Jude and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week.

This was a week I wish I could erase. I don’t know if it was the full moon or egos or just team re-building that caused so much upheaval at work, but every meeting was a struggle with one of my teams. I was condescended to, sneered at, left out of important conversations, and generally treated like a fool. One person in particular was feeling his oats and trying to pee higher on the fence than anyone else. I get the feeling he has a little bit of Napoleon syndrome, but I don’t know. Like with most of my co-workers, I haven’t met him in person, so I shouldn’t judge. The week before he was being very passive-aggressive with the whole team, and this week he had them cheering him on. I don’t understand, but that’s how my week was ruined.

On the other hand, my meetings with my other team have been fantastic. They even posted a nice note to me on Friday saying how much they appreciated a list of qualities in me as their Scrum Master. I nearly cried on camera. They will never know how much I needed that. If that hadn’t happened, the week would have ended with me looking for work. I was that DONE. I was even convinced that I made the wrong move going to the Scrum org and that I should just go back to tech writing.

I don’t share a lot about my personal life with my teams. I keep it light. But I have been through some shit in my life that most people can’t dream up in their worst nightmares. I suffer from PTSD, depression, anxiety, and yes, suicidal ideation. When things go this badly, my mind goes there. I begin to wonder if I’m of any value to the world. And I start to think about what it would feel like to just let go and leave.

Instead, I booked a trip for myself to a little tiny home/cabin community that is nestled in the woods in western Maryland, in an area that boasts seven waterfalls. I’ll be staying in an updated travel trailer that sits under a structure that includes a porch. There’s a gas grill to use and a nice couple who runs the place. They have dogs, and I’m bringing Adele. I wanted to book a cruise, but it doesn’t seem safe yet. For a short time, anyway, I’m going to unplug.

Then my best friend and her wife called last night and got me laughing about some stuff. They will be staying in Assateague, MD, in May, so the weekend before my getaway, Adele and I will be going to visit them there in their RV. Lots of communing with nature coming up for me.

I haven’t eaten well this week. I’ve either been starving or nauseated. My waistline has grown, which makes me feel even more like a loser. My exercise has been very sporadic, even though it helps me with my stress. I’m trying, but I fear all the weight I lost during cancer is going to come back on, and then my doctors will be all over me about it. And I will feel like a failure in the eyes of my sister, to whom weight is important.

So yeah. Life seems to be very, very hard right now. And will I still be here in 5 years? That’s a question I keep asking myself. Do I sock away every spare penny and focus on retiring as soon as I can? Or do I go do fun things with my money now, because who knows if cancer will come knocking again? For the record, I have money in several investment vehicles. It isn’t as much as it used to be, and I didn’t make the right changes soon enough because I didn’t really understand what I needed to change. But it’s growing now by fits and starts. And I have my house, which keeps going up in value. Someday I won’t have to worry about people at work and how they can wreck my day. But I have got to take care of myself now, because I’m convinced that the stress I was under in previous jobs contributed to that fast-growing cancer.

See how I teeter between wanting to live and wanting to … not live?

There is no situation in which you should treat someone disrespectfully at work. I have gone up my chain of command to get some assistance. The engineering manager for the team wants to talk to me next week. He’s a decent guy who always makes me laugh, so I don’t think it will be too tough of a conversation. But I plan to tell him that I’m not going to take shit from this team member or anyone else. The things that happened this week were uncalled for. He is this guy’s boss, so he can take it from there. And I might start recording the team meetings, because without proof, it’s my word against theirs. For now, my boss will be joining some of the meetings. He was not happy to hear that this one guy was bucking the process (and my guidance) in such a way. And he’s a guy who doesn’t back down or take any shit, either.

And then the windstorm took down the half-assed, ghetto DIY fence that my next door neighbor put up last year. So there is fencing laying in the yard, and they have made no move to do anything about it. Now I have to go out in the freezing cold wind to make sure Adele doesn’t go over into their trashy yard. And the HOA does nothing.

Everybody has bad days. Usually I can shrug it off and move on. This week, though, damn. It was the worst. But still not as bad as the week when I lost my daughter. Still not as bad as the week when I ended my marriage. Still not as bad as the night when Dad came after me with a baseball bat in his hand. Still not as bad as the times I had to call an ambulance because Mom had harmed herself. Still not as bad as the time I almost drove out in front of a speeding truck and instead took myself to the hospital to get some help and some medication. Still not as bad as being molested. Still not as bad as nearly bleeding to death or having an intestinal blockage or sitting alone getting chemo or being so tired I couldn’t lift my head after chemo. Still not as bad as having radiation burns so bad I couldn’t stand the feeling of clothes. Not as bad as any of that. So I’m going to put some music on blast and scream at the walls. Later I’ll head out to see my favorite massage therapist and try to let the stress in my muscles go.

I’ll leave you with one of my go-to songs when I’m pissed and just want to scream at the walls. Things have to get better, or I will be looking for work … again. I’m getting way too old for this shit.

Jude

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