Mental Health Support
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Totally Despondent and going downhill fast!!

I have only just signed up to this site today. I really need someone to talk to and I as I feel as though I am going out of my mind. I dont want to make this very long-winded so I will keep it as brief as possible.

I have been working as a Legal Secretary for over 14 years now and the last 3 years were with a Firm in the town I live in. I had started to hate it when a few months ago a work colleague (whom I also thought was my friend) started to confide in me and told me a lot of personal things, which I kept to myself. I told her a few things to but thiS was work related issues. I told her that I hated the fact that my boss was piling more and more responsibilities on me, the conditions in the office were terrible, we have had no hot running water for 3 years now and that my work load was too much and that certain other members of staff who were getting away with doing hardly anything should at least have been asked to help out. Stupidly, because I was keeping her "secrets" I thought she would have done the same. She took the day off work one day and phoned my boss saying she could no longer stand the atmosphere that I was causing in the office, I complained and moaned all the time and she couldnt even bear to go into work that day!! I was horrified and my boss hawled me over the coals and practically blew my ears off he shouted at me so hard. When this person came back to work the next day, I couldnt even look at her let alone speak to her and this toxic atmosphere went on for 3 weeks. I went looking for another job and eventually got one in Glasgow. I started this job in January and after 1 week I left. I couldnt stand the pressure I was under, travelling was a nightmare and I was having to get up a sill oclock to get a train. It was too much and I was totally unrealistic in my choice of new job. It has been over a month now and I am unemployed. I have done all the right things in registering with agencies, looking online, I have had one interview and received a call this morning (after waiting a full week with baited breath) to say that I was unsucessful. The anger I am feeling towards my old company and especially my old work "mate" is terrible. I keep blaming them for the position that I am in but I know it is really my fault. I keep crying and feel like a fool/loser/idiot... all of the above. I also know the only reason I accepted this other job was to get out of the septic environment I was already in. My old boss accepted my notice with no questions asked. Incidentally, he never told me what this colleague had said about me, and I was told not to ask but by the way he was speaking and the words he used were words I recognised as being mine. I was not given the opportunity to defend myself. I have left, I have no job and she is sitting pretty just getting on with her life. I hate myself so much and keep thinking maybe I would be better off just gone because I am feel like this bad person who has let everyone down but no-one more so than myself!!.

I dont know what to do, it has taken an age just to type this as I cannot see what Im doing Im crying so hard right now!!...

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Hi there and I'm sorry you haven't received any replies up till now when you are in such distress. I will try and help though I don't think you are suffering from depression as an illness as such; just that you have been put in a situation which was untenable. My friend had the same experience. She was a nurse and the new boss on her ward was a narcissist and in a very short space of time caused a calm and happy ward to have almost every member of staff wishing to leave including my friend. She had previously been there more than 20 years. They have moved her boss sideways now (as they often do) but the damage has been done; her nerves are shattered and she still wishes to move on.

You had a very bad experience with an idiot of a person and unfortunately as can happen sometimes you paid the price instead of them in that you had to leave. It isn't fair; none of these things are fair, but you did the right thing to get away.

Please try not to be too hard on yourself. I am concerned when I hear that you are feeling suicidal. Please be nicer to yourself; so you went for another job just to get out and it wasn't the right job for you, and now you have applied for another job still and not been successful. Please be kind to yourself. In the rush to escape the situation you were in which was dire and unfair you chose the wrong job. That can happen and it's ok. You are not a bad person.

And now you have not been successful in applying for that other job. Maybe draw a few breaths, use this time to take up a new interest such as joining a gym and doing yoga for a while (if you can afford it) then take a little time before you go for something else.

