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To feel like I lost even though I won?

(29 Posts)
Surprisedtofeelbereft Fri 05-Feb-16 11:33:12

NC here, legal reasons.

Have spent the last year suing my ex company for mat discrimination. Yesterday I won. Everyone around me is telling me how well I did and they're all really happy. Financially, yes I did very well, it gives me space to breathe and it will have hurt them for the really shitty way they treated me.

But I just can't feel anything except bereft for the whole thing. I loved that job. I literally sold my apology, which admittedly may have never come anyway, for the sake of a few thousand pounds. Yesterday it seemed smart and unimportant but now I just feel so angry, at myself as much as anything. My legal team were only doing what they thought I wanted.

Thanks to the nature of the industry I won't be able to do the same job again. I've been working on something else but my heart isn't in it. I feel like I'm grieving for my old career. I don't really know what I'm going to do with the rest of my life. My job defined me. Of course for the next period I'm a SAHM which I love, but what do I do when she goes to school? I literally have no idea which direction to go in now.

Has any one else been through this? How do you make peace with it?

Surprisedtofeelbereft Fri 05-Feb-16 11:33:51

Oh god, that should say 'To' and not 'yo', obviously.

PeachFuzzzz Fri 05-Feb-16 11:36:52

I am going through it now. I dont know what to say to make it better but at least its over. My company have done their utmost to stop my pay - not UK- and I am literally living on nothing.

Congratulations on winning - maybe use the money towards a new career ?

HPsauciness Fri 05-Feb-16 11:38:41

I think its very common when you have been working for a goal, and you achieve it, to feel flat afterwards and a sense of 'what next'?

Surprisedtofeelbereft Fri 05-Feb-16 11:40:28

Oh god, maybe we should have a support thread.

Much brewthanks

It's bloody awful isn't it? I expected relief, not this.

I think maybe I need to spend some of the cash on a careers advisor. It was all I ever wanted since I was a kid. I never considered anything else. There's a whole world out there and I think that's what frightens me.

TitClash Fri 05-Feb-16 11:42:11

Agree with what HP said ^^

You didnt sell out. They did when they treated you like a woman in Victorian times. sad

If you have the strength, keep looking for jobs in that sector, even if you dont expect to get one. Every time you do you push the issue forwards. And you never know your luck. flowers

thenewaveragebear1983 Fri 05-Feb-16 11:42:49

I haven't been through it yet, but I'm about to....I'm the same as you, have decided to pursue my claim for maternity discrimination, but I'm feeling unsure about what will happen when I eventually do return to work. I work in an industry where there's is only one provider, so if i take them on, I have no alternatives. But I really believe that I am right and that they have penalised me and affected my whole future. I will also be a sahm for the next few years. I'm Hoping that while I'm off I will get some inspiration! I can totally understand that you feel that you've lost, because I too feel that I've had to lose the career I love and worked hard for in order to fright this. However, to stay there and ignore the discrimination would be to lose my integrity and self worth and I think that's more valuable. Its hard to imagine while you're off work, but I kept imagining my first day back, leaving my baby to go and work with people who have treated me so badly and it spurred me on to start the process. Well done op, enjoy the time off with your baby

Optimist1 Fri 05-Feb-16 11:45:17

I haven't been through this, but imagine that the issue has been on your mind for much of the past year, and that now it's concluded there's a void that is making you feel this way. You were right to take up the fight against injustice in employment - apart from your financial compensation think about other female employees that you have saved from the same fate!

You're fortunate to have time to consider what direction your future will take and to embark on a new career once your daughter starts school.

Surprisedtofeelbereft Fri 05-Feb-16 11:49:50

Thenew - same here. Tiny, backward, industry. They pretty much forced my hand in the end.

Assuming you are in the UK - they make the system really hard for ages and then suddenly, when you're about to give up, it's as though you've passed some sort of secret test and the whole thing turns for you.

I'm glad I did it I think. I hope it helps others further down the line.

I think I'm also angry because I was fed this whole 'you are a woman and you can do anything' line for such a long time and then in reality that appears to be bollocks. For now anyway.

3luckystars Fri 05-Feb-16 12:03:29

They say that after a court case, even if you win, you still feel like you have been beaten up. Your feelings sound totally understandable.

Well done for standing up to them, I hope over time you feel better about it.

grumpysquash Fri 05-Feb-16 12:04:34

OP you have my sympathy.
Unfortunately I think there is a real issue of 'put up or shut up'. Those that fight the battle end up without a job; those who didn't have a (lesser) job but feel compromised.
Is there any sector in which maternity discrimination isn't a thing?
It isn't too bad in my sector (science) but in practise the time out of the lab has a very negative effect on career progression. After 3 DC (5-9 months mat leave each time) I am definitely a grade below men (and women without children) of similar age and experience, and definitely paid less.

grumpysquash Fri 05-Feb-16 12:05:06

Oh, and OP, congratulations on fighting and winning

Cel982 Fri 05-Feb-16 12:08:38

Well done on getting through it, and getting a positive outcome.

Now give yourself some time. It's all still very raw, and things may feel quite different a couple of weeks/months down the line. This is an opportunity to find something new that you love - that's very exciting!

