If you’ve read my book, Bullied by the Boss, you’ll know the original reason I was targeted was because I’d just had a novel published. It was followed by invitations for local radio and newspaper interviews. I did book readings and book signings, began work on a second book and taught a few creative writing workshops. This was very exciting. But that’s how it started. Howard, perhaps thinking I was getting above myself as a secretary, began to make jokes that I was terrible writer. He’d hold my book up and read it aloud, mockingly. He said he'd buy copies of my book instead of Andrex loo roll. And before long, his humiliating jokes encompassed everything about me.
Although I threw my efforts into the blog and my non-fiction book, I doubted I’d write fiction again. I accepted that some things were lost. Only two things out of all the abuse I took really stayed with me – a concern that I was ugly and a belief that I was terrible at fiction.
But thanks to some wonderful friends who have inspired me and encouraged me to write fiction again, I have a 70,000 word manuscript for my second fictional book. Not only that, but this week I have won a place on a mentoring programme – awarded to those who show outstanding potential and my manuscript is currently being considered by a publisher.
I could mourn the fact that this might have happened 5 years earlier if it weren’t for Howard, but I’m just overjoyed I’ve managed to regain some of what was lost. Having come this far, who knows where I’ll end up? I’m so determined. Not only did they make absolutely no difference (other than making the process take longer), but they added fuel to the fire. Perhaps this is the greatest lesson of all – there is nothing like showing them what you’re made of.
I felt it was important to share this with you, because I truly believed this kind of recovery was impossible. But you can recover and you’ll never allow it to happen again.
One step at a time is what it takes – it all adds up.