All this weekend I’ve been feeling very anxious. Usually by Sunday evening I will have calmed down, but not this time. I though I’d make a list of all the things I’m feeling afraid about and see if I could reassure myself a bit.
I’m afraid to tell my supervisor tomorrow that I need an extended leave for work. She might think I’m not fully committed to the work. She might start thinking about how to replace me. I’ll lose my chance for a raise this year–never mind how hard I’ve been working all year–because raises will be determined while I’ll still be on leave.
I’m also afraid of the burden of the work I’m leaving behind. I don’t work 50-55 hours a week on nothing! Others will have to pick up that work, at least some of it that really can’t wait. I know I’m not the only overloaded person, so I worry about both the effect on my colleagues and also the resentment that they will carry toward me.
I’m afraid I can’t meet my deadlines even for this week. I have so much work. I worked five hours today (Sunday) and don’t feel ready for the upcoming week. I have non-stop meetings from 8:30 to 5:00 tomorrow, so no opportunity to write more on the report that is due Tuesday. This makes me feel sick to my stomach.
I’m afraid I can’t keep up this pace until October 1, the day I have tentatively set to start my leave. I’m so exhausted, and my concentration is shot.
I’m afraid I’ll back down and not take the leave or not take all of it because of the pressure I’ll feel from my supervisor and colleagues. I thought about working part-time, 1 or 2 days a week, but I know that will just expand to take up time every day.
I’m afraid to tell my husband more about my abuse. I thought last week that I was finally about there. But I choke if I even imagine those words coming out of my mouth. I know he will believe me and support me. But I can’t do it yet. And I feel like not doing it is keeping a distance between us that I don’t want to exist.
I’m worried about my dad and at a loss for how to help. And anyway I don’t have any time to help. Not to mention that the more I am around him, the more I rely on denial to cope, which makes it even harder to imagine talking to my husband.
I’m afraid I am not being a good mom to my sons. I don’t tell them any of this. I try to protect them. I don’t want them to worry about me. But I’m also perpetuating the idea that abuse or mental illness is something to be ashamed of. I worry that I am doing what my mom does, what I hate: only talking about pleasant things, not fully sharing myself.
I’m going to need quite a pep talk from my wiser self, I can see. But I can’t rouse the energy right this minute. I would like to crawl in bed and read a book and fall asleep and forget it all.