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Author Topic: Surviving Abuse - The Effects & Recovery  (Read 160741 times)

Offline Miaisland

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Re: Surviving Abuse - The Effects & Recovery
« Reply #630 on: August 28, 2010, 01:34:48 AM »
dear mia, i feel with you. i wish i could give you a better report, but i'm not sure. even now, 15 years after i suffered abuse from my ex-boyfriend, and even now, that i'm happily married and a generally happy women, there are some things that i guess i will never get over:
- when i leave the house i need to be properly dressed, groomed and generally good looking. i do have this nightmare of looking ugly and just then meeting him or his wife, feeling all small and vulnerable. i need an "aura" of beauty and success around me as an armour against him. i'm afraid that he will see me and think (or even worse, say) that i lost. that one can see my life is worth nothing without him (all things he told me when we were together).
- when i met them last year, about exactly a year ago, it took weeks for me to get over it. still today, i'm going over every second of that meeting. did i look good? did i look happy and successful? what did i say? how did it sound? what were my gestures?

i guess it will never stop. i think of it as an success when i manage not to let it rule my life. but ever having a relaxed meeting with him or his wife? i don't think so.  :-\

Oh Martina!

I am so sorry you still have to live with it like this. So very sorry. After all these years.

((((((((((Martina))))))))) !!

Two weeks ago I went to a restaurant here. For the first time in ages. I really avoid this small town as much as possible. And the coworker I used to call satan passed our table on the way out. I don't understand how I managed to say hello back and do something smile-like with my face. I am going through the moment again and again just the way you talk about, the way you are still doing...

I regret answering her.

At one point, only a few month after the project finished she came to our restaurant as a guest. It was a really good day for me. It was more than an aura of success. It was one of the best moments in my life. I had a truly great artisit on stage, a wonderful audience and was looking fantastic. One of my jobs was to greet every guest as they arrived and as she approached me I had no problems smiling.... But when she passed the limit and touched me to give me a hug it was as if she slapped me. It was like physical violence. I backed quickly and a friend told me afterwards that I looked disgusted.

I wish I could reach a point where I could just ignore her.
“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.” - Clarissa Pinkola Estés

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Re: Surviving Abuse - The Effects & Recovery
« Reply #631 on: August 28, 2010, 01:19:05 PM »
  Am not on this thread very often, so, please forgive me in advance if I miss any responses.  Abuse of any kind is loathesome.  And psychological abuse is often resistant to treatment or just finding peace.
  Even so, many psychologists recommend for those who have a strong ethical background, that they externalize the damage by physical responses:  hitting a punching bag, taking a martial arts course, defiantly pursuing physical fitness (by running, walking, bicycling, swimming, etc.).
  The abusers leave a chemical toxin in your body, from the flight-or-fight syndrome.  That poison can be released by fighting, although, for those of us who are non-violent, rough physical activity can ethically substitute.

  It's also important not to feel inferior or superior to the abuser.  That can be a trap.  Just define them, fully and finally, as toxic, and look for people who are not.  Above all, don't feel bad if others don't see the abuser as a freak.  People don't always have the time to identify the creeps, and even when they do, don't want any conflict.  Try to accept that as part of the frailty of being human, and don't let the condemnation of the one spread to a grievance against the many.

  Finally, be on guard against satisfaction when the abuser falls (and they will).  It may take many years, but sooner or later, they will meet their match, which is the harshness of life itself.  Don't gloat, as that, too, is a trap.  If you rejoice in the downfall of an abuser, you are still having some connection with them.  It's OK, of course, to have some satisfaction at seeing justice, but then, look away.  To be truly free.....they must mean nothing to you, anymore.
  None of this is easy.  We all experience abuse at some point in our life.  I have, of course, as well.  But I believe the above is the right journey, and I hope we all make it through. I do wish peace and hope to everyone who has posted here.  And hope you heal up a little more each day.

Offline Sason

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Re: Surviving Abuse - The Effects & Recovery
« Reply #632 on: September 04, 2010, 12:26:05 PM »
Thank you. I'll see what kind of help I could get. Thw three hours professional help I got from the employer when it happened was like a joke.

I am so sorry you had to go through that. What a good thing you had coworkers who supported you.

The artiicles I talked about has been really good. Suddenly it became possible to talk about it.

