Anxiety and bereavement

I’m struggling with anxiety again, even though I felt strong over the weekend.

Example 1: When our cat Ermy goes out for longer than usual, then there’s a post on the village Facebook page about a cat that has been run over. My immediate thoughts “Ermy is not coming back this time. My daughters are already psychologically damaged by their brother dying. They love that cat. Now they will never recover. I’ll lose them too. It’ll be my fault, I knew the risks of getting a cat” (fortunately she did come back, but I have the same worry every time).

Example 2: I heard yesterday that somebody in our London office had unexpectedly died. He attended my neurodiversity inclusion presentation last year, and spoke to me on the phone shortly after that about his dyspraxia, dyslexia and auditory processing issues. I immediately assumed that he killed himself and that I should have known he was at risk and that I could have done something to help him (I have not spoken to him since June, and I am an HR systems analyst in the Birmingham office). This was triggering, and I had a tearful meltdown, although other deaths in service at work with no connection to neurological conditions have not affected me at all.

Example 3: There is a 30 day consultation in progress affecting my team at work. Yesterday they announced a meeting has been called for this Wednesday (5 working days before end of the 30 days) with subject “update on structure”. My reaction is to immediately worry that they did not appreciate my feedback on the proposed structure, and have now changed their minds about wanting to keep my role as it is.

P.S. Please do not ban the use of personal phones in the school or workplace. When I was inadvertently triggered yesterday morning at work by the email about the death in service, and although my line manager noticed and her tea and sympathy helped, only a WhatsApp conversation with my husband could get me back on track.

Author: Charlie Hart

Late-diagnosed autistic working mum, attempting to write an amusing semi-autobiographical novel with a twist.

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