Self-compassion isn't honed by what you can do in the up times but what you can do for you in spite of setbacks, adversity and yeah, eff ups.

Talking with readers and friends who have struggled with their sense of self and it impacting their career or educational path, there’s this common thread of an early experience that greatly influences their current outlook and actions.

  • It’s being fired from a job early in your career or being convinced that you were about to be fired and then resigning.
  • It’s being harassed by a coworker.
  • It’s struggling with being bullied and other difficult experiences and regretting the way in which you handled it.
  • It’s failing a key exam.
  • It’s changing jobs and careers frequently or changing them due to dissatisfaction that likely stems from lack of self-knowledge and so you struggle to hear your own inner voice over your inner critic and your concerns about the opinions of others.
  • It’s dropping out of university.

When experiences like this are left unprocessed or aren’t reviewed further down the line with a fresh perspective and self-compassion, conclusions are formed from which shamed judgements are made that go on to inform your opinion of you and your options. They  (the experiences) form part of what appears to be a body of evidence regarding your worth. You’re won’t internalise your achievements, accomplishments, your character and basically the good things about you. You may feel like a fraud.

If you recognise yourself, it’s time to ask where your self-compassion and empathy is?

Sure you may have made mistakes (who hasn’t) but you’d be surprised at how self-critical we can be of ourselves in situations where we’re effectively accepting the blame for assholic and possibly illegal, or at the very least socially unacceptable behaviour. There’s also the not so small matter of taking situations and incidences that represent periods of time not your lifetime, and then deeming them to be catastrophic to your future on earth.

When I was 20, in the space of a few months, I struggled with my first sales job, failed a crucial university exam on the degree I hated, was sexually and racially harassed in a retail job plus let’s just say that I had to leave home… All of this messed with my head but the harassment was compounded by me confiding my pain over the situation, only to be informed that maybe if I’d styled my hair better and smiled more that this wouldn’t have happened. Reeling and wounded, I tried harder. I didn’t see that overall, he was a mean spirited individual to everyone but more importantly, his behaviour said far more about him than it did about me.

Fury, hurt and indignation simmered within. I was raised in Dublin, Ireland, and despite being one of only a few black people at the time, this was my first experience of systematic racism. I felt humiliated and ashamed and it confirmed my belief – there was something seriously wrong with me.

One day he said “See you tomorrow!” in his smug, mocking tone with his leering, disrespectful eye sweep and something snapped. “Not if I see you first asshole!” I replied, and I strode out of the shop, only quickly glancing through the window to see him standing there red faced and bewildered.

Some people would worry about ‘burning bridges’ but I’d reached a point of not only thinking ‘Eff the bridges’ but I’d already been burning another bridge – the bridge between me, myself and I. As it was, he was fired a few weeks later for harassment of other staff members. It was a shame I’d personalised things to such a degree.

Be careful when you’re out there pussyfooting around while selling you short that you don’t end up regretting trying to preserve something you don’t need or a mystical reputation.There is no need to ‘collect’ exes, mercenary and abusive bosses, ‘useful’ but shady friends etc, just for the sake of not ‘burning bridges’ and this idea that you may ‘need’ them one day. Need them for what? An arsenic laden favour?

Could I have done different? Absolutely, and you know what? I went into a downward spiral for several years and when it (harassment) happened again a couple of years later and then again (really!), I didn’t even hesitate to handle it. However, it was only as I started my recovery from my illness and writing Baggage Reclaim that I realised how I’d thrown me under a bus at the times when I needed me most.

Self-compassion isn’t honed by what you can do in the up times but what you can do for you in spite of setbacks, adversity and yeah, eff ups.  You also don’t learn self-compassion by never actually doing it on a consistent basis. It’s like expecting to havemuscle strength without doing the work to build them up.

If you consider another person in the same position as you (like a close friend for instance) or you just look back and consider the overall context and remove the past and your ego out of it, a very different picture reveals itself.

It’s not about what some would perceive as ‘letting you off the hook’ – it’s disproportionate to say the least that you would effectively punish you and refuse to move on from an experience and grow out of it, even when a few decades might have gone by. There’s no hook to let you off. It happened, you learn, you have to move on from it not rub your face in it until kingdom come.

Do any of these past experiences warrant the great deal of influence that they have over your current thinking and behaviour?

When we still see something from the past in the same way despite the passage of time, it reflects a lack of growth in our thinking and behaviour. We mustn’t freeze ourselves in time or take experiences and determine them to be an unchangeable statement of our future.

Some of the worst that we experience actually holds a great deal of insight into what does and doesn’t work for us. Don’t let your ego be the driver of dangerous generalisations about your worth and capabilities.

I used to feel like a freak and while there are people out there who’ve never failed an exam, or dropped out of uni, changed jobs/careers, tried every flavour of shady relationship, dealt with alcoholism and other chaos within their family, or had a traumatic experience,  there are so many people like me that it’s laughable that I used to think I was doomed or ‘unusual’.

It’s actually as a result of a lot of this stuff that I’ve figured out who I am. I also went on to do a degree I wanted, had a sales career in media, and shock horror, none of the things that I agonised over have actually limited my opportunities nor did the sky fall in. The way I saw these problems and situations was a problem in itself.

These ‘weights’ that hold us back while they continue to matter to us, they don’t matter anywhere near as much to our present or even to a lot of the people we think it will matter to. We have to be careful of projecting based on our distorted mental picture of ourselves.

Over time, I’ve ‘forgiven’ the me I’ve been at various different ages and felt a great deal of compassion. It’s funny how until you change your perspective, you don’t realise how ridiculously tough you were on you whether you were 5, 15, 25 or 50!

Let me say it again: many people have experienced setbacks and adversity. If anything builds character, it’s overcoming setbacks and adversity when you could just write yourself off.

Step into the shoes of the you that you were in a particular time and empathise, you know that thing that a lot of us love to talk about and claim that others can’t do while not doing it for ourselves? What and who do you see? Can you be kinder to you? What can you learn about the situation and you? How can you use this experience to learn how to have your own back? Make sure that if you’re carting your past around, it’s with the handy lessons you’ve skimmed out of it, not the dead weight and distortion!

Your thoughts?

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87 Responses to Why you’ve got to stop letting that difficult career or educational experience define your perception of you

  1. Max says:

    Once again a Vauable and Appropriate Post!! Thanks You Natalie

  2. Mel says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. Just today I had a horrific experience with my boss who made me feel like I should be ashamed of who I am (the way I talk and dress). I was so upset today and this post was exactly what I needed. It made me cry but they were cathartic tears. Thanks again.

    • Lynn S. says:

      Natalie has a Pinterest on the right that says “Judging a person doesn’t define who they are – it defines who you are”. So your boss judging you defines who he is.

  3. noquay says:

    Love this Nat
    Ironically, I feel as though the opposite happened to me. I didn’t sell myself short; I felt my environmental activism, my research, were good things that I am glad I did not back down from. It was others that criticised by outspokenness, the institution that allowed my grad advisor to steal first authorship of my work and has been given a shiny new lab for his stellar behavior. Likewise the AC got to move on to a new relationship, keep his job though he wasn’t doing his job, and live happily ever after without having to answer for his harmful actions. Noquay, meanwhile is expected to be fully OK with both situations, be OK with being sad and alone, and is criticised for cutting off all contact with the advisor, for wanting the AC and the advisor to answer for their deeds which not only hurt me greatly but have hurt many others. I have been completely uprooted twice since I was threatened over my research, lost a marriage, completely abandoned scientific research and embraced trying to get folks to live more sustainably. I made mistakes along the way, sure, but overallI think I am doing the best I can. I guess I just do not understand a world where being strong, doing what you feel is right is denegrated or ignored and deliberate bad behavior is rewarded.

    • runnergirl says:

      Noquay, I followed the same path with regards to pursuing degrees…blah, blah. When I get down about how I’ve tried to do the “right thing” and others take a different path, I make myself write down what I have to be grateful for. Since doing my BR work, I’m attuned to my self-criticism. Every negative thought that crops up, I make a conscious effort to hear it, think about it, and weigh it against the evidence. As I posted above, I’m throwing my hat in a political race which has brought up all my left-over unpacked baggage. You have to be there for you in the world…it doesn’t matter if some AC is igorning or denigrating your good work. I’m in the same spot. Could you please copy and paste this back to me in about a week?

      • simple pleasures says:

        When I landed here I started following runnergirl, noquay, grace and others for advice. I was in an emotional maelstrom from seeing a man I loved during my 20′s. I tried to follow every piece of advice on this website.
        It boiled down to “it wasn’t meant to be” because he is…(got the Phd in that research), and I am … (ongoing self examination).
        Immediate advice for getting over heartbreak is spend time with friends, find activities you
        love, and improve your self esteem
        to understand why you let go of your boundaries.
        Well, how do you improve your self esteem? You increase your education, you deflect self absorption into focusing on others (volunteer to help abused animals or people e.g.). I decided I would see if I could get a job. That would occupy my mind off mathclown and see what a future could be. In our global
        weak economy, I wondered, could I continue to contribute to the workforce? I hadn’t done a resume in over 20 years. Did one. Thought I’d just start applying for local positions and just be my total self. Last summer ( 6 months into BR) I got a part time job in my field which helped me not think about him every second of the day. This past year I decided to “retire” from my day job and started applying just to see if I’d be employable. I now have 3 employers who love my work and want me to work for them until death we do part. I would never have made the leap to move on and grow if mathman hadn’t come along. I love my new jobs, my new friends, and at age 62 I feel young. I would not have this new zest for life, my second act in my career, and ability to enjoy my mature age if mathclown and NML had not arrived.

        • susanna says:

          Dear Simple Pleasures,

          I follow your posts–as you did others when you started here–because we are about the same age and have a lot in common re/the ACs we once invited into our lives.

