most awful boss ever

I have this feeling that when something goes unfinished in my life. when it goes unresolved because I have not engaged. because I have felt insecure on the surface, if not deep down inside. I have this feeling that, maybe sometimes, I am not going to be able to move forward. Step forward and on to the next integration of whatever I call "my life." And, possibly, this is a reason why I am having so much stress and struggle when it comes to finding exactly that career which I would do for free if I did not have to do it for money. If I could, I would do it for free. That's the kind of job I want. Preferably with these office hours:

I have all these conditions in my head for why I feel like trying to find that job supplied by another, spending even a moment more on the cause or trying to work for someone else, is not worth my time or energy. My narcolepsy tops the list. followed by the ineptitude and disgusting morals demonstrated by other people in past work experiences. I was just adjacent to it. I definitely had no ability to speak up about what I felt. I would have lost my job. I would have lost my status in the country I lived in. I would have been stripped of my dignity because I am a nervous crier. It would have been awful. I'm not afraid of awful experiences any more though. Not since moving to Denmark :-D

And the one time where I was ready to quit that job, my mom talked me out of it. And it benefitted me financially, but not in any other aspect of my life. Such that, now, I am becoming an outlier. And I am embracing outlier status, which is scary. I don't want to be different than everyone else around me. I want to be included in the group, but I don't want to play the game. I have never seen the point of jumping through hoops. Especially not to hide things that I really can't change. I am not going to feel differently about racism or sexism. I am not going to become less body positive or sexuality positive. I'm not going to want to be suppressed or held back. I'm not going to value myself for less. I am not going to decide that I actually would like to only tell other people how to live their lives over just demonstrating with my own life as an example.

And that is truly the problem for me. I am always the subject of study. I do things differently. I believe in my convictions. I am easily goaded into a conversation where someone feels invited to critique me. And I force myself to endure the insulting aspects of their critique. I call it the "numb, dumb and smacking gum" -it's just part of my life. I don't know if I will ever escape having to hear people tell me about things I already know. things I already understand way better than they do. things that they say in an attempt to demonstrate their wisdom but, to me, just demonstrate that they are far from woke. I like the people who are woke, but the only place I see them is through a screen!

Anyway, I feel like today is the day. or at least this week is the week to tie up the loosest strings I have in terms of my work background. My first boss. A woman engineer who was a horrible manager and, ultimately, a horrible person. I learned only what not to be from watching her. And, as it was my first job out of university, where the females studying engineering were significantly outnumbered by the males. As it was my first job, with a woman engineer for a boss, the failure of that work relationship has always been a personal devastation. The relationship totally failed because I 100% lost respect for my boss. Then I never covered it up well and worked in a company that had 4 people. So when the consequences of the 2008 recession dried up our work schedule, I was the obvious one to get laid off.

And, I never told that woman what an awful person I thought she was. How creepy it was that she would pry into my private life whenever she had nothing else better to do. Because we weren't allowed to be writing emails of a personal nature during business hours. But, if she felt so inclined, asking me twenty questions in front of the other two employees about my new romance and subsequent engagement and marriage was the acceptable form of office entertainment. It exploited me. And I think she did it because I was the other girl. No matter why, it was incredibly inappropriate. I still feel violated .

I never told her how much she let me down. Because when she hired me, she made it sound like I would be the only one she would be taking on. But she took on the kid who still lived at home too. So she pit me against him, essentially. I was living alone and couldn't start working before Labour day because my dad had just died and I needed to go help my family clean out his house. And the other guy lived at home with his parents. He also did not fall in love and proceed to commit to that love in a profound and life changing way. He just worked and went home to mommy where he played video games with his siblings.
It was fine for the first year. Except for the part where there was never enough work for the two of us to do. And the part where even when she assigned you a project, you might come back from a site visit for a different project and find that she had asked the other one to do something related to the project you thought was yours. And then the next time the project comes up, no one knows whats going on. That always backfired at me somehow. When I would acknowledge that I had nothing on the daily to-do list. Somehow, I get assigned the "office organization" tasks. But she always pulled out a new project for him. It was infuriating after two years. Because I could have done the work of both of us and I was fucking tired of being bored at work. Its not what I went to school for. The blatant (but probably unintentional) sexism was just not what I expected from another woman engineer.

She did make the guy research to find her a voice recorder once. It did not work for what she intended. I told her it wouldn't when she started thinking out loud about it, because I knew a lot about voice to text software. but I told her at the end when I did not give a crap what she thought of me anymore. I just never crossed that line that let her fire me for being disrespectful. And I should have done it when she laid me off, but I just left. And I never returned.

