Monday, March 24, 2014

Stomping On My Trigger Button

There are days when I forget I'm in recovery from fundamentalist theology and the accompanying damages and that I still deal with the trauma of being sexual abused from the ages seven to nine. Then life hands me a person, place or thing that is a trigger object.

Today I experienced what for me is one of the biggest triggers that sends me into PTSD every time, where I weep and retreat and shut down for the day. What is that? Being yelled at.

The dentist that sexually molested me would yell at me and pinch off my air supply when I fought back. I'd black out. As a consequence when someone yells at me in anger I shut down and turn seven years old again. None of which is helped by all the yelling people did towards me when we switched churches, triggers upon triggers.

Better start at the beginning. Friday afternoon I'm working in on the offices of the medical records folks. I was sorting documents for filing, just to be nice, because I had time to kill, trying to make one of my friends in that office have a little lighter load.

Now this is the same office I've struggled with the boss, Stinky Guy, and a couple of the cattier women working there. Last week and this week we have had a pile of people from the corporate offices of our charity there nosing around. The big BIG boss of the whole shooting match is a lady named Latrina and she'd sent some emails, the contents I do not know the contents of, to Stinky Guy's right hand gal, Kelsey.

So I'm in there, killing time on a Friday afternoon before I head up to give the receptionist a break, minding my own business when Stinky comes tells Kelsey that he'd received the emails she'd forwarded him from Latrina and he's forwarded them to Big Red. Yeah, Big Red who no longer works there, who's done a million hateful things to coworkers there, and is universally hated by everyone but Stinky.

It wasn't a conversation I wanted to overhear because by Stinky saying he's forwarded confidential emails that were not even his to forward to someone no longer connected to the organization he's breaking like a whole bunch of organizational rules, not to mention possibly some federal laws.

I was worried when I heard this and didn't know if I should ignore what he said, or tell someone above me. Ultimately I decided when I went to relieve the receptionist I would ask her what I should do. She's been there fifteen years, knows where all the bodies are buried and would know exactly what policy was. So I told her. She urged me to immediately go to HR and tell them but as we were talking Lauren came in. Lauren works at HR and in the Admin bldg. She overheard enough to know what we were talking about and told us that HR and Admin were aware of the situation with Stinky and were going to take care of it soon, so not to worry or do anything about it.

Quite frankly I was relieved. Because to dob in Stinky for something like that I knew there would be blowback. I went home, told Jim all about it and promptly forgot all about it.

This morning. I come in, go into the annex office where I always log in, peruse my emails before leaving to go around to get my duties done. Plus I was anticipating having to do a big project for the head therapist so I was sticking around for that. No sooner than I'd booted up the old cracked out laptop when Kelsey, all of 24 years old Kelsey, tells me we need to talk in a very hostile voice. I sighed, realizing that someone must have spoken to her and Stinky and she thinks because I overheard their conversation it had to be me.

I just came right out and told her, very honestly, that yes, I had overheard and discussed it with a supervisor if I really needed to be concerned about it and decided to not do anything at all. I just didn't tell Kels that others were onto them, that this was in the works well before I heard anything.

She went nuts on me, yelling and screaming, calling me names and saying I was banned from the building, to take myself down to HR for reassignment. I sat there and took her nasty anger that I didn't deserve. I got up, said fine and left, managing to hold back any tears till I got to the restroom. I cried profusely, between being blamed for something I didn't do and all the yelling and name calling. She called me 'stupid' 'ridiculous' 'evil' and 'unprofessional'. Can someone explain to me how yelling at someone is considered professional?

Ended up at HR crying so hard they couldn't make sense of what I was saying and sent me to work in the Main Office for the day. I learned at the Main Office that Kels and Stinky had been confronted and decided I was the one that tattled on them because I'd been in the office that afternoon.

I know that silly 23 year old just violated a number of rules in the employee handbook and I can and will file an HR grievance in the morning. Plus she has zero authority to ban me from a building or tell me what to do, she's not my supervisor at all. But... the part of me that triggers at names and yelling was triggered and I had to fight not to allow the crying re-traumatized seven year old out. Having some issues today and tonight with PTSD.

The upset has triggered my IBS. But.. I went to workout tonight and that helped. Writing a factual account for my grievance tomorrow and writing here has helped. I know what I did and did not do. I also know that the women in that office, Kels included, are a hateful bunch and I refuse to allow them to drag me down. This is why I hate working in offices with loads of other women, they aren't happy till someone else is upset.

They must have gotten one horrible balling out to freak out like that I guess.

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