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trying to apply for freelance work and having to fight off panic attacks

Stellar Community member Posts: 131 Pioneering
edited April 2023 in Work and employment
trying a new approach to return to work and I'm already struggling.

i made an Upwork profile and am trying to build up the confidence to reach out to people to start getting used to freelancing so i can build up money and income that way.

I'm so anxious and terrified of it all. I'm scared that I'll end up trapped in another abusive dynamic, fall for a scam and have to give employers my time for no money or a wage that I can't live on, or that there won't be anything suitable for me. And also falls into the idea of underearning. I've already set a minimum hourly wage of 30 USD on my profile because anything below that is underpayment.

Or that for whatever reason i just have to accept whatever I'm offered even if it's completely unsuitable (which in many ways is a repeat of my first and only full time job i had to leave after 7 weeks).

i know all of this is ctpsd-related trauma issues, because the dynamic between me and an employer here is similar to dealing with an abusive parent who refuses to give unmet needs. Likewise trying to avoid being back in the situation i was a few years ago when i was trying to flee abuse and avoid homelessness and getting nowhere and having no financial or social safety net to fall back on because of services refused to help me. i have to help myself keep a roof over my head as nobody else will and expecting a saviour is also a trauma response.

Also no hugboxing or sympathy (ie. the typical response i get on this forum) as it won't help me. I need practical advice or recommended places to get it.

also i can't go back to therapy, cause while i know i need to, i can't afford to and waiting lists will trigger me badly. i have to focus on leaving this cesspit island so i can have a life worth living, not languishing on yet more lists that I'll never see the end of.


  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,562 Disability Gamechanger
    What sort of work are you doing while freelancing @Stellar? :)

    When you say practical advice, what is it exactly you'd like help with? Is it feeling confident?
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  • Stellar
    Stellar Community member Posts: 131 Pioneering
    practical advice is things like:

    - how to actually manage exec dysfunction to apply for jobs 
    - which online working websites are legit and which are scams
    - actual support from somebody else to help me find a job, because i cannot do this on my own

    job listing sites overwhelm me, but that seems to be the only place legitimate jobs i can get decent money on asap.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 16,143 Disability Gamechanger
    OK - so you want no 'hugboxing' or sympathy. I remember 'meeting' you on this thread over a year ago, when you were asking about being self employed:
    - Nothing I, nor others have subsequently suggested from benefits (poppy123456 & calcotti) to advice from the Scope team have apparently helped, & all you want to do is leave this 'cesspit' of an island, which is a rather derogatory term.
    - I will, sadly, give you a bit of empathy here, as I appreciate you have had many difficulties in your life (some from self-diagnosed not being completely empathetic, despite this being my nature). Well, others here have also faced struggles, myself included; there's no points scoring now; some will even have been through worse than you; others less. This is a site for disabled people, so you couldn't have a better lot of people understanding & trying to help, but no, you either end up not replying, or throw your hands up in the air saying something along the lines of, 'I can't do that.'
    - If you want to leave the UK, then you need to earn some money & save up, so, be decisive, work out what your strengths & interests are.
    - A difficulty in trusting people takes time, & work from both sides. I would like to think you might begin to trust the members here. It's safe, you wouldn't know us, or us you, if we passed in the street. Begin somewhere, & see how it goes. We have some lovely people here who will understand something of what you're going through, & we're not all neurotypical!!
    - So, no excuses, such as everything overwhelms you, which you repeatedly say. Seek help, find coping mechanisms, learn from others here; be open to listening to them.
    - Not everyone who would like/prefer to work can do so; possibly that's a situation you may need to accept.

  • Stellar
    Stellar Community member Posts: 131 Pioneering
    edited April 2023
    chiarieds said:
    - Nothing I, nor others have subsequently suggested from benefits (poppy123456 & calcotti) to advice from the Scope team have apparently helped, & all you want to do is leave this 'cesspit' of an island, which is a rather derogatory term.
    - Not everyone who would like/prefer to work can do so; possibly that's a situation you may need to accept.

    if i can't work then my life isn't worth living. The fascist Tories are already rolling back human rights for marginalised groups (including disabled people and another one that i'm in) and there's no real opposition on the streets or in parliament, because the public only care about drivel such as celebrities. or refuse to get involved in politics because they think its not for them, all while complaining they cant afford their energy bills and food (which is a result of political decisions that their lack of engagement is enabling). it would be funny if people weren't dying over it. if i don't laugh i'll cry, cause their apathy is killing people.

    for the sake of my mental wellbeing, i have no choice but to re-enter work in order to get out (most likely on a youth mobility visa). or hope things get so bad other countries will start accepting refugees from the UK. if that sounds extreme to you then you don't know how fascism manifests. that's wy i cannot allow myself to become pernamently unfit for work, especially the DWP is so devoid of basic compassion they will gladly enable my suffering.

    for what it's worth, i'm planning to go to therapy now (in part because i have been trying for so long to do it all by myself, but i'm at a point where i just can't anymore.) i'm so overwhelmed with trying to get started i have analysis paralysis over it and it's partially linked to the trauam i had to deal with when i was homeless. i know what to do after i get started and stable income, the problem is getting an income.

    i have a plan for how I'm going to leave, it's a case of getting help to overcome the initial barriers. ideally, I'd have somebody help me get a job and actually facilitate employment, not just dump a pile of links on me and effectively abandon me by not helping me anymore.
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 11,298 Scope online community team

    Hello @Stellar

    It's clear you are going through a difficult time right now and it's understandable to feel overwhelmed, frustrated and, quite frankly, fatigued with the current political climate and the lack of support for marginalised groups. 

    Obviously our worth shouldn't be tied to our ability to work, but if you need to find employment (and don't just want a bunch of links!) can I recommend exploring our free employment services? They might not be exactly what you're looking for, but they'll certainly do more than just send you a page of links and leave you to get on with it.

    When it comes to starting the process of beginning therapy, it's completely normal to feel overwhelmed and unsure about where to start. I could just signpost you to Mind's page on talking therapy and counselling, but have you considered simply reaching out to Mind on 0300 123 3393 and asking about where to start? You won't be the only person to have been in this situation.

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