You've Always Deserved Better: Reflections 8 Months Post Resignation

September 27, 2021

Whether we are aware of it or not, we are creatures of habit who very rarely stray from the patterns we established as children.  I don't mean that this isn't fluid, I believe we can alter patterns but first we must be aware of them in our lives.  As I approach my 8-month-resignation anniversary and my 7-month therapy anniversary Ive been reflecting on some patterns that continue to show up in my life.   Back in January of 2021, I quit a job I held for nearly ten years and severed a near 15 year relationship with an institution I believed for so long I was indebted to. As a single mom, head of household with no money or connections, I believed that if it weren't for the public university system and financial aid there would have been no way for me to be able to complete a degree. It wasnt just the cost, the university employed me as a young student and paid me a very good hourly rate, the union provided sick and vaction days, in addition to a decent health insurance for my son and I. Truly a human right that shouldn't be tied to employment but that is for another post. I was so emeshed in this university that I didnt know where it ended and where I began. My unhappiness in my role and the microagressions, sexual harassment and verbal abuse I endured at the university slowly, but surely started to tarnish the gloss I had as an undergraduate student but I still felt "how could I do better?"  

I worked on a beautiful college campus, I had made some great connections, was part of a union, earned a good salary, with benefits, had a huge office and some autonomy, which on reflection was really benign neglect.   For all intents and purposes, the job really created stability in my life, especially as I was ironing out other areas of my personal life, like falling in love, getting married, creating a family and a home, vacationing, buying a house, raising our children and starting and completing a masters degree. While it wasn't, by any means, rainbows and butterflies, I knew I was unhappy and the environment was taking a toll on my mental health but I was "comfortable".  After all, this was what I knew and yeah, it was bad a lot of the time, but it was familiar.  I knew what to expect and had cobbled some degree of protection by trauma bonding with my fellow co-workers who suffered in the same environment.  This is not a "misery loves company" comparison, this was a survival tactic.  Each of us, in our own way, became complacent and perhaps beaten down enough to think that "the struggle" came with any job and this one we knew so let's stick it out until a messiah aka new Dean came to save us all!  Then came the reckoning of 2020. So many awakenings and clarity that helped clear space in my mind to imagine dropping this identity that no longer served me. I had become complacent in my own life, I was comfortable even as I was enduring all kinds of abuse.  I shared this insight in parts 1 and 2 of my "I Quit My Job" post so I won't revisit here but while I was away last month on a work assignment in Accra, Ghana I had an epiphany that I wanted to share in the hopes that it may help you in your life.  

As I shared on my YT channel back in July, I was hired as a management consultant.   It was thrilling and exciting work and it really helped me understand what I was passionate about.  One night, as my trip was coming to an end, I had an awakening moment.  With a little bit of distance and space, instead of focusing on what had happened to me and where I now found myself, I began to think about what would make me stay in a situation that was hurting me for so long.  I started to think about patterns in my life and how often I found myself settling into abusive situations and while I am not taking their responsibility away from them I was trying to understand, why on some level I believed I deserved this.  Why did I think I should expect things to be so hard.  I thought about these patterns and thought about where I was at that moment and how happy, safe, loved and supported I felt and I cried for the years of my life I spent in situations that harmed me.  I started to link these patterns back to my childhood, growing up in my home where abuse and addiction was a normal occurrence.  I realized, in some ways, I was primed for this.  Chaos and dysfunction was familiar and yes I have managed to carve a very healthy marriage for myself despite what was modeled, I still accepted chaos and dysfunction in other key areas of my life.   It wasn't until three years ago when I decided to protect myself from dysfunction, chaos and pain in my familial relationships which allowed space for reflection, growth and healing, that I was able to examine my life as a whole.  When I resigned back in January, just like the times I broke off bad relationships, I didn't FULLY understand why I was making this decision, I just knew it needed to be done.  

In that moment, in the middle of a weeping session, I was renewed and restored, forgiving myself for what I allowed to carry on for far too long and promising that I would remember that life doesn't have to be hard all the time.  Life can be easy, joyful and peaceful and I should expect it and walk away from anything or anyone that will risk my mental health in the long run.  I decide that and so do you.  We decide who we allow to stay in our lives, the jobs we keep, we decide the boundaries we set, and we decide when it's time to walk away.  

Eight months later, I am not fully healed but I am healing.  I feel it deep within and that's all I can ever hope for.  

Thanks for reading,


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