Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
DK25

Being Bullied As An Adult

Recommended Posts

Hello:

Throughout my life I have been bullied....my father was a bully, my older sister, and step mother is a bully and now I am in nursing school...yep you guessed it I have a teacher and she is a bully...

I'm a shy person but I am smart...I try to get along with everyone and keep to myself...

I just don't know what to do anymore...I'm too old for this (in my late 30s)...I do not understand why bullies target me ?? Yes I have no self esteem, but I don't let anyone see that...I appear confident and outgoing....

Advice? What am I doing wrong?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello:

Throughout my life I have been bullied....my father was a bully, my older sister, and step mother is a bully and now I am in nursing school...yep you guessed it I have a teacher and she is a bully...

I'm a shy person but I am smart...I try to get along with everyone and keep to myself...

I just don't know what to do anymore...I'm too old for this (in my late 30s)...I do not understand why bullies target me ?? Yes I have no self esteem, but I don't let anyone see that...I appear confident and outgoing....

Advice? What am I doing wrong?

Hi DK25...I can relate, as I am nearly 30 years old and I've been bullied all my life. Some things stood out to me in what you said.

First, you say you're shy but smart and keep to yourself. I'm the same way...I believe that some people make assumptions about folks like us. They might mistake our shyness for arrogance. I'm not sure why that might be, but that's the way it is. I've always been told that I think I'm better than everybody else. It is very hurtful and upsetting to hear this, because I don't see myself as behaving that way at all. But maybe the problem lies with others and their perceptions. Perhaps they don't understand that being introverted is not a bad thing and it certainly doesn't mean a superiority complex. My cousin got up in my face once and angrily accused me of thinking I was better than her, out of the blue. And when I was in school, I had quite a few teachers (mostly female) who tried to embarrass me because they perceived me as cold and snobbish. One teacher even called my mother to complain that I supposedly thought I was better than everybody else...not true at all, and a very mean thing to say.

With me, it is also compounded by the fact that in my culture, Black women are generally expected to be loud and I'm not. I am also very light-skinned and there is a stereotype about light-skinned, quiet Black women being "snobs". I think some people feel threatened by what they don't understand.

Shy people are often targeted by bullies, not necessarily because you've done anything wrong, but because they see us as easy targets. Being a bit more assertive can help sometimes. You haven't described this teacher's behavior towards you...how is she bullying you? It might be more helpful if you could tell us in a bit more detail. I've heard that sometimes nursing students have to deal with bullying from higher-ups.

I've wanted to confront some people for the way they were treating me, but on some level I was afraid to...like if it was a teacher/professor who had authority over my academic future, but they were making rude comments directed at me, with the intent of making me uncomfortable. Maybe you should start keeping a detailed log of incidents or comments. If the behavior is affecting your work or your ability to learn, you should definitely speak with somebody who can help you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DK25,

I can most definitely relate!!!! I had a HORRIBLE adult bullying situation at my workplace for 5 years.....1 supermanager, 1 who thought she was my manager, and 1 coworker. I stayed because I thought I would be weak if I left because I was doing nothing wrong. My therapist at the time told me that no, I had needed to look for a new workplace whenever I'm in such a toxic one.

I also stayed because I was 40 and my husband had just left me and had taken all my savings....I needed the money.

I left 6 1/2 years ago and things have been going well where I work, but it's not fulltime which I need.

I have relied on God and a good book about bullying "Take the Bully by the Horns." It doesn't answer everything I need to know, but it answers 75% of it.

I am smart, outgoing, and people like me, I'm also a good and gentle person.......they jump on that and see all of that as threatening and a good target.

I'm tired of it too...I certainly don't need it at 52 or in the future....it really caused my depression and anxiety to go to a new level.

You are going to need to set boundaries with your teacher.....what is she doing? Embarassing you, calling on you to answer questions because she doesn't think you are ready to answer them, what? You might want to talk to her after class and tell her/him "I don't like your doing,......It was uncalled for. I am one of your students and I expect to be treated with respect." Don't make it lengthy, and don't give her/him the opportunity to argue or get in a conversation with you about it. Just say it and walk away. Even if he/she tries to call you back....walk on....own your own power.

