A Few Lessons

Things at work seem to be coming to a resolution. Although things aren’t over yet (and I don’t know if I will be happy with the end result), I have some sense of relief knowing that there is a process (called an interactive investigation) ahead of me in which I get to be heard.

At my last therapy session, I talked about what I noticed about the process so far:

  1. I realized that I was not regretting the fact that the interactive investigation could have been done a year ago. I usually am the type to just grind “could have, should have, would have” into my psyche. I usually beat myself up incessantly. But this time I have no trace of that. Instead, I feel some sense of gratitude for the experience of learning some new skills (both vocationally and emotionally). I’m also grateful for the whole painful experience.
  2. Even though this was excruciatingly painful and anxiety ridden, I’m not regretting the whole situation. I’ve learned a lot and am immeasurably grateful for my therapist who extended her hand to help me through the process. She both assisted me and modeled for me what it means to reach out for assistance. I learned that when I am overwhelmed I don’t have to act, can ground myself, and reach out for help. I learned that I don;t have to tough things out alone. I learned that I have a lot f growing to do when it comes to feeling supported and held.
  3. At the start of every ACA meeting, we read the serenity prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”. This week what stood out for me was “the courage to change the things I can”. I’ve always had a hard time identifying what I need, and especially asking for it. This time (like most times it seemed like too much. I realized that asking for what I need is so uncomfortable because it’s too unfamiliar. I’m not use to that much power. I’m not use to speaking on my behalf. It’s that ACA thing about being raised in an environment where you are smacked down when you speak up.
  4. I’ve heard (and experienced) that when people go through constant stress, the brain goes into survival mode. At that point you tend to make choices that ensure your survival and have little regard for others. In revisiting this, I realized that my supervisor must be experiencing this. She is the hardest working supervisor I have ever had, and I know she isn’t a cold-hearted overlord. far from it. I’ve seen and hear her great appreciation of or her team an co-workers. So it was mind-boggling when her black & white, narrow actions lacked any humanness. Why was she not recognizing my situation? Offering any suggestions? A part of me felt that she didn’t believe me in the first place, so I felt negated. It was horrible. But through out I really tried to remember that she is not the enemy. Now that we are past that confrontational phase, I have more compassion for her. Having resentment towards her wasn’t going to do me any good, so I’m glad I can be at a place of compassion fo her while holding my truth as valid.

So it feels a little weird not having this stress in my life. My life feels empty and I’ve spent the last 2 days laying about. I remember that my loneliness and depression were quite active before this work stress reared it’s head, so I’m not surprised that it’s creeping back.

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