We recently celebrated international women’s day. Considering what this meant to me, I felt compelled to take a moment to give a shout out on LinkedIn to all the women who have helped shape me in to the strong independent (and to a degree) emotionally stable woman I am today.
The women I selected were mainly those who came into my life through work, but whom soon became friends, close friends- my lifeline!
Some of them messaged me afterwards thanking me for my kind words, which was sweet yet unnecessary. Many felt they were undeserving of the title supporter, inspiration or mentor. They are wrong.
Every day we interact with one another up-to 20,000 times- be it via email, call, face to face or simply a like on a face book post. So the capacity that we have to make or break someone else’s day and beyond that, shape the course of their lives through those small moments is massive.
The interactions I had with each and every one of those women gave me something when I needed it most. Kind words, advice, a shoulder to cry on or simply a good old giggle. That’s worth the thank you because they meant the world to me- they still do.
As I sat and wrote my ode to these ladies one person continued to come to mind.
The pull to bring her in to the equation was so strong that I did. I wrote my thanks to her. Thankfully the LinkedIn word count meant I had to remove it- which I guess was for the best given the professional nature of the site.
Yet today days later it’s still on my mind.
The woman I’m talking about was at one point my friend, one of my closest in fact. She gave me advice and mopped my tears during the start of my separation from my now ex husband. Then without warning or notice, as I hit my lowest point she put her foot on my head and forced me to drown.
Worse than that she manoeuvred herself to a place of combat with me. Instigating the end of my career with a company that I loved, a company that I had given 10 years of my life to. It was part of me.
The coward in her then sat on the sidelines and watched. Leaving someone else to execute on her orders. That was until the day I left Germany, some 10 months later and I received a message from her. This is what it said…
I wanted to reach out and say hello, and ask how you were. As I sit here at the herzo beer fest I couldnt help but think of you, and our fond memories of the past as friends. I really do hope you and O and A are well and we can continue on as friends.
I can’t even begin to tell you about the amount of times that I replied to this. Furiously smacking my keyboard with some witty, passive aggressive comments that would put her in her place. None of which were ever sent.
My silence said it all.
Why I hear you ask would I include such a disgraceful person in my thank you list?
Well I had admired this woman, her small (yet fat) frame had power and respect. For her young years she had climbed the corporate ladder and in a very short space of time had those around her jumping as she passed by their offices.
I was intrigued and although I would never want to rule by fear she had something that I couldn’t understand. Was it leadership?
Anyway as events unfolded and I saw her for what she really was. An entitled princess, insecure to her very core. Using others weaknesses to her advantage standing on others to get what she wanted at every chance she got. It’s very sad really.
As her actions started to gain traction slowly tearing away one of the things that I held most dear, the stubborn Aries in me kicked in. And I fought back. I stood up for what was right and I took on the establishment. This massive global company had allowed this person to treat me like this was hit hard in the pocket. I didn’t get my job back which in hindsight was a good thing, but I was handsomely compensated for their mistakes. But more than that I started to recognise what and who I wanted to be.
I came out the other side understanding that the person I had most to thank for showing me the light was her. She demonstrated to me what bitterness does to a person. She taught me about the kind of person, of leader I don’t ever want to be. And she taught me to stand up for myself.
Just when I had no fight left. When all was lost, her mean and spiteful actions driven by fear of competition gave me a shot of energy.
So LinkedIn may have stopped me from thanking her. But I’ll do it anyway.
To you my hater, Michelle,
Your mean spirit and selfishness, your desire to get to the top at any cost, your greed and hunger for power and status, your inability to stand back and think of others and simply your lack of compassion and empathy showed me what loneliness really is. What it looks like to be truly unhappy with yourself. And what holding on to the bitterness can do to a person.
So I let it go. I hold no resentment. I have no axe to grind. And you know what I wish you the best success. I hope you enjoy every second of it, you deserve it, but remember this- all the success in the world won’t make daddy love you!!
In the meantime. I’m the powerful one. I’m the happy one. I’m the secure one. So to you Michelle.