Abuse comes in many forms. Sometimes you don’t know you are being abused until much later or until someone tells you.
I recently completed a project for my new boss. I sent her an email to let her know it was finished (Covid-19 days). She sent a response that I took to mean that I completely messed up the project. I was frantic and stressed. I looked at her instructions and I look at my results and I didn’t understand. Where did I go wrong?
A few minutes later she walked by and told me how great it is to have me on her staff; how much she appreciates the work I do. I was confused again. I read her instructions again and looked over my work. Then I read her email again. And again. And again. She wasn’t criticizing me. She was expanding on a question I had. The judgement was all in my head.
Sometimes abuse leaves scars. Even when we don’t know we are being abused. Even when we can’t admit we were being abused.
I love my new environment, but I often feel like Cinderella at her home trying to be as good as her step sisters. She will never live up to that because the mental and emotional abuse she has endured has told her that the step sisters are a goal to be. In reality, Cinderella is better off without them. She’s better off once she understands that life was abusive.
I’m better off, but I still have flashbacks.