A bit of a slump…

Well today has been a real up and down day.

Today was a work day, which is usually a good thing.  Work itself was actually good.  And I like fridays.  Not because it’s the day before the weekend (especially as I only work part time so I often have week days off work) – because I actually look forward to work most days.  But rather friday is “tying off loose ends day”.  I try to finish off anything I’m working on (hate leaving things unfinished).  I usually write a report of what I’ve done that week which is satisfying (usually) to be able to look at what I’ve done all neatly summarised, and be able to say “Hey, I’ve achieved something”.  Even on the weeks where it doesn’t look like much, it still quantifies it which makes me feel like I achieved something.

As much as I miss nursing, I like now working in a job where success is more than just “kept patients alive today”.  I mean, at times, literally keeping people alive was my job, and nursing has to be one of the most important and noble jobs I know – but it could be very depressing at times to know the majority of my job was stopping things getting worse, rather than actually making things better.

But anyway, my job now is really satisfying because I can look back and say “okay, this week I achieved x, y and z”.  Having solid achievements is really good.  On the flip side, it can also means when I underachieve, it’s very obvious, but it’s like my view on criticism and “failures” – as long as it leads to future improvement, it is really helpful to know what went wrong and why.  It’s one of my annoyances with my former mother in law – trying to explain to her that not everyone despises being told what they did wrong.  I mean sure, criticism can sting, especially when you’ve honestly tried your hardest and/or had the best intentions, BUT I’d rather have that short term sting of being told what I did wrong, than to keep making the same mistakes over and over because I didn’t know I was doing something wrong (or what I was doing wrong) and no one could be bothered telling me.

I’ve never really understood the desire to run away from things that hurt a tiny amount but can help greatly.

But anyway, that’s not even what I started to write this post about.  I was actually just planning to share my day.

So work was good, doing the usual friday stuff was good.  The not so good part?  Well we said goodbye to one of our management team.  The second this month.  Not because of anything bad – just moving on to bigger and better things.  It seems to be common in most workplaces these days.  Maybe I just lack ambition, but I just want to settle into a job that makes me happy and do that for the rest of my working life.  For example, I’d be quite happy to do what I’m doing now for the rest of my life.  I mean sure, I’d like to learn more complex things, get more experienced, achieve more, but the job itself is one I’d be happy having for life.  And I know I never want to be a manager!  I mean, leading people itself isn’t all that terrible, but I just think I’d never be able to cope with all the emotional responsibility of having to take care of employees under me.

So anyway, it sucks losing two of our managers because I relied on them a lot for both learning how to do my job and just for the encouragement to not give up in my job.  I’m not sure if I’ve talked much about my job (probably not as I don’t tend to talk about current jobs much because the reality is, most employers don’t like being talked about out of fear of being perceived negatively) but what I will say is it’s in a field I’m not very experienced, skilled or educated in.  Every day I have to convince myself that I’m not a burden just turning up to work.  Everyone keeps reassuring me that I’m a fast learner, but even in an ideal world, I’m that far behind everyone else, that I will never catch up.

And with what John is putting me (and the kids) through, putting the kids first (something I do without hesitation or regret) has taken it’s toll on my work (or can I say career? I want it to be my career not just a job).  I really have no hesitation or regret putting progress in my job on hold to be there for my children – but it does make me really sad because it’s one more way John has been abusive.  He knew what he was doing would have this impact on my job – in fact, I’m quite sure he believed I would get fired from missing as much work as I have done over the last few months.  He certainly knew it would damage it from a career perspective since my career plan was to apply for a job where he works and now that is out as I don’t even want to be on the same planet as him.

But in regards to my current job, I’ve just had so much time off. I’ve missed so many important things like training, promotion opportunities, etc.  I think what has brought it back so strongly today is having the managers who were helping me do most of my training have now both left, and I ended up having a chat over morning tea with a manager of an area I had been going to advance into but now that is put on hold indefinitely and may not happen at all.  Even if I get an offer again, I don’t think I have either the confidence or the time and focus to take the offer.