If you haven't seen them, here's a link to one.

http://www.dn.se/kultur-noje/nyheter/varst-for-dig-sjalv-var-heder-har-inget-pris-1.1118148




Three hours!! That really is a joke.

I'm sorry you didn't get more help than that at the time.
But it isn't too late. I'm sure you can find a good therapist. 
After suffering something like that, you really need proffessional help to reestablish your self esteem.

Thanks for the link, I'll look into it when I get the time.

Sydsvenskan ran a series of articles on psychopathic bosses some years ago.
I don't think all of them are available online, but here are two links:

http://www.sydsvenskan.se/ekonomi/article35653/Psykopatiska-chefer---brEnsam-har-du-inte-en-chans.html

http://www.sydsvenskan.se/ekonomi/article36706/Ny-metod-ska-avsloja-farlig-chef.html

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Offline fritzkep

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Re: Surviving Abuse - The Effects & Recovery
« Reply #633 on: September 04, 2010, 12:35:39 PM »
Wise words indeed, Tony.

Werd ich zum Augenblicke sagen, "Verweile doch! Du bist so schön..."

Offline Miaisland

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Re: Surviving Abuse - The Effects & Recovery
« Reply #634 on: September 04, 2010, 11:45:55 PM »
Three hours!! That really is a joke.

I'm sorry you didn't get more help than that at the time.
But it isn't too late. I'm sure you can find a good therapist. 
After suffering something like that, you really need proffessional help to reestablish your self esteem.

Thanks for the link, I'll look into it when I get the time.

Sydsvenskan ran a series of articles on psychopathic bosses some years ago.
I don't think all of them are available online, but here are two links:

http://www.sydsvenskan.se/ekonomi/article35653/Psykopatiska-chefer---brEnsam-har-du-inte-en-chans.html

http://www.sydsvenskan.se/ekonomi/article36706/Ny-metod-ska-avsloja-farlig-chef.html

The articles are really worth reading. They made a huge impact up here, I mean that people really talk about them and about the subject.

Thank you for the links, strangely I already read them when I found them on the internet some years ago.

Thank you for your kind words.
“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.” - Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Offline Miaisland

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Re: Surviving Abuse - The Effects & Recovery
« Reply #635 on: September 04, 2010, 11:46:50 PM »
Wise words indeed, Tony.



^^^^

What Fritz said.

You are so right, Tony.
“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.” - Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Offline Miaisland

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Re: Surviving Abuse - The Effects & Recovery
« Reply #636 on: September 30, 2010, 07:31:48 PM »
There is another thing that is really hard to handle. It seems as since I got bullied at this workplace I became some kind of 'bully magnet'. These last years it happened a few times. Sometimes I think it has just been circumstantial and because I have been vulnerable. But sometimes I have met people that have been really mean, picking on me even.

I am talking about typical bullying, like things going on behind my back, I have afterwards heard how the strangest things have been spread about me, maybe also to people that I don't know so well and in ways that I have no possibility to defend myself against. There have also been techniques to rule like double punishments - so that no matter how hard I try nothing seem to be right. Like if I try to stay away that is just as wrong as if I try to keep in touch, impossible situations like that. (I hope this makes sense)

It seems almost like I invite this to happen. And when it does I have lost my tools for dealing with it. The bullying changed me. The way I have been dealing with these situations has been to close myself in and all my focus and energy has been directed to survive the moment until I found a safe environment again. I have never been that introvert or handling problems like this in other situations or earlier in life.

I recently took some contacts and have some help now, or some support to find ways to deal with what I went through and to deal with things that happened afterwards too. I think I am on my way. It will take time though.

Does anyone recognize this feeling of becoming a 'bully magnet'? This is not only my perception of what has happened even if I of course am more sensitive and vulnerable now, after being bullied at that workplace. Can I be encouraging this kind of behavior somehow? Is it so that it has happened before but that I then had ways to stop it from affecting me?

I think I have lost my instincts and have no clue how to find them.
“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.” - Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Offline CellarDweller115

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Re: Surviving Abuse - The Effects & Recovery
« Reply #637 on: September 30, 2010, 07:36:28 PM »
I am talking about typical bullying, like things going on behind my back, I have afterwards heard how the strangest things have been spread about me, maybe also to people that I don't know so well and in ways that I have no possibility to defend myself against.

Hiya Mia....

I wouldn't call the quote above "bullying"....I think it would fall under the name of gossip, but that doesn't mean it's any less damaging.

