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  • Writer's pictureArmelle

To the Toxic Environment: Thank You

Thank you for the worst time of my life.

Thank you for putting me close to breakdown.

Thank you for all the times I had to pick myself up.

It's hard. You made me realise that I can't take anything at face value. Because of you, I went from limiting myself in order to fit in, to limiting my tolerance for people who expect me to fit in.

Because through all the trauma came self-acceptance. I'm not saying I started to believe what the environment was telling me... far from it.

But I began to find out who I wasn't. And realising what you don't want to be when you're an anxiety ridden mess is far easier than instilling behaviour that made me who I wanted to be in spite of it all.

You made me realise that it was enough to simply say 'no'.

And slowly, carefully, I enforced those boundaries to protect myself.

Now there was something to break. And once that was tampered with it became strikingly obvious. Once I knew what those boundaries were I started to cut through the noise to the root of it all.

When you're someone with dyslexia treading through a toxic environment, you stick in the mud a lot easier than anyone else. Those boundaries didn't come easy.

A girl with dyslexia who's early into her career has to fight numerous battles at once:

  1. uncertainty of the office environment, limited knowledge of office politics

  2. heightened mysoginy

  3. little sense of how dyslexia affects you yet alone how to manage it or knowing what support you need

And guess what this mixture needed... the right support. A toxic environment can either make you sink or swim. Can I say I did both at the same time?

It was probably more a case of: if I hadn't started sinking in the water, I would have never learnt how to swim in the first place.

But what can you do when you're in that position? You can't educate, you can't reflect back your good intentions.

Sometimes, you have to let negativity go and the only way to do that, is to remove yourself completely.

Thank you, toxic environment, for giving me enough of a reason to walk away.

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