I hope that this helps. None of this is your fault. XXX Gemmalouise XXX

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Thank you so much for your prompt rely and this is so appreciated today. I am trying so hard to keep my day as structured as possible and to not get into that "couch potato" habit. For 36 years I have been able to hold down full-time jobs and this is the first time ever that I have been in this position. I am totally lost and my emotions are all over the place. One minute I am positive and up beat thinking "at least I can choose where I want to be and what I want to do now" and everything seems fine and then maybe a couple of hours later, Im in total despair thinking "is this it??..Am I on the scrap heap now at 50....What if I never get a job again". Its only been a couple of weeks but I cant do this indefinitely. I know its only me who can deal with this but mentally, even though I am not working, I feel exhausted. I have even felt my self thinking that maybe I should have just stayed there in that horrible office but then I cant go through life acting to her that everything is fine and then disappearing to the toilets for a crying session, then coming back into the room as if "hey, everythings just peachy with me" when its not!!.....Thats the way my life has been for a few months. I still think that if I had been in my proper/usual frame of mind, I would have done really well in my new job but my confidence had already been shot to pieces and I just kept thinking that everything I was doing was going to be wrong (even though I was being told it was fine!)...i just wish I could let go of the anger I am feeling for this person right now!!...I keep thinking that one day she is going to see me walking through the town, dressed to the nines, hair and make up done and happy. I want her to see the success I am making of my life, if she knew I was sitting here like this today, it would be right up her street!!....Just wish I could let her go completely and not give a toss!!...XXX

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I admire you for being able to hold down a job for so long. I have always had problems in that direction myself so I am in awe of what you have done so far, despite your recent "blip". And a "blip" is all it will be. It is natural to have emotions all over the place when your life changes and when someone has made you so angry. I know it may sound like a platitude and i don't mean it in that way, but I do think you need to give it time and keep venting on here as much as you want as that helps and I will try and reply to you though I can't promise I will be here all the time XX

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That is an absolutely horrible situation and it sounds like what happened to me. When you said that you work in Glasgow, I did almost wonder if we have worked for the same company? Full of deceiteful, nasty and ambitous folks. So two-faced. They ate me for breakfast, because I am an honest, kind and caring person. That's a target right there for those despicable colleagues. I'm sorry to hear that you are going through the same. Learn everything you can from the situation and then put it all behind you, going on to much brighter times. So sorry also that, in this day and age, employment-wise, I would also advise you to not let your guard down. Isn't it horrible that it has to be like that? x

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Sorry, me again! :-) I re-read your post and just want to add a few things. You are NOT a "fool/loser/idiot" - far from it - you are a victim of workplace bullying. YOU did nothing wrong whatsoever - do NOT hate yourself. You are definitely NOT to blame. You were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people. Karma does NOT work quickly enough for types like that! x

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Thanks for this!! Really appreciate it. It was a big corporate firm in Glasgow and it was horrible. As for the other person I think that maybe the next time I feel that wave of dislike coming over me, I should practice feeling sorry for her instead. Obviously she didnt want me there or if she truly had a problem with me she would have spoken to me and not gone over my head and straight to the boss. (Mind you, he was no better. He would not even let me have my say but just took her at her word). The number of times she referred to me as her "friend". I would never had done to any of my friends what she did to me. We not only worked together, we actually socialised on occasions too!! Hence the reason I cannot get my head around it....

I just need to keep reminding myself that no matter what happens in my day now at least I dont have to sit across from her every day and see that face, knowing what she did to me. XXXX

If you all dont mind, I'll keep you posted on what happens job-wise. Its nice to know I can check in for a chat and I hope your all ok as well. Thank you again for today!!..XXX

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Please do En1234. It's great when people take the trouble to write "follow up" messages. Quite often we are left not knowing what became of people so it would be great to hear how you get on a few days/weeks down the line X

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I will defo keep in touch with you Gemma!! You too take care. Sending you a massive big hug for your comments.!

You have no idea how much your first comment cheered me today!!..Thank you for that!!

XXXXX

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Good morning!! Hope your well today. Just a wee message to let you know that I received a telephone call this morning from a lady at an Employment Agency I had registered with 2 weeks ago. I have been offered 3 days temping work in a wee office in the next town. Its not life-changing but it will get me out of the house for a bit and its a way of keeping my hand in, so to speak, and my travelling expenses will be provided which is a bonus.