          I’m so impressed with how you’ve leveraged the lessons of mathclown into something really positive in your life. I’m inspired. I do believe “things happen for a reason” and it’s all part of a plan that people come into our lives and then some exit. That people are in our lives to love us or teach us…I really like that one.

          I’m starting to show myself compassion and look to all I have in my life. I’ve trained myself to be thankful for small “simple pleasures” every single day and I force myself to exercise most days to increase the endorphins. It’s all starting to work together and I’ll find the positives as I learn and grow.

          My husband and I (I’ve been separated) are now starting to build bridges back to one another. I’m a mass of emotions–trying to get over “lawclown” and trying to open my heart to possibilities with my husband. One step at a time.

          • Learner says:

            Susanna,
            I am in the same boat. After a five year separation, during which time I was involved with a MM for over 3 years, I am resuming a relationship with my husband. I can relate to the mass of emotions! While I can appreciate the lack of drama and insecurity that accompanies being with someone who knows you so well, I am still trying to get used to the lower-key, comfortable, drama-free lifestyle. I do feel like I am falling in love with him again, but its different this time. I am trying not to let the “failures” of our first time around define the latest phase of our relationship. And building trust is coming slowly. Can you relate to any of this?

            • susanna says:

              Learner,

              We are in the same boat–nice to know we’re going through a similar experience. We can help each other:)

              I think the trust part is the hardest thing for my husband–he doesn’t say a lot, which is typically how men handle emotions. So, we’re working on just spending time together and having fun–that seems to be helping. What I find challenging is that I’m not over my MM turned widower turned MM again. My situation has been going on for 40 years, although I hadn’t seen him in the last 10 years. When his wife died 2 years ago, we then tried to make it work, but he had a rush of guilt feelings and didn’t want to be the “man I left my husband for” so that was that. I thought he and I could be friends because of the long time we knew one another, but while we were “friends” he was planning on getting married and didn’t tell me. I found out online.

              I told him I knew and fired off an email telling him off and decided it was best to cut all ties and refocus on my family and that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m still feeling angry and depressed at times, but I have to deal with that while rebuilding the RL with my husband.

              One thing that has helped me–besides BR–is tapping into the spiritual side. I’m not overly religious–raised a Catholic–but reading how it’s all part of a plan and not meant to be shifts it from being so personal to just part of a greater destiny/fate. I want to believe that’s true and begin to forgive myself–something that’s very hard with all the Catholic guilt swirling around. That my ex used the “guilt” card to justify ending it made me feel like an outcast, like a bad person. I have to get past that, because what we think about ourselves matters so much in self-talk, feelings, etc.

              When my husband and I had therapy years ago, we were advised to go out and have fun and create new, happy memories together. That’s the first step to healing and be KIND to one another. So, that’s my plan.

              How are you working through it?

              • Learner says:

                Susanna,
                It sounds like you are in a difficult place with the exMM because your involvement with him spans such a long time, and he has kept his own personal life secret from you. I would feel miffed also with omission if there was any kind of honest friendship there. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case seeing that he didnt share his big news with you. The rebuilding with ones husband after a separation is awkward, isn’t it? Trust is an issue for both of us, too, and we have gone to counselling recently to help with the rebuilding process. My husband is also in individual counselling and he seems to be making great progress with being honest and with expressing his feelings. I hope it’s not a case of “too good to be true” but he really does seem to be making an effort to grow for himself, and for our relationship. He has become closer with our daughter, also. Like you, we are trying to build new memories together by going to concerts, taking a night course together, etc and it seems to help. He knows all about the MM disaster, and is being very supportive as I move on from that situation after a year of NC. I think your idea to cut ties with YOUR exMM is a great one. Is difficult to get over a toxic relationshit while you are still in contact. I also like your idea to look at things from a spiritual perspective. The guilt is tough though, isn’t it? We must strive to forgive ourselves so that we can move forward. All the best to you xo

                • susanna says:

                  Learner,
                  It was/is difficult saying goodbye for good to even the friendship with exMM. The time frame made it all the more excruciating for me–he was “courting” his now wife while he and I were talking about getting married. She was a friend of his (& his wife) and his “dog-sitter.” I suspected something there & asked him about her, but he said she was “like a sister” to him. So, when he and I shifted to being friends–and that actually felt good because I didn’t obsess about him anymore and was moving on–he decided to marry her 2 months after we ended things. 2 months!!! So, I think the reason he didn’t tell me was because he knew I would then realize he was lying to me about his interest in her. I think he would have told me eventually, but wanted to get some distance so either I wouldn’t figure out his deceit or I wouldn’t be hurt. He knew I was still hung up on him.

                  So, under those circumstances, would you have done the same thing? Ended all contact?

                  I’ve reread all of Nat’s blogs about being “friends” after a breakup and it makes sense–it’s a matter of dignity. I just wanted to feel as if I could reach out to him if I needed him–somehow thinking that makes me feel better and cuts the ties to him. That our 40 years meant something.

                  Good luck with rebuilding a RL with your husband. I know how hard it is, but step by step it can happen if there’s forgiveness.

                  • Learner says:

                    Susanna,
                    I am going to be frank. He lied to you about something major. He has not married you in this 40 year period. So to answer your question, yes, I would go NC with him. He is not a reliable friend. What does your husband feel about all this? My husband knows about the MM mess and prefers that I do not carry on a friendship with him. The exMM is not my friend, didn’t marry me, and lied to me. That would not be a good person to reach out to in the future. I think it’s best to focus on the present relationship, and let the MM\s live their own lives with the people they have chosen for life partners. Yes it’s hard, especially after all the time you put in, but maybe it’s as Natalie says – don’t let this one experience define you. All the best to you and your husband xo

                    • susanna says:

                      Learner,

                      Thank you. I needed to hear what you just said–it reinforced what I know to be true.

                      My husband and I don’t talk about ex-MM/widower/MM, but I know that he assumes it is over and there will be no further contact or friendship. I will not reach out to him–he is not friend-worthy–and he is not even close to being the kind of man I am married to. That I even risked my marriage for this man, putting him on a pedestal, was foolish. I’m just lucky I didn’t lose everything. I risked it all this last time, but my husband knew in advance what was going on with the ex’s mess, because he and I were separated.

                      You summarized it so well–the exMM “is not my friend, didn’t marry me and lied to me.” I will keep that as my mantra whenever fantasy thinking creeps in.

                      Thank you for the good wishes and my best to you and your husband. xo

        • Learner says:

          Simple pleasures,
          It is wonderful to hear the positives that have come about in your life over the last year. You are a great example of what Natalie is talking about: instead of letting a tough time incapacitate you, you have risen to the challenge to improve your life, and have met with success. Thanks for sharing :)

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Noquay. You are strong woman who has accomplished much for herself and others. Try to find that inner peace. You’ve expressed dissatisfaction with key elements of your life: alone, in a comparatively barren (but beautiful) environment, few friends except your animals, starved for a love life via online dating because you have no other choice (which you’ve explained.)
      it’s just sad that you can’t just be the proud happy wonderful person who lives for every, day loving life. You have much to be thankful for. Remember all of the gifts that you’ve received through your hard work and via God or your higher power. And, as I told you before, we reap what we sow. It really is true. You may not be around to see it or know about it but it will happen. For all you know their downfall may already be starting. Just love Noquay and cast out the demons who would destroy you. They can’t. You’ve already proven that to YOU.
      Have a happy 4th of July.

    • Keetseel says:

      Noquay, it sounds like you have done many things that you can be proud of. Unfortunately, outspoken, intelligent women do intimidate ACs, especially the extremely insecure ones, and as a result get punished for their good work. (Incidentally, I’m working on a theory that ACs by definition are insecure). Anyone who has dedicated her life to environmental activism and trying to encourage sustainability is a hero of mine. Please know you have more supporters than detractors, at least at BR.

    • Learner says:

      Noquay,
      I, too, get frustrated when strong people of character are not rewarding for doing what’s right, for standing up for what they believe in. It’s all part of the hierarchy in our world – the one that gives more credence to some people’s views and perspectives than others (and allowing some people a free pass to do what they please with few consequences). Is it fair? No! Can it influence the way we see ourselves if we don’t “conform” to the rules and values of the dominant culture? Hell yes! It goes along with what Natalie is saying in this post, I think. We have our own contributions to make in this world, from our unique perspectives, and just because we don’t always measure up to what the majority believe we should be and do, does not mean we should go sit in a corner. You say you are doing the best you can. That is all anyone can expect from you. I hope you continue to see the value in your work, in yourself.

    • Magnolia says:

      Warning: post of *epic* length!

      Noquay, I can so relate to feeling as you do.

      Sometimes I think of all the work I’ve put into being good, being brave, living according to my values, etc and wonder why I’m still alone (and therefore without kids and coparent etc). I wept just this morning about it, after my pregnant sis posted a pic with a note saying how happy she is and how lucky she feels to have a wonderful hubby, etc. She deserves that happiness, and so do I.

      It just hit me recently that if doing all these things according to my values doesn’t *make* me calm and content, i.e. “happy,” then … I’m still not happy and maybe I’m somehow not seeing the emotional math properly. I’ve met some amazingly talented, accomplished committed women who do awesome work who are yet bitter as Buckley’s cough syrup. It’s justified, of course, but it’s also still bitterness. It occurred to me I may be one of those.

      Like you, I’m in a rural town full of dudes in trucks, get asked “where I’m from” in the country I’m born in (last time that happened? um, two days ago), am at a university, fairly accomplished, live my values more vocally than most, etc.

      As far as career/values goes, I just got the mother of all external validation, I think, from my now-finished gig where I was scooped up and sent around the country for two months just so that I could write about it, from my Magnolia-esque perspective and make poetry of my experience.

      Now I’m back in said town and … if the folks around me aren’t going to reflect back my awesomeness to me, I need to figure out how much I’m going to let that affect me. Because while sadness and frustration over the situation is valid, normal, etc; I can’t see myself being attractive to someone healthy if I’m bitter and feeling underappreciated.

