I went into the library to work this morning. As per usual for Thursday. We are reopening next week, and policies are changing every day, so close to the beginning of my shift, before we had even opened, I went to the office to ask my manager for clarification on something, just in case it had changed since Tuesday (which it very well could have). She was busy, so I waited in the doorway in order not to be rude, but when she acknowledged my presence, it was with a "what now" kind of laugh. Because apparently I'm the only one who comes to her with questions or concerns. A fact that she told me to my face. Because even before I had time to ask my question, she said that while she appreciates and values my work ethic, I irritate her to no end. She's of the opinion that I use my "mom voice" on her, apparently, and she dreads it every time I approach her about something.
That hit me like a ton of bricks. I wasn't aware of it. Nobody's ever told me that to my face. The only thing I can figure is that she often doesn't get what I'm explaining on the first pass (because she hasn't been around our part of the job in quite a long time) so I'm forced to repeat myself in more simplistic terms. And I'm well aware that I'm a perfectionist with high standards for my co-workers - and increasingly frustrated that simple mistakes keep happening over and over in spite of the fact that others are pointing them out to my fellow aides - so part of this is on me. But I was still stunningly hurt--okay, emotionally bulldozed by my manager saying this to me. I went through the rest of my shift just focusing on my work and got literally everything on our to do list done with fifteen minutes left to spare.
When I tried to leave, she stopped me and asked if I understood that she welcomed any suggestions and questions I had. I said, "Of course," because what else was I going to say? But I'm not going to her any more if I can at all avoid it. She makes me feel worthless. I spent all day crying after I got home. I couldn't even tell Craig what had happened until I'd been home for over seven hours.
I'll admit, I spent a lot of my shift wondering why I don't just quit. I don't need the job. And a small, petty part of me wants to make her hurt by realizing just how much I do compared to the other aides. But I know it's petty. And I know it's coming from a place of pain. But I've spent a huge portion of my life feeling unwanted and worthless and this all *hurts* so much. It makes me ask, "What's wrong with me?" And I hate that. Because the little voice that shadows every positive thought I might have is very good at latching onto details to prove just what *is* wrong with me. Hence, the downward spiral begins.
I am not looking forward to going back into work tomorrow. But like I said, I'm just going to avoid speaking to anyone unless necessary. I don't know if hers is a lone opinion, and the last thing I want is for others to see me as an irritant or nuisance. It will only aggravate my already diminished self-esteem right now, and I would like to salvage as much of it as I can.