This post is mot proofread or edited. Any misspellings and bad grammar are mine and mine alone. The topic was not planned in advance, but wanted to come out today
Back in 2008 or 2009, the company that delivered office supplies to my company started sending different people to deliver the boxes. It did not mean much to me at the time because I was not involved with that part of our business. I tried to be friendly to most of the people who came and went, but did not go out of my way to make friends.
One day, I was working when someone came to deliver supplies. I had not seen the delivery people much except in passsing because my hours were irregular as a contractor. But this time, he stared af the back of my head until I turned around. And when I did, I got scared and triggered. He looked familiar, but I did not recognize him. So I turned back without acknowledging him.
It was not to be rude or mean. It was fear, plain and simple. This was before I started working with a trauma specialist; before I learned about the amnesia and the DID. Besides most people from my past usually ignored me and pretended they did not know me when I approached them. How did I know this would be any different?
Well, he did recognize me. And my name on the name plate near my station confrmed it. His co-workers, the new delivery crew, recognized me too. And most of them did not like me. They liked to talk about me to the receptionist on the second floor; she was supposed to be my friend.
I didn’t know they were talking and gossiping about me then. Hindsight is twenty-twenty as many will tell you. But it explains a lot about how and why we started drifting apart. And she never bothered to ask me about what they told her. But I guess that makes sense if she was pretending to be friends and really felt otherwise instead.
Soon after the new person started making deliveries, I started having more anxiety attacks about being in the office. And small, seemingly unconnected issues started to pop up. Problems with supply orders and deliveries when the usual person was on vacation. Problems with mail not being sent or delivered. Problems with people changing attitude towards me.
That continued for until I left for a month on short term disability (partial in patient program) in 2012 and came back to find out our third team member retired while I was gone. And with her retirement, the company decided to change office supply companies.
I did not have to deal with those jerks anymore unless I happened to be passing them by as I walked in the neighborhood. And they had no reason to bother me either.
Why share this now?
It was a first step for me in realizing that my past would continue to hurt me unless and until I did something. It was a reality check that denial couldn’t explain away. The pieces from my memories refused to sfay separated. The truth about my family and life before I joined this company was crystal clear. The reasons for increased family pressure to change jobs made sense.
They had inside knowledge into how successful I was there and could not stand it. My parents constantly told me that I needed a job with benefits, instead of being a contractor. My aunts and uncles harped on the long hours and over time without proper compensation and benefits. They all kept sayong hap my job was not professional or prestigious and put it downw often. And likely I would not be keeping my job with because of te recession so I needed to find a proper job in a resodcted field that let me use my degree.
My parents tried to ruin my chances at the company woth rumors and sabotage. They tried to convince me to find a ndw job and almost succeeded. I went on job interviews and started designing a website and marketing materials to expand my contractor business. Instead, I became a full time employee and kept inproving my reputation and experience there.
Then I left my family and spent the next two years disappearing from their lives.
The memory of how I treated that man haunts me and brings back feelings of shame and self hate grounded in my past trauma. In my heart and mind, I know I did not do anything wrong. My behavior made sense because I did not recognize him. And yes I was afraid too. Afraid of putting myself out there and apologizing for the snub. Afraid of making a mistake and getting verbally attacked. Not arrogance or snobbish attitude on my part wven though that probably makes from his point of view.
And when I did try to talk to him about the deliveries and supplies in rhe boxes when mt co-worker was gone, he ignored me and acted like I did not exist. That brought more feelsibg of shame and had me questioning myself.
Until now. The shame and anger still exist when the memory pops up. And feelings are intense too; blinding and able to send me into a flashback to be honest. And I wonder why memories like that come back to me so randomly.
How is this a life changing moment?
The one I mentioned last, about how he ignored me as I tried to talk to him about an order and delivery that was over one week late? Well, another person intervened and helped me get perspective about the situation. From then on, I stopped getting involved in the ordering process unless absolutely necessary. And then I realized that I couldn’t get away from the toxic people without leaving. That meant family and jobs. But then, I was offered a chance to become full time and have job security.
In spite of what he did, of the mindf#%k my family tried to give me, the people where I worked believed in me. They knew the real me and did not believe the rumors or nasty gossip from other departments and other people. And all of this happened because of the way I chose to treat others in spite of how they treated me.
If I could, I would go up to that man and thank him for helping me realize I was not the same person anymore. And while I still get hit with the feelings of anger and hate and shame, I know it’s because my alters are remembering their experiences in high school (or earlier) and college; getting triggered and overhwelmed by the memories and feelings still.
He is the past, not the present. But thinking about or recoveirng memories related to relationshipss brings it all back. And brings him back too. I never did learn his name. And I hope to never encounter him again.
My past is past. Anyone who believes the rumors and stories is not who I want in my present. Anyone who would treat me different without getting to know me first is better off in someone else’s life.
And those are the lessons I learned from remembeing this:
- I can’t change the past or the feelings it brings out in me.
- I don’t want to change the past because then I would not be who I am today
- Someday I will remember him and all of the others without feeling the blinding shame and self-hate
- And when I stop feeling the shame and self-hate for circumstances beyond my control, I might finally be ready to stop hating that part of my life