It doesn’t have to be as difficult for you as it was for me.
I was a depressed child in a family with a lot of problems. In 1978 I gave birth to a healthy baby boy. We didn’t have much, and were living with my parents to save up for an apartment.
My employer asked that I stay home after having been on the job since 1973. I refused. I had quit my second job to have my baby. I needed the money. There had been a change in the contract, and I made more than my co-workers. Management said I wasn’t worth it, though I worked as hard as I could. In 1981 I was given a new place in the company with a minimum of training. I became separated from my husband, and he couldn’t support us. I divorced in 1982, and I moved in with my mother. She took care of my son while I was on call 24/7. I worked weekends, holidays, nights.I tried to go to school because I felt I was on borrowed time at work. Friends at work were backing away from me; the boss knew of my troubles, yet he kept threatening my job. I started to develop panic attacks. They were so severe that when I saw the boss and other people who I used to hang out with I couldn’t get my hands to work, I blushed, and I slurred my words. The boss asked if I was on drugs.
I quit drinking due to the embarrassing words I said to coworkers over the phone. I was lonely, depressed, and angry. I believe that is when the paranoia became clear too. I would over-think and have terrible headaches.
I saw therapists until 1985 when I met one who had a talk with my boss. My boss had dwelt on my sex life. I got hospitalized due to a breakdown. I ended up not having a relationship with any man for 15 years, because I was sober, stressed, and worked all the time. I met a nice man I could relate to, who was a good friend through thick and thin for many years.
People would tell me I needed to learn to communicate. My son was getting older and I had to learn to discipline him verbally. I took communications courses. That helped me see many ways I could take care of myself in situations, but my employers didn’t want to communicate so I realized.
I kept expecting justice, and reality would hit me back in the face. I started seeing and hearing things. I thought helicopters were after me. I started to believe I was the joke of the town, as people rarely spoke to me.
I lost my mother to cancer, and my siblings demonstrated severe disrespect towards me for the next several years. My mother and doctors were opposed to my quitting my job, but now my siblings were urging me to quit.
I married my best friend, my son grew up and out of the house. They alone knew what I was dealing with. I went into the hospital twice more, after I realized that I couldn’t say anything at work no matter how bad the bullying got. I was forbidden to have a school schedule to further my education. “Restricted employees” would be subject to a cut in hours, possibly resulting in a loss of benefits.
I had read a lot of books dealing with work problems. One of them was “Work Abuse”, by Hare and Wyatt. I participated on many forums online. Mr. Hare contacted me personally and helped me beyond measure. So did my husband, son, and cat! We are still in touch, but through people he introduced me to, mainly.
I got a lot from therapy, and this group of people. My husband maintained that I could never retire unless I had enough hours in. He helped me get most of those hours in. He took great care of me. Medication kept the symptoms at bay, but every day was an anxious day at work. I was having bone, skin, cholesterol, nerve, and foot problems. I was working nonstop. A coworker said she didn’t have to work as hard ad I did because she makes less. Almost everyone made less and worked less than I.
I got physically exhausted in April 2011. I was sure someone was trying to sabotage my job. I could hardly do my job, resulting in disability. I was 56 years old in 2012 when I went on disability and never went back. I took early retirement.
I’m convinced that if it was not for the principles I learned along the way, I would have kept expecting justice. I most likely would have blown my cool and not have been so lucky. I learned that the people I worked with had to have their way, and so to a large degree I gave them their way for a bit of peace of mind. Right before I went on disability I blew my cool, and I believe that is what ended my career. I can no longer work a real job.; I have too many scars.
I am still nice to people because it is the right thing for me to do. I praise workers when they do a good job. I still feel stressed, but I have to live with that. I joined a group that is helping me cope, DBSA in my area. They are so full of energy in helping people.
I take care of my husband and cat. They need it. They stress too.
My son is doing extremely well, and he is very good to me.