Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Traumatic Work History

My first job out of college was horrible.

After getting out (2 years later) and healing after entering a job God had lead me to, I remember talking with my best friend about how our mutual bad work experiences felt like getting out of abusive relationships. Neither of us had experienced that in the relationship world, but the scars and trauma seemed to match what physically battered and emotionally abused women talk about.

And then there were the physical symptoms. I have a thyroid condition that first manifested itself at that first horrible job. Now, anytime I'm stressed (kinda like now...chaos abounds), I can tell almost immediately by the behavior of that tricky little gland. I know first hand that job stress manifests itself in the breakdown of physical health.

I was sitting with a coworker talking about the job and a couple of people came to mind. Winnie and Charlie. Both former coworkers. Both had dropped dead before the age of 50 because of job stress. I sometimes wonder why God put me in positions to see these things. It's left me jaded about the part a job plays in a person's life and wholly reluctant to emotionally commit to career again. I really do wonder. Sometimes I think I've found a healthy balance, avoiding that Northern hemisphere soul-sacrificing orientation toward work but maintaining a solid work ethic. Still...I do wonder. 

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