The first week back after a vacation from work is always hard. It was especially hard this year because I work in higher education, and our students will be returning next week. Activity is ramped up this week in preparation. I had a huge deadline today, which resulted in me staying really late yesterday and coming in early today. That rarely happens at this job, so things will go back to normal. I'm just tired.
There are always those difficult people that ruin an otherwise-good situation. Just before I left for vacation a few weeks ago, my toxic and horrible big boss unleashed on me, for whatever reason. He wanted me to make a change in a software system I oversee. When I informed him that I already made that change, based on a directive from him several months ago, the *stuff* hit the fan. So, he accused me of violating policy. He copied my boss (direct boss, he's the big boss of the whole office) on at least four emails. He was basically creating a paper trail that suggested I was in the wrong. Not only was this over a trivial matter, but I did what he told me to do months ago. But, apparently, that email wasn't "authoritative," this second email was. (?!) It made no sense to me, still doesn't. It felt like an exercise in his authority. I get the general feeling he hates me. I don't know why. It's hard for me to trust and respect him when I feel that I'm not at all trusted or respected.
I felt 100% attacked. I don't want to go into more detail, but it was really out of nowhere. I truly did not do anything wrong, in my estimation. No amount of reassurances, proving my reasoning, etc. was enough. In fact, everything I said seemed to provoke him, so I eventually stopped responding.
My boss apologized to me for the big boss's behavior. I've never heard him admit wrongdoing for anything, so of course he hasn't apologized for this. I dreamed about this situation every single night on vacation and had the worst case of Sunday evening blues before returning to work last Monday. It has made me rethink my presence here and dust off the old resume. I feel too old for this level of BS. Too many mind games.
I know there are difficult people everywhere. I know I'm not perfect. But this kind of thing is just so disheartening. It makes me want to throw in the towel.
I'm a major introvert, but I'm not anti-social. I actually like people. I just get really sick of the loud and disruptive office environment I work in. Today we had a potluck meal. I appreciated the effort to bring together the staff, and I'd love to have a work friend. But, due to my big boss and all the drama that recently unfolded, I didn't feel comfortable sitting around and shooting the breeze with everyone. I couldn't put aside the disgust I feel, and I didn't want to be phony. I ate lunch alone in my cubicle. I wasn't the only one who did that. I hate that I couldn't use this opportunity to socialize, but I just didn't have it in me. I believe I have forgiven him, but I don't want any more togetherness than necessary. The environment has gotten so toxic for me that I think I might need to move on.
Based on the incidents that transpired in #2, I needed to go to confession. So, I went last Saturday. Among other things, I confessed my anger at my big boss for this. It really was out of control...more like rage. (I don't mind sharing, as this is basically an anonymous blog.) Anyway, the rage I felt at the email exchange (at least 8 in total) which falsely accused me of all this stuff was really overwhelming. If I had the financial means, I would have walked out and quit the job that day. I was shaking with anger. I have to admit, some horrible thoughts and words came out of my mouth (but not in the email exchange.) When I get this mad, it scares me. I don't know what I might be capable of. I know it's out of control and irrational.
When I confessed this, the priest said that I shouldn't let anger control me or get out of hand because it can lead to other sins. I know he's right. I hadn't thought of it that way. I just knew that I had gone too far, even though I was falsely accused and rightly angered at the injustice of it all. It wasn't right to overreact.
No matter how big or small the sin, confession is such a miracle to me. God meets me there in a real way that I have never experienced before becoming Catholic. There is no other context in which I can feel the love of God so intimately. He really truly is the great Healer.
Last week was my big vacation. Our family rented a beach house together and celebrated my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. I enjoyed the time I got to spend with my husband, away from it all, and with my family. It was not without its difficulties. I left with a deep concern for one of my siblings, who seems at the very, very end of their rope. I also left with somewhat of a wound from my parents. The way they talked about their marriage and family life is just so strange. It is all focused on them, specifically on my father, not my mother. It is all about their dogma and theology, not in a "we want to leave a legacy of love and make sure you know that we and God love you," but more in a "if you don't believe just like we do, you're doomed." I just get so sick of it. They are literally preaching to the choir. We have heard this stuff our entire lives. At every prayer before every meal. At every church service. Peppered unnaturally into SO many conversations. WE KNOW WHERE THEY STAND. We got the memo already! But, that doesn't stop the preaching at us, their kids.
In the course of less than 24 hours of their arrival to our home (before we left together for vacation), my mother had gone through drawers, books, writing, private materials in our study and master bedroom (which were rooms specifically closed off to them for this very reason), my dad had tried to proselytize two clients of my husband's against our will and without our knowledge, and I found out that my parents had invited a non-family member to the family vacation - a person who is extremely difficult to deal with, and who is like them in many ways.
Anyway, as I told one of my sisters, my parents are so emotionally messed up themselves that we cannot expect for them to fulfill our emotional needs in the way we want. It's like asking someone in a wheelchair to climb a flight of stairs. They are our cross. I hate to say it, but it's true. My relationship with my parents is hands down the most difficult relationship in my life. It has been a defining factor in my adulthood, insofar as dealing with them has created an added layer of difficulty to literally everything.
When it was all over, while I did enjoy myself to some extent on vacation, I collapsed into tears. I can't explain why. I just felt like this was a milestone event in our family. I get the sense that things will be very different at the next milestone event. I feel the time passing and see the family issues getting worse in some ways, not better. I long for healing, and I long for peace. The pain of our childhood still hurts in the times you least expect it...like on a beach vacation with your family, when everything should be perfect.
I don't want to ruin the present moment. I am learning to acknowledge the pain and offer it up to God, even if I don't understand it. I can't wallow in it, but I have to truly feel it to move on. I also can't pretend it's not there. I have to forgive, yet, I have to admit that it hurts sometimes.
I'm about to read the book Why We Get Fat. I'm excited to see if I can implement this lifestyle, essentially it's low-carb (or low starch). I have major blood sugar issues, so I am sure I could benefit from this way of eating. As much as I would hate to give up bread and sweets, I know it would make me feel better. But, I'm going to read the book before I give it a try.
There was a great article in the New York Times that expounded upon the "I'm too old for this" mantra. Although I'm only in my thirties, I loved it.
I find that I have less tolerance for BS than I did before. I also find a longing for healing right now. I don't want to waste my life or live in a way that doesn't correspond to my values.
For deep wounds, we need deep healing. We need a rich prayer life. We need an even closer relationship with Christ to deal with it all. That's my goal in all of this. Not just to "get over it," but to "get it." To get the lesson. To be transformed.
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"Within thy wounds, hide me..."