And when I wrote to remind her to send me a tax form for the week that she had me work before laying me off in 2009. She asked how I was doing in the return email and I kept my words to myself. Because I was afraid of lashing out in anger. And at the time, the fact that she even allowed me to work in 2009 made me cry with anger. Especially the part where the next year I had to remind her to do her fucking job before her incompetence screwed me. I was mad that she was too spineless to tell me over winter holidays when she actually decided that I should be laid off. And during that first week I worked for her in 2009, when I told her I wanted to take a trip to Europe in February and asked for the days off, she said it wouldn't be a problem in such a simple, syrupy way. without the normal amount of disgust and resentment. Because how dare your employees actually USE their vacation days.... or call in sick! heaven forbid.
It was weird. I told people she acted weird. But I figured out why within 72 hours. She acted weird because she knew she was going to fire me on Friday! Unfortunately, my flights were booked and not changeable by then. A decent person would have been like "Straight up, add another week to that winter european vaca because you are not going to be working here by then."

And if at this point you are like "oh well she probably just blah blah blah blah.." save it. I don't care why this woman behaved as she did. Most likely it was because people made excuses for her constantly. That's why all people who exploit others through ignorance are convinced they are not bad people. Because not enough people are correcting them. I am one of those people who offered no corrections. Decided that any attempt to express myself to the awful woman I worked for was a lost cause. I enabled her. Again, I gained financially. But, no where else.

I was crippled emotionally, and as I stretch those injured emotional tendons. The ones I have nursed into atrophy. The ones I have to use if I want to soar on the love that lives inside of me. I have to work those muscles again. Even if I develop new ones, they can't compensate for what I have lost in the time since working for that awful woman. It was my birth into career and it wounded me with rejection in a way I have yet to see mirrored in another human. I'm sure there are humans out there that can relate. Where I am at, no one gets how much it all still hurts.
but it really only hurts because I never told her what I thought. I never got in her face like she got in mine. So I am writing her an email.

I think it will say:

To the absolutely worst boss, manager and colleague I have ever had the opportunity to work in the same company with:

They say forgiveness is not real until it has been given.

I forgive you for starting my career off in such a horrendous and incompetent way.

I have long since been able to live life without thinking about the back stabbing, bullying and gross corruption I experienced while being employed by you. As of sending this email, I have come to a place where I can forgive you for those things. So, I decided to let you know.


Then its over. right? The only thing missing is the insults I always wanted to hurl. But that's the right way to do it. right? because she is a broken person and I don't think it's up to me to try and fix her.


a story about yesterday

so yesterday. I want to tell you about yesterday. I don't know why it means anything but... I'm following these instincts. or these impulses. Whatever they are. the parts of my life that become more emphasized after this intentional and out loud praying that I am doing because that is what you said to do! And so I want to tell you about yesterday.

I have struggles in applying self love. That is what my recent time spent in isolation taught me most. A lot of it has to do with relocating. moving to Denmark and trying to learn a new cultural expectation; navigate all of that. Defining myself inside and out of it.
But it also comes down to the fact that, in any situation, I make space for others before I claim it for myself. and before anyone even asks for me to make space at all. It happens emotionally to me all the time. I notice because I am so sensitive to other people's feelings. I don't know if I have the words to explain the emotional side of it though.

In the physical world, a good analogy would be, when I'm on a train or a bus and people are getting on. before anyone decides to sit near me or walk by me, I am pulling myself into an uncomfortable position. I am making sure I am not in the way that may become some one's path or place to sit. Other people demonstrate the exact opposite response to sharing the spaces near them. But that is not my inclination. my inclination is to be aware of other people before they are aware of me. They may not even ever become aware of me, but I am still holding myself in that uncomfortable position until everyone around me is comfortable. Ok, then I am allowed to become comfortable.

And emotionally, that final comfort after everyone else is settled. I don't achieve it every day. I need hours alone to get to the place where I have established my space. And then I can live alongside others without compromising myself. The pieces of those hours are incredibly important. They are like steps built one on the other. I can be pulled off the steps at any point by a want or need from another human in my life, so it can take as long as it takes. And I have learned that intentionally stopping to help my child or my husband is a good way to ensure that I can come back to where I paused. if time allows. Then, I don't have to start over from the first step. If I fight to keep the routine, then the fighting itself will throw me off. But sometimes I am in a place where building those steps to make myself space at all is impossible. Any attempt to try will be a fight. in the present. in the moment. So I just decide not to do it. For those around me. Because I am a dirty fighter.

