After a layoff I was not able to continue going to my Toastmasters club so I joined another Club. There I met three awesome women. One of them was the person I mentioned earlier. What she probably does not know or remember was that I really admired her. I wanted to be like her in many ways. I said a few times and even wrote in my journal that if I could emulate the best of each of those women, I would be successful in life and career.
Some way along the journey, she turned mean. I do not know when it happened. Maybe I did not do something she wanted me to or how she wanted me to do it. Instead of building me up, she decided to tear me down. She tried to police my behavior. She took to shhing me because she thought I was too loud, telling me I talked and acted inappropriately, who I could and could not be friends with. At a convention, she once called my room and asked my roommate if I made it back to my room because I had been in an elevator with a married man. Yeah, that happened. It was humiliating.
I knew then that I was never going to get her approval again. Nothing I did was ever good enough even when I was successful. 2009 came and I decided I could no longer wait to achieve my goals. I ran for election knowing this woman would be the leader and I would have to serve a year with her. It was hell. Apparently, it was hell for her too. Every day for a year, I was reminded that I was not the person she wanted to work on her team. That I would never live up to his perfection.
I forged on, deciding that I would kill myself to prove her wrong. IT WAS NEVER ENOUGH. Our team was successful that year. We made our goals. She bashed me and claimed I stopped working last 60 days of the year. She let me know that if we were not successful that year that she would make my life miserable and hold me responsible. We were successful but I was still blamed for many other transgressions.
I went on with my life after that year. They were not easy years but I got through them. Surrounding myself with positive people.
Then there was last night. I went home from our encounter thinking that I too have not gotten over it. How could I feel healed from that abuse? What she does not realize nor will she ever realize is how much damage she did to me. To my self-esteem, to my confidence, how I thought about my abilities and myself. I questioned my instincts. I doubted me. It felt as if she wanted to destroy any confidence I had to make me feel as bad about myself as she felt about herself. It is still there. Rather than try to build me up she tore me down in to small pieces. It has taken a long time to build back up into who I should have been all along. In some ways, I may even still be looking for approval. If I ever got that then I could prove to myself that even she could be won over.
What I am realizing as I type this is that people choose to live in misery. Inside thier own head. That misery is projected on to other people so that people feel as bad as you do. I do not want to live in misery any longer. I am not responsible for what others perceive as transgressions against them. I did the best that I could while she verbally and emotionally abused me. I can only control the misery in my own head and after seven years, I need to let this shit go and move on.
I will not let anyone invite me in to his or her misery. No one is responsible for how someone else feels. She probably thinks I hurt her a much as she hurt me. The difference is I am going to forgive her. Not for her, but for me. Forgiving her for being abusive gives me closure and power to walk away from the situation and the person. She can live in her misery for as long as she wants. If it was so bad working me with that you wanted to die, that is messed up. Maybe she should have done something about it then rather than living in misery.