It is time we are honest about how bullying, meanness and spite can be a corrosive experience that makes you lose self-belief and shatter dreams and aspiration. By the time HR (ugh) or Occupational Health get a whiff of “stuff going on” it may well be too late. The patterns of behaviour have cemented, relationship interactions ossified – it takes a brave person to call it and then seek to address what is going on and enable folk to find a solution for dysfunction and chronic unhappiness.
I have just discovered that I have a super power and I was unaware I had it until this week. I seem to be capable of generating deep resentment and anger in people with very little effort. Just being me and seeking to make my life just a little bit better, living life a little lighter and wanting the best for others. Instead of limping around and being a victim and weak willed I have begun to master many of the projects I wish to pursue – this seems to p**s people off….
I really believe that curiosity + kindness = hope for all of us who work within human services. We just need some time and space to explore these issues and develop some insight and understanding of where we are in relationship to the people with whom we interact, whether it is at work, at home or in our leisure.
My monkey brain that jumps from one interesting issue to another in no time at all needs to be trained to focus and dig a bit deeper. I’m lucky I can grasp concepts and ideas very quickly but like sight reading a song – it needs polishing and further development to improve it for performance. I am learning that a bit of discipline makes life easier and also being organised is not an antithesis to creativity – in fact it can help – being organised and systematic can leave room for creativity, free up space for play and exploration. So for the next few weeks I wish to explore some ideas and concepts in more depth – shore up my knowledge that’s creating insights into my recent experience. I intend to develop some confidence in my understanding of psychological and organisational theories that help shed light on just exactly what was going on and help explain why I needed to leave the university and also help make sense of the horridness and meanness I then experienced. My superpower was in use then and I was unaware of what was really going on – the last 5 months have given me time to reflect on it and begin my healing journey. I am definitely on the way to recovery and this has been facilitated by art, avoiding pirates and vampires, cultivating relationships with generous and warm hearted folk and writing, writing and writing. I can talk a lot and can speak about a lot but for me to make sense of stuff I need to write – hence this blog. I hope that many of these ideas and musings will evolve into erudite material for a book.
When I found myself cut adrift in June someone asked me if I had a life raft – I was confident I did – poetry and creativity. I was right but I have friends who have been “dumped” from their career and they don’t always have the life rafts readily available. They may find themselves treading water for a time and struggling with what to do next – seeking answers too soon rather than having the luxury of drifting about and seeing where the wind blows the, or where the currents may send them.
I wish to develop a business offer that enables practitioners in the human services (health and social care, education) to develop resourcefulness and equip then to expand their capacity to build effective and functional relationships with work colleagues. It seems to me that when professionals are under siege from policy and politicians, when they feel stressed and under pressure many become isolated and distressed. I intend to develop these ideas more and hope to develop a cogent rationale for using expressive arts and creativity to help professionals thrive and flourish in the workplace rather than survive and endure the status quo.