That said, my stomach is going like a washing machine just now and the nearer the time comes for me to leave for my train, the more I dont really want to go but I know I need to give myself a push!!..

I will keep you posted as to how it goes. I will be typing letters and e-mails apparently and making appointments and answering the telephone. Something to keep me busy (although I cant wait until 5.15pm to get home - I know this is daft as I have done nothing but bang on about getting a new job - Im hoping this is just nerves and that once I get there I will be fine).

Speak soon. You take care and have a good day!!

XXX

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Those types of bullying happened to me when working in Birmingham city centre as a legal secretary. I had previously held down jobs; in fact when younger I used to fly through interviews & be offered the job - on quite a few occasions. I gave up being employed 18 years ago when I had a complete emotional breakdown due to bullying in the workplace. I'm sure it's got worse since then. I've looked back at situations I found myself in & have wondered if the women who pushed me out of my job were jealous for some reason. One was helping her 'friend' to get my job & literally stole my p.c. so I couldn't do any work. I hate to say it here, but - women can be very snidey. They make out they're your friend but are actually out to get you. Office jobs are very stressful mainly. I used to work so hard & so fast, and it seemed that the more I did, the more they wanted. I was told I worked twice as fast as a 21 year old when I was 42. I'm certain the workplace has deteriorated a lot since the year 2000 when I got out to save my sanity. However, money is a big problem.

You did nothing wrong & you got the flack big time. If you can afford it, I would suggest you take a break for at least a couple of weeks. Big hugs, x

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Ahhh... Thanks for that. I totally agree with what you say about the office environment. Women can be nasty at times. I was the only full-time member of staff in my office and the other 2 were part-time. I not only had to do my own job but if their loose ends needed tying up I also had to do this as they had buggered off home at 3pm and I was still there until 5. You do need money for stuff, bills etc but you need your mental health and sanity more. Thats crap what happened to you too. Life really can throw you some curve balls. Im going to try having my own wee bubble around me, like an invisible shield, no-one can see it but no-one can get in either. A place where I can feel safe no matter what....(I know that sounds crazy but you really do have to do things to try and make things better for yourself...self preservation and all that!!).

Going to bed now but its been an absolute pleasure chatting to EVERYONE on here today!!.

God bless and speak soon!!....XXXX

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Hi En1234, Nothing about this is fair, but you made the right decision to get away from this situation. You have done nothing wrong, so please be kind to yourself. You have a lot of experience and skills to offer and you will get another job where you will be happy and fulfilled. As Stilltrying suggested, maybe this is a good time to take up a new hobby or interest and allow yourself a little bit of "breathing space" and time to think about what you would like to do. Would you consider doing some voluntary work? It would be great to help rebuild your self confidence and will help with your CV, as well as helping the community. There are lots of opportunities and these can sometimes lead to paid employment. You will begin to feel better with time. Keep posting on this forum and you will receive advice and support from other members. Thank you and best wishes.

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Thank you so much for your post. I received a telephone call this morning from an employment agency I registered with 2 weeks ago. The lady there has found me some temping work for the next 3 days. Its not permanent employment and its not exactly job security but it IS 3 days away from the house and its in a wee family business. They specialise in Civil Engineering. I am going to be doing some typing, arranging meetings and answering the telephone. This afternoon at 1pm to 5.15pm and Friday (tomorrow) and Monday 8.45am to 5.15pm. It is better than nothing and I am grateful. (Plus my travelling expenses are being paid too so thats a bonus. I have considered going into my local charity shop and asking if they need some voluntary help. Just getting out of the house and talking to people is a help in itself but I will be keeping in touch on here. The support is a tonic and its good to know that Im not alone and that other people have also been in my position so Im grateful for every piece of advice that is being offered...XXXX

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That's fantastic news En1234. Do please stay in touch and PM me anytime you want. Gemmalouise xxx

