I believe I may have a multitude of issues going on. First to the practical point I don't believe counseling or seeking mental health help is bad. I want to do this and I know I need it. My concern as some have pointed out correctly is that there could be fallout from a diagnosis if it is considered in relation to my position. I am presently a sub-contractor and so not protected by the same measures I would be if I was an actual government employee. I am considered for hiring after the next 90 days but I have to be able to pass personal reliability standards.
I don't know what all the rules are and if seeking help now would hurt me professionally.
On the mental side - I have read some about psychological trauma and I think it describes my situation more accurately than something more chronic such as midlife although that probably plays a role. In the last 3 years I've had much of what I built in my life for my family just get wiped out. I worked very hard for 20 years to build a future for them. My wife and I worked for the same startup and we were heavily invested in it. It was a green company that if successful would have helped reduce energy waste and carbon emissions - without going into too much detail it failed to secure further investment after 7 years and began to fall apart in 2007. Eventually they filed bankruptcy. My wife and I along with many of our friends lost our jobs on the same day along with all our investment. For the next 2 years I worked contracting jobs and filled in the gaps from savings. Meanwhile the economy tanked and our other investments became pretty much worthless. The companies I worked for kept losing their contracts so it was hard to stay meaningfully employed. In the interum my oldest daughter started college and I couldn't afford many things I had planned to do for her.
So these dreams we had of building this green company and of securing a future for our children just collapsed. All the years of work we put into it gone. Meanwhile I came very close to losing the house and the car. The job I have now came along just in time to forestall acceleration of our mortgage.
There are all these things that I saw just vanish. There are things from the past too - I think seriously I may have PTSD from some early events. All these doubts that I had shoved to the back of my mind in order to build a future for my family, they come creeping back up as if to say "See, we told you that you would fail."
When I was little I was horribly abused. I don't mean that in any blunted sense. I mean beaten, tortured, scarred, locked up - you name it. I swore I would do everything I could when I was an adult to help people and use my talents to make things better. But everything the last 3 years has just told me again and again that it is coming apart - some days I feel like well maybe I am just a piece of crap like I was told.
I know this is very self-defeating. I have worked so hard for 20 years to get past it. Considering what I was put through as a child I do think I did alright. I mean I've tried to live according to the values I set up for myself. But if you set up this image of yourself and what you are supposed to do and then you fail after so many years - it is psychological trauma. Your self-conception has been destroyed because the way you saw yourself as competant and confident, as a person who overcame so much to help others
I have an opportunity with my new position to turn things around and I am willing to do the work. I am extremely paranoid right now because I think my new coworker is ESTJ. He's very bossy and he isn't my boss if you know what I mean. It is stressing me because I need some stability after all this mess to recover. The idea is in the back of my mind that if I lose this job it all goes away. The house, everything.
It may seem I am being shallow and focusing on money. It isn't the money that bothers me. It is my conception I had of myself as a person who was going to overcome these things and do things to help others in a big way. If you fail then you don't feel like you are who you thought you are.
And frankly I have been engaging in some very self-defeating behavior. I don't do drugs or drink or smoke or anything like that. So thankfully I won't compound things with it - but you can do other things to feed Se and its incessant demand for temporary satisfaction. And those things eat at my moral soul. I really am quite a wreck because the me I thought I was turns out to not be the me that I am. From everything I've read that kind of dissonance is what happens after psychological trauma.
I feel trapped. Goode is right. It feels like a trap. My instinct is to go get help but I am so paranoid that if I seek help then the root of the problem will just explode if it costs me my job.
My kids even notice my mood now and that is very scary. I don't want them to think they are at any kind of risk so I do all I kind to not let them know I am hurting inside.
If it was... you may have accidentally "tied to the two together" and when that "something huge wasn't reached".... the answer to the abuse. It through you right back into the abuse thoughts because "that huge thing" was your answer to it.