Workplace harassment/abuse TW

I was harassed over a period of about a month by a coworker at my previous job. He began disrespecting my boundaries and repeatedly taking work I was doing away from me by coming in and disregarding me telling him to leave or that I don’t need his help, etc or he would get close to me and make me uncomfortable. It just kept on and I started to get worried, it was becoming a daily thing that he would create some sort of chaotic situation for me. He liked to upset me. I complained to a manager once while he was criticizing me while I was working. That manager did nothing, I think because there were multiple other workers there and he felt uncomfortable. The next morning he made a very bad situation where he accused me of something bogus and when I got mad, he reported me to the managers and barged in with them to where I was to make yet another horrible situation where I felt powerless. He wanted to control me, that’s why he did all these things. I wish I had reported him earlier. I tried one night but no manager was in the office when I came in. I sometimes feel responsible because I didn’t report it sooner. There were times where he would watch me and follow me. I felt like I just had to tolerate it. I get upset when I think about it and how nothing was done. I sometimes hit myself or my hands on things. I’m not proud of it. I feel crazy when I act out like that. I want to not do it anymore and be more at peace.

7 Likes

Hi Bobohobo, Thank you so much for your post and for sharing this with us. Firstly can I say how sorry I am that you have had to deal with such a horrid situation, what this co worker has done to you is so wrong, its cruel and unfair and he is nothing more than a bully. I am very proud of you that you told a manager but so disheartened that, that person then chose to do nothing which is also very wrong, so you have been badly treated by more than one person in this company and I am sorry for that.
Now l want to be clear with you about this friend, not one part of your post makes reference to anything that could or should be labled as your fault so you have absolutley nothing to feel guilty about. You were dealing with a horrible situation on a day to day basis, just trying to get your job done in difficult circumstances with little to no help. Is this still happening to you? If it is I have popped a link at the end on exactly what to do to report someone, you may have done it already but it wont hurt to take a look. Please friend, hurting yourself is not the answer, I understand the upset, anger and frustration but you have been hurt enough and you do not need to be punishing yourself more for someone elses bad behaviour. Please be kind to yourself, you have earned the right to love yourself, you deserve only the very best. You deserve kindness and love and you have that right here. You are not powerless my friend but bullies are.
Much Love
Lisa :heart:
How to Report Workplace Bullying: 15 Steps (with Pictures) (wikihow.com)

2 Likes

It’s hard to not feel guilty at all. I wanted to do something differently to not get to that place where it was very bad and he had power over me. It was all about power, that’s what you have to understand. I don’t work there anymore so no it is not happening still. I’m afraid it’ll happen again at somewhere else I end up working.

1 Like

When we’re feeling like this at work, it adds a whole other layer to the victimization - fear of losing our job/finances/not being able to pay bills, have shelter etc.
That fear can be paralyzing. You are correct when you say it was about his power over you. Leaving the job sadly didn’t magically get rid of the fears and guilt and other emotions you felt then, so you have to address them now.

Have you seen a therapist or counsellor to talk about this? Maybe check out some online resources about it.
There is guilt to be felt, BUT NOT BY YOU! The one hwo made you feel so uncomfortale and harassed, as well as your manager who failed to do his job/duty to keep the workplace safe and act on such reports. I am truly sorry that you felt so helpless then.

But you are not helpless now. You got out.

What does this accomplish for you emotionally/mentally? This sounds like trying to get back control or to punish yourself. You’ve removed yourself from the situation, but you’re still hurting because of it.

This is a fear of the future, and it is understandable.
So let’s see what you can do to prevent or lessen the likelihood? One, you need to stop carrying the guilt from the previous place. Two, you now know that you need to report things earlier, send it in written or emailed, save everything, and make physical printed copies so that you have evidence/a paper trail to show where people failed to follow up/act.

three, time to take back your power. Talking about it here, knowing that it was a power trip for that guy, are really great first steps. Take back your power and release the misplaced guilt. You did the best you could have in a really difficult situation.

Wishing you peaceful moments, friend. You are worthy and valuable. Nothing changes that.

2 Likes

I think hurting myself gives me some semblance of a voice or way to express the feelings. At the time, it felt like I couldn’t do anything about him. He would repeatedly bother me and then lied to the managers so he could twist the truth. The manager then reprimanded me and viewed me as the problem. Something important to understand is that this kind of behavior is gradually chipping away at you. He didn’t really do anything overtly physical to me, it was psychological. He was a manipulator and would use emotions to make himself seem convincing. When the memories and emotions come up, they’re sometimes too bad and make me feel too horrible so I hurt myself. Thanks for saying I did the best I could but ultimately, the best I could led to him having lots of power over me and a very toxic environment. He just continued harassing me, talking down to me like I was dumb, etc. I could go into detail but I won’t.

