not done. He knew of my mom's death and said he wondered how I would do (with my own issues) after my mom was no longer the center of attention. He said that some of what I was working through before was PTSD and that I would kind of disassociate (?sp) at times initially but was doing much better. He thinks the job problem is tied in too. He was very positive that I could make progress. Honestly, at first I just sobbed; to think I had yet another problem to overcome! I didn't get to discuss much with him about my dad, money etc. Your questions are good . I will share them and your ideas with him. He is a sweetheart of a human being. I can pay him over time he said. It didn't seem to get in the way of his willingness to help. I feel blessed to know someone like him, (and you too).
148 posts
Mar 14, 2007
9:29 PM

Thank you for letting me know what's happening for you. I'm so glad you are getting help. Try not to think of PTSD and dissociation as another problem to overcome--it may all be tied in together. Resolving the PTSD may make everything else fall into place, or much easier. Depending on how much trauma is involved, PTSD can be quite treatable, and in some cases pretty quickly using EMDR or DNMS.

Feel free to share any other thoughts or questions you have about any of this, and let us know how it all goes.

Be Well,


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Email: CynthiaLubow@yahoo.com 

 Cynthia W. Lubow, MFT

 For 30 years, compassionately helping people build self-confidence and feel happier.

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