Posted by: CorporateGal | 2012-11-10

Abuse at work

I wrote about 3 years ago about an abusive situation at work by an acting manager.
The abuse was immotional in nature. Although I was already questioning my interest in my line of career he actually
facilitated my arrival to a conclusion that I hated that line of work.
Besides this I really could not stand being around this guy.
As part of strategy to free myself from all this I studied toward a totally different degree,
started a small business and have moved away from this guy. Now the problem is there is an inter-divisional project that
I''m part of and he is also there. When I heard about this I was restless the whole weekend, crying and kept thinking about
the horrible things he did/said. A few days ago we were in a meeting and his mere presence got me feeling down.
I felt tears welling up and I excused myself and left the room for a while. I''ve still not recovered as I keep imagining different
conversation with him and he is abusive in every scenario. He was not only abusive to me, other people complained about the same thing
and left. He was removed from a position of management.

The thing is for people that were not involved I do come across as petty as they say I should just ignore him. The fact is I can''t. I''m naturally a friendly person and it will
be very obvious if I''m not friendly to him. I actually don''t care about him realising, I care about the fact that I end up crying everytime I interact with. I can feel that
I''m sinking into depression. I was depressed a few years ago (we worked together at the time and he know about this because I had to take leave). I suppose management
principles dictate that we have to put our differences aside and work. I really can''t do it with this guy. It hurts me that he looks like he''s forgotten everything.

When we started working together it was in a very high pace project and we worked impossible hours. He was really difficult. he represented the client and we worked hard to
meet his everchanging requirements. I was pregnant and miscarried. I really did
not blame him as I learnt from research that are many reasons for a miscarriage. I made peace with the fact it just did not work out. For some reasoen this weekend my mind
keeps going back to this incident. I imagine that I early evening appointment with the gynae, go told that I was loosing the baby, had to go back to work around 8pm after working
the whole day. I went back because there was unhappiness when I left for the appointment.
We worked together again and had a very good working relationship, in fact it became a friendship and I trusted him. When he became acting manager it became clear that the
whole relationship was about building his career. Before he started acting a lot of people were saying I had the potential to get the departmental manager position. I am told
when the position became vacant he went the the senior manager discredited me and other potential candidates, and also threatened to make the department unmanageable if they
don''t make him acting manager. When they he became a totally different person...not the person I have a friendship with. He verbally abused a lot of people and I hated
watching this. He did and said a lot to potray himself as the only candidate for the position. I was pregnant when he was acting and did not want to fight all the time. He
also made odd comments about my pregnancy and I hated it. Somehow he made me feel I was disrupting his plan of being appointed permanent by going on maternity leave. He
dropped very obvious hints that he wanted me to work during maternity leave e.g. ''there is someone that will be sitting at home for 4 months and can easily cover this work''.
I pretended not to pick up the hints. Somehow I''m thinking about this time too. I did some serious thinking during leave and decided to change my career, told him I was interested
in any further growth in that line of work.

One of the senior managers also told me that that this guys said I''m too emotional - I suppose this was part of his campaign to discredit me. I feel violeted by this guy.

Back to today, I really cannot stand him. He really doesn''t have to do anything wrong for me to be upset. Not sure how we going to work together. I''m worried that I think I might
be sinking into depression.

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Our expert says:
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Aparently you acted responsibly and cleverly, and freed yourself from a situation in which this noxious individual was managing you - well done. But now it appears that you have not stopped giving yhim a high degree of power over you ( he has none excepty what you choose to give him ) There was no need to spend time crying and rehearsing whatever nasty things he had done in the past - that was surrendering before he had even tried to attack. In a sense, you took over from him the role he may once have had, and started abusing yourself on his behalf !
If, as you say, he was removed from a management position and other people have also complained and left, he may have a basis for feeling even more embittered and ugly than he did have. But rehearsing conversations that didn't actually occur, in which you enable him to abuse you without even needing to speak a word, really is doing his ugly work for him, isn't it ?
Stop telling yourself that you CAN'T just ignore him. You haven't done so, but i9t really isn't impossible. Repeatedly telling yourself that it is so, is what makes it so.
He sounds like a selfish character, and from how you describe the unreasonable working conditions at the time o your miscarriage, he'e not the only incompetent manager in your organization - such working conditions should never be needed or tolerated if the higher management are competent.
If they fell for his transparently self-serving tactics to get himself that position, earlier, then they're fools, aren't they ?
Can't you discuss this with HR and with more senior managers, who need to recognize this worm for what he is ?
You don't need to sink back into depression. Seeing a good local psychologist for CBT ( Conitive-Behaviour Therapy ) style counselling would be useful in building psychological immunity to worms like him, and developing skills in handling such situations, and building up your self-confidence and self-esteem.

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