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I've turned into a scary cat

(65 Posts)
morethan2 Sun 15-Jan-17 12:29:06

I have developed an aversion/fear of tackling anything that may be difficult or upsetting. An example of this is my pension form. It's been a nightmare. It came late because of the Christmas post. Sickness at work meant there was no one to countersign or advise me. I filled part of it wrongly so have had to get another sent out. They were very reluctant to give me one and that delayed it. It's here now and here I am sitting here feeling sick at the thought of tackling it. There are other things that affect me in the same way. I'm normally really good at facing up to things. I used to be very forthright and would be very confident at standing my ground. I was never one to avoid confrontations if I felt it needed confronting. So what's going on here. It's honestly nothing to do with some deep psychological reason of not wanting to retire. Although it's a bit scary I know it's right and anyway it's been happening long before this. I'm sick with apprehension and it's wearing me out.

Ankers Sun 15-Jan-17 12:36:17

Crumbs. I hope I dont become like this.
As I get older, I have found that things like forms and difficult phone callse, get put to the bottom of my to do list until I have to tackle them.

So I dont know what is going on either.
I hope you can be enlightened.

What I have found helpful is to do all the difficult things I have been putting off all in one day, and then having a takeaway!

I figured that I may as well have one bad day[which generally doesnt turn out so bad as I thought], rather than lots of bits spread across a number of days.

Can you tackle the form, one bit at a time, and reward yourself after each bit has been done?

Anya Sun 15-Jan-17 12:39:16

Oh dear, not good.

How about you just tackle a bit at a time. Taking it slow and easy so you don't make any mistakes.

Read it through first, all the way. Then give yourself a challenge to fill in (just as an example) the first 3 questions. They go and do something much more interesting.

My motto.....Eat Your Elephant a Slice at a Time brew

Ankers Sun 15-Jan-17 12:39:45

Sorry, my first line is not at all helpful. I was thinking aloud blush

durhamjen Sun 15-Jan-17 12:52:26

Wouldn't a scary cat be able to cope in this situation?
I think you mean scaredy cat.

However, I have had three attepmts at trying to change my car insurance this morning. I am sure they want to know more than they used to!

durhamjen Sun 15-Jan-17 12:53:27

And I can't spell attempts, either - all the right letters but not necessarily in the right order.

Christinefrance Sun 15-Jan-17 13:05:20

Is there anyone who can help you go through the form morethan2, just to ensure you are reading the questions correctly. I tend to rush at things like that and consequently make mistakes. Ensure you have plenty of time and read the whole form before filling anything in.
Worrying about things is worse than actually doing them. Go for it and as Ankers said give yourself a treat when it's done. Just don't get cream cake or wine on the forms. cupcakewine

Jalima Sun 15-Jan-17 13:06:57

First slice of the elephant:
Fill it in in pencil and make sure it's OK, then go over it in ink (you can rub the pencil out).

Copy and save all the paperwork. My mistake - I had something difficult to sort out before Christmas, got a satisfactory result and shredded the paperwork. Now something similar has happened and I don't have the previous notes to refer back to.

janeainsworth Sun 15-Jan-17 13:12:41

I think when you have so much going on in your life as you have at the moment morethan it can sap your confidence and make you feel fearful of things that you would normally take in your stride.
Could you ask a friend to come round and help you with it? Sometimes such forms seem quite ambiguous and two heads are better than one.
Not sure if you mean a State pension form or a private one but usually there's a helpline. I would ring them up and ask them about anything I wasn't sure of - that's what they're there for.
Good luck.

sunseeker Sun 15-Jan-17 13:24:44

Have you tried the CAB - they are very good at helping with forms.

KatyK Sun 15-Jan-17 13:29:22

Sometimes, if I've been through some awful life stuff and got through it (major things, I mean) then I come to do something which should be relatively simple, I go to pieces. I think it's a build up of stress. Some good suggestions above.

travelsafar Sun 15-Jan-17 13:33:37

There is so much red tape attached to everything these days that it makes everyhting more complicated and scarey!!! In the past you could ring up and chat to someone really easily if you had a querie, now it is such a mission and if you mishear the menu Oh my God that doesnt even bear thinking about!!! I feel for you with your form i know i would be the same. Good luck and maybe try the Citizen Advise they are so good.

