The boys were very behind on their reading grade levels when they moved in with my husband so we have them read a chapter a day in an appropriate grade level book and then write about what they read. One of the boys is reading the Left Behind Kids series. So, in his daily reading journal log there sits the words “Left Behind. Chapter 6.”
I laughed. Like when you have to laugh or you might cry laughed. Yes, I was left behind. My attorney group at work resigned this week and left to go form their own law firm. And guess what! They did not take me with them. Recently lots of attorneys have been leaving to join other firms. Our individual careers and futures have felt uncertain at best for many of us. As attorneys have been leaving, they have either taken their assistants with them or their assistants have been let go. So when I discovered that all of “my guys” left and left me there, I knew what was certain. I was going to be fired and my attorneys probably knew that and really did not care. Maybe that’s not a true statement. Maybe I would not have been fired. But I sure did not see any other place for them to put me nor did I feel like working there after feeling so abandoned and humiliated.
Rewind. I resigned from my position there in December of 2015 and sent several firms my resume. But one of my lawyers asked me to stay and said we could work it out. The work load was nearly impossible to complete and we were getting busier by the day. Firm management agreed that two of my attorneys needs were beginning to compete. Heck, I could have worked for just one of them full time and never could have caught up. I was drowning. And on top of that, more work was being expected and for the same pay. Another attorney was added to my desk and more staff were being let go. I was strongly influenced to “pick” one of two attorneys. One of them definitely needed me more than the other one but the other one meant more to me as a human, friend, etc. because I was friends with his fiancé, genuinely cared for him and his family, he invited my kids to his kids birthday parties, we had met for dinner on a double date with Hubster, and I was encouraging his fiancé daily in her endeavor for law school even helping her with her admissions letters. So let me say this here and now…
I made the wrong choice. I chose the wrong lawyer. I picked the one who needed my help more assuming that “anyone” could help the other one and I did not want to come off as a slacker or lazy by selecting the less busy one. Hard work never hurt anyone. Well, come to find out “anyone” could have helped the very busy one also and when he planned his firm departure I was not included in it. When he needed me for his business I stayed for him but when he no longer needed me I was disposed of. I was used.
Guys, I’ve heard the saying “it’s not personal, it’s just business”, but it sure felt personal to me. It hurt my feelings BADLY. Like bad bad. Then every person who had ever abandoned me or hurt me came to my remembrance. Parent hurts. Children hurts. Ex-husband hurts. Blended family hurts. Past job hurts. Things that I guess I never truly dealt with along the way. The continual building up where one more thing is the last straw. That nagging feeling that “you can’t trust anyone” took over and I lost it. I cried. For hours. How could I have been so stupid? How did I let my guard down? How did I so fully support those who don’t support me.
Since December I have received calls and emails from the resumes I emailed out back in December with one of them offering me a position about a month or so ago. It was a promising position doing paralegal work closer to home. If I had put my needs and family first, I probably would have taken the position. It was perfect for me! But changes in my husband’s work schedule requiring longer hours and all of the things HR had done to make my job better at the firm made me very nervous making a job change. I made the decision to go down with them and was even shopping for houses to get closer to the office. Shoot, I even told my girlfriends that I felt like I was cheating on my husband when I called the other firm back about the position. One of my friends agreed that after everything HR had done for me it would be rude to just quit now. I just did not have peace communicating with another firm about a job behind their backs. Meanwhile, they were meeting behind my back to remove my job position from me with job loss completely possible if not foreseeable.
My husband is a wise man. He told me years ago to be careful trusting people and definitely be careful trusting corporate America and lawyers. I did not listen to him and instead followed my heart. The saying is true, the heart is deceitful and will lead you astray. So so true.
So, what have I learned from this? Logically I know that forgiveness is needed. Hurt, anger and bitterness only destroys you from the inside out. But, I also need to give myself time to heal before “getting back out there”. It’s never good to jump right back into another relationship as soon as you have a breakup and for me it’s not a good time to jump right back into the legal field full time either. Maybe ever. But I’ll take that one day at a time.
I’m going to take a break. Burn off this “secretary twenty” I gained after sitting all day commuting and behind a desk. Join an exercise group. Have that garage sale I’ve needed to have for 2 years. Begin writing the book I always wanted to write. Go have lunch with the kids at school. Finally deep clean my house. Just take some much needed time for myself.
I know I’m not alone. Many people are losing their jobs daily or being left behind by someone or something. Life can be messy. People are messy. But it will get better.
And thank GOD we have been following Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University program so that we can spend a few months getting caught up at home rather than needing to jump right back into the next exhausting endeavor.
Enjoy this beautiful fall weather y’all because I’m feeling a ride in the convertible with the top down soon.
~Iced tea cheers and hugs from a ponytail and yoga pant wearing stay at home mom.