I Feel Used

Dear Readers:
I am still recovering from a minor procedure and thus not able to write today.  I plan to be back tomorrow for Friday Feedback.  In the meantime, I have asked the beautiful, talented and brilliant blogger Jennifer Gulbrandsend Sale from www.justsayjenn.net to help me with today’s question.  I hope you enjoy, and please pop over to her spot on the internet for a very entertaining way to spend some time.
 
Dear Jenn:
 
Not too long ago, a very close family friend who I love like a brother got me involved in a start-up company.  I was in the middle of some significant professional and general mid-life turmoil so I jumped on board, thinking I would make a difference in the lives of many and take my career into a whole new direction.
 
I was so excited to join the team that I did no due diligence on the company, the executives or the product itself.  My bad, and that’s all on me.
 
However, it soon became obvious that the company HAD done its due diligence on me, or rather, on my husband.  I was targeted because of my (seemingly) wealthy husband and their incorrect assumptions I may have had buried a bag of money in my backyard from my years of working at prosperous jobs.  Well, I hadn’t.  I have a spending problem.
 
Once I started working there, putting my heart and soul into what I thought was a fabulous concept, the CEO and COO began hounding me incessantly to invest in the company.  When I told them I didn’t have the money, they went after my husband, using me as a conduit.
 
The pressure was unrelenting and I was told if I couldn’t get the money, I probably wouldn’t have a job for much longer and the company could go out of business.  I finally talked my husband into making the investment, against both of our better wishes.
 
Women: you know that “women’s intuition” thing that tells you right before you do something that this is a VERY BAD IDEA?  Listen to it next time.
 
Long story short, they got the money, and shortly thereafter I made a major sale for the company.  They laid me off the same day I told them of it, and never paid me the commission.
 
Here’s my question: I am having trouble letting this go.  I thought I was over it until I spoke with business associates I retained to help with some work for the company and found out they never got paid.  I am deeply embarrassed. 
 
While we plan to write off this fiasco on our taxes next year, is there something else I can do to make myself feel better?  Or do I just need to “let it go?”  Probably.
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Well, Jenn, what do you think?
 
Perplexed in Portland
 
Dear Perplexed:
 
I think ‘letting it go’ is a fallacy people cling to. There’s something hardwired in the human brain that needs closure of some kind before being able to ‘let it go’. Here you went against your better judgment and invested and worked hard for a company that treated you as a disposable commodity at the end of the day. It’s very hard to get over having your expectations violated because we’re taught, “You get what you give” from a very young age. Here you gave everything, and got nothing in return. 
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So how do you get closure on this? I’m not sure. Everyone’s different. I’m one that doesn’t tend to dwell on things and chalks it up to “Life experience/character builders” and moves on to something that fulfills me in a different way. Or sometimes you just suffer through it until you wake up in the morning, and time has given you enough closure to ‘let it go’ because something else has taken it’s place. 
 
I guess it really just calls for sitting down with yourself and telling yourself the truth about it. Yes, you gave undeserving people your time and money. Yes, you were hurt by that. But will it really matter in five years? What WILL matter in five years? Can you get to where you want to be by carrying this ugly baby with you everywhere?
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Probably not. By changing “what if” to “now what” it helps you get the momentum moving forward instead of just sitting there busying yourself playing out scenarios that didn’t happen and won’t happen. 
 
Also, trust your intuition always. What’s it telling you now? It’s probably telling you to pick up the pieces, and keep on moving. 
-Jenn