The Dark Side

There’s been a new girl in town since I first posted about my job situation – and I must confess: I don’t like her one bit.

She’s easily irritated, quick to aggravate, and finds her face hurting at the end of the day after sporting a constant and unbecoming frown. She lashes out and retreats from any form of human affection, instead preferring to curl up, alone, scowling at the world. Her heart thumps harder in true fight-or-flight fashion in a vain effort to beat out of her chest, desperate to get away from the stress of the situation in which its owner is placed. Her cheeks flush and hands tremble in a feeble effort to join it. She stomps down slushy streets unaffected by the mess she’ll make, pretending to talk on a cell phone, led forward by gritty perseverance and furrowed brows, no longer stopping to smile at strangers, or hold open doors. The black of her clothes complements the storm clouds of her demeanour, and the love and compassion of her soul has already escaped, leaving behind an ill-tempered, hostile recluse; an empty cage where her heart used to be.

She knows not where she is going. All control over her situation her been extricated, leaving her reluctantly in a dusty and derelict limbo. Her hands have been pried open; her grip on the future that seemed so solid lost. The world’s endeavours of peace and reassurance evaporate before seeping through into her heart, obstructed by an invisible armour impenetrable to all.

She falls asleep alone, accompanied only by her tears, a downpour of melancholy over the landscape of her bed. Even sleep cannot maintain a hold on her, and retreats elsewhere in the world of dreamers, along with efforts of love and kindness also given the cold shoulder. She spends her nights awake, afraid, entirely unable to let anyone in or see a way out.

This is her opposite – the girl whose life is led contrary to everything she believes and holds dear. Except somehow, in this time of dreadful uncertainty, she’s moved in. Taken over. Destroying everything normal, shaking it up with the hand of ambiguity, removing everything positive… imprisoning reality and unleashing the indefinite nightmare of limbo.

I can’t deal with this. All I need is answers, and nobody is able to give any. I’m asked to participate in an almost farcical scenario in which I act as if I’ll be let go in two weeks, training others and handing off all my duties – but also told not to worry, because I might be kept on.  It’s wrong, and every day is more stressful than the last.  I feel unappreciated and expendable, after I’ve put my heart and soul into this job.  I feel betrayed at being given hope for two months only to be brought suddenly into a harsh reality. But I don’t seem able to switch off. I just want this weight to be lifted, this uncertainty resolved.  I’ve never felt such panic, despair, loss of positivity – my outlook and behaviour this week feels alien. I’m doing everything I try so hard to avoid. I just want to feel normal again.


  1. Oh, Em. My heart aches for you.

    This has got to be one of the most difficult times for you.

    Keep your chin up and know that you ARE valuable and you will find something that makes you happy. At least you’ll have excellent references, if nothing else.

  2. I know that feeling so well miss, it’s part of going through this level of stress but trust me: it will pass because it’s just physically impossible to sustain. Even at my worst, I can only maintain that for five days before I collapse, sleep, and wake up feeling a lot more normal. It’s a roller coaster, but just keep holding on.

    As you know, I’ve been out pretty much every night this week so I haven’t had time but I’m going to send you a whole folder of the places I search for the kind of work you’re looking for as soon as I’m home ❤

  3. 😦 I am so sorry this is happening and is causing you all sorts of stress. I can’t imagine watching your position being dismantled while at the same time having to teach others how to do what was your job.

    Maybe, just maybe, this is opening the doorway to something grand. I’m crossing my fingers that you find a position soon that removes the weight from your shoulders and boosts your career to new heights. xo

  4. I want to give you a big, big hug. I can’t imagine what you are going through, but I agree with the other ladies here: YOU ARE VALUABLE. You have come so far in this position and gained so many awesome new skills. Just look at where your tasks are going — director positions! You’ve been keeping up with tasks far beyond your role and as far as I can tell, you’ve been exceling at them.

    You’ll find something awesome, or something awesome will find you. I’m sure of it. xo

  5. Ugh, I know that feeling so well and it’s terrible! I am a different person these days also, and I pity my husband. I’m hoping your situation works out soon, or at the very least you get some answers!

  6. Sending great big hugs Emily! I received a Letter from the Universe in my email inbox the other day and immediately thought of you. It said:

    When something difficult or painful happens, always look to see what it makes possible that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible. Like a new adventure, a closer friendship, or chocolate in your peanut butter. Everything makes you better.

    You will find something, I know you will. I understand the days are dark right now, but remember that there are many beautiful things out there. I’m keeping you in my thoughts and hope the right opportunity comes about soon.

  7. I am so sorry that you are going through this. We are having huge cuts in our district, and it’s just so awful to see people in such dire job situations. I really hope things work out for you soon because you are AMAZING!

  8. I’m sorry you have to deal with this. It’s not a fun feeling to be in limbo. I can totally understand everything you’re feeling and I really hope you can find some peace in this time and some answers for what you’re searching for. And I really hope you can keep your job. It seems to have done wonders for you and your anxiety. I definitely think you need to continue doing it!

  9. Emily, I am so sorry that you’re stuck in this horrid situation. I have no wisdom or advice, just lots of love. Email me if you need to vent, okay lady?

  10. I feel your pain, friend…just found out that I may not have a teaching job next year, either. I know how easy it is to let fear and anxiety overwhelm.

    I hope you can find some peace and joy…get some rest, take care of yourself, lean on D and just take care of yourself. Much love, friend.

