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My crazy abusive ex got a job where I work.

Tagged as: Breaking up, Faded love, Gay relationships, Health, The ex-factor, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (9 January 2017) 10 Answers - (Newest, 10 January 2017)
A female United States age 30-35, anonymous writes:

I was in a emotionally abusive relationship for years. I finally had the strength to get away. For years, the cycle was that she would do something horrific to me, and then break up with me. We would proceed not to speak for a while until she decided randomly that she wanted me back. She would then put on her absolute very best behavior and convince me she had learned her lesson and would be better.

I was always reluctant, and after so many times, I downright stopped believing her. But she would always be so persistent and charming that I'd eventually cave and give her another shot because I loved her and wanted to believe her. And I would always regret it quickly thereafter when she would do the next horrible and traumatic thing to me.

After 3 years, I finally moved on and recognized her for what she was: an abuser. Her BS stopped working on me and I completely moved on. I started seeing a great new woman and my ex had absolutely no control over my life anymore. Well recently, she's tried her damnest to make a reappearance into my life. She's been calling and texting a lot. I always ignored her calls and casually responded to her texts in an effort to remain remotely civil but had no intention of anything more than that. She kept asking if I would want to meet for drinks or talk and I always had no problem saying no as I had zero interest. This was how she always weaseled her way back into my life. By starting off meeting up briefly and then starting to call more and more frequently. Next thing I'd know, we would be back together. So I was adamant this time; absolutely would not see or speak to her over the phone.

She asked me through text if I was seeing someone and insisted she wanted to know why I was so distant. I responded by saying I just wasn't interested in being anymore than casual acquaintances, and that I needed her to back off. She said she would and that she respected my desire for space and would leave me alone.

A week later, I receive a text message from her telling me she got hired at the place I work and have worked for 9 years. I was pissed as hell. I told her that was an insane thing to do and I resented her for it. I immediately told my bosses about the severity of the situation and how I can't work around her because she's crazy, and they profusely apologized, but the result is still the same; I will be working with my crazy, abusive ex and there's no way around it. I told her off and told her to find another job but she won't.

What do I do? I know she did it to try to get me back under her control. It won't work, but the mere fact that I have to see her Every day is enough to drive me mad and is almost more than I can bare. I hate her so much. What do I do? How should I handle this? Thanks in advance.

View related questions: emotionally abusive, my boss, my ex, text

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A female reader, ButterflyKisses United States +, writes (10 January 2017):

This girl is a whole new level of crazy. You need a plan now. There is no such thing as being a cordial acquaintance with a psychopath. Cut her off completely. No more texts about your disdain for her new job. She already knows how you feel. Anything you say or do will be used against you to hurt you. NO CONTACT and do NOT allow yourself to be alone with her - ever! She's the kind of crazy that will file a sexual harassment suit against you - so again, I say - NO CONTACT. File an official grievance with HR before she starts her antics, which by the way - will be day 1. Ignore! IGNORE! IGNORE! The only thing that fuels a narcissist is attention, good or bad, do give her none. Do NOT react to anything she does or says directly to her. That's her goal.

Sorry - I dealt with a person like this for 16 years, and she literally stopped at nothing - made false accusations, put innocent people in jail, altered text messages and plastered them on social media, etc. these people are unpredictable and unstable.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (10 January 2017):

Her ex IS abusive, this is what abusive people are often like. And they may be narcissists, but often psychopaths. There are many women out there who have had to change jobs, identities, even countries and still their ex behind them in the rear view mirror. It's so scary to think how we can become involved with someone who acts so normal, only for them to show their true narcissist/psychopathic personalities as soon as they think you're too involved to leave. I really think young women should be taught about abuse in schools, to teach them what to look out for, because there is so much of this terrible, terrible life altering abuse going on.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (9 January 2017):

Honeypie agony auntYikes so she isn't just the "garden variety" crazy but the calculating super psycho narcissist nuts! (not a diagnosis btw, I can't diagnose her I can only guess as to her mental state and my best guess? she is a narcissist to the roots)

YouTube have a LOT of good guidance videos on HOW to deal with a narcissist - I think you should take the time to see if any of those can help you.

There are also TONS of articles on the subject that can help.

I can see WHY you didn't cut the contact, so I'm sorry for saying: "I didn't get it". For me, it makes NO sense to allow abusive people free access, but when dealing with someone like your ex, I don't even know where to begin.