      We here at BR love you, Noquay, for all that you bring. Speaking for myself (and believe me, I have three fingers pointing back at me as I point to you) I feel like I can anticipate the bitterness and anger in your posts. It’s been a couple of years that these feelings have remained strong for you. How can you find what you’re looking for when your anger and stress are so constant?

      I had these thoughts the other day when I drove back into work, and as I turned the corner into campus I could feel the old tensions rising up in me. I realized that over my two months away, two months in which I felt supported and validated (except for that contract thing! man! which is all taken care of now, to my satisfaction, btw), I had relaxed a lot and gotten happier – or rather, clearer. I could feel how returning to this environment was threatening my new level of calm and content. And suddenly that calm and content felt like the most precious thing ever, because I do think only from that place can I relate to people as I want to be known, as the “true” me.

      Certainly if I’m to fall in love, it will be from that place of calm and content, not from the bullshit defensive position that this place can stir up. I won’t let it this time.

      I wish some of that peace into your spirit, Noquay. I hope my words come across as considered and thinking of you, rather than as judgement. I think I write this for myself, too.

  4. Spinster says:

    Thanks for the food for thought.

  5. Julie says:

    Nat, Absolutely resonate with you and your work here. Even when my inbox is full, I forget the others and READ YOUR’S FIRST…. you talk straight to me. Today’s post is a cracker ! Thank you.

  6. Allie says:

    Excellent !!

    So much me in it.

  7. Shay says:

    Very timely Nat. I was looking on here last night about my job. Relating some of your topics on relationships to my current position and feelings. It worked somewhat because I’ve come to this understanding that my work place is cut throat and abusive. Plus there’s the disrespectful, shadiness of late scheduling for the week, Sunday evening posting for a schedule that starts the next day which really is suppose to be posted on Thursday. And the kicker is that my boss starts it on THURSDAY! Smh!!

    That place is stressing me out and pissing me off. I haven’t been to work for 2 days because of this late scheduling. I see respect as a 2 way street and I’m tired of giving it because clearly my boss doesn’t respect me or any of us. And when I do talk I’ll be talking for me because clearly people in my workplace won’t talk for themselves and look at someone else to do it for them. Cowards in my mind but scared at the same time. Frig being scared… be REAL!

    As for uni… I too have dropped out. The first time I got withdrawn from the uni for such poor performance and I hated the course and the second time I had to leave due to funding. I compromised myself because I didn’t want to lose either one of my courses for my combined honors course. I should have just stuck with the Psychosocial instead of doing Criminology as my major! It sucked and was so repetitive.

    I’m going back again though in 2015 and I’m no longer looking at myself as such a failure anymore for having to leave uni. Seeing as I want to do nursing I have to have an interview so I’m going to turn it into positives. I do have the fear though that I may just have to quit or be withdrawn again for something on my part but that’s just fear talking and I can’t let it get the best of me.

    Thank you Nat… this just confirms my own feelings. :)

  8. Jess says:

    Amazing! thanku – was just yesterday talking about this stuff for first time with therapist – but it’s taken a long time for it to come up in therapy – but such a big part of my poor self image – decisions – did they feel like decisions at the time – to drop out if uni… to enrol in degrees at the drop of a hat just like I did relationships and more… thanku… Ill start forgiving myself now xox

  9. Revolution says:

    I feel like I just got a KO from Nat Lue. :) Epic post. I have so much to say, but I’ll have to save it for later. But for now: “Not if I see you first, asshole!” Fucking FABULOUS. I just got back from the dentist and you made me drool as I laughed at that one! :)

  10. runnergirl says:

    You have got to be kidding me or spying on me…LOL. I’m going through this at precisely this moment. As I’ve been reading about the other candidates, I’ve been down and being ridiculously tough on myself. I shoulda started sooner, I coulda..blah blah. They are better than me. They have more experience, more endorsements, more money, more connections. Then I met with this wonderful women today who totally changed my perspective. Because of you Nat and BR, I could hear her. Every body starts some where. Every candidate started where I am. Everything I brought up, my weights that I think are holding me back, she was on the mark. I have no money. I have no endorsements. I have baggage. Basically, I’m not good enough. Thinking back on the meeting, in light of this post, it was like I was telling her all the reasons I couldn’t do it. She countered me ever so gently with such compassion with her own stories of how she started. Exploring this run for office has brought up everysinglething you have written Natalie. I’ve learned to have my own back with regards to males (thank you) but there is something more profound I need to learn. I can’t figure out what it is at this moment. There is something profound happening. I think it maybe something as simple as I am good enough and I can do it?

    I never thought about what I can do or can’t do when I was younger. I just plunged ahead, mostly ignorant of the obstacles. At 54, I’m plunging ahead like I did when I didn’t know any better. Maybe knowing better isn’t really better. So yeah, major transformations happening here in runnerland. It’s going to be a ton of fun and I’ll learn a lot, and I still have my day job. Nothing to lose!

    • Wiser says:

      How fabulous! I’m the same age and what you’re doing is inspiring me to do something wild and crazy and wonderful too. Best of luck Runner!

    • Snowboard says:

      Wow, this is amazing! If you’re carrying BR values into your campaign, you have my vote!!!!!!

    • Learner says:

      Runnergirl, this is wonderful and inspiring news. You ARE good enough! I get the sense you have made a difference in many lives by posting here on Natalie’s blog. Just imagine the impact you could have on many people while you are in office, or even by running for office. All the best to you runner!

    • Fearless says:

      Runner for President! (:

      Just popped in. Self doubt is a waste of time. Go for it, runner. Good to know you’re forging on ahead.

      (((hugs))) to all on BR from an old friend.

      • Lilly says:

        Fearless,

        We’ve missed you, xxx.

      • runnergirl says:

        Hey Fearless…I clicked on you the minute I spotted your response. Hugs to you too. What’s up on your end? I’m so excited to hear from you. Swear to god, I was just wondering about you…and what would Fearless DO?

        Thanks so much Ladies. I had a particularly BR day today. Lot’s of ah ah moments. The layers of the onion are getting peeled back. More below in a moment.

      • Learner says:

        Fearless,
        It’s great to hear from you! Like runner, I have wondered how things have been for you. I thought a few times you may have posted under a different name on here, but no one writes with quite your individual style. You are one of the people who supported me in the initial NC period with the exMM and for that I will be eternally grateful. I hope you are doing well xo

  11. Revolution says:

    Another short comment. Being the exact same age as you, Natalie, there’s something very cathartic about reading your experiences. I know that that shouldn’t matter much, but for some reason it makes your points all the more colorful to me. :)

  12. courtney says:

    Wow, perfect timing (as usual)!

    Background: I worked at a place for almost 2-3 years while in college but there was no room for growth. After college, I eventually left and I began interning at places (paid internships mind you) hoping job opportunities would open up in a field I was more interested in. Hasn’t happened, yet. There have been some opportunities, but where I live, there is also, mighty, mighty competition.

    All I seem to see all day are already privileged students getting full-time jobs and it really does make me feel sad sometimes.

    I graduated summa cum laude, already have a bunch of accomplishments professionally under my belt, yet every day (even at my own workplace) I witness people with less credentials and talent make a better salary…and the worst part is, they’re my age.

    Not to play the race card, but I am suspecting that it does have a little to do with it. As a woman of color I do find it harder to climb up in the industry I am in right now. However, I won’t make excuses. Maybe it does have to do with my self-image. I feel I am very confident in interviews and do my best to do everything to get the job, but so far my luck hasn’t been that great.

    I am entering grad school part-time (and would love a full-time job so I don’t have to take out as many loans) so I do feel very sad when I see already rich kids who come from privileged families get these jobs. I not only feel I’ve worked hard, but I am in a place where I really need one.

    Until then, it’s a good idea to simply see this as a temporary setback. I try to tell myself that I am not less successful because of this and that I am still young with much more to learn. Who knows? Maybe my biggest setback will actually end up being my biggest strength – because when I do get the job, I’ll have done enough soul-searching to recognize what I truly want and deserve.

  13. Jennifer says:

    I don’t have the mental energy right now to describe the last several years, but particularly, these last 4 months.. but I just have to say that I’m so confused, anxious, clueless.. sad.. and have absolutely no idea what I am going to do with myself.. really I don’t.. I feel like I’m trapped in a mirrored maze.. and can’t find my way out. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so helpless and scared. Am I making sense to anyone?

  14. Oc says:

    “Don’t let your ego be the driver of dangerous generalisations about your worth and capabilities.”

    This is something to tape on the mirror. Great stuff.

  15. Teddie says:

    What I’ve come to realise is this: while where we are today is largely the result of where we were yesterday, and where we’ll be tomorrow is largely the result of where we are today, what we often get wrong is this: we think that where we were yesterday will determine where we’ll be tomorrow, and this is totally wrong. Because “now” is the moment of power in which we have the power to change the past in the sense that we learn the lessons of the past and apply them now to have a better future tomorrow.

  16. Simmy says:

    I am crying with joy. I’m so upset he had no compassion and empathy and maybe I need to start having some for me.

  17. grace says:

    It may help to think of those less fortunate. In many parts of the world, female babies are deliberately left to die, girls aren’t allowed to go to school, or they are forced into marriages. We have immense freedom and priveleges. We may not make the very best of them but most people can’t or don’t. My niece will fulfil her potential. But she has two loving and supportive parents, and she is born in a western democracy. If you didn’t have that, it doesn’t make you a failure.
    I have a mediocre job compared to my abilities but it pays the mortgage, for food and for holidays. That’s enough, I think.

  18. NK says:

    I have now got to a point where I am indifferent to the results of success in my job. All the senior management does is stick his nose in and make things more difficult for us. I am looking I become self employed or join up with a business partner. Less politics other people are like oh what a nice job and I look at them like really? Are you still under that spell?

