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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Workplace Abuse/Domestic Abuse

I am tired of being troubled. I am sick of being agitated.

It's Thursday morning. It's a beautiful morning. There's a chill in the air and a cat on my lap. There's a cup of coffee--fixed up just right. There are two delightful children sleeping still. There's a dedicated and loving husband flying in from Atlanta this morning.

And there is an abusive brute--my former boss-- residing inside my head.

I want him out.

I want him gone.

I'll think he's gone from time to time. I'll think he's moved on. Think he's abandoned his abusive efforts.

He hasn't. He still visits me now and again.

During the time I worked for him; during the most appallingly awful time of my 55 years on the planet--he'd set up a small cottage in my head. Built it himself. It's well hidden. For a long while, I didn't even know he was building it.

I knew my mind's delight trees in my mind's delight forest were disappearing. But I didn't know why.

I would hear his buzz saw in my ears as I drove to work. But I didn't know what it was.

Each day at work--and then at home too, I would feel the continual jarring impact of my delight trees slamming down. My abuser was cutting them down to build his cottage in my head; one of his many "get-away" places.

At work I'd actually hear and see his ugly intimidation of those of us working for him.

Away from work--at home--he was still in my head. In my head I would hear distant hammering as he, cursing and yelling--whistling only when he was particularly pleased with the installation of a particular torture device--assembled the cottage.

That's how I found him there. I followed the onslaught of abusive language: "GET THE FUCK OVER HERE! WHERE DO YOU KEEP THE FUCKING NAILS IN THIS FUCKING HEAD? HOW CAN YOU BE SO FUCKING STUPID?!"

or, "Honey, how many times do I have to show you...!?"

Here's the strangest thing about abuse: I almost pulled out a buzz saw too. I almost helped him cut down my precious delight trees.

There are many women still working there who have very few authentic delight trees left. They are victims of abuse. They are receivers of violence. They have suffered for so long that they now wield buzz saws too.

They help the brute. They've helped him cut down their own delight trees. They squash their fragile seedlings of hope. Squash them. Grind their heels right into them.

Workplace and domestic abuse work that way. Unending abuse messes with the mind. The unending stress; the anticipation of abuse; the hopelessness that there will ever be any real help makes us do crazy things.

Makes us cut down our own delight trees.

Makes us help our abusers build their torture chambers in our minds.

That feels nuts to those of you happily frolicking in your minds' delight forests. I used to feel the same way. I used to be perplexed at women's staying with abusive men.

"Just get out!", I would admonish abuse victims as I read of their horror. I would speak to them from my delight forest as I climbed one of many delight trees and regarded their lack of forestation.

"What happened to their trees?", I might ponder as I turned to the next story in the newspaper. "Oh well....." I might add as I enjoyed the glorious shade of my delight tree.

Now I've put away the buzz saw.

Now I am planting seedlings of hope in my mind. I am replacing my mind's delight trees: those trees our brute cut down so indiscriminately.

I got out of that school. I escaped. There was no way I could have planted anything while I worked there.

But I see--oh so clearly, dear fellow targets--that the only way I will ever get my former principal and his buzz saw out of my head for good; the only way I will tear down the cottage he's set up in my head--is to help you get him out of your head also.

So here I come. I bring precious hope seedlings. I bring soil. I hope I bring help. Lots and lots of help.

5:53 am edt          Comments

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