Taken from Robert Crumb’s Plunge Into The Depths Of Despair (1983)
And if anyone wants these comic strips in a PDF form:
I just got out of an abusive relationship. I will not say in what profession, because I don’t want to give out too much information, but it was in a profession of pressure, where you’re expected to be hazed and belittled. This relationship was not a boyfriend or a husband, it was mentor-to-apprentice. Most of the time, when you hear of abusive relationships, it is a significant other, and I just want to say that, sometimes, it’s a boss or a friend.
This man had incredible talents, and I had the opportunity to become highly skilled in my craft from learning under this man. He was the best I had ever seen, and didn’t want to have anything more than be a teacher. But teachers do not tell their students they’re worthless. They don’t tell them they are stupid or useless, and he even attacked my appearance. He also wanted to throw in my face that he hesitated to have me due to my previous workplace, and the bad rep they got. I still worked hard, and tried to prove my worthiness, but it was all for naught.
With abuse, you don’t realise what is happening until it’s too late. You don’t know that you’re being hurt mentally until you can’t even do simple tasks around your abuser without fear of being screamed at. Every day, it was like walking on eggshells. I couldn’t sweep the floor without being afraid he’ll tell me I can’t so anything right.
Your brain shows you pain to tell you something is wrong, but for 4 months I toughed it out. In just those 4 months, my confidence was damaged to the point that I couldn’t do my craft. It was to the point where I questioned everything. My brain told me “you’re hurting, you need to leave” and I don’t know if it was my stubbornness to prove him wrong or I felt I wasn’t good without him. I regret not walking out of that place the first time we met, but he was just so talented in the craft that people handed down for generations. I couldn’t miss on this opportunity. I figured he wouldn’t get worse.
It did though. It got so bad, I would come home and question my life. I am not a weak girl, and I have been through abuse before; my paranoid schizophrenic drunk of a step father beat my mom for years until we decided enough was enough and got him out. Emotional abuse is so hard to pinpoint though because, what if I’m just a *****? What if I’m overreacting? That’s gaslighting. And I know that it was emotional abuse, because one of my co-workers, I could already see him start on her before I packed my shit and left. I think he could see it in my eyes that I was over him breaking my spirit. I was done being treated like a dog. I had reached my breaking point when he began to put down my appearance and try to make me seem “too scrawny”, and how I would look better if I didn’t have dreads or if I had an ass. I didn’t really care about that, I’ve learned to let that roll off my shoulders, but still, the fact of the matter is that he tried to bring me down even further.
Well, before I drink this Tequila and make a toast to me leaving an abusive relationship, I will say this:
If you find yourself in the same situation, abuse is abuse, no matter spouse or boss. You need to leave. It’s hard, I cried when I left because I thought that I wasn’t doing the right thing, but when I walked into my new workplace, I found my family, and they welcomed me with open arms and I went right to work. When you leave, you will cry and you will feel bad about it, you will feel like you’re hurting them, but they don’t feel a thing. They might ask for you back, but you need to not do it. Being there 4 months damaged me enough, I couldn’t imagine going another month, my dears. You are doing the right thing. I promise.
…the people here at my workplace. I really fucking don’t.
At the beginning of every month, we have a client who brings in their stuff for us to work on. I do half of it, and my co-worker J does the other half (all in the same program). We’re both qualified to do it all ourselves and it’s not like it takes that long to have just one of us do it all, but for some reason they still have it split between the both of us.
Anyway, I have been included into the mix of this client since the beginning of Spring this year (I’ve been here since January). And to help J with his work load, I would just do the input of all the information we received. I wouldn’t exactly complete his portion of it, I’d just input and he would review it and do what he had to do. That wasn’t a problem. He thanked me for helping him even.
BUT… Last month J yelled at me and told me to “Only do what is assigned to you. If it’s not on your list, then leave it alone. Got it?” I was baffled. I had no idea what happened. I didn’t mess up anything. I didn’t change any formulas or anything. Literally nothing changed except his attitude toward the situation.
BUT x 2… This month I went in to do my part and I noticed something odd. All of the new information we received at the beginning of this month was input already. I was like, okay, I know for sure I didn’t do it. So, I asked J. Guess who input it? If you guessed J, then hooray, you’re right. J said, “Yeah I figured I was already in there doing my stuff and would be nice and input it for you.”
OH REALLY? DID YA NOW? THAT MAKES TOTAL SENSE. Am I supposed to thank him? “Oh, J, thank you so much for being a giant, asshole hypocrite and doing for me this month what you practically threatened me over not doing for you last month. How sweet of you. Such a thoughtless human being. What a good noodle. God bless your soul.”
I just…. AGH. I cannot deal with these people. I don’t believe it’s coincidence I got worse after I started working here..
I am a young adult. I would like to take my life. Reasons:
-I am innately evil. This brings me overwhelming shame.
-I do not correct my actions. I repeat my evil actions. This brings me guilt and shame.
-I am of no use and a burden to my family, my social circle and my workplace. Shame-shame-shame.
-I do not deserve my salary because I don’t work half as hard as I should. I am cheating my clients out of their money.
-After spending my whole life in this attitude towards life, I am convinced that I cannot change or, though I can, it is too hard.
-Additional reasons for suicide: unsatisfactory weight, personality. Also never been kissed, let alone had a boyfriend. Haven’t had a best friend in more than seven years. I yearn for these two kinds of relationships.
Don’t get me wrong. Life is beautiful. I love laughing and big skies. I love literature. But I’m going nowhere, and a little folly brings much grief. I must prevent myself from doing any more damage.
I have considered incineration as the best option. It’s clean. Before this, I plan to get rid of all my possessions so as not to overburden my family. Also remunerate the people I have cheated. And before I go, perhaps I will leave my family a simple note of thanks, for example:
God bless you always.
Haven’t posted in a while. I created a blog to post all my thoughts, though I still lurked here. My blog has been compromised. Someone at work found it, reported it to my manager, and I ended up form 1’d a few nights ago. (Canadian, can’t leave the hospital till cleared by a psychiatrist.) I messed up. I have two blogs, one for my thoughts, one to sell stuff. I made the selling blog known at work, but I stupidly used the same handle for my posts on the other blog. I assume someone googled my handle and found the other site. Sigh, what’s done is done.
As soon as I walked in that meeting room at work and saw who was there I know what that meeting was about. Oh, I could have denied the blog was mine. They couldn’t prove it. All they had was circumstantial evidence. They called in some professional from their EAP who tried to schedule me with my family doctor. He was on vacation so she said the next best thing was to take me to a hospital.
I was at the hospital for 7 hours. I swear they keep you waiting so long to see what you’ll do. If you’ll freak out or something. I talked to six different people. I’d say about 30 minutes of my stay involved talking. The other 6 and a half hours were waiting. I even had to wait in one of those stereotypical psych hospital rooms with the bed in the middle of the room, a toilet and sink set up like in a prison, a camera in the top corner and it was all in this aqua green colour.
I could tell from the first person I talked to that they didn’t think I was acute, but once you’re in the system you can’t get out until you follow the procedures.
I can understand why my workplace did it, but I still think it was quite extreme. I’ll have to relocate my blog so I can have that safe, anonymous outlet again.
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