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Testimonial from Tic Tac

resilient Suffering at work

02/10/2016

My long  professional experience gradually revealed to me that I was a prisoner of a system where finance became the dictator to the detriment of the initial objective of the company, respect for the consumer. , by a subtle corruptive manipulation of the various actors of the sector (distributors, customers, intermediaries, institutions, employees of the company...). The marketing discourse was misleading and poisoned with hidden threats (if you don't consume, you run the risk of...)

However, despite this toxic professional environment in which I suffered, my dream of getting out of it remained paralyzed by my fears. Fear of the future, fear of missing out, fear of losing everything, my status, my salary, my image, my apparent self-assurance, fear of no longer being suitable, fear of letting go of this race towards recognition, finally... fear of not no longer be loved.

These fears existed all the more because they were fueled by the fears projected to me by those around me.

 

My body and my spirit expressed to me this conflict inside me by a permanent suffering, and physical, and psychic.

But I preferred not to listen to him.

 

The idea of changing, of the unknown, if I agreed to give up my functioning, to let go, represented such fear that I resisted with multiple allopathic treatments, alcohol consumption, hyperactivity. Anything to escape me, escape my discomfort, as long as my symptoms are condemned to silence.

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I was convinced that I was essential to my professional activity. My leaders flattered me, expressed how indispensable I was to them. They played the game of my weaknesses. My need for recognition. Which reinforced my hyperactivity.  I clung to my work and exhausted myself meeting their expectations, even though I was well aware that all this energy expended was increasingly restricting my freedom to action and thought.

I felt guilty for not being strong enough, resistant enough, I accused myself of being weaker than my colleagues who seemed more solid.

The pressure was growing, and the demand for results for the benefit of the shareholders made it necessary to allow oneself to be manipulated into a less and less ethical operation. For example, during a presentation of a new promotional campaign, the directives official  were  presented in a general meeting, by the leaders and were fully compliant with regulations and respect for the consumer. Subsequently, one-on-one or in a select committee, their subordinate suggested to us, with the concern of supporting us in the achievement of very ambitious commercial objectives, let's say... to omit certain details, or even to modify the speech, plainly lie, in order to increase results. These changes were experienced by most of my colleagues as aids, their possible consequences were ignored. I have, on several occasions, dared to underline  the possibility of serious consequences, in particular on the health of the consumer in our field. I was cataloged as a pessimistic person  who saw evil everywhere… I decided to in spite of obtaining very decent results by resisting as much as possible and as best as I could to this manipulation all pretending I was applying the new rules of the game well. This schizophrenic professional attitude was exhausting. On the customer side (intermediaries, consumers), almost everyone can be manipulated at will, trusted,  asks no questions, takes their word for it. Again, on serious issues, when a written response from management was required, it was obviously very different from a verbal response.

 

Of course, my family and friends complained about my recurrent state of fatigue and advised me to rest more on weekends, to take better care of myself in order to preserve my comfortable and reassuring professional situation in a difficult economic context. We had to hang on. It was already a luxury to have a job, an executive status.

 

When the situation was too unbearable, I landed in the office of a doctor who prescribed me anxiolytics, antidepressants, sleeping pills, and painkillers, anti-inflammatories for my increasingly frequent lumbago. I rested for a few days, then I resumed my activity with all these bandages.

 

Until the day when, so physically and mentally exhausted, I found myself, overnight, unable to go to work, answer the phone to my clients, or even to my friends. I felt like a rubber band that had played too much and had broken. We do not repair a rubber band. You can't fix a broken engine. We change it...

Diagnosis : reactive depression linked to working conditions.

Immobilized, at the bottom of my bed, with anxiety attacks, unmanageable panic attacks, and an urge to die extremely difficult to bear, I preferred to flee into sleep. I only got up for the essentials. I had lost all energy. I could no longer drive, I walked little and very slowly. I was fed. Physical pain constantly circulated through my body.

If I hadn't been surrounded, I would have been hospitalized.

I thought that this time I wouldn't be able to get up.

 

I had had the chance, a few months before,  to begin psychotherapeutic work with Mrs. Bilheran who regularly insisted on the danger to which I was exposed. She tried to make me aware of the reality of my working conditions.

 

When I called " tombée ", she was infinitely kind, she didn't let go of me, I felt welcomed, supported, protected. Between each of our appointments, she was present at every moment when I felt myself sinking. It was very difficult for me. It took me time to accept, to no longer be in denial of the reality of the company and their dangerous risks for my state of mental and physical health.