Lyndylou Sun 15-Jan-17 13:36:03

I'm terrible with forms and I've had various admin roles all my working life. I also go with the eating the elephant one slice at a time approach. I've presently got a pension form from a company I worked for 5-10 years ago, just a modest once off sum, but for some reason they want all the details of my other 2 pension sums (also very modest) which has meant me tracing down bits of paper from 5 years ago. So I spent half an hour each day for a week sorting out old papers. It's been a good clear out exercise. Now I feel confident I have everything I need I have booked a day of work while DP is out of house to fill it in. It's essential for me to do anything to do with money, (more than the daily online bank check) I must be alone, no idea why.

I think you will find lots of people have similar fears about forms, something to do with the officialness of it all. Take it slowly and ask for help if you need to.

Greyduster Sun 15-Jan-17 13:38:14

Could you make a copy the form and have a trial run? Sometimes I've done that and it gives you a bit of room to manoeuvre.

TriciaF Sun 15-Jan-17 13:40:40

I sympathise,morethan2
Husband has just reminded me that our UK tax return online has to be in before the end of Jan. and my heart dropped to my boots (well, slippers.) but it's not new with me.
Before you do anything else - get out all the relevant papers. Then leave it for a while.
The longer you put it off, the bigger problem it will be.
Are you on your own?

mcem Sun 15-Jan-17 14:06:16

I think the dummy run copy idea is excellent. I also tackle awkward forms in pencil then ink in. (Passport renewal looming and I'll do that then).
I had a difficult letter to write recently and left the first draft to mature for a week, tweaked it then wrote out and posted it quickly.
Today the problem has been solved!
Just don't put off too long as it will be more stressful with a deadline looming.
Good luck with it. 👍

Peep Sun 15-Jan-17 14:12:05

Two threads this weekend have made me heave a huge sigh of relief. This is one of them. Thank you morethan2 and good luck with your form filling.

Lona Sun 15-Jan-17 14:22:04

I get like that too morethan2. I think when you have a lot of stress over a period of time, you get frightened by unexpected important stuff. Just try to do it when you are feeling not quite so low, and take it slowly.
I get panic stricken over the most stupid things sometimes, but cope better on other days. flowers

Luckygirl Sun 15-Jan-17 14:38:25

Lots of good suggestions here and I hope they will be helpful to you.

You have a very stressful life at the moment I know and it spas one's confidence and leaves no energy for things that might once have seemed simple.

CAB are indeed good with forms and very happy to help.

I spent the whole of yesterday morning trying to sort out our savings. I could not find any info about our ISAs - all I knew was that we had some! Panic stations! Not a sheet of paper or a word about them anywhere! I did eventually ring them (I could at least remember whose they were) and they went through it all for me - I felt like a barmy old lady!!

Good luck with this. A bit at a time is definitely the way to go. flowers

Luckygirl Sun 15-Jan-17 14:38:51


downtoearth Sun 15-Jan-17 15:06:50

morethan am I right in thinking you have a lot on your plate with regard to DDIL and family and some time from work to consider your options...maybe the word is overwhelmed I feel when the world and it's bits of paper won't leave me alone flowers

grannypiper Sun 15-Jan-17 15:47:51

one page at a time

Maggiemaybe Sun 15-Jan-17 16:37:30

Everything just takes so long, doesn't it? I had my credit card declined twice in town yesterday, rang the provider to find it's been cancelled as their database has been hacked and I will be getting a letter about it. It took me 45 minutes on the phone just to get that far. And everything seems to be coming up for renewal at once, so it's all to price up/cancel/set up etc. I do find myself putting all this stuff off, and admin used to be meat and drink to me when I was at work. But as others have said, worrying about things can be worse than just doing them. The one step at a time approach is good advice, as is taking a copy of the form and having a dry run, if you still feel unsure about it. flowers

durhamjen Sun 15-Jan-17 17:02:16

She'd probably prefer the spas, Luckygirl, but it would get the forms wet and would be no help whatsoever.

Eloethan Sun 15-Jan-17 17:42:43

This is trivial by comparison I know because anything to do with pensions is so much more serious, but I spent about 15 mins this morning trying to claim compensation for a train journey delayed by well over 40 minutes. The amount of information needed was incredible and then, once I had ploughed through this online form, it requested the code number on the ticket. It showed an example of the ticket and where the code number was placed. My ticket did not have a code number. I gave up in digust. My ticket was only £12 but it was such a horrible journey that I wanted to claim for the delay - but it really wasn't worth the stress.

Anyway, sorry, back to your pension issue. If it is really worrying you, I expect someone at the CAB or Age Concern would be able to help you.