For the purpose of this blog said manager shall be addressed as “Petunia”.
Petunia is a 60 year old who made it through the ranks of a big company. She’s the embodiment of that perfect Hollywood story where you start with a dream and end up conquering the world.
Unfortunately, somewhere along the way she also forgot how to be human, or did I get lost in what it means to be humane?
When I first met Petunia everything was great: I was heard, time flew, I felt like I was making a difference in Petunia’s world and I felt like she was also making me better. But then things changed, it started off with no “Good Mornings”, then moved to “I don’t know what you’re talking about”, now we communicate via emails only. My performance isn’t the issue, I think.. at least according to Petunia’s assessment I am a stellar performer. However, I feel like I am being pushed away, made feel redundant , small, meaningless, uncomfortable. My parents are divorced, I think this is why.
Petunia has this characteristic about her, when she is upset, for whatever reason the rest of the world suffers. She doesn’t put on a facade, she huffs and puffs, she shouts, she degrades your existence, she makes you feel like you are the reason her world is in chaos. Some days she questions my ability to open a Dropbox folder, other days she treats me like the 3 year old who scribbled on a white wall. I’ve learnt to live with it, not by choice but by defect. I can’t afford to let go of Petunia. The world is scarier and more unpredictable than ever and as someone who has had depression as the sole companion for the past 12 years, stepping into the unknown is a recipe for disaster. The self harm thoughts and tears are an email around the corner.
Today was different though, she didn’t just make me feel small, she did it in front of my peers. Up until this moment I lived in this world of denial: tomorrow will be better, it is ok to cry tonight. It was OK because I took comfort in the fact I could deny whatever happened. Depression has a way of making you feel worse than anyone could ever do… you learn to hate yourself, to make fun of yourself, to brush off the world — as long as no one else is watching. Today someone else did.
I heard the pin drop, inside my head. Now everyone knows what it’s like. I know what it’s like, and it’s not ok.
My existence, even if at times dull, is not yours to agonise. I felt angry, I felt like writing the resignation I’ve recited over and over again inside my head, I felt like saying something…but I didn’t.
I didn’t because I know myself far too well. My state of mind is fragile, everyday is a mountain I don’t want to climb, a hurdle I don’t want to overcome, a person I don’t want to be. This routine of being treated like **** is the only thing that keeps me sane. Being left alone inside my own head will be far worse.
I can’t muster the courage to let go of Petunia much less to replace her.
Here’s to tomorrow, it is ok to cry tonight.