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I’ve been having trouble with a coworker. This person has a very aggressive personality and is quick to point out any issue he has with you. The Dragon, my schizophrenia, has latched onto him and made him a character in my narrative chorus.

From the beginning this person grated on me and raised my overall anxiety which already triggers my schizophrenia symptoms. But it got worse. One day I was working at the smaller location where this coworker is essentially in charge. I was having a bad day in the head already. I was spaced out, listening to and distracted by the voices while he was backing a dump truck in my general direction.

I didn’t know it, but he was watching me to tell him when to stop. He slowly backed into the arm of an excavator we were using to dig a grave (no damage). “What the fuck Brad!? Groundguide!” He yelled from the cab.

That was it. A simple incident and an aggressive reaction. It was my fault in that I was spaced out. It was more so his fault since he just assumed that I was guiding him back even though I wasn’t even looking in an appropriate direction.

But that made working at this location a mess. Even when he isn’t there. A month later and in a stretch of the Dragon being not that bad I still have trouble working there. Just yesterday I was there working with the same coworker and there was a running commentary of obscenity, yelling and criticism that I could audibly hear from him just like he was right there with me, inside my head.

It was awful to be there and I couldn’t help but think if I was assigned to work at this location for a duration of more than a few weeks that I would just quit my job. I’m miserable at this location, even when I was there on a day that this particular coworker was not.

But it’s not just mental anguish, it comes with physical pain in my stomach and a complete lack of concentration.

He asked me to go and clean up some leaves in an area with a simple set of instructions. Mow the leaves toward a wall behind some grave markers, use a leaf blower to pile them up and then the leaf vacuum to such them up. By the time I drove the mower to the location only a couple of blocks I had become confused and instead mowed the leaves toward the street. It wasn’t a big deal (of course being who he was he made it one) and caused only a couple of minutes of extra work. But it did showcase how awful I function at this location.

I’m at a loss what to do. There will most likely be a time in the near future where I am sent to this location for a three or more month stretch where it would be just the two of us. I need to have my job, a job that I am actually able to hold and, at times, enjoy. But I also need to be healthy. Ideally, I will find a way to weather the storm of working together in the future so that I don’t have to take drastic measures.

Has anyone had a similar experience where there schizophrenia has latched onto a person or a location? How have you worked through it?

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