So here’s an update in my life. I had decided to quit my job a few months ago, after having worked with them for two years being open about my Dissociative Identity Disorder. I know it seemed like I was resolving issues and not wanting to give up, but eventually I realized I was harming myself by staying. They over worked me. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I was on a downward spiral and if I didn’t quit, they would have made up a reason to fire me.
I had a nervous break down, on top of a death in my family and a fight that almost ended my relationship. All in the same week. I was being over worked even though I told my job I couldn’t take care of myself working this much. My job productivity was beginning to suffer, and my life outside of work was falling apart. I was falling apart, mentally, emotionally, and even physically.
I wanted so much to stay at this job. For I loved many of the people, and well, change is a hard thing for me and my system. My anxiety and agoraphobia make changing jobs or moving very difficult for me. The confusion and fear of others inside make it all the more complicated too. Yet, I could see these managers here were just not getting it. And to them I was just a part of their business and they were choosing to take a short cut to keep business flowing. I.E. work me to death with no concern for how it affects me, so long as I am willing to do it. I liked the job. I liked the livable income. I liked the people. But you know what I realized I don’t like? Corporate bullshit or realizing the narcissistic attitudes management may have.
We had a meeting. Early at 9 am after I worked 11 hard hours not asleep until 3 am. I hadn’t eaten. I was given some silly “pop quiz” about the menu and procedures. Silly things like “what’s the toppings for such and such” and “what do we say when we answer the phone.” But my brain can’t work. A part of me wanted to lash out. That self destructive part we all knew was June. She slides the paper to edge of the bar where all employees were sitting around and just says, “Sorry I can’t answer these questions. I don’t know any of them.” The manager gives me an annoyed look and tells me “just answer what you can.”
I wrote two things. Two, out of twelve or so questions.
My manager picked up the paper and said “this is unacceptable.”
June rolls her eyes and sighs annoyed, saying, “I told you I couldn’t do it. I can’t think. I don’t know the answers.”
My manager says I can retake it, because some people just don’t take tests well.
June says, “No! Don’t bother. I still won’t have the answers. Not now. Not ever.”
She tries to tell me again, just to try it.
June says “I just have to accept that my brain just can’t do it! I’m done caring and just quit.”
And she walks off in a huff. She is crying tears of frustration and anger. I can sort of observe what’s going on but I have no control. I am also being pulled in between what’s happening externally and internally, in my universe inside as the others are making noise about the situation. It’s hard to fight to stay present and I was losing. And June was LOSING IT.
Walking out the door we pass our bestie, Mariah, who started working there with us after we helped her get the job there (she was one of the reasons we didn’t want to quit. It’s really hard to feel safe with people you work with so it’s great to have a friend there). She stopped us to ask what’s wrong. June just relays it quickly in a huff that we couldn’t get any answers. Mariah tries to console me and asks why are we crying about that? She asks, why cry about this job, its just a dumb hostess job at a restaurant? June expresses vehemently, that’s exactly WHY she’s crying, because it’s just a dumb hostess job. All because she should be able to do the simple things this very simple job she is way too smart for. Screaming about how if we can’t do this, we can’t do anything, while she flails her hands about emphasizing words. She then storms off.
I remember Morrighan slides in control of the body, as June fades to the internal world, where her room is, slamming her door just. Morrighan drives us home as usual and stays out to ensure nobody does anything stupid like having a fugue moment. She knows we have to work this day still, and drives us back there another hour later for our shift. I remember, it was the first time Morrighan came out to interact with managers. She never works this job, though she may observe what’s going on time to time. I was just trying to work, not really fully aware of what was said by June earlier at the meeting. My general manager stopped me when I came in and asked me if I wanted to talk about what happened this morning. Morrighan came out to prevent us from stupidly blurting out our emotions without thinking them through. So she asked him, “Can we do this later because I’m still trying to focus just on getting through my shift today and need my energy to do that?” So the general manager said yes. And at the end of our shift, it seems he was going to let us leave. I asked if he wanted to still talk. He thinks for a second then waves his hand saying nevermind. I didn’t really know why, but Morrighan came out again to say, no, we need to speak about this now. Morrighan wanted the upper hand, wanted to be in control of the situation. She was the first of us to stand up to this GM. She pushes me back out front though, to be the one to speak to him first.
