Bad memories on paper,

Gosh, this is a really difficult one to write about.

When I was putting together my challenges three years ago, I was browsing other people’s lists and something about this challenge resonated with me…

Write all my bad memories on paper, burn this paper afterwards

I knew that during the course of 1001 days I had to turn a corner and move on and forget all my bad memories. At least if I couldn’t ‘forget’ them, I knew I had to accept that these memories have shaped who I am today.

Some background –

I had recently been hurt by people close to me, people I had worked with for several years. I had considered these individuals to be really good friends of mine and I had trusted them implicitly. Unfortunately, there is a big difference between friendliness and friendship. I mistook one for the other and I opened my soul, cared too deeply. As I linked my professional life to personal life, I had made it easy for these individuals to undermine me.

It started when cracks in what I perceived to be a friendship started to show, distancing, rudeness, undermining me in public. Initially I thought that the problem was something else and wasn’t personal to me, I blamed it on their work stress, personal problems etc. For over a year I soldiered on, trying my utmost to repair things and make things better. The harder I tried the more problems there were until I finally put two and two together and realised it was all deliberate.

When I confronted the situation and asked outright, I was told in no uncertain terms that I was unwelcome, both personally and professionally. And why? Because I was too dedicated and passionate in my work which put them on edge and made me hard work.

Then slowly untrue rumours about me started to spread like a virus. My contract was due to end shortly anyway but other unrelated colleagues started to hint I should leave early, or avoid me not wanting to back the wrong horse. Another blow was dealt when my successor was announced in a local publication before it was confirmed that I was actually leaving.

There were so many incidents and I got used to being cautious and watching my back but the final straw was when something very personal I had previously told one of these people in absolute confidence seemed to be public knowledge. My trust had been violated.

I was in a position where it was completely inappropriate for me to speak out and defend myself, and in the end it was easier just to go. Maybe I should have spoken out but that would have been like opening a can of worms and it that was not something I was prepared to do. As I retreated, others saw it as an admission of guilt.

That is where I was three years ago. Crazy isn’t it? – We were meant to be grown-ups, it was worse than teenage bitchiness.

Write all my bad memories on paper, burn this paper afterwards

Would that really work? No, I don’t think so.

Lovely and symbolic, but the memories will always be there. They don’t keep me awake anymore, but I am still bitter and know that I shall never be vindicated. Does it matter now? Three years on? I certainly cannot pretend to myself that these things didn’t happen. They have shaped me and made me a lot less trusting, a lot less willing to put myself out, a lot less open.

So another tweak to the challenge. Instead of symbolically burning a random piece of paper.

I shall wipe these people from my life. Occasionally when I am searching for things on my computer old work documents or emails come up so I shall stop them popping up in my life and making my stomach flip every time I see a reminder.

I have

  • Deleted all related documents.
  • Deleted these people from all contact books,
  • Deleted all texts and emails ever received and sent,
  • and a bit of defriending on Facebook and Social Media didn’t hurt either.

No I didn’t need you in my life anymore, I know I have deleted evidence that would make people understand what I went through and heaven help me if ever I needed it myself. But now it is gone, I can move forward, I can finally cleanse myself.

I don’t cry anymore… I am past that now. I lied for you, backed you up publicly and put myself on the front line for you. I got the blame and you got away scott-free. I will always wonder what I did to make you despise me so much.

But I cannot have regrets, this has taught me a few lessons – such as never to trust anyone as much again.

If ‘you’ ever read this (why would you? I mean nothing) you will know that you can relax, all the damning emails have gone – you will never be gone from my head but from today I am officially moving forward with this blog as the only written evidence of things that happened – no details – no names.

I am constantly trying to rebuild confidences with people around me, I doubt I will ever have confidence to tell them the truth and about all the things that went on behind the scenes. Yes there is too much water under the bridge now.

No paper – no fire – just a worn out delete button. Gone but not forgotten.







2 comments on “Bad memories on paper,

  1. Pingback: Dear Friend | sammioneill

  2. Pingback: #101in1001 Update – 50% done | sammioneill

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