I can’t do it. I don’t know why, but I just can’t. I can’t talk about what happened, yet. God knows I talked about it enough to family, friends, in therapy. But for some reason, this is different.

Maybe I was depressed at the time. Maybe that’s why. Maybe it’s all twisted up in my psyche.

Okay fine. I knew. And I told Derek in the hospital: “They’re going to replace me with my assistant.” And that is exactly what happened.

But that’s not what upset me the most.

Everything was different when I went back to work. New management, new curriculum, new climate.

Politics. Prima donnas. Petty jealousy. Paper trail. Someone was going down: me.

But that’s not what upset me the most.

I was called out for my negativity.

I was laid off effective that September for subpar performance.

I was demoted.

But that’s not what upset me the most.

What upset me the most, really, was that before I left on maternity, my boss and I were friends. When I came back, we weren’t friends anymore.

He went on vacation, I remember, without saying anything, my last week there. Why wouldn’t you say goodbye?

I kept little notebooks in my pocket that held important information: questions, dates, insights, etc. He loved that idea. So before I left, I ripped out all of my notes in those books and tossed them in his lunch bag, which he had left behind. I did it as much as a kind gesture as I did it to try to make him feel something like I was feeling at that moment in time. Sadness. Loss. Look, they seemed to say: still pretty on the outside, yet, all torn up on the inside.

So that might be why I have such a hard time with this one.

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