Anxiety brain is often times weird. You can be having a completely ordinary day, not in any kind of mood, things are going as expected, nothing upsetting or worrisome, then *boom*! The brain pulls out a thought or memory that was of a horrible time or event that isn’t related to anything going on. Now you get to decide how you are going to handle this brain behaviour.
Today, the brain decided to pull out my old workplace and a couple people who made it a nightmare to work at. They were huge bullies, incapable of thinking of others, gaslighters and plain terrible people. The office comprised of 11 people total. Out of those 11 people, 5 were the absolute worst people to have to work with let alone deal with on any level.
I worked there for 10 years. I have worked a lot of awful jobs with a lot of horrible people, but this office is at the top of my list of horrible places to work. Sadly, it was an international labor union, which you would think would have caring, thoughtful people working there, but no. They were all quite self involved, unsympathetic and generally shitty people. There were only a couple of people who didn’t behave in a horrible fashion.
This job created a huge strain on my emotional health and welfare. Between being constantly bullied by one employee, being treated with disdain by another because of my personal relationship with the president of the union, another employee who would suddenly, and without warning, get angry at me, and the office manager who would talk shit about everyone behind their backs, this workplace set off every possible trigger I had from a lifetime of anxiety and PTSD. I can’t even call them coworkers because honestly, there was nothing that truly united me with these people other than having to be in the same office at the same time.
My brain decided to play back some of the highlights of that job. By highlights, I mean the times I was verbally attacked by the one bully, treated as less than an human by another, yelled at by the irrationally angry person who refused to ask questions and just get mad, and the other who took advantage of me and my time at every opportunity. Some places have toxic people, but this workplace was just toxic as a whole.
Leaving it was one of the best decisions I have made, at least for my emotional wellbeing. Financially, it’s been an enormous struggle. I can’t lie. Had I stayed, I would be doing very well for myself financially. Emotionally and mentally though, I would be a terrible mess.
So why my brain brought this back today, I couldn’t say. Maybe it made the association between the complete lack of concern the job I’m working for has over what is actually getting done. Maybe the week before last was so stressful, and this last week not so much, my brain wanted to warn me to not get comfortable. It’s hard to say.
It did remind me though that I am stronger than I used to be. In the past, the last few years would have been more than I could deal with and I would have been a mess. That I am willing to do what it takes to make sure I am okay, even if that means giving up some stability. I will never know why my brain drags out these things that tend to cause me anxiety, but at least I have learned how to better react to them.
So when it happened today, I took some time to research the bully and see that her life is just as unhappy and stagnate as it was when I worked there. That she is still there, being a horrible person, trying to control her family while refusing to quit smoking even though her husband got lung cancer from her second hand smoke. That all of her unhappiness stems from her being unwilling to look honestly at her own life and make the actual meaningful changes to be happy. While it may seem petty and small of me to do this, I see it as a proof that I have improved and grown. That while thoughts of her make me angry and make me want to email her to tell her what a shitty person I think she is, I move past it and move on, feeling better about myself for having the sound mind to leave and not stay just for the money.
The Candace Rhett’s of this world will always exist and will always be shitty people. It is who they are because they refuse to acknowledge their horrible behaviours or take accountability for how they negatively impact others. I can’t change that. But I can change the way I view their behaviours and how they impact my life. They are now irrelevant and meaningless, other than to show myself that I have far more respect for myself that deserves pride. That I don’t let my anxiety brain make me feel less than for things that happened that I had no control over. That I did what I needed to to remove a negative element from my life that prevented my healing and moving forward.
I can now have power over my anxiety brain.