A True Story.
Steve had been with the company for about 17 years and was a well-respected senior technical analyst.
You could hardly fault his reasoning.
He would state his points with the precision of a prosecution lawyer. It was always as if he built a wall around his reasoning. An impenetrable one.
So many things were going for him. His brilliance for sure. But he also had that clout.
Morgan, the new kid on the block in Steve’s team, had noticed that most of the ladies on the second floor often had reasons to visit the 3rd floor where Steve sat.
It didn’t matter why they were there but hardly would they leave without saying hi to Steve.
Lucky guy. He was certainly a bloke, and his brilliance was attractive. Morgan sometimes wished they would at least smile at him, just sometimes. Afterall, Steve was married with kids unlike himself, who is single and searching.
Life didn’t seem fair. Ladies flock around the person who doesn’t need them while the one whose heart is aching for love is not noticed.
He had always dreamt of an office romance.
It was Morgan’s 4th month on Steve’s team, and it appears there was nothing he could do to please Steve. Almost everything he said was challenged, often disrespectfully.
He would spend days working on assignments and Steve would shred them to pieces. Literally.
Things got so bad that Morgan was starting to lose confidence in himself. He would sometimes cry secretly and was once close to quitting the role. But the thought of his bills forced a change of heart on him.
Unfortunately, his mental health had taken a hit. He worked extremely hard, trying to ensure he did what needed to be done but nothing seemed to work.
Morgan found it strange that others often found his work impeccable but hey, Steve always held everyone spellbound with his articulate feedback. It was disheartening.
Until a late Friday evening.
Steve and Morgan were left alone in the boardroom working on an urgent client delivery when Steve started to sob.
Morgan was taken aback.
He wasn’t sure of what to do.
Steve, are you okay?
Steve. What’s going on?
“I’m sorry”, Steve said.
Sorry for what? I’m confused, Morgan replied.
45 minutes later, Morgan was also sobbing.
Steve had been sexually abused by an uncle growing up. Unfortunately, Morgan had a quiet demeanor that triggered Steve’s memory of that uncle of his.
Steve couldn’t explain it. But every time Morgan spoke, flashes of the horrific memory rushed like a flood.
Steve had never told anyone about this, even his wife! At 47, it was his first time talking to anyone about it. His uncle was a trusted family member, a Sunday School teacher at a local church back in Pakistan.
Who would have believed him?
Morgan was shaken but his struggle with Steve now made sense.
Steve was fighting a battle that no one knew anything about.
It really wasn’t about Morgan.
Mental health is key.
Take care of it.
Talk to someone; share your pains; See a counselor; Visit a therapist; Talk to your spiritual leader. Do all you can.
But don’t wish it’d go away. It never really does.
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Written by Dapo Bankole.
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