  19. noquay says:

    Runner
    I would gladly cut and paste anything for you if only I could do so on this damned phone.
    Tinkerbell and others:
    You are right; I should be grateful for what I have, even if being alone for the rest of my life is the result. At least I tried hard not to hurt or use others. Yep, Grace, if I had been born in certain other countries, I most certainly would’ve been left out to die in favor of more “desirable” brothers. Ironically, both bros did not do so well in life.
    I am taking a law class this summer just to stimulate the old brain. We talked about Native American Law and it’s differing views on justice. In Native trials, the goal is not punishment but healing for all involved and bringing the community back to harmony. This includes getting help for the perpetrator and recognizing the actual harm done to the victims. That’s kinda what I am looking for and I realize it is not attainable. For both AC and the advisor to say they are sorry, that it wasn’t OK that my life was threatened, that it wasn’t OK to betray me, that I too should be able to be lived again, to have what they get to have in life so that I can move on too, not feel that sense of emotional and intellectual starvation. I understand that this very simplistic and that the fate of an older, multiracial female is very different from white males of the same age, etc. What scares me is not that whether or not they pay for their deeds, but that both are allowed by their respective communities and institutions to continue hurting and using others. Sorry for rambling so much, not enough coffee yet this morning. Don’t do the fireworks thing, actually the 4th is no big deal to Native folk as we weren’t even counted as citizens by our own country till much later. I’ll apologize for any typos right now.

    • Lilly says:

      Noquay,

      AC’s aside your world sounds so beautiful. When I read your posts I conjure up a beautiful, capable, intellectual, strong woman that I admire. You were betrayed by unconscionable men that will never say they are sorry because they aren’t sorry. They are users and takers and they do not care – basically soulless creatures. You, on the other hand, are a beautiful, soulful, dynamic and special woman. Being you means you are chipping away at the very thing that is allowing those men to get away with continuing to hurt and use others. You may not be aware of your impact, but an impact you most certainly have made. Leave them behind you now and don’t look back. There will always be more challenges ahead for people like you Noquay because you have a deep, intellectual understanding of life, the imbalance, the inequality and the unfairness. There are others out there who feel the same so keep trying, online dating sounds perfect for your situation and works for some. Who knows I might join you in a year or two!

  20. Nancy says:

    So glad you wrote this! After I first graduated from college, I was dealing with depression, I stopped being Catholic, things at home were not okay, I was starting to feel I needed to leave my first boyfriend of four years, and I hated my job. All this caused me to have a nervous breakdown.

    I told everyone that I was leaving my job to write my novel, and then I did get started… It was the best career move I ever made. I sought help for the depression, I gained confidence because I was more willing to take career risks, and I’d kind of ‘signed in blood, sweat and pain’ somewhere in my life that I need to be a writer and am willing to fight for that. After years of scarce or heartbreaking stints of work, then unemployment, I’m now in a better career place, living situation, and my blog also helped me to recover though the novel is still in progress–so, I can relate!

    However, romantically, it’s hard to not look back and judge myself harshly. Between jobs, I was really isolated in my family home. I was deeply depressed. I refused to let myself date anyone because I was in no state to do that, and when I felt a little better and did try, I found myself in an abusive relationship. Now, I have girlfriends who judge that I haven’t been as sexually active as they, make me feel immature/less liberated because of it. Also, I often get slammed as I try to sort out how to flirt and get started dating a guy (I mostly only have ‘how to be a great girlfriend’ experience, not dating experience). At one point last year, it felt like there were men at my church, in my social circle, and at work–heck even on the way to work, all at once, lying to me or playing some game with me, pretending to be single, pretending they weren’t interested in dating when really they wanted their ego stroked, or were waiting to see if I’d sleep with them. A guy friend I trusted did a shitty job of dating when we decided to try, and then cut me out of his life and gave me the silent treatment when he was through. Another male friend & old crush told me, knowing that I was interested, how he hated to hook up with a close girlfriend of mine, he disliked her and told her to get lost, and then asked if I wanted to hook up with him too. Then he blamed me for getting upset (I dropped both of them as friends after). And all this took place after I took years off dating to heal from the abusive relationship. Talk about getting kicked while you’re down… I learned the hard way not to be so nice/trusting with everyone and raise the bar for how you get treated in a dating and even flirting situation, not do the ‘oh, he’s just sort of shy or busy…’ type of thing every single time someone you feel fond of is neglectful of you… and just call being mean what it is.

    It’s horrible–I feel like I’ve done a lot of work on me, am in a better place, and am trying to meet nicer people, but few guys appreciate me for me, or treat me with the decency and respect that I expect; that I know how to give. I can’t settle for less than that anymore. Sometimes, girlfriends don’t even understand the journey… It’s hard to keep my head up, but posts like this remind me that it’s okay… I see now that I should stop letting career and personal setbacks define how I feel about myself romantically too, since that romantic setback happened as an effect of all that… and just stay positive.

  21. Oc says:

    Jennifer, it makes perfect sense, especially the part about being in a maze of mirrors. . . We are all mirrors, but the reflections we bring to other people’s mirrors (how we feel about ourselves) our always our own.

    Own the distortions, take it one day at a time, and keep reading this blog. :)

  22. teachable says:

    I am failing at this atm. I’m still struggling to just keep moving forward. And I am ~ however badly & imperfectly (ie still smoking…sigh) I’m making progress one tiny millimetre at a time though, with a lot of help. In moment’s of objectivity I find it hard to believe the devestation which is my life atm. It’s like inhabiting hiroshima after the nuclear reactor exploded. Ie My ex AC is deceased & I’m worse than ever, STILL dealing with the underlying issues he was a distraction from. At least I AM dealing with them tho. No doubt my mind is protecting me from fully comprehending the enormity of everything I have to deal with right now as if I did it would be too overwhelming. I wish I could find something positive to say. I wont go into detail but if readers knew all of what’s going on I’m sure you’d understand.

    In short my career (at which I was quite successful & highly regarded) has ended, my edctn is in jepardy (looking like I may not be able to rtrn by the deadline for full withdrawal frm my degree due to ill health – I WAS in my final yr & a HD student :( ), my financial sitch is a mess (going thru another period of no income again atm), my physical health has me bedridden daily (with delay’s in access to hospital based treatment), my housing is unstable (& due to $ sitch uncertain yet if house is saved or not) & I am putting off preparing a submission to a royal commission I helped to bring into being & which is concerned with traumatic subject matter which is now all ova the mainstream media here DAILY.

    OK Nat. You win. I give up. Time for me to give myself a friggin break. Who cares if all I can do is hide in Cc’s genie bottle & venture out only for Dr & medical appoints atm? Maybe it’s OK NOT to be Ms Shero handling everything like a trooper right now? MAYBE, I can even admit, I’m not ‘handling’ all this fantastically at all. How’s THAT for apples? Teachable not quite the tough little cookie she always pretends to be! Ha! Except I AM!

    You know why? Because, I’M STILL HERE. I’m STILL FIGHTING & I bloody will untill the day I die. Phew. Finally something positive. I was worried there for a moment. The way I see it we have two choices in life. Let the bastards win or triumph over them. I have a bit of practise at the latter. This is just a time of getting a bit more!

    Thanks Nat! x

  23. 2fearce says:

    Teach,

    Reading the last lines of your post reminded me of a quote from one of my fave movies ever, the Shawshank Redemption… “Get busy living or get busy dying” ….

    When u want a break from riding yourself into the ground… take a short quiet walk or just sit outside someplace. Hold your head up… you’ll be surprised at what u see.

    If you’re still feeling stuff (good, bad, heavy, tired, frustrated), you’re still alive!

  24. teachable says:

    Yr right 2fearce. It’s when yr no longer sure u want to BE alive b.c pretty much all tht once gave yr life a sense of meaning & purpose has GONE, that the going gets tough. I don’t know anything right now, except that logic tells me, this effed up time WILL eventually pass. My job it seems is to dig myself out & not do anything to make things any worse.

    I would add tht when my ex now deceased AC reappeared in my life after a 17 yr absence (he was not an AC the 1st time around or I’d never in a million yrs have bothered with him the 2nd) my life was not like this.

    Back then I was working 2 good jobs (all be it bullying in 1 had just caused a heart attack, so yeah the JOB was good but management was NOT), studying & getting rediculously high marks (so also, I have a brain cell or two that’s now turning to MUSH, grr), was earning close to a 6 figure salary, & seriously considering buying an investment property! Oh yes, I was also training in martial arts 3 times a week. I read that bk & compare it to my life now & think, ‘oh how the mighty fall!’

    Without reiterating my current sitch, this is the most SPECTACULAR fall from grace I could ever have imagined! Nope. I take that back. Never, even in my worst nightmares, would I ever have imagined THIS (gesticulates to indicate effed up life.)

    My ex now deaceased AC may just as well have knocked on my door, in full dracula outfit, showed me a blue print for the cemetary that would soon be my life (& HIS, literally) at which, I, dressed as Little Red Riding Hood, would then dumbly stare, & say oh, ok then!! What the fucking fuck was I thinking??!!!!!!!! Many of the events which later happened were not CAUSED by my ex now deceased AC but I sure as hell was in a compromised state of health to cope with them as they unfolded. Two words. NEVER AGAIN. I don’t give a flying fuck if I spend the REST OF MY ENTIRE LIFE alone! No sirree!! These fucking vampires with dicks can just fuck right off to the twilight zone where they belong!

    • Rosie says:

      Teachable- What lesson do you think you had to learn by losing everything you worked so hard to achieve? I don’t see it. I don’t believe God, the universe, or whatever your higher power is, is going to just throw you under the bus and leave you there to get run over by bus #2, bus #3, bus #103…just to teach you some magical, mystical lesson on being human. You didn’t lose everything due to stealing from the company or some other shady behavior/character flaw. You got sick.

      I don’t know…it just seems you’re blaming yourself for what you can’t control. It’s an easy “go to” place as this is what children do when they can’t understand why the adults in their lives aren’t being adults and taking care of them, the children. The children blame themselves.

