Confessing To A Foe
Updated: Oct 9, 2022
I made the terrible mistake of confessing my feelings to a work colleague six years ago. I was in therapy at the time, and after speaking with my therapist, I decided to tell this person how I felt. This person was married, having difficulties with his wife, and confiding in me. This is where the feelings arose.
I told him, and I felt awful. It wasn't an easy landing. It was awkward because I blurted it out in a word vomit. He was gracious about it, and I left for the day, overwhelmed and mentally exhausted. When I came in the next day, he asked me to chat, and something changed. He wanted to know when I would "get over it," referring to my feelings for him. I informed him that I didn't have a timetable for him. When I said that, he acted disgusted with me. I was devastated because I had not expected anything from him. I wasn't expecting him to leave his wife for me or anything. I just wanted to express how I felt and take my time processing and dissolving my emotions. That second conversation broke my heart, and I can still see the disgust on his face.
When I told him how I felt, I asked him to keep it to himself so it wouldn't become gossip fodder. He began to act differently after the second conversation. He began to flirt and act happy with my younger, perkier coworker. It's as if he wanted to show off how insignificant I was. I was out of date. My services as a confidante were no longer required.
After that, a lot of things happened that made me realize he might have been wearing a mask the entire time he confided in me. I believe he told others about what I told him, and it became the worst kept secret in the office.This happened six years ago, and I've had to come in every day to people staring, snickering, and mocking me. So-called friends have abandoned me. The only thing that hasn't made it worse is that I've advanced in the company. I've gotten to a point where I would never have guessed I'd be if you asked me even 5 years ago.
But the ghost of my confession follows me to work every day."Look at her, she really thought she was good enough" or "look, the pick me harlot" or "look, the home wrecker" (I didn't wreck any homes, he's still with his wife, I believe). It doesn't help that I dislike being the center of attention, suffer from anxiety, and am shy and introverted. As a result, navigating work life normally becomes extremely difficult. I even changed my plans.
I can't quit my job. It's a well-paying position with good job security. I'm doing well and am part of a good team.
I just want to be able to do simple things without being made fun of. When I walked into the building today, people I didn't even know were openly gossiping about me. I did nothing but walk to work. I spent the next four hours crying because it was all too much for me. The fact that I have no idea what is being said about me or how to fight it is extremely demoralizing.
The worst part is that I have no one to talk to about it. I've been carrying this stupid mistake for six years and don't want to confide in anyone in real life because I've lost trust in people. I've never felt more alone in my life. Having cried today, my eyes hurt.
I wish I could retract those remarks. He was unworthy of my feelings.
I don't need any reprimands. I know exactly what role I played in this. I'd been kicking myself for 6 years. I'd take it back if I could. I just needed to get this off my chest because I have no one to confide in.
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