We have all been there at one point or another. Whether it be work, relationships or unhealthy habits. But when they are so toxic that they are bringing you down, changing who you are as a person and how you feel about the world. We cannot live our lives doing things that make us unhappy, we cannot change our souls for others. And it took me a very long time to realize that I need to live my life the way I am designed to. I was not living as my best self, and that's not okay. I've always known that I wanted to quit my job, it wasn't a good place for me. But when I started getting sexually harassed, manipulated and bullied I knew I needed to make my exit.
A guy at work was harassing me for months, I told me manager multiple times. She would reply with "oh gross" or "what a jerk". I'm sorry but how is that helpful? I told her about a half dozen incidences where I was looking for some guidance and help. But without doubt she would not help. She called herself a friend, even used the words "Best friends". She was not a friend, she made me hurt and in more pain then I needed to be in. I needed her to step up as a friend and a manager and help me when I needed it, instead of making jokes and brushing it under the rug.
I got the courage to tell my GM and he told me "is it a guy being a guy", "there's not much I can do" "this can't affect other peoples job duties" He did a few things to help me out, with other employee's for a few weeks after me complaining.
A few months go by and the un-welcomed comments didn't stop. They seemed to get worse. to to the point where I would look in stalls before I used the rest room before I go. He was everywhere I turned, outside when I was eating lunch in my car. (only place I felt remotely safe during work). Every day would leave me in tears and panic attacks. I was terrified to go into work every single day. No one was helping, and I couldn't afford to not have a job. I mean my bills needed to be paid right? I could suck it up and I could get through it.
But as time went on. he began to ask me to do things to him. More like telling me to do things to him. I ran. I ran as fast as I could and I got out of there. I knew it was time to get a lawyer. I met with a lawyer and I told him everything.
A few weeks go by and somehow my new general manager found out I got a lawyer. That was a fun meeting. I know I did nothing wrong. But it was just a few awkward situation.
On that day, I knew that in a few short weeks I would not be returning after my vacation. I knew whether I got a new job or not I wouldn't be able to drag myself back into this exhausting place. My new GM got a hold of HR and they decided to suspend the guy. They asked me my story and I told them everything.
Two days go by, and HR calls me. They told me that there is no way they can prove what I'm saying because I have no witnesses. So they have to bring him back to work. OH MY GOSH! They are bringing him back? I almost didn't show up back to work, but I held my head high and I showed up. And boy was this guy mad. He began slamming down things on my desk as he walked by, mumbling under his breath while walking by me, Stomping his feet. Everyone was staring at me, it felt like everyone knew! No matter where I hid, I never felt safe.
My manager was so mad that I hadn't told her the most recent comments. But why would I? Because she was so helpful last time? I told her I felt uncomfortable talking about it, and I didn't want to talk to her about it.
A week before my vacation, I emailed someone I had an interview with a few months ago but the position wasn't full time so I wasn't able to take it. I emailed her to see if there was any positions she had available. And guess what! She did. She sent me a great job, which was so much closer to home, and a better position in general. I met with her on a Tuesday and by the end of the meeting, I walked out with a job. I accepted and as soon as I got into my car I cried. I was so happy. I called everyone in my family.
I had a way out! I had it and I was going to take it! Something so joyful and light came over me and instantly felt like a new person. I'm finally winning!
Last week I got back from my vacation, (I felt so happy and stress-free on my vacation), and I sent an email to my GM, his boss and my manager and I told them that I couldn't work for a place that wouldn't put my safety first, and I couldn't ever feel safe there. And they never emailed me back.
But you know what?! I'm so free! I'm more free then I've ever felt in my 4 years of working there. I started my new job, with no fear to walk through the door. No fear of being alone at work. I get to live my life as the way it's been intended to live.
So I encourage you, if you are in a situation that is compromising who you are then get a game plan and get it done as soon as possible. Things will work out how they are supposed to work out, and you will see the rainbow at the end of the storm. I'm living proof that following your heart and making hard decisions is worth it. You need to live as your best self, and don't let anything hold you back from your highest abilities.
Leave those toxic situations behind and start fresh because you will never feel better!
Please email me, or comment if you don't know what to do but you know something needs to be done. I would love to help, I would love to get you through whatever you're going though because you're worth it. Your happiness and peace of mind is and always will be worth it. I'm hear for you, and I know it's over whelming but we will get you through this hump. I'm here for not only girls who are having a hard time with some unwanted comments from creeps or not knowing when a friendship is too toxic, I'm here for anyone at any time.