      I haven’t achieved as much as you and I do define myself by my underachievement. It’s time for me to let go of this perspective of myself. Life as I know it is hanging in the balance too due to financial reasons. I’m scared too.

      So…maybe you can let go of blaming yourself for life being life, at least on days when you can muster the energy?

      You inspire me, Teachable. Even when you’re world and body are falling apart, you’re still tough! What a great gift to the world you are!

  25. teachable says:

    PS Apologies to Nat & everone for my potty mouth. I have ‘issues’ atm (as most of us do, I know). I didn’t mean to sound so aggressive. Suffice to say I am ROYALLY PISSED OFF. Mostly, with ME. I will save the ‘oh but I didn’t know this or that’ for another time. Maybe if I chew on the bitterness of this experience for a while it will teach me a bloody good lesson & one I will never forget!

  26. Kriss says:

    It’s all about resilience isn’t it. Being able to pick yourself up from setbacks and knockbacks without thinking that defines your whole future. For years I was ashamed of doing badly in my degree yet I got a 2:2 which is perfectly respectable. Could have done better but who couldn’t. Need to find a way to shut up that inner critical voice who tells you you’re crap!

  27. noquay says:

    Lilly
    Thank you so much for your words. I have been following your struggle and admire your ability to see stay strong and move forward. Isn’t it interesting that the academic world offers so much in the way of ideas, new ways of thinking, yet allows some very warped individuals to thrive.

  28. noquay says:

    Simple pleasures
    Good job! You, one of the few here that is my elder, are an inspiration.

  29. Keetseel says:

    This is a wonderful post. I have changed careers frequently and, as a result, have not advance very far in any. There are many younger women who have more responsibility, more knowledge and more experience than I do at my current job, and it does feel pretty crappy. Plus, I’ve not been able to get back to writing which is the only things I’ve ever done that made me feel good and actually appreciate myself. It’s a classic case of keeping myself in the “comfortable” position of unaccomplished, worthless loser. I know what I need to do to change, yet each day I make the decision not to do it. Definitely not a good thing for getting along in the world of relationships and dating. Does anyone have a spare boot to kick my ass into action?

  30. 2fearce says:

    Teach,

    I too (if compared to my prior life) have fallen from grace by society’s standards. Funny enough, most of my health issues disappeared with that life. Migraines I had to go to the ER for… (after shots in my doctors office only seemed to piss it off) gone. And I’m talking about a 3 MONTH migraine… Yes, literally. Morning, noon n night for 3 MONTHS! Go to bed with it, wake up with it (when I cud sleep). Shhhh stop breathing so loud, turn off that light, what’s that smell… 3 MONTHS. I kept hoping someone would put me out of my misery. Someone finally did…ME!

    Let it go.
    Look at the majesty that is our world.
    Be open to what may be even better for u.

  31. Peanut says:

    SOME BRIDGES ARE WORTH BURNING.

    (Figuratively of course.)

    I have seen lives and careers ruined in the name of NOT burning bridges. Life teaches us that in moments of courage sometimes it is the right thing to do to give the proverbial middle finger, walk away and never look back.

    We can’t start afresh if we allow boundary busting clutter. You will most likely never be you, in this body and in this life again. We get one shot at this, so let’s not miss the target (happiness), by wasting time on people who don’t know how to behave humanely.

    I had a job that drained the life out of me. I was dying a slow spiritual death. Four walls, fluorescent lights, and the buzzing of a computer in a tiny space was my home (felt like solitary confinement in prison) for eight hours a day. I felt I had sold my soul.

    I recently resigned. I had reentered university again for something I love. I quit my job on the basis it conflicted with school. I am unemployed. I am terrified and bitter to work again. I’m traumatized. That was a bad existence. I’d rather be dead.

    That said, I’ve been taking time to take care of my health (bloodwork shows I have a condition which shines light on why I so easily tire). I’ve been running countless errands that were neglected with the former full time job.

    I had good benefits which I’m grateful for, but other than that the experience (the work part) was horrendous.

    I’m scared to work again. I live with family members who are extremely supportive of me going back to school. I have money. I’ve saved. I have help. But I’m lonely and scared and I want to work to feel good about myself.

    I’ve had a few jobs and they all have been pretty terrible. I wonder what I’m doing wrong or if this is just the reality I am resigned to.

    • sushi says:

      Peanut,

      the thing about change is it feels overwhelming. I find it helpful to keep concentrating on positives, you have listed many.Most of all, you are doing a course you love and improving your health,you are being good to yourself, the rest will come too. Keep positive.

  32. Peanut says:

    Thanks Sushi,

    You mentioned that I mentioned positives. This is huge for me! Well at least progress. When I get stressed I tend to see all that is bad and none of the good.

  33. teachable says:

    I don’t know Rosie. I am blaming myself to some degree. No1 else drove my life into a ditch. I (somehow) did. What in fact happened is that I experienced workplace bullying in 4 consecutive jobs.

    The first was horrendous but didn’t become so until after the 4 th year when one of the best managers I’d ever had was replaced by a corporate psychopath. Thereafter followed a 2 year period in which I had SEVEN different managers. The DRIVER of the bullying (which was mobbing, ie involving multiple ppl) was my colleague in the same role as me (social work) beside me. She was a practising alcoholic & heroin addict & had confided she was suicidal. One time prior a colleague told me they were suicidal they actually COMPLETED suicide. That time, I was new in my career (green & inexperienced) & tried to be supportive of my colleague but didn’t realise how high / serious his level of risk was. I always regretted not telling anyone & wondered if I had told someone could I have prevented my colleague (& friend’s) death? So, when confronted with a similar sitch the second time around (except this colleague was not a friend), I told my manager of my concerns for my colleague’s wellbeing. This did not go down well as she denied everything. I was also a high performer in the job (presented at state & national conferences on innovative wrk, nominated for prestigious awards etc) which also helped to set me apart & make me a target. I left that job with depression caused by some of the dispicable things done to try to discredit me (allegations were made I had falsified data & this was REPORTED TO OUR FUNDING BODY with whom I previously had an impeccable r.ship. Upon investigation it was ascertained I had indeed done NO SUCH THING but whether or not THIS was EQUALLY reported back to the funding body I’ll never know) but physically in tact.

    Following this, in the next job (paralegal in a community legal centre) I was managed by another corporate psychopath. I was one on MANY subjected to the general culture of bullying in this workplace, two far worse than I, & so simply chose not to apply to renew my contract when it expired. I had by now OVERCOME my depression thanks to a second job I had on the side where there was NO bullying & where I was VERY highly regarded.

    Job number three & AGAIN I find a culture of workplace bullying, (this time I’m counselling women & children who are survivors of domestic violence / sexual assault.) My manager in this job was fantastic & very highly skilled but the woman above her (the CEO) was a bully of the worst kind. I ended up in the CEO’s sight for bullying as I came into the job with advanced knowledge of new court processes & legislation about to be rolled out re DV curtesy of the fact I’d sat on working parties to help draft the documents / guidelines for these in my previous role & the CEO got her nose out of joint when I questioned a simple proceedural issue. From then on I had a target on my back. Eventually my boss, who was.bullied far worse than I, left at short notice in a state of severe distress after the CEO bullied her out. I was by now the union rep here (I had been in the previous job also) & had unionised what was initially a non unionised workplace when I started. I nievely thought that being the union rep might help to PROTECT me from being bullied but it was the opposite way around. I became even MORE of a target. The CEO commenced to attempt draconion MAJOR industrial changes which were never going to fly & ultimately, through union action were prevented from going ahead (ie telling an entire workforce hired to work 9-5 office jobs with some outreach they now HAD to work in 24 hr SHIFTS ie what the fucking what? Many of our workers were single mothers for goodness sakes. The CEO KNEW what she was trying to do was not kosher but was just trying it on to exhaust me, which she DID). By the end of this though with a large dollop of personal targeting of me with standards bullying crap I eventually suffered a heart attack. After a cpl of months off (ENTER my ex now deceased AC) I continued working for a further 9 mths at which point I negotiated a payout to leave by saying pay me NOW to go, or I am suing you for bullying. They chose the former. I preferred that also as by now I was deeply concerned that suing them might cause me to have ANOTHER heart attack (I was a non smoker of 14 yrs at this time btw). So, now I am starting to show PHYSICAL INJURIES as a result of workplace bullying. I am coping though as I still have my second job on the side which is casual so I can come & go from it around any health issues.

    Enter job number FOUR (research /policy). At first things are fine, until my boss (who commenced 4 mths AFTER me) decides she is jelous I have negotiated in advance that I will work a 4 day week (b.c she is doing a PhD & thinks if anyone gets part time hrs it should be HER not ME as I’m still completing an undergrad ie I have other quals. I negotiated my arrangement before even APPLYING for the job though. It is not my fault she did not think to do the same!) Firstly, after trumping up a ‘disciplinary warning’ over a trivial matter in which I hadn’t even done anything wrong (sound familiar?) she FORBIDS me from working in my second job during uni breaks & THEN refuses to respond to repeated requests for assistance with what later becomes a serious workplace injury. Eventually I am forced to leave on insurance payments for said injury never to return to work to this very day, where I am now lining up to be assessed for disability payments after not working for 2 & 1/2 YEARS (read: income below the poverty line.) My bosses motive for failing to respond to my repeated requests for assistance was that she THOUGHT I would be ‘too scared’ to make an insurance claim & instead hoped I would resign. In hindsight, I WISH I HAD. At least, I’d still have my health!!!

    Here is where I BLAME MYSELF. Some time back (ie whilst my now deceased ex AC was still in the pic – he died a year AFTER I ceased wrk & I did not see him again after I quit working as I was too ill) I went to increase my income protection insurance but during a ph call to do so, it seemed more complicated than I realised & I said I would call bk & arrange this ‘another time.’ I NEVER DID THIS. If I HAD I would NOT be in the position I amlin today as rather THAT insurance policy would NOW be coming into play at a level of income sufficient to maintain my PRIOR standard of living. I will still get SOMETHING from this, & it MIGHT save the house (yet to be ascertained) but essentially, my eye not being on the bal
    due to the distraction of WHACKTARD way back when is the critical mistake *I* alone am responsible for in the difficulties I now face.

