On my first day of maternity leave, I decided it would be an excellent idea to write down my thoughts regarding said maternity leave and the toxic work culture I am currently on leave from. I have been the only one to stand up to said manager, make complaints (that were not handled well, or not at all in my opinion as the same narcissistic behaviour is still going on), the replacement for my job is on a permanent contract so I have no idea what job I’ll be coming back too – however I felt it necessary for at least my own benefit to talk or write about it.
Day one – I’ve been clothes shopping, washed the dishes, done some craft, I’ll be doing some grocery shopping with the kids once they come out of school. I’ve completed almost nothing, except made myself a cute little key ring using the one the kids bought me for Mother’s Day that broke.
Normally, I would have accomplished anywhere up to 100 tasks for managers at work by now. I’m feeling a little strange. I need to keep reminding myself that I’m allowed to take it easy now. I won’t be able to soon. Soon I’ll be a busy mum of 3.
I’ve had a rough 6 months, I’ve been struggling with some pretty serious anxiety caused by bullying at work. Bullying that even after 2 complaints never stopped. I’m having to start maternity leave early due to the issues that the anxiety has caused. Thankfully, my heart palpitations have subsided and I can eat again. This was only due to help from family, friends and a psychologist, who up until now, never thought I would need.
I’m going to use my maternity leave to sleep and rest before the baby arrives. I’m going to make a whole pile of craft that I’ll never sell, paint a number of pictures that will never see the light of day. Most importantly I will be using this time to heal, and learn how to build more resistance and to deal with narcissistic bullies. Unfortunately the world is full of them. The more I learn how to tell the signs, the more shocked I am at how common it is.
Day five – I’m now at the end of my first week of maternity leave. I do feel I haven’t done enough, when I look at the incredibly long list of things to get through – all created by me of course. However, when I stop, pause and actually look at what I have achieved this week, the knowledge I’ve gained (I’ve been reading) and the time spent with my mum and aunt (which I wouldn’t have been able to do had I still been at work) it’s all been worth it.
I found the following quote/meme on the internet, I think it sums up why I’ve been feeling like rubbish and no amount of sleep or extra iron will fix. (Quote is anonymous, artwork is all mine).
I had a moment yesterday, while hanging the washing. I was happy. For the first time in a very long time, I was happy that I’m about to have another baby. I’m happy that I have some time to myself, and that I don’t have to go back to a job (manager – I want to make it very clear, the job was absolutely not the issue, just the culture and one manager in particular) that has caused me so much anxiety and upset is wonderful. Starting to see that this is not the end of the world, or end of my career, but just a new challenge for us as a family. One that I intend to make good use out of.
At the end of the day, I have a wonderful support network around me which I am incredibly grateful for. Here’s to the next 12 months of learning and to healing and rejuvenating my soul.
P.S I’m currently reading – Toxic People Survival Guide by Chase Hill. It’s quite insightful.