  11. lady, listen, YOU ARE AWESOME! obviously your workplace sucks and like a bad boyfriend they don’t deserve you! AND, work is just work. take a sec and look at your adorable loving doting fiancee and remember those cute dolphins you swam with and realize that you have him for the rest of your life! yay!

  12. I really feel for you, Emily, and you have a valid reason to feel the way you do. My mom is in a similiar position right now (she was hired on for one year as a school counselor, and there is a possibility she could stay on permanently, but they aren’t giving her any answers), and I’ve seen first hand how it can effect you to be in limbo, knowing that you’ve put your heart and soul into a job but it may not make a difference. I’m really hoping that you’re given the opportunity to stay. I hope that you let us know when you find out.

  13. It’s so hard when something as foundational as a job is in limbo, it leaves us feeling uneasy and unsupported.

    The very best I can do is say a prayer for you, knowing that even if this job didn’t work out, it may lead you to a job that is even more perfect for you. We never know, huh?

    Bet you thought that ex-boyfriend of yours was the “one” for awhile huh? That is, until you met your man now. Funny how our perceptions change…

    You are allowed to be angry and confused…but hold onto hope girl!

  14. EJ, BELIEVE me I know what you’ve been feeling. I’ve been on and off jobhunting for the last, crap, six months or so? (Temping doesn’t really count in my book.) The worst bit of it all for me wasn’t the feeling displaced in society but rather the feeling of ‘why aren’t I good enough?’

    You know what though? I’ve just been offered a job this afternoon and have some other potential offers in the pipeline. I say this not to taunt you, but to show you in a VERY real sense that while the situations sucks so much butt you feel like lashing out (heck knows I have been) and/or acting like an emo hermit (heck knows I’ve done that too, I believe you’ve been reading a few posts to that effect? :P) there always IS a light at the end of the tunnel. Happy endings don’t just occur at the end of romcoms and Disney films. And because I see so much of me in you, if my life can turn it around, I’m damn bloody sure yours will too, honest. All I can say is, as hard as it is, you have to turn your world around yourself, because only you and your loved ones have the power to shift that pessimistic perception.

    And don’t shut them out. Tried that too, but the sting of solitude hurts like a son-of-a-bitch.

  15. Oh Em… 😦 I’m so sorry.

    I can’t imagine how hard this is for you, but keep your head up. You are such a sweet, loving, devoted person, that ANY company would be so, so lucky to have you!

    Love, love, love you!! xoxo

  16. Oh, friend. I can’t imagine what that must be like. It seems like a cruel joke, some terrible concoction meant to make you feel crazy. I will hold out hope for you that they are able to keep you on and this was all for naught, but that doesn’t make the here and now any easier. Sending hugs, prayers and kleenex from across the miles!

  17. Oh dear. I know that feeling as well. It is tough to feel like you are morphing into a different person – a person that you don’t like. It is awful when so much is out of your control and you are uncertain of how you will make your livelihood.

    You are so talented and bright and driven. A future employer is going to see that. Even though you are going through a very difficult time right now, eventually things will improve and the Emily you know & love will be back.

    Hang in there, dear. I wish I could do something to make this better and easier for you!!!

  18. totally cliche to say this but have you prayed lately? God has funny ways of helping us in our darkest moments. if you’re not int that side you’re more than welcome to vent to me anytime you need. love you lady.

  19. Oh miss, I’m so sorry to hear that your this stressed out! Not knowing is hard, it’s heavy and it’s debilitating, and to hope, oh to hope! I hope that it all comes to some resolution, soon. Happy thoughts, hey x

  20. What a pain! I’m sorry you’re having to deal with such ambiguity, and I really hope everything gets resolved in no time at all. Everyone has already said it, but just keep being your amazing self–you’ve got loads of people backing you up here!

  21. You guys are incredible – sorry I haven’t been online to reply to you all and thank you sooner but I took a bit of offline-time this weekend to try and relax a little bit – I’ll be back tomorrow and I’m going to email all of you wonderful people then. Thank you for being such good friends ❤

  22. Oh I’m so sorry, sounds terrible. I hope that your next week improves drastically and that these negative feelings escape you quickly!!!

    Thinking of you in your hard times…

  23. Unfortunately, I know this feeling all too well. Personally and from the experience I’m having with my fiance. He’s currently out of work and I’m aching to leave my job so while we’re not fighting, we’re not what we used to be.

    I don’t have the answer. I don’t have any words of wisdom other than that when the time is right, something will come. I know that’s less than helpful, but it is the truth. If you ever need to vent, I’m all ears. Or, well, eyes.

    Take care.

  24. Oh, Emily! I’m sorry I haven’t commented sooner. I’ve been soo busy and my internet has been shotty for no reason!! So anyway. I am so sorry you are going through this right now! I hope that you’re able to figure things out, and that the sun reveals itself from behind the clouds very soon. 😦 Cheer up, pretty!! ❤

  25. Hang in there Emily! I’ve really enjoyed getting to know your giving, friendly and welcoming self. You are awesome and don’t let anyone let you feel otherwise. Trust that your many skills and talents will get you through. You’ve been through a lot over the past few years and it’s your time to shine! Though the future may be unknown know that all your hard work and dedication will pay off in some way, shape or form. Your additional experience and confidence will come in handy in the next few months. Have faith in yourself and know you will get the best because that’s the Emily I know 🙂

  26. Well, you already know from email, but DAMNNIT you’re a tough cookie and you’re going to pull through this. And then like… 4 months from now.. you’ll be like AWESOME, I rocked that stressful time and now life is so much better.

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