Sunday, November 24, 2013

Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace - A Post Mortem Part 4




Day 6 - Today was devastating .... I felt numb – even the presence of my husband did not ease my pain. I couldn’t, wouldn’t pick up God’s Word to try  and find the “magical” answer to my pain. My mind, body and soul closed down. I wandered aimlessly around the house hoping that I didn’t look too vacant or desperate for my husband to notice.

Eventually I gave up – lying down, I closed my eyes, wept silent tears of pain and then slept (I loved that through the fogginess of sleep my husband quietly entered the room, pulled the blinds down and covered me - I couldn't fool him). I felt a little more “glued together” on awaking.  Turning the TV on , I started to flick from channel to channel, listlessly – I selected the Christian channel where Victoria Osteen had just started to preach.

Her message – ‘How to get through difficult times’  ....  times, when the Lord doesn’t appear to be anywhere in your sphere or reality . Two things struck me as I tuned into her message:
  •    Her message was an encouragement to me - even Victoria has these times in her life – I am not alone.
  • She said that when she was going through tough times she realised that the Lord was preparing her for something new, something fresh and prayed that the Lord would reveal this “newness” to her.

Day 7 – Today I feel cheerful, less raw, more at peace. Funny, I thought, most people dread having to to go to work tomorrow (Monday), I on the other hand am saddened that I do not have work to go to!

This morning’s Church praise, worship and message lifted my spirits - its important to keep connected to the body of Christ.

This afternoon  I clicked onto  Rachel Wojo’s post dated 1 October – her post is entitled “When I can’t understand God’s Plan” – apt wouldn’t you say, coincidence perhaps -  No! my Spirit clearly and loudly lets me know:  it is  God’s divine leading that lead ME to this message. So,  I am going to take Rachel’s advice to heart and stop asking where God is and instead pray that He would reveal Himself to me.

“LORD of the Universe, Almighty, Powerful God – The Alpha and Omega – through this mess, I ask: reveal Yourself to me that I might come to KNOW YOU better, more intimately. In Jesus name I pray”. Amen


My decision  today is that  this will be the  last day I will be reporting on the rawness of my ordeal.  I hope that my posts may help someone out there, knowing that - all though you may be a Christian, you are allowed to have meltdowns, it is okay to feel that God has abandoned you but  although you FEEL alone, you are not because God promises that he won’t leave you.

 My heart will heal, I will move on, I may relapse ..... but I trust that one one morning, I will wake knowing that my God has cleansed, healed and strengthened me. I may never know why He allowed this emotional pain -   He knows the purpose and the plan for this journey I have found myself enduring the past couple of weeks.


-oOo- Love your {Life} everyday -oOo-

Friday, November 22, 2013

Bullying and Harrassment in the Workplace : A Post Mortem Part 3

Today is Day 5 - my last, official day of employment after my resignation on Monday. My resignation resulted due to a intimidating behaviour toward me by a co-worker and lack of support by my Employer. Read Part One and Part Two for reference.

Arising early this morning, I put my sneakers and walking gear on, headed out to the veranda and had my quiet time with the Lord - no great miracles occurred, but I felt okay, my thoughts were under control and I felt positive.

After my quiet time, it was time for a coffee - usually I would drive to work and buy one - today I walked down to our local cafe to get one. It was a beautiful day for a walk.

On arriving home, caffeined up,  I tidied, organised, dusted, washed, decluttered until I could not face tidying, organising, dusting, washing and decluttering one single minute longer .... my spirits started to slip, I could feel the downward spiral like watching a flushed toilet ... I was in trouble ...

I retreated to my room, locked the door, fell to my knees .... no miracles occurred, no voice of reason, no visions ..... just a deafening silence. I crawled off my knees pulled my duvet over my head and slept for 2 hours.

Waking up groggy and disheartened I checked my emails for the 100th time, checked my phone for any calls or messages for the 101th time .... nothing .... silence .... I wonder if there is something wrong with my mobile, perhaps the Internet connection is down and hence no emails .....

Its Friday today - thank God - my husband will be home shortly ... what a relief. ... what a relief .... what a relief ...

God's silence is hard to bear today ....  from tomorrow I am unemployed ... a scary thought!

Thanks Lord - great timing - my parents arrive to stay with us for 3 months next week, in a few weeks its Christmas and early next year my son starts college ... great timing Lord.

Excuse me for not feeling grateful today - tomorrow I'll try harder

-oOo- Love your {Life} everyday -oOo-

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Bullying and Harassment in the workplace : A Post Mortem of the aftermath - Part 2



Yip, today there is a glimmer, just a glimmer of my sparkle returning ... 
Oh Praise the Lord Oh my Soul.

