At different points in our lives we all have to do things we don’t want to do or do things we fear. We may fear heights, going off the high dive, going on rollercoasters or any number of things. We may not want to go to some required functions or to certain doctors or a dentist but we have to eventually do it.
Something I’ve had both a fear about and something I don’t want to do is see the woman who took my job. Seeing her brings up so much emotion and resentment as it represents just one more thing I lost because of cancer. It would be hard to lose my job to anybody but it’s particularly hard when this person had no interest in the pool when their camps used it every summer but suddenly are all in with the pool when it’s convenient to them all at my expense.
So I went into the office today to make an appearance as I’ve been doing once a week and she came into the main office and saw me at my open desk. I’m like shit there’s no hiding, she sees me. So she says “Oh hi good to see you. How are you doing, you look great.” If you know me you know I can be a smart ass at times so I replied, “I’m doing ok. Just trying to adjust to my new job and position.” She mentioned about members of the fitness center asking about me and I said multiple times “well I’m still adjusting to this new role which has been really difficult.”
I’m pretty sure it went right over her head. And what does she care? She’s got a job she’s now happy at as she was apparently unhappy in her old role. So what do my feelings matter? What does all I went through and loss matter to her? She has no idea how much I despise her and all she took from me, the last little bit of normalcy I was so looking for, all gone because of her but really because of cancer.
But I got through our first incredibly awkward meeting. I know there will be more uncomfortable encounters in the future but the first and in some ways hardest is done. It wasn’t actually as bad as I anticipated it would be. It wasn’t enjoyable either but I got through. That meeting or encounter I was dreading is done. My hope is it gets easier with time to see her and that the pain of all that I lost fades some with time.
It’s so hard to work in person because it reminds me of all I lost. I’m slowly starting to slightly like the new job and appreciate the flexibility it has but it doesn’t mean I’m over the loss of my old position. It doesn’t take away the tremendous pain that loss has caused me. It doesn’t take away all the resentment I have for the person who took my job simply because they were unhappy in another job on campus.
But I did get the first awkward encounter over with. After this encounter I shared my feelings with a coworker who understood how difficult my whole job situation is. And I appreciated the fact that this coworker could sympathize with all I was feeling and going through. Because of his as well as a few other coworkers friendships I have built over my years at Mercer, I come in to the office at least once a week even if it hurts me to do so. Even though I feel awkward every time I walk to my open, non private desk, every time I see a fitness center member, every time I see a coworker from a different department.
The saying is time heals all wounds and I know things do get better with time. I wish this seemingly stupid hang up I have about the loss of my job wasn’t so hard but it is. I came home and after settling back to my laptop to do some more work and I cried. I cried because of this final loss of my position which has made the transition back to work a thousand times harder and more awkward than it had to be.
But I can get through this, just like I got through all the other shit I’ve been through this year. We all have functions we don’t want to go to but end up going: showers, parties, etc.
We get through that uncomfortable first time of doing something we are afraid of. We get on another roller coaster or take another jump off that high dive because we got through the first and hardest ride or jump. It might not be comfortable just yet and each ride or jump still brings up a lot of jitters and fear but we face them and grow stronger and more used to the things we dread and fear. Work will be awkward for awhile but I’m hoping it eventually it becomes easier just like the roller coaster rides I took and high dives I jumped off.
#breastcancerbattle #returntowork #returntonormal #onetoughmother