I have been taught that we need to live in the present moment and not let our history dictate our lives. It is an impossibility. We base our life choices on our experiences. At this point in my life, there is more history than future unless I live to be 125. I doubt that will happen. But we can use the life lessons to realize and cope with things that our thrown our way. It became very evident to me this week when something happened and I had a strong, painful reaction to it.
There is a group at work that was hand selected to be the leaders of Lean as we wean ourselves off from the Med center’s direction. I had spearheaded the project since last summer and was told that I was going to be put in a role of leadership for that group. In May, they had a clandestine meeting that I knew nothing about until the next day as I was home sick. They had picked five people to be in the Lean Steering Committee, and I was not included. I was devastated and was embarrassed and a whole slew of other feelings. This secretiveness was not needed and also affected others in the agency. I still have not figured out why they did what they did. The next day, the CEO came to my desk and explained the membership choices and then invited me to also join. It came up in the meeting by the members of the committee that I should be there. I knew more about Lean than anyone in the group. It was all very awkward and uncomfortable for me. This set off a huge PTSD episode that lasted about three weeks.
The committee, including me, has had three meetings and the hurt and other feelings seemed to lessen. Then, at the last meeting on Wednesday, something else happened that left me and another person out of a choice. I read it in an email. It triggered such a reaction in me that I did not sleep the whole night. I perseverated on the matter. I know I am not explaining much here because the details are not the important thing I am writing about.
Being ostracized again and again is what is important. The revelation hit me this weekend in a quiet moment in the garden. This is a pattern of my whole life. I do not like it and have a strong reaction to it. It opens a flood gate of painful feelings and my reaction is so strong it almost scares even me. I could not figure out why I was so upset until I clearly saw the pattern.
It started as being the youngest member of a dysfunctional family. I saw a path of being left out of things because I was “too young or a girl.” I also realize that between the brazen display of favoritism by my mother and the absolute distain of females by my father that the setting of being ostracized was set early on in my life.
As I sat in my garden chair, I could easily parade through the relationships I have had in my past and see a pattern of being ostracized by people who were very close to me. I looked at my failed first marriage and saw a blatant path of being put out by the other relationships of my husband. His family did not like me and made it known early on. I was not Catholic and came from what they thought was a high- society family. He chose his band over me many, many times. But he took ostracizing me to a new level when he became a cop. So much so, that when we divorced he admitted he had done that to me. I will never know why.
This post is not to whine about this situation but a place for me to work through this. I have lists of relationships that for some reason fell apart because I felt like I did not fit in. From the cliques in high school to my adult groups I participated in. I stopped going to things like my musical group and my spiritual group because I felt so strongly that I was on the outside looking in. It is a painful feeling.
I work in an environment where I will never fit in. For almost five years now, not being a clinician has been thrown in my face at every turn. I think that is one of the many reasons why I really am so unhappy there at this job. I like the work though. It is not ever going to get better and this last event has sealed that. I also see now the ostracization of being older in this young workforce. The group chosen as Lean leaders is very young. This is something that will be everywhere if I continue to compete in the current workforce.
After much soul searching, I know these feelings are self-inflicted based on my history. But the reality is: there they are. As long as I try to participate in group activities, including work, I will have to face that my feelings of inadequacy will put me at risk for being very hurt. My current family situation is fairly safe as I think my husband is very loyal. Even with his daughter coming back into the picture after 12 years, I think and hope that my home, garden and my relationship with him is a safe haven.
I do not want to isolate myself and not participate in things. I see I have done this a lot more lately. It is a dichotomy of my life that I want to be involved in things yet I do not want participate from fear of being hurt. My life evolves in circles that touch people and then I move on. I am not sure that is so uncommon in our world.
What I need to figure out is how to not get so hurt by it all.