My post of yesterday was a raw account of how I felt the first 3 days after resigning from a job I loved due to intimidation and bullying by a co-worker.

Who would have thought that writing that post would have been so extremely cathartic - I am a very private, contained, sensible person sometimes too private, contained and sensible in fact - but I felt uplifted, encouraged and even a little grateful after my post.  Had there had been a shift in the heavens? Had the spiritual warfare that was raging  tipped in my favour? Who knows, but I painted my nails last night and that was a sure sign that my sparkle was returning :)

Today is Day 4 - on opening my eyes first thing this morning,  the hurt of the last few days (and the preceding couple of weeks) rushed headlong into me, assaulting my body mind and spirit - I consider pulling the duvet over my body and hunkering down for the day. But I didn't- I make a deliberate, considered thought to ... get out of bed .....  and pee :). Once up, my spirits lift - I make myself a cup of tea, grab my bible and head out onto our veranda, because today is a beautiful day!

Quietly, in the coolness of the morning I read my daily scriptures (see www.rachelwojo.com) - these were the  nuggets of truth I found  from God's Word:

  • "We did not enquire of Him about how to do it in the prescribed way" - we need to seek God's counsel before making ANY decision even if we think it is the right decision. I think I messed up here. (1 Chron 15:13)
  • "... his faith was made complete by what he did." - faith is not some iffy, wiffy, "think positive" stuff - faith is played out by our actions and thoughts. My ranting and raving and victim attitude (although real) was not faith in action. We have to DO our part for faith to work - we start by "counting it all joy" when troubles come ... not easy, not comfortable, not what we think we deserve. But we need to start somewhere. We need to bear up under pain .... read 1 Peter 2:19.
Today, I met up with a girlfriend for coffee - she was a great encouragement and joy to be with. I bumped into two young work colleagues who gave me such positive and meaningful feedback on the impact I had made On their work lives. I got creative - how long ago did I take the time to enjoy the creative side of life. I sit and reflect on yesterday's post and write today's!

Perhaps today is just a good day, who knows,  tomorrow I could be in a heap on the floor again ... but for today, this minute I am alive, healthy and grateful .... what a blessing.

(To show the Lord has a sense of humour: one of my co-workers told me that the electricity in our office has been cut off this week and they have been working in darkness. Why? Because the mail hadn't been collected or sorted since I have been away, and the electricity bill was amongst the mail - guess who's job it is to collect and distribute the mail - my perpetrators! Yes, I had to remind him everyday to do this task and because I haven't been there to remind him,  he hasn't  bothered to do it ....... good ole belly laugh lol lol).

'Some midnight hour
If you should find
You're in a prison in your mind

SING OUT IN PRAISE
DEFY THE CHAINS
AND THEY WILL FALL
IN JESUS NAME.'

Bless Thy Name - Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir



-oOo- Love your {Life} everyday -oOo-

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bullying and Intimidation in the workplace : A Post Mortem of the aftermath .... the raw account ....


The raw account .....



Standing strong yet standing alone, feeling coerced to resign, resulting in a loss of income, my peace and a source of joy – the reality hits home!

Background
The door to a role I loved was slowly, yet forcefully closed even whilst having my foot in the doorway trying with all my might to keep it open -  ironically  this is the same door I never wanted open in the first place, but it was thrust wide open for me,  I surrendered as a last option, dragging my heals but I stepped through.. To my surprise, I fell in love with my role and the people that were a part of the organisation (well mostly all). For the first time ever, I couldn’t wait to get out of bed, to get into the office, to get stuck into my work finding it both rewarding and thoroughly enjoyable.

The one and only “thorn in my side” came in the guise a young arrogant colleague with a troubled past, who bullied, intimidated, was disrespectful and belligerent to me every day. For 4 and half months I endured this, turned the other cheek, acting professionally  – till last Thursday, when I feared for my safety and it all became too much for me.

When submitting an incident form, my organisation presented me with 3 options – I chose the higher moral ground and resigned. Life is too short to endure that mental abuse every day . However, as I have found, most times when you take a stand, despite all the talk of support and agreement, you stand alone – and I found it devastating to know that although I am the innocent party (I know it sounds pathetic) it is has been myself who has paid the very high price ...