 

The guilt of being on sick leave gnawed at me and was fueled by phone messages from my colleagues, my clients, emails from the company. They asked me for news and when I was going to resume my activity. I even received an email and a call from a new director who wanted to meet me to get to know me. There was a conflict in me, I felt both guilty for not responding to these requests and at the same time I felt deep down that I was putting myself in danger by authorizing communication.

 

I had great difficulty in becoming aware of the reality of my condition which, I no longer have any doubt today, was catastrophic.

 

Mrs. Bilheran helped me to understand the absolute necessity to be far from the ill-treatment related to my working conditions, and to flee my self-destruction.

 

After several weeks, my general practitioner told me that he had to report to the social security and invited me either to resign or to request an appointment with the occupational doctor... As if I were not sick, as if I had nothing ! As if I was able to work ! I didn't understand what those tips meant. But I felt at the same time humiliated, at fault, at the same time also shocked.

 

Fortunately, at the same time, I had made an appointment with a psychiatrist, who took charge of my sick leave extensions each month, as well as the prescriptions related to his specialty, explained to me that my condition justified serious follow-up by competent professionals. , especially more courageous, and advised me to change GP.

 

I understood that my psychic wounds were invisible. I myself had difficulty recognizing them, no longer being in denial about my condition. Also, how could others recognize them if I was silent, let nothing show ? Unfortunately, I sometimes had to suffer from new traumas from professionals I was confronted with and who made me relive the mistreatment that the company was already making me live : I had to undergo and be silent. Fortunately too, I met competent, attentive professionals who knew how to recognize my suffering.

 

When I received my first summons to the security check, I was terrified at the idea of being misunderstood, that my suffering seemed invisible, especially since a friend, victim of a head trauma with significant sequelae, had told me about his bad experience with a very aggressive medical adviser from the CPAM. We are afraid of being controlled as if we were guilty. Have I been very lucky ? I was received by a very understanding woman, who gave me an ALD care document and asked me to have it completed by my attending physician. The second control was, on the other hand, abusive. I had the feeling of being considered a priori as dishonest : so much so that I ended up breaking down and found myself in tears… while being sorry. Looking back I can't help thinking : Is it really necessary for these controlling doctors to scrape the wound to verify that it exists ?

On the Mutual side, even if the " Prévoyance " system is supposed to provide   the management of a state of burn out, my phone calls, my emails, my simple letters, then a registered letter, no response, no additional payment. After a formal notice by registered letter from a lawyer, I received a file to be completed by the attending physician who, after assessment by the Prévoyance medical advisor, finally triggered the payments expected for several months ! (how do you do when you have no support to defend yourself ?)

Finally, the system is such that it maintains, even amplifies, the suffering instead of relieving it.

 

Fortunately, my psychiatrist, my new GP and my psychologist were all of the same opinion. They couldn't be three incompetents with the same diagnosis and the same arguments ! They worked independently to make me aware of the need to rest, to stay away from work while I recovered. Gradually, they admitted to me that it would take time. 1 year, or even 2, maybe more depending on the evolution... and that it was out of the question to consider resuming my activity before complete recovery

 

It's hard to admit. I did not understand, or rather, I would have liked to get better very quickly.

 

Ms. Bilheran helped me to let go, to become aware of the conditioning in which I was locked up, and guided me gently towards the discovery of a new state, in the respect of myself.

 

Today, my work colleagues are suffering a lot, some preferred to resign, others were fired in a few hours for faults they did not commit. 25% found themselves like me on sick leave.

The company organizes its bankruptcy to justify a social plan. A financial transaction. In the meantime, it disgusts, exhausts, humiliates its employees, short-circuits their brains, with the hope that some will still leave before the start of this plan, which is still too costly for the shareholders... The media are also deceived and transcribe wrong speech.

 

Today, I recognize that Ms. Bilheran, through her competence and her expertise, had a fair analysis of my situation, I know that her support has been and still is a precious gift that allowed me to transform my ordeal into an opportunity to change, education and growth.

My emotional imbalances no longer represent the harmful fuel of dysfunctional choices, they are quite simply a healthy sign that I am listening and which on the contrary directs me towards a better balance. She knew how to establish with me a confidence that I had never really been able to establish in my life, a confidence in myself, in life. She taught me to respect myself, to love myself. Me who had no more energy, no more hope, who thought that getting up would be impossible, after long months of rest, of questioning, of intense doubts, the more the months pass, the more I discover the power of my work with her .

My fear of change has turned into happiness to evolve. Even if my future is not well defined yet, I took a path that brings me joy and serenity.

 

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