Took a big step forward this week

As you may have read in my recent post about workplace bullying, I’m having a difficult time in my current job. It’s sad because the rest of my life is really starting to turn around. Or should I say, I am really starting to turn my life around.

I finished the trauma therapy almost a year ago, completing about 14-15 months of the hardest emotional work I have ever done (and hope I ever will do). In the past year, I’ve experienced everything from separating from my husband, to having the biggest argument of our lives with my daughter, to watching my daughter go far away to grad school (and missing her terribly), to giving my husband an ultimatum about our marriage.

But since January, aside from my job, my life has really been changing for the positive. Shall I count the ways?

  1. My dear husband (who moved back in a few months ago) decided to get professional help for depression, and it’s making a difference. I continue to monitor my own feelings about the relationship, rather than focusing on his feelings so much.
  2. I have published more short fiction (under another pen name) — I’m up to 5 books so far — and am working on the next one now.
  3. I have been doing some serious work on trying to calm my mind in order to cope better with my PTSD symptoms, and it’s helping.
  4. My relationship with my daughter is repaired.
  5. And … I took a big step forward this week and enrolled in Marie Forleo’s B-School, an online course for entrepreneurs who want to create a successful, sustainable online business. It wasn’t cheap, but I know the investment will pay off. I’m sure of it. That was my biggest step forward yet — making this investment in myself.

That last step was a direct result of the bullying at work. I’ve had enough, I really have. I can no longer work in that environment, and I want to return to having control over my work life. In years past, I did work for myself. But since 2007, I’ve worked full time in the same institution (3 different positions now) and can’t find professional fulfillment there.

This week, I accepted that reality and stepped up my self-control, if you will. While I can’t quit my job just yet, I’m now moving toward doing so, methodically and positively.

Looking back on the trauma therapy, I see how it pushed me over a cliff into the darkness that was ME. I didn’t know myself very well at all, because the abuse had taught me to be focused completely on other people: their moods, their moves, everything. As a result, I had no idea what I really thought, what I felt, what I wanted.

Now, I’m discovering that I actually do have something inside of me that people like and respect. And what I don’t have inside of me now, I’ll create as I go along.

That thought process alone is a big step forward for me: realizing that I can be someone with agency over my life, and I can create something. I’m late to this realization because of what happened to me, and I know I can never have the life I should have had. I can, however, create something else — something good. And that starts now.

P.S. The Violence Against Women Act was passed by Congress. Couldn’t be happier about that, except I wish it didn’t have to exist at all.

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