In this counseling answer:
“Consider everything you learned from her and all the new skills and insights you gained. Write them all down. Then write down all the new things you can do, think about, create, operate, etc. as a result of your learning and application of your learning. Give yourself a chance to see all the good you have worked hard on for yourself. Then get busy finding out what’s next for you! Take that hard work and passion into a new place that suits you best where you can grow and thrive.”
First of all, I commend you for following up and asking for more advice regarding the ongoing tension between you and your mentor.
If I can be frank with you, based on your description, your mentor doesn’t seem to be as awesome as you have described her to be. I may, of course, be misunderstanding, but hear me out.
Yes, she may have been someone to help you in tough moments, and someone who has taught you things you didn’t previously know. She also has been there to support your growth. However, it sounds like it has come at a great cost.
If she feels that she can put you down with angry texts that felt “too much” in her level of expression, blame you for using the very brain she is supposedly investing in, and ignore text messages from you and so forth, then I would be asking you to reconsider how healthy this relationship really is between the both of you.
She isn’t the source of your confidence. Allah guides you to a path of learning and mentors and after this, you do the work yourself. You do not need her to be confident or amazing. All you need is willpower, determination, and a belief in yourself. With that, you can forge your own path and find a new mentor who is consistently respectful towards you and appreciates your suggestions, constructive feedback, and independent thinking.
A mentor’s job isn’t to have a team of people they control but rather people who they bestow their experience on so that individual can become their personal best in the field.
Trust Your Own Gut
I appreciate the previous counselor’s response encouraging you to reach out and speak with your mentor. This usually solves misunderstandings between most people. This option is still available to you where you sit down face to face and speak with each other rather than relying on text messaging.
However, you resigned for a reason and it seems your gut is sending you a strong message that something isn’t right which is why you are here writing again. It shouldn’t be this hard if you are in the right place with the right people.
Taking it Down a Notch
What would happen if, instead of putting yourself down, you simply accepted that you two don’t have the right chemistry to work together for the long-term? Without needing to make the situation about her shortcomings, it could be as simple as the fact that you two aren’t a good match for a long-term mentor-mentee position.
That’s ok! Working closely with people in business is often linked to people dating (in the non-Muslim world) or getting married. You aren’t going to click with everyone. Even when a person has redeeming qualities they may not be entirely right for you at this stage of your life.
She is a mentor, but she doesn’t need to be the only mentor you have. Engaging with others, whether online, in groups, or in person would help you measure things more clearly. It would be easier to discover which elements you needed to change to improve communication and which things weren’t about you at all and beyond your control.
Change the Story You Are Telling
Up till now, I read a lot of self-blame and self-criticism. Why can’t you be the person to learn from this woman and be on her team?
You are who you are. While you should always be looking for ways to improve yourself, especially when working with others, you shouldn’t feel like you need to apologize for being a feeling person, or an invested person in her projects of the team goals.
It’s time to be fair to yourself and give a fair assessment of what it’s really like working with your mentor. Say it like it is, at least to yourself, and accept the truth.
She can still be wonderful in a hundred ways and extremely difficult to work with at the same time. A person can be a genius at their craft but treat others terribly. It’s not your fault that she handles stress or any other situation in the ways that she does.
Giving Shouldn’t Have Strings
When someone has done favors for you, as you’ve suggested, they shouldn’t come with strings attached. If I do you a favor and then demand or expect something from you, whether compliance, obedience, or control in any way, I haven’t really given you a gift.
If she did good things for you, then thank Allah and make du’aa’ for her. From there you can determine how you want to create closure moving forward. If you’d like, write a letter thanking her for her good deeds she did for you and thanking her for the mentorship she provided. Let her know that you wish the best for her and her work and to forgive you for any offenses or shortcomings of your own. This would be great.
But if the letter is an emotional outpour in a final attempt to gain her approval, I’d encourage you to write it but never send it. Get it off your chest but resist giving another person that much power over your emotional well-being, optimism, and confidence.
Additional Action to Take:
Consider everything you learned from her and all the new skills and insights you gained. Write them all down. Then write down all the new things you can do, think about, create, operate, etc. as a result of your learning and application of your learning.
Give yourself a chance to see all the good you have worked hard on for yourself.
Then get busy finding out what’s next for you! Take that hard work and passion into a new place that suits you best where you can grow and thrive.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.