Friday, June 27, 2014

Post Workplace Abuse: New Series: Conquering the Lies

Today, we are starting a new series:  Conquering the Lies.

Before we can conquer them; however, we have to identify them.

Before we can conquer them, we have to realize the power we have given them in our lives.

The control they have over us - and our thought processes.

How they intertwine with every piece of how we perceive ourselves.

This is not going to be an easy series to write as it goes into the core of what happened to me in the workplace, what I believed because of the lies and how those lies have ultimately impacted every aspect of my recovery.

In a recent post entitled Keys to Recovery from Workplace  Abuse, I talked about several components to recovery.

Hidden in the middle of the post, was a crucial aspect of the damage and, thus, a crucial aspect of the target's recovery.

The. Lies.

Those perpetuated - and believed - by the bullies.

Those internalized - and also believed - by the target.

With me, it boiled down to one phrase.  One crucial lie upon which the rest were based:  "perceptions and assumptions".  The key lie that needs to be unlocked before any more recovery can happen.

I heard these words consistently by former 1-up, the one who "solved" the problem of emerging and escalating workplace abuse aka bullying by becoming close friends inside and outside the office with those involved thus adding not only another member to the clique but also an influential member.

These words, this phrase, was not said nicely or factually in a low key manner.  They were said in a very demeaning way.  I consistently felt as though I were a five year old who was being criticized for something that I really didn't understand.  A behaviour that had always been Okay up to then.  A behaviour which had stood me in good stead my entire life.

Why were perceptions and assumptions suddenly so horrifically bad?

What was wrong with perceptions and assumptions in general?  Were they really that bad?

I've lived with my thought processes for over 60 years now.  They were never considered wrong or  bad.  Until then.

That one situation - in a lifetime of situations.

That one work experience - in a lifetime of work experiences.

I'd always been able to trust myself, my cognitive abilities, my intuitive abilities.  Until then.

Anything thing I said was wrong ... because of "perceptions and assumptions".

Any argument I presented to validate what I was going through in the workplace and how wrong it was was blown off ... because of "perceptions and assumptions."

The oftener I heard this phrase, the more confused I became.

What was wrong with me?


Or was there anything really wrong with me?  

But then I'm getting ahead of myself with this sentence.  So let's go back just a moment.  To that moment in space and time.  To the place where I was experiencing the impact of those words.  That judgement.  That condemnation.  That ax applied to the very core of Who. I. Am.


Being an analytical, research-oriented person, I tried to discover what perceptions were and why they were bad.  I did a Google search - without much in the way of results.

I wanted to find an article which clearly spelled out what was wrong with perceptions.

I couldn't find any.  Nor did my search pop up any research or articles really on the positives of perceptions.

So, finally I went to a dictionary search.  Which really didn't help me either.  At least to defend me.  Or to clarify what was so wrong with me.

However, we need a definition for both this blog and also for my journey into recovery.  For this purpose, I'm using my old trusty, dusty Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary which I trusted intrinsically with my research while a university student way back when.  When dinosaurs roamed the land.  Therefore, I will trust it now.  Even though dinosaurs no longer roam the land.

So here goes:

This dictionary defines the word "perception" (noun): as 1.  The art, process, or faculty of perceiving.  2.  The effect or product of perceiving.  3. a. Insight, intuition or knowledge gained by perceiving. b. Capacity for such insight.

The entry below perception, defines the word "perceptive" (adjective): as 1. Of or relating to perception.  2. a. Capable of perceiving. b. Marked by understanding and discernment : SENSITIVE.

Going up the page a bit, we find the verb "to perceive" defined as:  1.  To become aware of directly through the senses, especially to see or hear.  2.  To take notice of :  OBSERVE.  3.  To achieve understanding.

Note: the words sensitive and observe are in capital letters in the dictionary which is why I've put them in capital letters here.  These are not my emphasis but rather those of whoever edited this particular dictionary.


Now we have to stop for today.  Writing this post has taken a lot out of me as it takes me back to a dark place emotionally and psychologically in my life.  A place where flowers didn't bloom.  Where the sun didn't shine.  A place most people instinctively shy away from revisiting ... ever ... in their journeys post workplace abuse.

Yet a place that is necessary to revisit,  to come to terms with and, ultimately,  to conquer in order to heal.

The weekend has come.  It is time to lay this blog and these memories aside for the moment and focus on the good and beautiful in my life.  Flowers in my garden.  Family.  Etc.

See you Monday.

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