What if you became the victim of a manipulator

Dear Bloggers,

What if you became the victim of a manipulator on your job. If your manager is one of those kind of bosses what would you do if he picked you as his victim.


Loads of people would flea and others will pick up the fight. But fighting is difficult and it might take more than you ever could imagine. My wife has always been someone who wasn't scared to tell you if there was something wrong work wise and you had a tough time when she was sure that she was right.


She could be pretty much point out were the problem was. She lost the three year long battle against two managers and has ended up with a mental state of mind as the last one did every thing in his power to make the kill and that she would leave without any hassle. I am pretty impressed that these people get that much freedom from the higher management to do that much damage to a happy personality (I've seen people that were that much destroyed as they had been captured and tortured by kidnapping something that you could expect.)


 

I am often asked how a person can get to each other through the process of picking up the pieces and overcoming the scars of an abusive or manipulative workplace once they finally found the courage to end it.


In fact, I’ve been asked several times to consider writing a book, on this topic alone. It seems that dysfunctional work relationship survivors often experience some unique kinds of emotional and mental turmoil. And although I’ve written about the fundamental ways these individuals can empower themselves and start over, I haven’t written very much on the kinds of things they typically experience as they’re trying to heal their wounds and put their lives back together. 


Most families fall apart after the abuse as the partners can't cope anymore. The one that has been victimized has trouble to trust people including their own spouse and children. It is a bumpy road to get your life back on track. 


Many people have told me about how hard it was for them to stop blaming themselves and engaging in a lot of self-doubt and reproach. ”How could I have been so blind…. or so stupid, or why didn't I walk away from this?” they ask themselves. It’s difficult for them to reconcile the way they saw things in the days before their toxic relationship and the way they have come to view things since their painful experience. They sometimes question their rationality as well as their sanity. 

 
But the truth of the matter is that while they might indeed have had some personality characteristics of their own that made them particularly naive and vulnerable (most of us do), the fact is that covert-aggressors are generally quite skilled at what they do, and the more seriously character disturbed social predators among us (i.e. the psychopaths/sociopaths) are extremely astute and talented when it comes to the “art of the con.” And in their very nature, manipulation tactics are often hard to see until after the fact. 


Besides, it’s relatively pointless to play the self-blame game. Lovingly reckoning with your vulnerabilities and vowing to become a stronger, better person in the aftermath of a troubled workrelationship is one thing, but doing an emotional hatchet-job on yourself just because you happened to fall prey to a good con artist is quite another.


And after years of being manipulated it’s easy to get into the habit of doubting yourself. This can be an even bigger problem if you tried counseling the manipulator at some point and the disturbed character who is wanting the ultimate power managed to con the therapist as well. Still, as hard as it might be, the one of the most important tasks for any “recovering” person has before them is to end the destructive cycle of self-doubt and blame.



Some folks have a lot of anger to deal with after their abusive relationship is finally over. They can harbor resentment that their former abuser seemed to “get away with” being such a Son of a gun while they (and perhaps their children as well) had to pay all the prices involved. To make matters worse, some possessive controllers as in my spouse her case do their best to make the ordeal of manipulating their husband as well which might lead to separation or divorce and make their live like a living hell on those who have finally had enough and found the courage to walk away. And the collateral damage that can be done to otherwise healthy relationships with others who might possibly have been sources of support can also make a survivor angry, bitter, and resentful.



For the reasons mentioned above as well as some very important others, especially for purposes of healthy information-sharing, I’d like to invite all of the readers who can identify themselves with these issues to comment on the various things they might have gone through when ending a job or even worse a relationship with a manipulator or other character-disturbed person and trying to start a new life. 


And I’ll might be writing some more on this topic in the coming months.

The Old Sailor,



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