Ak57\’s Weblog

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Archive for September 2009

Living With Physical Abuse Trauma

It has been a difficult time, living with the pain that I have been carrying for over a year. Two weekends ago I came close to sobbing thrice, and got nothing done. Last weekend I spent most of it asleep, easily 10-12 hours in bed not because I was tired but just to escape into my dreams. Last night I got teary again, leading me to be too upset to attend an important function today.

So now I think its best to write something down, in the hope that it might help.

I started working for her early last year. Our working relationship was bad right from the start. She made racial remarks, she offered no guidance, she would avoid talking to me – there were times when I would ask her a question and she would keep quiet. Added to that was the fact that I have various health problems, one of which prevents me from travelling, so there were some company activities that I could not take part in. I let her know of this early on but she chose to pressure me to go for these activities instead. I had to endure severe physical pain.

I was in a difficult place. I enjoyed the work itself. I enjoyed working with our clients and the feeling was mutual. I had no issues with my co-workers, just her. I asked her to stop what she was doing because it was hurting me and she made false promises to stop. So, as the abuse continued I felt I had no choice but to resign. Emotional abuse in the workplace is one thing, physical abuse is another.

The first time I resigned in person her response was, ‘No, you stay here and work!’ followed by her blaming one of my co-workers, saying all our problems is that person’s fault and I need to work it out with that worker. She refused to discuss the matter further. I had no idea what she was talking about. She invented this fiction just to avoid facing the crime she had committed?

I waited a month to see if her behaviour would improve but it got worse, so I resigned a second time in writing. To avoid a nonsensical response from her I also informed our clients. Yes that was unprofessional, but I didn’t know what else to do after my first resignation. She never replied.

Months went by and I was still upset whenever I heard her name or saw her face. I couldn’t understand why – I had resigned already, so what more did I have to worry about? Yes, she made me bleed, but surely I can forget that with time.

Why am I so traumatised? It took a long time for me to realise some of the reasons:

  • I was forced out of a job that I enjoyed. Until today I still want to know what’s going on in the office and how the business is doing.
  • I was abused by my boss, whom I trusted to protect me, guide me and motivate me to continue supporting her to best of my ability. No boss can justify hurting their employee.
  • Having to keep quiet because her reputation is so good that nobody would believe me. I confided in my best friend (her friend as well) and he refused to believe me, which ended up hurting our friendship.
  • Having to keep quiet when our clients/friends asked what her problem with me was, as our body language together made it very obvious.
  • The betrayal of trust and the horror of experiencing what happened – I never expected her to behave this way.
  • Having many mutual friends, and myself attending some of the same functions as her- I will never be able to take the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach with these reminders.
  • Not knowing why she did what she did, right from the start. I never did anything to deserve this.

I have been living poorly since I resigned. It’s like being half-asleep all day long. I have to force myself to eat. I sleep far too much. It’s impossible to get work done at a reasonable pace. I shouldn’t have to beg for contact with her given the circumstances of my resignation, but I needed answers so I started lobbying to see her since February.

I finally met with her on July 22nd this year, just over a year since my resignation. I thought her willingness to see me meant she had cooled down and was willing to explain why she did what she did. I was wrong. First she denied I had resigned. Then she asked me to come back and work for her. She did not want to discuss the physical abuse but I insisted. She didn’t deny what she did, but only gave an insincere, “I’m sorry”. How do I know? Because I worked for her – I know the sound of her fake apology line very well. There was no shame or surprise, she just couldn’t be bothered.

To make it worse she still asked me to come back. Then she left.

I just said, ‘you physically abused me’ and her response was, ‘you can still come back’?

What madness is this?

I don’t hate her. I don’t want bad things to happen to her. I just want to know why she did it and how she lives with what she did.

I’ve lost a year of my life to this problem. It’s scary to think of all the achievements I could have made but didn’t. Now that I know I will never get my answer from her, well at least I got that confirmation. That’s the only good thing that I see coming from that meeting.

I just hope I climb out of this pit soon before I go completely mad.

Written by ak57

September 6, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Posted in Personal