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I have been extremely angry for a long time now since my brother died and the mistreatment at work which added to so much turmoil and pain. I have reacted very badly in so many ways, had no tools to wiggle my way around trauma, the anxiety and subsequent illness I have found myself in.
But I want to be “sweeter” again like I used to write, encouraging people, but this time with a good pinch of salt and where needed some hot chili!
I cannot and don’t want to change other people who think it fit to mistreat vulnerable people. I certainly cannot and don’t want to change a multi-million pound company that is toxic and hurtful towards people who are traumatized. I can only change myself. I know that of course, but anyone who knows about excruciating emotional pain and loss knows that without wholesome navigation it is impossible to get through this emotional mine field alone. To get through this you will bump some fellow travelers on the road.
In my darkest time on my way to work I was sitting in the bus looking aimlessly and on autopilot out the window. I saw one of those cars that have the task to not only navigate oversized Trucks through the streets so they don’t bump into other vehicles and buildings, but to warn the traffic ahead that a “monster” is approaching and that they should steer safely along the way.
I thought figuratively speaking that I needed a car like this to navigate me and warn oncoming traffic that I am carrying a load in me that I cannot safely bring to wherever I was going. I had no vehicle like this. I bumped into others, some so hard their cars totaled, and they either steered away from me in fear or bumped into me in frustration and some frankly being pretty mean!
I found this depiction of how I stumbled through this nightmare:
Sesame Street’s version of my turmoil courtesy of AntiBullyingAtWork on Facebook.
I wrote last night on this blog another angry message regarding Pret. I wrote that if I had to put into one word what Pret is to me, it would be the word: Arrogance. With that I meant a company that feels invincible to treat people so hurtfully and believe they get away with “murder” so-to-speak. I deleted that blog entry again because I never mean to offend or hurt others, no matter how big they are. And yet, my life is so out of sync and even this morning I woke up with an anxiety attack again. But I learned to ride those out as they don’t take long. But it makes me angry what I have become and have let others treat me so poorly.
I remembered a song yesterday that I heard years ago about what legacy we leave behind. My legacy for sure is messed up as this angry, crazy, ill, bonkers… fill-in-the-blanks… person. But one thing I will not be remembered for is that I step on people who suffer in whatever way or form they suffer. I may be remembered for having been insensitive, clumsy, hectic, loud, super angry… but not taking advantage of vulnerable people. And that “legacy” is enough for me.
If I can get back to the person who used to give people the benefit of a doubt and who was fast forgiving and moving on in life, I’d be in good shape. And if I can become like this vehicle here above, to help others who have a monstrous load on them, navigating them safely to their destination, I’d be in really good shape.
A good balance of self-care and care for others without burning out or breaking on the task to love myself as I love others, that’ll be grand! As my favourite poetess put it into better words:
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
— Emily Dickinson
I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment: Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.
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