Out of the sensitive nature of this post, the writer has asked for it to be posted anonymously.
Easy going. Friendly. Sensitive. The words that defined me. I was small. Small in voice, small in force. Hurt by others, and I was someone that took their inappropriate behaviour very personally. “You have to find a way to work with him”. “Get over this quickly—no one is upset at you (me) yet”.
The system broke this person. A system that applauds the loud, and favours the bullies. A system that silenced those that attempt change and those that campaign for professional courtesy. But even the “weak” and broken can evolve. My strength didn’t come from myself, it came from love. The love of friends and colleagues. It came from the high heel boss-bitch boots my department member wore in the meeting to help me face my bully. It came from the anonymous email to the nurses that requested people go to the media to support me. It came from the flowers and tequila from colleagues when I stood up and said...enough! I don’t have to work in this environment. It came from the offers of department members to help formulate a plan forward. It came from the friend that told me it was either the php or being formed, that she wouldn’t let me die over work.
The mask. The face you show the world when your own image is too shattered to recognize. Smiling. Collegial. A team player. While inside you are crumbling. Your life insurance suggests you are worth more dead than alive. What is a reason to fight more? How does one put Humpty Dumpty back together again? Is there even enough glue?
The answers are unknown. They change minute by minute. The caterpillar that believes it is dying only to become a butterfly. The Phoenix that rises from the ashes of a former life. The mother that fights a system so her daughter can practice medicine in a more civilized future environment. The end isn’t written yet. But the words that define me now are not as simple as they once were. I will never be that person again. Cracked but Resilient, determined, and strong...and the knowledge that I have an army at my back and strength in my veins.
To my army...I love you.
To our daughters and sons...I fight for you.
Our Anonymous poster is a mid career anesthesiologist, and Mother to two children. But she could be any of us! None of us are immune to a toxic work environment/bullying. Be the change you want to see in the world!