This has been a weird week for me. My emotions have been pretty much all over the map and, for lack of better phrasing, I am struggling with how to process them all.
For my whole life, I have heard all of the jokes about women being so emotional and men being so emotion free. I think a lot of people struggle to understand why emotions are so different between men and woman. Based on my own experience, it comes down to both testosterone and estrogen…as well as the absence of them. Each impacts us in different ways.
Before I started my journey I was always more emotional than my friends. That’s just because of both how my mind is wired and some of my childhood experiences. When my dad died, I was taught to express my emotions instead of bottling them up. Ultimately, I believe that was a good thing…especially now. But I still had the effects of testosterone in my system. In bad situations, such as the ordeal we went through when my brother died, I was often very stoic and pragmatic. When I had my breakdowns, they were pretty intense but that stoicism and even anger that we woman get frustrated about with you guys was there.
When I began my journey, as I have written about before, we had a lot of trouble getting my hormones where they needed to be. During that time, I began to have this very flat emotional response to most things in life. I mean, yes, there were still days I would get really worked up but it took A LOT to get any kind of major emotional response out of me. I was just kind of flat. It was a really bizarre place to be emotionally.
Now…now that my levels are where they should be, I feel everything! lol Yes, I cry at the simplest things. Yes, I go through mood swings. Yes, I now over analyze things a lot as my emotions can, at times, get in the way of me thinking rationally. Its an entirely different emotional response to the world that I am having to learn and get used to since this is not what I have been used to all these years.
Why am I writing about the difference in emotions? Because this week at work I felt those emotions come into play more than they ever have in all my years of being a manager.
I had to make some tough decisions this week regarding an employee on my team. The woman is doing her best but is having some major things, things that have happened to her through no fault of her own, impact her ability to perform her job. I am basically having to decide what to do. Do I try to keep her on staff and support her at the detriment of the entire team and our ability to service our customers? Do I fire her and bring in someone new? Do I fight for a middle ground?
I have been fighting for the middle ground with this team member. I am trying to get our admin to approve a part time position with benefits for this woman. She needs her benefits and until recently, had performed so well but hasn’t been in her job long enough for certain protections. Right now, I sit waiting for a decision from my administration…and waiting…as they like to take their time with these things.
The way my emotions have swirled with this situation is completely foreign to me and has been more than overwhelming. I can definitely see the caring/nurturing side of me coming out more and in a way that is completely different from the way it would manifest in my past.
This will weigh on me, to some degree, until I have a decision from admin and can take the next step forward. Something like this never would have in the past. Like I said…completely foreign to me.
I do want to send a thank you to Arwen Clarity for listening to me talk about this the other night. Its funny because she and I had never talked before, outside of brief comments on each other’s FB walls. Not sure why I reached out to you, Arwen, other than a small comment you made on my FB wall that had me thinking, “She gets it…she knows where I’m coming from on this issue.” I appreciate you taking the time to let me talk and get it off my chest…and just process things. That truly meant a great deal and I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to talk with me.
I think its going to take a fair amount of time to get used to how I respond to the world now. I’m not complaining. The way I respond to things now, for as “odd” as it is to me, is so much better for me than how I responded in my past. I feel like I respond to the world now the way I am supposed to. I hope that makes sense.
See it on Flickr.