What is this?

Old 05-05-2017, 06:15 PM
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What is this?

Things in my job have been weird. The organization is going through a restructure and people are naturally feeling scared. The threat of demotion is real.

Anyway, part of this restructure is ensuring my department (I manage a medium sized team) is financially sound. I have worked hard to ensure financial sustainability for my department. This in itself though, makes me a target. Other managers, feeling fearful, are doing whatever they can, whether it is above board or not, to hang onto their departments.

I sometimes feel that others can sense a weakness in me and they would be right! Even though I am nearly 5 years out of my abusive marriage and have no contact with my still practicing alcoholic husband, the PTSD remnants remain. Anyway, a couple of other female managers have been slyly attacking me professionally. In a meeting yesterday they outright lied in order to take a portion of business away from my department. These two are colluding against me. It feels like I'm in high school and the mean girls are bullying me!

I told my boss how I feel about these two women and that their behavior, in my opinion, could be considered bullying. One of them has tried to take over my department a couple of times.

After yesterday's meeting I felt like crying. It feels like whenever I try to defend myself against their fabrications I can't speak up properly. I COULD have stopped the portion of my department's business being transferred to the other woman's department, but to do that at the time, well I felt like I would turn into that raving lunatic that used to come out when my X was drunkenly abusing me. I was raging on the inside but unable to speak or even LOOK at these women.

I am smart and a pretty good public speaker but when I am faced with a difficult or delicate situation I just clam up. The words are there in my head but my silent rage keeps them inside.

I feel so cheated and manipulated and taken advantage of right now that I can feel the tears.

Does anyone know what I'm talking about?
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Old 05-05-2017, 06:32 PM
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Oh, yeah, I know how it feels to be marginalized at work. It sucks.

Have you thought about looking into therapy to help build up your confidence and assertiveness?

Try not to catastrophic things. SOMETIMES shakeups at work, as stressful as they are, can make us look at whether it's time to move on to a new opportunity elsewhere. I'm not saying that's NECESSARILY the answer, just that you don't know how things might eventually shake out. I'm a big believer that sometimes I need a good hard shove from the universe to tell me I need to be doing something different.
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Old 05-05-2017, 06:51 PM
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Maybe consider assertiveness training? With a counselor
who could help you navigate through this particular kind
of situation where you get "stuck". Maybe it just takes a
few new tools under your belt..... hugs to you
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:31 PM
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I know EXACTLY what you are talking about and feeling. I work in a very competitive, highly stressful gigantic corporation and supervised a group in the communications group in the late 90's while going through a divorce from my A. The manager was getting pressure from above so she started coming down on me - HARD. Talk about someone kicking you when you're down!!! I also find that women can be very catty, mean, and vindictive to other women in the workplace it's ridiculous. She ended up moving on up and out of her position pretty soon after that, though. Pretty soon left the company so she could marry the upper management executive she'd been having an affair with for years while there 🙄. They both were married with young kids during their affair years and everyone knew about it - what a joke. So anyway, hang tough. This soon will pass in one way or another. There may be some bumps along the way but you'll rebound, I just know it! I agree with others that a good therapist may be able to help teach you how to believe in yourself, have confidence and be able to rationally speak your mind since you've obviously got some PTSD going on from the abusive years with the A. Glad you're here!
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Old 05-06-2017, 09:29 AM
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I know how you feel. I am the head of a special education department in a large area. I have an assistant head who's life seems to be about taking credit for everything in the department. My bosses eat it up. I am the type who quietly gets the job done and doesn't crow about it. My four year contract is up next year and I have to re-apply. She plans to interview against me. I know that I have much more knowledge and experience than her - but pretty sure she is way slicker than me. I'm kind of tired of fighting against the machine.
I can't and won't become a different person. Being sober is my major accomplishment and the person I am without drinking is someone I am proud of. I feel like it would be tempting the worst in me to even attempt to go to her level. I am unionized and will have a job somewhere, and I'm ok with that.
I have to accept the things that I can't (or won't) change.
But I get it!!
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Old 05-06-2017, 01:37 PM
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I think many of us have been in similar positions. Not fun. My organization was agist. They kept getting rid of people of a certain age and salary bracket, and replacing them with younger and cheaper.
I don't have advice. I think it's a tough situation you are in.
I will say that things change in the workplace. People move on, alliances change. Sometimes things get better.
My sib worked in a heartbreaking job where he saw the worst of people and his department got blamed whenever there was a domestic incident.
His ability to leave it behind when he left for the day was always amazing to me.
Maybe, as well as assertiveness, you can practice compartmentalization.
You know, leave the work in the rear view mirror when you are not there.
Tough, I know. Good luck.
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Old 05-06-2017, 01:49 PM
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Just to finish up: I left my work at age 62 because we were moving to another part of the country. I sincerely doubt that I would have lasted many more years there. They would have gotten rid of me as they had so many of my colleagues. Some people sued for age discrimination and got a settlement.
I'm not bitter. I had a good run there, and for a long time I loved what I did. I was ready to leave.
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Old 05-06-2017, 02:56 PM
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I've seen those types of alliances in the office, and they're never genuine. Those women are even using each other. Hopefully they will fall out before you feel any more consequences of their actions.

As long as you have proof that they're lying, then hold that card until needed. I hate playing the office game, but I've done it to protect myself in the past.
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Old 05-07-2017, 06:41 PM
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I left my last job (at a drug rehab, no less!), because the office politics made me feel insecure and marginalized. I have never ever left a job without having a better job lined up and waiting, but there came a day when my entire body and soul resisted going to work (after weeks of tossing, turning, sleepless nights).

It was an impulsive, desperate move. I didn't have substantial savings or a plan. But I have worked too hard at making my soul happy, left too many "almosts," to choose a daily commute to an office filled with folks who went out of their way to make me smaller!

After a few weeks of abject terror, I got a new job, in a completely new field. It is a physical, outside job, after a lifetime of offices & meetings & emails. I am so physically exhausted that I go to bed at 9:00 each night, which is unheard of! My muscles ache. And I am happy and proud and wake up each day curious and energized!

Do all that you can to claim your rightful space!

But - should you realize that unhappiness is daily & pervasive - know that you are mobile and agile!

I'm not suggesting crazily quitting inside desperate self-preservation (it really wasn't a great idea), but putting energy into a plan B - whether that is a job with another company, or a business that you start on the side, or even brainstorming about potential joy jobs, will reduce the negative impact of what is happening to you.

It hurts most when it is your only hope! Make a couple side-hopes, and you will likely receive a wave of new energy which might just transform your current experience!
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Old 05-07-2017, 06:51 PM
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Re-reading what I just posted, I realize that it is the exact same dilemma/advice/experience of dealing with a ****** relationship!

If you had/have the courage to leave or transform a relationship with an alcoholic or addict, you can translate that experience directly!

I love that when we post our learnings on SR to share with others, the sheer act of writing them can gift us with our own epiphanies!!

We deserve feeling valued & respected - in our intimate relationships & also at our jobs! (Ok, epiphany for me, anyway! Hahaha!)...
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:39 PM
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Heartcore, what you posted made me think.

I've had the hardest time in work relationships on multiple occasions so sympathize with LLLisa.
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