The effects of bullying can last long after the abuse has stopped.
This is her recovery:
It's been nine months.
Nine months since I was bullied and verbally abused with the full knowledge of my superiors. Nine months since I tried to get away from it, only to have those same people follow me and steal everything from me.
As a result, I had a major breakdown, the kind with paranoia, hallucinations, the whole shebang. My shrink encouraged me to apply for disability because he was afraid I wouldn't be able to work anymore. I was paralyzed by my fears, afraid to leave the house, afraid I might see someone or something who could hurt me again.
I'm sick of it.
The doctor changed my medications again, and this time instead of feeling sluggish or tired, I feel refreshed. I feel like me again for the first time in nine months. I want to get up in the morning and get back into running. I want to get back behind the wheel of my car and drive my husband and myself to a roller derby bout. I want to get out of here.
Because of the people who hurt me, I swore I would never be a veterinary technician again. Just looking at my scrubs made me feel sick; the thought of wearing them was almost too much. Like trying to drive, it made me feel like the world was closing in on me.
I put them all in a drawer that I don't open. It hurt because I was a vet tech for more than ten years and I always loved it. I turned away from everything I used to love. I let my certification expire. I mourned the loss of my career and my freedom at the same time.
I'm sick of that, too.
That's why I've decided that 2013 is going to be my year. Even if it doesn't want to be, I'm going to make it my year. I've even got a plan.
First things first, I'm going to reapply for certification. It's going to mean I have to pay a chunk of money and take a long, boring test but I'll be certified as a Registered Veterinary Technician again, something I worked hard to achieve.
Next, I'm getting my car fixed so I can start driving again. The first place I'm going to drive is to the gym, where I can start trying to run again.
Finally, I'm going to start applying for jobs as a tech and find one that's a good fit for me and our family.
Just looking at all that is scary. Reading it makes me think that it'll be easier to just stay at home and hide from the world, but I know in my heart that's not the answer for me anymore. I'm going to pull myself out of this hole of despair and struggle my way up to the light again. It's going to take some time but I think I can get back to myself if I set my mind to it.
I'm ready, 2013.
Let's do this!
Do you have any resolutions for the New Year?