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Forced to work with abusive XP

(85 Posts)
CowPatRoberts Thu 13-Nov-14 14:47:42

NC for this post, and trying desperately not to drip feed- sorry if I’ve left anything out.

I was in a very abusive relationship in my mid-twenties (physical and emotional) which ended when the P in question spent 2 hours kicking and punching me in a drunken rage, afterwards he cried and essentially demanded comfort from me and made me promise I wouldn't leave him, he couldn't live without me blahblahblah.

I left the next morning on the pretense of going shopping and never went back, my parents picked up all of my belongings and I ignored all his calls and texts. I returned the engagement ring. In the 4 years since that happened I’ve fallen in love, moved cities and started a great new job- all in all I’m pretty smug about life! wine

However the company I work with has hired him, not such a huge coincidence as he used to work here before moving abroad shortly after we broke up, and for 3 months I didn’t have to see him and if we did bump into each other he was coolly professional. I was asked if it was a problem by my team leader a few weeks after he started (they knew he was an ex but nothing else) but by then he had already started and I was afraid of rocking the boat, I was happy in what I was doing and as he wasn’t causing me any problems I decided to ignore it.

A few weeks ago I was made aware that the director of the company had been told of the violent incident and he called me that weekend to check if it was true, I confirmed it was but there was no course of action suggested, he just emailed me to say he’d set up a meeting when we were back at work.

Then things started to take an odd turn, I went into work the following Monday and someone had been on my computer and deleted the email from my inbox (not realizing I had already received it on my laptop and had the foresight to save it). He then never brought it up again and essentially pretended he didn’t know about it, and I was too embarrassed to bring it up. A couple of weeks later and I’ve been moved into the same room as XP, he’s very passive aggressive and despite all the growing up I’ve done he makes me feel 25 years old again and about 2 inches tall. I can’t speak to any of my senior colleagues about this, they’re all super matey with him but I feel like it’s a deliberate punishment and I feel cornered.

Please tell me what to do sad

Vivacia Thu 13-Nov-14 14:50:07

Is the original email in your deleted file? Either way I'd reply to it and follow it up with your requests.

Vivacia Thu 13-Nov-14 14:50:16

Sorry, deleted folder.

peppapigonaloop Thu 13-Nov-14 14:51:10

That is beyond bizarre..to know of the incident and deliberately sit you with him is quite unbelievable. I know nothing of legal employment processes but that cannot be right. Straight to HR, do you have a seperate Hr dept?

TheRealMaryMillington Thu 13-Nov-14 14:53:09

is there an HR department?

it is your Manager's job to ensure your wellbeing at work - matey or not - they will have to address it.

i would pretend the email hadn't been deleted and ask when the meeting will happen.

TheRealMaryMillington Thu 13-Nov-14 14:55:47

I am sure they will not be deliberately sitting you with him, they are probably just acting on their understanding (you saying no issues previously).

LineRunner Thu 13-Nov-14 14:56:52

So you kept a copy of the email. Good.

How did your employer find out about the attack on you? I am so sorry that happened to you. I am wondering if by 'demanded comfort' you mean he sexually assaulted or raped you. Sorry to be so blunt.

Perhaps your employer needs to know that it is not too late for you to report the attack, after four years. I agree with you going to HR formally. How bloody awful for you. flowers

Twinklestein Thu 13-Nov-14 15:02:03

Who do you suspect of deleting the email? The director of the company? Or did he get someone to do it for him?

Either way I agree with the others I would reply to it as if nothing had happened and request a meeting.

I think you need to put away your embarrassment here and be strong and stand up for yourself. Say you have no issue with this man working for the company, but you cannot be expected to work in the same room as a man who could have potentially, if he did not in fact, (you don't say on your OP), put you in hospital.

I might ask then to consider the firm's legal liability if he were to attack you again. Not that he would, but they don't know that do they?

Twinklestein Thu 13-Nov-14 15:02:50

Them not then^

CowPatRoberts Thu 13-Nov-14 15:03:13

God, I can't believe the responses here- I still keep thinking it's me overreacting.

I have reasons to believe it's deliberate, there is no actual reason for me to be in his room and I was moved away from the rest of my team to be here. If it were any other company I'd have no problem going to HR but for a number of reasons I'm worried it'll get swept under the carpet- the head of HR is one of XP's oldest friends and has made it clear they don't like me, and also if the director thought it should be ignored I know HR will also go along with it.

I feel so pathetic, in every other aspect of my life I'm forthright and speak up but not with this.

