Yep. I finally did it. I quit my job. Tomorrow is my last day.

I have mixed feelings. I'm glad to be leaving and know it was the right thing for me. I am also terribly sad that it came down to this. There have been several other situations this year that have forced me to leave if I wanted to retain any shred of self-respect. The worst was when I left residential treatment this past summer because a large group of girls had been reading my personal journals for several months as some sort of messed-up version of entertainment. It was a group thing.

I feel a similar sense of betrayal at work. I felt like I finally had something going for me and all of these psycho dieters just had to go and ruin it for me. It makes me angry. And more than a little bitter.

There seems to be a pattern in my life: I'm not a pushover or a people pleaser. I'm more than happy to tell you to go shove it if it comes down to it. But that doesn't stop people from betraying me. The main difference between the work situation and the journal situation is that these girls intentionally read my journal. At work, though they intentionally dieted in a very inappropriate way, they weren't doing it to me personally. Big difference.

Same feelings.

I feel an even stronger need to isolate because so many of my relationships have ended in grief and me getting hurt. There have been other incidents in the past year, all of which are either too long or too personal to detail, that have led to the same outcome. Leaving a toxic person or situation because I felt I had no other choice if I were to live with myself. How could I stay in treatment in a facility where reading my journals had become some sort of pseudo-group activity? I would become hostile and bitter- the exact sort of person I don't want to be. The same at work, except I would be driven psycho.

I'm angry at myself for getting into these situations. I know, I know- I couldn't have prepared or prevented them. But there's also a sense of someone ripping out my heart, stomping on it, and then asking "Oh, you want it back?" Well no shit I want it back. But could you put it in the same condition as when you ripped it out? That never happens.

Relationships carry an inherent risk, that you will get burned, that you might burn someone else. I don't like that. I want a 100% money-back guarantee. The cruelty that is is intentional (the journal-reading) is actually easier to understand from an emotional standpoint. They were immature little brats. They were jealous I was getting better. They wanted to know I wasn't perfect. Blah blah blah. The work situation is trickier. My co-workers thought they were doing a good thing by dieting. They didn't do is specifically to piss me off, though that is precisely what they did.

I can't change that. I can't change their desires to lose weight, the weight-loss culture as a whole. I just have to leave these toxic situations. Or change my attitude.

I get a sense from some people around me that I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, that everyone diets, I need to learn to live with it, some people are idiots (i.e., Ms. Bagel-is-Junk-Food). The only difference is that I was stuck there if I wanted to continue at my job. And I know I'm stuck in a diet-crazy culture. I get that. It's certainly not news to me. But out here, in this vast world, I can have much more of a say in the little microcosm I create for myself. I can surround myself with people who are different, and creative, and don't care about the size of their thighs.

This is also hindered because I've been hurt and betrayed so many times that I have lost a lot of trust in people. There are many more of good eggs than bad ones (my bloggies included), but those bad ones do a lot of damage.

I am, in spite of all of this, rather satisfied with my decision. It feels like a huge burden has been lifted from my shoulders.

And that tells me all I need to know.


Fiona Marcella said...

Congratulations on making your mind up and sticking with it. The situation wasn't healthy, you got out. Well done.

mary said...

It's great that you recognize your patterns and the tests you've been confronted with in life. I know too well my own 'tests' and how they come up again and again in life. I hope you choose to trust again anyway. Chances are that behind the groups lack of integrity and lack of tolerance at work was a few people who affected you the more than others. Many people are followers. This isn't an excuse but maybe it will help you see that it wasn't 2 armies against you. Some of them went along blindly and stupidly.
Besides do you know how many people are in the world? : O You've only begun to offend people my sweet Carrie and that's what happens when one is being strong. How dare you eat chocolate in the place of self denial! Watch the movie Chocolat if you haven't in a while.
I've had to do the same in order to trust again, forgive people their ignorances but take care of myself and move away from bad energy.
You deserve to work in a place that's safe for you and doing work you enjoy.It wasn't fair that your workplace was harmful to your health. It reminds me of when smoking was allowed in most places and non smokers had no rights.
The way I see it is that treatment in residential costs a fortune so why not choose life that serves your health based not only on the monetary value but the therapeutic value of the choice.this is why my daughter stayed with art and right now scrapes by. She's well and happier than she's ever been. She chose herself and that's what you always have to do. Choose Carrie when when push comes to shove. Choose Carrie when ED asks you to listen. Our cyber arms will support you so go ahead and fall...we'll catch.
Oh, and I believe we have reason to celebrate. A party tomorrow night?

Disillusioned said...

I think it is great that you have done what you need to do for you. And your comments on relationships (a theme for me too at the moment) really made me think. Thank you.

Carrie Arnold said...


Many thanks from across the pond. Though I suppose I might have sent them via your reigning monarch had I lived closer to Virginia.


Party? I'll bring the bagels, you bring the beads. :)


Thanks for your support. It helps me to know that I am not alone in my struggles.

mary said...

Oh, the beautiful necklace arrived today! It's wonderful work Carrie. Now I'm wearing a black shirt and it's stunning. I was going to say it goes with my amethyst eyes but.....they're chocolate brown. Perfect for me but I'm betting if I put in down it will be worn by my daughter too. She's become a thief but I don't mind sharing. thank you again!

Ahhh, a beading party. I'm in.

Unknown said...

Carrie - I read your post and was struck by how similar our life experiences have been -- both with friends and at recent jobs. I am so proud of you! I am on vacation from work and I don't think as a self-respecting human being I could go back there. It's self-preservation, not isolation. If you ever venture to the northeast, I'm game for a beading party. Your jewelry is beautiful and I'm just trying to decide which one I like the best. Again - congrats!

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About Me

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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