The aftermath of resigning:

Day one was hard – but I felt encouraged, I told myself I had done the right thing – I was not prepared to be bullied, intimidated and harassed any longer – I had to take a stand, taken the moral high ground. They would miss me – after all, I was the only one who ensured that the office ran efficiently, the phones were answered, calls were returned, the garbage was put out. Once my boss (the Head Honcho)  had received my  letter of resignation she phoned, pathetically saying “I’ll miss you .... “ no “thank you”, no “we’ll do what we can to keep you – no, we’d rather humiliate you, defend the perpetrator, keep the person who has no work ethic or respect for others ..... my words or response were cool, contained, polite – I cut her off short and said goodbye - I would not play the game of letting her think that her lack of support was okay - it was not!

 Then ..... the self incrimination, loathing, disappointment, anger, hurt started to fester in my heart, hating myself ..... a downward spiral had begun, one of many which I have been familiar with over the years - Personality Type A I think I am labelled - although a very "nice" one.

Day two was devastating, almost unbearable. At home on my own, when I should have been at work – the desperate feelings of loneliness, abandonment, injustice, despair, anger dug their talons deep  .... foetally curling up on the floor, clutching my Bible – hoping for God to miraculously reinstate my position, praying and beseeching , sobbing for someone – anyone to phone me, walk through my door and hold me dearly in their arms .... I closed my eyes and slept. 

On waking, no miracles had occurred – no one was there to encourage or support me ....  I battled to hang onto the very thin thread of my life. I engrossed myself in prayer, waited on God, listened to a sermon on Slaying Giants, prayed again, praised His Holy Name, Glorified him ..... yet those shards of despair, hopelessness, injustice, betrayal still pierced my wounded heart embedding themselves deeply  ... but the anger I found had lessened – not gone, but less intense. Gods promises I read and reread, listened to them in song, prayed out loud ... no miracle occurred, I never felt his presence, never heard his soft still voice – I guess this is what faith is all about, hanging in there despite the silence. Although  no  manifested evidence of my Lord on this day – I hung on for dear life and all that I was worth to the promise that he would never leave me nor forsake me.  My saving grace at the end of the day was my husband walking through the door .... my support in time of trouble, my covering, my shield, my reward in life .....

Day three -  Today I arose a little stronger – firstly, I actually managed to get my body out of bed and secondly dressed myself, this in itself was an accomplishment.  I was encouraged because my husband had made the decision to stay at home with me (work from home), this gave me purpose to get up and look like I was hold things together – unlike yesterday.

 No word from my workplace today at all – despite my excellence in work, daily timely attendance, going the extra mile for all staff  - no "thank you"  for doing a great job, no "sorry for not standing by you"  because the person you were being bullied is related to the Head Honcho of the organisation, the sacred cow, the untouchable – the uneducated  delinquent,,the  intimidator  sitting on the web for hours browsing  Beyonce, Kim Kardashian and Jessica Mauboy during work hours or spending his time smoking outside  – whilst his salary is being paid by the tax payer. (I guess my anger  hasn't diminished!)

Sorting and processing through the pain 

Keeping busy is what I need to do, hanging up washing, going for a walk, immersing myself in Gods word, praising in him in spite of how I feel, praising him in spite of my distressed heart. Despite lack evidence of His mighty workings – a feel a sliver of glimmer of an embedded shining sequin within my heart which is trying its hardest to shine, wanting to glow, albeit ever so dully ... 

Once I am done with chores -  I again seek solace in Gods word and song and praise. I seek solace in sitting still outside, willing my heart to stop aching. I seek solace in the beauty of my little patch of garden. I seek solace in the quietness and calmness of my little cat who loyally sits besides me, not judging,  but who gazes at me with adoration in her pretty, peaceful amber eyes.

I find myself repressing  negative feelings, pushing them down, trying to remain calm, sorting through them – weighing the slanderous thoughts against Gods Word, Gods promises and Gods character. Forgive me Lord for these terrible thoughts, forgive me Lord for every wrong thing I have ever done in my life, forgive me Lord for my faith slipping away as each day passes without a sign or word from you ....

I write this post to record this time in my life, I write because I can’t make sense of Gods plan, I write because it gives me something to do, I write to encourage others who are distressed, I write because I can .... it doesn’t matter that what I write is not politically correct, it doesn’t matter that I am not putting on the facade of a Christian living a victorious life, it doesn’t matter because I am Human! Mortal! Mere flesh and blood ... and this is how our Majestic, maker and owner of the universe and my soul made me. For when I am weak – His strength will work ... despite the lack of evidence today. Tomorrow – is another day, another chance, another hope.


All you well wishers, please don’t tell someone who is going through emotional pain to buck up, think positive, you’ll get another job easy, snap out of it, stop feeling sorry for yourself ..... pain is real and it needs to be dealt with – some people need longer to process through their pain than others. Time will heal – but time still has 24 hours in a day .... which can be an excruciatingly long time for some of us.

