Friday, July 19, 2013

Post Workplace Abuse - Life Can Still Be Good

Life post trauma and workplace abuse is not all sackcloth and ashes I've found.  It is hard work, to be sure, but although the work of recovery is hard kind of like climbing a mountain, once you get to where you're going the view is spectacular.  For me, life after workplace abuse is a lot of hard work punctuated by those spectacular moments that make it all worth while.

  To me, life after the door closes behind your back, after the workplace has done the worst it can do to you,is also complicated.  

It's not all about what was done to you, but how you, the target, the victim and ultimately the survivor, choose to work with what you have.  Or rather, what you have left.  What, although perhaps damaged, you can work with.

Warning:  some creativity may be needed.

Wo what do I have left?  What tools do I have in my toolbox?  What strengths, if any, can I utilize while I walk through this?

Hmmmm.....  Let's see.  (Strokes chin deep in thought.)

I still have my curiosity.  My interests in things.  My, sometimes irreverent and weird, sense of humour. After all, how many people seeing a seagull restting on the head of a statue would immediately burst out looking?  And taking pictures?  Not of the statue.  I don't even know who it's supposed to represent. But of what the bird apparently thought of it.

I love to travel.  To see new places, experience new things.  I love to take pictures.  Looking at them after the fact reminds me of good times, safe people, making me smile long after the trip has ended and I'm back home in my hidey-hole.  I like to write.  Combine the three and you have a huge tool for healing, for recovery, for going forward on this dual path called recovery and life.

I have my long-suffering best friend, husband and life-long companion.  A man who encourages me to get outside my comfort zone, accompanies me on my travels and looks the other way when I pull out the wallet.

  I love flowers.  Seeing things grow and bloom.  My mom died almost a year ago, plunging into a new phase of the recovery:  grief mixed in with everything else.  So I decided to create a garden in my yard in honour of my mom.  I call it "Mom's" garden and is a a glimpse of it in it's first year.

I have my love of bicycling.  One I've had and which has had to lie dormant.  I used to ride 5-10 miles a day.  I had a 10-speed Raleigh Grand Prix - a top of the line bicycle in its day.  I thought I could start to ride again and could ride like I used to.  However, the balance is gone.  So is the energy and endurance.  Also, arthritis has made inroads into the flexibility of my knees.  But I wanted to reclaim that part of my life.  Below is my answer to that challenge.  And right now, I have lowered (just a little) my goals and expectations.  Every km is something to be happy about.

I love to crochet and knit, watching things grow underneath my fingers.  It soothes me mind while at the same time sparking my creativity.  Fanning a flame while flickering and threatening to go out back into life.  I've given up, for the time being, on wanting things to be perfect.   Besides no one is perfect.  So I work with what I have.  I incorporate the mistakes into the fabric of the project.  I look on the wholeness and think of who it may comfort.

I could go on much longer about the good things.  The peaceful things.  The things that give me joy and encouragement in the journey.

But alack and alas!  my time to write it up for today.

So I will leave you with this and ask you the question:  what do you have in your hands that can help you on the journey back after workplace abuse?  What strengths and talents do you have?  What gives you joy?

As I said earlier, because of "altered abilities" (sometimes called disabilities) some creativity may be required.

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