There is so much talk in the media about the #metoo movement and what’s next. It seems every women in Hollywood has been harassed as a firestorm of allegations swirls and impacts everybody. There has really been no limitations to how many women have been impacted.
Last night I saw a commercial talking about raising money for after care treatment. That made my wheels start turning in my own head and rushed memories into the forefront of my brain.
In my younger years I worked for a major financial institution. I loved my career and the relationships I established. Being proud of landing my first industry job right out of college nothing else mattered. I was very successful in my career up until I took a transfer and promotion.
Hitting your goals and targets was a very important part of my new role. It was very stressful and being a young women in her early 20’s brought on a whole new set of challenges. As I struggled to meet my goals my manager explained what I needed to do to keep my numbers on the books…Thats when the phone calls started, my home number was given out and now I had men telling me that they would only keep their business with me if I could meet after hours. This is part of my role as banking began to become less of the 9 to 5 and more to accommodate the growing workforce, I had gone to peoples houses to keep the business before but now…well now it became something different.
These men wanted to come to my house. I had one ask if I preferred wine over vodka and I even had one call while he was in the shower. When I told my manager what was happening he just told me to do whatever it takes.
My anxiety and depression sky rocketed as the stress of trying to do my role well suffocated me. I couldn’t get out of bed. I hated myself so much for not being successful and being able to do my job. Not only did I have the pressure of my goals I now had a co-worker pressuring me for a threesome with him and his wife (she just had a baby…I held that baby. Why is life so weird?) To say I could no longer handle it was an understatement. I finally collapsed outside of my work. A co-worker saw and came and helped me to his office. I finally couldn’t stop the emotions inside of me. I told him everything. I never expected him to believe me but then he told me he experienced something similiar. His discrimination came in the form of his skin color. He felt that management treated him differently because of that.
Together we contacted HR. I was immediately put on disability and removed from my role. I had to see an appointed physciatrist. She was a blue haired 80 year old lady who cared more about her dog in the desk drawer than what was happening to me. She prescribed me pills for my mood, anxiety, sleep and to get up. To say I was a zombie was an understatement. I had to keep going in order to collect my paycheque. It was part of my short term disability (which was 80% of my pay).
After 3 months and no resolution to the matter at hand I was put on long term disability while they started an intense formal investigation. I was then put on 55% of pay or presented with a large settlement to accept and walk away. Walking away meant that no investigation would be done but here’s a large cheque to forget it all happened.
Being young I took the cheque went to the Dominican and really gave it no thought until I saw the commercial about after care. Being incredibly numb and drugged was no way to live. We grew up in a time where it was normal to sweep it under the rug. Now all these women are coming forward from all walks of life and my hope is that they can get better treatment and respect than I did.
The #metoo movement is so empowering as all these ladies are coming forward and lending their voice to the ones who are incapable of doing so. I am so proud of this movement as we all work together to heal and bring to the world a place of peace, security and well being. Together we can all make a difference and impact.