A Pariah Overnight
Isn’t it amazing how quickly a person can fall from grace in the court of public opinion when either they make a blunder or become the target of a smear campaign, and word of it gets out to their detractors? What’s even more startling is how quickly that fall can occur when the person is pushed. LOL.
I’d have to say my case was one part fall from grace and three parts big push off the wall. LOL
Admittedly, my culpability in The Ordeal was not being able to locate and push the STOP button to put an end to my grief and despair after Mr. Cheater Pants did his boot-scootin’-boogie. Despite how hard I tried, my private life spilled [okay, gushed!] over into my professional life. Big mistake, boys and girls.
Gotta love hindsight. It’s always 20/20, eh? Almost a decade down the road from the event, I realize now that I should have quickly resigned from my position up front, while I still had good references—but I did not.
My pride didn’t want to give up. All my life I’d met adversity head on. I had a history of putting my head down and plunging ahead, ram tough. However, this time, that strategy failed me. I was psychologically out-maneuvered, rendering my stubborn willpower useless and totally inoperative.
The cold hard fact was that my husband, Mr. Machiavelli, won on the day he left by levying the ultimate power maneuver. Hands down, I was out-played. I can admit it. And because [at the time] I attached all my value and self-worth to this man, my life was essentially over when he walked out. Everyone around me knew it. Everyone but me, that is.
I was drowning while still clinging desperately to the banks of the river Denial. My husband hated me and that was a fact.
Whistling In The Graveyard
Initially, my employers were kind and empathetic to me. For a while attempted to accommodate me as I was flailed about, trying to try to keep my job. I tried with all that was in me. It was all I had left that represented some semblance of the life I’d known before the implosion. That said, it was not to be. That placed me in dire straits as Mr. Machiavelli absconded with a good portion of what had formerly been ‘our’ liquid assets.
Try as I might, rarely was I able to get through an entire day without being triggered at some point. When that happened, I was once again swept away with rogue waves of grief and despair. They arrived like ill-timed but consistent tsunamis.
PTSD Isn’t Just For War Vets
To add to it all, I had panic attacks upon awakening … each and every morning … often having to run from my work space to duck into a bathroom stall and hide the dry heaves that began each time reality rushed back in and hit me like a ton of bricks.
Good intended people advised me to bury myself in my work. Most others simply told me to ‘get over it’. [Pretty good advice under more normal circumstances. However, this if not always do-able for someone is suffering with severe PTSD.]
On the ledge with all this crying and what was essentially a cataclysmic nervous breakdown, I was doing a bang up job destroying my career and reputation all on my own. I was then given the final shove by those who from my ‘inner circle’—those who’d assured me that they were ‘there for me’. Then while down and out and on the ground, my underlings [motivated by their attempts to seize their opportunity to grab the brass ring] were all too happy to gather around and kick me in in the gut, in unison, like a band of thugs wearing spiked steel-toed boots.
Business & Personal Boundaries
And why not? The workplace is never the venue where one should expect to find care, compassion, and answers to life’s deepest mysteries, right? LOL.
I look back at my ignorance. In essence, that was what I was doing. Having lived my life prior to my career in social isolation and family dysfunction, I succumbed to not maintaining proper boundaries. I treated the people I worked with as I would family and friends. Bad ju ju! Business is business and should stay that way—plain and simple. But when you’re stupid, you do stupid things.
In any event, that’s the past. It all happened. And I survived.
Irrespective of the weighted average of the various components that contributed to my undoing, the fact was that I went from being known in my sphere as “one of the best administrators in [name of my city withheld]” to suddenly being the dregs of humanity in everyone’s mind—almost overnight.
Oh well. Sometimes you get the bear. Sometimes the bear gets you.
Hit The Road
As a practice administrator and a keyholder who had once participated in the facility’s final buildout, interior design, move-in/set up, I was suddenly informed [in no uncertain terms!] that I was no longer welcome to darken the door of the business—-nor was I ever to step foot on said property.
Further, I was expressly instructed by their attorney that I was to have no contact with anyone in their employ, either during or after business hours.
And just how were they going to enforce that, I wondered? Call 911? Have me tackled, cuffed, shoved into a cruiser? Forcibly taken away? There was no protection order, nor anything that would come anywhere close to occasioning one—unless The City’s Finest issued them for being a heartbroken, grieving, pathetic loser whose husband [this practice’s IT guy] dumped her. LOL
What was I to intuit from that? Was I to surmise that this was their not-so-veiled threat that if I did not comply, the next step would be the issuance of a restraining order? [Eye roll.] Shoulder shrug.
Nah, they knew me well enough to know that I would respect their wishes, regardless of how mortally offended I might be. They had years of history where they’d seen me handle conflict after conflict with staff. They knew that I wasn’t the scrapper type.
My termination [delivered by email at 10PM one evening!] stated that—from that point forward—any and all communication related to their business and/or my employment with should be routed through their attorney.
Bang! Write it down! I had been put in my place, now hadn’t I? LOL.