Knowing When to Say When

woman with renewed spirit

I recently got out of a toxic relationship. It stung for about a day and then I felt lighter, less burdened, and had my first night a truly restful sleep – the first in 10 months – after I said goodbye. Looking back, I was surprised that I allowed myself to get sucked into the situation. After 14 years serving in leadership positions in the Army and devouring countless women’s magazines and blogs warning of signs to avoid, I felt like I should have recognized all the signs and red flags of danger, but I didn’t. I thought that I could fix the problem. And, at times, that I was the problem.  But those harmful thoughts were the result of the constant gaslighting, which should have been another red flag for me to get out of this abusive situation.

This relationship that I left wasn’t at the hands of an abusive husband, boyfriend, or significant other. It was at the hands of a direct supervisor who, from the first moment we met, made it his personal mission to make my life a living hell. I was consistently belittled and humiliated in front of my colleagues. I was set up to fail at every turn. I was the only person in the entire office excluded from numerous meetings and events, social and otherwise. As the only African American person on the management team, I  could only imagine why this was happening just to me.

I filed multiple complaints with HR and senior leadership asking them to intervene and protect me. But they ignored every last one of them. And ultimately forced me out of the company by failing to provide a safe working environment.

This company did not care about me. When it comes to self-care, we are taught to value who we spend time with at home and in our personal space but sometimes the teachings overlook who we are spending time with at work. Life is too short and too precious to have it ruined by purposely surrounding yourself with those who would do you harm. There are other ways to make money and support your family.

You may not need to completely leave your office behind like I did. You may only need to find your true purpose and redirect your energy elsewhere within your organization. For me, now that I am no longer in an abusive work environment, I have felt lighter, more focused, more at peace, and in-tune with what I was put on this earth to do. I realized that a door closed so a bigger door could open. You can feel that way too.  You have the power within in you walk toward your future and become who you were destined to be.

Whatever it is you need to do for your life: leave, level-up, pivot, refocus; let the coaches and programs of Zen Matrix help you get there.