The effects of a toxic work environment have stayed with me. It’s hard to move past. What I went through then, has stayed with me. Maybe it always will. But there is something good that I can do with it.
At the encouragement of someone I care very much about, a chance was taken to get back into the field I once loved. I was good at it. I mean, really good and so much of it stays with me. There’s still joy that it brings me.
I wasn’t sure if I was ready to try again though. Like an abusive ex, their influence remains even though you’ve walked away. So, can I trust again? Should I try again? That feeling within my gut was crying out; you’re not ready! But there were those I told who reminded me of my education and my skills. Both hard-earned. The opportunity is a good one. There’s security and advancement opportunities. It’s a smart move.
And there are those that remain disappointed in me for not sticking it out before.
I don’t know if anyone knows just how bad it was. My heart breaks to think I might go back to that. Back to tears and panic attacks. Back to the shame I felt because I couldn’t be the image that person wanted. I don’t want to hate myself again.
The interview process was something I needed to walk through. It helped me understand what I liked about where I am now, and who I’ve become. It reminded me of what I’d come out of. And what I can’t let back in.
Because I’m choosing to grow, the pain wasn’t for nothing. I listened to my gut this time, and not to the pressure of those that want to know that I’m okay. The call came through that it was a no this time, but if I had a few minutes they could tell me what I did wrong so that when I applied next time I’d have a better chance of succeeding.
No thank you.
This is who I am. If that isn’t who you want on your team, then it’s best we both acknowledge that now. Because I am proud of me. I’m not changing to become the person you want, and sacrificing who I’ve become. Though I’m not fixed yet, and though I have a journey ahead, I am looking forward to each step. With or without other people’s approval.
Special Note: Most importantly within my writing and my art, is that I want to connect with you. People just like me, that are trying their best, that are reaching out with their kind hearts to connect with others, that are doing things each day to make the world better. You are not alone. And I don’t want you to feel that you are. So, my art and writing are my way to hold your hand.