My contribution to working in a culture of harassment…

For those of you that don’t know me won’t know that my journey on this earth has been riddled with abuse from the onset of my life.

Abuse comes in many different forms. I have witnessed physical abuse and been subject to it.

But the more insidious form of emotional torture of the narcissistic kind of abuse seems to be my preferred choice of receiving.

The definition of insidious is proceeding in a gradual, subtle way but with harmful effects.

That’s the nature of narcissistic abuse. It happens slowly so that you almost don’t even notice it until one day you wake up not even sure how you got to where you are.

I wasn’t exactly sure what I had done in my life to deserve to have been married to a classic, to a T, narcissist, but I really questioned a lot of things about God and life when my boss ended up being the grand wizard of them all.

I feel passionately about the fact that what I have endured I am supposed to use for the greater good of my soul and for those other souls around me that need it.

However, in reflecting back over my employment I realized in shame and horror that I contributed to a culture of harassment that started at the top by our boss.

Harassment and abuse at work has a different flare. With our culture the name of the game was throw someone else under the bus and as long as you weren’t in our boss direct line of fire, you were spared. For the time being.

It didn’t take long for any new employees to learn that trick so the environment was beyond toxic. Co- workers were pitted against each other. If our boss seen any unity between anyone that didn’t center around him, he would go to no ends to destroy it.

I have an ill feeling in the pit of my stomach for being involved in the dynamic. I sat in the Friday morning (death) meetings and watched as our boss demolished anyone that he had his sights set on. It was nothing short of brutal for my empathic spirit to see.

One coworker stands out so clearly to me that I feel moved to reach out to him and actually apologize for the fact that I sat silent and was witness to his soul being raped week in and week out.

Our boss’s M.O. is to never fire anyone. He abuses them so tremendously that a person is forced out. He hates people filing unemployment with him because as per the norm when dealing with a malignant narc, they like to keep (mind) fucking you even when your gone.

I am disturbed by the fact that the culture of abuse is so perverse there that it’s “normal”.

And that is SUCH bullshit.

I used to sit in those meetings that were nothing at all about business in fact I’m pretty positive our boss totally lost sight of the fact that he owns gyms because it seemed to turn into a giant playground for him to abuse people and get them to dance like puppets.

In our meetings he would pull up pictures of our coworkers and ridicule them. And everyone knew you had to participate because he would stand in your throat and bully you until you did.

If you know anything about a narc, they are stunted at a young age and I believe their emotional intellect is stuck back at that age. So I began to realize those forced meetings were him creating his “buddies” where he bullied them into telling him only what he wanted to hear and playing along with anything he said and any ludicrous act he wanted to engage in.

Like clock work anyone that finally left the company would get the standard 2-3 week (sometimes longer) smear campaign and all of his flying monkeys (my coworkers) would agree with anything our boss said derogatory about the employee that left.

I had a co-worker of mine that I had hated for years but finally came around to be able to be friends for the sake of being peaceful at work. When our boss found out about our unity he would ask coworker AF if he and I had fucked yet and if so what was it like. AF was even grossed out by our bosses antics and it took a lot to make him think anything was bizarre.

Our boss sent AF one of the most embarrassing pictures of me I had ever seen. He did it to purposely harm me. AF showed me and laughed and of course I was mortified but at the time I did nothing.

I distinctly remember telling my boyfriend and a girlfriend that at least I am more secure in myself now that it didn’t effect me as badly seeing something that embarrassing.

Like, what in the actual fuck? When did it become necessary for us to get thicker skin to handle this type of shit and it became more ok for harassment of this nature.

The less you had to deal with our boss the better you were. Besides he was the sole owner of the company, the HR person, EVERYTHING so he created a lovely little play ground for him to do as he pleased.

And it became the norm for all of us to turn our heads when another was being abused.

And that’s how I contributed. The shitty thing is that works until the heat starts coming on to you and you get to experience first hand the direct torture.

I stopped attending the meetings. I couldn’t witness anyone else get their soul shredded apart each and every freaking week anymore.

That was the beginning of my demise there. Our boss started initiating all the classic narcissistic tactics that unfortunately for him I was well versed in from my marriage.

I knew something was awry because one day I received a text from one coworker whom I THOUGHT wasn’t a part of the drama and abuse squad and he was begging me to attend the meeting that upcoming Friday.

I almost ALMOST caved and went but I stuck to my resolve and didn’t go. Well our boss announced that we were getting a new software that would essentially “eliminate corporate” (read: me) as he stated. BUT leading up to that point he had made all my coworkers not talk to me about it.

Actually he wanted them to tell me in the meeting and he bribed all them to make it sound like it was their idea to vote in the new software. His plan failed because I didn’t attend. My intuition was screaming at me that it was a total trap.

It was a time I was so very thankful I listened to my gut. I think we all need to learn how to do that more.

The thing that is so frustrating sometimes is that other people don’t realize they are just pawns for the Narc.

Fast forward to the new system being installed and our boss not allowing me access to the new system. I couldn’t clock in and out and that made me nervous because I have seen in the last 18 years working there him fucking with peoples pay. He has done some heinous stuff to people.

Again, I watched, silently 😞

He told me I could get access to the new system when I went and trained with the new company. When I went and tried to train with the new company they were all told they were NOT allowed to give me access to the computer system or allow me to be trained.