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I will Gemma!!.... (And remember Im ALWAYS here for a chat too!!..Anytime!!)..XXXX

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You may find that a 'wee family business' would suit you better. I got permanent jobs a couple of times from temping. There are offices and offices - they can't all be vile surely! You need to be working in an environment where you are truly appreciated & valued. Good luck x

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Thanks guys. I must say that I felt so "shaky" for want of a better word yesterday going into a new place. Even though your temping, its like walking into a brand new job, not knowing anyone and their procedures etc. But by the time i left yesterday I was feeling a bit more like my old self. Today will be my first "full day" and then I have another full day on Monday and that will be me finished, but at least its a start. Its so easy to see how people can fall into a depression when your life hits a patch like this... Im glad for these 3 days as leaving the house yesterday felt really scary, and it was probably the push that I needed. I hope you are feeling ok today (I hope everyone on here is feeling ok today). Even though I have never met any of you, its such a nice feeling to know that at least I DO have support at my back.

I will defo keep you posted and please let me know how you are getting on too!!.

Lots of love and hugs!! XXXXXXX

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Glad it's going well :) X

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You do have support at your back! There are so many nice folk on here :-) Sorry I haven't been around so much - apart from having CRPS, I am also now just recovering from gastric flu. As Basil Fawlty would have said, "Oh, THANK you, God!!!" (Fawlty Towers - showing my age here hahah! ) :-D Just you go everywhere with your head held high, my dear - you did nowt wrong :-) x

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Thank you!!...I have to say, and I know it sounds terrible saying this, but I got up this morning and got ready, it started snowing outside but I donned my big coat and boots and went for a really long walk. I was just about to go home when I thought "I'll just go to my mum's for a wee visit and maybe a coffee and a catch up". Lately, we have just not been getting on and I wished I HAD just gone home today because she completely managed to spoil my whole day. She didnt even ask how my temping job had gone and I had to be the one to bring up the subject. She, when we were talking, even implied that I was too old for certain jobs and ( I dont know if she was just in a bad mood) when your feeling beaten and your "trying" to get back up, the last person you need coming along with her Size 10 boots is your mother!!.. I used to be able to talk to her about anything but sometimes I feel as though she doesnt even like me!!...One word bothered another and when she feels as though she cant get the last word in she starts shouting. At this point I just got up and put my coat on, and politely said "cheerio", she just sat there and didnt even bother saying anything!!

I have to go back to this temping job tomorrow, and I dont know that I even want to now (although I will because I dont want to let anyone down) and then its back to job hunting from Tuesday onwards. Out of everyone on this earth, I should be able to turn to her and instead (please forgive me as Im not being rude) I am pouring my heart out to people I dont even know for the support and confidence which is severely lacking in me right now!!..

My mother knows how Im feeling and even in the whole month I have been off, not once has she contacted me, even to meet up for a coffee or something, or just to ask how Im getting on, but she has her knitting groups and everything/everyone else that she does have the time for. Ive got a brother who treats her like crap and IM the one who finds the time to go and visit her, and she treats me like crap!!

I wish I had not gone to visit her now, as the person who walked into her house was not the same person who walked out!! Again, I find myself sitting here in floods of tears, feeling like the failure and being really down on myself (and pouring my heart out to strangers!!)...

Sorry guys!! Just when I was starting to feel more positive. Its like building a sandcastle. Just when you think your getting somewhere, and its starts to look like something, along comes someone and kicks it all up in your face and then you have to start all over again!! XXXXXXX

PS.. My mother is on 69, so she is not a sick old lady, far from it...

PPS....Hopefully tomorrow night I will be on here feeling a lot cheerier!!

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I,ve just read my post of last night and feel totally ashamed of myself now! Firstly, I should not be bad-mouthing my mother online (although I am still really hurt by her attitude towards me yesterday) and secondly, I didnt mean to sound ungrateful. I am totally grateful for all the help and support Ive had on here. People have been so nice. The anxiety and panic has just reared its head again. I really dont mean, or want, to sound as though Im just suffering from a bad case of the "poor me's"...

