Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Life Post Trauma and Workplace Abuse ... A Piece of the Mosaic of My Life

... is what we make it.
... is complicated
... is challenging

And these are just a few of the qualities of life post trauma and workplace abuse.  It can also be:
  • good
  • like the weather; if you don't like it stand on the corner for 15 minutes and it'll change
  • tiring; it takes a lot of effort
Life post trauma and workplace abuse has many faces:

It can be so wearying and take so much effort that you feel like you're slogging through a very muddy field and not just any type of mud, but that which clings to you and tries to suck you down, grounding you in place, not allowing you to move forward - or sometimes even backward.  Stuck.

Yet it can also be exhilarating with a sense of excitement and expectation..  What is just around the corner?

My life specifically, post trauma and workplace abuse, is a mosaic.  Composed of dark colours, bright colours and some neutral colours.  A composite of life.

Unknown relative at the family reunion reading a copy of my mother-in-love's book
Take Sunday for example.  The annual family reunion for my mother-in-love's side of the family.  Held yearly, it has taken an extreme effort of the will to attend.  Why?  Because of the huge physical and emotional debilitations I deal with every day of my life.  Because of the hypervigilance that goes with me everywhere I go.  Because at the very core of my being after workplace abuse demolished my self esteem and devalued me, I am not only afraid of people, but of rejection.

A whimsical picture taken at the reunion in 2012

I feel like I have nothing to offer.

So then, why did I make the effort to attend?  Why indeed?

Because these people, including and especially my mother-in-love, insisted that they wanted me there.  Why?  I have no idea.

But I decided to honour and value her.  Together, my ever lovin' and long sufferin' spouse, also my constant comrade in my escapades, put together a "plan".  A plan of how I could cope.  How we would handle things if I started to fall apart either mentally of physically.  An escape plan if I got too tired or if I started not being able to think or talk.

Yet, these people, some closely and some distantly related, cared so much that they not only expressed verbally that they were glad that I had managed to come despite the disabilities - or "altered abilities" - that are not visible to the naked eye, but they enfolded me with love and concern.  As far as they're concerned, everyone has their challenges.  And if I'm related, even by marriage, I'm part of the motley crew.

The best part of the day - FOOD!  And lots of it!

To top things off, my ever lovin' and long sufferin' husband who walks with me and takes care of me when I can't take care of myself, came up with the idea of making pulled-pork in the crockpot as our contribution to the supper.  An easy, as in really easy, dish to make.  Especially when said husband goes with me to buy the meat, washes the crockpot and takes the fat off the piece of meat.  Anything that involved physical energy and labour, he did.  Anything that involved plugging in a crockpot and lying on the couch, I was able to do.  (And no, that part was not documented in pictures.)

It may not seem like much, but for me having been stripped (at least for a time in the workplace and immediately post workplace) of all value, to be warmly greeted, to be valued, to be wanted means a lot and helps immeasurably with the healing process. 

To be able to contribute something - even in a small way - adds an extra dollop of whipped cream to the experience.  To hear people say:  "Did you see the pulled pork?" and head back for seconds makes me aware that I not only have value but am still able to contribute something worthwhile to the overall experience for others.  They don't need to know who made the pulled pork.  Seeing them snarf it up was all the thanks I needed.

I tire easily, so we headed home shortly after the meal.  I fell into bed immediately.  And spent most of yesterday resting and regrouping.

Yet, despite the debilitations, despite having to constantly monitor my activities to ensure that I can keep on going in a semi vertical position, it was worth it.

A small piece in the mosaic of healing post workplace abuse.

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