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Fragile

I don’t usually get called “fragile”. I am friendly, open, bubbly, but also private and tough and strong (I think. Generally. Or maybe I’m just emotionally distant and closed off). I don’t share feelings, don’t ask for help, don’t rely on other people and definitely don’t show it when I’m upset or hurt. And yet…

After three years of increasingly abusive work environment (my boss is certifiably insane, misogynistic, inappropriate and dysfunctional), I have had enough. Now I made a deadline for myself to leave this place no matter what before the end of the year. Hopefully it can be for something I really want, but if not, I will make a lateral move. Last Friday, after finding out that he told a client to tell the mother of the girl I work with that I should not be associated with because I am “a whore, aggressive and disrespectful”, I couldn’t shake it off. I have resolved to leave. I cannot confront him about this specific comment because it would put the girl who told me in a bad position, and she asked me not to tell. This is fine. I will make sure he doesn’t treat anyone new the way he’s been treating me, but that doesn’t really change anything for me. This culmination of hostility here at work coupled with me being hypersensitive in personal life left me slightly damaged and in need of comfort at the bar last Friday. And the people who work there, who are near strangers to me with no ties or obligations, got me ice cream with liquor and whipped cream. I nearly dissolved into tears. D came over after and gave me a hug (K told him he was being an asshole, without my knowledge whatsoever), but that was not even the best part. The care from people who simply wanted me to feel better was exactly what I needed, what made me feel precious and important and comforted. I allowed myself to feel sad and miserable for that one night, and then made plans to fix this mess.

And this week, a guy at work told me I have been looking “fragile”. On one hand, I am almost disappointed in myself for not being able to control the sheer volume of hurt flooding me. On another, though, the fact that someone noticed and cared enough to acknowledge it and make it better was all I needed to find the motivation to keep going. What worries me is that it feels like I need these little signs of care lately – be they from strangers, co-workers or D. I tried asking for it, but that backfired gloriously, and so these small moments of care are precious to me. Mom messaged me and asked if I want to come visit her and dad on the West Coast during the holidays and just “be a daughter”, and once again, I felt comforted and very tempted to do just that. I don’t like being this sensitive, and it feels like I am raw from the last few months of emotional rollercoasters and constant disappointments from work. I don’t want to self-medicate or ignore it all, I just want to stop feeling so damn weak.

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2 thoughts on “Fragile

  1. Man I really want to tell you to confront this guy, with the support of the ‘girl’ that told you – in that, the longer we ladies all keep telling each other these things under a cone of silence for fear of what a man will ‘do’ to us the longer these men will keep saying such things to us women. Why did she tell you at all? To what end, clearly it only made you more upset!

    And what can he really do to all of you because there is not only etiquette but regulations for management behaving in such a manner! Whore? That is quite personal and serious.

    Moments of weakness come and go, ebbs and flows, and I have them too – what is worse is I tend to beat up on myself more when I feel that way – I think it is great the people around you took time to show you they care and you allowing them to do so will in turn help solve the feelings. I like that your mom invited you home to just be a daughter.

    I don’t think it is weak of you to not confront this man, the situation, and you are certainly trying to get control back by giving yourself a year end goal – my point is simply this man wants you to feel weak and horrible because if people at work can see that you appear to be fragile it’s working. If your friend isn’t going to help, and I do understand work place tension, you can at least tell her to never talk about him to you again.

    I have not really commented on your last few entries, you write so well and they are your feelings and thoughts – however I feel as though I should apologize for writing what I did here today because I hope it does not add to your distress – but know I am cheering for you!

  2. Um, if your boss is saying shit like that about you, doesn’t that qualify as sexual harassment? See. this is exactly why everyone should keep a journal for what goes on at work so that when shit like this happens, you can lower the boom on whoever said it. It’s discriminatory, belittling, and just downright wrong and until someone takes him to task for such behavior, he’s gonna keep doing it.

    If you can, don’t let him keep getting away with defaming your character…

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