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Bullied By A Deeply Insecure Boss
For the first 2 years in my job I had excellent feedback about my performance. I was passionate, dedicated and creative. During this time I was given more responsibility and worked hard to develop my skills, knowledge and professional network.
Perplexingly, as my performance and positive feedback from my colleagues increased, the worse the feedback manager became. She also began (unfairly) loading me up with additional work and removing responsibilities without explanation. She gave me deliberately vague instructions (and therefore was able to criticise me whatever I did) and withheld information and resources so that it was difficult or impossible to do my work.
Each time I tried to address concerns about these practices with her, she insisted there was nothing wrong with her behaviour and the problem was all to do with my personal shortcomings such as my ability to cope / my time management skills.
This bullying went on for about 12 months, it has affected me quite badly - I have been badly depressed, withdrawn from friends and colleagues, deeply self-conscious of others' perceptions of me, lost confidence in my professional abilities and my ability to interact with others. The most debilitating outcome has been social phobia resulting in anxiety and difficulty with leaving the house.
It took a while for me to realise what my manager was doing, but once I did - with the help of my union representative - I took the matter to the human resources (HR) department. Although HR explicitly supported my manager, they did agree to a 10 week payout and the process gave me a forum to express my concerns openly and uninterrupted with my manager present.
Now I am concentrating on getting her criticisms and judgements out of my head. I keep reminding myself that she was actively trying to break down my confidence and control me BECAUSE I was good at my job and because people liked and valued me. And when I am ready, I know I'll find a good job with a supportive manager. I also know to trust my judgement and hope I will be able to recognise and deal with a bully sooner in future.