Powered by Blogger

Thursday, January 07, 2010


Just one more meeting of my ladies group after the one tonight, and I'm SO glad. This has been so much harder than I expected. Of course, I didn't want this leadership role, and said "no" when first asked, but I let myself be convinced that it would be a worthwhile undertaking. Two and a half years later, I'm not so sure.

There have been great moments and some very positive feedback, but almost from the very first day, there have been such major difficulties - the person in the front of the room becomes a target for everyone's dissatisfactions. After a rocky start, I thought it was going pretty well, but a personality conflict with one of the other members has made the last year almost unbearable (most ironically, I recruited her personally - have I ever regretted anything as much?) A few months ago, she was incredibly personally insulting to me, because she doesn't approve of how I do things (as if her approval was in any way relevant to the choices I make, any more than her choices could possibly be influenced by the desire for my approval. Such arrogance.)

Of course I've advocated for the things I believe in - I thought that was the whole point of belonging to a group. Everyone in this group has proposed activities. No one, least of all me, has objected to the things that have mattered to her. Despite this, she has rarely supported, and often actively opposed, anything that wasn't her idea, using the most demeaning possible language (her favorite is to label anything she doesn't like a "waste.") But she's somehow managed to convince herself that I'm the unreasonable one.

Why bother to take on the responsibility of leadership when it's so much more fun to stand on the sidelines and lob bombs and undermine the person out front?

She's decided she's my nemesis and must find fault with absolutely everything I say and do, no matter how well meaning. Here we are, trying to do a little good in a very minor volunteer group - how can all this venom be possible in this context? It's just beyond my comprehension that anyone would take the trouble to get involved and then expend their energy in this way. I've stepped on many toes in my day, but I've never deliberately tried to make someone else miserable. "Discouraging" doesn't begin to cover it. It's going to be such a relief to get out of this woman's orbit - if I can manage it, I hope to never even be in the same room with her again.

And it's not just her, it's the whole process - it's ridiculous. For the first 2 years, I supported every suggestion, I attended every event, and I picked up every ball that someone else dropped. I exhausted myself scrambling around to do right by this group - to do what I thought was required of me. All for what? Talk about a thankless job. I never believed the maxim "No good deed goes unpunished" until I got involved with this group.

The whole situation has been so unpleasant, it's tainted my desire to get involved with something else when my tenure with this group finally ends. I really can't bear to have my efforts derailed by this poisonous type of person. Though I haven't encountered this before, I'm worried now that such people are more common than I ever imagined. I want to do something rewarding, something that matters, something that makes me feel good about myself and my role in the world. I don't want to spend my time in pointless bitter battles over nothing, and I certainly don't want to be judged and dismissed by people I barely know and who don't know me at all.

And I just hate that I feel this way. I can't let someone's pettiness affect my motivation. I need to find a good context to participate in. I've met some wonderful people doing political work in the Syracuse area, but ever since the (incredible!!) 2008 election, there doesn't seem to be any focused effort going on right now.

I recently tried a local activist group, but they aren't doing much that interests me and I haven't really connected with the people in that group. So I'm still searching. There's plenty going on; once I'm free of this other mess, I can devote a bit more energy to finding a new place to land.



Post a Comment

<< Home