STAND UP, SPEAK OUT
AGAINST WORKPLACE BULLYING
Your Guide to Survival and Victory Through 23 Real-Life Testimonies
He watched as I packed my things and left with my tail between my legs.
I vividly remember the drive home from work that day. I didn’t expect to be jobless at that point in my life. I was still finishing out graduate school and hadn’t prepared for being fired. Despite that, I honestly and truly and wholeheartedly felt relief. Literally, not figuratively, the colors in the sky were brighter. I could feel my shoulders roll back up as the weight on them was lifted. I didn’t know what would happen to me, but I felt a thousand percent better.
I distinctly remember walking in the door, opening up my laptop, purchasing a website domain… and pouring my heart into the website. Everything I knew about workplace bullying at the time went on that webpage. A few months later, the International Association for Workplace Bullying and Harassment was having a conference, so I submitted my thesis paper and bought my ticket. And there I was, telling people I was building a consulting business around workplace bullying.
The point is that I’m okay. I’m more than okay. I made it through and I’m a stronger and better person because of my experience. I can thank my bully for the gift he’s given me – something to be passionate about. I am my own boss, I love what I do, and I enjoy helping others solve a problem I couldn’t solve when I was a Director of HR.
- Catherine Mattice Zundel’s story
I remember that time in my life very vividly. I doubt I will ever forget the torture and abuse I suffered and how it rattled my spirit and my sense of peace. I was being terrorized every day by a woman who unapologetically bullied me. She creatively manipulated others in the office who went along with her tactics to ensure they never became a target.
Today, I have completely recovered from all of my losses. I am still recovering financially from the whole ordeal, but that too will be restored. I have been equipped with valuable tools and resources to utilize in my business that help others end bullying in the workplace. That is a blessing that cannot be measured. I have exposed one of the most dangerous epidemics in our country to millions of people across several social media platforms and I have used my voice to speak out. I have taken back my power and have learned thought provoking skills that build my sense of power and my ability to maintain it.
- Ms. Camay’s story
I am going back to school to get my Master’s degree and I am working toward finding more ways to advocate for stronger arts programs in schools. Along the way, I have picked up some pretty impressive awards. I’ve developed my resume, and I’ve made a name for myself, despite the bullying and the drama. I did what I could to develop myself professionally so I could move out of those schools and into better opportunities. I think that spending time getting awards, grants, and professional development for myself was sort of my therapy. The good feelings I got from those development experiences went a long way towards countering the bad feelings from the bullying. I felt like I had a secret identity that the bullies didn’t get to see.
I wish that I had put more effort into self-care instead of beating myself up over perceived failures and feeling sad about mean people. It’s much better to go kayaking and enjoy the misty morning air over a beautiful lake than to spend time feeling sorry for myself.
I wish that I had put more time and effort into professional development (I hate that phrase… it sounds so boring, but it’s so important to develop your practice for real, not just sit in some seminars, passively) and surrounding myself with people who do amazing things early on. That has been the biggest factor in getting over bullying. When you’re awesome at what you do, it shows, even when bullies are trying to detract from it. People will respect you, and will stand up for you when bullies try to mess with you. The bullies tend to look pretty stupid when they try to push you around and you’re the star player on your team.
- Anonymous’ story
I realized that I was staying out of fear, that I had made the college and tenure my god, my only source of security. I decided to take a huge leap of faith, to believe in an abundant universe, to believe that I had the skills and ability to create a better, still prosperous life for myself. So, I walked away. Deciding to leave, to walk away from my tenured position, was perhaps the most difficult and courageous thing I’ve ever done. But I left to save my life and my soul. I was starting to get physical symptoms I could no longer ignore. I firmly believe I would have gotten seriously ill if I hadn’t left when I did and quite possibly never have been able to work again.
As I write this, it is 8 years since I left and I am filled with gratitude for all the blessings in my life today. Out of the ashes of those horrific experiences, I have created a new immensely satisfying career as a consultant, teacher, presenter, and coach, specializing in workplace conflict, communication and bullying issues – no coincidence there.
I have survived, I have healed, and I have created a beautiful life for myself.
- Lorraine Segal’s story
I hate what happened, but I’m glad it did. I wouldn’t change a thing because my lesson would not be the same. I learned so much about myself and used that information to encourage victims to understand, “Success Begins with Knowing It’s OK to Tell the Story!” Whether the story be workplace bullying, domestic violence, sexual assault, etc. I believe God created me to be a sophisticated thinker and has placed me in a position of influence to bring awareness to all forms of workplace violence. Even more awesome, God made you an influencer as well. I encourage you to tap into your sphere of influence. Consider how you use your influence to help victims.
- Gwendolen Wilder’s story
About the Book
Watch some of the authors of our book uncover their difficult experiences with workplace bullying - and how they came out stronger in the end. We had this discussion during the Coalition’s 2017 conference.
The coalition has collected stories from people who have successfully navigated workplace bullying. Our book includes true stories about extraordinary experiences with workplace bullying and how bullying targets navigated through it and ultimately overcame it. Our goal is to help other bullying targets discover tools and principles they can use in their own life. Our stories are filled with emotion, vivid images, and a clear path to resolution.