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Two years and I should be over the treatment at my last workplace!

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Question - (14 February 2017) 5 Answers - (Newest, 17 May 2017)
A female United Kingdom age 22-25, *lk23 writes:

It's been nearly 2 years since I left my precious work place. This workplace was awful. I was treated horribly by both management and staff. I was talked about behind my back, was given almost all the workload and I was even called 'their bitch' at one point (not directly to myself but it was said in passing). They even had me In tears, I looked weak. My biggest regret was not sticking up for myself, not being confident enough to put a stop to it. Considering I had just left high school the year previous as a very confident, bubbly person that did stick up for herself.

I'm not sure why I didn't. It was like the minute I stepped foot in the office that first day my confidence was shot. I was there for a year before leaving and am now at a new workplace we're I am completely myself, I don't need to stick up for myself because I'm treated with respect but I know if I had to I would this time round. I'm embarrassed to take about my previous workplace because I know that if my current colleagues were to see me back then they would t recognise me.

It's been 2 years and I should be over it by now, I know I should, but I can't move on. I hate that I let them turn me into someone I wasn't, and I wish they could see me now. I hate that I let them treat me the way I did and I can't seem to forgive myself or move on from it.

View related questions: confidence, move on, workplace

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A female reader, Flk23 United Kingdom +, writes (17 May 2017):

Flk23 is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Hi everyone, sorry I'm so so so late to the update. I had forgotten log in details and then when I did remember them I had to come back to this question to reread the replies more than once to make myself feel better about the situation.

I still think of it from time to time but I try not to let it get me down anymore. I am a lot better but I reckon I may need to come back to read these replies to remind me what to do when I start feeling bad about it.

Thank you all for taking the time to reply!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (16 February 2017):

This is how being abused makes you feel. This is why so many women and men who are abused, don't talk about it and feel shame when they were the ones who were treated badly.

It doesn't mean you are weak. It means you are human and susceptible to the psychological phenomena that happen to people who are abused.

We all are. Even those who think they would never stand for bad treatment, get surprised when it happens to them and it happens in the right way and at the right time for it to make it something you put up with.

It sounds as if you were vastly outnumbered and you were very young. It only takes a second of hesitation to stick up for yourself for that to become your default behaviour in that particular situation. In fact sticking up for yourself against a lot of people in a new job, when you've just started would be incredibly difficult. I bet it's rare.

We all have good days and bad days and some days if someone says something to me that's disrespectful, they won't know what's hit them. Other times I won't say boo to a goose.

I've put up with things when I shouldn't have, I've over reacted to things that I should have been calmer about. We're human! We're not perfect and neither are those people who treated you like that in your first job. I bet many of them really regret their behaviour.

Yes, I'm sure you want them know you are different now, but staying with this feeling is continuing to give them power and importance in your life. You HAVE to let it go. Cut yourself some slack. You reacted as an awful lot of people would have reacted. Forgive yourself. I'm constantly having to forgive myself. LOL. WE ALL ARE. You are not the only one with regrets about loads of different things, WE ALL HAVE THEM.

As you get older there will be more undoubtedly. Learning to accept and love yourself, warts and all, is something we all try to do.

Pick yourself up and know that you are a good person. Those people at your first job will never know how GOOD that feels. Being a good person. That's what matters.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (15 February 2017):

Honeypie agony auntWell, OP when we go through a traumatic experience it sticks with us for a LONG time. And the way you were treated WERE a traumatic experience for you.

Is it, however, time to move on? I'd say it is - but this is YOUR life, so you do it at YOUR pace.

You were right out of school, inexperienced and eager to DO the right thing - which is probably WHY you "let" them treat you this way. Even though you KNEW this isn't right. It's like having a shit BF and staying with him. We know WE deserve better, we know it's shit but we also HOLD out hope that things will get better IF ONLY we... (insert thing). You stuck it out for a year! That is a testament to YOUR convictions, work ethics and standards. So in that sense, I think you NEED to find it in your heart to forgive yourself.

Secondly, look at is as a LESSON in life. Not one you wanted, but one you got.

And lastly, the LONGER you let this experience keep YOU down - the longer you let THEM "win". The longer you beat yourself up, the longer you will live with the regrets of working there. Think about it! YOU are FREE of that place and those SHITTY people. But THEY are not. They are stuck in a perpetual crappy cycle - YOU moved on. YOU found a MUCH better place.

You know the saying: "The best revenge is living a good life"? It's actually true. You DON'T NEED to show them anything, you don't need to prove anything to them. You need to start living in the here and now. And ENJOY life.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (15 February 2017):

Just get a solicitor and catalogue all the ways they disrespected you in the work place!

If you are in a union ask them to do it.

Put in a claim for constructive dismissal .ie where the company makes your life so miserable by their unreasonable behaviour to you that you are forced to quit.

It will make you feel better to put it in writing and through the courts.

It also prevents them doing it to the person they took on after you.

And if you adequately prove your case then you win compensation from the renegade company.

But dont worry about the proving it bit.

Its the solicitors job to deal with the nuances of the law and they understand how to present your case and should also be there to represent you in court when you make your claim against the charlatans!

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A male reader, Denizen United Kingdom + , writes (15 February 2017):

Denizen agony auntYou may not feel able to forgive them but you can forget them. Keep looking forwards and not back - never back. We all go through dark patches in life, but they are just that - patches.

To look back at that time is just like continuing to swallow the poison. Come on! Life is good. You are young - and you are stronger now than you were then.

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