What I strive for, on a day-to-day basis, is composure. I need to believe that I can get through a day without falling apart. I want to be able to go outside and garden and not worry that the neighbour may come over to talk to me. I want to go to work and not feel eyes on me, or see pity and sadness on the faces of my coworkers. I want to be able to face the world, be it at work or at home, without worrying that I may slip and let down my guard and start to cry or something equally awkward. Sorrow is such an intensely powerful feeling, it takes away all of my emotional control and consumes me unexpectedly, any place, any time.
I believed that I had achieved a degree of composure with my return to work. I had worked with my employer to define the best scenario that would enable me to ease back into the workplace. My coworkers had gently and slowly set up a safety net around me, at least that’s how it felt. Everything had started to click along nicely until this week. On Monday I was informed that the employer had decided to do some restructuring. It directly affected me.
I did not lose my job. I did not change my job. My job was one of three that were moved to another department, on another floor, under a new management team with a newly promoted manager. This may seem minor, but it feels major to me. I feel like all my supports have been taken away from me. I have lost all the coworkers that I know and trust, who have helped me get back on track, as well as the management team that, fully aware of my situation, brought me back to work. I don’t have the strength, energy or desire to develop new work relationships right now. I don’t want to have to prove myself to the new management team. I don’t know if I have the tolerance and patience that is required as a “new” manager cuts his teeth.
There are always choices, though. Tomorrow I get to meet with the new manager and talk through my situation, one on one. I get to bare my soul yet one more time. I worry that I won’t be able to maintain my composure. Sometimes I wish I was a snail or a clam or an oyster and could just shut everything out.