Author Topic: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?  (Read 12722 times)

smoghat

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #100 on: September 20, 2018, 05:51:38 AM »
Yes, but I think ultimately the real villains here are

the difficulties of dealing with neighbors spending too much of their salaries on keeping their driveways spotless [how many times a week do you need to have your leaves blown off your driveway? Why do your need the leaves cleaned out of your FOREST), of course since these broken souls march off to work every day, they donít get what they are doing.

that I have to decide how I feel about my creative work...do I not care about timing or do I throw myself into it? The risks of timing are that as Iíve seen a lot of success is purely random and the risks of the latter but that also people expect a certain hyperactive level of production these days.

And those lead to major unresolved stress issues. Incredibly the driveway guy says he will start Friday. Itís only taken two months.

Then again, working at home with leaf blowers going may still be better than my former Deanís ďbrilliantĒ idea of having 30 people work in an open office.


austin944

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #101 on: September 20, 2018, 10:25:23 AM »
In many states marijuana is becoming legal, would that be a better way to relax and appreciate the time of no longer having to work?

I'm too much of a health fanatic to pursue marijuana as an option.  I prefer exercise as a means of de-stressing; I believe it changes my body and mind for the better.  Self-improvement, whether through exercise or through intellectual stimulation, has a positive effect on my well-being and outlook.  Smoking or ingesting MJ would just be a temporary escape; I would still be the same person after I came down from a high.  My hopes and fears would remain the same.  That's why I (mostly) quit alcohol; there were too many detrimental effects, like cancer, and only temporary pleasures that didn't change the person inside.

Dicey

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #102 on: September 23, 2018, 05:23:21 PM »
Posting so I can find this interesting thread again.  Dec. 5, 2018 will be my 6th FIREversary. I'm happy, but FIRE looks nothing like I imagined it would.

MasterStache

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #103 on: September 24, 2018, 05:40:24 AM »
Just waned to chime in myself as I just passed 14 months FIRE. I have to admit I have had my ups and downs. One thing I have noticed is I seem to be in better spirits when I have work to do. I am a bit like MMM in that I have some very good carpentry skills and as such have generated some decent side income (wasn't my intention). I like the work, do it only on occasion, basically when I feel like doing it, and at my own pace. I've actually turned down a couple jobs lately.

Evgenia

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #104 on: September 24, 2018, 11:19:15 PM »
I've been FIREd for about 6 months, possibly temporarily, depending on how spending and investments play out. The original plan was to work longer, but I ended up leaving a job I had previously really enjoyed because of toxic crap.

And then I started thinking about my 25-year career in tech, and wow, there's been a lot of toxic crap. It seems like I've been decompressing not just from this job or from working but from dealing with the fallout of damaging environments for many years. I sort of feel like a soldier who's come home from war, and instead of relaxing and enjoying life is now having nightmares, insomnia, panic attacks, and other PTSD reactions...

...This is the first time I've realized I might never have to rejoin the rat race. I think that's encouraging the parts of my brain that were hunkered down and coping with work troubles to emerge into the light.

Is anyone else dealing with stuff like this? Realizing that jobs you thought were mostly okay had actually done you significant damage, and having to deal with the fallout after FIRE?

I'm a few months late to respond (at 3.5 years FIRE, I am not online nearly so much) but yes, yes to all of it. I'm a woman, and worked in tech for 20 years, and the six months after leaving saw all the trauma of that time come out. I had forgotten about/buried so many things: male colleagues drunk and banging on my hotel room doors at 3 AM on business trips, threatening to assault and/or fire me if I did not open the door; too many unzipped flies and unwelcome exposures to count; terrible salary disparities; on, and on, and on.

I will probably never know what it was, exactly, about the relationship between true down time, knowing I would never have to go back, and emergent trauma, but it happened. I chronicled some of it on my blog. If I had to guess, I would say that knowing you really, truly will never have to return to certain places and people again allows some defense mechanisms (most of which I suspect are unconscious) to recede and, in so doing, allow the trauma to emerge.

