When I emailed my boss last week, I told him I was planning on returning to work half-way into November. That date comes closer and closer, every day.
I’m still not 100% sure about whether this is my plan yet. Today, I visited my doctor (a three-week follow-up visit), but I realized right away that there wasn’t much point to the appointment.
My doctor is great. He’s funny and lighthearted about things, so I don’t feel like the appointments are daunting or too heavy. But regardless, I found myself just plain sad as I provided him with an update. I didn’t have much to say, and we mulled over some of the things that happened that had me feeling shittier than I had hoped to in three weeks’ time.
As a refresher for anyone who needs it, a few key low points:
- Not hearing from my boss at all. Not hearing “hope you’re doing alright” or “we can’t wait to have you back” or something… some empathy. Some suggestion that my fears (of not being wanted back) are not real.
- Finding that my job, which I am entitled to return to, was being advertised online.
- After reaching out to my boss, not receiving a reply that responded to the vulnerability I showed. His email was stoic and felt like an automated response.
So it’s been tough to figure out a game plan. I woke up this morning feeling like my doctor could help me figure my shit out, but it was such an uneventful appointment and I felt sort of lost afterward. It’s too early to bother having him write me off for longer (I have another follow-up with him before my 6 weeks is up), but since we’re not changing up my meds and he’s not a counsellor, he couldn’t offer me much help.
I guess that it did help me realize that not much has changed, and that I haven’t made much progress on myself. That’s not really the best feeling, and I kind of feel like I’m back to square one.
I texted Work BFF afterward, and tried to decipher whether my boss had given her any guess about what he’s thinking. I guess he hasn’t really. She says he wants me to come back, but she didn’t really have any actual evidence of that. She says everyone wants me back, but that doesn’t really matter to me in terms of making a decision. I already know I have a wonderful work family, and I know that most of them are supportive of me no matter what.
But she couldn’t give me what I really needed – that that’s some evidence that my boss wants me back.
I’ve kind of realized that I can’t keep going over my decision without that key piece of information. Am I wanted?
After stepping away from my conversation with Work BFF, I realized that her response wouldn’t have even mattered. Aside from her saying “I overheard Boss saying “oh man I wish she were here, we really need her and I hope she’s doing okay,” I probably would question whether she was right. Any information she knows would be something he says to her in confidence, and would probably be crafted in such a way that takes into consideration that she’d relay that information to me. Maybe it would even be planted information – something to evoke a certain response or action on my part. That’s not the kind of information I want. I want the truth.
I decided that as terrifying as it may be, I need to speak with him. In person. I need to be able to use my own judgment, hear things with my own ears, and get the full picture. I need to read his body language, his tone of voice. See whether he makes eye contact, and when. I need to assess those subtleties. If I want a human response, I need to see the human.
Maybe it’s all just as simple as he said in his email – he hasn’t approached me on purpose, and is waiting for me to connect when I am ready. Maybe not. But I can’t truly know what is going on until I hear it from him, and see it from him.
Apparently his schedule this week is very full; no surprise there. Work BFF wasn’t able to look too far in his schedule since she wasn’t in the office, but I decided to leave it alone and just text him directly.
[Next day update: I haven’t heard back yet.]