Today has not been a very good day really. Things are fine at home but at work it didn’t go how I wanted it to. By that, I mean that really it went the only way it could – you win some you lose some – but when you care, and I mean really care, that hurts and it feels like a personal failure. Actually what failed wasn’t me, it was the system, but when you are a tiny cog in the wheel of the system it can mean that you have to work really hard to make it all function, and when you have to admit that it is bigger than you, it can be tough. Today was such a day.
I ended up in a meeting where the outcome was inevitable and not really positive (on account of the system). To be honest I was prepared as I knew that I had already lost, not just lost my fight, but lost someone. I am not really sure that I can explain in any greater terms that this and I know that I gloss over the things that go on in my daily life. For me, they are huge. I am in a role where what I do matters but there is very little recognition of that within the bigger picture. I am a background sort of person. What I do is not very visible but it plays a huge part. When it gets into the public eye, it becomes someone else’s job and my role seems to be to move quietly back into the shadows. And as you all know, I am familiar with existing in the shadows.
And so there I am avoiding the limelight again as everything has become so much bigger and more important than for little old me to be in the fore. I can make my point, and believe me I do – submission has no place here – and the powers that be listen and, after applying a huge binding of red tape, come to the conclusions that they do. And sitting there, watching the stuff of life play out, I wonder really what it is all about and what we are all doing that something so simple has become so complicated, and that all the things we stand for and genuinely believe in, are suddenly subject to scrutiny because we are victims of resourcing and policy.
It does strike me as unfair as the important decisions of someone’s future are subjected to ‘the process’ and, I will admit the fight in me recedes as I see the battle lost, and try to minimise the casualties in a final move. It takes it out of me, this sort of struggle, but I do not really notice that. I can see it now – my approach for the rest of the day borders on attack as I isolate myself in what I am feeling, and contemplate the part that I still have to play. I feel a bit like someone at a funeral who is mourning the loss and just wants to hide away and grieve but has been asked to pay tribute to the deceased in a eulogy where they want to do justice. The day is busy to the point where there is no time to do what has been asked, and so it skulks in the background as I try to think about how it can be achieved.
It has been offered (not by me) that I write a letter to a child, delivering the bad news that they don’t want to hear. I have to try to do it in a way which minimises pain and confusion and upset. It is me who has been asked because the child is vulnerable and the outcome of the reaction could be damaging. No pressure there then! So why don’t I say no? I am a submissive lol. No not that! It is because I can’t change the outcome for this child and I agree that if someone has to do it then perhaps maybe I am the best person, as I know that really, I care deeply and perhaps I care more and will try harder than anyone else there in that room.
It hangs over me and grows as the day wears on. When each passing opportunity is filled with a knock at the door or the summons for another meeting, it seems to grow more and more impossible. What do you say in a letter to someone you have only ever spoken to face to face? And so by the time I sit down to do it, finally, I am angry at my inevitable failure to succeed. I have been set what I see as an impossible challenge and I really don’t know where to start. My colleague sympathises but tries to encourage. He agrees it is impossible, but in the same breath reminds me that if anyone can do it I can. I tell him in no uncertain terms how I feel. This is not my relationship with the child. I am not a writer who communicates by letter. I am a people person – I connect through relationships and they are face to face.
And then I remember. I remember about all of you and about me and about my written voice. I remember that I can convey the right tone and I can combine serious factual information with humour and something personal, and I start to write, and being missy helps me. Once I start to write it flows and it becomes much longer than I thought it would be. I finish and I send and I don’t really know what happens now, with the letter, with the child, with the rest of the day. I won’t know until tomorrow whether I have dealt a devastating blow, or whether my words were reasonably received. With an impossible task, your expectations are always low, but that feels like little comfort.
In one way, being missy has saved the day, but in another, that is hard. Having finished off and checked the time, I see that I am way over and have not communicated with home. I do this and when I know Sir is on his way, it all falls apart. I begin to cry. I am missy at work and I am alone and vulnerable and that is hard. I move myself into the next stage of my day as I get into the car, but he can see. He is gentle and careful and although he knows, and I know he knows, neither of us needs to ask or tell. He lets it come out in its own time. He doesn’t push, he doesn’t comment and he doesn’t judge. He just lets me be.
And so here I am. I am writing this because it helps. I am writing this because, although he hasn’t told me to, it is probably all part of his plan. I will work through it and he will help me. I am not alone and I am not vulnerable anymore. I can feel myself growing stronger again in his presence and in the safe environment that we have built together. We have closed our door to the world and I can be me. I can be small and weak and vulnerable. I can fall apart, but I can be patched up and repaired, and I can go back tomorrow to face the world feeling more powerful again. I can do what I need to do, not because of what I am, but because of what he helps me to be.