The other day I received a phone call from a former friend/co-worker (I’ll call her Alice) that left me feeling betrayed and vindicated at the same time.
Alice and I used to work at a non-profit organization. My immediate supervisor (let’s call him Frank) didn’t like the fact that I had connection at the agency’s main office and mistrusted me. I was younger and arrogant and didn’t realize I should have taken some steps to reassure him. As a result I found myself transferred to a meaningless position at the agency’s main office and my future career was in jeopardy.
At the time Alice was friend’s with both Frank and me. I always had a feeling she knew this was coming but she never gave me a heads up. Then again it’s possible that even if she had I would have blown it off. After the transfer my career was a bit rocky for a while but I eventually found a mentor at the agency and flourished under her guidance. My friendship with Alice was strained but we did stay in touch. Eventually both she and Frank left the agency to pursue other careers.
A few years later Frank returned to the agency – once again a “golden boy” who was viewed as the future of the agency. At the time I had little to do with him because I worked in a different division. Frank eventually became the executive director of the agency and anyone who flourished under the previous regime was targeted for termination. He brought Alice back as a consultant to assist him in team building and other personnel development exercises.
Alice and I were on friendly terms – perhaps not as close as we once were but still friendly. Then the bloodletting began. By the third round of terminations my mentor decided to leave the agency because she knew she was on the chopping block. I stayed behind and tried to make the best of it. I recall mentioning to Alice that I felt like a wife of Henry VIII waiting for the executioner’s axe. Her comment was a non-committal one.
Eventually the axe fell and I was terminated (despite excellent performance reviews). To say I was devastated would be an understatement. It was a Tower experience I hope never to repeat. I did not hear from my “friend” Alice, despite the fact that she is a train conflict resolution counselor and often see herself in the role of emotional supporter and adviser.
I didn’t hear from her again until last week. She called me out of the blue to apologize for not having called me or reached out to me for over 3 years. I was cold but not rude. Then she mentioned that she had never been in a job situation which required her not to speak to someone. My brain froze when she said this. I took this to mean Frank told her not to contact me. That infuriated me and stirred up a lot of feeling I thought had been settled.
After the phone call from Alice I wasn’t sure how to proceed with this relationship and the situation. I have no real desire to even attempt to establish a relationship with Annie however I do feel as though it isn’t quite over yet.
I think the biggest surprise was when she mentioned that it was the first she was in a job situation that required her not to speak to someone. The only thing I can determine from that comment is that Frank told her not to speak to me after I was fired from the agency. On the one hand, that seems like exactly the type of behavior I would expect from Frank. On the other hand I cannot believe Alice gave in to that request. I think that surprises me more than anything else.
The day I received her phone call I drew a card to see what I needed/could take away from this situation and drew the 7 of Cups reversed. I interpreted this to mean that what I needed to accept is that my firing from the agency was out of my control. There was no choice I could have made and no action I could have taken that would have changed it. The decision was out of my hands and influence. It was Frank’s game and I had no input regarding the rules or anything else.
To help me process this issue I decided to do a reading on it. I used the Osho Zen Tarot and pulled the following cards:
How can I handle this situation?
2 3 4
1 – The root of the issue – Inner Vision (High Priestess)
2 – Internal influences – 2 of Rainbows (Pentacles) R
3 – The core of the issue – 5 of Rainbows (Pentacles) R
4 – External influences – 6 of Clouds (Swords)
5 – Advice – Courage (Strength) R
This reading is showing that at the root of this issue was the fact that useful information was being withheld from me. My inner voice might have known that this was unavoidable and unpreventable but my mind found that hard to accept. I don’t like feeling out of control. A friend also suggested that the High Priestess represents Alice too because she pulled back the veil and gave me information I did not previously possess that changes how I perceive this situation
The termination left me feeling off-balance and unsure what to do next as well as triggering my sense of isolation and being an outsider. No real surprise there. The 6 of Clouds reminds me that I’m carrying a burden that is not mine to carry. If I want to move forward I need to release that burden and lighten up my mind. The problem was, is and always will be Frank’s – why carry his mental bullshit on my back.
The advice card, Courage reversed, shows that I have the inner strength and ability to work my way through this situation regardless of whether I ever speak to Annie again or not. The situation truly is resolved all that might remain is for me to express how it made me feel to Alice but even if I never do that I don’t think it will hold me back anymore. And that’s a huge release and relief