I can say I've had people gossip about me at the workplace (it got back to me) and online as well.

I handle it by turning a deaf ear to it.  If someone asks me directly, I will answer it.  My real friends know me so that the gossip won't affect how they feel about me.  If people decide to not get to know me because of something they heard, I don't need them in my life anyway.

Offline Miaisland

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Re: Surviving Abuse - The Effects & Recovery
« Reply #638 on: September 30, 2010, 07:49:26 PM »
No, Chuck, I am talking about bullying.

Gossip isn't meant to damage in this way.

When I worked with girls bullying in schools this way of doing things behind someones back is usually the first thing that happens.

And when it is bullying and not ordinary gossip there is no way to defend oneself against it. It is meant to destroy someones social life.

And often in combination with double punishments too. And silent treatments.

Of course when one gets hurt and it is not bullying one can choose not to listen or care and move on.

When it is bullying it is not so. Not if the bullying is successful.

I am sorry I expressed this so bad.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2010, 08:10:54 PM by Miaisland »
“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.” - Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Offline desertrat

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Re: Surviving Abuse - The Effects & Recovery
« Reply #639 on: October 01, 2010, 01:27:45 AM »
mia, i think you are right about the "bully magnet" it seems that there is a kind of personality that "invites" others to "use" you. they feel unhappy and powerless themselves and feel that there is somebody even "weaker" than they are - somebody where they can channel their own frustration to. it is a cycle that i can not understand - how could it possible make me any happier to see that somebody else is suffering even more? when i'm unhappy, i want to be among happy people so their happiness rubs off on me...but i guess this are simply different ways of dealing with a problem.
this resonates so much in me because i've just seen a situation like this develop in my own life - a colleague who started to do something like that to me, taking my harmony and peace loving personality as weakness and trying to draw strength by trying to weaken me. fortunately, i have the feeling that i have the necessary tools to avoid that and it seems that things have improved quickly. let's see ;)

please, really do get help! you really need some training in avoiding and getting rid of such people. i'm sure you'll get there eventually, but get somebody to help you and to get you up when you feel down. it is a spiral that turns and turns - with every bully you get lower down, inviting even more bullies....but i'm sure you'll get out there, you ARE a wonderful, strong woman! *huuuuuuuuggggg & loooooove*  :)
Minds are like parachutes... they both work better when opened.

Offline jnov

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Re: Surviving Abuse - The Effects & Recovery
« Reply #640 on: October 01, 2010, 02:51:19 AM »
hi mia,
i think martina is right about the cycle.  bullies are experts at picking out the vulnerable and insecure in a crowd.  and of course once you have been bullied, it weakens your own self-esteem so you are more vulnerable to future bullies.

you have already started on your own road to recovery by talking about what has happened to you and reaching out for help in many ways.  keep that up, continue to reach out for help both professionally and socially.  try to find even just one or two good friends in your life that you can reach out to for support and strength whenever you need it.

eventually you will re-learn the tools you need to rebuild your self-esteem and remember your own self-worth.  and when that happens you will be much less attractive to the bullies and much better at standing up to them.  it will take some time but it will happen.

and remember we are all here for you.
beth

Offline Miaisland

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Re: Surviving Abuse - The Effects & Recovery
« Reply #641 on: October 01, 2010, 03:27:37 AM »
mia, i think you are right about the "bully magnet" it seems that there is a kind of personality that "invites" others to "use" you. they feel unhappy and powerless themselves and feel that there is somebody even "weaker" than they are - somebody where they can channel their own frustration to. it is a cycle that i can not understand - how could it possible make me any happier to see that somebody else is suffering even more? when i'm unhappy, i want to be among happy people so their happiness rubs off on me...but i guess this are simply different ways of dealing with a problem.

This is really hard to understand for me too. And I am absolutely sure you are right, this is a different way to deal with problems, probably big personal issues. In some cases I think it is almost like a question of life or death to eliminate someone that seem to be a threat - to a position or role or in some other way. Maybe it is a way to to survive in an envirement or a situation at the cost of someone else. Maybe it is a game these people are playing.

Maybe it is impossible to understand.

