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PTSD at work (and in life)

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I mean, that's not even the worst of it. There's this constant negativity like nothing I do is right or good enough, and no positive input.

And I was accused earlier and bawled out inaccurately (which I argued with, bad me!) ...But that's one of my very serious triggers AND boundaries. (Which btw in the past I've, been condemned for trying to address, in other situations, but I guess one is never permitted to stand up for oneself, if one is ME. And I am.)

So I'm drafting notes to her cuz I'm supposed to tell her when she's being an 4ss, but bet to dollars to donuts it'll come back to bite me. Can I handle that? NO. NO I CAN'T. But I can't handle being constantly told I'm a,fvckup, either. (Not in that word, but you know what I mean.)

So idk. Catch-22. I'm so sick of being treated like siht. 


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Yes, the worst Catch-22. 

The worst because she asked you to tell her when she's projecting/being overbearing and yet she can't take it. 

It sounds terrible. :(

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Can't sleep.

I sent the email. Now I'll be freaked out about the reaction forever. Because such things historically cause me horrible grief. 

But I can't bear being treated crappily or berated like a child.

I just can't.

No one would be okay with being treated like this, especially in a new job.

There are already too many facets to it, to explain. I only addressed one of them with this. It was long, and also would be too much to try to address more at that time. (And I've been rarely berated in priors for writing such things, for using too many words, for not expressing myself, FOR expressing myself, etc.)

The new gal is becoming a huge problem but saving that for another battle. 

And another new gal starts Monday.

I am below them all, have no peers, all of them will be bossing me, none of them evidently know how to actually manage a human.

(Yes I'm re-opening my job search, but remember it took years to find this one, my needs and limits are unique, and NO job is going to be the answer anyway, for many reasons, not the least of which is this repeating issue of serious, significant and even devastating abuse in nearly every job from the beginning of time.)

I just don't want to be treated like this. Just when I think I've experienced everything, something outrageously over-the-top comes along....

I can't sleep...    Maybe they are all right and I am stupid and worthless. Maybe they've all been right that I am just ridiculous to think I'm anything. Maybe I *am* ridiculous and pathetic and stupid and careless and don't think and don't try hard enough and can't do anything right. It's hard not to wonder when so many people insist,  and go to great lengths to treat you like that.

Even if I am a piece of sh!t, I'm still sick of being treated like that. I honestly don't see others being put through this, over and over for decades....a lifetime....  Maybe I deserve it but I'm not an a4s4ole like so many others are while they rise and gain respect and I just get kicked further and further down....

I just can't anymore


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I'm thinking of you and going to pray for you. Hugs

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Thanks hoping



Every which way I turn, it's wrong

Like a house of horrors, every hall or door leads to more 

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Even though there's the risk of fallout from sending that email, and it must feel unsettling as you wait, I'm glad you sent it. Boss Lady has been projecting on you and treating you unfairly in so many ways, and that deserves a voice. You had every right to say what you needed to say (and she invited you to). From what you've described of her, she might not handle it the way that a leader should (she might project, get personally offended, etc.), but she shouldn't be treating you less-than, or projecting onto you. 

I can imagine the mixed feelings you might feel.

Standing up to abuse in the workplace is one of the hardest things to do! 

I'm so sorry that you're in a situation in which who you truly are isn't being seen, heard, or honored.

My thoughts are with you!


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Thank you.

It's not going to end well no matter what, I think. There's so many ways that this is "crazy" - it's that true, classic abusive environment. Every which way. Nothing I do is right, expected to mind-read, put up with tantrums with inaccurate accusations, fuzzy EVERYTHING like no matter which way you go, it's not good enough or right. 

I miss a lot of what I left behind in the old job. All the things I was afraid I'd miss, I do. Seriously a lot. There's no going back, though. That situation - they forced me to leave, or else I would have in short order been terrorized for something heinous and forced out anyway. The signs were absolute. I couldn't allow them to terrorize me. So, but I was very sad to be forced to leave that way.  Athough there was also a huge ethical dilemma with my workplace which also made it the "right thing" to leave, but that doesn't make it better.

Nothing feels okay right now. 


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I wish in workplaces it was considered acceptable to say to "superiors," "I'm not okay with being talked-to like that."  (Or even, "Your little tantrums are not okay! That's not how you treat people!")

It's that it's mandatory to just "accept" it as "feedback" and be "open to it" or else you're being "defensive" and "insubordinate."

Which is just craziness. Being less-than in every way, including humanity.

Well....... you could do it, but then they'd say, "Fine then, there's the door. Buh-bye now."

(Being able to say such things still wouldn't fix the rest of the bonkers stuff going on, however.)


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It's gotten way worse. 

It did not go well that I spoke my mind (even though I was told to!)

I am pretty unacceptable. And it went VERY personal in a VERY degrading and humiliating way...  Every time I think I've seen it all..... they find new ways....