Last week I had so much going on, from going to the Employment Agency to registering at another agency and then having my 3 days temping. After today, I dont know whats going to happen and Im just worried now that this is it!! I applied to a well-known furniture store for a position as a sales person and I received an e-mail yesterday to say they were not offering me a position because they felt they had to offer the job to someone with more experience and more qualified. I have 14 years Legal Secretary experience and 18 years of working in the Customer Service Sector. All this experience and I apparently am not experienced enough......to sell sofas!!!!

What hope is there??...XXXX

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Just finished my first every temping job experience and I am glad to say it went well and I received really good feedback from my temporary employer. I also received a call from the Employment Agency to say they have a placement for me in an office in Glasgow Airport. Its for 4 weeks to cover sickness. At worst the wages are not really that great but at best it is getting me out of the house and into the work environment again and I suppose its better to be earning something as opposed to earning nothing, plus there is also the benefit of meeting new people.

I cant thank the people on here enough. I honestly think if I had not had so much support from you then maybe I wouldnt have had the confidence to complete the first temping position, so I want everyone who replied to my post to know that I really do appreciate it!!

XXXXXXXXXX

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Hi I have just read your post from a month ago and my heart goes out to you. I have had a similar reaction from a long time friend(45 years) .

It’s alright for her to say or do anything but when I told her about things going on in my life she did not want to know me and turned on me. I have learnt to not trust anyone unfortunately. Wishing you well.

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Hi there!! Thanks so much for your post.

My real issue with this person is that she was my work mate. I had only been working with her for 3 years. We sat facing one another at our PCs and were only about 2 feet away. She started to confide in me about things in her life (and to this day I have never divulged what she said to me to anyone), mainly things about her friends outside of work. To be honest when I was listening to her I remember thinking that I would hate to have her as a best mate because I would hate to think that one of my best friends was telling someone else about our issues, especially with someone I didn't even know!!......I should have listened to the alarm bells going off in my head at that time!!

Anyway, I started telling her things in confidence too, but I was only talking about work. I told her I hated the fact that my boss was piling more and more work onto me and that certain others were not pulling their weight but he didn't seem to be noticing this. I had not been given a pay rise since the day I started but my responsibilities were piling up. The office was always freezing, we had no hot running water. This was the type of thing I was saying to her. She took it upon herself to go and tell my boss everything I was saying and told him that she could not "put up with my moaning anymore" To say I got the Alex Ferguson Treatment is an understatement.

She is part-time and I was full-time. She knew I was looking for another job and she was looking for extra hours and I know now that she was banking on me leaving so that she could get my hours...She had her own agenda all the time!!...When I told her I was happy to stay there for another year or so, that was when she decided to tell the boss what I was saying so as you can imagine I felt I had to leave because I could no longer look at her never mind speak to her or work with her and we worked in such close proximity, it was horrible! And he made my life a misery, while all the while she got the "golden child" treatment for ratting on me!!

As you can tell by this post I am still very bitter towards her and have not seen her since the day I left the office on 28 December 2017. I don't really know what I would do if I did come face to face with her now but that is a bridge I will have to cross when I come to it!!

That said, I do start my new job (which I am really looking forward to) next month so all's well that end's well!!

Hope your having a good day and thank you so much for your reply. Sometimes its just nice to know that other people have had a similar experience.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

PS. She did get the extra hours she was looking for after I left but I hope that at some point she will be found out. She is definitely the Viper in his nest. I forgot to add that there was a girl there before me who also left because of this person. Hopefully the boss will be clever enough to work out the pattern here before she actually destroys his business. If everyone is going to eventually jump ship because of her then this is something I can see happening!!

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Thank you for your reply’s! It’s very sad that people suck the information out of us and then use it against us! You lose faith in humanity. So pleased you have another job and time will help heal the pain this woman put you through. Wishing you well.

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