The Bitches of Eastwick

I am trying desperately to go from being a victim to a victor of my own story. But there are certain days when it feels like an impossible hurdle to overcome.

I left work yesterday in tears. It’s bad enough that most days I don’t know why I am there, as it seems there is little use for me other than as an afterthought. I am not allowed to be human there – that became obvious to me when I first approached the head of the organization to let her know my mother was in the hospital and I was told not to bring personal problems to work, to not let anything that resembles emotions to cloud my work. God, it was like speaking to my father. It was like a slap across my face, which would have been more welcome than the cold words emitted from her mouth. And I have shut down, from her initially. But after yesterday, everyone. I trust no one I work with and do not believe they give one shit about me, other than “oh, it’s her”.

They’ve stuck me away from everyone – I’ve never understood that, since one of my titles is OUTfuckingREACH. Rarely does anyone come to see me. They do not even stop on their way to the bathroom, further down the hallway I am trapped in, nor even when they heat up their goddamn food that smells like hell and makes me want to vomit everyday in the staff lounge across from my office. With the disease I have, and the fact that I am an astute observer of behavior, I am easily paranoid that I have made yet another misstep or done something that makes me loathed by others. And as much as I wrack my brain, no matter how many nights I lay awake staring at the dark ceiling, I cannot figure out for the life of me what the fuck I have done to make people treat me this way…

I do everything I can to make others feel good about themselves. I offer my help any time I can. I look professional – which is sometimes a curse, because in our industry, which is overflowing with women, my looks and appeal can create enemies due to jealousy. I am not being vain here, or I hope I am not – I’ve had this happen too many times over the years from friends to colleagues to even siblings. And so I sit, for eight hours everyday, wondering what the hell I am doing here, when my parents are dying and my love is 2,000 miles away and all I feel is alone. Why? How do I get this to change? I have tried everything in my toolkit that I know of, and still…I sit alone.

As I was getting ready to finish the last torturous hour of the day yesterday, something happened that scarred me. I needed to borrow something, so I went to the office of someone I considered a good colleague, perhaps even bordering on a friend. When I got there, I was hit with what I will call “the mean girls club”. My supervisor lounged in one of the extra chairs in the office, another fellow colleague stood in the doorway, all three of them laughing about an inside joke that stopped abruptly as I approached. My supervisor looked at me with her elitist, ego driven stare and said “what do you want?”. I turned to look at the person I had gone to see and told her I needed this particular piece of equipment. I retrieved it and had to maneuver around the colleague in the doorway (as she had not ceded one square inch of space) so that the item could be loaned out to me. I took it and left, almost running as I could hear their laughter follow me across a nearly empty room. I stood in my office shaking. I thought these women (other than my supervisor, who has hated me for some unknown reason since day one) were friends, or at least liked me. I never imagined, in any nightmare scenario I’ve dreamt up in my head, that they would have sipped the kool-aid of the supervisor and were now her minions.

This was almost the icing on the cake. Earlier in the day we had a meeting about a project I am the lead on, but no one seems to remember that. Again, my supervisor has taken it over. As I sat in the room and watch and listened to the conversation, I could not believe all the “inside” jokes that were being bantered around the room. I felt the walls pressing in on me, as if I were the runt of the litter, the unwanted child that got tossed in the trash of a Walmart bathroom. The only person I felt I had any alliance with was the graphic designer (a male) who is working with us on this project. He showed numerous designs to the group and my heart sank for him as one after another were shot down by the rest of them. I thought they were brilliant. But perhaps creativity and thinking of new ways of doing things are not valued here. Are they valued anywhere?

You can see my faith in humanity is diminishing rapidly and I wonder if there will ever be a place that feels like home. Other than in my partner’s arms.

And the Island. Which we might lose. Unless my father kills my mother this summer and/or himself, which are both very high probabilities.

After leaving the Bitches of Eastwick group, I sat in my office for the last 15 minutes of my time there and tried to hold it together. I tried to calm my racing brain and breathe, though I could feel my throat closing and bile rising in my chest. When the time came I could not depart fast enough and had to wear my sunglasses out of the building, as I was already in tears and I knew my body was close to breaking into sobs if I did not get out fast enough.

But the icing, the icing of the day came when I got home and after a long nap (because, let’s be honest, anyone going through the loss of loved ones, as well as the potential abuse my mother is receiving from my very angry father, and being so many miles away from anyone I trust, how could my body not be exhausted?) I checked my work email, which of course was a mistake. Because my supervisor had sent an email to us all about the fact that she won’t be in the building on Monday as she has been invited by our boss to be part of an all-day leadership retreat. Of course, I am grateful she will not be there, like an albatross around my neck. But the fact that she is picked for everything, is given the glory, even when it isn’t hers to receive, was simply too much. The fact that no one cares, even though I have always been there to listen when a pet dies or a medical issue is causing someone pain. I go above and beyond to make people feel special, cared for, human. But I suppose that is my Achilles heel. Maybe I am too nice and should just allow my base instincts to come out and become a raging bitch. Maybe that’s how one makes it in this industry these days.

Please understand, I am not asking for special treatment. I am not asking to be treated with kid gloves or given platitudes. I do not need that. What I need is some goddamn human decency, and I am not getting it. Not here. Not anywhere I’ve been in a long time. And when I start seeing patterns over and over again, I wonder where I went wrong along this path…Yes, life hands us ups and downs. How we get up is what is important. But I’m having a really, really hard time getting up these days and I am at the end of my rope as to how to fix it, righten it, find a life that suits who I am and not what everyone else wants me to be.

And thus, I realized, I would never be a part of their “club”. I will not drink the kool-aid. I will have to somehow build a stronger wall so I can make it through the endless hours just to have medical insurance and a paycheck, until I can figure out how I can change the equation and make this life work for me.

Because if this doesn’t change soon, I don’t know how much more I can take – of this job, this feeling of isolation, this life.

© Sorrow & Kindness

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2 thoughts on “The Bitches of Eastwick

  1. Hey I know it’s hard sometimes and feeling alone and lost are the worst feelings around. I know you probably here this all the time but try taking it one day at a time. At the sake of being cliche, it will get worst before it gets better, so don’t lose faith. Life just sucks some times but it’s not over. I hope you begin to feel better, sending good vibes your way.

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  2. Pingback: Monday | Sorrow & Kindness

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