CowPatRoberts Thu 13-Nov-14 15:04:30

Twinklestein- the director deleted it himself, I'm unsure of his motives as surely he can't like XP enough to put his career in jeopardy?

Twinklestein Thu 13-Nov-14 15:04:33

What were the consequences of the attack? Did you develop PTSD? Do you find it triggering to be around him?

CowPatRoberts Thu 13-Nov-14 15:11:21

No, it took me a few years to readjust and my P now says I still flinch if he moves too fast or goes to put my arm round me, especially if I'm reading or watching tv.

At the time I cried for about a week and was a bit of a mess, but somehow I managed to not let it affect me any longer thanks to my amazing friends and family.

It's not that I'm scared of him, it's more hurt and confusion as to why I'm being treated like this. Sorry if this sounds different to my OP, but that wasn't the last abusive episode, there have been maybe 5/6 instances since them of him screaming at me both in public and on the phone but this has stopped since he realised I don't care anymore. I'm better than he is.

CowPatRoberts Thu 13-Nov-14 15:12:38

I sound so flippant! It was a big part of my life but it's only since I started to see him again that I realised how awful he was to me, I think I used to waste a lot of time rationalising it and believing I was being self indulgent if I got upset about it.

TheRealMaryMillington Thu 13-Nov-14 15:16:46

That is truly awful

You are not overreacting and you have right to be treated fairly even if XP is golden boy.

What kind of company is it? public/private/what sort of scale?

NoMarymary Thu 13-Nov-14 15:21:02

Is it possible to move jobs? I know this is the cowards way out but unless you are up to taking on corporate management, a bunch of his cronies and possibly the whole management it just seems much the easiest way out.

I couldn't bear to be in the same room as someone who has treated me like this.

It would be enough that I'd survived and found happiness and scum like the exP could rot.

heyday Thu 13-Nov-14 15:21:06

I would personally find it very difficult to work with someone who had been so abusive to me. I think you are coping extremely well.
However, I do feel that there is a cover up going on here at work and if people in power close ranks on you then things there may well become very difficult for you.
If I were you I would seriously start looking for another job. I know that is wrong and totally unfair but it could save your sanity in the long run.
If you are in a trade union it might be worth having a chat with them and also keep accurate records of any incidences that are odd or unfair as you may have a case against them at some time in the future.

CowPatRoberts Thu 13-Nov-14 15:25:43

I know it's stupid but I just refuse to be pushed out, I've seen it done to a number of colleagues and I just don't want to be walked over especially when I haven't done a thing to deserve it.

I don't want to look back at this in 20 years and wish I'd stood up for myself, I think replying to the email is the best route but it's been 4 weeks so won't that be odd? I've been told by a friend not to tell them I have the email unless he denies knowing.

GoatsDoRoam Thu 13-Nov-14 15:29:03

Reply to the email questioning why you have been moved to the same room as him despite knowing his past violence towards you, and requesting an immediate change of office (such as a return back to where you were sitting previously), and cc HR.

Hold a separate meeting with HR in parallel.

GoatsDoRoam Thu 13-Nov-14 15:29:47

and that is such an awful situation to be put in, I'm so sorry that you are dealing with this now.

NoMarymary Thu 13-Nov-14 15:30:36

I try the Union route too if you want to fight for your rights.

M00nUnit Thu 13-Nov-14 15:30:47

If I were you I'd email the director saying something along the lines of, "Further to your email below," (which you can copy and paste because you still have the email saved), "I am conscious that we have not yet had the meeting you suggested. Would [insert day and time] be suitable for you?" Once he's agreed to meet with you (which he really should) you should tell him how you feel about the situation, i.e. you don't understand why you have been made to work in the same room as somebody whom the company knows has been physically abusive towards you and surely it's their duty to ensure you're working in a safe environment etc.

Vivacia Thu 13-Nov-14 15:33:18

I would say something along the lines, "Thank you for your email below, it reassures me to know that you would take my safety at work seriously..."

Er. Then I get stuck. What would you like to happen?

I think your boss is covering their back because they are pretty much acting on hearsay about your ex.

Vivacia Thu 13-Nov-14 15:33:52

Ah, cross-posted with much better suggestions!

CowPatRoberts Thu 13-Nov-14 15:33:53

I feel sick thinking about it sad

Sorry for being wet, I will be taking your advice. Speaking to my Mum about it she suggested going to the CAB first for professional advice, should I or should I go ahead and speak to him without that?

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