Telling stories

Telling stories
I’ve been thinking a lot about stuff and it has been churning around in my head in a very unhelpful and exhausting way. I am beginning to learn that I need to write this stuff done as it stops the downward cycle of not quite feeling that I am good enough and that I am fooling myself and my family into thinking I can make a go of helping folk explore new ways of working with each other in health care. Who am I to think I can work with folk in new ways, after all I tried to do it in my last job but it all ended in a nasty mess. 

I realise as I write this that I haven’t given myself enough time to think about what happened and understand the impact it has had on my confidence and self belief. I am easily discouraged and as soon as I step forward and make moves towards writing courses, proposing support and supervision for primary care I get panicky. Within hours of constructive conversations I get really scared and I want to run away and hide. I know this a learned response from what happened to me a year ago. This time last year I was busy trying to make a difference in an organisation that had struggled for a while. I helped get funding for some innovative projects and I began to develop relationships with external agencies but all of that was severed on 1st June when I was sent on gardening leave and asked to resign from my post there and then, no goodbyes, no opportunity to give my side of things. I have been erased and silenced and it is a horrible, horrible feeling. I now know a bit about what injustice really feels like and it’s a knot that makes my heart shrink. Thinking about it doesn’t help but writing this had helped me put an image to that feeling. I know that what happened to me last year was unfair and unnecessary and that I do need to move on. I have also realised that not everyone “gets” my side of the story and that in hearing it they also think that there is more to it, some kind of complicity or culpability – surely Sue couldn’t be daft enough to be bullied and work in a toxic and dysfunctional environment? Surely she could have had better judgement than that? – what was that leaving the University all about? Did she really,think she could rescue a failing organisation? What a deluded fool? It might be seen as arrogance or stupidity, it doesn’t matter which because what ever people are thinking about my disastrous career move no one could be more judgemental than myself. 

I am learning self compassion and kindness because I know that has to be at the centre of me being able to move on and forge myself some purposeful occupation. I am not wholly convinced I have what it takes to pioneer or step out as a Lone Ranger. I see much more in collaborations but I realise that I am still wary of linking up with folk. I know that my experience was rare and that I was unfortunate but it has made me distrustful of building relationships in the work context. At least I know this and can work to build trust and confidence but I need time and being able to share some of it is really important. 

Writing is core to my finding effective ways of working in the future. I don’t want publication and fame but I just want to share my thoughts and insights. I know that writing is a way of getting to know new stuff and that the more I practice that and have the courage to share with readers my writing then then better I will feel. It’s a tough old world and I am still in need of some more sources of resilience but I do not need to be rescued and I don’t want to be a victim – I am not someone who gets caught up in drama and blame. I am still working on this and I need the patience to realise that it all takes much longer than you are led to believe. 

I will always compare myself with others unfavourably and I find it really hard to take onboard compliments and praise. I didn’t get much from my boss in my last career move instead I got deception, malice and silence. I am also not the only one and I am determined to use my experience constructively to develop courses for managers in relationship building. 

For now I am working on my window of tolerance and aiming to widen it and increase my capacity to engage with others without mucking up when I might be seen as over sensitive or a liability. When I am out there in the “real” world I operate really well, I can deliver training and effectively facilitate learning and I also really enjoy it. The thing is that it can be exhausting but also that if I spend too much time on my own it depletes my energy – I am looking for balance and I think that is the key to finding purpose and meaning over next few months.  


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