Many years ago – in the 21st century – I took a job that turned out to be toxic. I didn’t know it when I took the job, obviously, or I never would have gone to work there in the first place. But it paid pretty well, and I thought it would be just the thing to put me on the path to a new career. Boy, was I wrong. I left after about nine months, when I realized that no matter what I did I would not be able to make that job what I needed it to be. It was turning me into an irritable, confrontational, bitterly unhappy person, so I left.
This was not my first brush with a toxic situation or person, but it was the first time I saw it so very clearly. It was a learning experience, a maturing moment for me. It was when I realized that sometimes you just have to walk away from someone or something, even if you don’t know what’s waiting for you.
I am currently going through another toxic period in my life. It’s not my new job this time – even though it’s not my dream job and I don’t love it like I loved my old job – no one’s trying to sabotage me and I’m not being psychologically abused or manipulated. It’s just not thrilling me, but that’s just life and I can handle that.
The toxicity this time is a build up of anger, resentment, and bitterness from watching and experiencing what happened to my friends, my husband, and myself over the past year. Watching the systematic undermining and betrayal by colleagues and by people we thought were friends and allies. It turns out that this whole horrible year has been good for one thing – I know who my true friends are.
There is a group of “friends” I have now learned I can no longer associate with freely. This particular group is a trigger for me – just being around them reminds me of what happened, and of the betrayal and lack of ethics of one particular person in particular. I just cannot be around these people right now without feeling angry and lashing out. Being around them makes me edgy and uncomfortable in my own skin.
But even beyond this, I have to admit that I am not dealing with the anger like I need to. I have seen what anger and bitterness will do to a person, and I do not want to turn out that way. So now I have to work on myself, because now I’m the one who’s toxic. Ouch. So, where to begin? Meditation, exercise, a cleansing fast? I just know I don’t want to feel this way a year from now.