I’m a wife, a mom to two beautiful young men and in a former life, I was a school teacher AND once had a successful career as a voice-over artist.
Fast forward to today, I am a positivity influencer and coach helping women to overcome the devastating effects of adult bullying and mobbing so they can regain their confidence and find their voice.
But it wasn’t always like this…!
Let me tell you a quick story about how I got to where I am today…
As a child, I remember always feeling like there was something “wrong” with me.
I could never understand what I had done to deserve the name-calling, the social exclusion and the isolation I was subjected to at school.
I became quite shy and introverted as I struggled to cope and as the bullying got worse, I even considered taking my own life…
I carried the scars of those experiences with me into adulthood where I twice experienced bullying and what I later discovered to be “mobbing”.
Only this time as an adult, the effect was even more devastating.
Mobbing is a term used to describe bullying that takes place in a group environment so rather than the bully being one individual, the perpetrators are a group of people who “gang up” on the victim through continued harassment or intimidation to reduce their value, contributions, or credibility with the primary objective of driving that person away.
It typically involves spreading rumors, innuendo and lies to make the victim leave the group.
This could take place in the workplace, a social group, a church group, or even within a group of family or friends…
In my case, the mobbing took place in my workplace.
I became physically and mentally unwell as I struggled to cope.
I was severely depressed and when I finally found the courage to confide in a friend about what was happening to me, she told me to “suck it up…. and …what did I mean, I was depressed?!”
So I did just that.
I sucked it up and pretended like everything was fine when in reality I was crumbling inside and it was an effort to make it through each and every day.
I finally transferred to a new workplace and began to rebuild my confidence as I tried to come to terms with the deep seeded anger and hurt that I felt… and then it happened again.
And this time around, it brought me to my knees.
Being talked about behind my back, ridiculed, put down and excluded by a group of women who were my friends, the very people I loved and cared about…. was devastating.
At first it was the hurt, the fear, the guilt… the self-loathing.
Then came the anger, the blame and the denial as I struggled to cope with the hate that was being directed at me.
I became physically ill, I developed an auto-immune disease and had to leave a job I dearly loved.
This experience profoundly changed me as a person.
I felt as though I had lost everything that was near and dear to me and life as I knew it had changed…
I had lost my job, my friends and the support of those I loved and cared for.
And perhaps the most tragic part was that I also lost myself and my whole identity during this experience.
I didn’t even know who I was anymore.
My confidence had been stripped bare, I was so fearful of letting people in, of letting people get to know the real me…
And no matter how much I tried to pretend everything was ok, the feelings of unworthiness, and of never being enough followed me everywhere.
Beyond the hurt there was anger – anger at the people who I felt had betrayed me and anger at myself for somehow not being enough.
I realised that the only way I was going to move beyond these experiences and reclaim my life was to rid myself of the anger and the self-loathing that had been slowly eating away at me.
Although I couldn’t make anyone else love me, I was going to have to learn to love myself so I would not feel so betrayed when love wasn’t freely given to me.
Eventually I found the courage to join a women’s group where I went on to lead my first 30 day self love program and after witnessing the transformation that took place within the group and within myself I knew I had finally found where I belonged.
As the women’s confidence grew, so too did their voices as they began to allow themselves to be seen, as they began to reclaim their voice and their truth.
The truth that they mattered.
The truth that they were valued.
The truth that they were enough – the truth that they always had been enough.
The more I began to love myself the more I was able to let go and the less I cared about the opinions of others… and it was in this moment that everything that had happened up until this point began to make sense.
The more I began to open up and share my experiences, the more I discovered that there were many other women who had also been the victim of bullying and mobbing.
You see I believe that there are no accidents in life.
I realised that everything I had been through, everything I had experienced, as difficult as it was at the time, was exactly as it was meant to be in order for me to get the lessons I needed so that I could become the woman I am today and pave the way for other women who had also been victims of bullying or mobbing.
I never want another woman to feel she has to go through this alone or to feel like she has to “suck it up” and pretend to be ok when she’s not.
I don’t want another woman to have to suffer in silence as I did, before I finally found the path towards healing and finding my voice.
Which is why I created My Positive Voice, a community where every woman is accepted for who she is and every woman matters.
I would love you to join me on this journey to finding your voice.