Unfortunately, you have to stand up to these people, or they continue on and on and on....they will never respect you unless you speak to them in the manner to which they are accustomed.. ....in their own language.....being nice and fair is not something they understand or hear......oh, but after you have stood up to them...and it takes practice and some time before you know how to do it........you feel so good about yourself!!!!!

I don't know everything about it, but I have been learning and know more than I did and have had to stand up against a couple of bullies since and it worked.

But, not I have a coworker who is being difficult....so, here we go again.

Let us know what your teacher is doing.......

Peony

Edited by Peony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This teacher has come to the conclusion I "think" I'm smarter than everyone else....she goes out of her way to belittle me in class...she will lecture and when she asks a question, I have raised my hand and answered......she will roll her eyes and tell everyone how wrong I am....I don't even speak anymore...I have to start clinicals in a few weeks..she is my clinical teacher...she has followed me during our lab and makes comments that she can "fail" someone for no reason... we had to post comments on blackboard about a subject...she only responded to mine and of course made sure every knew my comments are wrong...we have 35 people..but she responded to only my comments

I have had many people in my life tell people how stupid I am-I am the dumb one in the family....

I have a 3.2 gpa in nursing school....do I feel dumb? Sometimes I do sometimes I don't but I certainly do not think I am smarter then everyone else...

I wonder what I do for bullies to target me.... I hate feeling this way

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would skip talking to her and complain in person directly to her supervisor or the head of the dept. and tell him/her you are being bullied by your instructor......the school doesn't want the liability or the trouble...it sounds like she could go and fire you even if you don't speak up, so what do you have to lose?

And....aren't you paying for school....regardless of whether it's your money or a loan, you are their customer.....and you need to tell her supervisor as such.....tell her your grade point average and tell her you don't want to get an attorney involved, but you will if you have to do so.

Get the book TAKE THE BULLY BY THE HORNS which will describe personalities, etc. that attract bullies.

This is not a quick fix situation, but if you do the above and document everything you do it might make a difference. Then again, her supervisor or head of dept. might be jerks too, you never know...that is why you have to play hardball and speak THEIR language......all you can do is try, and believe me, it will make you feel better about yourself.

You might want to see a therapist about your always being bullied in life......a strong, assertive woman would be good.

Good luck and don't think that no action by you means you are safe....it sounds like she is getting her jollies emotionally abusing you.

Peony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Peony....

After a long sleepless night, I went in to school....we have practice lab...so I went in and practiced.....another teacher whom I adore came in and asked me how it's going...I guess she can see the look on my face...well she told me in confidence that the teacher has made fun of me in her office to other teachers....

When I get nervous I blink a lot...it's a nervous tic and she brings it out......well she told a few other teachers that she can't stand to look at me...and I must be "********." I asked the teacher why didn't she stick up for me and her response was "I need my job." Gosh, I'm an adult....all I want to do is learn and now???? You cannot make this up....I feel like this is a movie...and the credits will role soon.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is REALLY bad..... so horrible........

She is not going to stop......unfortunately this is real life, and I'm certain you are not her first target and won't be her last.....she does this for fun, power, sense of control.....basically evil behavior in my opinion.

So what are you going to do about it?

Peony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to tell the dean I'm withdrawing....I wrote everything down that she has done...if they want me to stay then she needs to go..I won't tell them that they can figure it out. I am a good student and I've come to the conclusion she has no right to teach...even in nursing?! Can you imagine if you were at a hospital and you found out your nurse was a bully and making fun of you to other nurses or worse a loved one?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi DK,

People have tried to bully me through out my life and I don't allow it. I will stand up to anyone who even tries it. Nursing school is tough, but it's nothing like real life.

I'm an RN and have been constantly bullied, back stabbed and "set up" in the work place. Nurses can be very cruel to their coworkers, so you need to find a solution to deal with bullies.

