I dread going to work tomorrow.


Not because I feel bad. Because I’m not looking forward to the “shunning” I’m sure to receive from my co-workers. Anyone who misses more than a couple of days of work can expect anything but a warm welcome. Unless, of course, there is a death in the family. That is the ONLY excuse!

Otherwise, missing work due to illness is completely unacceptable. Upon my return to work tomorrow, after missing three days, I can expect to feel complete isolation. None of my co-workers will be rush to greet me. None will ask, “how are you feeling?” (Okay, I shouldn’t say none, maybe a few of them will risk it.) No. I can expect my co-workers to ignore me like the plague. Dare I say, like I have the plague! Worse even, like the “scarlet letter” itself is stitched upon my forehead. Stay away! As if mere association with me, will mire them into the unwelcomeness! I’m aghast!

Oh yes, I am dreading going back to work tomorrow where I will be reminded of just how far from the social consciousness my peers have thrown me.

It pains me. Because I’m not that way. The nurturer in me will not allow me to be that way. I want to know how everyone is. And if everyone isn’t well, I want to know what I need to do to “fix” everyone.

In any case, I’m headed for isolation. If for no other reason, than for the preservation of my peers.

If I may borrow a warning from Sting; “Don’t stand so close to me.”

I will write again about feeling isolated. Another day, and in a different context. It is a feeling I’ve felt before. A way of life really, more than a feeling, as it is that feelings tend to come and go. A way of life is more like a situation that remains, until you get out of it, or until you find a new one to get in to. When I write about isolation again, that’s the kind I’ll be writing about. The kind of isolation you suffer when your husband is abusive, and is the master if disguise, and no one knows the dirty little secret.

– J. Ela


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