Groundhog Day

That movie has to be my favorite of all time. If I were stuck on a desert island and could only have one movie to watch, it would be that one.

I’m writing about this because I had an epiphany (yet again) tonight.

In Groundhog Day, Phil Conners goes through several stages of behavior while he is repeating the same day over and over. He goes from shock, to panic, to excitement, to boredom, to depression, and finally to resolution.

The thing that triggered the resolution (and no, it was not getting Andie McDowell into bed) was Phil changing himself. Phil spent most of the time, trying to manipulate the environment around him for very selfish reasons. It wasn’t until he actually changed himself, that the world began to change for him (I think Harold Raimus (sp?) said that it was about seven months that Phil spent repeating the same day over and over).

So here I am, repeating the same dreadful day over and over. Do I have to change me? I think so. I don’t want that to be the answer. If I do that, then it feels like defeat. It’s like (very much like!) the bully punching you in the face every day. You can’t do anything about it. And then you think “Hey, if I just learn to like it, then it will be ok.” Seems like defeat to me.

But sadly, it seems like that is the only way.

I remember someone talking discrimination or racism or some type of oppressive system. And they asked people what would they be doing in their lives if there was no oppression/racism/discrimination. The people said they would be getting educated, building communities, reaching out to each other for support. Then they asked the people “So, why aren’t you doing those things now?”

Yeah. Why am I not doing those things now?

it’s like TV

Did you ever notice that when you watch a TV Sitcom (or even a serious show with a comical situation), when people are arguing, it can be kinda funny. The characters are angry and frustrated, but it’s funny because we are on the outside. Yet, if we were inside (as one of the characters?), it would be serious and not so funny. Just like when it happens in real life, no matter how silly the situation, it’s not funny at all.

What if we were always on the outside looking in at ourselves? What would it feel like then?

curious

Today I watched him pacing frantically in the corner when I would not look at him. I was talking to someone before a meeting and usually that is the time he strikes. He will usually glare at me until I walk over to him and ask what he wants. Not today. As I spoke with the other person, I watched him walk in little circles back and forth like a dog in a cage. It was crazy.

a powerful day

Today I felt very good. I had the weekly confrontational meeting but it went very differently from before. As an observer (in my head) rather than the victim, the behavior was so much more amusing than painful. He was still an evil, condescending, and insulting person but the insults rolled off this time, because the behavior is so expected.

Every comment, every mannerism seems so overt to me now. The little head-games that baffled me, now look like silly schoolyard games. Until I came to expect it and know what to look for, it always shocked me. It was that shock that threw me off guard and got my defenses up. Once I began acting defensively, I would spend the entire time running. And that was killing me.

At least this time, at least today, I was not running. I was walking around outside the circle. And he couldn’t see me there, he could only see the person inside the circle. And that was no longer me.

James T. Kirk is quoted as saying “If you can’t win the game, change the rules.” (although admittedly, I have yet to find that precise quote). Still, I like it, and that is what I am following now. There was a show I saw once where two people were playing chess (this may have been Star Trek too). One person had continuously beat the other one, and the loser was becoming very frustrated and was doubting their abilities. Someone suggested that they change their strategy, which they did. At the next game, the other opponent finally jumps up in disgust and yells at the loser, stomping off in a huff. The loser explained that he changed his strategy so that he was no longer trying to wing, but merely trying not to lose. It seemed applicable to this situation.

breakthrough this weekend

My eyes are open.

He can’t touch me any more.

These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.

reading

I’ve been spending time reading online about “bully bosses” and mobbing. It’s really amazing how well they describe my situation. Things I thought were in my head, they list out specifically. I was sure about a lot of things that were bad, but unsure of others until I read the various sites.

The sites spelled out specific patterns of behavior, and listed the steps in the process. It often starts with the bully befriending the target, once the target has been selected. This is used to gain the target’s trust to get them to reveal personal information which can be exploited later. One site even went so far as to call this “grooming”.

They made a very clear distinction between the “tough” boss and the “bully” boss. The main one is that the bully’s objective is to demoralize and destroy the self esteem of the target. The tough boss wants results but does not demoralize. This is because the tough boss get satisfaction from success in the job, and the bully boss gets satisfaction from destroying his target.

The most frightening statistic that I saw repeated over and over, is that after the target is chosen, there is a 70% in the next 2 years that the target will either be fired, quit, or commit suicide. The next target is then chosen, usually within 2-14 days. And the cycle repeats.

There’s more to it. But this is enough for now. I feel better seeing that there are others out there going though what I am, and that this situation and this person is not unique. There are recovery strategies and ways to cope, to bring yourself back from the brink and take your life back.

It’s not me. It’s him.

Still down

I got pummeled again today. Seems like Mondays are the worst. After a long weekend of not demoralizing someone, he has to come back and pound on me.

I’ve lost all motivation for anything. My chest pain is back. My shoulders ache. I have a hard time swallowing now.

I wish I could find another place to work but I can’t. I’m stuck. I hate my life.

Missed my 9 year blogiversary

December 22nd 2003 was my first blog post.  Something about trying out running.  Hmmm.

Nine years is a long time.  The writing was very intense for a long time, mostly because blogs were the only way to communicate to the world.  Now with Farcebook, Twittler, and dumblr, blogs seem to have fallen by the wayside.   It’s kind of sad.  None of the current social media sites hold much content.

While useful and entertaining, there really isn’t much depth to the most common social media sites.  When I first started reading blogs, I met a woman whose father was dying of cancer, and an awkward 14 year-oldl girl who struggled to fit in, and a guy who wanted to be a real life super hero.  Nine years later, their lives have changed so much.  The woman who lost her father, fell in love and moved to England.  That awkward girl got married to a musician and now they have a beautiful baby.  And the super hero?  He wrote a book about networking that made the New York Times best-seller list.  I would never have seen any of that from other types of media.

Over the past nine years I’ve met so many of the bloggers in person.  And some of them I’ve never seen face to face.  I know this will all end eventually, as all things do.  I hope that I can keep writing for a while.  I know that I’ve slacked off, because it’s so much easier to throw 143 characters into a small text box and not think about anything important to say.  Just trivia, silly comments, and emoticons.   Dreadful.

So nine years.  Hoping I can make it to ten.  Even if I don’t.  Thank you for reading, whomever is still out there.

 

back

So back again.  Things are clearer these days.  Running is going ok.  I have a 5K next weekend, although my son’s crew race got moved to the same weekend, so I may have to miss the 5K.  Not sure.

I finally climbed Mt. Algonquin, which is the second highest peak in NY State.  We had rain and high winds at the top so a very messy hike all the way around.  People on the trail were so badly dressed.  If they got hurt on this steep slippery climb, they might be in very big trouble waiting for help to arrive.

The rain made all my camera shots cloudy, and the clouds hid the nice view of the fall colors in peak season, but I managed to dry the lens with toilet paper for one nice shot.

aaaaaaaand crash

Yes, no good deed goes unpunished.  I’m not allowed to be happy ever.  The moment I have a good day, the world collapses until I am miserable, and then everyone else can be happy again.  Awesome.