I don't remember when my uterus and I engaged in a game of Battleship!
July 23, 2011 9:20 AM Subscribe
[Being a girl filter] Health issues, high pressure environments, and still showing everyone how fucking awesome you are.
posted by anonymous to Society & Culture (22 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a girl.
I'm a girl with ongoing issues: off-and-on severe depression (currently OFF), severe PMS (aka PMDD aka "I might cry for 48 hours for absolutely no reason if you set me off" PMS), and recurring severe arthritic pain - and I'm only 28. BTW, I'm seeing doctors, trying different meds under their supervision, and generally proactively trying to deal with these issues. It's been a process. I'm not sitting around feeling sorry for myself - it's just another part of my (otherwise awesome) life.
I'm a badass girl engineer who works for startups, I have lots of awesome hobbies and friends outside of work, currently lead my own team, and I'm a least pretty good at what I do/I love my job. Unfortunately, all it takes is being blindsided by a major catastrophe or change while I'm in a "mood," and I freak the fuck out. Or on a bad week, I'm just majorly stressed out in general - drinking a lot (cutting back now that I've recognized it), crying, having a hard time not making embarrassingly-self-deprecating jokes.
For the record: I'm also a badass girl engineer who's fairly open about a lot of things. I've been incredibly fortunate to work at small companies with bosses who are sympathetic to the vaguely-explained medical issues, have encouraged me to take time off when needed or work from home, and I'm unsure of what else to ask for, if anything at all.
Most recently - I was date-raped. I'm already seeing a therapist, got checked out, the whole 9 yards. But I've been especially emotional since then, and freaking out over little things, even though at a high level, I'm still not even sure how to respond to what happened. I didn't take time off from work because I was so excited about the new projects I've been working on lately, but my (very new) boss probably has no idea what to make of how I can suddenly switch gears from being excited to totally flustered and frantic.
But the point of this question is not about the health issues and the date-rape - it's a couple of other things:
1 - Oh my god. If you are a woman dealing with "female issues" in a high pressure environment - or any awkward health issues in general - who is succeeding and being respected in your field, I'd love to hear it.
2- If you're like me, how do you deal with it? I'm half-ready to sit my bosses down and say "listen, I'm dealing with X, Y, and Z" right now in not-ambiguous-medical-terms-or-personal-issues like I usually would, but these are both dudes with young daughters and saying my ovaries are fucked up and I was raped is going to freak them out - even though I'm level-headedly dealing with it right now - I just feel this overwhelming need for them to know that I AM NOT MYSELF RIGHT NOW - even with that nagging "I don't think they even notice or care" in the back of my mind. I'm reading "Women Don't Ask" right now, but if you've got any suggestions for literature or hacks or anything whatsoever, I'd love to hear it.
Sorry ask mefi - it's been a rough week. I want you guys to know that all of the healthy, proactive things I've mentioned doing above have been because of y'all - I don't ask a lot of questions, but I lurk a lot, and it's because of your no-nonsense, IANAD, common-sense advice that I am where I am, and rough patches aside, it's a pretty good place to be. From the bottom of my heart, I already thank y'all for that.
PS - throwaway email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org