And of course, like any abuser, the tantrums (I didn't call them that explicitly) were completely denied. Of course she NEVER did that! And of course, she has given me positive feedback! (A lie, it didn't happen.)  When I feel like I can't do anything right and I'm doing everything wrong, of course it's my own fault. I AM sucking. I'm not being careful!

And I'm expected to mind-read so incredibly crazily that I can't even describe the situation - and not only expected, but I'm wrong and bad and not good enough for not thinking two steps ahead and just not performing by not being able to magically mind-read about something I have no clue about and which she's not even making logical sense about... but ... I can't explain why it doesn't make sense to expect that, of course.

It's so unbelievably bad and I'm so incredibly upset that all I want to do is go back in the middle of the night tonight and take my stuff and NEVER go there again.  (I can't - well, I shouldn't. I'll lose my income AND my whole household's medical benefits.)

I can't hold my head up. My DIGNITY has been removed (again!!! how the heck do they manage this stuff?!?!)   AND - when I said it was degrading, and humiliating, was told ("I don't want you to feel that way!")  ... and when I said it was INTIMATELY PERSONAL, was told ("I'm not crossing any lines here.")   And I refused to be okay with it! I refused to let her "off the hook" at the end of the "convo" when she said she didn't want me to leave feeling worse than when I came in. I was very OBVIOUSLY upset and stunned. I won't bury that. My DIGNITY - keeps being scoured off me with sandpaper and a drill......   and when I stand up and ask to be respected.... it keeps making me be degraded and humiliated even more.


I can't. I can't. I can't. I can't. I can't.

Abuse is abuse is abuse. is abuse. is abuse. is abuse. and I can't.


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I'm so, so sorry.

It's not okay.

Abuse is not okay.


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From what you've said it sounds like you handled it all very well. She is back peddling. Also why do you care so much what she thinks? 

You have better things to worry about. Fukx given should be zero. 

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1 hour ago, Kanga said:

From what you've said it sounds like you handled it all very well. She is back peddling. Also why do you care so much what she thinks? 

You have better things to worry about. Fukx given should be zero. 

Why do I care so much what she thinks? She's my boss. She wasn't back-peddling, she truly believes this crap (which she, herself is exacerbating and causing but of course I can't make that point...) and then criticized me more.     AND the things that have been said to me (not just here - but oh, it's plenty bad here - the worst - but elsewhere, too, and all combining) are so unbelievably personally denigrating. And so humiliating and hurtful that I can't even discuss them here.

need an income, I need the benefits - the whole household is on my plan...   You can't not care what your boss wants or thinks. The whole "not caring about what people think" thing cannot apply to workplaces, where it's your job to care what people think about you, where you are formally dealt with based on what they think of you, where your very livelhood hinges on what they think of you.

One cannot just shrug the shoulders with "who cares" the way one would in social relationships. I literally depend on a job to survive. That's why, in my opinion, workplace abuse is all the more horrific because its targets are held hostage with the means for survival while people just shrug at you and say "just get another job." It's NOT that easy. If it were I'd be out already. If I could snap my fingers I would have moved on within the first few weeks. And I JUST STARTED this job, so now I'm a job-hopper, and if I needed to do it again I wouldn't be able to. Put that all together with challenges due to my certain needs, limits, age, field changes that I'm not interested in pursuing, and alllllllll kinds of challenges and it's not simple at all.

I'm sorry if that explanation seemed "defensive" (<-- itself a very triggering concept as that's what workplaces use to keep you from being able to stand up for yourself), but to be honest this is an extremely serious situation and doesn't deserve minimizing. It's really that bad. It's that bad for me. It's so bad that I can't even tell you how bad it is. And I think a lot of people really do not understand how serious this really is.

If I "don't care" then I would be fired, possibly with cause which would ruin my ability to get a job and remove my livelihood and wreak true devastation in my life. You can't "not care". And "not caring" would also reap more and more criticisms which I cannot handle either. I'm already close to the bottom right now. It's very bad. But I cannot over-emphasize what bad shape I'm in at the moment. But it's not my fault for having to deal with it. It's not my fault that I am forced to care because that's the way it works in workplaces.

Please, please please please don't anybody tell me to compartmentalize because that's not going to work, either. Imagine you've gone from one horribly abusive relationship to another to another and you can't get out - you're forced to have relationships for your survival.....  and the damage and the trauma keep getting worse... and the control and craziness just keep getting worse, only you cannot even go into another room - you're forced to be right there, to listen and do and try to be something that it's even possible and you're mentally and emotionally beaten-up about it and blamed for it...   And you can't leave. And you can't switch channels, and you can't put headphones in, and you can't just focus on "you" because it's your job to do this. It's your purpose. 

No, if I walked out I couldn't just magically get another job right away, and it would likely hamper my ability to get one. I don't have savings to fall back on. I don't have retirement or social security. I know I technically "could" - but it's at immense risk and cost that I simply don't have.

Yes, I'm seeking another but this one took two years to get. I won't last two months here. Or two weeks. Not sure about two days, or two hours, or even two minutes.

This is extremely, intensely serious, and tbh, it hurts if it is discounted and shifted onto me.


