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Today my boss at my job was unexpectedly personal and friendly with me which believe it or not is a problem. As long as work is about work, I can put on my Professional Work Persona and deal with people. But when someone starts asking about me, my life, and my mother it gets harder to know what to say without saying too much or just flat out lying. My boss sure doesn't need to know that I'm standing on the edge of hell feeling like I'm about to fall in and that even the most tedious parts of my job are a welcome escape - and I didn't say that, but what I did say revealed more than I was comfortable with in hindsight. I've become so isolated personally that whenever I do have to be social and talk about who I am, what's happening in my life, I'm awkward, don't know what to say or say things that reveal too much pain to people who I don't really trust with that information. Anybody else struggle with this?

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I think that sometimes we all reveal things about ourselves and then feel a little unsure about it. We want others to see us a certain way. I think it's quite common for people to put on the happy face and pretend that life is so hunky dory and that we are just fine....but, it's not true. We all have heartache, dysfunction and pain in our lives. I'm not sure why we try so hard to hide that. I guess it's about not wanting to appear vulnerable. I guess somewhere in our evolution, our survival was predicated upon our strength, so we don't dare show our emotional side too much.

I have found that when I deed share my pain or personal story with a person that I trusted, it seemed to make them feel closer to me and actually, gave them permission to share things about their life. I was glad that I did it.
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Sorry wrong button, I may give a single situation or two that was recently troublesome. 2nd if I am unsure of my comfort level I may direct them to this site so they can gain perspective on my situation.3rd if not comfortable at all, thank you for asking but I was raised to keep business and personal lives separate
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Depending on my level of comfort with my boss the answers could vary greatly, 1st answer if very comfortable I may give
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Mincemeat, yes the politics worry me. Will my boss think I'm too distracted in my personal life to be trusted with more responsibility or seen as a candidate to promote. How will he see my future at the company compared to someone who is younger without elderly parents or children? I don't doubt he feels compassion for my situation but he also is so wealthy he can't comprehend a family unable to afford assisted living in a state where Medicaid won't pay for it - what that means for all involved.
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Thanks everyone! You've got me thinking that I need to somehow make more of an effort to find some people in real life to talk to that are safe...it is true, just like cwillie says someone seems sympathetic and it's hard to hold back. Therapy is a tough one though given the finances and time but maybe. Hopefully my boss isn't worried about my performance, I'm one of the hardest workers there so I hope that counts for something. Goodnight all!
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I was one of those absolute MORONS who threw away a career to take care of father dearest. Any how......I really understand your "mirror has 2 faces" thing at work. You do not want to give any adversaries at work any ammunition. Sorry guys on here...but there is nothing like the vicious wolf pack of women in the work place....I can laugh about it now!!! :)

Anyhow....fast forward a couple of years.....I am embarrased to say that I was in a grocery store...no make up, hair not done, jeans and sweater. One of my former work acquaintances came up to me and was absolutely gushing about how good I looked...... (WHAT???? Seriously....Need your eyes checked...haha) Any how, she said you look so relaxed......So I wonder what I actually looked like working 60 hours a week, taking care of my own family and dementia father who had daily crisis adventures.......

Anyhow, do not beat yourself up....take each day as you can....and try in some small way to find a way to take care of yourself, even if it means asking for some help !
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I am the jokester.. I tend to tell funny storys and not the real hard stuff. Only tell that to my besties who have been there. But my supervisor at work is getting there now so it;s easier, and she has been great .
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If you put me with someone that seems sympathetic I will tend to spew way too much, that is partially a consequence of not having enough sympathetic ears that are willing to listen. For true outsiders though, I figure if they ask at all it is only out of politeness and they don't really want to hear the answer, kind of like when people ask "how are you today?".
Your boss may be concerned more with your work performance than anything else, and was looking for reassurance that you can keep your end up.
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Curtin, I know what you mean, it's hard to know how much to tell someone. With my boss, he has spent the past 15 years caring for a wife he had Alzheimer's, so I heard everything that happened, at times way too much information. But he needed someone to talk to, so I listened.

Now it is my turn with my tale of woe as my Dad is now into the short term memory mode... but I need to remember to keep it short as my boss tend to be the town crier and will gossip big time.

As for anyone else, if there is a common bond, then I will yak up a storm.
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And perhaps find a therapist to help you through this?
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HA. We think we fool everyone with the brave face. Nah, the worry lines pop up. Boss sensed your standing at the edge of the abyss. You did the right thing. Keep calm and carry on.
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