There was hurt, betrayal, nausea, panic, and the feeling that my life had been ripped right out from underneath me. I imagined an obnoxious douche muppet laughing at me while he held the edges of the rug as I fell, but make no mistake, his identity was clear. Very clear.
Now it's been a few days and I have finally been able to catch my breath. That nauseous pain of looming dread has subsided. I have even been able to sleep a couple nights without angry words swirling around my mind like a screaming motherfucking tornado.
After all that had calmed down, I began to think.
I thought about all the long nights I stayed up to 3am working with no compensation.
I thought about how even working as much as I did, I was still being paid about 20% less than I should have been earning, and had been refused a raise twice.
I thought about how I was guilted into coming off my maternity leave early because they "needed me".
I thought about how I was paying so much for childcare that I could barely afford other essentials, like groceries.
I thought about how I haven't been able to switch off even once since 2007, even on holiday - even on my trip to Australia in 2010, I worked on my laptop every night when I could have been, oooh, I don't know, enjoying my friends that I traveled 22 hours on a plane to see? . . .
I thought about how I even began seeing a therapist because I feel like I was unraveling. Me! The one in the group who "always had it together".
Yes, I have been thinking about all of that and wondering why I had let it go on as long as I did.
Fear, most likely.
But now this fear has been made my forced reality, and do you want to know something? It's not so bad.
I've been angry and stressed out for so long that this fear is nothing more than the sickly little runt of the litter . . . box.
And for the first time since my children were 8 months old, I've been able to play with them -- I mean REALLY play with them -- without all the shit I was going to have to deal with at work the next day running through the back of my mind. Distracted.
After putting up with 5 years of bullshit, my mind in finally clearing and it's pretty damn spectacular.