After a few days DH returned with a new batch of rubber bands, this time in a blue plastic bag. When he asked me how it had been going, I didn’t know what to say. I really wanted to seem positive and enthusiastic, but it was too difficult. I really wanted to have done an A plus job, but I never even got close to working the full 1,5 hours at a time. I really wanted to tell him that every time I was folding the rubber bands, something broke inside of me. He interrupted my thoughts, ”this is only temporary, you just need to get through this”. He knew that it was stupid, and that was such a relief. He left, and I went to bed. No rubber bands were folded that day.
The rubber bands began to take up more and more space in my life, or should I say, their companion guilt did. When I wasn’t folding them I felt I should be, and when I did fold them I felt I was underachieving. The negative thoughts and feelings completely overtook my life, and the little progress I had made “was bombed back to the stone ages”. For example, I had become really good at going to the supermarket, and I had even gone by myself a few times, but that was unthinkable now. I couldn’t leave the apartment anymore, and I saw more snails and scratched the wallpaper more.
It had become time to swap the folded rubber bands for unfolded ones. DH returned with another yellow plastic bag full of them. When it was time to start folding, I noticed they were placed differently in the bag. They weren’t just thrown in there randomly, but placed more neatly. It furthermore looked like some of them had already been folded. It bothered me. Just like the first batch, there was one an excess white one and an excess yellow one. That was too much of a coincidence. Had I been given the first batch again? Was someone like me sitting somewhere separating them? That couldn’t be right. That couldn’t be true. I made a small mark on one of the white ones with a pen.
When it was time to swap again, I was curious to see what colour plastic bag DH brought this time. I really hoped it was red or something. Anything but blue. It was blue. And again all the rubber bands were placed neatly. ”Who am I folding these rubber bands for?” I asked him. ”A company in Albertslund” he replied, but he couldn’t remember the name. Was I being paranoid? Or was this really weird? I was afraid I was paranoid, and I didn’t dare talk to anybody about it but T. He thought it was just as weird as I did. On the next swapping day I expected DH to bring a yellow bag, and he did. Now I just had to find the mark I had made. It didn’t take long. I became dizzy, and my heart was beating out of my chest. I couldn’t do it anymore. I was done.
I went to OPUS. They had to help me get out of the situation. LA wasn’t there, but MM, whom I knew from the social skills training group, was. I told her how bad I was feeling, and how I had tried to make it work, and that I COULDN’T continue. She was shocked about the entire process and immediately called Plan and Action. The work test was stopped right then and there.