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I am familiar with this awful feeling you describe. I was in a hugely abusive, dysfunctional workplace too. You're right, it's worse than being in an abusive relationship because you can't "just leave", or, it is much much more difficult to leave, because it holds the entire structure of your life and future together. And other people are not sympathetic. People say "don't think about it in extremes" but that's honestly what it is... it's like, you can only choose one: food/shelter, or mental well-being. Which do you pick? Anyone who would pick the second option, or insist on both options without a second thought, is coming from a place of enviable privilege. When people talked to me so breezily about my "work problems" and flippantly reminded me of the "personal power" I was inexplicably choosing to ignore, it made me feel ten times worse, and so alone. 

Reading your posts struck a chord for me. I really struggled in my job too. In my case it seemed impossible because not only was this the best job I could ever hope to get with my lack of skills, but there was an extra layer of social acceptance for the bad behaviour of my employers - because it was an organization that exuded authority on morality and had immense power to give all their actions the veneer of respectability. Corporations and bureaucracies are the ultimate masters of gaslighting, they wrote the handbook on how to gaslight, using professional language to abuse others in such a way that if the target speaks up, they are easily dismissed or punished for it.  Like, you bring up how you don't feel they are following Respectful Workplace Policy and they turn around and say it's actually YOU that's violated the Policy, and then put an official reprimand in your file, because they can. And what can you do? Nothing, and you don't want to try anything else because you know now what will result. So I totally understand that gasping, choking sense of "I have to be here, I have to take this, there's nothing I can do to change things".

When talking to someone about how I was feeling and how my mental state was rapidly deteriorating, they said "You know, if this was a relationship you were describing, people would all be telling you Leave! Get out! Protect yourself! But somehow, because it's a half-decent, respectable job with benefits, it becomes your responsibility to figure out how to just suck it up and deal with it, and everyone thinks you are the one with the problem."  I tried so hard to find ways to feel safe and empowered within the system, but it was like I was trapped from escape at every turn: denied opportunities that would enable me to climb the ladder, ignored for department transfers because job competitions were set up for pre-selected candidates to be strategically shuffled, any attempts made at addressing the problem were either brushed off by my superiors or resulted in disciplinary action against myself, written up for "insubordination" or "a bad attitude", which crumbled my confidence to such lows that I thought surely nobody else would ever hire me. I felt totally stuck. Weighing my options always turned out exactly as you describe - I could technically get out, but the cost would be immense and the risk potentially life-destroying. It was awful. So I think I can understand the feelings you describe, and I empathize. 

I too, got defensive and shrank into myself when people told me how I was choosing to make it harder on myself by having an incorrect perspective of things. All I had to do was not care about my abusive boss' official opinions of me! Let it just roll off your back! Practice mindfulness and gratitude! Meditate during coffee breaks! Anesthetize yourself however you can, so it doesn't hurt any more! And if you fail at all that, just get another job!

I'm not sure if anything I said was helpful, basically it was a very long-winded "I get you". It is not as simple to fix as people think. I'm sorry you have to deal with this...it's not fair and it's not healthy, abuse IS abuse. 

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This totally happens to me:


Like, you bring up how you don't feel they are following Respectful Workplace Policy and they turn around and say it's actually YOU that's violated the Policy, and then put an official reprimand in your file, because they can. And what can you do? Nothing, and you don't want to try anything else because you know now what will result


but it bears understanding that this isn't just one employer, that I've been subjected to the gamut of abuse in every job in my lifetime, and we're talking 4 decades.

and the things that are said and done to me are *not* shruggable. It's not"defensiveness."  I know the difference. They are intensely personal and in unchangeable physical ways as well, and supremely effed-up in ways I can't even talk about, and on multiple fronts at the same time.

And I cannot "just" get another job, unfortunately. Like I said, this one took 2 years.  It's not because I have self-esteem issues. It's because there are only rare opportunities that suit my needs and my challenges and limits.

Plus there is the fact that none of them are ever going to be okay. 40 years of being the target for severe abuse in workplaces (notwithstanding the personal, social & relationships) teaches you that this is not the right environment for you. I literally waste my life in these hours (& there's not all that much of it left!!) - along with the trauma, it actively prevents me from the pursuits that give my life any meaning at all. I wasn't born to be in this scenario. I was born for other things, which is a zero-sum game. Working means I can't do the things that have any meaning at all. I have challenges and limits that aren't "oh just overcome them!" types of things. So overall, working for others and continually subjecting myself to their bullzhit is the wrong answer. But I'm not succeeding in finding the magical solution.

I literally cannot take this. Nobody could. It's stuff that's super-personal, extremely degrading, not "just" things that can be fluffed off.  

Aside from the crazy, which also cannot be fluffed off because one IS required to navigate as in try to figure out what they want behind all the crazy nonsense that you are being flagellated for not magically somehow knowing.

