(Newcastle, NSW, Australia)
I was once studying at a University somewhere in my home country Australia.
During that time I experienced a lot of underhand tactics and indirect bullying which lead to a complete breakdown of my mental health. The trouble was that officially complaining was the worst thing I could have done as it allowed the University to redress me as compromised and therefore able to be further targeted.
Later I discovered that many other people have experienced what I had at this University. It is notorious for its bullying and hazing culture.
In retrospect I think it is always far smarter to walk away from a workplace bully earlier rather than later. It is not selfish or egotistical to trust your own instincts about your surroundings.
Some people are born and bred on harm and don't mind hurting you to prove it.
If you don't trust your boss or colleague and have reasonable grounds to question their conduct then you must honour your own life and health and leave. The bully then moves on to another victim before eventually self destructing.
I take no pleasure in admitting that this is what happens to bullies but it does. Their ultimate victim is themselves. Just be smart and step to one side and let them go to their fate.
The best advice for recovering from bullying is to make sure you are completely removed from the bully's influence.
Secondly be patient and kind to yourself as you rebuild your life. It is hard at the start but kindness is the true elixir of life. Fortune or dread; they are still options, pick fortune no matter if things seem really awful or dark.
Eventually you will emerge stronger and more aware of how to avoid a bully in the future. Look for obvious signs of sociopathic behaviour in others and avoid them completely if possible.
We are all in this world together. Some may consider others only useful for exploitation for personal gain. I disagree heartily. In refusing the bully what they think they are entitled to allows me to honour my own beliefs and values.
Something is only valuable if it is shared equally. A bully will never understand this but they must respect what I believe in.