Random Thoughts

Fragility

“Your fragility is also your strength.” ~ Pina Bausch

Something happened this week that put me into a tailspin.

I was offered an opportunity to help my boss with some administrative tasks. Why me? I’m new to the company, but I have an attention to detail and a medical background. This wasn’t a job change per se, but additional duties as time allowed.

I didn’t ask for this.

The reaction of my co-workers was short in coming. First the remarks about the assistant having to be a female. Then it went on to include sitting on laps. And that’s when my world started spinning.

These comments were made in jest but the insinuation wasn’t funny.  Not at all.

Then I discovered that I was expected to move from my current location with my team members to a separate location. Key word being “team”. It’s difficult to be part of a team when you’re separated from them. And I knew there would be more comments: Why isn’t she over here with us? What makes her so special? Does she think she’s too good to work with us?

I didn’t ask for this.

In 2013 I was wrongfully terminated from my job as a firefighter based on false comments from three fellow firefighters claiming I was sexually harassing them. I, in turn, sued and we settled after three years.  It was one of the most hellacious experiences of my life.

I didn’t ask for this.

I simply wanted to excel at my job. I love to learn and had started back to school to get my degree in Fire Science. Apparently that is a problem for some folks who can’t stand watching others advance.

Even though the complaints against me were about verbal comments that I supposedly made, my depositions were like being legally raped. The questions I was required to answer didn’t just pertain to the supposed statements I made. These questions included: the number of marriages I had, the reasons for my divorces, whether I was sure of the paternity of my children, whether I dated during my divorce proceedings, my shower routines at the fire station, the types of underwear I wore while working or kept in my locker, my sexual preferences, favored sexual positions, sexual frequency, whether I participated in one-night stands, if I were a “swinger”, and various locations where I’d ever had sex, specifically IN or ON a fire truck.  Nothing was spared; nothing was sacred.  My private life was flayed open and made public record.   And the attorneys representing the department . . . the attorneys chosen to take my deposition . . . three males. Chosen in an attempt to break me and encourage me to drop the lawsuit.  To have to discuss such intimate details of my personal life with three male strangers. . .for a private, introverted person, it was fucking hell.  Suicidal material.

All of this came about because of discontent in the ranks.

I don’t want this.

I don’t want any part of this.

In the last two days I’ve had panic attacks. I’ve not been able to sleep. I’ve cried for hours. I’ve contemplated quitting my job. Inwardly, I’m spinning. I’m afraid to even talk to my co-workers for any length of time.  It doesn’t matter that I’m in a different job, in a different company, in a different state.  None of that matters.

I don’t want this.

My fragility may be my strength, but right now I’m not feeling the strength. Just the fragility.

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