    I am KICKING MYSELF. I cannot turn bk time, I know but let.my story be a cautionary tale to others. DO NOT TAKE YR EYE OFF THE BALL OF YR OWN LIFE DUE TO DISTRACTION BY AN AC. Doing so, can be DEVESTATING, physically, emtionally, mentally & financially.

    I am trying hard to forgive myself but this will take time. I need to sort this effin mess out first. Other matters which have ALSO arisen in the midst of it have not helped. As they say, when it rains it POURS! LOL

    • Rosie says:

      Teachable- Ah! I get it now. Thank you for the correction by explaining your story. Yes, I do understand how distractions can steer us away from that one important thing that will save us down the road a bit. In your case, it was the income protection insurance. Ok. This is your fault. But, going only on what you’ve written here, everything else…no.

      Even in your ranting here on BR, even in serious sickness and financial desperation and possibly losing everything, you’re still fighting for the underdog, reaching out to readers. You’re amazing!

      I have a friend who is a light in darkness. She suffers from depression (biochemical, not situational). She takes good care of herself and I’m learning how from her. There was a time when she couldn’t afford her medications and she really thought that it was the end of her. I don’t know how she survived and didn’t try to commit suicide but, when she shared her story with me, she said she’s been in blackness and came back from hell. Now, whenever life tries to throw her to the wolves, she thinks, “Bring it on!” She knows she’s worth more than anything life throws her way and she knows she can get through it.

      I don’t know what your personality is like in person, of course, but your attitude here on BR reminds me of my friend’s. You’re a light in darkness, Teachable.

      • Teddie says:

        Rosie put it so nicely, Teachable. And even the protection insurance mishap was just a misjudgement on your part, you had hope it would not come to that, positive thinking in overdrive perhaps, who hasn’t been guilty of this? The way I see it, the only thing you can blame yourself for is continuing to smoke; now, this is really aggravating whatever else is plaguing you, and it’s entirely in your control, and it sounds like you don’t really need it or enjoy it anymore. Like someone suggested, NC to the cigs all the way!

        • the one known as teach says:

          Yr quite right Teddie. I didn’t for a moment envisage ever needing to USE my IP insurance at the time I made that phone call (although as a sole female with a mortgage this was a very basic and frankly stupid, preventable mistake) which is why I ‘just never go around’ to following it up again before things later transpired, & the smokes are LITERALLY killing me (not to mention everyone else who is unfortunate enough to smoke). I feel so sick from them. I will stop. It’s just a matter of when. I am just hoping like anything no more heart attacks before I do this… so far so good. (fingers crossed)

  34. runnergirl says:

    I took the day off, other than polishing silverware and picking hornworms off my plants, to think. I’ve been peeling back the layers of the onion to see what is it exactly that defines me. It isn’t my father or his illegal behavior that defines me. It isn’t any of the three ex husbands that defines me. It isn’t any of the degrees that defines me. It isn’t my job (which I love although I’m bored) that defines me. It isn’t what my adult daughter does or doesn’t do that defines me. It isn’t being involved with a married man that defines me. It isn’t embarking on a new career that defines me. It isn’t making giant, huge, and clearly stupid decisions that defines me. Thank you Natalie. I thought I was the only one who made stupid mistakes.

    So now, here I am. The layers of the onion are peeled back. (I better not find another hornworm.)

  35. teachable says:

    I’m not someone whose work does not define me. A book has been released recently which puts forth a framework for understanding women like me. We are known as XX’rs. (Sorry I don’t recall the name of the book or author.) Essentially, XX women (denoting a psychological mindset which is most likely partly inherent & then given rise to by nurture/environmental factors) derive their identity, self esteem & enjoyment in life from their WORK, rather than from caring for others, having children or other activities associated with the female gender role. It’s not that the latter is disinteresting or not considered worthy, just more that the XX mindset cannot comprehend those roles as being fulfilling. To a XX woman they are instead merely what one either squishes in around her true life’s purpose (which centres on her contribution in the world of WORK) or in a worst case scenario, a waste of good brains (please don’t take that the wrong way. I am not saying women who choose parenting over work lack intelligence.)

    Approx 5% of the female population are thought to fit the XX profile & these women essentially identify with what is typically identified as the male gender role. When I read about this I literally, almost cried with relief. I felt as though FINALLY someone understood me. So, to someone like me, what is going on in my life right now, has an ENORMOUS impact.

    Will it stop me from recovering & getting back on top. Frankly, deep inside, despite the HELL going on atm, I doubt it. I’m too competetive for that. What it WILL & IS doing is slow me down. There is absolutely mothing I can do abt this right now though. I will instead just have to take yr advice 2fearce & try to en myself to a new normal & new opportunities, wherever they may come.

    Heading back to bed. Thankyou all for tolerating my whinging!

  36. lo j says:

    Magnolia … what you wrote to noquay was beautiful … and so descriptive of emotional availability. Love it!!!

  37. noquay says:

    Mags
    Thanks for your wonderful words. Yep, I too am looking for that place of peace, not sure how to get there. I have that same feeling that you have when the school year starts, as though the walls are closing in, that there will be no opportunities for meaningful human contact until the following May. Don’t mean to be angry and bitter, actually trying to not wind up that way. I guess the overall feeling is as though I am being punished for something I am not guilty of.

    • teachable says:

      I can’t find the post of yrs I’m replying to Noquay so I’ll try to recall it here.

      you talked of realising after the fact that you’d made a mistake in buying a home in the area you live in and that it was not filled with the kind of people you thought it might be. That rather people aligned with your progressive views are a tad thin on the ground as are healthy available men in the area.

      here’s what I say to that. you made the best decision you could based on the information which was available to you at the time. there were sound reasons for making that decision. you talked of the area hosting some sort of an event and it being how you expected it to be but only for the limited time during that (annual I think) event.

      not only did you make the best decision you could at the time but you also had the guts to plant roots and MAKE A DECISION. You made a committment and just because it turned out that it’s not the place you hoped it would be after all does not mean that the decision you made doesn’t say a whole lot things about you which are ALL GOOD. You acknowledge that you surrounded by middle aged unemployed men who narket themslves as ‘retired.’ Well. YOU are NOT doing that are you. Hell no! You have a decent job and are holding down respobilities which seem to be in the too hard basket of some of the other folk in your area.

      So the way I see it, you’re in fact, already ahead, not behind. I’m not sure what the longer term solution is but have faith that the same smart sassy hardworking woman who got you to where you are today will also get you out and into a better situation if this is what you so choose.

      I see good things in your future Noquay. Never give up!

      Teach xx

  38. noquay says:

    Teachable
    I am going to look up that book you speak of. I may be one of those XXs. I am not 100% into career for a number of reasons, but my greatest joys do lie in accomplishment, not nurturing. Never wanted to do the family thing, from a young child, was very tomboyish, like to build stuff, saw wood, hate cooking. Thanks for the food for thought.

  39. teachable says:

    Aww. Thanks Rosie. I think all of us here are shero’s. After all, we’re still bloody standing (or crawling, in my sitch, as the case may be.)

    I don’t know what yr friend is like as a person but I have been in a very similar position. I’m on various medications for multiple health issues & some are not available at reduced cost on our public health system. Hence I must buy them at full cost, & they are very expensive. I have suffered as a result of not being able to afford my medications & this has affected not only my mental health but critically my physical health. In the past few mths, before my recent win of bkpay, I went days at a time bedridden without food (I couldnt eat anyway) & medication at times b.c Io was just to ill to get out to shop & was dead broke. I am very grateful that the kindness of friends & evemtually welfare agencies stepped in. I at least have my medication & food now.

    It will a long rd bk for me but what can I do? No use crying over spilt milk as they say!

    I hope tht life is treating u well also. xx

  40. Paula says:

    Thank you for another accurate, useful, just wonderful post. xxx Natalie

  41. teachable says:

    Noquay, I suspect u might b a XX’r too. I relate very strongly to yr experience & mindset. I only haven’t posted to u as I’m so ill & as such have kept communications mostly to those I’m already familiar with on BR or those who’ve posted to me specifically.

    I recall the article mentioning XX being a play on XY referring to the (I think?) male chromosone. Also, like you, I too have a strong tomboy streak evident from childhood right throughout my life. Not so much in dress style (although that too, when I feel like it) but more so in activities. For example, in grade 2 I tried to join the school football team (didn’t happen. Girls weren’t allowed.) In high school, I did woodwork as an elective (only girl in the class.) As a teenager, I took up guitar, (not the traditional acoustic ‘girl’ folky stuff but full tilt heavy rock electric style, including determination to play lead ; again few girls compete in this area of music traditionally dominated by guys so much so that it has been called ‘cock rock’)

    In my 20′s I decided the world of work, my edctn & being financially independent was far more important than being a r.ship & ‘settling down’.

    In my 30′s I took up martial arts; another male dominated area in which I was highly competetitive. Now that I was done with dreams of rock stardom (lol, my SOLE concession to the female gender role was quitting my professional music career to concentrate more fully on parenting), I decided my other career which I ran similtaneously, (in the human services sector) would be where I’d dedicate my life’s work.

    On the latter at 43, I have already achieved more professionally than many ever will by their retirement. I have impacted & led initiatives for change, in hand with a very small group of ppl nationally (ie less than half a dozen of us), which have tranformed the lives of tens of tousands of ppl. I could quit working for good NOW & know I have already left a substantial legacy. My work though is as yet incomplete. I have more to do which I wont go into. I will say that to me my work IS my life. Without it, I am lost. I see that in you too & admire you & yr efforts greatly.