I will never let a bully make me feel bad about myself, in reality it's the bully who has low self esteem.

Continue with your education and stand up for yourself, don't let one person ruin your hope and dreams.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Moody Blues:

Thank you for your kind words...this situation has really put a bad taste in my mouth for the profession. You are not the first person who has told me this about Nurses. I wanted to be a nurse for about 7 years and now I have the chance to do it. Plus I thought I could have a career with opportunity-but now...

The nursing director was not in so I spoke with the Dean...he seemed shocked and apologized. The director just left me a voice mail and said the teacher will work on her "teaching approach." So now I have a decision to make...do I continue at a school that allows the teachers to call students mentally challenged (you know which word-starts with an R) and bullys or do I try and find another school and start again

Edited by DK25

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi DK.

My nursing college was like "boot camp", professors were tough and unrelenting. I was berated and picked on many times. My solution was to work harder and be the best in my class, I graduated with a 4.0 GPA and aced my boards in 50 minutes.

You have two choices, stand up for yourself, or let one person drag you down. I decided, no one was going to take away what I worked so hard for.

It doesn't matter what your professor thinks of you, she obviously has her own problems going on, don't allow her to make them yours.

You need to handle these kinds of situations now, before you go out into the nursing world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you...

Too bad she is my clinical instructor-I guess I need to think about things...

Thanks Moody-I am a bully magnet and I guess I need to figure out why..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DK,

I think that is a great start on your part...telling the Dean....I'm glad he was shocked....now he knows if he didn't before.

As for the Nursing director, my bet is that she has allowed this to go on. Bullying occurs in a work environment whenever management is not good and allows it.

Regardless, it will be interesting now to see how your instructor reacts towards you now.....she NEVER thought you would say anything to those above her.....so fantastic job!

It takes practice to deal with these people, and that is what you are doing now, instead of being passive. Moody is right....you need to start to learn how to deal with it now, and you do that by facing it and jumping in like you did by telling.

Don't let the instructor intimidate you anymore or threaten you now because you have told. If I were you, I would carry a mini recorder to class and record every class.....if she asks what you are doing, etc., tell her you want to record your class lessons, and you do not have to explain it any further. If she has a problem with it, tell her she needs to talk to the Dean about it. Say that in front of everyone. Don't say anything more.

Yes, I too have heard that "nurses eat their own." So if you want to be a nurse, you are going to run into this quite a bit, as you and Moody know....so I would look into a good therapist as soon as you can...one who is a woman and assertive would be important. She can help learn why you are a target....how your family contributed to this, and tools to keep your own power in such circumstances.

I am just really proud of you for telling the Dean!!!! :Coopclapping:

How do you feel about your first step regarding standing up for yourself?

Peony

Edited by Peony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you...

Too bad she is my clinical instructor-I guess I need to think about things...

Thanks Moody-I am a bully magnet and I guess I need to figure out why..

I'm a bully magnet too. Maybe I come across as weak, because I treat people with kindness and respect.

My shyness sometimes comes across as aloofness and can irritate people. These people interpret that I think I'm better then them, which is not the case. I've tried to soften my body language and engage in more conversation, that didn't work either.

I decided to be who I am! Some people love me, some people hate me and I'm OK with that. As long as I'm true to myself and do the best I can, I'm happy with me. You can't let other people, define who you are.

There's always going to be someone who is looking to drag you down, don't allow it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading this really did strike a few chords with me. This whole "bully magnet" thing... well yes I am one of those. It took therapy & CBT for me to learn the skills to stand up to people. I always found it easier to stand up for other people, but when it came to me, I felt weak. Professional help is the best way I have found to change being bullied. This is because not only do you learn how to be assertive but also you are able to explore, in a safe environment, the reasons why you are targetted.

There are alot of sad people in the world and for some reason, rather than build their own self-esteem by becoming a respected person, they seem to do it by targetting some others. I dont know the answer to why we become magnets for bullying I only know that we can do much to prevent it from happening in the future.

