Archive for August, 2009

This week I had the pleasure of attending a training course held by my company for employees across the fifty states. The training was pretty incredible and I wished I could have gone to such a conference in the beginning of my career with the company.  They decided to end the series with a guest speaker (of the motivational type) about the importance of providing excellent service to our clients.  I was already feeling a bit down and bitter since my peers were expressing much love for their jobs and their respective team players, and I was unable to express the same amount of passion for my line of work.  The truth is that up until that point I was unsatisfied with my position and felt that my peers were facing the same hardships.  To my surprise, I was the odd man out in an unhappy working relationship. Since I’ve been with the company, I have been bounced around the office and placed with the most difficult teams due to my “people pleasing” nature.  Whenever there’s a difficult team that my fellow coworkers will not touch, they are automatically assigned to me.  However, when discovery happened back in January, I was in  no condition to handle such a demanding workload.  I was already being treated sub par at work, add to the fact that my personal life was falling apart, I pretty much came to work and underperformed.  I was able to shift a lot of the blame for my tardiness in completing assignments and mistakes to having difficult teams and a high work volume, and slowly but surely, my quality of work diminished and so did my motivation to excel.  I was stuck in the worst kind of rut – I really didn’t give a shit anymore!

So when this guest speaker spoke about doing ourselves and the company the favor by “getting off the bus” if we were not natural service oriented people, I felt panic.  I did not want to get off the bus. I love my service-oriented field, but disliked the difficult teams I was placed with. So after the meeting, I had a bone to pick with this speaker.  I was almost in tears as I approached him.  I asked what happens if you are not satisfied with performing at sub-par standards, but don’t have enough resources and are being stretched too thin? His suggestion to me was to give myself a timeline. Start the process of change with myself, see if there are any behaviors I can continue doing, start doing those added things that will raise my performance above the rest and stop doing those behaviors which are hurting my work performance.  Once I’ve improved my performance, approach management and my teams and express what I need from them in order to continue performing at peak levels.  I am to give myself a mental timeline as well, in order to determine if they are doing their parts as well ( approximately three months).  If at the end of this timeline ( his suggestion is January 2010), I am still feeling the same way I felt during our conversation, then it’s time to look for another position.  This realization startles me, I do not like to consider myself a failure in any aspect of my life, including my career.  And to this comment, he replied: “Listen, Enigma.  It’s not that you’re not a good employee, it’s just that your talents and services can be best suited and appreciated elsewhere. If they are not being respectful of your time and resources, then you owe it to yourself to leave.”
That one statement brought everything full circle for me.  So much of my work situation reminded me of my relationship with my husband – pre and post discovery.  Though my husband came into the relationship with his SA baggage, my reactions to his actions only help create this vicious cycle of emptiness and heartbreak.  Our separation allowed me to focus the attention on myself (What are the behaviors I can continue, start and stop doing?). During this time, I was finally able to concentrate on the root of my own codependency issues.  When the time came to reconcile, I compiled my list of conditions/concerns that would allow me to feel safe and appreciated in this relationship. At this point, it is up to ML to fulfill his side of the equation.No matter how hard one can try, a relationship cannot be successful if only one person is doing all the work. All I can do is clean my side of the street and express my concerns to the other party.  If they do not wish to hold up their end of the equation, then it does not represent a failure on my part – it’s just time to move on.  Though this is not a new concept (change coming from within) as I’ve heard this concept in S-Anon, I am astonished at how much of the 12-steps I can apply to my day-to-day life. I’ve noticed all the positive changes in my personal relationships due to practicing these program principles in my personal life, now it’s time to start applying them to professional relationships. I am going back to work tomorrow with new eyes in which to view my current work situation – there’s still hope! 

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This morning I awoke to an unpleasant reminder from the beginning of my journey in recovery. It came in the form of an old thread I posted on the JWC titled, “Husband is a SA/Voyeur….Feeling so Helpless”. The thread was revived a few days ago by a new JWC member going through a similar situation (though not voyeurism). Today, another member decided to comment on what I wrote back in February in a very negative manner. Though I did not get offended by her comment (as she clearly has no knowledge of the road I’ve traveled since the beginning of this mess), I couldn’t help but cry like I did at the time I wrote the post several months ago. But unlike the first time, these were tears of joy. After reading my post, I was able to see how far I’ve come since that dreadful day in January and how much everything has changed in my life post-discovery.

As the title of my first post on JWC mentioned, I was feeling helpless. Before recovery, my favorite roles in life were victim (things happened to me, people did things to me) and martyr (the self-imposed obligation to tackle on the world – and all its problems – on my shoulders). Since joining an active recovery/therapy program, I am able to rejoice in the reality that I do have choices surrounding my actions and the course of my life. I’ve learned to replace the word “helpless” from my vocabulary in exchange for the word “powerless”. I am powerless over my husband’s disease (or anyone else for that matter), but I am no longer helpless or hopeless. I’ve discovered the tools to break free from the hell I was living in and came to realize that the only person holding the key to my freedom is me. I am willing and ready to take charge of my own happiness. If anyone out there is feeling hopeless, helpless and downtrodden, please know that there is a light at the end of this very bleak tunnel. Keep working an active recovery program (refer to my sidebar for some links to resources for partners of sex addicts), reach out to recovery friends and remember to be gentle with yourself. I promise you’ll soon begin to feel the difference.

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No happier words have ever been spoken!  This is what I told ML after our latest pregnancy scare ( these happen often!).  You see, my period is always erratic – sometimes arriving late, other times, not arriving at all.  When it didn’t arrive this month, at first I didn’t panic.  But after noticing my expanding waistline, I started to get slightly nervous, though it was simple to explain the extra pounds to a summer full of eating out, BBQ’s, cocktails and limited exercise. However, when ML also took notice of the extra pounds, stating casually, ” I think you are pregnant.”, I freaked out!!!! 

As I drove frantically to the nearest store the next morning, I couldn’t stop thinking about how having a baby at this moment in my life would be far from ideal.  Not because of the obvious issues in my marriage or because of the financial burden/ responsibility having a child would impose, I panicked because I was enjoying the opportunity I’ve been given to grow spiritually and learn more about myself – a spiritual education that a newborn would stunt. So after running to the local supermarket and taking the pregnancy in one of my work stalls ( I couldn’t wait till I got home), I was finally able to exhale.   “I have more time” –  more time to continue learning about myself, pursue my dreams and determine whether this relationship with my husband is the right thing for me.  
Personally, I am always frightened by the concept of waiting  – a period of no major activity or forward momentum.  I constantly get frustrated with the progression of my life, recovery ( including my husband’s recovery) and the “limbo” state of my marriage.  But after this pregnancy scare ( and the other friendly reminders from fellow bloggers: TheOtherBed and Gin), I can honestly say I am extremely grateful for the extra time I’ve been given to continue exploring myself and the many options I am blessed to have at this moment.  
(By the way, though I am thrilled to have only gained an extra few pounds and not a newborn, I think it’s time to get my butt to a gym PRONTO!  It’s no fun looking pregnant when I am not. )

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