LBOCS2 Fri 05-Feb-16 12:15:35

Well done OP.

I was in a similar position, in that I had a good claim against my last company, and I bottled it. I just left, and found another job instead of hauling them over the coals about their blatant discrimination against me. DH and I both work in the same small industry and we couldn't afford for our name to be mud, it would have made both of us unemployable. So much for women sticking up for their rights. So well done you, for making that sacrifice. YANBU to feel like you do.

Stormtreader Fri 05-Feb-16 12:17:33

hugs OP, that sounds awful sad
Maybe you could try and think exactly what it was about the old job that made you want to do it?
Sometimes jobs that seem very different actually have some of the same elements, they let you help people, they have to be done under very tight deadlines etc - I know someone who does sales who actually considered becoming a wedding planner when he got married because he found the adrenaline rush of having many elements that all need to fit on time and perfectly gave him the same kind of rush that sales does!

It might also be that some of the specific skills you have for this job are really useful in other fields, youre not starting again from zero. Unless you want to! smile

Valentine2 Fri 05-Feb-16 12:22:23

Look at it this way OP: you have fought for a lot of others who will come after you. Hope that makes you feel better.

CottonFrock Fri 05-Feb-16 12:23:53

Well done on taking on the fight. I can entirely imagine why you feel as if you're grieving and wondering whether you did the right thing - though part of that is definitely just post-event let-down (I aced my doctoral viva and went home and cried for days) - but you did something not just for yourself but for other women in your industry and elsewhere who are discriminated against. If enough women speak up and refuse to be silenced, discrimination will become more costly for the industry, which is the only way things are likely to change.

You should feel very proud of yourself on those grounds, even as you let yourself grieve for the job you loved, and eventually think about what new things lie ahead.

thenewaveragebear1983 Fri 05-Feb-16 12:29:06

Surprised - yes I am in the UK. My case has escalated a lot from what was a simple letter of complaint. Now my company want to meet up to discuss it. I imagine then I can appeal any decision.my concern is that I haven't got Any legal support. I'm not in a union. I am also struggling a bit with mild pnd and beginning to fear that they'll tear me to shreds and I'll end up with nothing. I'm worried that if I do look for legal help then it will drag the case out beyond the '3 months less one day 'guidelines. They are also taking a long time to reply at each stage (eg. Taking 3 weeks to arrange a meeting when policy says 10 days) which I think is a tactic to use up the time allowed. Sorry to hijack your thread like this....

HellonHeels Fri 05-Feb-16 12:31:19

I'm so sorry that happened OP. Sounds like you had a really brutal experience. The feeling of grieving is understandable.

I was made redundant from a job I loved and was a huge part of how I defined myself. Having that taken away was crushing and only now, five years later am I beginning to feel like giving myself to a career again. It's like having been in a horrible relationship. And my experience was managed OK and correctly - having to go to tribunal is terrible.

Can you move to a different sector or career? As you have name changed would you be able to say a bit more about your field of work - there might be some who could suggest new directions for you.

Meantime have some flowers

ikeabroccoli Fri 05-Feb-16 12:32:36

OP, I won a maternity discrimination case that also ended up with a bit of constructive dismissal thrown in for good measure. I also never did, and never will go back to that sort of industry again.

Mine was settled out of court though. At the time it felt raw, but over time its changed, and now it just feels like I have got what I deserved.

Give it time, OP. Youre still grieving for a job/career you loved and possibly are still missing.

wol1968 Fri 05-Feb-16 12:33:41

Just remember you have been fighting in a war, not playing a mixed doubles tennis match. Soldiers on the 'winning' side frequently end up wounded, scarred, disabled, and many die - that's why they talk about sacrifice. Even the ones who come through physically unscathed will not be jumping for joy at winning the war. You will be emotionally battered and bruised even though you won the battle, but you've done everything an individual can to make it harder for your former employers to get away with treating women badly.

This is an issue that needs fighting on a much broader front - women need to talk more, not less, about discrimination in the workplace, and we need to get together to combat it.

flowers wine (this evening if you prefer!) and congratulations on hitting them where it hurts. Now give yourself time to recover and regroup.

jay55 Fri 05-Feb-16 12:36:58

Well done for seeing it through op, you're a great example to your child.

I hope you can find a new career you love or someone to take a chance on you in your old one(a mutual enemy of your old boss??).

Surprisedtofeelbereft Fri 05-Feb-16 12:41:54

TheNew - hijack at will, helping makes me feel so much better!

Check your home insurance, you may have a clause that will provide legal support in your situation.

Secondly, a good lawyer should be able to take the next steps for you within the time frame. It's very complicated but sometimes they can extend the time. PM me if you want my team details. They spoke to me pro bono initially to get an idea of my situation. There are also no win no fee people who can represent you. Again I have names if you would like them.

I got the best team I could afford and they took their side to pieces, it was work the expense.

Surprisedtofeelbereft Fri 05-Feb-16 12:43:01

Also talk to your GP. Mine was fantastic and that also helped legally.

Surprisedtofeelbereft Fri 05-Feb-16 12:43:35

Also talk to your GP. Mine was fantastic and that also helped legally.

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