Ok, so noone wants to get bullied, nor do we expect it to happen in adulthood. We tend to look at it as something that happens in childhood. Unfortunately, it happens, and I was the victim of adulthood bullying. I didn’t actually realise that it was happening, until it was a little too late to try and stop it from escalating and causing me significant upset.
The problem I had, was that I was embarrassed it was happening to me. I was embarrassed by the things I was being made to do. I went into a job to do something fun and exciting, when I actually became a victim of mental abuse, and in the end, I wasn’t doing the job I was meant to be doing at all.
At first, I agreed to do random jobs that were definitly not in my job description, yes sure I’ll do that to help out, because that's who I am, then it was another thing, and then another, until basically my day revolved around the shitest jobs (excuse my language).
At this time, my relationship was quite new and my partner, a successful solicitor had no idea what I was doing at work apart from what I was making up. I was making up lies to save me from the embarrassment of it all and him finding out and him thinking I wasn’t good enough for him.
I started to have some really bad headaches, the pain in the side of my head was so bad, it felt like a pin was being stabbed straight through my temple. Sometimes I’d be doubled over with stomach pain. I had persuaded myself that I was dying because the pain was so bad. But the doctor kept saying it was stress. I was a therapist who dealt with somatic pain, surely, I would recognise pain like this as being somatic? Well, no I didn’t.
I'd be so scared of what the bully was going to say to me, even the thought of the look in their eyes would scare me. I felt like I was in an abusive relationship, scared of this person’s face, what mood they would be in, could I kiss their arse enough for them to be kind to me, even if just for a moment in time, maybe that would make all of this ok?
I’d previously had panic attacks, I’d not had any since I went into recovery a few years earlier. Yet, as I was driving to work I could feel them coming on. I even had the crazy idea that if I crashed my car into a ditch I wouldn’t have to go into work. It was now that I really recognised something was really wrong.
The other thing was, I worked with someone else who had been there for a long time, also despicably bullied. The other person whom I worked with was such a beautiful soul, so kind and loving and caring, some days the only reason I dragged myself there because I didn’t want them to deal with it alone. We took it together. But, we’d never opened up about what was happening, I think we both just knew. That was until one day I lost it, I completly lost the plot. I was breaking and I went and spoke to my colleague. I said do you think we’re being bullied? Yes, they said. It was at this point I said, I think we need to leave.
I look back and it’s so sad what happened, what the bully would say to us, how they’d make us feel, how it almost became acceptable in our minds. I’d lost all of my confidence, I didn’t believe I could do anything. I couldn’t even type a one lined email without being utterly paranoid and petrified, I’d read it 20 times (no joke) and be shaking typing it out in case I did it wrong.