Monday, 24 June 2013

As close to "closure" as I am going to get...

It's been months since I have written in this blog. Not since February 2013, just before I went away on holiday to California with my husband.

We don't earn much, but we live a very abstemious lifestyle which means that every penny we manage to save goes towards travelling. And this holiday had been months in the preparation. I shan't pretend I did much of the planning. Husband is the one who spends long evenings delving into the internet and devising exciting itineraries, and finding great value places to stay, and spotting interesting little places to visit just a stone's throw away from the Interstate.

So there we were in California, living the life, and seizing every opportunity we could to put on our hiking boots and head out into the desert on one of the thousands of marked trails which cobweb the landscape.

And I was hiking along behind my husband, marvelling at the peace and beauty and silence (for we had not seen another human being for at least two hours) when I suddenly realised that my thoughts were not focused on my surroundings AT ALL.

My thoughts were focused upon a tatty little local authority office three thousand miles away, populated by a variety of human beings, some who were my cup of tea and some who weren't. And the dominant person in my thoughts was my implacable foe Remora.

Well, I can't truly explain what happened to me in that moment, but it was as if I heard a very loud voice booming in my ears. And the voice said:


Enough of the misery, the pain, the stress, the anxiety and the obsession. For in that moment I truly recognised what an obsession it had all become - the outrage of having been the target of so much spite, malice and bullying, and my total powerlessness over these people who had deliberately set out to cause me so much harm.

In that moment, I understood that I was allowing them to take up residence in my head, and to destroy precious moments of my very hard-earned holiday. And I decided that I was going to evict the f*****s once and for all, live in the present moment, and do everything in my power to use my time productively and enjoyably.

For as a wise man once said, "living well is the best revenge".

Have the past four months been easy? Have I succeeded?

Not 100%. But I believe I am 80% of the way there. I see my friends. I drink lots of coffee. I act in plays, and I go and see others. I visit exhibitions, read books, plan more holidays with my husband, write, and sing with the community choir. I laugh a lot. And I have a lot of fun.

The Jackals are still there, circling. In that respect nothing has changed. But I continue not to engage and not to respond. Sometimes that can feel like "losing". But I know, deep down, that in actuality I am winning.

Here is a photo of my "moment of realisation". I share it with you, in the passionate hope that all of you who have been targeted by bullies, malignant narcissists, and poisonous workplace toxicity will find your own path through the desert, and reach a place of mental and emotional safety.

You will always be in my heart, and I am grateful to each and every person who has helped me on my journey. I am still walking through the desert but I know the trail is leading somewhere amazing....


  1. Katharine
    It is great to hear from you again and to know that you are well on the way to recovery from your terrible experience. This is a good piece that lets us all know that we can move on and find peace again despite the personal loss we have suffered. We have also personal gains including a sense of resilience and maintaining integrity. Take Care FIFI xxx

  2. Have only just realised you have written this blog entry. I have really missed your blog over last few months I am so pleased to hear from you again.I am going to try hard to follow your example eventually.But at the moment have been forced to continue my fight.I plucked up courage to apply for a contract with the care organisation that I was doing relief shifts with and wrote to my previous employer asking them to provide the reference agreed as part of the compromise agreement. The chair of the board who wrote the reference and signed the CA gave a different reference that included a defamatory statement about me based on a lie told by my line mamanger which she later retracted.I have legal cover on my house insuranceand our lawyer agrees it is a clear breach of contract and we are looking at taking action against them.Nick is still working away on the book but has had 2 more rejections from agents recently.Your blog helped so many and will be missed.If you ever feel like emailing us it would be lovely to hear from you Love from Kathy and Nick xxx