It's better now, and I suspect would be a LOT better if we did not still live in the SF Bay Area, surrounded--for now--by too many of the sort of people who did/do vile things at work. The nightmares, panic attacks, etc. (which I never had before FIRE) stopped probably 1.5 years in.

The farther I got from it, i.e. the longer we are FIRE, the less likely I am to ever go back and chance those things happening again. At this point, 3.5 years on, I can say we'd have to be near starving for me to take jobs anything like those I had in the past. Much of the American work place is very sick, abusive, toxic, and frankly inhumane.

I don't think it's a matter of working or not working, though DH and I both work part-time. For me, the things that came to light in the first six months post FIRE had nothing to do with generalized anxiety or depression or anything like that, for me; they were straight-up post-toxic-job trauma. Anyway, I'm here if you ever want to shoot someone a message, have questions, or need support. It is not just you, and it does get better. I wouldn't trade FIRE for anything. :-)

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #105 on: September 25, 2018, 09:22:49 AM »
I've been FIREd for about 6 months, possibly temporarily, depending on how spending and investments play out. The original plan was to work longer, but I ended up leaving a job I had previously really enjoyed because of toxic crap.

And then I started thinking about my 25-year career in tech, and wow, there's been a lot of toxic crap. It seems like I've been decompressing not just from this job or from working but from dealing with the fallout of damaging environments for many years. I sort of feel like a soldier who's come home from war, and instead of relaxing and enjoying life is now having nightmares, insomnia, panic attacks, and other PTSD reactions...

...This is the first time I've realized I might never have to rejoin the rat race. I think that's encouraging the parts of my brain that were hunkered down and coping with work troubles to emerge into the light.

Is anyone else dealing with stuff like this? Realizing that jobs you thought were mostly okay had actually done you significant damage, and having to deal with the fallout after FIRE?

I'm a few months late to respond (at 3.5 years FIRE, I am not online nearly so much) but yes, yes to all of it. I'm a woman, and worked in tech for 20 years, and the six months after leaving saw all the trauma of that time come out. I had forgotten about/buried so many things: male colleagues drunk and banging on my hotel room doors at 3 AM on business trips, threatening to assault and/or fire me if I did not open the door; too many unzipped flies and unwelcome exposures to count; terrible salary disparities; on, and on, and on.

I will probably never know what it was, exactly, about the relationship between true down time, knowing I would never have to go back, and emergent trauma, but it happened. I chronicled some of it on my blog. If I had to guess, I would say that knowing you really, truly will never have to return to certain places and people again allows some defense mechanisms (most of which I suspect are unconscious) to recede and, in so doing, allow the trauma to emerge.

It's better now, and I suspect would be a LOT better if we did not still live in the SF Bay Area, surrounded--for now--by too many of the sort of people who did/do vile things at work. The nightmares, panic attacks, etc. (which I never had before FIRE) stopped probably 1.5 years in.

The farther I got from it, i.e. the longer we are FIRE, the less likely I am to ever go back and chance those things happening again. At this point, 3.5 years on, I can say we'd have to be near starving for me to take jobs anything like those I had in the past. Much of the American work place is very sick, abusive, toxic, and frankly inhumane.

I don't think it's a matter of working or not working, though DH and I both work part-time. For me, the things that came to light in the first six months post FIRE had nothing to do with generalized anxiety or depression or anything like that, for me; they were straight-up post-toxic-job trauma. Anyway, I'm here if you ever want to shoot someone a message, have questions, or need support. It is not just you, and it does get better. I wouldn't trade FIRE for anything. :-)

@Evgenia - as a woman who has also spent 20 years in tech, I just wanted to say how sad I was for your experience, & that I'm so sorry you had that happen to you. There was definitely some strange behavior over the year, and general eye brow raising comments, but as a general rule, both companies where I work(ed) took these types of things very seriously & came down super hard on anything that could be construed in that way. I'm sorry that wasn't also your experience. I did file one complaint in all of my 20 years, and it resulted in a termination based on a pattern of behavior.