My GM asks me:
“So, what happened this morning at the meeting? And Don’t talk to me about triggers….”
What, what? Did he really just ignorantly say that to me? After I spent all that time explaining to him what my complex PTSD is and how my D.I.D. and dissociation works, how I’m sometimes in trauma time and not reality, and how parts of me react differently…did he really just say that? What if I WAS having a trigger? How rude of him to say that. After all I’ve explained, he just waves his hand (literally) invalidating my circumstance with attitude.
And I feel anger….It wasn’t mine. I feel……..Morrighan. She’s standing next to me. Of course, I don’t mean literally, but this is the representation of how it feels, co-conscious with her. This is not a feeling I’m familiar with. It’s like I can actually feel her breathe make the hairs on my neck rise as she stands close behind me. That’s what it feels like co-conscious with her.
I took a deep breathe and laugh nervously, as I apologize to my GM,”Hold on, just have to still focus to keep myselves together there…..”
I take a moment to do some coping exercises to calm me, controlling breath, controlling heart rate, naming things to stay present.
And then I begin to explain…
“This isn’t about triggers actually. There is a war going on inside of me. Half of me says we want to work here and half of me wants to quit. Some are trying to sabotage me.”
He actually starts to cut me off before I finish the last sentence to tell me that it doesn’t matter, my behavior was unacceptable. He is trying to chastise me as if I was trying to justify my actions. When in actuality, I was coming to him for conference, for a crisis I was currently in, and I was coming to ask for help. I was becoming suicidal and no one knew. I was trying to tell him half of me is trying to destroy me and I need help. But no, he had some sort of arrogance with me, as if he didn’t believe me at all. As if he believed DID is a game and something we do to excuse ourselves.
Not true. We can be accountable.
And now Morrighan comes out, to explain just that.
She says,”I do not in any way believe my behavior was acceptable. It was completely unprofessional. Quite immature, ridiculously embarrassing, unacceptable.”
And my GM puffs up like “Ok so we are in agreement.”
Then, Morrighan continues…
“However, when a child does something wrong or lashes out you don’t just scream at the child, you try to teach them, don’t you?”
My general manager says, yes, of course.
And Morrighan continues
“So here I am, trying to teach this part of me, that is a child, how their behavior is unacceptable. I am trying to hold my-selves accountable. I know you can’t understand that there are many parts of me that all think and remember different things, but they are real. I am trying to figure out how to get us all to cooperate. The problem is, we don’t handle change well, and the change in management was difficult when they started doing things differently. There were times that the previous GM wasn’t doing what they should have done. Like I know you would have fired that girl for her no call no show, before I went off on her when she decided to quit after the place agreed to not fire her. Parts of me is feeling let down by this place. I don’t think I deserved that write up. I blacked out, we were having an argument with someone who is a coworker but also a friend outside of work in a private conversation. It was none of this restaurant’s business, even if I told some exaggerations to hurt her feelings.”
Well, after all this, my general manager just seems to be flustered, and he just throws out, “Well there are different reasons we fire people…i don’t know if I would have fired her….we look at each situation differently…” And so on. Morrighan narrows her eyes at him, like,” Riiight…” and the sum of what she next is saying is basically “This situation, the girl had no excuse to not call. You surely would have fired her. She shouldn’t have been here to have this text altercation with her happen. She was a terrible employee and she triggered me. She knew what I was since she was my friend on facebook and I am open about what I am. I told her if I say or do anything that seems off to talk to me about it because it may not be ‘me’ and I need to ‘fix’ any issues that arise. She knew this, knew my disorder, then she triggered me, and then tries to make me look like the bad guy writing to corporate..”
My boss responded to tell me, “Well, I would have FIRED you.”