I was bullied at home (emotionally abused), bullied at school and in work (the work bullying went on until only a few yeaers ago & it was CBT that stopped it). i was also bullied when playing sport too.

As I say, CBT/Therapy helped me stop it. Part of that was realising that I was not in the wrong and that people were actually targetting me unfailry. I used to think I was bringing it on myself.

What I realise now is that to some degree "I was playing their game". I was playing the bullies game. Just going along with it. I didnt realise there was anything that could be done to change it. But now I have been empowered I am able to recognise people and situations that might lead to bullying. That does not mean I live in fear, I dont. Moreso, I am able to recognise what might become harmful to me and act before anything happens.

Also, an interesting comment recently..... i was telling a coleague about a teacher who subjected me to bullying, she criticised me openly, changed marks already put on coursework by other teachers & did everything in her power to screw up my english. well she did. but i re-took it at college & did very well. i wish i could have shuvved the certificate in her face, that would have given me alot of pleasure.

she chose to pick on me because she hated my brother. i wish i had been a stronger person in those days but physically and mentally i was already the subject of much bullying and mistreatment so i was powerless to fight back.

so... the interesting comment from my colleague? That in alot of professions such as teaching and nursing.... that it attracts bullies. because of power I think her comment was. I was quite shocked but from what you are saying here DK25, you are in both brackets of that - as in it's a teacher doing this and related to nursing.

It really sucks. I dont understand why anyone doing things related to a caring profession would do this. but that's just it. i dont understand bullies.

if i could come & sort her out for you i would.

i am hoping that the dean is going to do that and some of the other people who were well aware of the situation are going to grow backbones and support you.

its bad enough being bullied without people who should do something, actively letting you down because they wont stand up for you.

well, if i had the change i would stand up for you.

thats because i hate bullies.

i'm so glad that first off you have come here to share your story. and secondly i am very proud of you for doing what you have done about this situation. you are brave and courageous. and i admire that in you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you...

Well I have to withdraw-the Nursing Director left me a message and said that there's nothing she can do-either I go back to class or flunk. I'm not going back...she will flunk me anyway-she is my clinical teacher and all she has to say is I did something wrong...it's her word against mine..

I currently have an A in Pharmacology and a B in her class. I'm going to write an email to the Dean telling him this is unacceptable and I want my money back since I cannot continue in a program that allows faculty to belittle and foster a bullying environment..

I don't know....you stand up but you lose in the end---

I don't want to be a victim..I can't believe I'm sharing this story...I worked in the Financial Field for awhile...at one job I had a manager who was a bully...he used to punch me in the arm-and tell me I was such a "re***rd" He couldn't believe how stupid I was...he did it in front of people...no one said a word because he was friends with the director...I let it go on for months..I finally spoke up because I couldn't take anymore. I lost my job, I sued and I lost. I was a great employee-promoted three times in 4 years-raving reviews-

Ironically, I wanted to become a nurse because I wanted to help people...I felt that the experience would help me be even more caring..I mean really I laugh out loud about this. I must be stupid..because nursing seems to be even a bigger industry for bullying.

I am a caring person..I don't care what color you are, or where you have been...I always want to learn from people..am I perfect? God no and I don't pretend to be-I want to find my place in the world and have a career...I want to be successful and help those who want the same

Thank you everyone for your kind words-I think I did the right thing (I over analyze everything)-I guess I need to take a step back and think about what to do now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DK25,

The Nursing Director's change in attitude doesn't surprise me - "there's nothing she can do." Like I said earlier poor managers permit this to occur. I hope you will pursue the Dean and ask for your money back......and I'm glad you sued before in the prior situation.....yes, you stand up and you lose, but had you not done so, she would have gotten rid of you anyway. I believe in those situations we have to do what's best for us....stand up for ourselves, and look for an environment that is not toxic.

Some of us here have suggested that you the way to learn the signs of such an environment and such bullies and how to avoid and to act is to see a good therapist. I also recommended a book.

