Help!!!! I Was Bullied And More

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being bullied and distressed:

I was bullied for 2 1/2 years that ended with his termination, but I am unsure why his employment ended. However, since then my direct manager has (she says) tried to protect me because I was unwell at the time of bullying, but she smothered me and my prospects of career progression was hampered.

I then raised this issue and was moved, but still feel this is happening and on top she is now very hostile. I am asked why do I want to be liked? I went into work on Thursday very upset (I was on holiday) just to fetch some of my work to update and I lost my cool, not loosing my temper but began crying!!!!! I hate going into work now. I went in this morning to pick up some work before anyone started work to avoid getting upset and my pass has been suspended.

No one let me know, which as humiliated me again. Why, oh why, can people treat others in this way? HR and my union rep are no help they support the business. I have worked for the business for 38 years.

Signed, Anxious and Upset

Dear Anxious and Upset:

You and I are not made of steel and concrete. We are flesh and bone and more; a complex mass of nerves and emotions that have sometimes been bruised, battered and sheered. For example, some of us have been hurt by separation. We have been fired or we resigned from a difficult workplace. Or we have suffered from our parents’ or our own divorce. Or we have post- traumatic stress from the cruel acts of war. Or we have been rejected by or lost loved ones. I see none of these in your portrait, but you have been wounded and that has spilled out in tears and anxiety.

You do paint a complex series of interpersonal troubles: bullied, smothered, complaints about that, transferred, emotional breakdown in tears when you went to work on a holiday, your past suspended, lack of support from HR and your union. I may have missed some of these you recount that have occurred over the past several of your 38 years of work for this business, but this series of unhappy events has taken a toll on your emotional health and sense of self worth. The recent emotional breakdown and suspension of your pass indicates you undoubtedly are seen as a troubled-employee.

Obviously the advice of this workplace doctor can’t wash away your anxiety or “hate to go to work.” You hurt now. From here, I can’t know if medication or general health problems contribute to your recent anxiety. However, I have seen that we can survive, even if we cannot thrive. I mention thrive because you say the smothering prevented your career progress.So what might you do? Ideally, your employer would have an Employee Assistance Program that provides psychological help and personal coaching. In lieu of that, you might seek such counsel and coaching within your community and/or church. Such help should give you a caring hearing and time-out to reflect on all that has happened. And more: you need time to muster your courage to cope with the next few days and weeks.

Your 38 years with this business need not end in melt down. You need support. Apparently you did not take well to the efforts your superior exerted after the bullying and you haven’t utilized or have rejected what HR or union might do. Rather you say they side with management. The hard fact is that you have problems and have not been able to absorb or find the help that you need. I would not give up on seeking the help of your superiors. They appear to know you are anxious and have problems. I know that we can heal. That might take learning how to assess and think though where you are now.

You see yourself as a victim. You can’t survive unless you can reframe how you approach your work one day at a time. That reframing might also entail learning what you need to do to have the best physical and emotional health possible for your stage in life. It might mean seeking the help of a doctor as well as a personal coach. Does this make sense? Can you find the courage to do what you need to do to keep your job and be of value to your employer? Will you get the help you need? Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and at this time you can only think of yourself. You will not appreciate my signature statement until you can once again feel that you belong and are a needed member of your work group and workplace.

William Gorden