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What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Hopeless In The Workplace

My ex-husband works in the same facility that I do and so did the woman that he married. They have both gone out of their way to spread their warped, distorted image of me and my past far and wide, including at the facility where he and I work. She has told as many of the employees and people in the facility that she knows as well as many, many people in the church and neighboring communities where we live. This woman does not know me at all and knows only what my ex has told her. My image has been so tarnished and discredited, that many people will not even speak to me and no one will befriend me or include me in. I have been laughed at, talked about, ostresized, ignored, shunned, rejected, humiliated, made fun of, continually for 4 years.

I have made mistakes in the past, but basically lived a good life, helped alot of people, and raised my children to be good, contributing, successful adults. I am a good person. So many people have been told their version of the story that it is impossible for me to move forward with my life, date, or even have a social life. I have had nightmares about it, get extremely depressed over having to go to work, have been told that my experience is the equivalent of PTSD, and have suffered so much pain and anguish over this that I feel that my life is hopeless and don't even try anymore to interact or succeed. I feel that I have lost all my dignity.

I live in a small town and with the economy the way it has been, options for changing jobs are zero. Everytime I think that things are getting better, a whole new round of gossip and humiliation starts. Funny thing is that this man chased and chased after me until I agreed to date and marry him. Also, he was the one that had real issues and refused to own them. I did everything I could to make the marriage work and the counselors would ask me how long I was going to continue being his counselor.

He was physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive and denies it all. Instead, he has everyone believing that I was the abusive one. I was never the aggressor, it was always him. I was more a victim in that marriage, and he has come out destroying my life and appearing the innocent party. Despite trying everything, I have not been able to overcome this situation and recover my dignity. Does anyone know what I can do to resolve this situation?

Comments for Hopeless In The Workplace

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Hopeless in the Workplace
by: Linda Guirey

I don't think that you will be able to move on, unless you move out of that workplace. Once that type of systematic pattern of interpersonal destruction has started, it is so very difficult to change.

Clearly being surrounded by such abusive behavior, is having a detrimental effect on your emotional and psychological wellbeing and in order for you to be able to take charge of your life again, you need to remove yourself from that negativity and hostility.

I know you have said that changing jobs is near on impossible, but I have to ask how important it is to you, for you to be happy, healthy and surrounded by good people. At what cost will you stay at that workplace?

Perhaps you need to sit down and really evaluate your options. Could you move someplace else to start a new life? See it as an adventure and a new beginning. You are not running away from anything, you are just ensuring that your ex-husband and others cannot and will not have control over your happiness. If that is not possible, explore every other working opportunity that removes you from that hostile environment.

Of course you can stay and fight it. That will take loads of energy, documentation, health records, increased abuse probably and you need witnesses. Sometimes that option is just too hard for many and rightly so. Perhaps this is why only 4% of bullies receive consequences - because the abusive behavior is so entrenched in an organisation, that to fight it becomes worse than the bullying.

Whatever you choose, you need to take control over your happiness from this point forward.

Linda Guirey
The 'Marbles Expert'

Use the Union
by: Trinity

You poor thing. Being trapped in a situation that causes anxiety produces the worst and nastiest PTSD. I don't know where you live, the labour laws or what is avaliable to you in the way of stress leave, and I'm sure you have explored those options anyway. The Union might be able to help, they can approach your employer and let them know the problem. Once your employer knows about the problem and the severeity of it then your employer has a duty of care to you and if your employer doesn't do anything to protect you from this maliciousness then they are liable and you can sue because PTSD is a very serious illness and has very serious consequences. I suggest going through the union because then there is a written record that will stand up in court. The Union should also be able to offer other suggestions that you may not have thought of. I hope all goes well, good luck and I hope that you have a very merry Christmas and the days of being tortured at work are numbered. xox

Hopeless in the Workplace
by: Sally

Your situation almost, word for word, describes what I am going through at my job. The only difference is that a coworker (someone who I considered a friend for the past 4 years) has been trashing my name at work, to others who work in our building, to the patients we work with and to other practices in the area for over a year now. Everyone believes her because she is smart, slim, attractive, a hard worker, and quite good at playing innocent. She gets in my face when no one is looking and calls me names and then turns around and sweetly smiles and says something cute to the boss when he walks up. I've tried to talk to her, but she just shuts me down and tells me to get over it. I've tried talking to my boss about her antagonistic behavior, but she has convinced him that I am the problem. Everyone is treating me like I am a liar and a troublemaker. So I understand the nightmare you are living in. Your ex may think he has good cause to do what he is doing, but know that he is in denial. But I have to be honest with you...the only thing you can change about all this is how you react to this injustice. It will not be easy. You will have good days and bad days. But know that you will become stronger through this trial by fire. You are a good person. I could tell that much from how you told your story. The fools who believe the nasty gossip and shun you are gullible. They are sad people who thrive on the misery of others. And, unfortunately, your ex knows how to manipulate foolish people who cannot think for themselves. You can choose to ignore the jeers. You can accept the fact that this is happening to you. I don't mean you have to agree with it, just know that you can rise above it through patience, self-control, and compassion for those who have the need to control and abuse others. Be kind to yourself. Take care of yourself. Hold your head up high, tell yourself you can be strong, focus on your work, try to pretend that nothing is wrong, and be pleasant and kind to anyone you meet. Try not to assume that everyone has been conned by your ex. you might be surprised by someone who knows better than to believe what he is saying...

Hopeless in the Workplace
by: Anonymous

Continued from last post: Also, your past is your past. It's done and over with. You were doing the best you could at the time. You are who you are now because of your past experiences. You have learned from them. You are a different person now. Know that some people abuse others because they cannot accept some part of themselves. And, as for work, I think it would be healthier for me if I left because I know the situation will not change and may even escalate when she understands she cannot run me off like all the others before me. Yes, she is a serial bully. I have applied for other jobs as they come up, but I also know the grass is not always greener on the other side. Sometimes you have to make the best of a bad situation for the sake of your family. So I realize your dilemma and I guess that is why I think it is so important to do what you think is best for your situation. Just keep your eyes open for alternatives. You deserve to work in a nice, healthy environment, free from harassment. I believe you and hope you find the peace you seek.

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