But just because I say it cannot be fluffed off, does not mean it's because I have a flaw in perspective. It may be stuff that is utterly different from anything you may experience, and it may be so integral to just *existing* .... I can't explain..but I certainly wish I didn't have to keep trying to"prove" that this is not a matter for "perspective," and that there is no anaesthesia (especially after so much repeating and unrelenting harm)... the wounds are not my fault for experiencing them.  

I don't know how many ways I can say it to get through that there are some things that are *not* perspective (and btw, that itself has been used for really horrific gaslighting)... And ****not*** things that can just roll off, it's not LIKE that, why can't anyone really believe me??  *I* am not to blame for what I am experiencing or the damage it does to me. 

Do we tell people in abusive relationships to just look at it differently? To let it roll off their backs? If the man threatens them, personally, financially, emotionally, do we tell them to ignore it? Just change how you look at it? 

For me it has been nearly unrelenting for decades. What others.experience may not be what I do. I don't know why I can't be trusted to have accurate perspective. And that itself has been weaponized against me -again and again. I guess nobody has to trust me, but it's pretty upsetting on top of everything to not be  believed or trusted to know what I experience or know what I know in life. 

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Oh dear, I didn't mean for it to come across like I was criticizing you. I was trying to say I believe you. Sorry about my clumsy delivery! Of course I don't think it's your fault or that there's something wrong with your perspective, or that you have to prove anything to anyone.

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Workplace abuse is still so largely unrecognized because of the fact that it's done under nonabusive-sounding words like:

- policy

- ethics

- professionalism

- teamwork

And can be instigated by people in positions of authority who are highly respected and easily likely to be believed and gather support from others in the workplace because of their position. 

And can threaten, gaslight, demean, punish, criticize, and target all in the name of professionalism and upholding policy/rules.

And can create such an environment in which, when the victims of abuse cry out, they are automatically assumed to be a threat to authority, are ignored or dismissed for exercising their right to voice injustice, and then punished for even bringing up the abuse in the first place.

It's a horrible, horrible setup, especially because losing a job on the basis of standing up for justice is losing livelihood and health insurance and essentially basic survival.

Your suffering is relevant and a normal reaction to what is going on around you.

Your feelings of entrapment within this work environment are real.

This abuse is not your fault. 

It's not okay. Not okay at all.





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It's not getting any better. The second I start to think things are settling, more crap hits the fan. 

This is identical to any abusive relationship. 

Yesterday, so much b.s. happened - false accusations and "lectures," things I was somehow magically expected to know and bawled out for not "looking at the way it was handled in the past" when there was no WAY for me to have even had the slightest INKLING to do that, or what the situation even was... (unfortunately it's too difficult to explain, but it was seriously NUTSO - only in the moment, I didn't realize how nutso the expectation was, and instead had gone to my unfortunate go-to "defensive mode" where I actually kind of lost my sh&t a little bit on my boss - who deserved it! but still, that's not typically my modus operandi, I'm just being pushed so far into crazy...

Then she ended the day by finding one more impossible thing to criticize me about - and it just so happened to be something that I'm seriously very triggered by, as a previous terrorizing job used it to terrorize and traumatize me. So that was right before I left. I responded in a way I'm sure to regret on Monday but WTF I CAN'T HANDLE THE CRAZY and the abuse. I literally started bawling the moment I walked out the door (and the office is in an office building with a lot of other businesses, so I wasn't exactly "private," so you know how bad it was. I bawled walking across the parking lot to mail their effing Fedex and back to my car. Then I sat in my car bawling for an hour (couldn't drive and had too many words in my head)...writing this vent. 

And thinking, I was 80% (but even that number feels too low) of the way to "I cannot do this anymore and I have to quit now with no backup and no income. and no medical insurance (which is a big deal as I do need it)." 

Also, they are preparing for a huge event in a few weeks and they really would not want me to quit right now as they need me. But fvk, I can't be treated this way.

Then I go back and forth (like in any abusive relationship)...maybe I am a problem, maybe I'm not good enough, maybe I am a royal fk-up. I just don't know, sometimes. Maybe I am being "oversensitive." I don't think so... all I know is that nothing I do is ever good enough. I tried to express the negativity toward me and instead of being taken seriously, in return was told "there ARE problems <with me>" and then degraded and humiliated with impossible contradictory requirement about my restroom needs. 

She literally was angry that I wasn't magically fully self-trained in a job that is in an entirely different type of sector and organization than I've ever experienced before, with its own language and types of operations - and the things in her own head that somehow by osmosis I'm supposed to automatically know... and they even change all the time...   She literally told me she was "not going to hold my hand" and she was angry that in 6 weeks I didn't magically know EVERYTHING and wasn't able to do EVERYTHING and that sometimes I make mistakes. (And btw, 3 of those 6 weeks were 3-day workweeks! And I know it takes me at least 3 months to really get a full grip on any job, and this is so very different from anything "typical" that I'm sure longer - and when I'd interviewed, I'd asked her what would be my focus for the first 3 months AND she had answered "training and getting to know the job." So that had seemed okay. Right? RIGHT?!? :( )

I just need to air my vent. I keep adding to it, but here it is so far. It probably has some typos and such because I was using voice to text. Sorry, there's a section that's probably TMI but she really upset me with personal accusations and then told me that "she wasn't crossing any lines" when I told her it was intimately personal and degrading and humiliating. 

