Thursday, 17 January 2013

Cynics Begone !

Perhaps the stars are in alignment.

Or perhaps, time is indeed starting to do what they said it would (heal).

But I am now feeling fairly relaxed on the approach to the Town Hall; rather than the fluttering, nervous feelings of anxiety which have plagued me for most of the past year.

It's not that I have rested on my laurels and simply waited for things to improve all by themselves. Dear me, no. I have been extremely pro-active in terms of my own recovery....

Firstly, I have spent significant proportions of my waking hours in Support Group meetings, and talking to Support Group members over coffee, and texting them, and ringing them, and emailing them (last night, I even stood in sub-zero conditions on the corner of the street and talked for half an hour with Sue Inner Circle, whom I haven't had the chance to catch up with properly for ages).

Secondly, I have worked hard to build up a life outside work, which has hugely diminished its importance in my eyes. I'm now singing with the community choir on a regular basis, and have already auditioned for 2 forthcoming productions with the amateur theatre group I have joined. Haven’t actually been offered a part yet, but I continue to be astonished by my own new-found confidence - which includes auditioning in different accents without feeling stupid !!!

Thirdly, I have voluntarily (and not because Occupational Health Doctor was so keen on me doing it) entered into psychotherapy to help me come to terms with what happened last year - the bullying, the way other people joined in and subjected me to organised social exclusion, the confidentiality breaches, and the role played by that famed office sociopath Remora. And after 8 sessions, I have been able to shake Therapist’s hand, thank her and say goodbye (for now. Never say never!). And I feel happy to have forked out the £400, because it has represented a meaningful investment into my own well being

And finally, thanks to social media, I can feel connected and close to other people who are being bullied/have been bullied/have difficult bosses; and every day I can scroll down my phone and find something to laugh about or empathise with - which is indescribably wonderful (its impossible to get too worked up about The Jackals' relentless cynicism and negativity, when I have just read something inspiring under my desk!)


I’ve been hearing a lot of it in the office recently. Scathing, sneering comments about people, places and things; all made loudly by the dominant group (The Jackals, naturally) which unsurprisingly deters anyone else from voicing their own opinions, or views, or likes, or tastes.

Cynical comments might seem, on the surface, to be harmless amusement. But I don’t hear that. I just hear a depressing sub-text. One which seems to say “notice me! I am so clever! I am sooo witty! I am so hard, incisive, brittle, tough, I am so totally superior to anyone who doesn’t think like me.


Here’s a thing.
I’m not cool at ALL !

- I have several Chris de Burgh albums
- I like Country and Western music (I liked Keith Urban before Nicole Kidman had ever heard of him !)
- My doormat has a picture of two rabbits on it
- One of my favourite books is “Anne of Green Gables”
- When I feel a bit down, I watch “Ice Age” or “Up” or “Monsters Inc”
- I have a particular fondness for the colour pink
- I believe in God and I go to church every Sunday
- I love singing hymns
- I cannot pass a dog without saying “oh look at that adorable dog !!”
- I have a collection of special teddy bears who sit along the back of my sofa
- I skived off work last Friday afternoon just so that I could go and see “Les Miserables” on the day it opened, and I cried all the way through every scene. I am not kidding (there are reasons I go and see films on my own)

I could go on and on (and on. Yes, indeed. Sorry about that).

But I imagine I have given you enough of a picture to demonstrate why I am very VERY wary of relaxing and being myself at work. Because whilst I am happy to defend my likes, preferences, and fondness for small cuddly animals; I don’t see why I should have to !

So I will just carry on striding into the office wearing eyeliner and power heels (Sheesh, thank God for Clarks Softwear is all I can say), and letting The Jackals all carry on believing that I am the hard-nosed b*tch they have painted me as. And as soon as they start with the cynical comments, and being nasty about the lovely Anne Hathaway, I shall be putting on my iPod.

I don’t want to get too close to their cynicism.
It might be catching ….

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