You haven’t done anything wrong

“Hi” is the standard way people start telephone conversations, but I sometimes wish they would add the words “you haven’t done anything wrong”.

It would save me so much angst.

A colleague called first thing yesterday. They said “hi”, I said “hi”. Then they asked if I was OK because my voice sounded funny.

It sounded funny for two reasons: it was the first time I’d spoken for the day and whenever someone calls me I immediately think it’s because I have done something wrong.

So my response to his query was to ask if I’d screwed something up.

Nope. He just needed the latest stats on visitor arrivals to NSW. My boss told him I would know because I am obsessed with data.

Ah, right. So I’m not in trouble. Phew.

I think the reason I imagine the worst is something to do with post traumatic stress, I’ve had a lot of verbally abusive experiences throughout the years and they have left their mark.

I am still getting used to the fact that while someone might occasionally call me because something is wrong, they are usually giving me a buzz for much more benign reasons.

While I keep reminding myself of that, it doesn’t stop my chest tightening in panic.

The past bubbled up a little last night when I went to the launch of the Purple Flag program in the YCK district of Sydney CBD.

Purple Flag is an international program aimed at making nighttime destinations safer. YCK was assessed against a set of criteria to achieve Purple Flag status including public transport access, adequate street lighting and entertainment.

I popped into the celebration on my way home from work and ran into someone from a former abusive workplace.

While she wasn’t abusive, she is besties with the bullies. Part of me wanted to say something, another part thought what’s the point and a third hates confrontation.

So I smiled and chatted and made nice. Then I walked off into the dusk battling the bad memories that had bubbled back up.

I wish people cared more about the long-term mental impact their words and actions have on others.

Song of the day: ABBA “Ring ring”

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