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What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Indirect Bullying Then Denied As Paranoia

by AC
(Belfast, Northen Ireland)

I starting dating a man whom at the time seemed perfectly okay. Unbeknown to me this man knew some of my work colleagues and instead of telling me decided to play a horrible game... he gained my trust and confidence then behind my back was laughing at me cruely making fun of me with my work colleagues.

I became suspicious when events and private details started to leak into work when the girls began to indirectly taunt me... I knew it was him immediately as I hadn't told a soul only him. I confronted him with this and instead of owning up he tried to manipulate the situation. In my weakest moment he knew I was vulnerable and exploited it.

He began to create a situation known as gaslighting. This is when someone makes you doubt your memories, your perceptions, what you seen what you heard. He did this soo subtly he made me believe I was losing my mind and he was going to help me. He took away my sense of self, trust in my instincts and I started to rely on him to replace the reality he took away... and all of this to get off with what he did, to protect himself and bullies from my work.

I was taking panic attacks going into work as I was unsure what was happening. I cried to him that I was ill and needed to go to the Dr., he had manipulated me so much into believing I would lose my job if I went to the Dr., then my house and I would then lose everything... although I was being bullied and didn't want to be in my employment I needed my job.

My behaviour became more and more erratic and I was becoming more and more paranoid. I was making all sorts of excuses to my bosses for time off work and illnesses that didn't exist it was awful. I felt as though my life was balancing on a thread. Eventually I broke down as there was no escape my working life and my personal life had been effected by this man. I couldn't get away from it.

I developed insomnia. I was in a heightened state of anxiety constantly. I was so confused that's what he did. I began to see through what he was doing and went to my family but although I knew what happened I couldn't articulate it properly. It was coming out as bits and pieces of a story. My family thought I had a breakdown.

I lost my job. I tried to kill myself because no one believed me. My employment and this man made it out to people I was just mad to cover up what happened. Through research I have realised that I had been suffering PTSD due to the bullying and gaslighting. I am not the same person. My life is ruined. I don't know how to get back to who I was. I don't know how to get rid of the anxiety and paranoia. I can't function the way I used to. I feel soo much pain I cry and cry all the time. I can't cope.

Can anyone help me who have been through this... I feel I didn't get justice and I need to prove I wasn't mad... I get angry that I can't even remember who I was before this happened. Please someone give me advice. I just want my life back. I only want to be the person I was before and can't remember.

Comments for Indirect Bullying Then Denied As Paranoia

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Gaslighting is the worst!
by: Solange

I am so sorry this happened to you! But you also sound very insightful. I was gaslighted at a job. Its amazing how some people can act like being harmed by you while they are playing this game on you. I had someone do this to me--in order to get my job, of course. Made me look real bad. Unfortunately, I was the only one who could see through it. I ended up giving up a job I loved (so this incompetent person could use me to fool herself and others into looking like she was competent). You gave up your job, too AND you have insight. What a gift! Here's technique I use to help me with feelings of injustice. Its called "Above the Battleground." I will put it in another post...

Above the Battleground
by: Solange

When you recognize that you are in a chaotic situation, put yourself mentally in a space capsule. It can look any way you want it to. Chaos is caused by our thoughts about events and people. We always have the power to change our thoughts. So get in your "space ship" and go into orbit, away from the gravitational pull that holds you into a bad situation. Look down on the players and events. Watch the drama play out. Instead of being sucked into anger, find one small thing to love, appreciate or have gratitude for. Watch that piece, feel it. You are above the battleground. Now, you do have to go back but bring the love with you and extend it to others in the drama as much as you can. See if anything changes. You can go back into space and bring back more love and gratitude anytime you want. You will be so glad that you did. And just remember, the only person who gets hurt by being stuck in other people's drama is you. Let them go. Be above their chaos. Blessings!

It's very common
by: Anonymous

It is VERY common in the workplace. I had to leave my last 4 jobs (the last starting at 98K) because of this. I reported the abuse to my employer immediately, and even other coworkers and witnesses reported the incidents, but I had to sign non-disclosures. I could not take another day of it, so I left...that is the intention. I have endured this type of abuse alot, and I too feel permanently damaged. I went through a psych eval and learned I suffer from betrayal trama - it's where there is a poisoning of trust by someone in a position of authority. The abuse is HARD to prove and the abuser will deny it's happening so don't confront them...they just want to get rid of you...that's how men get rid of women they don't love or employers get rid of employees they don't want, and managers get rid of employees that they feel threatened by.