And to top it all off??? They have f'd with my paycheck in an IMMENSE way that I'm 99.9% sure is incorrect and possibly even illegal - leaving my last paycheck hundreds of dollars short (and falsely inflating my taxable wages by 50%!!!) - and it's not a liveable paycheck for me. I sent them pleas to fix it and I even sent them the IRS publication showing how what they are doing is incorrect, but the immense stress of the job itself has added into everything (I also have very serious PTSD re: financial matters, and also emails/mail phobia) so I have not even been able to look at their response OR my latest paycheck deposit to see if they are addressing it or if they are just going to tell me that I'M the one who's "wrong," when I'm pretty positive I'm NOT wrong. I had this exact same benefits situation in my previous employer and they did NOT treat it like this, and I've never experienced the way they are accounting for things... but when I had first spoken with the payroll gal on the phone, she had seemed very surprised that I'd never seen such a thing and had insisted "it's the law." I think they are VERY wrong but I am just a "little guy" trying to fight people who are "professionals" in that field. What I ended up with was a non-liveable paycheck, and like I said, a hugely inflated taxable earnings which will have IMMENSE negative impact on me.  I just  can't handle that fight on top of everything else. So I am working my @ss of trying to please the unpleasable for a paycheck that's insanely cut (again, I don't have the emotional wherewithall to see what they responded to my sending the IRS information or my latest paycheck)...   I can't, I just CAN'T.   

And when I say "I can't," it's not like "Ohh I can't get out of bed," but then I really can, just didn't want to... When I say "I can't," I truly am at the end of my rope.  Even though I have the very serious financial PTSD which pretty much precludes me being able to exist without a known income.

Anyway I just want to vent my vent. :( here it is:


You wanted me to put every pledge that came in on the board. You never told 
me that!

You wanted all the pledges entered into the ledger by the end of every day. 
You never told me that! You only got angry at me and gave me this long 
speech about how you guys work after I leave and made me feel like an idiot 
for not magically knowing it.

You bawled me out for not entering seats or ads into the ledger . But I HAD 
entered them in , just in a more clear and effective way. You both looked 
at me like I had been royally remiss- when I had NOT. This, and other 
implied accusations, was unfair and harmful.

 I haven't taken almost any breaks in many weeks . I haven't taken my 
lunches on Fridays in weeks, which as you know is unpaid. I come in early 
sometimes. I'm working my butt off trying to do everything as best I can, 
and all I get is that it's never good enough! No matter what I do, there's 
something wrong with the way I'm doing it according to you. No matter how 
hard I work, there is something else that I should have done or should be 
doing at the same time, somehow.

There were no notations on the pledge that was supposed to be some sort of 
shared table to have made it understandable to any other human on the 
planet. Therefore it is not my fault for not having a clue about it. Even 
if I had known what it was (which was not even POSSIBLE, as there were no 
notes or explanations or ANYTHING to say what it even WAS - the only reason 
I had even ASKED  about it was because the $ amount on the check and on the 
form didn't match)...and even if one looked on the past ledgers, what is on 
the past ledgers has no similarity whatsoever to what is going on in this 
case. It seems like you expected me to look through everything that I 
wasn't familiar with in advance of actually having to do the work - WHILE 
doing the work - when, when you're not familiar with something it doesn't 
necessarily make sense to you anyway.  This type of organization has its 
own language and its own concepts that I'm not familiar with. The past 
files may not be something that I can comprehend in advance. The magnitude 
of what I have been trying to learn in every direction is being 
underestimated. You act like I'm an idiot for not understanding something 
which is completely not comprehensible. And even HAD magically memorized 
everything on the prior ledgers, it still would not have given me a clue as 
to what is going on in this particular case. The numbers do not add up. It 
is very unclear - actually, makes no sense - and I am NOT STUPID if I need 
something clarified that makes sense only to you.

 There is a tendency to assume that things that are very specific to you 
and your experience, are therefore obvious and clear to others. However, 
this is not the case, and I do not deserve to be browbeaten, lectured, 
spoken to condescendingly, bawled out , criticized, or otherwise found 
wanting for not being able to read your mind Or not understanding things 
that are very specific to your particular experience and this particular 
segment of business which I could not possibly have known. I Will be 
treated with respect. I do NOT deserve to be treated the way you are 
treating me, you are making me feel like I am an idiot , and that is simply 
not okay. Under no circumstances is that okay.

 Believe it or not, there are bullying behaviors going on in this 
anti-bullying organization. What I'm experiencing is very clearly that. I 
have never in my life experienced what I'm experiencing now especially in a 
new job where I was supposedly desired to be in this position. Everything 
is pointing to the opposite . Asking what you can do to help is no 
substitute for not treating me like I'm stupid or lacking for not being 
magical or superhuman.

