Let's continue the story, my story, my experience of being bullied in the civil service world
Baking super seeded bread today and a story of resilience

Being bullied in the civil service, my story

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Everybody reacts differently to the trauma of being bullied. It can manifest on the emotional level (depression, anxiety, PTSD) and of course physical level .... in my case it was, high blood pressure, nose bleeds,  severe insomnia, panic attacks  ... and all of those were just the tip of the iceberg plus of course the impact on the family life. It is like a tsunami that never ends.  The whole life is disturbed and the consequences can be long term and indeed they were. My daily 1 hour and 40 minutes commute was a nightmare as well and I was dreading approaching the office ... oh boy ... such memories .... I also remember how on - sadly - many occasions when the trains were cancelled or delayed and the reason was ... a body on the train lines .... I wondered .... what was the reason behind that desperate decision ....could it be that bullying was the reason? In order to understand better the story below please read first ...part 1  and after that part 2 

What helps besides what I've mentioned in my first  two blog entries on the subject of bullying  is connecting with likeminded people and sharing the experience with others. I was helped by joining the local Yoga studio, going on a yoga retreat. It is a good moment to remind myself what makes me tick, what do I love doing, what am I passionate about. Help comes in many shapes and forms.

Here is the last part of my fictional story based on my experience, telling a fictional story to illustrate what happened to me. As I have mentioned before,  I gave it to my superiors!

"...... There is a sudden lull in fighting. The Captain (my manager) stops panicking for a moment and announces to 1st Company and 2nd Company that he is stepping back from command of 1st Company - except that he would keep personal control of 1st Company's tank unit. The Sergeant (me), now Acting Lieutenant (me, temporarily re-promoted to my appointed rank) again, (so he thinks) thinks Thank God, the Company can concentrate on fighting the enemy now not trying to organise a fight amongst itself".

Unfortunately he had not allowed for the Captain's panicky nature in the face of conflict - signals keep coming at him (me) every minute as the next attack started - check this, do that, check this, do that, endless detailed instructions forgetting that the enemy knew where the hole in the hedge was now.

So, 1st Company shuffles around in a disorganised fashion with no clear chain of command - "shoot the enemy screams the Captain (my manager) - on second thoughts that will cost too much, hit them with the butt of your rifles as they come through the hedge - but don't damage the rifles as we can't afford the war".

The Acting Lieutenant (me) is going out of his mind as the big picture, shooting the ugly enemy breathing down our necks, seemed to be less important to the Captain than checking that the experienced Lieutenant was issuing the right instructions. Then he signals the Lieutenant to go and check that the tanks have oil in the engines, treads on the wheels and that the gun is pointing forwards, something the Captain had said he would do.

The Captain is now panicking and getting angry because the Lieutenant was trying to lead his men to victory and (even though the Lieutenant was two metres shorter than him and cross dressing) the Captain's body language and the way he was clenching his hands and his uncomfortably close proximity implied that he was about to thump the Lieutenant if he deserted his rifle even though the day's battle had now finished.

"Did you check the oil" screams the Captain "as I asked you". In desperation the Lieutenant objects by questioning the Captain's priorities - the Captain, who has pilloried the Lieutenant's efforts all day says "I won't allow you to speak to me like that". (the last time the Lieutenant had heard that sort of English upper class twit language was in the first world war - maybe that's where the Captain trained he thought)

The fighting ended, the Lieutenant picked up his loaded revolver and walked behind the privet - he had had enough, he wanted to end it all. This was not what war was supposed to be. You are supposed to fight the enemy, not fight your own men.

Bang!"

For me the bang meant fighting the system and .... eventually wining that battle - but not necessarily the war.

Do not suffer in silence!

 

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