Saturday, 30 April 2016

Have you tried any recovery techniques?

WE ARE NOT ALL BULLY PROOF! But we can still recover!

Being bullied ranks as one of the most stressful events you can suffer. You owe it to yourself from the very moment you recognise it is happening, to the day it ends, YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF, to allow yourself to heal the wounds, to seek the warmth of the sun and the beauty of the world around you.


Rowena Arbuthnot (a fictional name) was being mercilessly bullied at work by one of her colleagues Ron, who took the mickey out of what she wore and gave her a nickname of Arbuckle (after Fatty Arbuckle). She would come into the office and he would say something like 'your top is looking a bit grey today, did you wash it?" As her surname was Arbuthnot he claimed he called her Arbuckle because of her surname and not because of her weight. Yet he knew that she struggled with her weight and was often on a diet. One day he said to her. "Is that a diet shake you're eating. I only ask because I wondered whether it was working?"

He thought he was funny and the office clown. He was popular, she was not.

She read everything there was to read about bullying. She felt  bullied and undermined but did not know how to tackle it. Tentative steps to mention it to her boss were met with humour. She needed to know how to take a joke and that everyone knew Ron was just mucking about, the office was a family and Ron was the naughty teenager!

But the slurs continued.

Rowena tried lots of tactics, she tried being assertive and was told she was being a 'shrew'. She tried raising the issue with management and was told it was all a joke and not to be so 'sensitive' She asked other women who were the buttress of comments to support her and she was shunned for being a trouble maker and outspoken.


The company was not big on respect or dignity or legitimising the feelings of its workers. It had a culture based on cruel comments disguised as jokes and horseplay disguised as team bonding. The company had no knowledge or inclination to change its basis of working. The employee fitted in with them not the other way round. All employees were dispensable and if Rowena did not like it, she could jolly well go elsewhere. She should be grateful to have any job in a recession.

Rowena googled and read about lots of ways to make herself bully free but none of them worked (sometimes they do work, sometimes they do not). She was demoralised, apathetic and miserable, that increased the bullying. Rowena did not feel she could leave as she worked locally and the company allowed her flexible hours to pick up her children from school. She needed the income and the convenience, but her health was suffering. The low grade background bullying was sapping her confidence and affecting her health.

Strategies may be useful but, sometimes you cannot stop a bully no matter what!


We believe that it is the responsibility of the perpetrator to change their behaviour. The emphasis of society and companies should be on changing the bully dynamic. The fact is, that this way of thinking has been slow to take flight. It is not surprising that a single victim, alone, fighting a toxic and lazy company against a high level bully, who has the company on their side, has the deck stacked against them.

So where is Rowena to go from here? For some the devastation of failing to beat the bully or finally losing your job, being fired, being rejected by your workplace, losing your employment tribunal hearing and losing perhaps even your identity, can result in ruination both financial, mental and physical. Many who have been bullied have found themselves so ill by the experience that they have never been able to work again, some have died.


Beginning to heal takes the courage to say "ENOUGH, I deserve better! You deserve the right to use whatever healthy means of recovery works for you.

Recovery is an individual thing. It means giving yourself permission to get help! For some it may mean deep analysis and counselling and using the resources offered by your medical practitioner. For others activities or sport and hobbies that make you feel good. For yet others, mindfulness, meditation, the spiritual path. Finally, finding a road to help others.


The rise of social media has changed everything, there is a whole world to explore. Used in a healthy way, to seek the light and change your life, the internet is an inspirational tool.  It gives you the resources connect with others and being mindful of sensible precautions, can create a beautiful creative world (see our QUICK LINKS)


What about money, you ask. Money is important, money is a tool needed to live, but recovery can be free, the gentle step by step path to regaining control of your life. That is better than money.  It could be doing free on line courses to build confidence, re-establishing old networks for a new job, joining a support group, starting a support group, reading quotes, writing quotes.

It may be a quiet pursuit such as running, writing, poetry, meditating, praying, creating something.

Yoga, laughter, fun, joining in and being involved in social media, being childlike again.....the list is endless.

What is more it may be one or more of any of the above and any other creatively healing choice you make. I have tried counselling, art, poetry, writing and helping people and more......


So if it feels hopeless, pace it! Set yourself a teeny tiny goal. A walk in the park, baking a cake, listening to some uplifting music on Youtube.

Building gradually, each day build on the tiny weeny steps and not beating yourself up if you do not achieve your expectations. Learning to find what works for you and allowing yourself to love yourself enough to know that pursuing release from pain is something you are entitled to. YOU ARE VALUABLE.


Come to The Third Way from time to time to remind yourself you are not alone. Go to some of our Quicklinks to remember there are 10 millon of us bullied somewhere in the world as we write. Remembering that if you were an an ant, you would be part of an enormous community of ants who know what it feels like to be you! Who empathise with you, who share your pain even though we do not know each other. You are not alone even though it may feel like it. Some people believe in cosmic Karma, some in destiny, fate and some in God. We believe the world is connected and that no man is an island. You've got back up, you only have to ask and the world will provide, this is called serendipity. Hold out your hand and connect however slowly or tentatively. Banish bitterness and hate, distrust and turmoil. Embrace the possibility that the bully lives in an evil minority.  Is it possible that the majority are just like you good, kind, funny, creative and lovable. Make a plan to find some of them? Tiny tiny steps and perhaps you can win after-all.


I do not apologise for repeating myself many times in different ways in this blog. You will see me saying similar things in different ways, in my quest to get the message out. RECOVERY IS WITHIN YOUR GRASP. Repetition of the message is a great way to get it to stick. Repetition is a recognised way to educate and remind.

So here goes, YOU ARE WORTHY, YOU ARE WORTHY, YOU ARE WORTHY.... see you are starting to believe in yourself once again!

We are not professionals and cannot compensate for professional advice in a bullying situation. Our aim is to give hope and solace in times of strife. Bullying is a whole body experience and you can choose to look after your whole self.

No comments:

Post a comment