    Teach. xx

  42. Marie says:

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time. Sorry, my own response is long-winded and might not have much to do with the prior posts. I’m trying to put into words my growth over the years and the traps I fell into despite growing. I have a feeling I’m going to get another much-needed kick in the pants soon.

    I was telling my daughter that her first few job experience might suck and maybe that’s actually a good thing. The important thing is to not let these experience shape how she views herself. The job or task might be difficult, but she shouldn’t tolerate ACs on the job or in life.

    AT my first job at 15 I “agreed to quit” a job a day after my AC boss said I didn’t clean up a table which he deliberately messed up after I had already cleaned it. He said, “Yeah, I messed up your table, but it was to prove a point.” I beat myself up thinking I was incompetent and didn’t pay attention to details when the point he really made was that he was an AC. I was not a perfect employee in 1 day, therefore, I would never be a perfect employee. True, I didn’t stay at that job long, but since I “screwed up” the first time, I would always be a screw up.

    My family was a family of Ass Clowns. My AC dad told me I was incompetent and would never learn to play tennis after 15 minutes of trying to play tennis and not be able to volley or serve the ball the first time I did it. The overarching family template was that if you did not succeed the first time, you never would. However, you’d better not quit. It’s better to stay in a sucky job forever and prove time and time again you’re incompetent. Quitters are losers. Put up, shut up, loser.

    In high school, I hung around friends who made me the butt of all their jokes. Being a loner was a horrible thought, but what do you call friends who make fun of you? I decided to go off on my own and hide from them. It took a while to keep them from finding me – they were desperate to use me as entertainment – but eventually, I was alone sitting in the stairwell during lunch for several months. Lonely, outcast, but actually happy for once.

    I was fortunate to repel most bad behavior away from me through what I learned in high school and with the aid of a good therapist. Yet, in my late 30s, I was subjected to workplace bullying from a co-worker who lied about me behind my back. She told everyone that I wasn’t really working. After she had gone on vacation, leaving a pile of work from 2 months back completely untouched, her “friends” realized how much of a liar she had been. I didn’t forgive them because they never bothered to question her rumors and gossip even when I presented them with evidence to the contrary. They were so shocked. LOL. However, I put up with it for years because I didn’t see an alternative. I felt the need to “prove” I was strong enough to handle this. Now I realize that a strong person is strong because she has boundaries about what is acceptable behavior and will fend it off rather than let it permeate her.

    In this AC family of mine, I struggled with a sister who hated my existence. Once, after one of our many arguments, I asked, “Why can’t you respect me?”

    She said, “Because you don’t respect yourself.”

    Years later, I realized she was right. I didn’t respect myself enough to NOT ask for respect from her – respect and decency she would never give me. After years of hateful comments, I shut her out of my life and haven’t spoken to her for a year. She is incapable of treating me with respect. It’s a struggle, I had gone to her well and savored each measly drop. I had thought of her as special and charismatic. I finally figured out she’s a narcissist. So many of us have done that with our AC “lovers.” I grew up in a family of ACs – each and every one of them.

    My daughter told me time and time again not to contact my family. Now, her respect for me has grown since I’ve cut ties. I had wanted them to visit us and get to know their granddaughter/niece, but no, they always had time for trips to somewhere else. We were too inconvenient for them even if we were on the way to somewhere else. If I had not contacted them, they would have never ever contacted me. I have to remember that sometimes the smell of burning bridges is an intoxicating aroma.

  43. Vicky says:

    I just quit my job after only a month because I felt like it was only a matter of time before my boss saw me for the “fraud” that I was. That, and she had done a few rather aggressive things towards me (yes, towards me) that made me think that perhaps this was not the type of boss to be working for (that and the reputation she has for being very difficult to work for). So, anyway, I’m back to being unemployed and feeling like a “loser” who can not only handle the pressures of a job, but also for not sticking up for myself when she lashed out at me. I feel I set the tone for my passivity and since I am still too afraid of confrontation I ran rather than stood up for myself. There was something clearly wrong with this situation and while I’m glad to not be in the middle of this demanding woman’s warped tirade any longer–I also feel like I could have handled things differently. (And I still would have left the job, I realized it was not for me about 2 weeks in, but I thought the best thing to do was to leave with something else lined up–I didn’t do that in this case).

    Your post has me thinking. Thank you.

  44. teachable says:

    I’d just like to claify, in two positions (other than the last) I was able to negotiate COMPENSATION PAYOUTS for the bullying, without needing to go through all the rigermarole, of going to court. The first time, I negotiated this directy myself & the second time, I had my union negotiate this on my behalf. They were not massive payouts, but were far in excess of what I was owed in annual keave, both times equal to around 6 mths of wages. I was only able to do this as in both of those instances I had dilligently DOCUMENTED the bullying over a long period of time (ie years), REPORTED it to HR (repeatedly) & had the EVIDENCE to back up my threat to take them to court if I so desired (& indeed they KNEW this.) I also had evidence on my medical records of the effect of the bullying on me. This is WHY I urge ppl to always document & report such things. Even if you don’t go the whole nine yards with a lengthy court case you can STILL get out of such situations with at least a measure of justice, if u know yr workplace rights & are also are a member of yr union & have their support. I’m now feeling tad weary but such is life & I know this has all happened as it is high time I turned toward self employment & left crap like that behind for good. Bring on my continued recovery I say! Cheers.

  45. teachable says:

    ps I would also highly recommend ppl experiencing workplace bullying seek legal advice, sooner rather than later. I did this throughout on both occassions. Also, as a union rep, & paralegal with friends who are lawyers in the union movement as well my own area of knowledge (personal injury) in which I’ve been mentored by a senior partner at a reputable large lawfirm, I had some ready access to info which allowed me to know my options & what to do, more readily than some perhaps. Legal advice from a qualified lawyer with expertise in industrial relations / personal injury is very important though, so IF u r being bullied at work, get this PRONTO.

  46. runnergirl says:

    After reading the comments about so many workplace issues, I’m just left scratching my head. WTF is going through the mind of employers? When I was going through college, I went through minumim wage jobs like cheerios. I did the “Not if I see you first asshole” as a routine. One job at Burger King lasted 4 hours. I kept saying “french fies” but I was only allowed to say “fries”. At 20-something, I had my hand firmly on the flush handle when it came to asshole employers (not so much though with asshole bfs). Fast forward 30 years, and I’m now watching my daughter go through the same drill. She was working full-time for minimum wage communting 60 miles on the toll road, paying for tolls, gas and parking, and getting lengthy emails from her employer about every thing she had done wrong that day because her employer video-taped every shift. She hung in there for several months hoping it would get better and she would finally do something right. Of course, she didn’t share it with me until she had finally had it and wanted to quit. Once she told me what was happening, I wanted to quit for her! I shared with her how many minimum wage jobs I blew through. Then she gets this designer job as a receptionist at a gym 2 minutes from home. She shows up for every shift, including the 5am openings and the 12pm closings. Buys the appropriate and hugely over-priced gym attire from the gym. The employer gives her time off to go back East apartment hunting for her return to college. Upon her return home, she promptly recieved notice that she will now be a “fill in” because she’s leaving in 4 months and is not considered a “permanent” employee. Granted, I’ve never been an employer but who expects a 20-something to be a permanent minimum wage receptionist at a gym? I’m hoping she doesn’t internalize these early attempts at employment as something is wrong with her. It’s given me the opportunity to share with her how many times I said up yours to asshole employers. Back in the day, when I was a courtesy clerk (read box girl) at a local grocery store, the manager decided that I had to work rather than attend my final exam. I remember very vividly…I unzipped my brown courtesy clerk jacket and threw it on the floor while he was explaining to me how important it was that I worked that shift and I left…without saying a word. I’ll always remember that feeling and that sound when I unzipped that jacket.
    I passed my final.

  47. teachable says:

    I think it’s great you were able to blow jobs off like tht Runner. In my earlier life w casual work filling in around study I did once too (a telemarketing job) BUT when one is working in so called ‘career roles’ it’s a different dynamic. Especially when yr single, have a mortgage & have returned to study & are juggling tht at the same time.

    Any professional sector I imagine, on a statewide basis at least, is quite small. Even nationally, when u’ve worked at tht level (which I have), it is STILL a case of everyone knowing everyone. Hence ppl KNOW yr in a certain role w a particular organisation, so there’s pressure to stay in jobs approx 3 yrs so it doesnt look like yr ‘job hopping’ on yr resume. Plus, I NEED to stay reasonably stable in my jobs to build up the annual leave I desperately needed to aid my studies.

    In my case, I inadvertantly became known publically (media wise & at state &.federal levels of gvt) indepedent of all my employers on the basis of my own work I was doing outside of my professional roles. It was work in a related are but due to research I’d done when studying oreviously, which was essentially 20 yrs ahead of it’s time (ie it tht long 4 anyone else to pick up on what I’d already uncovered & so knew) almost by accident I found myself riding a wave of a newly emerging area & by virtue of my expertise in it (I hate using tht word but there’s no other way to describe it) I became, well, I’m not sure how to describe it exactly…. too big for my station perhaps?

    An example is when I was in the DV job & getting bullied on one hand by the idiot CEO but holding my own as a union rep there & fighting an industrial relations war (which we won I might add), – so basically just some shitty job with shitty politics (although I enjoyed the work) – I go to work 1 day only to find I’m the LEAD STORY with a GIANT picture of me accompanying a peice on the FRONT PAGE of the local paper (I AM the front page ie ALL OF IT). This was a result of an interveiw at the time, for my extra curricular stuff which I expected to get scant attention & buried in the bk of the paper somewhere . But no. A colleague then draws attention to my smiling mug in the office & no doubt the CEO noticed, even tho I quickly shoved the paper away & shut her up. Tht CEO would have LOVED tht sort of media coverage for her service! And here I was, the thorn in her side no less, getting it for a cause which was nothing to do with her & her shitty job. Well! HOW DARE I?!!

