I had a dream the other night -- actually, a full-tilt-boogie nightmare -- about my previous job. I woke myself up shouting out at some critical point in the dream; my pulse was racing, and my molars hurt, apparently from their grinding together in my sleep.
I can honestly say that I have never hated a job so much before -- and that includes my disastrous term as a secretary in a college office, whose voluntary leaving I celebrated by burning my job paperwork. And it had nothing to do with my work tasks per se, which I often found enjoyable -- in the end it was all about the people.
It's taken me almost seven months to even begin to feel "normal" again -- to feel smart and competent and happy to wake up in the morning. It's also taken me almost seven months to reconnect with a couple of friendly coworkers; before that, I just didn't want to be that close to the job.
A sobering thought for me, though, is...how many stories of quiet desperation are never told? How many of the people living those stories do not, like me, have the opportunity to opt out, at least for a time, and regroup?