Flee while there's still air in your lungs and blood in your veins and warmth in your heart. Flee while you still have your mind and your soul.
(S)He will take your life and all you are and all you care'st for, and will leave you with nothing but mist and fog. (S)he'll take your joy. And one day you'll awake and your heart and soul will have gone. A husk you'll be, a wisp you'll be, and a thing no more than a dream on waking, or a memory of something forgotten.
Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky.I am astounded at how sick this man has made me. Almost 5 years of business relationship and some of that time in a lover relationship. I have heard that stress can make you sick, but I must say I've never actually understood the destructive effect it can have on your body. And Mind. And Soul.
I suddenly saw a moment between us the other day where John manipulated me. And I realised that this was his 'formula'. He asked me to come in to work (while still on sick leave) so he could unpack my company cash flow projection for me before I sent it on to our potential new buyers. He said it had changed substantially since the last one I had seen 'seeing as I had spent so much time away from work'.
He opens with a 'dramatic announcement': "This has changed significantly since the last one we sent to your 'buyers' 3 weeks ago!" My heart begins to beat fast. My adrenaline kicks in: a huge change in our projections will scare my buyers and possibly derail the company sale. And plunge me into liquidation and possible sequestration. It's a BIG deal.
Outwardly I keep my cool. I ask "how has it changed?"
His response, "Well our costs have grown by 6 million!"
"How is that possible?" I exclaim. "How could our costs have grown 6 million in 3 weeks??!!"
"No need to get demanding on me." he growls back. "Just let me take you through the projection and you'll see."
We work through the projections. I don't see any material changes at all. I ask him to pull up the projections from 3 weeks ago. Insignificant difference. There is absolutely no sign of this 6 million increase in costs. When I challenge him on it he responds that its not actually the cash projection problem, it's a sales forecast problem. In the past 3 weeks our sales team has taken 6 million off their pipeline. Again I panic inside. Same problem: we lose that much off our sales pipeline in 3 weeks and our buyers will head for the hills! My heart starts beating like crazy again and my throat begins to close up with the stress. I'm finding it hard to breathe.
Again I ask him to pull up the previous sales pipeline. Again I find no material difference. In fact our pipeline GREW by 400 000 in the past 3 weeks.
No emergency. No problem actually. But my body has been put through two tortuous life shocks and adrenaline rushes which I've been told by my specialists to specifically avoid. I am still very much at risk of anxiety-related heart issues and asthma triggers. He knows this. And yet he plays this game anyway. While I'm still on sick leave. Recovering from a stress-related near-death experience brought on by HIM! Was his game just to suck my time and attention? Was the meeting engineered specifically to weaken me? Or maybe he was hoping I would buy the lie so I would struggle to negotiate with my buyers? He is still telling me he is bringing another bid to the table. Is this his way of keeping me firmly in his control?
By the time that particular conversation was finished I was a raving gabbling fury- driven crazy woman! I got so angry with him that I threw my purse at him: it broke his glasses!! I have no idea what finally incensed me to make me lose it like that - the fog that is described to aptly by Neil Gaiman above has settled itself over that part and I cannot remember much at all. I remember walking out with him yelling some parting shots behind me. I went straight to my car and headed out of there. Took myself to a coffee shop and wrote another pink book entry that I've captured for you here.
Flee, Trudy! Find the way to end it now. Strong. Clear. Effective.
But I quake in my soul every time I think about having the money conversation with him. I fear him. I am right to fear him. I need to find a way to protect myself in that conversation.
And I need to do it this week.