Often throughout my life, I have allowed myself to become a victim of my past. Worse, there have been occasions where I’ve let others’ experiences influence me. One such instance has made me hesitant about writing this post. That is the fact that there are people who use their blogs, social media and in my experience, educational courses as counselling sessions. In the experience I mention, others on the course spoke among themselves about someone always wanting to use courses like theirs as a counselling session. Personally, I saw nothing wrong with it but the impression I got was that it wasn’t a good thing to use the course in such a way. That was what I feared about writing this post, that people would look down their nose at me for using Peaceful Rampage for self counselling. But guess what? Part of the reason why I started this blog, apart to sell my book “He Was Weird,” was to shake off the demons of my past, so I am asking people to continue reading and offer advice. Any given will be greatly appreciated.
For eight years, I have been working as a play assistant at a play group at a local school. Normally, I am only needed to work over the school holidays but sometimes, I work with the pre-school and after school club. In fact, I was used quite a lot for the after school club this past half term. One of the mothers on the club committee said I was a god-send this term. That of course made my day.
This is where the problem comes. Having worked there for eight years now, I consider myself as part of the team and I thought my colleagues did as well. I never heard anyone talking about getting together socially outside of work so I just assumed that people at the club just didn’t do that. However, on the last day before the Christmas several of my colleagues were talking about getting together that night for a Christmas drink. Since, with the exception of one colleague’s 16 year old son, all of my colleagues are female. I asked one of them if it was a girly night out and she responded that it was the club’s Christmas night out. Needless to say, I was taken a back. Now, because of my main job, I wouldn’t have been able to make the night out but I still believe that I should have at least been asked if I wanted to come. Since then, I have doubted whether my colleagues do see me as part of the team.
I know the obvious answer, talk to my manager and let her know how I feel. I fully intend to do that and go one further by asking to speak to the organizer of the event, (I don’t think it was the manager) and tell her how I feel about not being invited. Most people will probably agree that this would be the best course of action to take. My optimistic side hopes that the whole thing was simply an oversight. They might have assumed because I never mentioned socializing in the past, that I wouldn’t be interested in joining them and now that they see that I would be, they will happily invite me on the next night out. Unfortunately, thanks to past experiences, I live in fear that whatever I do or say, it’s going to be WRONG!
During those years of hell, in addition to the physical bullying I suffered, I also suffered the bullying of exclusion. People went out of their way to exclude me from things and when there was a situation where that was wrong and I could do something about it, I would tell an adult. While this temporarily allowed me to be included, those who sought to exclude me would be resentful of having to include me and sometimes, that led to more physical bullying. I honestly don’t think that any of my work colleagues are going to punch me for ‘getting them in trouble’ but I do fear that they would invite me to the next social function out of obligation because I complained about it. They are only doing so grudgingly and that on the night out, everyone will be growling at me behind my back and when I go back to work after the Christmas holiday, I’ll be the most hated person in the club. One could counter here that my colleagues might actually be impressed that I stood up for myself, maybe so, but in my experience, that only happens in fairy tales. These fears might sound ludicrous to many but it has been a fact of life for me.
Some of you may be thinking that I when I learned that there was going to be a night out, that I should have asked if I could join. This might sound good if I had been able to attend but even then, there is a skeleton in that closet too. There have been occasions in my childhood and young adult life where I got my knuckles rapped, (not literally), by people close to me, for inviting myself to places and events. These experiences have made me fearful of asking because everyone there is not going to like the fact that I invited myself on the night out.
As I write this, I have been fighting the temptation to play the reverse sexism card. I honestly do not think that the reason I wasn’t invited out was because they’re all ladies and I’m a man. Now I know that there are women out there in the world, who, if they weren’t invited out because it was all men, would file a sexual discrimination suit. However, that does not apply here. Thinking on that, I wouldn’t be surprised that somewhere in America, there was a case where an employee sued their company because they weren’t invited to the company Christmas party. I choose to leave the lawyers out of this.
Okay, I know what should be the right thing to do but because of my past, it isn’t that simple. There are more variables going through my head that I could throw in here but the ones I have spoken about are the main ones. The anxieties brought on from my past have me thinking that whatever I do is going to be wrong. Therefore, I am asking for your advice.
Thank you in advance.
To buy He Was Weird, go to: http://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1451181443&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird