Life on life’s terms

My life has changed tremendously since I last blogged. I married my lovely wife in May, and I’ve moved to a different part of the country so that we can live together. The hardest part has been quitting a job, a job I loved, that was in a toxic place. So here I sit in Starbucks in a new city with no job. Of my own accord I quit my job to be with my wife. It’s wonderful sharing daily life with her, rather than one of us getting on an airplane every month, sometimes twice a month, to be together.

Though it is stunning to voluntarily place myself among the unemployed. I didn’t plan it this way. I’ve been actively applying for jobs since May, yet this is where I am. It’s rather humbling, and scary. For many years, my identity was wrapped up in my career. I stayed at terrible places for a multitude of reasons: too scared to leave, cared too much about my cases or people I worked with, resignation that nothing out there was better, etc. It was sobering to realize that my place of employment was not worth the suffering.

Even with the disastrous workplace that it was, it was still hard to leave. In any work environment, there are always good people to be found. I will miss the gals I worked with, and the accidental mentors that materialized for me.

Who knows what comes next for me. It could be something completely different. I’ll try to be open to it, and not let my trauma history take over my actions and mind-set. Sending out a prayer to the universe that work will come my way when my bank account needs it.

You thought you wanted to know

So far this evening, you’ve had an orange, chocolate sprinkled nonpareils, and you just finished watching an episode of NCIS. You even looked up the best keyboard case for an Ipad mini 4. An important question–Do you even own an Ipad mini 4? No, you do not. But, you learned the best keyboard case is from logitech.

Why all the procrastination?

You do not know how to write about devastation. You only know how it feels, but you cannot tell anyone what it is.

This devastation cannot be named, described, nor can it be identified. You only know that some people from your past make you want to run, and hide and disappear. But, you do not now why. All you know is how you feel.

There’s also a devastation in seeing friends from high school on Facebook, and knowing you were friends with them, but you do not know why or how you became friends. You only know you were friends because when you see their name you smile, and feel warm inside. You finally admit all this to one particular friend you feel most at ease with. She is supportive, and proceeds to tell you how the two of you became friends. It was in Honors English in high school, and you both shared a love of books and writing. She tells you stories about your senior Honors English teacher, and how you asked her to suggest additional books to you, and that you were the best writer in class.

You knock your memory bank around in your head trying to find the story she’s telling you, a story that you lived. But, it’s not there. No matter how hard you close your eyes, concentrate, and try to find the memories of knowing this friend, alas, the memories are not there. You thought this would be a happy thing, hearing about your friendship with this person. But, it brings a sadness you do not expect.

You always wanted someone to accept you as you are, have the ability to hear about you as you. But your heart cannot hear about happy stories you lived that you cannot recall. You thought this was a good idea, but instead it’s your own secret devastation.

Today’s post is written in response to Today’s Daily Prompt.

Spectacular Failure

I failed at something I loved, spectacularly failed. I never thought the end would be like this, but, alas, it is. I now question myself constantly. What else could I have done?  Could the outcome have been different if I had never said anything? But now it is known, even if I’m not believed the secret is out. It is no longer a secret that this person gaslights, and makes you doubt your sanity by denying the truth of what you experienced. The denial of that experience is far more destructive than the original inappropriate behavior. It makes for more interesting reading if I put forth examples of this crazy-making behavior. However, in the interest of discretion, I should not, though I ache to convey the insanity.

There’s an interesting phenomenon I’ve experienced where as the complainant I became persona non grata when I was previously well-received by the same people who now will not even say “good morning.” Some of these people I adored, and had respected greatly. When you originally assess that a person is credible, lovely and a good judge of character, it can be a jolt to your system when that same person no longer speaks to you with no explanation. I’ve cried over it, theorized about it. And now I have to move on, and accept that it will forever be one of the mysteries of my life. I have to work to make this experience not define me, though it is hard to stay out of that tendency.

It’s hard to go back to my okayish self. I’m out of that job with a new one, but the scars remain. I get freaked out easily, and still question my reality and my sanity. I want it to be behind me, but there it is, like a March mud season that does not relent.

I tell myself that it’s okay to come out to the living again. But the fear is right there beneath the surface, ready to bloom to defense or flight at a moment’s notice.

I tell myself that I am more than just a job. I am more than a document I produce. I need to not leave this earth of my accord, despite the nightmares and the flashes of visions where I go into oblivion.

I drive very little these days because I get in that floaty cloudy state far too often. I’m on the bus a lot, and it seems I’ve found my people. The woman who speaks to herself at the bus stop is my sister, my sister in confusion and trying to make a life with a brain that works differently from the rest of the world. The homeless guy on the bus is all of us trying to make it in this life. The mom with 3 kids on the way to the mall is going to give her kids a fun Friday night, just like other moms all over the country endeavor to do on a Friday night. On the bus I can sit there and silently cry about the job I no longer have, and the people I no longer see. There’s a quiet acceptance of each other on this bus-the homeless guy that needs a shower, the woman that talks to herself, the mom with 3 kids that are full of noise and laughter, and me with my head against the window with a broken heart, but a hope for all of us on that bus.