Decided to share my ‘oops’ in the hope that it helps me feel a bit better.
I’ve been working a day a week in a heritage garden. The property is owned by an organisation and used as a holiday house. I talk to a lady on the phone or organise meetings for her to come and visit the garden. Mostly I work unsupervised. I’ve mentioned to her about three environmental weed trees I wanted removed and that I would poison them then arrange for an arborist to cut them down and they nodded and agreed.
One day recently I went and poisoned two of the trees (ran out of time that day to do the other). The next morning I had a message on my answering service asking me about my tree permit number for the work I’d done. No name, no contact number was left. The next time I worked there, a car drove in, a woman jumped out and confronted me, asking about tree permits and raising fears about $50,000 fines and penalties. She was adamant that it was a problem and it should have all been cleared with Council and heritage society. Everything I said was dismissed and I was so shocked I was just shaking and stammering.
I hate conflict and confrontation. And I’m afraid of the consequences. I haven’t done much about it because I’m stuck in fight or flight (or freeze) mode, not knowing what to do. If I talk to council, myself (and my client) could get in trouble. I didn’t mean to do anything wrong but I’m being very hard on myself and feeling stupid and guilty and stressed.
I know I need to get some resolution, people tell me there are options but I don’t see them or feel that I could do anything. I have trouble thinking about it without crying and my self-confidence has taken a major hit. I’m not enjoying gardening or the pressure that goes with it and feeling depressed, wanting to run away from the world in general.
I’ve had trouble writing this post, not wanting to share and being afraid to write about it in case of… consequences. I’m starting to be aware that much of the problem is my emotions and the major drama going on in my head… I don’t actually know what will happen and won’t until I gather the courage to talk to someone about it and find out how much of a problem it is and whether it can be fixed.