 I'm giving my all and if that's not enough then frying fire me for not 
being a good fit, but stop torturing me

 This position with your attitude towards me that is being taken is a set 
up for failure and I cannot possibly succeed. You expect me to know things 
without telling me. You CHANGE what you've told me and then act like I'm 
stupid for not knowing that. You lecture me as if I've done something wrong 
when I haven't. You treat me when tasks simply take a long time as if I 
must somehow be doing it wrong or failing.

I should have known from the time you accused me of not even completing the 
application when in fact I had that this would be the case. I thought , 
since I was told to let you know if you needed to back off or if there were 
changes that needed to be made, and since this was an anti-bullying 
organization with a platform of respect, that these types of situations 
would not occur. Unfortunately, I was wrong. I am an intelligent person who 
never had problems like this in any organization and yet nothing I do is 
right, left and right I am receiving veiled or outright criticism, even for 
the most basic human functions such as going to the bathroom. Criticism 
such as those have a very deep and disturbing impact. For example you have 
made me afraid to even experience bodily functions at work. I have altered 
my diet to prevent further criticism from you. I have even taken 
medications to alter my body functions in order to try to avoid the 
situation of experiencing further condemnation from you. You seemed to 
think that I was lying when I said that I was in the bathroom. Sometimes it 
does take a few minutes in the bathroom more than other times. This cannot 
always be anticipated. That is normal. Telling me that you don't want me to 
announced when I'm going to the bathroom, but then somehow expecting me to 
let people know that I'm going to the bathroom , or that I might be a few 
minutes when I don't know in advance, is completely illogical. Perhaps you 
are blessed with such abilities to predict, but unfortunately I am not. Nor 
would it be dignified or respectful to expect somebody to announce "I'm 
going to be in the bathroom for a long time because I have a lot of gas or 
a difficult bowel movement - or I might not, maybe, I really don't know 
what's going to go on in there" or something. I think it's normal sometimes 
to not know exactly what's going to go on or how quickly when you go to the 
restroom. And it seems that your definition of a long time is not mine, as 
you mentioned 10 or 15 minutes, and that seems pretty normal.

 I've said before and I'll say it again, it is more important to me to be 
treated with respect than the type of work I do. I am not receiving that 
here. Hands-down, very clearly, this is not a respectful situation. Nothing 
I do is right. Nothing I do is enough. There is criticism at every corner 
and every turn. Even if I do something right, there is the " but did you 
do___. "

Someone was in this position for a VERY long time, and maybe you're not 
familiar with how much it really takes to learn everything and to do 
everything, and maybe she wasn't perfect either. But the standard of 
perfection and  forecasting and mind-reading skills that are being expected 
of ME are not possible to fulfill - at least, not by me.

 When I left the office on Friday I sat in my car bawling my eyes out for 
an hour before I could drive. And that's not the first time that happened. 
You had to find one more thing to criticize me about before I left for the 
day.Goals when you have an administrative task just really don't make sense 
to me. I've been project leader and I've been higher-level positions where 
it might make more sense, but in this type of role it just doesn't have 
logic.There's no way that I can do that.It's my last straw.

Also, the amount of micromanaging is over  the top. constantly being asked 
, "what are you working on ?" What are you doing, constant meetings 
discussing what we are doing, and reporting on what we've done when we've 
been discussing it and being obviously working on it all week, are just way 
overkill. I prefer to work in an environment where I am entrusted. I cannot 
feel trusted if I am constantly questioned and having to discuss what I am 
working on at any given moment , for the day, for the week, for last week, 
for this week, for next week. When my day is scheduled for me. I am an 
intelligent, autonomous worker. I like to feel trusted. constantly having 
to discuss what I am doing lets me know that in no way am I trusted. Also, 
most of these conversations end up with my being told what I am perceived 
to be doing wrong, doubling the impact of feeling non-trusted. Sometimes I 
just might have a different process, which doesn't hurt anyone, or perhaps 
I have different information, but it seems like no other ways of doing 
things are considered acceptable. I've never experienced being ridden so 
hard and so constantly while being criticized and questioned at every turn. 
I am too old to allow myself to be treated that way. It is harmful to me 
and I do not deserve it. One cannot simultaneously send signals of distrust 
while expecting autonomous initiative. They cancel each other out, and what 
you get are people who are afraid of you, as only your way is the right 
way, and nothing is ever good enough, fast enough, or correct enough. Even 
while you yourself make mistakes right and left – as any human does – but not 
permitting others to be human.

Asking , "well did you look at the previous one ?" is jam-packed with 
implied criticism. It implies the person is lazy, or not putting any effort 
in, or you are just too important to actually explain or help them with 
something. It is very condescending and a put-down as it puts the other 
person in a difficult and demeaned position.

