Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I Quit!

The thing is, I'm not a quitter.  I'm a fighter.  I have dogged determination and tenacity.  I like to believe that with enough perseverance and hard work, eventually even the worst situation can be become positive.

However, I'm old enough and mature enough in my life now to understand that some things just don't change, no matter what you do to affect them.  That is because every person in this world has the gift of agency.  I am a huge advocate for agency, I would never want anyone to suffer life without it.  Life without agency is hopelessness.

So, with that being said, I quit.  I quit my job yesterday.  I just walked out.  No goodbyes, no see ya laters, no hasta luegos.  I packed up my stuff, laid my keys on the desk and just simply walked away.  And you know what?  It feels good.  Really good.

Sure, I'm a bit scared about what will come.  I don't have a job lined up yet, though I've been looking.  I expect there will be financial struggle for a time.  I will probably have to sacrifice a lot of things for a while.  All that being considered, I'm still happy I left.

*****Above was what happened.  Below are my thoughts about it.  
You choose how much you care to read.*****

My boss for the last 4 months has been a nightmare.  Although I find him to be charismatic and hardworking, his social skills and leadership abilities are very limited.  He can be the funniest, nicest guy you ever knew one day, and then the next he would go on tirades and belittle everyone around him.  I have nothing against bipolar people.  It's not their fault.  I just wish he'd get some help for it, so he doesn't continue to make all those around him miserable in the process.

Yesterday he said something to me that was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.  It wasn't the worst thing he'd ever said to me, or the worst experience I'd ever had there.  But it was the last.  All of a sudden, I just knew I was DONE.  I could no longer remain on this emotional roller coaster ride with him.  He was sucking the happiness and creativity out of me.  Every day at work I'd walk on eggshells waiting to see what was next...because there was always a "next".

As I was driving home, with a few tears running down my cheeks, I realized that I'd made the right decision.  I don't wish to say my situation was as bad as domestic abuse situations, wherein a woman (and sometimes children) is regularly abused (verbally, emotionally, and physically).  The pain these women suffer is far greater than what I have experienced, and I applaud those who are able to get away.  But, in a way, I felt like that's what I was doing--escaping an abusive situation.  I wasn't dealing with a rational and emotionally sound person.  When he was angry or upset, he would take it out on those around him, as he didn't have the skills to deal with his feelings appropriately.  I realized that I am not that person.  I won't be that person who continues to stay in such a situation simply because she is scared.  I am scared.  I don't know what will happen.  But I do know that I would rather sacrifice a lot of things and struggle for as long as I have to, than continue to be treated so poorly.  I deserve that.  Everyone deserves that dignity and respect.  It's just sometimes, you have to stand up and fight for it.  Most of the time, it's not about fighting another person, but fighting your own fears, weaknesses and insecurities.  It's about making yourself believe that you are worth it.  That your happiness and wellbeing are paramount.  That's a hard thing to do, especially for women, as their very nature is that of giving, serving, and sacrifice.  So often women put themselves last, as they give their all to care for their families.  The notion of doing something for herself can be almost beyond comprehension for the woman who have given every bit of who she is to her children and family.

My mom stayed with my dad, through abuse and infidelity, for 35 years until she finally gained the strength to leave him.  From my preteen years well into my thirties, I couldn't understand why she put up with it.  I judged her so harshly for staying with someone who could treat those around him, including his children, with such disregard.

As I've matured, I've come to understand more things about the intricacies of the pull of the relationship vs. the personal power within.  Whether it be a relationship with food, drugs, alcohol, an abusive mate, or even just feeling stuck in our lives, I think most everyone struggles to overcome the binding ties that keep us in that relationship.  We doubt our own personal power to break free of what we know, no matter how miserable we may be, because we fear the unknown.

Yesterday, I understood even a little bit better than I ever have before.  I know how scary it was for me to quit (as, like I said, I have never been a quitter), not knowing when or from whence the next job was coming. I can only begin to imagine the gripping fear that a mother with small children must face when she thinks of leaving her abusive situation.  Not only can she be paralyzed by fear about her own future, she knows she must also be responsible for her children's well-being.  That's a HUGE risk to take.  So sometimes, as miserable as it may be, she may continue  to sacrifice her own happiness and well-being, because she can't risk not being able to provide the essentials for her children.   I don't like it, but I understand it a little more clearly than I ever have before.

With this new insight, and the opportunity to practice faith instead of fear, I am thankful for this challenge in my life.  It has, and will, make me a stronger person.  I will be more confident, more compassionate, and more faithful.