FWIW, I was bullied 5 years in a place of employment by 3 people....when I did stand up to one for something that was personal to me and none of her business...she told a higher up bully who took me into a room on a friday and SCREAMED at me 1 foot away, telling me never to do that again....I stayed because I needed the money....my husband had left me.......and people told me just to overlook the bullying....let it run off my back like a duck.

So, I didn't say a word for 2 more years and took it. They laid me off anyway......

I was so shell shocked from all that emotional abuse that I'm still very sensitive to new managers, new coworkers, and I am afraid to jump into a new working environment even though it would mean fulltime instead of parttime where I feel safe with my nice coworkers and managers.

I too just want to help people. I am a teacher....I have helped a lot of people the last 7 years in my work who are poor and have trouble in society....it has given me a purpose for joy and to keep living. But, if I were in a toxic, bullying environment again, it would trigger my depression and anxiety again, and I would have to look for another job.

There is no black or white to fixing the bullying problem, but therapy is a good beginning.

You are very courageous!

Peony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peony:

Yeah I needed the money too...I actually think I stayed closer to a year, I let the manager do what he wanted..he would also pinch me in the arm...I was single at the time (I'm married now and my husband cannot fathom why I don't stick up for myself)...

I need therapy-it's the elephant in the room...I used to believe I'm being punished..maybe I'm not good enough, or maybe I am a bad person and this is some punishment..I know it sounds bizarre...I just do not have an explanation.

I'm not very social and don't try new things...because I am afraid someone will tell me I'm stupid or laugh at me. It took a lot for me to go to nursing school-I was thinking of doing hospice..I would want to be there when someone is dying..to try and make their world a little better-or oncology.

You are also brave and I thank you for your kind words...I love the fact you are a teacher...and I'm sure a good one.

After I stop the crying, I need to dust myself off and decide what to do...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read a recurring theme in your posts, DK25, that your bullies think you're "stupid" and the R-word. I hope that you are not internalizing anything they're saying, because you are NOT those things. Those people must be really weak and insecure to treat you that way.

With me, it is also compounded by the fact that in my culture, Black women are generally expected to be loud and I'm not. I am also very light-skinned and there is a stereotype about light-skinned, quiet Black women being "snobs". I think some people feel threatened by what they don't understand.

I've been in the same boat. I've been the target of ignorant people for the same reasons. There is such a narrow view of how black people should be, and too much negative conditioning that certain things are considered "acting white." You're right that people are threatened by what they don't understand. A lot of this "You think you're better than me" stuff is rooted in insecurity. I wish that instead of treating people poorly for being different people would learn to embrace everyone's differences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Figuiring it out - I find people assume a lot about people depending on their apperarance, race, the way they speak, etc. You are right....bullies are insecure people, feeling better by controlling and having sick power over others....I am a very empathic person, but I am sorry, I have no empathy for them or their past. What the 3 bullies did to me at work was true evil in my opinion...and I will NEVER speak to them if I ever see them on the street or in town....or if I do I will tell them they are horrible people.

DK25 - thanks for saying I'm brave.....I don't know if I am or not, because I just want to give up on life whenever I'm in those situations....it makes me feel there is no hope regarding mankind if people like that exist and want to prevent someone from making a living.

My past therapist told me next time I'm in that situation I need to get out of that toxic environment and find a new place tow work. So maybe that's the plan here for you....to get in a better learning environment for you...don't give up on nursing or hospice if that is what you want to do. My colleague was a hospice nurse and her supervisor was a bully......they are in a lot of places. I always ask for god's protection and strength to know how to deal with them whenever I go into a different situation where there might be one. I think the dream is possible, but you may have to go through a lot of difficulties to get there....perseverance and strength is what we need to get there.

Keep us posted what you do.

Peony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Peony and Figuring things out:

My in laws think I made a mistake and I should have let the teacher flunk me...they also are a little mad that my husband is supporting me and maybe I should just be happy and find a job-I don't know maybe they are right...but I want a career that will allow me to have some stability and not just another dead end job.

