read this and tell me what you would do(11 Posts)
hi in 2003 i left a job because i was bullied by my manager - As you might guess the hurt and sense of injustice hasn't really gone away 8 years on and i dream of getting some sort of vengeance. What would you do?
its a long story but basically this woman, my boss decided to "get me" (her words) i was at an extremely vulnerable period in my life having nursed my husband with cancer through to his death and then the same thing happened with my dad. When i got the job it was all part of me re-building my life. This boss's management style was based around bullying manipulation and favouritism; some people (her gang) could get away with blue murder and others like me were watched like a hawk. She trumped up some misdemeanours i was supposed to have committed - convinced her boss - who was a weak woman that i'd done these things and between the two of them hounded me until i caved in and said i'd resign with a reference and got paid off in lieu of notice period. She also totally disregarded employment law and procedures and flaunted confidentiality by criticising me to my colleagues about it and telling them all about it.
I did at the time go to the union but ended up being represented by an elderly retired man who seemed to favour the mediation approach rather than representing my best interests, from a union perspective. I finally went to regional union HQ and asked them to negotiate my notice and payoff. Throughout this time my emotional strength was so low because of what had happened to me with my husband and my dad that i wasn't strong enough to fight my case and I ACTUALLY thought i must be in the wrong somehow - and i was ashamed to tell people what was happening to me - a grown woman being bullied by her boss.
Coincidentally her "turning against me" coincided with me having met a man, my now husband, she was unattached - it sounds bitchy, but i really think that she was jealous of me meeting someone.
After i left, my job went to a man who she had often simpered over.
I'm wondering if i should email her and tell her what she did to me and ask for an apology - Sometimes i wish something horrible would happen to her, at other times i dream of writing to her overall boss - What would you do?
it hasn't gone away - even though i went to another job (eventually) and was happy and fulfilled in it
I'm sorry for the loss of your husband and father. It must have been an incredibly stressful experience at work too
If you email do you think you'll get an apology from her? from what you've said I very much doubt it. If you send the email it's giving her the message that she still has some power over you, that she's still in control. I doubt that's what you want her to think.
I have read of other people writing a long letter and then NOT sending it. The theory is that releasing the thoughts onto paper helps you let go of them. Might that work?
the best revenge is to be happy and successful and not give a damn about her...
IMO a letter from you would not persuade her that she treated you badly. It will just convince her that you are a nutter and that she was right to get rid of you.
The effects of bullying are underestimated- people who have not been through it often try but do not understand. I was harassed at work and when I left I was even pestered at home- assaulted by a colleague's husband in fact -a man 30 years my senior and who I hardly knew .My staff rep came to my home and tried to turn my elderly mother against me. I was lucky I had some good friends but even with their support I found it hard to tell them about the assault. We all react differently but i was too frightened to send communication s. I never returned to the building and some colleagues wondered why I had just disappeared . Bullies are cowards but they can drive their victims to suicide. I doubt you ever get over it but in the end life moves you on
I agree that sending her a letter is unlikely to make her feel bad and just give her the feeling of power that bullies crave.
Write your letter then burn it so you've released it to God/the universe/wherever you like so the energy of it is gone. It might make you feel better
I agree bullying is underestimated, my boss female, seemed to hate me and long story short pretty much sacked me for being pregnant, i was a supervisor and was demoted and forced to leave. She even asked if i would light my fire to keep the baby warm and if i had thought my pregnancy through. Whilst in employment she also asked me at 7 months pregnant to hang massive canvases in the dining hall and move Christmas stock to display area, when i pointed out i was pregnant and it would be dangerous, she said she had a strained wrist and could manage. It was my first real adult job since being a student and a much overjoyed pregnancy after being in an abusive relationship and being terrified of not having children. I hate her and always will. This was 5 years ago. She also could not have children i also think this was behind her issues and she basically replaced me whilst i was still working there with another women who couldn't have children.
I wouldn't bother if i was you, i am still in touch with friends from that employment and have learned boss late 30s has left her husband, and is having an affair with a guy in his late teens, which has made her laughing stock. Some people are not worth it, I have everything and she has a mid life crisis and that feels like justice enough. Perhaps your old boss is also now a laughing stock, and would it make you happy this seeking apology from her and reporting her? Think before doing anything it may bring more grief.
I think you would not find contacting her helpful and may even make you feel worse if she responds negatively. You sound still badly affected by the bullying, though, so maybe counselling would help?
Don't waste anymore energy on her or she has won. A letter or email to her won't help. People who are bullies can't empathise so you won't get an apology.
thanks everyone - i can see what you mean about not contacting her as it would let her think she'd won - i now have a nice life and am happy - it took time to rebuild my life after i left this job and too rebuild my battered self esteem.
thanks for sharing your stories of bullying at work - i recognise the pain and humiliation that you describe - perhaps in the end we the bullied, come out as stronger better people for it. xx
OP, sorry if this sounds harsh, but you need to try to move on.
I say that as a person who has been where you are - eaten up with hatred and bitterness, no matter how justified it is. The only person it is hurting is you, and your loved ones.
This was an exceptionally stressful time in your life, and this woman's behaviour towards you made it a hundred times worse. I think you are right in saying you are probably stronger for the experience, although also bruised. This book Women Who Think Too Much: How to Break Free of Overthinking and Reclaim Your Life gives really good advice on how to move on.
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