Thursday, March 15, 2012
5:42 pm edt
I have a friend. He is a person of some influence. People really want to please him. I do too.
always pleased him. I think I've perplexed him. I think, maybe, I've annoyed him.
I am okay with that. Now.
I wasn't okay the first time he communicated to me his displeasure. I worried. I thought I'd lose this amazing man's
friendship. Thought he'd write me off faster than I'd written a piece about the abuse I'd experienced.
shared the piece with him. I liked it. He did not. Although ours was an email exchange, I knew his brow must have furrowed
as he read the piece.
He advised me to "move on; let it go; be done with it"; The future is waiting
kind of stuff.
I did not want him to be unhappy AT ALL with me. I still don't. This guy has clout! This is a man
you want in your corner. You want him behind you; maybe in front of you like a shield from the ugly stuff out there.
So, I wanted to take it back. Wished I hadn't sent the piece to him. Almost didn't post it on my website. Almost didn't
continue writing about my former abusive boss and the havoc he creates in so many lives.
Almost let go of my support
of you, my fellow workplace abuse targets. Almost let you go.
But as you were slipping from my fingers; as I looked upon
you hanging in the cavern of abuse, I rallied. Dug in my heels at the cliff's edge. I held on. My fingers wrapped
more tightly around your wrists.
So, in the end, I did post it. In the end I went for it. Risked not only
my friend's displeasure, but also my school district's.
You are that important to me.
has no idea how difficult "letting it go" is for an abuse victim. For how could he? He doesn't know how PTSD assures
the repetition of the abuse in the mind of the target. Over and over and over again.
He doesn't understand that
writing, writing, writing is healing, healing, healing for me. He simply can't comprehend that reading, reading, reading is
your healing too.
My friend's experience of our boss is very different from ours. His experience is one of collegial
shared jokes, rueful laughter and head shaking; shared commiseration of the challenges leaders face. His experience is one
of "important" conversations about school improvement and FCAT scores.
Man! He walks in the door of
the school and trumpets blow! Red carpets are rolled out! He is ushered, with great fanfare, into the throne room-the principal's
office. He is ushered in by the principal himself! Met at the door! He and the principal then walk in together. They walk
by adoring crowds. The crowds wave. He waves back. The principal smirks in satisfaction.
Everyone smiles. Everyone.
Including the emotionally battered teachers listlessly raising their hands too.
Even if my friend were to
stop and talk for a minute, shake a few hands and ask "How's everything?", these tired souls would respond, "Great.....just
great....." For you see the principal and his posse are always near.
Dear friend, some of the waving hands
are spirit hands of past victims of the principal's abuse. There are lots of spirit hands. Male spirit hands. Female spirit
hands. Look closely. They're waving at you too.
I too am waving. I too send my greetings. I send them from the
side of a cliff where I am holding on tightly to the latest target's wrist.
Come to the cliff, dear friend. Help
me. Help her. Take hold of her other wrist. Together let's lift her to safety.
Then shake my
hand and ask me, "How's everything?"
Ask me. I'll tell you. I'll tell you the truth.