 I have told you repeatedly that this is an entirely different world from 
what I've ever experienced, I do not understand a lot of the language or 
the concept or the way it operates. Still, you seem to expect me to figure 
it all out for myself, and criticize me if I don't, saying "I can't hold 
your hand." If you are not willing to train me or help me  understand your 
organization or things about it that I may not know – if you are not 
willing to be open to the possibility that I don't have the same 
understanding of it as you, and that I may not successfully be able to 
learn everything on my own – then it is not a reasonable expectation on a 
new hire. As I said, this organization is not in any way like the business 
world that I come from. The differences between them are vast and many. I 
am trying to learn to navigate things on many levels at once. I have a very 
strong impression from the way that you behave towards me that you are 
dissatisfied with me consistently, frequently and on many levels.

 you maybe thinking , "well how am I supposed to teach you what you don't 
know if you're not open to feedback?" I am open to learning,  but that is 
not what is going on here. What I am receiving is unnecessary criticisms, 
undeserved condemnation and  accusations, unreasonable expectations , 
questioning and negativity at every turn. Again, saying "thank you!" does 
not negate the impact of consistent and frequent negativity toward me and 
what I am doing . Again, I did try to explain this to you, but you did not 
want to be open to hearing what I was saying. Instead, you just said I was 
problem, and went on to criticize my body function needs and humiliate me 
by making me feel I had to defend or explain them. Yes, I do make mistakes, 
but so do you – all the time. Being criticized too frequently does not help 
prevent mistakes but actually increases them, as it makes the workplace 
negative and it affects the employee's cognitive abilities in a situation 
of constantly needing to fear more criticism. And I have seen others make 
mistakes as well. I doubt they are admonished all the time and made to feel 
like they are a total idiot for being human.

You take the slightest thing I say, and re-interpret it, twist it around to 
be stupid or negative, And then respond to me as if I had been saying 
something stupid or negative.

I don't feel like a welcomed adult asset. Rather, I feel like the naughty, 
misbehaving child that you have to keep around because you have them, but 
you're just constantly annoyed by them. They can't do anything right by you.

My best is never going to be good enough for you. And I do not deserve to 
be continually browbeaten , questioned , criticized, accused, or 
continually treated as if*I* am a problem. I did not leave my last position 
in order to be treated like this.

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I think you're absolutely right that this relationship with your boss is very similar to an abusive relationship but worse because it's happening in a workplace where abuse can be swept under the rug and accepted as "leadership". :(

My guess is that she gains some kind of narc supply from her position of authority and sees others beneath her as extensions of herself that ought to know exactly what she is thinking of feeling or wanting without having to verbalize or request, like normal adult interactions go. Her assumption that you ought to know every last detail of this job without ever mentoring you, simply expecting you to know what to do via telepathy shows just how me-centered she is. And what in the world, why is she criticizing you for going to the bathroom?!?! Is she trying to earn Micromanager of the Year award? As if you should, on cue, be able to perform basic human functioning within a certain amount of time or else. :angry-smiley-005::angry-smiley-005: What is this situation where even that is criticized? Holy effing nope, nope, nope.

No, this is unacceptable. My guess is she might not have taken your emails in a constructive way, but rather took them the predictable way abusers do and is using your feedback as fuel to continue sabotaging you. Which means she was being deceptive when she claimed that you could call her out or micromanage her. Clear indication of double standards. And deception. She can dish it but she can't take it. Then the condescending narcissistic I-know-better-than-you comes out, instead of true leadership, which is to communicate and openly and transparently work through issues together like adults.

Ugh, my stomach is churning in your behalf. I understand why this would stir up all you've lived through not to mention creating all new trauma. I'm so sorry. It's unacceptable.

Your venting was raw and clear and so very valid. I'm glad you wrote it out. I hope you keep writing it out, even if it doesn't get to her. 

It's not okay at all. :(


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:( Thank you

I think actually she's a bit...crazy. As in, she's all over the place, she makes mistakes constantly but then criticizes me or makes me feel like an idiot for the slightest error. It's nuts that she expects me to magically know something that there was no way in he77 I could possible have known and then call me out about not checking in last year's about how it was handled then...when there was no possible way for me TO have known what it even WAS. (hard to explain) - I sure wish I could think clearly in the moment to have stopped that right then and there and said Whoah, wait a minute, how the HE77 could I possibly even have known what it WAS, there's no NOTE, there's no MENTION, and even if there was - there's no way I could have known it anyway, and even if I did, it wasn't done that way before anyway! Just SO MUCH CRAZY, but in the moment, I dissolve. I actually lost my sh1t on her a bit in that moment, though, walking away saying crap about how I was too busy DOING the work to be studying some columns from last years, while she simultaneously lectured me that "it can come in handy to familiarize myself with that." Like I'm just being too effing LAZY. Or lacking initiative. No, no no no no. No one in the world would have known what that was all about. No one in the world can have had the time to .... what, look through EVERY file that a predecessor has on the computer and memorized everything even individual entries on big spreadsheets? You're kidding me, right? The expectations are INSANE. 

