Many years ago, when I was seventeen, I was bullied at work. There were no harsh words, no nasty tricks, just the pure evilness of a ‘friend’ removing me from their life overnight.
Suddenly she refused to speak to me, acknowledge me or stand near me, she even stole birthday presents from me. I used to love my job, I was eager to learn and working towards promotion, she destroyed work for me. We both worked five/six days a week and her actions continued relentlessly for over a year. Every single day I dreaded going in and my self-confidence dropped more and more as the months passed by. I became suspicious of other team members, imagining them all conspiring against me and pretending to like me. To escape I changed my job role, accepting a promotion I knew I wasn’t ready for – just to get away. Over time the stress of the promotion and subsequent positions wore me down until I gave in and let my destroyed mental health take over my life. Ten years later I still receive treatment to help me keep going and ensure that I can face each new day.
There, that wasn’t exactly the beauty review you would expect to find on this blog, was it? The reason for my little tale of woe is because I chose to take part in the 2014 blog challenge (Originally mentioned here).
The first topic set by Gaby was:
“‘New Years Inspiration’ – the idea is that instead of writing new years resolutions on your blog you share a quote or a picture that inspires you and you think will inspire others in the New Year”.
The quote I’ve chosen is one originally crafted by Eleanor Roosevelt although I first heard it in one of my favourite films – The Princess Diaries.
I have chosen this quote because not only can I now see that I let that girl get under my skin and greatly affect my future but also that I have let this happen a lot in 2013 too. When a similar situation occurred in November I was advised by my friends to ignore it, I was told that the other person was pathetic and childish.. and although I knew those words of advice were right, I still let it get under my skin. I let the situation affect my work and I built it up in my head to something so much larger than not being spoken to for a few days. It hurt, and it bought back memories, so I let it change me. The paranoia returned, the sleepless nights, the fear of seeing that person and the complete drain of any self confidence I had gained since last time. This new situation bought back all the memories, feelings and reactions from all those years ago, and yet instead of learning from the past I allowed history to repeat itself. Again I let one persons actions affect me with more intensity then was possibly ever intended by her. Luckily this time the treatment didn’t go on for months, after a few weeks it stopped and with encouragement from friends and mentors I was able to move on.
This quote is my message to myself, and to anyone else out there who lets other people affect them. We can’t stop people doing evil things; we can’t stop the cruel words if they are determined to say them, or prevent their actions if they are determined to make them. What we can do is stop the effect they have on us, we are the only ones who can control our body, our mind and our response. If we didn’t let them in, they’d have no effect on us whatsoever.
“No-one can make you feel inferior, without your consent”
From 2014, I’m no longer giving that consent.