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On Being Bullied—reflections, lessons, and gratitude 8 years later

by Lorraine Segal
May 2017

Conflict Remedy Blog by Lorraine Segal

Lorraine Segal

The end of being bullied

On June 2nd, 2009, I drove away for the last time from the toxic workplace where I had been repeatedly bullied and mobbed.

I’ve been reflecting recently about this life altering experience, because a piece I wrote about it will be out in a new book this October 2017.

I began to write some about these experiences in 2010, and I’m grateful to realize that I’ve come a long way on my healing journey since then.

When I was in the middle of those horrific experiences, I did whatever I could to protect myself from the worst effects of bullying and mobbing.

I got into therapy to address the PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress), I worked with an anti-discrimination attorney that the state teachers’ union paid for, I documented everything, I prayed and meditated, I reached out for support, I carefully considered every action and every word with the mob who comprised many of my work “colleagues”.  None of it was enough to shield me completely, but it did help me survive and find the courage to get out of there.

It was a tremendous relief when I finally left, but it certainly wasn’t the end of my inner work. In some ways, my PTSD was even worse after I left, because I had the freedom to fully experience how awful it had been. I had a great deal of bitterness, resentment, and shame to release as well.

Working with others who’ve been bullied.

Because I write about my experiences and teach and coach about bullying, I’ve had a number of opportunities over the years to support and help women who are experiencing bullying themselves. Beyond my expertise, I believe my very survival and healthy new life offer them hope that they could survive and thrive too.

I’ve always been glad to be present for them, but I noticed that when I worked with them or taught about bullying, I would have to deal with some PTSD flashbacks and a trembling in my body and my voice.

My healing and gratitude continue.

I am grateful and happy to report, that my continued healing and spiritual work has paid off! Today, I can share and help others without the quiver and with more serene love.

Over the years, I’ve actually become grateful for those experiences at the college. I would still prefer to not have gone through them, but I recognize that without them I might never have found my second career in conflict resolution and communication skills and pursued the deep joy of that field for me.

Biography


Lorraine Segal is a certified Conflict Management coach and teacher, specializing in communication and conflict resolution in the workplace. For many years a middle manager and tenured community college professor, she has her own business, Conflict Remedy LLC.

In her organizational consulting, classes, and coaching, she helps people learn new skills, get “unstuck” from negative stories, and shift their patterns of thinking and reacting so they can learn to: communicate clearly, resolve conflict effectively, and contribute to a more harmonious and productive workplace.

She currently teaches at Sonoma State University, Santa Rosa Junior College, and St. Joseph Health Life Learning Center (Memorial Hospital) and works with various businesses and organizations. 



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