It’s been rough week and a half in the Madhouse. I’ll be honest with you it’s been me, not the kids. The kids have actually been doing pretty well, aside from an incident while decorating the Christmas tree, which will be tomorrow’s blog, both Rian and Alexi have been doing better.
I, on the other hand, have been a bit of a wreck. Not only did I have that issue with my friend, I was also dealing with a very disturbing emotional crisis. I volunteer with a non-profit organization that helps families throughout the province of Ontario whose children have mental health issues. The weekend before last was the Leaders’ Retreat and I was invited to attend.
What I witnessed on the Friday evening of the retreat was nothing short of harassment and assault by the Executive Director on her only co-worker. I was disgusted by this abuse and am even more disgusted with how the Board of Directors has handled the situation. The victim was suspended for a week with pay while the Board “worked” with the ED, aka “the perpetrator” on how to minimize the damage. Their solution was to advise the victim and witnesses to “keep it behind the curtain”.
The President of the Board has resigned and I say “Kudos to him”. However, I am left in an ethical conundrum. I cannot, in good conscience, continue to represent the organization as long as the current ED is involved because I do not believe she is practicing the values of the organization – to create communities of acceptance, tolerance, compassion and an intolerance to bullying. The website says “Breaking down barriers and building futures” not “Break down your co-workers to build yourself up”. I am unable to support a Board of Directors who punish the victim and exonerate an abuser simply because it’s the easiest solution. On the flip side, I have a desire to be actively involved in the children’s mental health movement and wish to continue to support the victim of this assault.
I get dizzy just thinking about it, but maybe that’s the problem. Maybe I’m over thinking it. I do that on occasion, over think things. I know, it’s hard to believe, but it’s true. All kidding aside, I think I’m going to have to go with my gut on this one and walk away. Maybe, sometime in the future, I’ll be able to work with this organization again, but not under this Executive Director.