The Formula for Recovering From Workplace Bullying

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You hear about it and read about it in the media, all the time. Workplace bullying is increasing according to who is keeping statistics. It’s a known fact that the damage to the ‘victim’ is harmful and creates many hardships for the ‘bullied’ and their loved ones. When I became a Veteran Affairs (VA) Whistle-blower, I alleged nepotism (illegal hiring of family and friends) and other prohibited personnel practices. I turned in numerous personnel and was retaliated for my actions. I was put on administrative leave for about 100 days, denied the right to seek medical care as a severely disabled veteran, I landed in the Mental Health ward after two years of horrific bullying, and my paycheck was cut-off when I refused to go back to a hostile work environment. This created a financial hardship and my whole economic portrait was much compromised. The life I knew was changed in a short time.  I also experienced having poor credit to boot because I could not afford my large house that I had worked so hard for and cherished.

Losing my old ‘self” was the greatest thing that has happened to me. Back in those days, I “bought into” the victim role. I felt very unsafe and insecure with myself.  These days, I often pass the road that would take me to my former job location. I smile each time and then I say ‘thank you” to the bullies who tried to break me and destroy my reputation.   For if it was not for my former bullies, I may not be as liberated as I am today.   My bullies were awesome teachers! I had to work on myself to get this far with my ‘liberation’. I have deep gratification for my workplace bullying experience. Sometimes our ‘gifts’ come in ugly wrapping paper. That’s exactly what happed in my case. Let me share three tips of how I claimed my ‘personal power’.

First, you get to decide if you are going to be a ‘victim’ of your workplace bullying. You may never get the results you think you want from workplace bullying, but you may get what you need to be happier. For example, if you end up leaving the job, you may find a more respectful position or even strive to be an entrepreneur. I have never been happier to work for myself and I love my boss! Sometimes it seems scary to leave a job you are comfortable with and have known for years. When you are striving to do your soul’s purpose on this earth, you may get an uncomfortable nudge to move forward and get in alignment with the work you should be doing–the work you love and can’t wait to do because it feels so ‘alive’.

Second, look at your experience as a lesson. What did you learn from it? Did you learn that you need to have more confidence or standup for your rights? Was the job or the position a ‘bad fit’? Perhaps you learned that you need to value yourself more and work in a job that is better suited for you. There are always lessons in each of our experiences. I believe we get to learn some great lessons from our bullies. They can teach us so much about ourselves and what we need to do to have a better life. Yes—they may make you anxious and depressed with their actions, but you can decide to not be a ‘victim’ and take all the appropriate action you need to stand up to them, leave the work place or find a solution that makes you happier.  Maybe you learned that you needed to learn how to get empowered and stop relying on unnecessary anti-anxiety or anti-depressant pills. NOTE: Always follow your doctor’s advice on medical care.

Third, bullying can take a serious toll on your confidence and self-esteem. You have to understand that you must believe in yourself more than others believe in you. No one can breathe confidence in you. There are many modalities out there that will help you find peace, confidence, and help you to find your own intuitive ‘gifts’.   You may find that exercising, receiving energy work, reading self-help books, taking empowerment courses or seeking reputable help from a coach, counselor or clergy member to be highly beneficial in helping you to heal. This will take some time, but it is so worth it! When you conscientiously invest in your own well-being, you will get results. I wrote a blog, “Five Tips Before Hiring a Life Coach” at Five Tips to Hire the Right Life Coach   Invest in yourself and also be gentle on yourself. Sometimes our worst bullies can be ourselves if we ‘beat up’ on ourselves. Another thing—if you are spending money on things that don’t empower you, that can back fire on you.   I know of a lady that spends endless money on clothes, trips and fun things that she enjoys. While there is nothing wrong with this, she complains she has no money to hire a coach/consultant for her own workplace bullying case. Hmmmmmm! Do you think her priorities are good ones or could she re-think her priorities? It’s sad, because she is being bullied for blowing the ‘whistle’ on her workplace, but could really benefit from an HR consultant or a coach that deals with workplace bullying. You always get to decide and make choices in your life. You must decide wisely or it may backfire on you.

If you need some help or advice, I have 22 years of Human Resources experience, a Masters in Management/Human Resources, I am retired from the United States Air Force, and I am regularly featured on the radio or in magazines for tips on overcoming ‘dis-empowerment’ and ‘workplace bullying’. Today, I am an anti-bullying speaker, personal power coach, author (Empowered Whistleblower: A Practical and Spiritual Path to Personal Power”, and an HR consultant.  I ‘settled’ with the Veteran Affairs in March 2014 and without a “gag-order” to keep me quiet and sharing my story to help others.  It bring me great pleasure to help empower people.  You can find out more about me at www.DawnMarieWestmoreland.com

3 replies
  1. Pauline Lac Seul
    Pauline Lac Seul says:

    Can I do a write up about the bullying that happened to me but not mention names? I did sign a full n final release without realizing the impact it would have in me. I didn’t know. If I do the write up, can I be sued for that?

    Reply
    • admin
      admin says:

      Anytime you defame someone, you may open up the possibility of being sued. I always recommend not using names–ever. Please be mindful of what you post on social media–anyone can read it. Find a safe outlet to get the support you need.

      Reply
    • admin
      admin says:

      I would be careful how you write things up–you don’t want to have to deal with litigation over defamation of character. Writing your story can be very healing.

      Reply

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