The best thing that happened to me today happened on my way into therapy. I parked my car outside the hospital, and went to the machine to pay for parking. Just as I was about to stick my coins in, a woman leaving the lot waved to me from her car. I walked over, she smiled as she handed her all-day pass to me.
There is kindness.
The rest of my day was not so heartening. We had a two hour all-staff meeting at work. I hate these meetings. They happen a few times a year, and they’re supposed to be an opportunity to meet new staff, and find out what is going on in each section.
My section has been grossly understaffed until a few weeks ago, when they finally filled a position that had been vacant for a year. A year in which I had to wear many hats- or I should say, all of the hats. I wore all of the hats, covering three positions in total, while all the while management’s expectations remained high. I felt like I was being set up to fail. Even though I think I fucking performed miracles daily, I constantly felt like I was saying no more than yes, and looking like I was underperforming, which I know, is ridiculous.
In comes in new team member. She is great, I really like her, but the thing is, she has way less experience than me. She is constantly coming to me for advice, which she willingly takes (it could be worse that way, I know). She is grateful, I know that.
Thing is, the rest of the office sees her as some sort of messiah, as if nothing was happening while that position was vacant. UM, HELLO? And now I am invisible. People are going to her, not responding to my emails, and worst of all, attributing credit for some great things happening on our team to her. They don’t realize that this work didn’t come from nowhere. It was months of my planning and implementation and ironing out glitches.
That all said, it is not about my ego. I’m not looking for glory, just credit where credit is due, and more importantly, recognition that I did pretty fucking well considering I was doing three jobs on my own.
So yes, I am bitter.
And in the background simmers my anxiety about my daughter and what this school meeting tomorrow will bring. I know it is going to get worse with her before it gets better. I am tired of people saying to me, “You just have to do it- take her phone away.” Well, duh. I will do what I have to do- that doesn’t mean I don’t know what that will look like- the yelling, the meltdowns (hers *and* mine), the refusal to go to school, the hours I will have to miss from work, the alcohol I will feel compelled to consume to give me a bit of relief at the end of the day. She is a kid who will resist and defy and argue and protest just to wear. me. down. at a time that I have so many other things wearing me down.
So with all that and more, I got myself to therapy for session 2 with A. I just sort of went on and all over the place with the many sources of my stress and anxiety, to the point of breathlessness. My mother, my ex-husband and his years of infidelity, blending families, my old house which isn’t selling, the trauma of anonymous cyberharassment. And more. I think she was a bit stunned.
I pondered out loud that the universe is trying to tell me something, but that I couldn’t figure out what it is.
I’m trying to recognize that there isn’t much I can do about the various sources of shit being flung at me. We all get it at some point in our lives. It is how we react that matters. How we cope. What I can have a teensy bit of control over is how I replenish and take care of myself – which right now consists of alcohol and hours lost to playing 1010.
She said, start with 10 minutes a day. Read a favourite book. Or listen to music. Or go for a walk.
I will have to mull that one over. I don’t even know what feels good anymore. I just know that what I am currently doing is not getting me into a better place.