My mother had made me believe for almost 10 years I had an illness I did not have, and discovered that she had lied to me after my clearance was declined because I reported I had a fictitious illness. I can write a book about this stuff. The psychiatrist who evaluated me believed I was paranoid about my mother, and would not trust that she had gaslighted me.

You have to trust your instincts, and don't look to others for validation. The intention of gaslighting is to get rid of someone...when someone does that just say " are you trying to make me crazy"...Don't argue with them. Just state they are trying to make you crazy and to leave you alone. If they continue to persue contact, don't be nice. I had to do that to my own family and now my clearance is being adjudicated, but can you IMAGINE a young woman having to explain this sort of abuse to a federal investigator. People who do that are low lives, and you need to not be hard on yourself for being gullible.

You are deserving of respect
by: Anonymous

You are an important person. You deserve respect. I want to encourage you. You can choose to be an overcomer. You need to somehow believe that it's possible for you to be whole again. None of us has control over what other people will do or say. We can't even begin to guess what unhealthy motives they have. We can have control over ourselves and our own feelings. We can choose to become healthier by reading, going to support groups, praying, taking small steps in the right direction. No one can take your dignity away from you. God gave it to you; and He says you're loved and wanted. He created you a beautiful individual, unlike anyone else. You are unique. You can be proud of yourself.

Be Bruce Lee
by: Anonymous

Go to Martial arts classes.

1. You will get all your confidence back trust me.
2. KNow what you want in life then go and get it.

3. Start creating boundaries. As soon as someone starts any type of shit that makes you feel uncomfortable or bad tell them straight up and even infront of people " hey, i don't like the way your behaving towards me, stop it"
Outcome - the stop and respect you
- they continue opt1 and you smack them - yes smack them once in the mouth and i swear they will never fuck with u again.
- if they continue opt2 just leave them alone and have nothing to do with them. they will be poisonous and others will see that and despise them, and applaud you for standing up for urself.

4. to do 3 u must be present, now when u feel bad and when u feel good.

5. do things to make you feel good - as much as you can.

6. You are powerful you dnt need anyone in this world - you are all. love urself accept urself.
Yeashua the name of god means "I AM that I AM"

7. Study bruce lee

ME 2
by: Anonymous

This happened to me with an ex boyfriend I had who dated my cousin. He had been causing problems for me and lied to my family . He pretended like he was some psychologist when he was "psycho." They tricked me and put me away and a couple months later I was on the streets no family no home. Noe he had money and seemed nice but what he wanted was to get away with it .I was afraid to , looking back on it now they all look insane and I feel a lot better about myself.YOU MUST TRUST YOURSELF ALWAYS THEY SEEK TO ISOLATE YOU FROM OTHERS SO TELL OTHERS HOW YOUR FEELING WHAT THEY'RE DOING.

by: Jackie C

I've dealt with a munipulative ex boyfriend, and also indirect bullying! It is the worst! That gaslighting you mentioned can also be referred to as "Crazy-Making" It's horrible. If you are questioning your sanity it is time to keep a log of what is said, so you can assure yourself you are not crazy, but if you have to do this, you should also reconsider who you surround yourself with! I totally understand and remember you aren't alone and you aren't crazy just because everyones acting this way it doesn't mean there's something wrong with you, there is something wrong with all of them! For more, look up how to deal with manipulators. Also look up indirect bullying.

you cannot believe
by: david

I was living in a large complex in Burbank CA on a street that is numbered and is owned by a large corporation...all they wanted was my apartment so that they could conglomerate their "distributors" in the same building. They built a surveillance net, and bullied out anyone who was living there already so that they could conduct business without worry. it appears that this all relates back to drug dealing and securing a perimeter or, help us all, a spy ring or terrorist organization needing to secure a staging platform. The cool thing is, I recorded them. Still have it. When the FBI gets caught up, I will give them the info. Passive listening devices are part of this breach of national security. They are taking Theramin to a whole new level.

