The term position I've been filling for the past year ends in less than 3 weeks. Although it's possible, as the person I'm backfilling for just resigned, that I won't return to my previous position, I still have to prepare to do so.

Despite being recognized as the best at what I do in my permanent position, my immediate superior there is a control freak with no people skills. (She wasn't in the department when I was hired.) So much so that a job I enjoyed and took pride in became one I loathed and considered quitting until this term opportunity came up. She got what she wanted in my replacement, which is someone qualified to do area specific tasks she herself is either unable, uninterested or unqualified to do. (My backfill was someone I hired shortly beforehand, is a nice woman and one that I'd like to hang on to when I return.) In my absence my staff has been decimated (of the roughly 12 people that reported to me only 2 remain, including my backfill - who I'm told is burned out, unhappy and thinking of leaving). The superior in question has taken over any real responsibilities that were mine and implemented some ridiculous and downright demeaning departmental policies and procedures.  

One of my peers (and not one looking to tell me ego boosting BS), that reports to the same superior, has told me that everyone in the department is counting the days until I return. Frankly I'm dreading it, as it was a difficult situation/relationship to start with. It will only be worse now.

In the present term position, I 've had a good boss, learned more than I did in the previous 4 years put together, and developed new abilities, while strengthening others. If I don't get one of the permanents that are posted right now how do I handle the transition back professionally, with my sanity intact, and be the manager people expect me to be. How do I rebuild my area and ensure staff are happy and productive? 

I believe in my organization, and am committed to our mission. One person shouldn't destroy that, so surely there's someway I can salvage the situation.

Thanks for any input or insight you care to share.