Yesterday, I finally cracked. I broke down at work. I cried in front of a coworker.
Yes, that was quite embarrassing, as you can imagine. I don’t normally make a habit out of crying in front of people.
Anyway… yesterday was another ‘down’ day.
However, today, I see a break coming. I have spoken to my new therapist, and had my assessment today. I like her so far. She listened, didn’t judge, and seems like she wants to help. My last therapist gave me silly exercises to work on that didn’t help and actually made things worse. That’s why I stopped going. Now, I need to work on me, and get back in the game…the ‘healing’ game.
We have discussed future plans and a treatment plan, and I want to see what she comes up with. I was honest, and as hard as it was, I was open. Very open. I’m glad my husband came with me for moral support. He listened, and jumped in when I forgot something, or when he needed to add in a detail that I missed.
I’m happy he is so supportive of everything that I do. I don’t know how I would get through some of my issues without him.
So, in light of today’s rain, I am using it as an excuse to start over, per se. I want to work on healing, and I’m ready to put in the emotional work on myself to be happy with myself, and who I am. I have to stop letting one particular individual break me down. I climb up, get some confidence, and then I am broken down again.
I have to learn how to not let people’s words hurt me as much as they do. ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’ is a lie. Those words do hurt… but I have to be a wall, a rubber wall, and let those words bounce off. It is hard when you respect someone so much, when you look up to them so much… then they break you down. I work up the courage to ask for help, and then when I finally do… I’m insulted, burned, and smashed back into the ground. Then, I have to pick myself up and put myself through the same thing again and again.
Why do I do this? I have asked this time and time again. My husband has asked this. Why do I keep coming back for more and more abuse? …because I respect this person. Because I look up to this person. Because this person has worked so hard to get the business she wanted. Because I want to be as successful as this person. Because this person is an inspiration to me, and I feel I should take the abuse. I should throw money at this person and have them teach everything they know to me.
What do I feel about this person?
-I feel small when I talk to this person
-I freeze, can’t speak, can’t think logically
-Like I won’t amount to anything
-I don’t know anything about my career… like I am a fraud.
–I feel scared of this person
Does anyone have the same feelings about another person? How do you handle your feelings? What have you done to keep it together when speaking to him/her?
When I started my master’s degree, they talked a lot about “fraud syndrome,” i.e. that you feel like you have somehow fooled everyone else into thinking that you are smarter than you are and you actually don’t belong there. I battled with that a lot. But what was great was that because the professors talked to us about it, EVERYONE had the chance to admit that we felt the same way. We were all freaked out, intimidated by others’ expertise, afraid that we somehow didn’t actually belong and suddenly someone would figure it out and should, “FRAUD!” (Well, not literally, but you get the idea). I think that any time you are starting out in a field that you care deeply about, and want to be successful in, you feel the way that you have been feeling. I would bet you anything that the person you are intimidated by felt the same way at some point in her career. What separates her from my professors and peers, however, is the abuse that she is throwing your way. Sounds a bit like a drill sergeant, with all that smashing of self esteem. I get that you admire her for what she has accomplished, but if she continues to treat you this way, it may be time for a talk–or a switch in mentors, if another is available.
Years ago, I made a mistake at my old job. I don’t remember what it was about. I just remember how HORRIBLE it was when my boss came out and yelled at me about it. I wanted to run to the bathroom and cry. It was awful. I took a day to process it, and then I think I did the bravest thing I have ever done: I asked if I could have a minute of his time, and I talked to him about it. I made sure that I was very calm, and that I made it clear from the start that I liked working for him and with my coworkers. I told him that while I will never make excuses for things that I have done wrong, the way that he had communicated with me was extremely hurtful. I told him that I am a very sensitive person, and that, frankly, if I had to worry every day that what had happened the day before would happen again, I wouldn’t handle it very well. I told him that I liked and respected him as a boss and as a person, but that I needed to know that in the future if there was a problem we would talk about it instead of him yelling at me.
I don’t think anyone had ever talked to him that way before. He had a habit of flying off the handle at people when he was frustrated. He was honestly taken aback, but he listened to me, and he promised that he would never do that to me again.
And he didn’t.
I was terrified going into that conversation, but it completely changed my working relationship with him. When I eventually left the job to go start my master’s degree, he was one of the people that it was hardest to say goodbye to. Our working relationship had become one of mutual respect and like, and that was pretty wonderful.
I don’t know if that is the right approach for you to pursue, but just wanted to share my experience.
Thank you for sharing. I know at some point I will need to confront this person. It’s the right thing to do. I appreciate your honesty and your openness. 🙂