I Blog For Books

06 March 2012

and the hits just keep on comin' ...

So anyway. Last night was the first night back at work after two weeks off. It's usually difficult, for most of us anyway, to come back to work after that many days off at one time. I headed to work, however, with a positive attitude. There were ups and downs, but all in all, not a bad shift. Imagine my surprise when a chance encounter unveils the "good meeting" (held while I was gone) and its results. I can't decide whether to be insulted or thankful.

I hope that I put on the happy face. You know which one I mean. The one that says, "yeah, I expected as much and it validated every single thing I was thinking, and ohbytheway, thanks so much for the slap in the face. Let's do this again, shall we?" The news, however, is a double-edged sword. I do not in any way begrudge part of the change that was made. Change is good, for it keeps things from becoming static. Change is a growth process, for nearly everyone involved. This particular change just happened to come without warning, and was delivered in such a way that I felt insulted. I was left with doubts about not only my skills and rapport with my team members, but was left with the crushing doubt of wondering if the rapport I thought we had achieved was only a figment of my own undeniably over-active imagination.

So how do I handle this situation? Do I confront them? Confrontation in the workplace, as a general rule, is NOT a good thing. Someone inevitably gets hurt and it makes for a strained working environment. Swallowing the issue doesn't always work either. The person (in this case - me) who holds their tongue builds up a pool of bitterness and resentment, and can end up lashing out at an inopportune time. And I have learned all too well the negative effects of speaking before you think, or speaking before you think things through. No matter how hard you try, you cannot unsay hurtful things. 

I am hurt right now. Hurt because not one of my coworkers saw fit to even hint at what was coming. Apparently it was their idea. At least that's what I was told. And therein lies the rub. That's what I was told. As in nearly everything in life, there are two sides to a story. Do I want to try and uncover the other side? There is a chance that it is exactly as was said. That might make things worse. Do I really want to know what my coworkers think of me?Or do I just let it go? As earlier posts over the past weeks have shown, I obviously have a problem with letting go. I'm going to fret over this. So much so that the vicious circle of thought running through my head on the way home was a repeat refrain of the pity party I had all those months ago when I changed shifts and began working with a new team.  What that enlightening and self-defeating phrase kept telling me to remember was that "these are the people you work with. They are not your friends." 

While I don't want to think those kinds of thoughts, I can't help it. And I know what will happen, because internally, it has already begun. I will withdraw until I make myself miserable. Oh wait. That's already here. I will temper what I say, because I feel as if it does not matter and I don't want to make things worse than they already are. I will remind myself that although we are a team, I'm not really a part of it, but an add-on that came later and never quite made first string. If that is so, oh well. I'm a survivor, and this too shall pass. 

Dear God, today I am adrift in a leaking lifeboat with neither paddle nor life jacket. I am surrounded by treacherous waters. No shore is in sight. The beacon from the lighthouse flickers, and fades with each rotation. Can I cling to its steady strength, or will it, too, leave me shattered and alone?

"You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely." ~Psalm 59:17 NIV

05 March 2012

Out of the Depths

What do you do when, no matter how hard you try to focus on something else, you keep returning to a place/time/happening of your past? Agonizing over what was done and how things could be different if only you had done/said/thought/acted in some way differently than you did ... no matter how many years have gone by? What does it say about you when you are having a hard time focusing on what IS and enjoying what you have because you constantly compare it to what WAS and what you had?

There are probably as many quips, quotes, and words of wisdom are there are circumstances to which you can apply them.  Sometimes, however, no matter how often you try to smile and put a happy face on things, it just doesn't happen. You want to cry, scream, throw things, yell at the world ... or is it that you want to yell at yourself? To beat yourself up over something that you have done ... are you beating yourself up over your past? You are not alone.

Right now, I cannot even find the words to express how I am feeling. I feel anger (at myself), remorse (for the pain that I caused) and regret (for what was lost). No distraction technique is working. How do you explain these feelings? How do you work through them? I feel as if I've been thrown into the deep end of an endless pool with no float device. And no, I can't swim.

I am finding no peace tonight, not even in the praise music that has been soothing me recently. The Bible is giving me no peace. I am not resting. Putting on the happy face is stressing me to the point that I want to run away from home, a rather ridiculous point of view for a woman in her mid 40s. When I consider such an action, I remind myself of the realities of the situation: I just returned from a two week vacation. I don't have the time to take off even if I had somewhere to go. I have responsibilities.

What else have  I noticed? I have noticed that pain has become a constant, instead of a "most of the time." Headaches are coming more frequently, and have started to become more intense. While I don't deny that pain can have a physical cause, I think these recent exacerbations are stress driven and emotion related. I need to let go.

I need to let go, and let God deal with it. He did not put me in this position, but He will not desert me here. I need to trust, to have faith, to believe that He can and will show me an improvement -- that He has a plan. I know He does, for I truly believe that I would not be here if He didn't. Sometimes ... and this is one of those times ... I need reminding of what I have. Not what I had, for the choices made were my own (wrong though they were), but what I have.

God, today I am feeling ungrateful and peevish. Please forgive me for my stubborn refusal to let go of the pain. Help me to see that I need you to work through this. Help me move forward to the future that you have planned for me.

"My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body. I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart ... LORD, do not forsake me; do not be far from me, my God. Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Savior." ~ Psalms 38:7-8, 21-22 NIV