Hearing voices

In therapy you get to talk about holidays.  Far from being an opportunity to bang on about your break in the sun, this conversation is right up there on the sadism spectrum because it involves having to admit that you’ll miss your therapist. “Let’s talk about how much you’re going to miss me over my holidays that you’ve just paid for”. Psychic Scrooge walks to centre stage.


Missing people at Christmas is a very important part of surviving work, saving us from jumping off Cliff Whatever into a workplace sea where nobody has the generosity to say the words “I look forward to seeing you in the New Year” minus the sarcasm.


Separation from work, including the hard graft of therapy, is on one level easy. What’s to miss? Unfeeling brutes you wouldn’t come within 1000 miles of unless your career depended on it. In this mean spirited economy colleagues become tarts and therapists just sex workers doing it for the money. Loveless hourly paids.


Nothing to like means nothing to miss, a brilliantly brutal defense against the feeling of loss.


In a recession, being able to experience loss is an essential workplace skill allowing us to know the difference between things that are alive, like feelings, and things that are undead like zombie careers and the public sector.


Missing is also what allows us to keep on loving people when they don’t do exactly what we say exactly when we want it.  That’s quite important for those of us that don’t live or work snugly in a matching anorak type situation which denies difference and with one fail swoop erases the frustration of being real people in an ordinary workplace.


Defensive cutting.


Thing about defences is that they can sometimes throw the baby out with the psychic bath water. Cutting people out when they go away means that eventually we forget the sound of their voices, carpet bombing our humanity and what we learned by listening to the people that we love and respect.  Cut deep enough and we can perform open-psychic-surgery and remove the internalized voices that these loved ones become inside us. From the first great boss who became the voice that says ‘I’m a diamond’ to my nan’s warm hugs that became the voice “it’s going to be OK”. Press and hold to delete.


So in the last working week before Xmas, Surviving Work is sending you a daily reminder of your own and other people’s humanity. Plug in when you think you are about to cut out and cut off.


On the 16th December someone said “I love getting angry…”


On the 17th December someone said “I watched a young woman crumble from bullying…”


On the 18th December someone said “Take the risk and open up to someone…”


On the 19th December someone said “He was a real life corporate psychopath…”


On the 20th December someone said  “Don’t give in to it…”


Surviving Work will miss you this holiday. Come back please in the New Year when we’ll be thinking mainly about sex, drugs and narcissism. Told you, only come here if you’re up for some serious laffs. 

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