I realized something this morning that may sound quite odd to many but, I am grateful for the bully that came into my life. I know this sounds completely strange and it has taken quite a concentration of healing work and peaceful contemplation to be able to come to this conclusion. During all of the pain, hurt, anger and confusion that felt like it would nearly destroy me, ultimately, it spurred me to dig deep into healing, dig deep into exploration of ancient pain and ancient scars. My experience with bullying this past year was horrible and vicious and unnecessary but I realized that I have come through it! (well, still sort of coming through it presently) The point is, I survived. Even as I was contemplating suicide, feeling so trapped that it felt that it was the only way out, I didn’t do it. I didn’t give in, I didn’t give up and I kept fighting. It’s been proof of my own strength and grit and fighting spirit. That is a powerful affirmation! It’s been the catalyst for changing my life for the positive. I have changed my diet, I have returned to my yoga practice and have been integrating meditation into my daily life. I am learning – finally – to be gentle and kind to myself. Not because of the bullying, per se, but because I realize that it is imperative to my survival and to my surthrival (heard this word recently and really love it!).
I am going through a bit of a transformation lately and it is one that I hope I can continue to pursue because it is allowing me to listen, really listen, to my gut. To learn what is really right for me, to recognize trauma and focus on healing. A friend wisely said to me that the more pain and suffering we have experienced means the more potential we have for an opportunity to grow. Pain really can bring about change like no other and anger really can be a motivator for positive change if you can direct yourself to heal and grow through it. Throughout the bullying ordeal, I have experienced bitterness and torturous pain (emotional, psychological and physical) while I grew sicker by the day. It’s time for that to stop. It’s time to heal. It’s time for my story to have a positive outcome. Gratitude. That is my word of the day. It arose out of my yoga practice from my deep inner self this morning and I’m going with it!
It’s been a while since I have written and I apologize for that. There has a been a lot on my mind lately, not least of which has been my health. So, here’s a post on bullying and it’s effect on health …
What does bullying do to my health?
Targets of bullies suffer adverse effects to their health. These are a few of the symptoms that you may be experiencing. Do you recognize any of your own symptoms below?
Physical health problems from stress include:
Some physical indications of the above stress might include.
In my own personal experience, I have had many if not most of the above health issues. In addition, I have been suffering with another unmentioned problem – irregular bleeding. The bleeding is something I am still dealing with and seeing a doctor for. Just this past Friday, I had to have an endometrial biopsy which, I must say, was a pretty traumatic and upsetting experience. I hope to get the results in about a week and 1/2. Until then, I wait and try to distract myself in the meantime.
Unfortunately, the stress felt while being bullied at work can not be understood by most people who have never experienced such turmoil. It is a very lonely and isolating experience. I know. I am still untangling myself from the pain of my own bullying experience. Please share your own stories, if you feel safe doing so. Perhaps you can find some comfort knowing that you are not alone.
Before my own adult experience, I thought bullying was something that happened to kids; foreign to workplace professionals. I also thought that if it ever did happen to me that I would recognize it and know what to do. I was naïve. I was wrong.
Workplace bullies are sneaky and highly manipulative. They enact all of the abuse they deliver within the constructs of the office culture. I was caught blind-sided by these tactics because it hadn’t even occurred to me as a possibility that someone would want to hurt or sabotage me for seemingly no reason. In the hopes that I may offer help to others by learning from my own past, I am creating this blog. I hope to assist you in finding awareness and understanding of your situation so that you will know how to fight back. Like me, you may be the target of a bully (or bullies) but you can refuse to be a victim!
What does bullying look like? Bullying is different from harassment or assault because rather than just a few incidents or a single incident, bullying tends to be a large accumulation of countless small incidents over a long period of time. Each incident that you may experience from a bully, out of context or on its own, appears to be trivial but there is a pattern to this type of abuse that, over time, can be extremely psychologically damaging among other things.
For a start, let’s identify the types of behaviors:
The tactics used against me were subtle and covert at first, which is probably partly why I didn’t understand what was happening when it began or how I eventually came to feel so demoralized and humiliated. Sometimes bullies are much more obvious and easier to pin down. No matter what the technique, all are damaging.
Below, I have listed some of the tactics found by researchers. The ones I have put an asterisk* in front of, I experienced personally and elaborated in more detail in italics.
What is workplace bullying? Check out these videos below and you’ll get a little bit of an idea …
This problem is wide-reaching, rampant and extremely damaging …
As Gary Namie mentioned in the above video, there is a Healthy Workplace Bill in motion! Want to help? Want to get involved? Click HERE
I welcome your comments and your stories. And please remember that you are not alone!!