Every time I gain a bit of confidence and actually feel I can turn my life around, I’m thwarted by the naysayer in my head. It takes a huge effort to silence that voice. The voice tells me “You’ll never make it. It’s too late. You are much too old. You are not as good as you think you are. Doing well in school means nothing. Don’t kid yourself, you’re actually not that competent. If you were good you would have survived the Corporate World. You would have been strong enough to stand up against the bullies. Also isn’t bullying part of the Corporate Culture?”
There is a more protective voice within me and she says, “You survived so much and are coping with PTSD and anxiety. You kept the secret of being abused for years. By someone your parents trusted. In a misguided effort to protect them from any turmoil. And you were a child. (Even typing this is beyond difficult and makes me reluctant to hit publish. So if you’re seeing this, I finally got the courage. I need to say my peace while I’m still here. Especially so after my brush with cancer.)
Perhaps it was that shame and rage that led to your low self worth and being bullied later in life in the toxic Singapore workforce. You are not a failure. You had to quit to save yourself. Remember how it got so bad you didn’t want to exist. Not that you would do anything but it was just the intense longing for the pain and distress to end. It felt like rock bottom.
You should be proud that you always stood up for those without power even to your detriment.
It was too late though. Left the toxic situation too late. The distress from the bullying episodes and loss of every last shred of dignity led to cancer. I am absolutely certain of this. I never regretted quitting. I regret joining in the first place when my every instinct was screaming NO. I was just too desperate during the time of the worst recession. If you’re in the same situation, just hold on. You’ll just get the worst jobs, those vacated posts no one wants, and you’ll be exploited. Most of all, listen to your gut.
Going through all this taught me empathy for those who live on the margins, but who have a lot to offer the world. If I am able to help just one reader out there feel better about themselves, or not so alone, then I have succeeded.
My message to you dear reader – you are valued. Even if no one sees you right now. Don’t let them bring you down.
Also if you can, choose to be patient, choose to be kind. Do not surrender your values to succeed at all costs.
And this one’s not for you, but those who live without a conscience. “Do not trample on the weak, because you can.”
I would like to believe there is karma even though I haven’t seen any evidence of it. Perhaps in another life.