2 Likes

to whom?
Who is seeing your self-harm and hearing your voice from it?
It is you who see the self-harm, but you are already aware of everything.

It is time to excape mentally from that place, friend. It sounds like you’re still reliving that trauma, so it’s a burden you’re still carrying. You’re still there in your mind, and you deserve to be free of it completely now. Take back your control.

I get this, but you are not there anymore, and you DESERVE to be free from the guilt and shame and pain and terror you felt. That person was horrible, but they are no longer part of your life.

What part of it makes you feel this bad, (if you don’t mind sharing, of course! up to you)?
What part of this makes you feel that you need to punish yourself?

What if I told you that dealing with toxic people makes you doubt your self worth? That this isn’t a “you” situation in that you caused this to happen to yourself? You didn’t let this happen?

You were victimized, and no-one ever asks for it.

I’ll repeat, you didn’t ask to be victimized. You didn’t cause him to be like that.
You survived it as best as you could. You tried to get others to intervene. You got out.

Please don’t let one horrible person determine your worth in your own eyes.

2 Likes

Thank you for your reply, as the wonderful @Sita has put it, self harm in this case is alot about having contol of something in a situation of which you felt you had absolutely no control. I am so glad that you got out and you should be proud of yourself for doing so.

This person has really hurt you and that is something that no one takes lightly and its a real fear that you have that this could happen again but its an irrational fear (allow me to explain), its a fear caused by negative thinking ( worry) which arises from anxiety accompanied by a subjective sense of apprehension or dread, which is of course because of what has happened which is understandable however once that situation has passed if this fear prevents you from moving foward it becomes a real problem and one you most certainly should look in to dealing with.
There is no reason this should every happen to you again. I will quote @Sita once more “Dont let one horrible person determine your worth in your own eyes”
You have a new chapter in life to move towards and I hope that you can close this one knowing that this person is in your past and never needs to be a part of your future.

I know all this is very difficult and it all takes time but you will get there and we are here to help you through this.

Much Love Lisa. :heart:

2 Likes

No, it doesn’t. Hurting yourself so others can see your pain isn’t a very healthy way to be seen, is it? This doesn’t give you a voice, it puts you deeper into that dark hole you already feel you can’t get out of. It just adds to all the emotional pain.

Having a voice is standing up for yourself and getting real help so you can express your feelings in a more healthy way and learn the tools of coping you so desperately need.

1 Like

The part that makes me feel so bad is how he twisted the truth so the managers wouldn’t know what’s really going on and how they just fell for his manipulation. He needed to lie and manipulate. Remember it’s all about power. He needed to have that advantage over me. When I remember being in that state of being controlled in that way and not getting help or having the truth be seen is when I hurt myself sometimes. I feel hopeless in those moments and a bunch of other thoughts run through my head. I don’t think it’s about punishing myself.

1 Like

Hey, first off none of this is your fault, and will never be your responsibility. What someone else does to hurt you is their fault, and you are not responsible for their actions no matter how hard they try to make it seem that way.

I relate to this feeling so much. I have been in this sort of situation countless times in my life, and it gets to a point where you just get tired of caring. People tend to be very dumb, so they get manipulated very easily. The more weak someone seems, the more targeted they will become. If you want to avoid being a target you have to keep yourself from becoming friendly and close yourself off. More than that though, you need to make yourself known that you don’t want to be fucked with, and if someone tries, they get it back tenfold. Though, if you don’t have a side like this to yourself, then you can try keeping various equipments on you to record for evidence, and ofc, defense weapons.
I’ve recently quit one of my jobs because of the hostile environment as well. I was not only harassed but threatened multiple times in odd detail, I thought about bringing it to the manager alot, but as I told you before, people are pretty stupid, they are more likely to listen to another idiot than the truth. It got to the point where customers were recording me for no reason and my co-workers were making extremely creepy threats towards me. I left, but I feel a bit the same.
People shouldn’t be allowed to go about life threatening others like that. They shouldn’t be allowed to walk or even crawl away from the poison they spread around them. I get what you mean, people need to have their say for once, and pests like that need to experience the feeling of being squashed while begging for a second chance. But do we ever get that satisfaction? No. The pests always win, no matter how ugly and scraggly they are. Unless, you know what you’re doing.

