An hour into my shift a couple weeks ago, I left my location, put in a request for PTO and clocked out. I have a car now, so I have the freedom to choose when I leave or arrive somewhere.
Leaving before my shift is over is not a habit of mine. It’s not something I take lightly. I consider myself a reliable person who sees shit out even in the most uncomfortable times.
Me leaving was a bigger deal that whatever was happening at work. Sometimes, you just need a fucking day. That’s not what it was for me.
Context is complicated, and I still work there and want not to implicate the issue persists. I also strive not to be someone who slams down the blogger card lightly. Yes, I’m a blogger. Yes, I know people who can blow shit up if I want to blow it up. Yes, I could partake in creating a PR nightmare because of the role I play as a blogger. No, I don’t this power lightly. No, I’m not going to flaunt it around.
But if you piss me off enough, I will get so mad that I do things I will regret later, simply because of my anger. I have resorted to using my blog in this way before, but it was written more out of anger and less in a tactful, open-letter-to-make-things-better sort of way.
I’m the type of person who does the whole waiting game because karma’s more of a bitch than Aunt Flow and that stupidity feeling plays a slight part in my relief.
However, I got to a point in my workplace where the major issue was perceived as me being disappointed I didn’t get what I wanted, when all I wanted was to not be silenced.
That’s vague, so don’t run with it.
Code Mermaid is, essentially, me choosing myself.
Possible occurrences leading up to this utterly avoidable point:
- People not listening/being talked over/silenced
- Emotional, mental, & physical needs not being met — thus inducing an anxiety attack, autistic meltdown, PTSD episodes, etc.
- Blatant lack of respect for me and/or removal of my autonomy
- Feeling helpless, hopeless, trapped, and/or fear of potentially abusive situation; including abuse of power
I have standards for how I treat people, and I hold other people to those same standards.
I do not support “be nice to everyone”, because it implies everyone should work hard to please each other instead of meeting their own needs — and it’s not kind.
Treating others as I would like to be treated doesn’t work so well, either.
You know what does work? Boundaries.
You set boundaries, and you keep them. You adhere to them and don’t let up, ever, or else you’ll be walked all over.
I screwed up. PTSD low-key got the best of me because I experienced trauma at the end of last year — which I still can’t legally discuss here yet — and I’m working at the same place, albeit a different location, I worked at years ago that I had to quit working for due to several people abusing their power because they just wanted to move up the corporal ladder.
It’s never too late to set boundaries, but they will mean nothing if you don’t ever enforce them. You have to teach people how to treat you. People learn how to treat you through what you do or don’t allow.
I don’t allow anyone to silence me. I promised myself, years ago, that I’d never allow anyone that power again.
So when I feel people aren’t listening to me, I insist they do. If they speak over me, and I lose my voice because I am occasionally nonverbal especially in times of crisis? That’s it. I will leave. I will not remain in any situation, wherein I’ve the freedom and power to leave, that makes me feel so powerless and silenced that all I can do is stay and take it.
I was not abused, neglected and infantilized for ~25 years just to continue to take that shit.
I didn’t expect to live beyond 18. I got to 28 and began realizing I have to figure out what that means for my life — to have lived, to not have died by suicide or murder, to still be here even though literally no one taught me how to be an adult. I’m 29, and I’m figuring out what that means for myself.
Part of that is Code Mermaid.
I’m the mermaid.
I will choose me, again and again, every time.
It should not be a deal-breaker, because I should not reach this point. We should not reach a point where I have to step back, where I have to remove myself from a situation because I put my mental health first. If I reach this point, it’s because toxicity.
People should treat each other better.
If you know better, you should do better. You have to commit to it, lest you’re keen to continue making the same mistakes.
For me, it’s a Code Mermaid. I shouldn’t get to the point wherein I’ve to call it — because I will, no hesitation, and right now it’s only been that one time, but who’s to say what it will evolve into?
If I need it, it’s available to me.
Choosing myself needs no name, but it’s so much cooler (and lovelier) to have such a thing.~
What’s your Code Mermaid?
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