I have just got an invite for a catch up meeting at work. With the way things are I'm in full anxiety mode.
Everyone is talking about the bonus they're going to get, I'm not as I was underperforming last year. No one has taken in to consideration that last year i had seven months of weekly therapy in relation to childhood trauma and now having to deal with all of this.
At the moment I feel i just want to go sick again. But that will make things worse.
Is this a one-to-one meeting, Ed - to discuss your current situation healthwise and workwise?
They don't sound like they're being supportive or cooperative with you. The therapy you undertook was a huge thing. Do they not realise this?
I'd be feeling anxious, too - but it might give you the opportunity to say your piece. You might be able to gauge a lot from it - whether they're inclined to be more understanding. Or not. Do you have someone who could go along with you for support on the day? I've been really grateful for the presence of my support worker at Shaw Trust. He's attended interviews with my Job Centre work coach to back me up.
Maybe you need to go sick. How will it make things worse if you do? Have they suggested occupational health?
Have you considered joining a Union Ed? For a few £££ a month you will have expert advice and support and someone to accompany you to key meetings and advocate for you when necessary. If you don't like the idea of being part of a Union you could always phone ACAS for advice before this catch up takes place. Going into this meeting fully informed about your rights may help to reduce your anxiety. It helped me a great deal in a similar situation. Another strategy would be to ask for information in advance about what is going to be discussed so that you can prepare for it properly. This would be a reasonable adjustment for anyone who believes they are autistic, even if as yet undiagnosed.
The problem is it was dropped on me half an hour ago. It's at 2.30 this afternoon. The problem is I've only been back 3 weeks from my last sick leave.
Yes, that's short notice. I wouldn't like that.
I had three periods of sick leave in my last job before I finally left. I was off for a week. Then I returned and worked for 6 weeks before going off again for 2 weeks. Then I was back just a month before going sick again. I hated it. It made me feel guilty and weak. But I really had no choice about it in the end. As my Shaw Trust worker said to me about it 'You need to do what's best for you. Don't worry about them.' Easier said than done, though, I know.
I think I know why my boss wants to have a chat. She mentioned that I've been snapping at my team mates.
Its born out of frustration and fatigue.
Meeting was hard, my boss didn’t understand how I’ve been masking my emotions and anxiety. It was about health issues and work. I’ve managed to get one thing in place and in writing. Extra breaks for when I get to stressed.
Just got home, had a mini meltdown.
At least it's over, Ed, and you've managed to get some concessions. That lack of understanding, though, is so common. They have this flawed assumption, I think, that because we're high-functioning, and our behaviour is close to that of non-autistic people, then somehow we're okay. They can't see what goes on - the act we have to put on. What other people can do without even having to think about it, we have to work at. They can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to live without those skills because they don't even realise they have them.
Have a rest tonight. Don't do anything. See how it goes from here.
After a weekend of reflection, I am getting the impression that I am having to make more of the adjustments.
I have thought about the conversation I had on thursday, one of the comments was why do you crunch the bean bag as it is annoying other team members.
Also, I have not been able to vocalise the impact of sensory overload and the question why didn't I see that i maybe autistic before.