I have survived an abusive relationship. I was in this relationship for over ten years. Why did I stay? It is hard to say. I know it was the security of an income and benefits. Also, as an introvert and adult with ADD I prefer my routine and structure. I did try to get out of the relationship a few times, but the offers of change never really arrived. It wasn’t until four or five years ago that I was able to get out of the relationship, but it wasn’t really my choice I was forced out of the relationship. It has left me quite fragile and it takes a lot for me to trust people in my new relationship.
This wasn’t the typical relationship, it wasn’t domestic. It was my job. I had a job I liked and co workers who were my friends, but when it boils down to it, the rest of the environment was so thoroughly toxic that it damages people. Now in my new job, I struggle daily with trust and this constant need for positive validation. Something I never really needed before, I have always been intrinsically motivated, but that is gone now.
Clearly my abuse was not the violent physical kind, because that is never tolerated in the workplace. I can say that psychological abuse is quite rampant in the workplace.
Things I dealt with daily:
- Debilitating Anxiety and Panic attacks
- Stress related migraines
- Shame (the desired result of humiliating tactics by the bully) – sense of deserving a bad fate
- Guilt (for having “allowed” the bully to control me)
I have rebuilt my life again and while I still struggle with the trust issues, I know where I am now is far healthier on the whole than my old employer.