My Story About Being Bullied

Hello friends. This post has taken me a while to write as it is another one of those “confessional” type posts. In a way I still feel uneasy about it and it still makes me angry, however I think I am in a place where I can tell this story.

About 6 years ago, I worked in a really horrible job. It was emotionally exhausting because of the large amount of responsibility, I received abuse on a daily basis and regularly came across rather distressing stories because quite frankly, people can be really horrible to people they know or apparently love. I won’t say what the name of this place is, let’s just call it “FS” – short for f***ing s*** (because that is exactly what this place was).

Not only was the job itself horrible, but it had a very horrible bullying culture. My manager was a MASSIVE bully, and I remember going to her office to explain things and I would literally run out of breath. I found her hard to speak to. She was loud, obnoxious and generally really freaking horrible. She stoked a lot of the bullying in the office and formed “alliances” with some of her employees.

My work colleagues were the real life version of the movie “Mean Girls”. A lot of them were around the same age as me. While I am someone who will just try and fly under the radar and get my work done, others wanted to be the boss from day one. They were EXTREMELY clique-y. I remember one day in particular, one of the girls standing up saying “ok we are going to have our princess lunch…who should come?” and then she picked out certain people to go with her (all the popular kids of course, never ever me).

At morning and afternoon tea, the very same girls would go out for “smoke” breaks where they bitched about everyone in the office – me being one of their victims. No matter how hard I tried to be nice to these girls, I could never win with them. Sure, they were nice to my face, but holy crap some of the things that got back to me were nothing short of upsetting.

I would go home nearly every day in tears. I would cry to my extremely supportive husband, saying I didn’t understand how they could be so horrible. I swore I was nice to them, as my motto in life is to be kind to people always. I questioned whether I was a horrible person, whether I was a boring person. I questioned whether I was likeable, and if I should change myself to be more likeable. I was extremely anxious going to work, pretty much every day feeling like I wanted to cry. I remember my sister coming to visit me on a morning tea break and I broke down crying to her because I absolutely hated the way I felt being at work. I was scared of not only my manager but because of my work colleagues.

I was put up a level at my work because I worked really, really hard. I put head down, trying to keep out of notice of anyone. I made it my ambition to go to work and get the work done, and focus on life outside of work. Unfortunately my being put up a level made me the target of more bitching and snide comments. I felt horrible for being put up a level because it made me more of a target. I remember my manager distinctly telling me that “I put you up a level because I thought you would fail”.

One day I went out to visit a client in the middle of nowhere. On the way back I stopped at lunch with my manager and I was eating a cake. She took a picture of me eating (it was good natured at the time) and sent it back to the girls at the office. When I got back to my desk, there was a printed picture of me sticky-taped to the computer with “piggy girl” written on it. I remember laughing (because everyone else was) but feeling really hollow in the inside. I didn’t want to be the girl who took offence to everything so I let it fly, but deep down it made me upset and angry. I still have the picture somewhere…I have no idea why I kept it. I will never know if it was actually just supposed to be a light-hearted joke or if it was something more sinister than that.

When my husband got a job out of town I was so, so, so happy to hand in my resignation letter. I felt the biggest sense of relief, however I was still feeling so broken from my experience there. On my last day we had a morning tea, and one of the other more popular girls was leaving on the same day. We were both given gift card – I was given a JB HiFi card (for those who don’t know, it is a store where you buy dvd’s, cd’s, other electronic goods) and the popular girl was given a card for Myer (an upper market department store). The explanation I got from the girl who bought the cards was “I got you a JB HiFi card because you don’t look like someone who shops at Myer”.

Look, I have depression and anxiety as I have posted about before. So I still don’t know if a part of me felt victimised because of my mental illness or if I was just making a big deal about nothing. All I know is that it has taken me a long, long time to feel comfortable with myself again and regain my confidence. I am now luckily at a point in my life where I don’t really care too much what people think of me, and if they don’t have time for me then I don’t have time for them.

I also just want to say, that in the midst of the really shitty work colleagues, there were a few really good eggs who were going through the same thing as I was. So I was always terribly grateful for their support, and their presence in what was one of the worst places I ever worked.

I also now work in a really supportive workplace, and have made some wonderful friends. Working where I work now has given me confidence that not every place is a shit-hole like the one I worked at 6 years ago.

