I’m good at a lot of things. I’m a decent writer, I can cook a few things when I want to and I like to think I’m at least somewhat compassionate toward other people. I am also not good at some things. Dealing with pressure, remembering anything short term, not screaming when I see a spider, etc.
That said, I move at a slower pace at work sometimes. I’m not trying to be bad at it, I just have to take an extra second here and there to process what I’m doing at the moment and what my next move is. I understand completely where co-workers might get frustrated with me, and I accept that. It’s something I’ve learned is going to happen: I’m going to frustrate people with repetitive questions, but I also know it’s not my fault.
So having someone tell me “it’s okay” brings my anxiety level down from 100 to at most a 25. Especially when that person is in charge in whatever scenario is happening. I’m lucky enough to have a boss like that.
I’ve struggled with one particular co-worker who seemingly has deemed me incompetent. The tone in her voice is always short when she talks to me; she has made minor comments along the lines of “I told you this before, you need to listen.” Worst of all, to my boss at least, is when she leaves as soon as she’s done with her share of the work and leaves me to finish my share, no matter how much work I have left to do.
The first couple of weeks this woman stayed with me while I finished, but watched me run around like a chicken with my head cut off while I hurried to finish my work. I don’t work well under pressure, so having her there staring at me while I mopped the floors or finished the dishes was nerve wrecking. Other times she would leave me with another 20-30 minutes of work left. However, I didn’t want to be the company snitch so I stayed quiet.
When my boss finally asked me what usually happens at night, and specific questions regarding this woman, I was hesitant because I’m not there to cause trouble for anyone. He assured me it was okay and that he needed to know what was happening in his kitchen after he left, so I told him who was giving me trouble, although he seemed to already know the answer. Does she help you when she’s done with her work? Does she wait for you to finish before leaving? Is she nice when she tells you what to do next? The answer I gave him to all of those questions was no, although I wanted to lie for her. Why did I still want to protect this woman who has been giving me such a hard time?
Self worth. It’s something I have to relearn. I have to realize that I shouldn’t be mistreated because of a health issue I have no control over. I should still be given as much respect as I dole out. I spent so much time thinking I’m less of a person who is not nearly as valuable as someone who has a clean medical history. To be honest, that thought still runs through my mind pretty frequently, but I have made so much progress in the last 2.5 years. I should be allowed to feel proud of that. I’m not done yet, but I’m trying. I am a work in progress, and progress never ceases.