Or.... at least I think so, but maybe I'm wrong, and maybe I am lazy and stupid and lack initiative and just plain don't work fast enough or try hard enough. I really have no clue anymore. 

and that is what abuse does, and I know it, and I still can't help it


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There has to be a way out. Not sure where because I know you're stuck. I believe you're in one of those high Narc jobs. Maybe your just one link below narc to make your life hell. 

If it helps when I left my Narc. Ended up working for a real one. This narc was even flipping sentences in front of me to let me know she was aware I knew she was one. So not only was she a narc she showed joy in lying, Visible manipulations by using buzz words, Changing actual history to something she was trying to get others to believe. Trying to befriend my friends and put me down in front of them. I was gosh why is this happening to me. 

I found one way out and took it? Then found a way, to get hired back in the same company, doing the same thing but with another company. Well, it had to be a shocker to her because I only left her job and kept my other boss. Then worked for her boss directly and replaced her hours. So now if she says something bad she would be contradicting her boss. Sometimes just sometimes you get the small chance with experience to out-think the bastards. 

I just not responsible for the damage the narc makes for herself. :-) 

Keep looking for that window it has to be there!!! 

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I recently took this job to escape from another. Abuse is a non-stop repeating pattern over the 40 years I've been in the workforce, and it's growing worse as I age and take "lesser" jobs so that I can focus more on life and things that are important to me.

My answer is not in a job working for someone else, but I have been failing at being able to initiate the "magical solution" that will take care of all my needs without subjecting me to abuse or other uncomfortable conditions. Not for lack of ideas, but for sticking points or lack of time and other ability including physical limitations.


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Yesterday, I was just giving myself permission to basically do whatever I needed to do - to try to stay "in the moment" and realizing the crazy when it happens, and try to address it appropriately.

Today, I am just filled with panic, panic attacks, panic panic...


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....and still having horrible panic and also unable to even look at their email about the enormous payroll issues or my paycheck deposit amount,  to see how they responded to my insistence that they are making immense errors (because "who am I to tell so-called professionals that they are doing payroll wrong") ... because I just can't handle this additional battle and incredible stress on top of everything else... 

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That feeling of being hyper-vigilant and afraid . . . that is the worst sort of unrest. :(

You may not have this luxury, but if there's no time constraint on opening the email, it's okay to not open it just yet--let it sit for awhile. You've been through so much. It's okay to give yourself time to breathe and recalibrate. Then, when you're ready to read it, it's like putting on iron armor and only letting information filter through that armor. I say it, but I have PTSD and it's terribly difficult to detach from fear in these situations. So, whatever comes up, whatever you feel when you read it, is all okay. And whatever needs to be done as a result of the information in the email can be broken down and tackled little by little in the wise and thoughtful ways you offer to others here. 

Tomorrow might be telling as far as how Boss of Osmosis (B.O.--snicker) will react to what happened last week, whether she is the kind of person who stews over things and carefully calculates her next moves, or if she's more impulsive and simply reacts in the moment to whatever is nearest to her (both destructive, but with different dynamics). You probably have a keen sense of which one she is. Optimally, she has spent the weekend reflecting on her bad managing skills, but since that's unlikely, she might be even crankier and micromanage-y. She might really crack down on stupid rules, like that you should check a whole year's history of how the former employee dealt with a situation rather than simply ask her-- because she was there . . . she KNOWS and has the capacity to tell you without you having to sift through it all--or maybe she'll nail a decree to the wall stating that bathroom visits must be confined to 1.5 minutes, by official decree of the Ministry of Micromanaging. :angry-smiley-005: 



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I had to open the email, it's imperative because my paycheck is being reduced unliveably by hundreds of dollars and my taxable income increased by 50% by the way they are accounting, and I need to fight to get it changed posthaste - because I cannot afford this at all. I can't believe how f'd up they are... it's not technically an "error" but they did not inform prior to selections so the choices we made were based on incomplete, inaccurate info which has immense impact to me. So now I have lost many, many hundreds of dollars already - and my taxes have already been hugely impacted...   and I just have a horrible sense I won't be able to force them to fix it, although it was obviously their incorrect handling and lack of providing appropriate necessary information prior to decision-making.

I haven't pinned this one down, she's really all over the place. (LoL @ Boss of Osmosis... Bossmosis??) Definitely a narc, definitely changes her story and what she thinks happened all the time. She NEVER seems to really regret what she's done. It's like I deserve it. I deserve it because I haven't magically stepped into the skin of the prior person who held the job for 10 years before me. 

Her micromanaging is the worst I've ever seen - and I've seen a lot. 

Her blaming  is over-the-top. EVERYTHING is over-the-top. :(

And the prior year's way things were handled? The irony is it's not even relevant. 1. it's not at all the same. 2. there was no way for me to have even known that it WAS whatever she says, because no one made a note or even told me. The gal I questioned didn't understand it, either (she's new, too). 

I am giving myself permission to do what I need, but I don't want to get fired with cause. I'd rather get let go (then I'd get unemployment). But that's not likely to happen as they need me very badly right now. For the next, like, month.  :(

Our internal "values" are about respect and such, and including making new hires feel welcome. Not so well-done there!!!! 

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