So yesterday I did not get a chance to do any of the things that fall into that category of self love. I was still functional. I was productive. but I did not get to spend time by myself to pray or create. or shower. or eat well. I gave all my energy and time to my family. And at the end of the day I was broken in a way that is scary for me. Sometimes the pain of existing becomes too much. I am overwhelmed. I beg for mercy. as I make more and more space for anyone but me. It does become not intuitive at some point. I have usually committed myself to more than I intended at that same point. So I feel like I have no way of going back if I want to maintain any sort of integrity or growth. I just have to go through it. get it over with and then I can make space for my self love again.

So yesterday. I was broken at the end of the day. Trying to explain to my husband how I felt and not feeling like I can get the point across. But somehow, something made it through. And we decided together that I should go to the sea. Swimming in the sea is some purified me-time for sure. because no one can come with me. We live close to a beach on the Baltic Sea. We found me twenty five minutes at the end of the day yesterday. It was after 8pm. I went to the beach. I prayed first and, eventually, while praying, I was just filled only with desire to go into the water. So that's what I did.

This beach is knee/thigh deep water for a really far distance. I have never ventured far enough out to experience the drop off. I don't even know where it is. And I only I know its there from the satellite images I can see online 😂
As I was praying, a rain storm started on the other side of the water. There is land (its Sweden) close enough that one can see it from the beach, so there was a rain storm over this land and the sun was setting behind me and my beach. A rainbow started to form while I was praying. As I walked out into the water, I walked towards the rainbow and it just continued to become more and more intense in brightness and colour. It was fantastically beautiful.

And then comes one of those full circle moments:
I'm out in the middle of the water with no one near me. The water is cold. its uncomfortable, but I get used to it. Enough that I can get down on my knees if I want to sit in the sand or I can float around without touching the bottom, but still be totally submerged. Sometimes I am facing the gold setting sun. sometimes I am facing this intense rainbow. And I know the rainbow is a promise that God will never destroy humanity, but I take it personal. because I have just been praying about my life and how hard it is to find the strength to endure the pain that comes for me in just existing. Praying about how difficult it is for me to believe that God has anything but plans for more struggle and pain in my future. Then, praying to acknowledge that, outside of my pain, I know He is not trying to destroy me. And, in case there was any doubt, I have this promise right in my face making me understand that even more. The rainbow has my full attention and appreciation when I am facing towards it. I feel as if it is there just for me to go deeper into this feeling of security with God. Going deeper into knowing, for sure, that I will not be destroyed by anything outside of my own self. And, then the rainbow has my back when I face the sun, the center of my universe. And that means something too, though I only have feelings for it, not words. It was such a perfect set of moments. Totally submerged in the sea and, for the first time in a few days, feeling only protected and cared for.

I only have the moment at all because my husband and I agreed together that we should carve it out of our lives for me. We used brute force to make it happen. If I had done it alone, I would have had to fight for it. I would have had to be selfish or demanding. I would never have done it at all under those conditions. But it was created by me with a partner. So it became a fantastic balm for my brokenness that I am still feeling the effects of. But I could not have had it without the cooperation of the people around me. And I do not always get such cooperation.

not from yesterday. but in the same spot on the planet.


it could always be worse

this is just a short time
its a month, maybe less maybe more.
hopefully not more
people leave their families for longer
women leave their babies for longer
wives leave their husbands for longer
in the name of financial progress

the constant quest for prosperity
it sucks you in and then
you have to work really hard
to escape it's grasp
its a human experience
you are not doomed
to repeat it over and over

but to get out means to learn
to get out means to sacrifice
to get out means to change

I always choose life
from the point that I stopped
I stopped choosing death
I always choose life
and I can't make excuses
to let death in
I am a valiant to the core
and I always have been
there is no going back
I will taste death
but one time, not thousands
and not at all before I return

to go forward
with a clean tounge
that means a month alone
doing hard labour
until the work is done
or the resources run out
but either way
my family is far away
my support system is not aware
I am going into isolation
a voluntary solitary

the media that surrounds me
the people that talk to me
the community that I claim
I just don't want to engage them
because I need all my energy
to dig my way free
and I need all my time
to pray for more strength
to overcome the pain
to overcome the stress
to overcome the voice that says

you are not good enough
you are not strong enough
you are not smart enough
you will fail to fix this
your children will never understand
your husband will abandon you too

because that voice is deception
weaved into my being
and I will never accept it as my truth
but I still have to fight its effects
only for a month
maybe less, maybe more
hope, fully, not more
pray, fully, not more

in a previous moment working
on the project I am leaving my family to finish
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