So if I were you, I'd arm myself with as much knowledge as possible.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (9 January 2017):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thanks so far for all of the wonderful and thoughtful responses. To answer some questions, she still has my contact information because I hadn't changed it. For a long time, I wasn't ready to completely cut ties. I had held on to a hope that somehow she would change and be a good person. I finally recognized that would never happen and have wanted her to go away for quite some time now. But it's never that simple with her.

It was easy for a while because she had been out of the country for two months over the summer so I didn't have to deal with her because she couldn't contact me even if she wanted to as her phone wasn't set up for international calls. But as soon as she got back into the country, she contacted me. I have found it better to humor her and talk to her occasionally rather than flat out ignoring her because when I ignore her, she does something crazy like what she just did - get a job at where I work. She got the job there because I told her I wanted no contact anymore and she lost it. So occasionally responding seems to keep her at bay more.

When she decides for whatever reason that she wants me back in her life, she stops at nothing to make it happen. I've tried to set boundaries for so long now, but she tramples through them like the kool-aid man. And she is so clever and manipulative that she will manage to find a way to get me back in her life somehow. This time, she faked a car wreck when I wasn't responding to her. She even went so far as to call my roommate. When that didn't work, she said she ran over a dog and needed me to console her. None of these things actually worked so she upped the ante. Now she just got a job where I work. When I got angry and told her how offensive it was, she tried to make ME feel like the crazy one by acting like she just needed a job and I was over reacting and being crazy. She already threatened to go to our manager about me if I can't "remain professional."

You have no idea how manipulative and sadistic this woman can be. It's insane. If she wants me in her life, she'll find a damn way to force me into it. And go so far as to make me look like the crazy one and that she's the victim. I just want her gone from my life and to leave me alone. My managers know how crazy she is, but she is so charming when she wants to be, that I truly worry that they will think I'm the one who is crazy.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 January 2017):

Oh I'm so sorry, how horrible for you.

Some abusive exes will go to ANY lengths to keep their control. As soon as she could feel she no longer had a hook in you, she did this to try and re-establish one.

Even though some people will think that this is just so she can pay her bills and she isn't doing this to get next to you, you and I know that this is ALL about getting as close to you as possible and trying to reconnect.

People who haven't been in an abusive relationship sometimes don't have the faintest idea what it is you're up against. Either in the relationship or after you've left. Which is exactly why you hear about women having to change their identity and move abroad sometimes, just to find themselves still followed and stalked and threatened and God alone knows what else.

All you can do is go to work, do your job and see what happens. If she starts on the mind games and abuse, tell your bosses about what is happening. They at least sound sympathetic.

Psychological and physical bullying (which is what abuse is, in varying degrees) of any kind, emotional or physical, should not have to be tolerated. Anything she does, make a record of, with witnesses if possible. Is there a friend or friends there who will have your back. Who will help you by being a witness to what she does? We know abusers are so clever that it might be difficult to pinpoint what she does, but write what she does, says and how it makes you feel. Then report her to your bosses if you can. The trouble is that getting her fired could be scary. If it comes to it, ask if your bosses could state some other reason for her having to go.

She wants to find out if you're seeing someone, so your new girlfriend may be in the firing line.

I understand why you haven't blocked her. Because an abusive ex of mine found me on Facebook and even though I finished it three and a half years ago and he's got another girlfriend, he can't bear the fact that he hasn't got a hold over me anymore. He has requested to be friends and I have just totally ignored it. I haven't rejected it or accepted it. Because even after all this time, I'm still scared about what he will do if I actively reject him again.

When people tell you to block and delete and so on and so on, they do so without realising that, because there have always been consequences to annoying or disobeying your abusive ex in the past, that doing such a thing as blocking/deleting etc, is a scary thing to do. It feels like baiting the bear. People just don't understand the nightmare that these people have been in your life and the fact that they are very happy to continue being a nightmare once you leave.

And normal rules don't apply in abusive relationships, past or present. If your ex sees that she no longer affects you, she will probably up the ante, not give up, as you have found out with her pulling this stunt.

This is why I think it's so unfair, when you hear about abused people, who have tried to move on, end up being the ones who have to move, leave, whatever it takes to get rid of the abusive ex. Some women have said that they will not be free until the other one is dead. I sincerely hope that this is not what you're up against here.

Warn your girlfriend about your ex if you haven't done so already, because when your ex finds out, she may be in danger.