Experienced similar situation
by: Lily Baonhi Luong

I have had experienced a similar situation, and I find what those horrible coworkers has done - was so so unnecessary.

They did it at a very bad time while I was in grief, and blame my grief for my anger but it was these horrible bullies and the head manipulator who happens to be a lawyer that was making me upset and angry.

I quit my job, damage my career progression and now have to restructure my career goals.

I pray every night that God help me "make a comeback" because I really want to show these horrible people "to treat people how they want to be treated" and I want the respect and career that I deserve too.


No one believes me - all I can do is type it out so it helps release what is piling up inside me.


Spiritual Warefare
by: Archangel Michael

I still play the fool in this disgusting sherrade. My home town in its entirety is infected with this new social disease. I deal with this everyday and still suspect my own wife and best friend are a part of some big secret club that is hiding something. I have physical proof that something isnt right here even I cant put a finger on. I have to continue the investigation alone. And I hold faith in that if they meant me harm or cease to love me they would not be around. It is the only way . I dont think they even know that they are under the influence of bad spirits. I however found myself under the influence of Giants and nothing could have prepared me or anyone for that matter. understanding the truth is quite incomprehensable for the human mind. They do aspire to be a great people but unfortunately I am no longer one of them and humanity has been swept out from their hearts. I will save the pure and penitant whom I also recruit as well as the spirits of earth and the dead . I can but I will not deny my existance not in this galaxy or the next. I am not Fallen I AM The One Who Is Like Unto God and my fury fuels the fires of the heavens I will call upon to cast onto the tyranny of evil men to burn and cancel their bad bloodline and DNA shephard the meek who inherit this wretched rock because unlike so many fallen truly I am my brothers keeper his name is GABRIEL.....you know my name. Now Drive the Vehicle and keep your eyes on the road. Its all that keeps you alive at this critical time. and peace be with you ----ps invoke an Archangel---=They answer right away and .....wow

by: Anonymous

This is happening to me, I was mobbed in work for months. I didn't understand what was happening, then tonight i discovered that my serial cheat of a boyfriend has several different social networking accounts in different names, not only to contact lovers but also to destroy my reputation. People have started making comments online now as as well as in work. He told me the other day that i might as well kill myself as i am no good for nothing, i am useless and nobody would ever want me. im destroyed I feel to frightened to go outside, i do not want to see anyone. Can anybody help me?

I really believed that I was Bi-Polar for 6 years
by: Anonymous

I had my first nervous breakdown about 6 and a half years ago. I was so upset, crying, lost, and on top of that, I had no desire to see or talk to my husband. Before my breakdown, I was VERY paranoid that he was lying and cheating. Why else would he treat me with disrespect? So, major depression + paranoia = bi-polar. I have been through countless ups and downs and medicine changes believing that it was all me and my mental illness. Just about 1 year ago, he was treating me so badly, it became noticeable. I wanted a separation this last February, and he promised all the things that I would want to hear. Stupid me. I took him back. Now here I am again, out of work, stressed, anxious, and have actually been journaling everything. That helps ALOT. You write your experience down exactly as you had felt it. That way he can't twist you up and say you're imagining things, or that's not what happened. Look for a local women's crisis center for support groups and counseling. I have begun that this week, and the first group I went to was very helpful. There are many resources out there for battered women (because that is what you are), and just writing in this forum, you have already made the first monumental step.

Thank you
by: Anonymous

I just want to thank you all for sharing your stories. I would have always believed this was something that only happened to me if I never came across this website. We have been through traumatizing events and now we are finding it difficult to pick up the pieces and move on. My biggest issue is trusting people. I was completely caught off guard when I figured out a large group of people could work together a be so cruel and not one, not one person came to me and said "I see whats going on and its not right." I have to go through this all alone and I even accepted that I wanted to be alone because of how betrayed I felt. This website lets me know I am not alone. The stories are so very similar. I may never get to meet any of you but I want everyone to know that shared your story mean so much to me. After reviewing this site I feel even more motivated to be stronger, better, and move on. After reading this site, I hope I am able to get the opportunity to help someone in a similar situation and let them know it will be OK and share my story like you all shared yours.