    I had similar encounters with MS Precious Boss I’m Doing My Phd. Imagine the response when I have to JUSTIFY the need for time off & being forced to say WHY I MUST have that exact particular day off. I explain I’ve been called to give evidence at a Senate Enquiry, AGAIN for work nothing to with her! Worse, she then gets an EMAIL from a NATIONAL RESEARCH BODY announcing a new book just realeased & YOURS TRUELY IS LISTED AS ONE OF THE AUTHORS.

    Clearly, I was just too damned big for my little boots! That boss was by now spitting chips as my name ALSO popped up on the email rounds of a state peak announcing presenters / topics for an upcoming statewide conference. Low & behold, there I was, her little upstart, at it AGAIN.

    It went on & on. Invites to book launches. Lecturing post grad students at the invitation of uni course convenors. All things she was very envious of. If she googled my name 10-15 pages of my work all over gvt websites, state peak websites, peer reviewed journals blah blah pops up. In contrast, HER name appears NOWHERE (bit weird in fact for a social researcher)

    Anyway, how DARE I independently b giving radio interviews, newspaper interveiws, MAGAZINE INTERVIEWS, & have the ear of state & federal MP’s? Plus, due to 20 yrs of exp in my sector I seem to ‘know everyone’ in all the key places at every turn. Well yes. What did she expect? Just b.c she had only wrkd in my sector 5 yrs it wasnt my fault I effin knew ppl & the historical dev of various things.

    DAltho I deeply respectd her superior edctn don’t I know my place she must have thought? My answer to THIS NOW, aftr all the bullying BS, is like you Runner, YES. And it is to STRIKE OUT ON MY OWN & STOP TOLERATING THT CRAP FOR ONCE & FOR ALL.

    Now if I can just get the knack of remembering how to make it out of bed each morning! lol

  48. teachable says:

    PS Runner, employers who bully staff are not thinking anything or they wouldn’t DO such a think. My state has recently introduced new anti workplace bullying kaws & penalties on employers found negligent is HUGE. Plus, we have a whole new industrial relations system (I was a union rep during the yrs of the transition) & been making a mental note of the cases handed down where bullying was found proven & on what basis. If ppl DOCUMENT it properly, get legal advice straight up, & put everything re the bulling or any issues related to it IN WRITING VIA EMAIL, a lot of ppl wud b surprised how little i cant take now to WIN a case here. I’ve been noting this for personal reasons, obviously. On top of tht, once negligence is established ie bullying reported & employer FAILED TO OREVENT IT’S CONTINUANCE, the worker can then sue in a civil case for damages ie psychiatric or physical injuries etc. THIS is where the really big payouts are won, & rightly so. Any employer who IGNORES BULLYING or ALLOWS it is a DUMBASS. Nuff said!

  49. teachable says:

    ie failure of prevent bullying continuing contravenes OHS legislation & here individual MANAGERS ECT, rather than just the company can be both SUED & FINED HUGE AMOUNTS!!!

  50. ShepN7 says:

    I was just hired for my dream job that I have dedicated myself to getting for years. I have also been very eager to leave the job I am in- not due to the pay being low and unchanged for 5 years and the like- but because of the bullying, inconsistency, backbiting and gross unprofessionalism from the top down.

    Since getting the new job, I periodically have episodes of sheer terror of failing. My first job in this field was disastrous at the end as the people I supervised did as they pleased and were never disciplined despite my being told to document their misbehaviors; ultimately I was fired thanks to the poison tongue of one of these people despite my very happy clients!

    Recently an incident at my current job was like re-living everything about the first job. Someone I now have to supervise is constantly doing as she pleases despite the boss being explicit about the chain of command. Now I go to the boss every time this person makes an end run around the boss and me to get out of doing her job. Finally the boss had a meeting with both of us and this person described my performance as disorganized, lacking structure and said she thought I was afraid of the clients. I am not afraid of them; I am afraid of dealing with insubordinate adults and their undermining me- and this fear is to a significant impairing degree. To the point where I can see the possibility of recreating this at the new job. I Do Not Want To Sabotage Myself From This Past Trauma.

    Today and lately, I have felt very angry and had an intense desire to lash out. A subordinate I wrote up for sleeping on the job years ago told all the clients I was a liar and snitch- and clients still call me that and he still sleeps on the job and the boss still comes to me about him.

    A client threw a ball at me today on purpose and goes out of the way to harass me- and I wanted to grab the ball, throw it at him and scream at him. I wouldn’t but I need to do something to take all that is good about me in while leaving all this behind. I’m scared I will shoot myself in the foot at the new job.

    Your article was a fresh drink of water and everything I see I need in a new light. I want to be all that is good and not bring all this pain and badness with me.

  51. teachable says:

    Just an update here. Deciding I had not the stomach for lining up for a disability payments (due to the poverty factor not to mention career impacts) I decided this week that I would immediately morph into a healthy person and get a job. I even managed to find a couple to appy for. I was all revved up for this when reality struck. I tried to keep my activity level and hours at those consistant with having a job for a few days and found myself struggling to manage. Then I wondered, why am I like this ie struggling? I thought well yes, I know I’m unwell but still, arent I supposed to be able to pull myself by my bootstraps or something? I mean after all, most (although not all) of the immediate stressors in my life are now dealt with so surely it’s all just a case of mind over matter? If I want something bad enough I just have to fight for it. I really did think that maybe I could maybe do this. Then, I found myself at my hospital treatment I’m currently undergoing yesterday, talking to one of the treatment team about being very confused atm about what I am supposed to be doing exactly; quickly trying to find a new job ASAP or preparing myself for a disability application. I think a part of me struggling greatly with the idea of the latter. I’ve been putting it off until the very last moment I think maybe because my pride is wounded. I also dont trust that I will be ok unless everything is within my control ie I have a job = I am earning $ so I will be ok. OR I don’t have a job and have now run out of insurance = I don’t have a job, and well, who knows what the future will hold then? The woman at the hospital said I need to be sure that my health is stable before I start working again and that this is best achieved by allowing time to slowly regain my health, rather than pushing myself now only for whatever I attempt to come crashing down because I’m not starting from a solid basis to begin with. Considering this has made me feel a little bit glum but I’m trying to be positive and telling myself it could be a hell of a lot worse. And it could be. What I do wonder though is how does one put a bad experience behind them if they are still dealing with the consequences of it?

    I want so much to believe that something better is in store for me if I just put my health first (it looks like I’m going to have no choice on that anyway as the mind over matter approach doesn’t seem to take into account my physical limitations) and to trust that everything will work out in the long run. I have decided that for today I have completed 4 hours of rehabilitation treatment and that this is enough. I am exhausted. Worrying about how everything will work in the long run, out on top of undergoing treatment here there and everywhere, is something I can’t afford to waste energy on…

    Onward and upward comrades!!

  52. Jackie says:

    This is just what I needed to hear this weekend. I’m so glad I found Baggage Reclaim. Thank you for what you do. :-)

  53. teachable says:

    Ok. Dog at a bone here I know but it’s a bloody important bone. Work and employment + $$$!!!

    So today I phoned up my old part time casual job, the one my horrible former boss in my last (fulltime) job stopped me from working in, a couple of years back (suppposedly for ‘disciplinary reasons’ which were in reality, a crock of shite. The REAL reason was my old boss was hoping I’d resign…), after noticing my former casual job are now again advertising for staff.

    I had a really good chat with a former colleague who is now in a management position there. When I left she was being targeted with some untoward disciplinary crap by management at the time, which was in her case, was also trumped up rubbish (I didn’t experience any of that in this job as I was only casual). I told her at the time to ride it out and that she was in fact excellent management material but was simply being undermined by a couple of less than stellar performing staff on her team. It turns out she did this and whalla – the underperforming staff (and managers) are now GONE and she has been promoted in their place. So, as we talked of all this, and I too was a good performer in the role (which is why I was always welcome to pick up as many shifts as I wanted, and she knows this, as we often worked together, and lamented over the issue of the ‘slackers’) I discovered that all three members if the interview panel (herself included) are former staff I have worked with who would be very pleased to see me return.

    I didn’t mention anything about being ill and just said I’d had some time off work to ‘study’ but was thinking of applying to return to work there & calling to check out the ‘lie of the land’ first in terms of the quality of mangaement nowadays. She reassured me and really encouraged me to do apply. I’ve decided I’m going to. I have no idea whatsoever how on earth I will cope with working around my health issues but if they offer me a job I am going to take it.

    Anything has got to better than lining up for disability, which in terms of finances is pretty much the end of the road. I also don’t even know if I will be eligible for disability payments. IF I was, and I worked say three days a week, I might only take home $100 per week more than I would on disabilty but it’s the capacity to actually work which is the value of this job to begin with, rather than it’s monetary value.

    If I am unemployed or on disability my finiancial situation is set in concrete as irredeemable in terms of being left in a position of trying to survive below the poverty line. I was in a shopping centre last week and became upset at realising that I could no longer afford ANY of the nice things people ordinarly buy there. The idea that this might be my permanent future (or even just for a few years) was totally depressing. Surely I have not come all this way in life, dragging myself up and out of what was a very disavantaged begining to end up in such a position.

    There are HUGE hurdles ahead of me to do this but I am going to give it a shot. So what if I haven’t succeeded thus far? That doesn’t mean I wont this time!

    Onward and upward comrades!!

  54. teachable says:

    ps I am NOW going to try to do exactly what this post is about. Put that last awful fulltime job behind me and reclaim my life.

    Interestingly I did manage to get to the point where my house is almost paid off. I have a very old car though that is on it’s last legs though and am living in a ‘renovators delight,’ lol. I also do not have anywhere near enough saved for my retirement.

    It is very evident to me that no prince in shining armour is going to come along and rescue me from the debarcle of the past three years. It is up to me to do that. So now it is time to get to it. PRONTO!

    :)

  55. Arabella says:

    I have found that my career failures have made me feel exactly like this

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!