5th March 2016 at 11:31 am #10980
There is a professional (I use the word loosely!) that was significantly involved in my case but had an extremely detrimental impact on me. I can’t give any details obviously, but I am going to have to face this woman due to my work role. Knowing this has been very triggering and I’m struggling to cope with the fact she knows such intimate details of my life. I know we both should be professional and keep that separate, but I feel shamed by her judgements of me, even though they are mistaken. I was so honest and bravely tried to do everything I was advised despite being terrified. It took a long time for women’s aid, the police and my idva to convince me it was abuse, so for her to totally invalidate my experiences and my pain was devastating. I know on an intellectual level I have done nothing wrong but I can’t seem to shake the fear and shame she evokes in me. I don’t want to have to change my job because of it. It feels like yet again I have been too naive and gullible and yet again I am the one who has to move.
Has anyone else had this scenario? I’d really appreciate any advice anyone can offer me on coping with her and my feelings. Thank you xx
5th March 2016 at 12:56 pm #10987AyannaParticipant
I had to leave my job. My manager knew what was going on and used this knowledge to bully me until I became suicidal. He bullied me until my last day of work. I feel more comfortable to work in a place where nobody was involved in what I was going through. For my new work place this is the past. It also helps me to start my new life.
5th March 2016 at 1:59 pm #10990White RoseParticipant
I had a similar situation in that my child was physically abused by her dad and during one of her hospital admissions (she has a long term medical problem) this was disclosed. I knew everyone on her ward and had for years and I felt guilty for not protecting her and like you ashamed that my choice of man had led to her harm.
I still face them now but feel support from them and they’ve been professional throughout.
It will be difficult to face her but actually you have proved yourself to this woman by following through with things and making progress in your life. I suspect she’ll be just as anxious about it as you – if not more so. Don’t give up your job over this.You can beat the feelings and continue to get stronger I’m sure x*x
5th March 2016 at 10:35 pm #11011
Thank you white rose, I’m not so much ashamed of being abused, it’s more that she knows what happened and yet still was so taken in by my ex. She did something really wrong as well, which I would have made a serious complaint about but for my work. I suppose I still could but that’s another battle to spend precious energy and time on. You’re right that she may feel uncomfortable and she should given her mistakes, but it’s so hard to believe in myself and be strong. My resilience is low at the minute as it is x
5th March 2016 at 1:59 pm #10991
Thanks, I do realise I’m projecting to some extent and feeling shame from the past. I also feel it may help me more to face her and let her see me as I am at work. You’re right that I find my experiences of huge value to my work role and I believe it’s healing to be able to use my experiences to help others. I also accept that a couple of years ago I also knew very little about DV, even though unbeknown to me I was living it. I’m sure this is the case for lots of professionals.
Ayanna, I’m sorry you had such a difficult, unsupportive experience at work. My team have been great and I don’t want to lose anything more. I do sometimes also wish for a new start where this is my past not an ongoing issue, but unfortunately the abuse continues from a distance via the children so it would only follow me xx
6th March 2016 at 7:10 am #11020SerenityParticipant
I can understand how you might feel. You have been brave, let down your defences and divulged details of your personal life to someone, or they have privileged access to that info, and you feel that they haven’t treated that information with the respect it deserves.
One thing I am learning, PP, is that not every adult is empathetic or understanding, even those in jobs in which they are meant to be caring or aware of the impact of DV.
I have one such member in my own family!
Firstly, the shame isn’t yours. None of this was your fault.
I guess that how we cope with being professional is putting on our work face and getting on with it, and separating it from our personal life, even hiding behind our role, but here for you the lines seem blurred, because this lady knows your details.
Women’s Aid would argue that DV needs to be out in the open. It is unfortunate that you are now in the same work team as this lady, because there is a cross-over here that doesnt happen, but I think his you might deal with it is to think that the link was unfortunate, but also to really face your feelings in the face of this woman. What do you feel ashamed about? The shame isn’t yours.
Also, I think I used to put so much store by what other people thought, their opinions, their conclusions about me. Why I put store by this so much, I don’t know. It’s like I needed approval, or to be validated. I didn’t want people to think badly of me. But that is assuming that everyone else is God: that they have a clear and educated view, that they are wise, experienced, fair, objective, clear-minded, etc.
No, we need to put more store by our own wisdom and experience. We might be further sling the line in knowledge and wisdom about something- whatever that person’s title.
Maybe this woman is totally unaware and unempathetic of the true deep impact of abuse, or the tactics of an abuser. Maybe she was taken in by the perpetrator ( even Caffcass appeared to be with mine! You would have thought by now they’d have learned the ways of an abuser!).
Maybe she has her own hang-ups, due to her personality, or life experience, which means she has become hardened and doesn’t deal with sensitive things in the right way. Maybe she is in some kind of denial. The possibilities are endless.
In the worst case scenario, she is toxic, and ends up using privileged information to wield unfair power and to make you feel uncomfortable. If this ends up being the case, you are within your rights to take it higher and call her up on her behaviour. You are entitled to go to work and focus on your job, without feeling vulnerable or intimidated.
For now, keep a professional distance from her. I don’t think her lack of understanding or support regarding your situation is conducive to your healing right now. Hold at arm’s length those that judge or don’t understand. You aren’t obliged to divulge any more about your personal life to this woman. It only pays to talk and open up to those who are truly supportive.
Hold your head up high, and don’t feel shame. You have done amazingly. You should walk around with pride fir all you’ve achieved and are still achieving.
Use what you have learned through your own experiences to support and signpost others who are suffering the same. I think all of us women on here are the kind who walk along side people in their troubles, not judge them. Thank god there are people like this in the world, I think what is meant by the phrase ‘salt of the earth.’ Those who truly connect and strengthen others X
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