So, why did I write this post??

Because I wanted to share my experience, but also because I wanted to let you know that if you are going through the same thing, or have gone through the same thing, you are not alone. You are a wonderful, unique individual and you deserve happiness. It is true when they say that bullies are generally just jealous or very insecure (of course knowing this doesn’t make you feel any better). Surround yourself with supportive people. Seek counselling. If you feel you are able to, find a way to deal with the bully through the correct channels (grievance procedure etc.). Don’t let the bullies win.

Peace and love,

Steff xx

 

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25 comments

  1. casualdoughnutgirl · 21 Days Ago

    I think you are strong and beautiful. And brave for being honest and sharing your story. Wish i could be more like you. Sending hugs! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so sorry you went through this Steff. You think you leave all that crap back in high school, only too find out that “adults” can be just as bad.😒

    The library where I worked for twenty-six years had similar problems. There was a group of seven women that would terrorize you if you got on their bad side. I was lucky in that being a children’s librarian, I was usually working two floors beneath them, so I was able to avoid most of the bullying. Sadly, I couldn’t avoid my supervisor who was not only a bully, but mentally unstable as well. I won’t go into the details because honestly, I could write a book. I’ll just say she ruined the job I loved, and played a part in ruining my health.

    I’m so glad that you were able to get out of your toxic work environment and move to a much better place! You’ve given some excellent advice here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • littlebookynook · 21 Days Ago

      Yeah it’s funny, you leave high school thinking that adults aren’t like high schoolers….but some of them just never ever lose that mind set.

      Oh that’s so horrible that you had to endure that. And even though you were in a different section to those 7 women, it would have constantly been on your mind to avoid them as much as possible…which in itself is stressful. Your supervisor sounds like she was awful. I don’t think people realise how much they can affect someone’s health hey. I hope you are doing better now.

      I’m so glad I got out of the toxic environment, but I know it’s not that easy for other people. I was really lucky to have an ‘out’. Bullies are horrible, and the frustrating thing is a lot of them don’t even realise they are bullies!!

      Thank you so much for reading my post and for sharing your experience xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Steff. I’ve been on disability for the last five years, which I hate because I loved my job so much, and I really miss working with kids. But, such is life.

        And you’re right about bullies not having a clue as to what they’re doing. It really is unbelievable!

        Liked by 1 person

      • littlebookynook · 19 Days Ago

        I’m sorry to hear that :-/ I hope you will be able to work with them again one day 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Vicki · 21 Days Ago

    Thank you for sharing. It breaks my heart to read it. Bullying is just awful & I don’t know why people think it is acceptable.
    You are a strong beautiful woman, love you eternally

    Liked by 1 person

  4. onespeculiar · 21 Days Ago

    that’s brave of you to speak about such topic openly 3<

    Liked by 1 person

  5. RamblingLisa · 21 Days Ago

    It is awful that you had to endure this Steff *big hugs*. I suffer depression and anxiety also and I have to keep telling myself when things like this happen that it will make me stronger or that I will learn something from it but inside I am crying.

    I think you are so strong and brave to put this out there. I believe there are more people out there who suffer this than people think. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • littlebookynook · 21 Days Ago

      Thank you so much. Yeah it is really hard trying to keep a positive outlook on it when you have people beating you down hey. And that’s why I think it’s important to have at least one person you can talk to about these things, it doesn’t solve things but it’s good to have someone who can support you through it.

      Thank you so much, it was hard to write but also it helps. I didn’t want it to seem like I was writing a “poor me” sort of post, I just wanted to bring more attention to it because it’s a massive issue that so many go through.

      Like

  6. I am SO sorry you had to deal with this Steff, but you are such a strong person for enduring it and speaking about it now ❤ People can be so awful and I really don't understand why. I haven't experienced workplace bullying (mostly because I haven't really worked haha) but I was bullied endlessly at school and it can be absolutely soul crushing.

    Thank you for talking about this because I still think bullying is something that a lot of people underestimate it. It can have a huge affect on people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • littlebookynook · 21 Days Ago

      Oh school can be the absolute WORST. And really, workplace bullying is no different to school bullying. I’m pretty sure a lot of the bullies in the workplace most likely were bullies at school as well anyway 😦 I’m sorry to hear you were bullied at school, I’m glad you are away from that environment now.

