Dear A.

I have spent too much time obsessing over this. I want to stop, I'm tired, but such is the nature of obsessions.

You never start anything life thinking its going to end in tears. Starting work with you was no different. Everything was great. And then it wasn't.

I am not the girl I was when you met me. Not even half.  You built me up until I thought I was unstoppable. You made me feel like I could build a career. My boyfriend and I chose not to move because I didn't think I would find another boss who supported me the way you did. He turned down good offers because I didn't want to leave.

And it was never the job. I adored the job, and I know not many people can genuinely say that. And I adored the people. I am leaving some good friends behind when I go. 

I tried to tell people. I went over your head. But he took your side and suddenly I became a nuisance. Someone who talked to much and too loudly. Someone you couldn't beat into submission. And so I had to go. 

Sometimes I think about it all and understand that you did this out of some sense of self-preservation. I was a problem and so you removed me from the equation. I wrestled for months about going to HR. There were witnesses to almost everything, and I knew that even if I left those people who spoke out against you would have to remain. They would still have to look at you. And so I couldn't do it to them. I couldn't force them to choose like I was. 

And ultimately I think that is why so many people leave their jobs when they are bullied. It is so much easier to slink away and not cause a problem. But that leaves others open to the same treatment. I know that now that I'm gone someone is going to take my place. Someone is going to become the girl you shout and scream at, the girl you emotionally manipulate and make to look like nothing in front of others. The girl you will blame when mistakes are made, regardless of the truth. 

And you will tell her it is not her you are angry at. You will her tell that its not what you think, but what others are saying. You will never give her names, so she can address things. You will go to her superiors behind her back and tell them how aggressive she is, how rude and disrespectful and EMOTIONAL she is. You will tell the powers that be that she is unfit to do her job. You will tell her that you got her to where she is and you can take it all away. And then you will tell everyone else the same thing. 

So I did it. I made the complaint. And what I got in return was a torrent of abuse that took two pages to tell me I deserved everything I got. Not a single complaint I actually made was addressed. Not a single witness I listed was mentioned. No comment on the fact that I am now on antidepressants. Nothing. 

And I wonder if you know what you've done. I wonder if you care. I know that I did the right thing standing up to you. Even if the result was perhaps not worth the days I spent in tears or the nights I never slept trying to work out if I deserved this. Because when it happens again, and it will, they have a record now. And your superiors can only protect you for so long. 

Things will catch up with you in the end. 


The End

16 comments about this exercise Feed