Idk if ur at another job now, but always keep a very close eye on other people’s actions, do not let yourself or your gaurd down, if you know you’re in a hostile environment play it safe, but keep tabs and keep recorded evidence. Do not brush off anything that someone has said that sounds a little too detailed or hostile, just record it, report it, and quit. It’s better to report to police btw, even if it’s something you don’t know is a waste of time or not, a report is a report. They’ll at least know to keep a very good eye on them for later on.

Stay safe!
-X

2 Likes

I’m sorry to hear you were also at a toxic workplace. It’s not okay. I am not a person that’s aggressive in that way. What you wrote about me showing him Im not someone to be messed with: I tried that. When he first began to disrespect my boundaries, I would tell him straight up to leave but he wouldn’t listen. One time he got real close to me to make me feel uncomfortable so that I’d leave. So it’s more complicated than just being assertive and standing your ground.
I’m not sure if workplace incidents can be reported to police. What he did to me could be considered stalking since it was repeated unwanted contact and he even followed me a few times.

2 Likes

Stalking is annoying.
Yea if they dont listen you have to scream or yell at the top of your lungs to back the fuck off and pull a knife on em. Don’t let people get that close to you without getting a good stab to the groin. Did you not have any defense weapons for yourself there? Do you know any martial arts? It’s good your out of there. Just make sure he wasn’t creepy enough to follow you outside of work.
You can report, if anything it’s better because they can look at the cameras (ofc unless that was erased) and while they might not be able to hear anything they can definetly see.
Just remember, if someone is not afraid to get close to you, and doesnt stop, either push them away or give em a taste back of the same medicine. It’s not very difficult to find someones weakpoint to target, and when you do go full force.
Again, I’m sorry he stalked you, that’s really scary, I was sorrounded by that kind of shit and it sucks. Just know you’re not alone and youre heard <3
Keep yourself safe, at all costs,

-X

1 Like

Maybe this sort of reaction would not work for an office environment? While it’s super important that we all look out and protect ourselves, the process has to be followed and documented as you also mentioned too, or they might only see the reaction and not the cause.

Being stalked is definitely something to be reported to the police, and make sure there are records etc.

2 Likes

I’m not sure if workplace incidents can be reported to police. What he did to me could be considered stalking since it was repeated unwanted contact and he even followed me a few times.

It can absolutely be reported to the police, friend. Overall, it’s totally fine to go there, present the situation and ask them if it is possible to make an official report based on what you would share with them. They are absolutely equipped to let you know and guide you through these steps. And honestly, this is about what you need right now to find some closure too. Your regrets are understandable, though you have done what you could at the moment, given the circumstances you were dealing with.

How do you feel about this idea though of a police report? Is it something you would like to consider? There’s no right or wrong answer really. This is your story, your life, and we are here to support you no matter which decision you’ll make in this situation.

It is unfair that you’ve had to deal with this. Fearing that it would be repeated in a different workplace is absolutely understandable. At my last job, some situations were so messed up and unhealthy that it brought me to a burn out, and a wound regarding work environments in general. When you are in an unfair situation like this without any safety net, it feels helpless, if not hopeless. However, not every workplace is the same. And from this experience, you also learn to identify things that are wrong and unhealthy faster. You are not made to relive the same experience over and over. Management dynamics and workplaces are sometimes very messed up. But you are not the same through these. You also grow from the painful experiences, and your ability to identify red flags is definitely more present too. This is a strength that you own and will always serve you in the future.

2 Likes

When someone is being harassed or have a problem with a co-worker you should always start at your supervisor and demand to make an official report. If they do, ask for a copy and guard it with your life. If you don’t get results from your supervisor (most have no clue about workplace laws), go to their boss (they know a little bit more) and DEMAND to make an official report. Do not let them brush you off, this is where you stand up. Usually, this stops here and things are taken care… normally. If not, go to their boss or to the HR (human resources) office. They know the workplace laws and are there to protect your rights.

You can make a police report too.

Now, once you get your report and nothing happens… it’s time to get a lawyer and get rich. :hrtlegolove:

If you have any documentation about this, I would talk to a lawyer about it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like you do, so it’s their word against yours now and without proof there isn’t really much of a chance, but what happened is something that your employer failed to take seriously and they can get into a lot of trouble for that.

3 Likes