Work is bit crap at the moment. My post has been ‘deleted’ and I’m ‘at risk’. In the initial round of redeployment two of us were competing for one post on my current grade, and I found out yesterday that I didn’t get it. I’ve been offered a rather less inspiring post at a lower grade instead.
Although I was expecting this outcome, and have even made plans for what I would do if it happened, it’s really hit me hard. Harder than I expected. I feel quite numbed by the experience. The last couple of days have been a daze. But one thing has been interesting.
Several people have said things along the lines of “well this must seem like nothing compared to what you’ve been through”. This assumption has surprised me. If you’re beaten up badly one week, does that make being beaten up slightly less badly the following week any easier to bear? No, of course not. Particularly if the bruises from the first beating haven’t healed. In this case, it makes the second beating considerably more painful than it would have been.
And that’s the thing isn’t it? People assume the bruises have healed. And nothing could be further from the truth. It surprised me, though I’m told that actually it’s common, but the emotional bruises didn’t really appear until I found out that treatment had been successful. In the thick of the fear and uncertainty I coped by focusing on the next milestone, the next point I had to get to. But when I reached the finish line there were no milestones left to take my attention. That’s when the full force of the horror of the last year really hit me. That’s when the grief at what I’d lost surfaced, the anger at the unfairness of it all, the shock of the terror.
I may be cured of cancer, but that is no where near the end of the story, and those that haven’t been there really struggle to get that. It’s assumed that a successful end to treatment is a moment of joy. But it isn’t. It’s the moment at which you have the space to start to feel. It’s the place where you can stop focusing on staying alive and have to turn and face the reality of what has been taken from your life. And it’s a time when you really really want the pain to stop and for life to just get back to normal. Being denied that is hard to take.