I wrote this a long, long time ago when I needed to write about a terrible working relationship I was in, but wasn’t really in a position to broadcast my feelings. While plenty of time has passed, and I’m mostly beyond my anger, I feel that this post deserves its place on my blog and not just saved away with my writing. Many of my feelings were validated by reading the book A Beautiful, Terrible Thing by Jen Waite, though this relationship was not a romantic one.
There was a time where I thought you were great at your job, even respected you for the work you did. I thought I could learn something from you, and that perhaps unlikely combinations of people could create something special. You, however, never respected me. I was not your next partner, I was your next victim. When you looked at me, you saw something young, new, and easily controlled. Or so you thought.
I was naive to your ways in the beginning. I tried hard, I put forth my best effort, and I tried to communicate. I tried to prove my worth, even shooting myself in the foot to prove that I was a team player. I stood by you when I didn’t believe in you, certain that my loyalty would be rewarded in the future. Unknowingly, I had signed a deal with the devil.
It wasn’t all bad though. There was a time when we thought things were moving in a positive direction. We thought we saw little glimmers of hope, of regret for the past, and of knowing better. Maybe you felt it too. But people like you don’t change. They don’t look out for others, they only look out for themselves. They do not see people before them, they see what they can get out of them. I was not a colleague, I was a means to an end.
And then the tides turned. During this time, I had learned that I had been disconnected for many years from my intuition. I had found it though, and when the time came to listen to you or myself, I chose me. I chose to push back. It was easy at first. I just said no, over, and over, and over again. And you, with your inability to read people, to understand them, failed to see my resolve. Instead of respecting me, you insulted me. You threw me under the bus, you slandered my name, you discredited my work and my abilities. More consumed with being right than having support, you took your greatest ally and turned her against you.
Did you think I wouldn’t find out?! Did you think that you could trust the people you trash talked me to? No, because you fail to understand the intricacies of relationships. You don’t know trust, loyalty, compassion, or empathy. You have none of those.
The more that you pushed me to cave, the stronger I had to stand, and the uglier you became. All of your true sides came out. Your accusations got nastier, your finger pointing was constant, and the guilt and blame you laid was thick. Was there ever any truth to what you had said? Was anything from the past few years ever based on fact? Or was everything just a shell, an empty promise, a foundation built on smoke and lies?
Along with some true friends, we started to figure you out. I started to learn how to manipulate our interactions, because a person like you cannot be treated rationally. I put my guard up, everyday, everytime. I stopped being the doormat, I stopped giving you what you wanted, I stopped the manipulation. And although you made the end a fucking. living. hell. I had in the back of my mind my exit plan. And it would be perfect, leaving quietly and calmly with you left in the dark. I knew I would be gone and what would you be left with? As the clients fade away, leaving with bitterness and disappointment, there is just you, with no one in your corner. Who will be happy for you when you succeed? Anyone?
Don’t think for one moment we are friends. Do not think that because I hugged you and said thank you with a tense and forced smile, that you will ever get anything from me. Do not think either, that you are forgiven. But you will not haunt me anymore, because I am free of you, and you were the last to know.