Anyway, I'm so happy to hear that FIRE has allowed you time to step back & deal with the toxic behavior you were exposed to.

RedmondStash

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #106 on: September 25, 2018, 11:37:11 AM »
I'm a few months late to respond (at 3.5 years FIRE, I am not online nearly so much) but yes, yes to all of it. I'm a woman, and worked in tech for 20 years, and the six months after leaving saw all the trauma of that time come out. I had forgotten about/buried so many things: male colleagues drunk and banging on my hotel room doors at 3 AM on business trips, threatening to assault and/or fire me if I did not open the door; too many unzipped flies and unwelcome exposures to count; terrible salary disparities; on, and on, and on.

The things women deal with. Horrifying. I doubt most men have any idea of the depth of damage that kind of thing does. I'm really sorry you ever had to deal with any of that.

I will probably never know what it was, exactly, about the relationship between true down time, knowing I would never have to go back, and emergent trauma, but it happened. I chronicled some of it on my blog. If I had to guess, I would say that knowing you really, truly will never have to return to certain places and people again allows some defense mechanisms (most of which I suspect are unconscious) to recede and, in so doing, allow the trauma to emerge.

I think that's exactly it. I've taken time off from work before, years even, but always knowing I would have to go back someday. Now that I probably don't, it's like a big glacier is melting, and I don't like everything I'm seeing thaw from the ice.

I don't think it's a matter of working or not working, though DH and I both work part-time. For me, the things that came to light in the first six months post FIRE had nothing to do with generalized anxiety or depression or anything like that, for me; they were straight-up post-toxic-job trauma. Anyway, I'm here if you ever want to shoot someone a message, have questions, or need support. It is not just you, and it does get better. I wouldn't trade FIRE for anything. :-)

Thank you very much. I think things are gradually improving, but I may take you up on that sometime. It's very good to hear that it does get better over time, and that it can take quite a while. I'd hoped that after almost a year, I'd be all done, but apparently not quite yet. :)

smoghat

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #107 on: September 26, 2018, 05:20:08 PM »
Horrifying! Even as a guy, this weeks events have reminded me what a messed up culture we live in and dredged up bad memories of what those kind of ďbrosĒ were like back then, Yikes!

On a positive note, I had an awesome session with my therapist today when I realized that I was having trouble because I no longer had a clear sense of priorities. When I was working for the Dean, I knew I had to impress him so Iíd churn my book out. Now I have no Dean, no overseer. If I donít touch my book for two months because itís summer and I am working on the house so it doesnít rot, thatís ok. Iím in charge. Made me feel a lot better. Got home and went for a 4.3 mile run.

Meanwhile the Dean is still working. Iím sure heís convinced himself itís the best thing ever.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2018, 05:21:40 PM by smoghat »

Blackbeard

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Re: Difficult FIRE decompression/transition, anyone?
« Reply #108 on: September 26, 2018, 10:11:50 PM »
Iíve been FIRE for about three weeks now.  Earlier in the thread I wrote I was nervous about coming to terms with all of the heavy lifting through my career. 

Im happy to say it took me about three days to move on.  Seriously.  Im sleeping better, Iím working out more.  I havenít thought about it one bit, and I was/am a partner in the business I left.  Iím shocked. 

I think part of the reason is I had such a long resignation timeframe, almost 3 months.  It allowed me to mentally start the transition.  Iíve also been getting the new person up to speed. That allowed me to do a lot of soul searching to have them not make my same mistakes.  Since I am an educative in the organization Iíve got to explain a lot of the history of how we got to where we are and where ďIĒ saw us going.  So that means youíve got to thoughtfully reflect on the good and the not so good.  And youíve got to be brutally honest because the new person is going to be the steward of my shares in the business. 

Plus I retired to something.  I think that has a lot todo with it as well.  Weíll see in a few months, but so far Iím pleasantly surprised.  I was generally worried Iíd be depressed or off my normal self.