He had officially initiated his standard game of forcing me out. He had already planned for coworker AF to replace my full time position with a part time position for him so that “he would be on a better schedule and get out of bed”.

The people at the new computer software company didn’t want to go up against what he was saying because our boss had already ripped apart their boss and bullied all of them.

One day while I was at the front desk of the gym with the new company before our boss knew I was doing that and put a stop to it coworker AF came in the gym, came around the desk, clocked in and went to go train for what would need up being my job.

After he walked away the manager of the gym said “Oh he’s probably just going to talk to our boss because our boss likes to talk about how you guys (me and coworker AF) used to go to the rodeo.”

I was confused because we never went to a rodeo. I love rodeos but we never went. And I said that. And the manager was persistent “Come on Andrea… you know, bullriding….”

Still confused I had no clue. A rep from the new computer system was standing there with us when finally the manager blurted out “Andrea he’s talking about you and AF fucking.” And proceeded to laugh.

I was embarrassed and mortified and all things shitty. I am not hip to slang kids use these days and didn’t know “going to the rodeo” meant fucking.

In my heart I knew being subjected to this type of behavior was beyond inappropriate. But who would I complain to? HR? OHHHHHH ya that’s right. That’s who was doing it.

It was a shifty few weeks. Being singled out, getting the silent treatment, having all the front desk staff at the clubs so confused by what is going on with me and seeing the toxic shit themselves. I was still doing every aspect of my job that I still could.

I am no longer with the company THANK GOD. He finally met with me but not before coworker AF showed up and divulged the fact that our boss wanted to have him be the corporate office person now. That my full time position as I knew it was eliminated.

As his norm our boss went right into ripping apart every aspect of me and my work and everything. It was his unlucky day because before I met with him I spoke with two of my very good friends who KNOW his method of launching a verbal assault so nasty that you lose your shit and walk out.

So we prayed a bit before he showed up. I made sure I was good and centered. I paused and breathed.

It was SOOOOO crucial for me to pause and get centered because what happened in that meeting would have been enough to set someone off. I didn’t take his bait.

I gave him ZERO response when he was degrading me. And man did that cause him to blow.

I will write more about how to communicate with a narc because I know that researching that over these past years helped me immensely. Especially in this situation with him.

He finally said my position had been eliminated so I walked out of his yucky office to get my keys and bring them back.

Prior to the meeting starting I tried to get AF to get our boss to have our meeting out in the open because I hated being in close quarters with him. He’s energy is so terrible a person didn’t want to even be near him.

I found out that of course AGAIN as per Narc norm, he’s lying and saying that I quit and slammed my keys down and walked out.

Which is a flagrant lie.

I am not allowing myself to give any energy to the smear campaign he’s launched AND have asked any friend still associated with that place to not give me any details of what’s going on.

My mission on earth isn’t going to be disturbed or distracted by his nonsense. Because those whom I care about know the truth of the situation. It never serves us positively to run around trying so discredit their smears. Focus forward is my mantra for that.

But what followed this event is still haunting to me. I shared what happened to me with some friends who used to work with me and their first reactions were that “oh he probs sexually assaulted you” or “you could probs sue him for emotion and verbal abuse, harassment, and sexual assault.”

It’s sickening to me that I stayed in an environment and contributed to the culture.

My contribution was my silence.

<<<<<<<<<

andling an abusive work environment is a touchy situation to be in. We were mostly all in survival mode. I knew one day I would write about my experiences. But it’s scary sometimes.

Sometimes we keep quiet about the things that go on because it’s already bad enough having to deal with them in the first place but then to relive them over and over as we share our story can be heavy on our souls.

Most often people just leave and don’t look back. I could very well do that also. But that’s not my life path.

I feel compelled to share my story because I KNOW this type of thing goes on other places. I mean look at the news.

More and more people, women especially are finding their voices and using them to speak out. I was part of a bro culture where they thought it was perfectly ok to talk about my sex life and joke about it AND to do so in the company of people from other companies.

I write about my feelings about me remaining silent as I watched others get bullied because I hope that it maybe makes us think the next time we are witness to something like that.

Normal people don’t go around destroying others. But am I any better because I watched in silence?

I have mixed emotions but one thing I know for sure is that this is part of my story and part of my journey. Being free from there has been INSANELY liberating.

You don’t realize how heavy something is until you let it go.

I’m excited about my new life and my dreams! But I can’t shake the fact that I would leave anyone else to have to endure this type of thing.

I’m thankful that I am sovereign enough now that this didn’t pummel me like my marriage and divorce did. So that tells me I have grown IMMENSELY!

But what I choose to do with my experience is for those who aren’t as solid in their own as I am. It’s for the women in abusive situations that it does pummel and bury.

It’s crazy as I chose to write this today because on my time hop from from this day last year is a photo from notes I took while attending church. <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

see where I wrote “He’s not punishing us, He’s using us to help others through things”.

And that’s the beauty of this all.

It is the difference between me approaching this from a victim standpoint or from the standpoint that I am going to use this to create positive change.

I want to bring awareness to the fact that the first thing that comes flying out of our mouths when someone shares they have been involved in an abusive relationship shouldn’t be “why did you stay so long” but it should be “what can we do to help”.

The prayer in my heart today is we break the silence and change the dynamic. There is power in numbers and we need support and to show others that they are supported now more than ever.

Big love today.

a. Danielle ⚓️

Advertisements