      Thank you so much for reading my post. I agree, people don’t realise what affect bullying can have on someone not just while it’s happening but for the rest of their life.

      Like

  7. Lara · 21 Days Ago

    I’m glad you’re not in such a situation again, bullies just need to be lectured in my opinion, I hate bullies and won’t just sit by and let them have or do what they want, I’ll let them know. I hate people who abuse their power and have favouritism when they shouldn’t, but I believe they always get what’s coming to them. I always say treat others the way you want to be treated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • littlebookynook · 21 Days Ago

      I’ve never been very good at standing up to people but I have found that I have become more assertive so I don’t let people walk all over me like they used to. I think it’s awesome that you speak your mind to them! I agree, they do need to be told because a lot of them don’t actually realise that they are being a bully. I hate people who abuse their power too…it happens waaay too much in the world :-/ I am a firm believer in karma 🙂

      Like

  8. namitha · 21 Days Ago

    Omg! That sounds awful girl… ☹️ hang in there…
    I know what you mean, I’ve been bullied a lot in school too and it’s not a pleasant experience… it’s horrible…. as a result of being bullied and being called horrible things, I’ve been dealing with social anxiety for some time now… it sucks, the things you feel/think about urself… it’s like ur logical self knows that what ur thinking isn’t true, but ur sub conscious mind believes every bad thing u think and feel about urself…. sometimes you can feel so lonely and it can feel like no one really likes you for you…. but I try to tell myself that that isn’t true and that there are a few people to whom I mean the world to…. 😊 I’m glad you got out of that situation….. it’s hard to let go of those experiences and it takes time to heal… just remember that you are a beautiful human being and no one can and should make you think other wise….. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • littlebookynook · 19 Days Ago

      I’m so sorry you have been bullied in school, that is so horrible. It really does make you doubt yourself hey, you question everything about yourself and try and figure out why they treat you like that. But the problem isn’t you, it’s them. I will never ever understand how bullies can treat people the way they do. It is so important to remember that there are people who love you for you 🙂 Thank you so much lovely, that is so nice of you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • namitha · 16 Days Ago

        Thanks for the support… and yes, it’s them… things were better after that though…. the first year was horrible, but then people started accepting me and I did make friends…. I learnt a lot from that experience 🙂 although it was sort of horrible, but that’s the bet you can do, right?

        Liked by 1 person

      • littlebookynook · 9 Days Ago

        I think it makes us stronger and more resilient. Like, the experience sucks but at the same time you can get something out of it. I’m so glad things got better for you 😚😚

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Michelle · 21 Days Ago

    Oh Steff! I’m so sorry this had to happen to you and I think you are do brave for sharing your story 🌸
    I know what it feels like to be bullied and put down and to constantly be the target of someones hate and obsession. Bullying really does affect your self esteem, but we’ll all get to the other side stronger than we ever were 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • littlebookynook · 19 Days Ago

      That is so true, it definitely made me have more confidence in myself than I did. Now I just pity people who feel the need to make people feel like crap. Thank you lovely xx

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Azia · 19 Days Ago

    It’s a shame to hear about adults behaving so badly and acting like little, idiotic girls from high school :/ You were most certainly not making a big deal out of nothing and it’s wonderful that you’ve managed to find a way out of that job and regain your confidence. Bullies aren’t very happy people and one day they’ll realize that. I’m so happy to see you are in a much better place now and thank you for sharing your storing and being honest. That takes a strength most bullies don’t possess 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • littlebookynook · 9 Days Ago

      It’s disappointing that adults carry on like this. But I guess in ways it’s not surprising when you look at everything going on in the world 😕

      I think it helped me knowing that these women were terribly insecure people and that was why they treated me the way they did. It doesn’t excuse anything but just gave me some insight. Thank you so much for reading 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  11. K. A. Botello · 19 Days Ago

    It can take such a long time to heal from a toxic workplace. I know I still feel a little sick when I think about some of the places I’ve worked, so you are not alone! It really does make you question your abilities, but remember that you are a capable and likeable person! I am so glad you are in a better place now.

    Liked by 1 person

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