The First Story

I wrote the other day about how I was better with certain people.  I should write the story of what happened that I needed to be made better from.  This is the first story.  Not the story of the incident, which was the impetus of this blog, Pile of Good Things and my wellness plan.  This is the story of how I realized I was different and how it broke me.

After I finished Graduate School in England, I came home to CT.  I never like coming back to CT, but I ran out of money, couldn't get a visa to stay and came back home.  First order of business was to find a job.  Of course in 2009, the economy was still crappy.  I ended up with 3 part time jobs.  One was at an oil tank removal company, one was as a tutor and then I worked for a cosmetics company.  The last is where we had problems.

When I first started, I was so in love with the company's products as they were mostly natural and had safe synthetics.  I will not name the company here for certain legal reasons.  I originally liked the people I worked with because I was only there for part of the time and we were busy since it was for Christmas.  The first year was OK.  It was the second year that started to cause me problems because I was passed over for promotion and the assistant manager's best friend was picked for a supervisor's position over me.  They claimed that I wasn't ready and that may have been true, but it was disappointing nonetheless and my performance suffered.  I believe this was due to lack of communication on both sides.  I had an MA, was over-educated and underpaid for my position.  I was ready for responsibility, but was offered none. 

I eventually did get the promotion in July of 2011, which was fine.  The manager got fired in September for harassing the staff, which included screaming in my face in a public forum.  Things got better for a little bit until the assistant manager was trying to get the management job.  That's when her crazy came out and I was starting to be bullied by her.  Everyone started to be bullied, actually.  When the new manager came in, I complained, but the assistant won out in the end because she had the company's best interest at heart.  The assistant was necessarily mean, but she would throw tantrums, belittle in public and be demeaning to staff.  All this eventually broke me down and led to a minor depression and a lapse into cutting.

The final breakdown of this incident happened in 2012 at a Holiday party.  I was having a really bad night because I was so out of my mind on endorphins.  I was being ignored by almost everyone except the waiter, who was the only one that noticed something was wrong.  I went into the bathroom twice to try to cut myself with a hair clip.  I admit, not my best moment.  I was so miserable and at one point I was talking about Sherlock and somehow a gun was mentioned.  It got interpreted that I was going to mow down the entire place.  I don't own a gun.  I actually hate guns and would never wish to have one.  Long story short, I got fired the next day, which was fine.

I was so happy that I never had to go back.  I actually smiled for the first time in 6 months after that.  I stopped cutting that day and started to glow.  The problem was coming back from it.  It took time and was a great struggle and then he walked into my life.  It wasn't always easy with him, but I started to come alive again.  I still struggled with cutting and depression, but I had someone that I could feel in my corner.  I came up with a modified wellness plan, but it all eventually fell apart as the depression started to come back 2 months before the incident.  The incident is another story for another day.

My life is never going to be easy.  I know the lure of cutting will always be there.  Depression can be seductive in a deceptive way.  There will always be triggers and now I am more aware of them.  Time has healed this wound with support.  There are other wounds that are still healing,  I'm hoping that things will change soon and I will come back to what I was.

PS.  I forgot to add one thing.  Since the cosmetics company uses sulfates in almost everything, I have permanent damage to my hands.  I get tiny itchy patches on my fingers, which flare up more in winter.  Only Shea butter lotion from a rival company seems to help a long with a prescription cream.  I complained about this, but no one seemed to be concerned with my injuries caused by their "amazing" products.  I have a permanent reminder of what happened there.  A permanent reminder of the bullying, but a permanent reminder of my survival.

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