And I just couldn’t believe it. If he says that they look at all parts of each situation, and if there is some excuse for a no call no show that doesn’t include medical or death, but my actually on paper diagnosed medical issue doesn’t matter how? A nervous breakdown is inadequate to garnish understanding or sensitivity to? I did not intend to do what I did. I blacked out. I came back to see the words already sent in a message. She however, is manipulative, abusive, uses people, lazy, and completely aware of what she was doing, 100 percent intending to do what she did. But she got a free pass.
That was all we needed to know. The lack of understanding and the complete ignorance of “dont talk to me about triggers” and “I would have fired you” basically for having these triggers…..I mean, it would be different maybe if I had somehow actually endangered your business, but even then you wouldn’t have to treat me cruelly for having a disability, just say that they cannot accommodate my disability any more.
I remember now, I remember Morrighan say say, “I don’t think I deserved that write up because she would have been written up too if she was here, for the things she said. She’s not here because she quit but I am. I am a reliable employee. I think my character should have been taken into consideration and my disability, and not given that write up.”
My GM said, “I would have fired you for it.”
Morrighan says (and as always, does the things that none of the rest of us can) that it’s time we quit this job. None of us would do it. But she did. She says to the general manager:
“Well, then, I’m afraid I’m going to have to give you my two weeks notice. Because if you feel that I deserved that write up and that I am actually detrimental in these actions then I don’t want to be here being a danger to your business. And also, this whole incident was Flip Side’s fault anyway, as I told you for more than a year, that I can no longer work these hours and take care of myself. Had you let me keep less hours, I would have taken care of me and been able to connect with this part to stop it, not be blacked out.”
He tried to be arrogant like “I’m just saying that Business is business and I’d have fired you.”
Business is business but if you are in the business of people then you have to learn to understand people and have compassion. If numbers and dollar signs is all you know, then get involved in a business that is not in the business of hospitality. You obviously know nothing about hospitality.
Well I told him, I would work two weeks because I know they have another host coming. I still cared about the people I worked with and didn’t want to completely screw them when I left. I left on good terms after that.
And you want to know the funny thing? I felt happy inside. All parts of me were happy that we stood up for ourselves. There was a lot more going on I just can’t have time to fill it in. The strangest thing, in those last two weeks I worked there, for the first time I had no issues doing my job. Here, after having struggled with memory and focus and DID for two years, and daily having mishaps, for two weeks straight I was impecable at my job. It was ridiculous……I knew I could have done it the whole time, but what was it about the place that distressed me? I think there was the sexual harrassment issue that made me felt trapped because I had to work there, needing the job, but I couldn’t get away from the flirty men who made me uncomfortable with jokes that weren’t funny.
which reminds me, there was a time when i first began working there, that one male employee thought it was funny to follow me in the stock room/restroom for employees. When I had my hands full of items to restock, he stood in my way out the door and shut the door saying we were going to “have some fun.” I had to scream at him a couple of times before he opened the door laughing. I told and they didn’t fire him. I told them I was a rape victim and these jokes aren’t funny. Yet, here he was not fired, just scolded, told to talk to me “respectfully” and he was using “please and thank you and yes ma’am how are you today ma’am?” but you know that only lasted a while. And it didn’t stop him from continuing the same perverted jokes with the other female employees…
Yes, he didn’t get fired. And then they work me to a point of literal insanity and all in a week I had a death in the family and my boyfriend an I almost broke up and all within a few days to the moment this girl acted nonchalant about whether or not to show up to work again (after not being fired for a no call no show all ready) and then after not getting a direct answer finally says she is quitting. And this meant me getting over worked again because I’d be the only host…..And then I just snapped, because I can’t deal with this life stuff while I’m trying to deal with recovering memories and fighting inner turmoil of my system.
I was not well, yet he gave me stuck up arrogance of how he would have fired me because “business is business.”
Well I got a new job now. And I never mess up here (not really. LOL I am human so yes I do make mistakes but you know its not like the chaos of before). Nobody is hating being here. We are doing better. Even though there still were some issues, because well I still am every day always on a healing journey.