Have I recovered from the harassment and bullying I feel I experienced at my former employer?  What does recovered, or recovery, mean?

Definition: to regain strength, composure, balance, or the like...
Medical Definition: the person has developed a personal sense of hope and empowerment that wasn’t there before.  
*these are approx. definitions found from various online sources.

I don’t know if ‘recovery’ can be so easily defined.  I know what I used to feel at my old job.  I constantly felt powerless to stop what was happening.  For a while everyday I would get ready for work and be frightened at the things I would be made to feel or experience.  I was scared of the pain and hurt and humiliation I felt when coming to work.  The distrust and embarrassment that occurred.  The nights when I would come home and simply cry and talk all night about how much I hated it there.  How I couldn’t believe that someone would treat me like this.  How small I felt.  How I didn’t feel like I could do anything to make it better.  I would try but then it would just make things worse.  When I would go to hang out with my friends and still feel my heart pull and clench because of stress.  When I couldn’t focus on anything except how to make things better at work.  

In order to have hope I think you need to have control of the stress and pain in your life.  I think the stress is gone.  Being self employed I feel more empowered now that I have full control of my job at FlamingLunchbox.  I know what I’m not doing, and there is only so much I know or can do.  That helps a lot, but I still feel fear and humiliation anytime I think I’m doing things wrong.  Once that starts happening my brain just stops processing, and I slow down to a crawl productivity wise.  

The pain is NOT gone.  I can smile at people from the old job when I seem them in stores, but afterwards I feel humiliated and embarrassed and worry about what they think of me.  Of what everyone may have said about me.  About the lies my old boss told about me.  About the horrible person they might think I am.  Then I walk away quickly because I don’t want to hear it, I don’t want to try to explain.  I don’t want to know.   

I don’t know if that’s the best reaction, but it’s what I can handle right now.  Some days if I think about my old boss all it makes me want to do is be violent.  But my anger has nowhere to go, so I cry.  Then I cry because she still has power over me.  

So, no, I guess I haven’t ‘recovered.’

Up Next Time: What have I been up to lately?