Recommended resources, tools, and support that have encouraged me over the last 3 days:

LOVING MY LIFE IS HARD TODAY - I KNOW THAT I AM NOT ALONE AND THIS  ENCOURAGES ME.

TO BE CONTINUED ....



-oOo- Love your {Life} everyday -oOo-

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Easy peasy pizza ....




Some week nights after work (okay, MOST week nights) it is all about getting a quick, yet fairly nutritious meal on the table for my 3 hungry males. My all time 'quick and easy' pizza does the job and everyone loves them!!
You will need:
Large flat pitas/turkish breads (my all time healthy secret to pizza's!)
Bottle of tomato sauce (not ketchup - pasta sauces)
Packet low fat grated cheese (life is too short to grate cheese!)
Toppings of choice e.g. chopped up ham, bacon, capsicum, basil leaves, feta, prawns, olives, sausage etc etc - you can be as frugal or lavish as you please.

This is how you put them together
Grab a desert spoon and dollop the sauce on the breads - just cover the entire surface, not too thick as it becomes soggy!
Sprinkle ingredients on top
Cover lightly with grated cheese.
Slide under the grill for a few minutes - I like my slightly browned.
Then cut into triangles with a pizza cutter.

What I love about this meal is that you can everyone to put their own toppings on - involves the whole family to be present AND cuts down your work! PLUS - very little washing up to do.

 Seriously, they couldn't be easier!


-oOo- Love your food {Life} everyday -oOo-

Monday, February 27, 2012

I am loving ... entertaining ideas

There are so many great ideas out there - here are a few that I just had to share with you today. These are simple yet fabulous entertaining ideas  -  whether it be a small get together with friends or a huge celebratory affair!



Nothing beats an ice cold ice cream cone on a hot sweltering day ... great for a pool party treat! The cupcake holders give the cones a little more pizazz!!



Party pack in a tin can ... ideal for teenage parties or a picnic in the park - grab and go!



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Morning after sleep over packs ... Kids will love these personalised brekky bundles.


Beautifully presented cocktails in a jar .... lovely for a ladies cocktail evening.



Freeze slices of lemon (cover with a little water first) in muffin tins - instant lemon on hand for drinks evening!

Whatever your event - enjoy!!!

-oOo- Love your entertaining {Life} everyday -oOo-

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Young Women for Change - Afghanistan.



logo

The past few months have been difficult time for me - hence no blogging. I don't want to expound on what has been transpiring in my life, suffice to say, I have not been very happy with my life or myself - feelings way to personal to describe them on a screen. However, this blog is NOT about me tonight and in fact the opposite is true -   I am SO counting my blessings and willing myself to feel grateful for the life I have been entrusted with. Why the change of heart and mind you may ask - well, I am HAPPY to share this with you tonite ....

Lounging around on the couch tonite - feeling a tad sorry for myself - I was flicking through TV channels trying to find something mindless to watch, I happened (fortuitously methinks) to stumble on a program titled  Girl Power (ABC's Foreign Correspondent). How foolish, self indulgent and weak I felt as I watched what women in Afghanistan are faced with on a daily basis and what atrocities they endure and have to deal with  - only 13 percent of women in this war torn country know how to read and write!

Enter one beautiful young woman into the story, who in the face of incredible danger to herself, has stood up to be counted as a force to be reckoned with. The program follows a day in her life and shows the prejudices and physical attacks she endures as she simply walks down the street of Kabul. She takes the journalist into a hospital to meet a young 15 year old, who was brutally beaten and tortured by her husband, mother-in-law and sister-in-law every single day of her young life.

This young girl is in a bad way - her hair is sparse as it has been yanked out, she is missing one or two nails because these were pulled out because she refused to prostitute herself, her face is bruised and battered - her beautiful brown eyes are vacant, her voice almost non-existence.  Her plight has moved even the Afghanistan Prime Minister who has ordered that the offender's be arrested. Sad to say - there are many many more of these incidents which occur in this country- none of which will ever hit the headlines, or have anyone to save them from their misery.

What can we do - here safe in our first world comfort and indulgence I hear you thinking? You can donate to the amazing work of  Young Women for Change . Check this site out and read how a few faithful, amazing young women who are fighting against injustices to women in a county who sees women on the same level as an animal.

You can also pray for protection and strength for these young women who are fighting bravely against all odds to change the way women are treated in Afghanistan.

Let's stand with these women in their fight and share the Young Women for Change site with colleagues, friends and family. If you belong to a prayer group - keep these young women up in prayer.

Also read my blog on - a sad, true story -  the stoning of an innocent woman.

-oOo- Love your strong {Life} everyday -oOo-