You mention traumatic things that she has done to you while you were together. Do you think she's capable of wanting to be (as my abusive ex said to me) your worst nightmare? At the moment she's doing what she can. What I'm wondering is, do you think you should tell the police? About your history with her and now getting a job where you are.

She's stalking you, in a clever way. And I don't think she even knows about the fact that you're with someone yet? The police thankfully are well versed in abusive relationships. But be careful about the vibes you get when you're talking to them. Some of the police are abusive at home themselves. It runs everywhere and at all levels of every job you can think of. I've read about the police helping the abuser.

I don't want to scare you, but so far this isn't looking great. If she will go so far as to start working where you are, then you need to be on your guard.

I would recommend you read about abuse if you haven't already. I'm obviously only guessing at her level of abuse and at various scenarios that may happen, but if you read about what's happened to others, you may be able to judge better for yourself what you're up against.

Get help from professionals too. Get in touch with the women's refuge in your area and ask them what advice and help you could get.

Best of luck xx

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 January 2017):

What I don't understand is if you have been finished with her for quite some time now why would she even have your phone number or contact details especially if you cannot stand her and hate her so much.

I don't get that one.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 January 2017):

Get a tape recorder and keep it on. Then if she says anything terrible you can prove it.

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A female reader, Nittynora United Kingdom +, writes (9 January 2017):

Nittynora agony auntWiseOwl as usual has given excellent advice. Its a horrible position for you to be in especially after all you have been through, I hope she leaves you alone. Be strong hold your head up high and any trouble like wiseowl said go straight to HR and keep a diary too xxx

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (9 January 2017):

No worries! If a co-worker harasses you in anyway, you report it immediately to HR. It helps when you have a co-worker to corroborate incidents that can be construed as intimidation, retaliation, or stalking. The law protects you on the job; and your employer doesn't need the liability.

May I suggest that you do your job and go about your workday as usual. Her point is to get in your way, and sometimes we just have to be tough and not let people get to us. It is likely she will not last; because she seems to have some issues that may become apparent to others around her. Especially when she seems to stay more focused on you than her job.

I have to be straightforward with you. She has a right to work wherever she pleases. Your not being able to deal with someone you brought in and out of your life over and over; just means you're going to have to suck it up, and deal with it once again. If she is even lucky enough to make it through her probationary period; you'll have to adapt to her presence. She's got to pay her bills just like you do. So it isn't likely she's going to screw herself, just to get next to you.

It's a small world, and she could have just as easily moved next-door. You will just have to learn to live with it. Report any activities that indicate any hostilities towards you, or in breech of company policies. That's all you can do. If she stalks or bothers you after work, seek a restraining order. Which you should have done long ago!

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (9 January 2017):

Honeypie agony auntWhy did you allow her to still text/call you? Why not BLOCK her from your life? I mean it's a little late now since you are working together - I just don't understand why you didn't block her before in those 3 years. Ignoring her texts doesn't resolve anything.

I'd say UNLESS your workplace DEMANDS that all coworkers have your phone number, BLOCK her on your phone. IF you can't DO that GET a new number and DO not give it to her.

As for her getting a job at your workplace, that is creepy and scary. I hope you have told your new GF already.

This new job of her does it mean YOU have to interact with her? Or is it just in the same company? If it's the first, I'd look into switching branch (if possible) if not possible, just be professional and DO NOT feel obligated to have small-talk or tell her ANYTHING personal. If you don't HAVE to interact with her to get your job done IGNORE her. If she tries and get you alone, KEEP walking away.

My guess is, she wants to re-kindle the relationship. She wants her punching bag back. Since YOU no longer wear rose tinted glasses where SHE is concerned, don't fall for it and simply STICK to being professional but BLOCK her from your private life.

She wants to get DEEP under your skin.

IF YOU react by telling her off and basically interact WITH her, she feels she has won and can "get" you back. So KEEP it COOL, IGNORE her in person. KEEP a journal if she starts to act in a non-appropriate work way. Unfortunately, your JOB doesn't have to fire her because you had an abusive relationship with her. SHE knows this. Unless there is a LEGAL paper trail ( you having had a protective order against her, court documents etc.) it's kind of hard for a company to tell her she is fired. My guess is, they will give her a 90 days trial? If they DO keep your eyes peeled.

I'm sorry this can not be pleasant for you. The BEST way for you to move forward is by showing her how LITTLE (even if you have to fake it) she affects you. And for goodness sake BLOCK her from your phone and social media.

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