by: Anonymous

My heart truely goes out to you ! Although this didnt happen to me at work it is happening to me right now with my so called partner at home . People tell me not to doubt myself but the control and mind games they play you always end up doubting :-( 4 yrs later im a mess , look guant and tired all time and only today have finally ended the so called relationship x Be strong dont let no one bring you down and i pray you get better soon hun x nikki x

by: Anonymous

And just to say you are not going crazy atall ! My mother tried to put me in a mental hospital last year and who i thought was my best friend actually joined in with my partner on her indirect insults as she knew i had no self confidence left and looked a mess ! Didnt help that she fancied him too !!! People are cruel and there are good people out there and do understand trust is going to be the hardest part x

by: Anonymous

What I am about to display may be hard to take in, but it is something for you to consider...
What these people practice is a small form of social terrorism. The best thing to do to teach them a lesson is to counter it. Continue to be social and the best thing to do is remain ignorant of the entire situation. Act like nothing bad is happening and you are enjoying life. You should be anyways, people do not have control over your emotions, you do. Next, use the same tactics but with an unpredictable twist to actually redirect the attacks back to its source. Explain your situation to someone close to you who is very intelligent (preferably a woman) and ask them for help. Your intentions should not be to harm but to simply teach a lesson. If you are still with him that would make it a whole lot easier. If you are not, have your friend do a little flirting and tell her to keep her mind guarded for any deceiving tricks. [Boys] are weak when it comes to sex, so have her tease him and even pretend to agree with the false accusations to gain his trust [she should pretends like she just met you].
You should not feel any sort of emotion for him by this point he doesn't deserve you. You have a beautiful soul I can already tell. You don't need him, because he is not a man but a boy. A man understands his responsibilities in keeping his dignity and honor in all situations. What he did to you was very cowardly and desperate. Therefore, it will be easy to trick him. After your friend gains his trust, have her subtly friend zone him. What I mean by that is, have him feel that there is some kind of hope. He will eventually become thirsty for it and while she speaks to him, have her subtly signal to people that he is a pervert and and slightly off in the head/disrespectful (it is agreeably true already). Then explain to people who approach you for the back story that this is in fact true that you were trying to give him the benefit of the doubt because you weren't exactly sure. This replaces your credibility with his as it is truly deserved. Yours will rise, his will fall. The people he manipulated will feel manipulated, apologize to you, and may even help you regain your employment with that company. You should forgive them as they did not know what was going on. It was him who directed the distasteful sequence of events. Think of the experience you went through as training. Now you know people like him exist. Use the Bruce lee approach for latter encounters.

by: Liz

I never could tell the difference if I was being bullied, or if I really am "just too sensitive", "weak", or "overly paranoid, so chill."
( I'm actually still in school, which makes it feel even worse.)
At first I thought it was my fault no one wants to sit next to me at lunch, no one responds when I greet them (when I ask them later, they say, 'Oh I didn't hear you,'). I am a little shy, so I thought the reason why no one likes me is because I'm "undesirable" for being naturally emotional and quiet( it actually isn't that I'm shy or quiet, I'm actually Aspergers girl). I thought maybe it's because I dress and do my makeup differently is because no one wants to approach me, like I look bad. I'm left out, and hating it...which kind of means I hate myself a little, to.
Then I began to think I'm being bullied. I hear people whisper my name in my Personal Finance class. I hear my name, but I can't really hear what they are saying because they sit behind me. Once I did my name and the word "slut" in the same sentence, and then I knew. Yesterday, the boy next to me said: "You know you're a cheater, right?"
I didn't know what to do. I told my friend and counselor what was happening. My counselor said that I'm "just reading into it' and just relax and "wait it out; everything will be fine." My friend polietly reminded me I'm emotional and I'm probably believing I'm hearing these things and they have no substance.
Today, it got worse. I ate in the day treatment room. This guy has always annoyed me, and we play jokes on each other all the time. But now the jokes have went up to just being mean. He humiliated me in front of the whole group. I was feeling hopeless. And now I know, though, because that guy also told me that the boy I turned down for the dance is spreading horrible rumors about me. He told me by repeating those, though.
It is hard, this uncertainty, but I promise, all we have to do is accept this is a problem and explain what is happening calmly to someone we trust. They can't fix the problem, but they can help you get through it. I know this really isn't the most accurate empathy, but I'm just saying get help. Faith in yourself is the best way to self acceptance.

to: "Thank you: anonymous"
by: KK

With tears in my eyes, I write to you to say - you just did help someone. Thank you!

