Warning: This post is pretty detailed in terms of how I was feeling and self-harm. Only read if you are in a state with mental capacity for those topics. [Edit: Some paragraphs have been removed for clarity or to protect the personal information of myself or others]
Context is available in my last post: Little Upset -- Volunteerism, Interpersonal Issues, and Mistakes [TW: Threats of Suicide]
TL;DR of my last post (TW: Threats of Suicide)
Another board member in an all-volunteer organization that I’m on the board of (and work in operations of) and I disagreed on a few work-related matters. These disagreements escalated into mild threats of suicide (and mild suggestions of potential for harming others) from the coworker.
This organization has been likely the most significant activity in my life (other than school) for nearly 1.5 years (estimated 10-20hrs/wk time commitment) but I’m sick of dealing with all the issues that have come up in it, particularly this issue with the coworker (which has been ongoing for 2 months).
On Sunday, the fact that I’m going to need to resign from my volunteer role for my own mental health really sunk in. And it really hit like a truck. I actually felt so miserable that my mind just felt numb and I self-harmed for the first time (mild cutting/punching). After that, I wasn’t too worried about the self-harming because I was fairly careful not to injure myself more than intended (nothing that would require medical attention) and it kind of felt like a “one and done” thing for me – didn’t seem like I’d have any urges to do it again in the future, particularly because it didn’t help much.
Pretty soon after reading a message from the coworker mentioned in my last post, I just found myself crying in the corner of the bathroom with my knife in hand and I decided to self-harm again (punching and cutting). Even while writing this post, I punched myself a couple more times (with sufficient force to cause bruising) just thinking about the situation.
The issue with me resigning is that, not only am I abandoning the thousand-ish students that we serve each year (as I don’t foresee the survival of the organization if I leave), but I foresee the coworker in question being removed in the near future.
If he isn’t removed, I foresee this same situation that happened to me happening again to someone else. Not only that, but I also genuinely care about many members of the board and would hate to see them forced to deal with coworker (though about a quarter of the board has indicated that they will resign along with me if he isn’t removed – so it’ll actually be a skeleton crew dealing with him which will just make things worse for those who remain).
Frankly, this volunteering leadership had been the primary thing that my parents (and many others that I know) had verbalized their pride in me for. Hell, both my parents act like it’s my ticket to college (and they aren’t all that wrong). Even though I know that’s all bullshit, it still hurts to know that all their pride is misplaced. My inability to push through this situation is going to forever be one of my greatest failures in life.
So, I’m now at the point where I really do need to close this chapter in the last nearly two years of my life, as much as it may hurt. I just need to find the strength to make it official and draft my letter of resignation, along with notifying the rest of the board who indicated that they’d want to resign if I did so. That’s just a lot easier said than done.
As with my last post, thank you to anyone who read such a long message. I know it’s a lot and I sincerely appreciate the support.