If you’ve ever worked for one of these monsters, then you know the terror of having to show up to your place of employment every day with an ache in your stomach, and a cloud over your head. You may be acquainted with the pain of commuting to and from work in tears, or all too familiar with the agony of listening to your co-workers as they share stories of torture and shaming.
If you’ve never had to work for a bully boss, consider yourself lucky. It’s no picnic. I have worked for a bully boss for the past 5 years and it has been a nightmare of immeasurable proportions. (Written in 2017)
June 29, 2018
I still work for the same bully boss. I find the topic somewhat difficult to write about, and it has been over a year since I wrote the above message, stopped midstream, and neglected to publish it, until now. I feel the need to give it some closure, so I’m attempting to pick up where I left off. I hope my thoughts resonate with you and you find something helpful in them.
Like many others who have been beaten up on by a bully for an extended period of time, I try to tell myself, I’m not a victim. It’s true, I’ve been assaulted, but that doesn’t have to make me a victim. I tell myself that one day the abuse will end, even though there’s no end in sight. I sing the songs that say, “We shall overcome, someday”, “Victory shall be mine”, “Trouble don’t last always”. I remind myself to never give up hope, because without hope the spirit cannot be sustained.
I tell myself that I’m a fighter, and that I will fight back every time. Whenever this bully hits, I’ll hit back harder. Though, sometimes I get tired of fighting, and I don’t hit back, I try to stay positive, because I know that some of my efforts to fight back have done me some good, and I promise myself that I will never stop fighting back entirely, and never let apathy set in. After all, this bully boss does back up a bit, when you’re not an easy target. (More on that later–in a future post.)
I hold my head up and do the best job that I can every day, even though my hard work and accomplishments will never be acknowledged or rewarded by this boss. I believe in myself and my ability to carry out my duties professionally and skillfully, even though this boss will still continue to try to make me feel worthless every chance she gets. She will still denigrate and treat me like an outcast, just more subtly than she did before she knew what I was made of.
I remind myself that I’m a survivor, and that I will come out of this experience tougher than I was before. I’m already stronger, more resilient, and less emotionally triggered. I can deal with this bully more dispassionately, with increased confidence, and more resolve than ever before, knowing I will be fine when the battle ends. I hope she knows by now that I can’t be broken.
I see my former colleagues, and I fret over the bloodbath that this bully-boss has orchestrated at their expense, and mourn at the extensive list of employee casualties that she has generated. I suffered many of the same abuses she inflicted upon those whom she pushed out, or stripped of their jobs. I feel awful about what she did to them, but I also feel a sense of relief that they are no longer subject to her attacks, and I know that most are doing fine somewhere else. That bully changed their lives, but she did not have the power to ruin them. They are survivors as well.
As I begin this summer respite, I am filled with gratitude; thanksgiving to God for always having my back, and for keeping me afloat in a hostile, toxic work environment for so long. I am grateful for life and a purpose, an imaginative mind, for freedom, for health and provisions. I am thankful for family and friends who love me and support me and give me a sense of belonging.
Moreover, I’m thankful for a chance to recover, and to fortify myself against the impending battle I am likely to face when I return to work in September. I must not dread the next round, but like a confident prizefighter, I must view it as the newest opportunity afforded me to “shew my mettle”. I used to see myself as the underdog, a non-confrontational, timid person, but finally, for the first time in my life, out from my interminable struggle with this bully of a boss, a “Bring it on” spirit has emerged.
I’ve been refined by fire. The crucible has done it’s job. Try to break me, I’ll just bend, and I’ll spring back at you with so much force, you’ll wish you’d never touched me. —VidaCaramela
Stay strong, and courageous, but above all, endure!