Long-term Damage

I have a wonderful job, working for a great employer that’s doing amazing work in the world. I love my bosses and my co-workers, and am grateful every single day that the Universe brought me to this place in my life.

But, much more often than I’d like, I still have …flashbacks? I don’t know what else to call them – from my previous position, where my life was miserable. I worked for that employer for over eleven years, all told, and the last three were progressively more miserable. Until finally I said, that’s it, I’m quitting, whether I have somewhere else to go or not.

(First stroke of luck – this was in March of last year, before the general economic meltdown. I kept saying, I’m taking the leap (of leaving my job) and trusting the Universe to catch me. And it did!)

But even though it’s now over a year and a half later, I still have randomly occurring thoughts about how bad I felt during those last three years, about how much I hated what I was doing, how unappreciated my work was, and how undermined my self-confidence was. In spite of other self-esteem issues, I always was able to look at my work life and feel confident and proud of my abilities and output. That was completely destroyed.

And even worse, several times lately, Extremely Bad Ex-Boss has been making a very unwelcome guest appearance in my dreams. Gaahhhh!

Every time I tell myself, Let it go. Just let it go. It’s over, it’s over. Much more difficult to do, actually, than to say. But, as one of my favorite quotes has it, “The past is a swamp where we wander at our peril.” (author Ellen Gilchrist)

And every time I let myself sink into that swamp, I find myself questioning my current work, my job performance now, and even my general self-worth. This, in spite of two stellar employee evaluations over the last 16 months at my current job, regular kudos on various tasks, and general well-being here, including knowing I’m doing a good job.

So, I guess the moral of the story is, if you’re in a position that’s causing you to doubt yourself, to hate yourself, to drag yourself out of bed every single damn day – get out! Get out now! Take the leap, and trust the Universe to catch you. Because doing anything else can cause, and continue, the long-term damage you’re building up.


5 thoughts on “Long-term Damage

  1. God, I had TWO employers like that in a row. Both started out as dream jobs, in every sense – work hours, co-workers, job responsibilities – and both ended with me doubting my abilities as a functioning, productive member of society.

    Both jobs had a significant role to play in the decision to stay home with my son when he was born; and to not return to the traditional workforce now that he’s getting older. I’ll do anything else: Work on a farm, sell jewelry, sell herbs and homemade jelly, before I return to an office. I’m lucky my husband’s situation is such that we can do that (just about; we live pretty simply), and I know many, many people can’t. So I know, every day, how lucky I am. I hope the flashbacks and nightmares diminish, hon.

  2. Trish, thank you. I am always so glad for women (usually women; then there’s @BackPackingDad, haha!) who can do that.

    Since another of my self-guilt-trips (tangent) is that I failed my son because I had to go back to work full-time when he was just 2. He’s 15 1/2 now, and I still angst over it.

  3. Pingback: The Weekend… « karma and musings

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