Realising how unimportant you are is painful.
Being in company. Feeling you know your place. Relaxing, which you find difficult, only to realise you mean nothing to people you felt close to only moments earlier. That is painful.
Immediately you feel foolish. It is a reflection on where you stand. Your rank. Possibly you have sacrificed something for those people. You hope that your efforts have been recognised. Worse, perhaps you believe they have been recognised. All those days, nights and weekends spent working. You are shy and you hate to blow your own trumpet. Then, within minutes of being dismissed you realise that your work, your effort, has never even been considered. Others are talking at length about their sacrifice. Their efforts. Yet they all seem to have evenings when they can go to a cinema – when did you last go to see a film? They were away at the weekend. Goodness – even on holiday you were working until 11pm on a Saturday evening. Then they start to laugh at you. Right there, in front of you, they are mocking you. It is a self-congratulatory act by them. At that moment you realise just how foolish you have been.
What was the point of that sacrifice. You turned away from contracts and offers since you had a debt of participation. You stupid, silly fool.
The bubble has burst. You kept your head down and you never commented when, time after time, others did not fulfil their part of the bargain. “People are stressed”. “They have a lot to think about”.
The weight you have put on since you cannot even get time to walk the dog. The fact you are making no profit and cannot repair the house or replace your ageing computer. The fact your accountant earns more from your efforts than you do. It was accepted since you felt part of something. It mattered that you were a part of something.
That was an illusion. It is difficult to handle but it is educational.
Still, it hurts.