I’ve had to cut back my hours twice in the last few months on top of all the time I’ve had off.  John is going to make custody a long, drawn out nightmare battle in family court which is going to mean more time off work.  I was hoping to do a diploma at uni but that is on hold. I had been hoping to try again in semester 2 this year, but after talking to a good friend from work today, I think I have to admit to defeat and accept uni isn’t going to happen this year, and more than likely never happen.  Even at the best of times, being a single parent means doing the work of two parents, but throw in John’s obsession with revenge and him trying to use the kids as weapons and what is going to be a long drawn out custody battle, at this point, not only is uni not likely to happen ever, but I may have to cut back my days at work even more, which would mean no advancement at work at all more than likely.

I’d give up work altogether in a heart beat if I had to for my kids’ sake, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt when I have to keep giving up more and more.  It’s not their fault though.  There is only one person at fault and that is John.  And the saddest thing is, I’ll be fine – I’ve been unemployed before, I’ve worked in low level jobs with little chance of advancement most of my working life, etc – but it’s my girls it will hurt most.  I’m hugely below the poverty line now, and all I can think of is the opportunities that most aussie kids take for granted that I now can’t provide for girls.

Being poor is devastating – not for my sake – I grew up poor but the only thing I hated about it was the way my parents dealt with it emotionally – but I feel devastated at the opportunities Sammie and Rose won’t have because I don’t have the money for it.  And that really hurts.

But anyway, again, this post was only supposed to be sharing my day.  So where was I? work good, saying goodbye to another manager sad, being reminded of lost opportunities sad,…. oh and accidentally hurt a friend’s feelings.

I’ve had a friend who has become a really good friend over the last few months, supporting me amazingly through all the hell John has been putting the girls and I through.  Anyway, after a long day, a long week, a long year, I’m so exhausted that my brain is also exhausted.  I said something to my friend which I thought might help a situation, but turned out to be totally the wrong thing.  I apologised profusely and I think things are back to okay, but I just hate upsetting anyone.

In an old sci fi show I used to watch (by “old” I mean 1990s lol), there was an episode about a machine that could suck the pain and suffering out of one person to another.  I think it was described like an exchange of “life force”.  But that’s the kind of thing I wish I had for emotions.  I wish I could suck other people’s emotional pain out of them.  I’m okay with feeling pain myself, but I hate seeing other people I care about suffer.  It’s why I feel awful to have upset my friend, even though it was supposed to be an attempt at helping.  And it’s why I hate what John is doing to Sammie and Rose – because he is making them suffer terribly emotionally, and I just so much want to take away their pain, but I can’t, and it’s breaking my heart to watch them suffer, and know that I’m doing everything I can possibly think of to help them but it won’t stop John from hurting them.

So that was my up and down.  Up for work being good as usual, down for saying goodbye to awesome managers, upsetting a friend accidentally, and thinking about everything John’s hatefulness has cost my Sammie, Rose and I.

Even while writing this post, something else came up that I won’t write about (just plain too exhausted to write more), but it’s just one more thing that John’s hate and spite has cost the girls and I.

I honestly completely understand why some women just stay quiet about violence and abuse.  Because all too often women and children who speak up about violent and abusive men are the ones who are punished.  The abuser gets off scot free, while the victims are the ones who are left to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives without little or no support, and sadly quite often, with the condemnation of the very people who are supposed to be supportive.

I can’t write any more tonight because I’m far too tired, but the reality is, it just hurts too much to write more about tonight.  Part of me wishes I’d just put up with the abuse in silence.  Speaking up hasn’t lessened the abuse. In fact, even though the way the abuse is dished out has changed, the abuse itself has become far more damaging overall.  Especially with his emotional abuse of the kids.  I wish I’d just taken the violence, being denied basics like medications and food, the constant daily stream of verbal and emotional abuse and all the rest… I just wish I’d taken it in silence.  I mean sure, it would have eventually crushed my spirit, but I just keep thinking if I had done that, then he wouldn’t be crushing Sammie and Rose’s spirits now with what he doing.

But I don’t have a time machine, I can’t change the past.  What’s done is done.  All I can do is keep trying to picking up the pieces of our lives faster than he shatter new pieces.  All I can do is hope the gullible people who continue to support him while he continues to abuse the girls and I, will eventually see what kind of person he really is and stop support him as long as he is abusive.  It may not stop him being abusive, but it may limit the damage.

That’s all I can hope for at the moment.  It’s just hard watching people turn a blind eye to the abuse while my girls are suffering so much because of him.

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