No one bullies me. I bully myself.
I get early to the office, and there is no one there. I can do scanning. However there is no scanner on M’s computer. I try S’s scanner, but M’s computer does not recognise it. As I move it, the paper feed mechanism falls off. I put it back, finding that tricky. I use S’s scanner on S’s computer but it chews up the paper. I swear at it.
D’s computer does not recognise my smart card. I use K’s computer: it works, but then she comes back and needs it herself.
I look at the paper feed and see how I did not put it back properly, so I fix it. After fifty minutes, I scan my first document.
I am upset because I am bullying myself. No-one else is expecting anything of me. The Wrong Thing I did was to swear, but apart from that I have behaved creatively and determinedly, dealing with each problem in turn. Yet I have internally berated myself, telling myself I should be able to deal with this with no problem, far more quickly than I do. J said if all that had happened to her she would just of gone home.
This is perfect, I decide. My purpose in being here is finding my blocks to work, and my bullying is such a block. How do I feel now? Hurt by my own bullying, and sad, and frustrated by the difficulty. Others complain of friction at work, problems with the processes that take much longer than they ideally would. I suppose that would be more stressful if I had more to do and only an ideal time to do it.
So I reassess my response to the morning’s challenges, decide that I responded well, and get on with the scanning.
I don’t know how I managed any work at all, bearing this taskmaster within. Especially as I was not fully conscious of it, just feeling bad because of it and feeling always inadequate. Finding it and seeing it has been a long journey, and I still have to think about it, take time to observe what I am feeling and consciously decide that I am working well enough.
Tina sees it differently. If I make an introject, part of me agrees with its view. It comes from the culture as well as my parents: it feels Scottish to her.
I did not ignore my emotional response, being sad at being bullied, but saw it as work and difficulty. My emotional being is something to cajole and manage, rather than to value as useful feedback. I am practised in exercising my intellect, but my emo side is hurting, lonely and distrusted.
The “bully” criticises, showing its terror. I think of it, too, as a problem to be managed. When it orders me to “Get on with it” that is pain and loss. It makes my emotional side crumple. In fact it does not inspire or energise, but it tries. It wants to express my values of diligence and taking responsibility. It wants me strong and successful but the more it says the more crushing it gets.
If someone who takes no responsibility is 1 and sane responsibility is 8, I am 15: overwrought. I need dialogue with it so that it inspires rather than crushing.
Balance and dialogue.
I would hear and value and support the slave-driver (or inspiration, or sense of responsibility) and the emotional part.
She thinks the problem might be that I have been unable to show my intensity, there is no space for it. When we feel we cannot express some things we restrict ourselves. She asks,
What thrilled you as a child?
What made you giggle?
What did/do you do for fun?
I don’t know. However my task now is to perceive and value these lost, damaged parts.
Later, I wonder if the “bully” could ever be brought to inspire me. It seems to take no account of any difficulties I have.