16 September 2014: 93 days
My last few days of sick leave. I've been away from work for almost 6 weeks now. I'm afraid of going back. John (ex lover, still business colleague) is in a full on paranoid narcissistic rage and I know that he is going to try and take me down as soon as I show up at work. I want to find a strong, gracious, and generous way to see him out of the business. But he derails so much of what I try to do - I have no idea whether I'll pull it off or not.
One thing I know for sure: he and I need to stop working together. Forever. This is actually killing me, this interaction. I need days to recover from each time we are together - he literally takes me down every time.
And I still feel so torn between my natural emotional response which is the 'save John' voice: the fact that he has worked VERY hard (for the first time in almost 5 years) to keep my company afloat while I've been in hospital and on sick leave counts hugely in his favour. He has taken on a huge amount of stress to do it. But of course, on the downside, even during this time he has been incredibly bullying and cruel to me.
My company has been battling financially. Only a buyout will save us from financial ruin. John has been connecting with investor friends of his to try to buy the company from me himself. And all the time he's been working on that, he's been using it as a huge manipulation tool to pull me back in under his power. I have on my cellphone, a video of one of the devastating conversations we had where he skewers me and turns me mercilessly over the flames until I break down in sobs, weeping, begging him to stop breaking me. And in the video he looks on at me sobbing with a completely cold, dispassionate stare - not feeling one ounce of empathy, not realising that I'm about to fold - emotionally, spiritually, physically. I was in hospital 5 days after that video.
In the video I call him evil. Or what he's doing to me as evil. He doesn't stop. He can't. He just carries on. Skewering me with words and psychological abuse. And zero compassion. Unable to protect me from the monster inside him.
M Scott Peck writes:
There is another reaction that the evil frequently engender in us. Confusion. Describing an encounter with an evil person, one woman wrote, it was "as if I'd suddenly lost my ability to think". Once again, this reaction is quite appropriate. Lies confuse. The evil are "the people of the lie" deceiving others as they also build layer upon layer of self deception.
I hear myself sobbing in the video. Each time I listen to it, I find myself weeping for that poor woman, me, who is beaten emotionally so badly that her body protests. Revolts. Resorts to emergency illness that can no longer be ignored. Heart. Chest, Cant breathe. 6 weeks! 6 weeks of being unable to work. That's how much he is harming me.
I do know there seems to be some spiritual process at play here too: that I have needed to see rock bottom with my own eyes before I'm prepared to change. But I mustn't get ahead of myself. First - look reality in the face: see the damage, Trudy. See what his abuse is wreaking on you. Burn the image into your eyelids. Never let anyone abuse you like this again.