I was too trusting
by: TooLoyal

I've been too trusting in my life. I trusted my family and it feels like they're trying to psychologically destroy me to recruit me to fundamentalist religion or leave me destitute. Gaslighting, sabotage, intimidation, harassing my friends away, verbal abuse, you name it. I'm trying to cut them out of my life.

A little exercise to help
by: Anonymous

I am not sure if this may help you. It is an exercise I do to try and disengage with comments that have been made to me.
Disengaging with comments. An example Ian says "You are incompetent". Disengage with this comment by thinking "Ian thinks I am incompetent." This way it goes from a universal truth "You are incompetent" back to something that only one person thinks ie Ian.
I also do refocusing. I will try and explain. It is all about focus. When someone bullies they want the focus to be on you rather than their bad behaviour. So you become an object in their drama. They have cast you as object (sort of like an archetype, you know, evil witch, sweet girl victim, bad person, fool deserving of abuse). The danger is when you begin to see yourself through their world view rather than seeing their shitty behaviour.
This can lead you to being too afraid to live your life. You feel like they are watching you when you wash up, when you learn dancing when you engage in a new activity. And that they are judging you.
What helped me. Recognizing that this was my mind playing tricks on me. These people are not really here and watching me.
The trick is to re-focus back onto yourself. Not as they see you but as who you really are.
Maybe write down things you like, what interests you.
If someone has said you are bad at maths, learn maths to challenge that perception. Don't do it to prove them wrong do it so remind yourself that when you apply yourself you have the capability to achieve stuff.

David regarding recording incidents
by: Daniel

David and others...

I didn't know what to do with my situation until I read David's post. He recorded what was going on. I'm planning on doing the same thing.

Everything began when two boys started driving by in a truck and yelling at me for no apparent reason. They'd also moon me. I have MS, and they managed to startle me twice and I fell down as a result. They boys laughed so loud driving by that my neighbor heard it and came out. So, I do have witnesses as far as the boys are concerned.

Next, I starting hearing strange noises in my apartment. I don't believe in ghosts or in anything supernatural, but at first i thought I was hearing the sound of footsteps upstairs. Then there was the sound of a clock ticking.. In other words, there were various sounds in my apartment, which at first, caused me to to lose it one night and become unglued enough to call the police and be taken to the hospital.

I only stayed in the hospital overnight, and seemed fine the following day. However, I came home to the sounds.

It looks like the boys don't think that driving by is enough. I've seen them three times hiding in my neighbors front patio at night while I've been in my patio smoking. Last night my neighbor's dog barked when he heard one of the boys, and the boy took off.

I'm afraid to call the Police because they'll think I'm crazy due to the night I called them over the sounds and was taken to the hospital. I really don't know what to do.

I'm wondering if this is my landlady's doing. She wants me to move out, and believe me, after all of this I want to.

Any input?


Religious gas lighting
by: Anonymous

I left my abusive husband via ambulance and told at the hospital that I couldn't go home. My mother and sisters were cult members, the same as he was except he was a suave minister in top rank of the cult. Trying to get life back together a monster of a different religion used me as a poster child to support his disdain for that cult I left but also to cover up good perversions. He would frequent my home, alone, and sexually fondle me. When I finally mustered up the either courage or stupidity to tell, I went to the SSA to get my number changed since he was abusing his position to call my doctors and others, including some bully police friends with him. Things were thrown at my front door, usually preempted by his phone call, telling me that Papa can't help if you don't allow him to.
Some of his cop buddies had me trailed across country, using their pull as cops to locate my whereabouts.

I can relate!
by: Anonymous

I have the same feelings as you. I often think I'm indirectly bullied but somehow the people who I think are bullying me seem to act friendly towards me after they bully me. I don't know who to trust. I want to reach out but can't.

My advice is to reach out to others. Talk to a counsellor or someone who doesn't believe the rumours.

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