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I've Developed Serious Trust Issues After 2 Years Of Bullying
After reading so many of the stories, I too feel compelled to share mine. I worked for the same nonprofit for almost 6 years. After the first year, I was promoted from the Receptionist to the Office Manager position.
The ED, for reasons I still don't understand, became adamant that I wanted her job. It became a serious case of paranoia that fuelled triangulation. She would call other staff members, including work-training staff members, into her office and interrogate them as to what I might be saying about her. I hadn't been saying anything. After several attempts to assure her I was not interested in being the ED, it got worse. I even made it clear to the board of directors I had no interest in being the ED.
It wasn't enough. Every year, the staff was asked to submit an a review of the director. In hindsight, this was a big mistake on my part. I gave a very truthful review in the best interest of the organization. I won't give details of what was in the review. However, I did reiterate I was not interested in being the ED. Two of the items in the review prompted a full investigation by the board. Afterward, the professionals on the board, such as attorneys, business people etc., resigned, some immediately, some later.
Making a very long story short, my duties were stripped to practically nothing, I was not allowed to talk to any other staff member AT ALL or be fired, she criticized my clothes, my eating habits, my friends, and my family - including my 70-something year old mother. I sat in my office for 8 hours a day doing mostly nothing. The nonprofit is in a right to work state where an employer can pretty much fire you because they want too. The ED would constantly play the staff against each other, continuing the triangulation in the office and roped the board into the situation. It got to the point where I didn't know who to believe was telling the truth. After a year of this, I went on vacation and when I returned I was informed by the ED that my position had been eliminated due to lack of funding. I was told the board had voted on this. Later, I was told the board had not voted on it, that she had made the decision on her own and convinced the board to go along with it.
She gave me a continued employment agreement that would extend my position for several months, once she realized I was the only FT employee she had. Thankfully, there was an out for me, and I was able to find new employment within about a month. I gave her my two weeks notice and moved on. So, I thought.
Now, I find I am having trouble developing trusting relationships with my new co-workers. I am cautious with every word, choosing words carefully and feeling like I am walking on egg shells all the time. I'm constantly worried my new boss is going to turn on me at any moment. I'm slowly beginning to recover, but I know it's definitely going to take time.
How To Deal With Workplace Bullying: What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know