Quote
this resonates so much in me because i've just seen a situation like this develop in my own life - a colleague who started to do something like that to me, taking my harmony and peace loving personality as weakness and trying to draw strength by trying to weaken me. fortunately, i have the feeling that i have the necessary tools to avoid that and it seems that things have improved quickly. let's see ;)

I am so sorry this is happening to you. I know you have the knowledge and the tools to deal with it. But please be careful. Make sure to have someone who can be there with you, who can see what is happening and help you to make the right choices. I am saying this because when the bullying started for me I was absolutely certain I could deal with it. In a way I saw it happening and thought I could deal with it on my own. That was my mistake. Also that I at some extent trusted the wrong person. These processes are really complicated matters. When I realized iit was much more complicated than I ever could imagint and that other people were drawn into it all it was already too late.

Nothing like this had happened to me before. I hardly knew work place bullying existed. I was almost 50, confident, competent and strong. I wish I had seeked some kind of support instead of believing I could deal with it myself. I am not saying it has to be like this for you. Just be careful.

Quote
please, really do get help! you really need some training in avoiding and getting rid of such people. i'm sure you'll get there eventually, but get somebody to help you and to get you up when you feel down. it is a spiral that turns and turns - with every bully you get lower down, inviting even more bullies....but i'm sure you'll get out there, you ARE a wonderful, strong woman! *huuuuuuuuggggg & loooooove*  :)

Thank you for saying this and for understanding. It means a lot to me. I am there, Martina. I am diagnised with post traumatic stress and am getting help now. You are right that it is like a spiral. Thank you for being here. You are a wonderful woman.

Big hugs and love to you!!!! :-*

“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.” - Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Offline CellarDweller115

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Re: Surviving Abuse - The Effects & Recovery
« Reply #642 on: October 01, 2010, 03:32:51 AM »
When I worked with girls bullying in schools this way of doing things behind someones back is usually the first thing that happens.

And when it is bullying and not ordinary gossip there is no way to defend oneself against it. It is meant to destroy someones social life.

And often in combination with double punishments too. And silent treatments.

You didn't express it badly, I misunderstood.

You're not talking about simple talking, you mean that actual actions and plans are set in motion behind someone else's back.

That is bullying, and cowardly as well. 

Offline Miaisland

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Re: Surviving Abuse - The Effects & Recovery
« Reply #643 on: October 01, 2010, 03:43:31 AM »
hi mia,
i think martina is right about the cycle.  bullies are experts at picking out the vulnerable and insecure in a crowd.  and of course once you have been bullied, it weakens your own self-esteem so you are more vulnerable to future bullies.

you have already started on your own road to recovery by talking about what has happened to you and reaching out for help in many ways.  keep that up, continue to reach out for help both professionally and socially.  try to find even just one or two good friends in your life that you can reach out to for support and strength whenever you need it.

eventually you will re-learn the tools you need to rebuild your self-esteem and remember your own self-worth.  and when that happens you will be much less attractive to the bullies and much better at standing up to them.  it will take some time but it will happen.

and remember we are all here for you.
beth

Thank you for being here, Beth! And for believing in me. You are and have been of such a good help and support.

The key to recovery is talking about it. I am sure you are right about that. It is not easy, much much harder than I understood before. It is so much to get over before finding courage to really talk. Like the feeling of not being worth to take up space by talking about it, sort of as this wasn't so bad after all and that so many people has been going through so much worse things... And also how strange it all sounds, impossible to understand and too complicated. From the outside the solutions seem to be so easy. It's just to leave or to say this or that...

When I read about other cases of bullying at work I realized this is something that all victims of this feels. How the hardest integrity rape can seem to be no big deal at all. How a lot of what has happened has happened behind ones back. I read about one woman had collegues that made faces and gestures behind her back for years. She just noticed something was different but didn't know or understand what and slowly lost all self asteem and started to get sick. It made it a little easier to read about what has happened to others.

I will keep on talking about this. As you say I need to re-learn and to be better at standing up to them. I have started to talk. Thank you for being a part in that.

((((((Beth))))))))

« Last Edit: October 01, 2010, 03:51:58 AM by Miaisland »
“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.” - Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Offline Miaisland

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Re: Surviving Abuse - The Effects & Recovery
« Reply #644 on: October 01, 2010, 03:45:05 AM »
You didn't express it badly, I misunderstood.

You're not talking about simple talking, you mean that actual actions and plans are set in motion behind someone else's back.

That is bullying, and cowardly as well. 

Yes that is what I meant.

I think gossip can be hard too. But actions as you say is bullying. And cowardly.
“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.” - Clarissa Pinkola Estés