Yes I don't have any sympathy for bullies...I don't care what happened to you in the past-I didn't do it so why are you treating me this way?

Actually yes, now I think maybe I am stupid...this is the recurring theme -I've been told I'm stupid my whole life..my own father called me dumb...

I am an adult and I feel like I'm in 6th grade again-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DK25,

Something I learned in therapy that when applied and remembered by me at each decision making crossroad is that I never make a wrong decision.

Every decision I make is the the right one for me at that moment in time with what I know and the tools I know to use. Later if I know more or something different, maybe I will make a different decision. Learning and utilizing this has helped me tremendously stop doubting myself and my decisions.

It doesn't matter what your in-laws think...you made your own decision for what was right for you at that moment...you are an adult....and that is all that matters.

You are not in 6th grade, so don't let others treat you that way, and you certainly are not dumb!

I really hope you will try to find a good match of a therapist for you...it could help you more than you realize if you have someone good.

I think your decision that you want a career and not a deadend job is the right one....I feel the same for me and my employment.

In-laws don't always have the best advice or your best interest at heart......I remember before my ex-husband left me, months earlier my ex-mother in law scolded me and said I was too harsh with him and expected too much of him (I wanted him to pay me back the hundreds of thousands he borrowed from me) - that I should just forgive him and have the best relationship in my life I could.....I don't know how that is possible with someone you cannot trust.

Anyway, you need to start believing in your decisions....I was like you....didn't know what to decide most of the time with important decisions....which would be right, which would be wrong......you just make the decision and go forward, never turning back and doubting it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah...it sucks that one person can completely screw up your plans..right now I feel lost...I don't know what to do. I don't even want to fight anymore-I don't want to ask for my money back or even speak to anyone..this is where the victim thinking comes in. I start to think I shouldn't have said anything, but she would have failed me. Then I would be in the same position. I haven't been sleeping well-I keep thinking what could I have done for this not to happen..

I always doubt my decisions...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. Just Wow. I came to this thread late and just finished reading all the posts. Man, DK25, I'm so sorry you have gone through such a tough situation. I work at a community college, and the way that teacher was treating you was totally wrong. You would be well within your rights to sue her and the college. That being said, I am not brave enough to do that myself!

I was bullied all my life by my Father, so naturally, I was a magnet for bullies all my life. The most recent one nearly caused me to end my life. I don't want to go into all the long details, but I'll say that she is the Dean of Libraries here at my college. I was a new library manager at one of the campus libraries (we have about 8 campuses). I am a very experienced librarian and manager, and had been the asst director of a medium sized public library for 8 years prior to taking the college job. I've worked as a librarian for almost 40 years. I was confident and competent. Within two years this woman turned me into a sniveling wreck who wanted to end her life. I have some pretty serious medical problems as well as MI, and I could not handle her constant bullyng. The other managers were sympathetic and told me it was obvious she was using me as her whipping girl, but no one would stand up for me, and I didn't stand up for myself either.

If I hadn't found the DF, I would not be here now. My eating disorder was out of control and I had gained 100 lbs within two years. I was beside myself and in terrible pain both mentally and physically. Finally, I started seeing a Therapist and with the help of my friends here on the DF I went to a Psychiatrist for the first time. I started meds and you have no idea how much better I felt.

But, I could not bring myself to confront my attacker, or complain about her. She is the most vicious, toxic person I've ever come into contact with. If I'd said one word of complaint she'd have doubled, no, tripled her treatment of me. So, I said nothing. I begain to ask her to let me step down from being a manger and move into an entry-level Reference position. Finally, after I threatened to bring in letters from all my Dr's saying I needed to step down, she finally let me do it. Luckily, it did not affect my salary, but I am now in the same sort of entry level job as I started in 40 years ago. I love the work, but I know my experience and knowledge is being wasted. My supervisor has been a librarian for two years. So, I just do my job and say nothing. I'm away from the bully now and very happy. Unfortunately, this woman will continue to bully others and be protected by the higher-ups at the college.

So, I can totally sympathize.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...