received an abusive letter from coworker

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desertpine

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received an abusive letter from coworker
« on: June 28, 2018, 08:17:20 PM »
For the past 3 months my uNPD, uOCPD colleague and I have not been on speaking terms. She resorted to the silent treatment. So I have been avoiding her until I could move out. Today was the last day we would be working in the same space. She left a 2 page, single spaced letter for me full of rage, name calling, blaming, vilifying, etc. I skimmed over it to see if there was anything useful but it is just full of verbal abuse. 
So, do I shred it without reading it any further or should I keep it as evidence of verbal abuse in case I need it due to any vindictive action she might take?
I'm definitely not going to respond to her. It's about her need to feel better by vilifying me and her trying to feel better by trying to hurt me.
So relieved to no longer have to work with her! It's been over 5 years.
Time for a new beginning...

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JollyJazz

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Re: received an abusive letter from coworker
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2018, 10:12:54 PM »
Definitely DON'T shred it.
Make a photocopy and a scan of it.

Its definitely good evidence. I am sorry to hear you had to deal with it. A horrible, abusive letter like that is such proof of her character. I think avoiding her is a good step when she is abusive like that.

Thank goodness you don't have to work with her any more.

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xredshoesx

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Re: received an abusive letter from coworker
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2018, 10:29:44 PM »
would you feel comfortable sharing it with HR?  that's just uncalled for.  i worked with two bullies who were most likely some variety of PD.  one was a supervisor that i was able to document and who eventually got let go (I wasn't the only one who went to HR about it) and the other was the bosses girlfriend/ roommate who made a lot of snide comments about me under her breath and both gave me a bad review and then took all credit for me being a better employee the following year despite not giving me word one of guidance/ advice....

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StayWithMe

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Re: received an abusive letter from coworker
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2018, 11:58:18 PM »
Give HR a copy.  imagine what she is saying about you to other people.  And you can be sure that some people will believe her.

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desertpine

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Re: received an abusive letter from coworker
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2018, 09:14:08 AM »
Thanks for the support and feedback. Both of us are self-employed. We have shared an office suite for years - so there isnít an HR dept.  But she is a psychologist and so if her negative behavior continues , I can consult an attorney about defamation of character or file a complaint with the state licensing board.
Itís painful and sad. We were good friends for a few years but my view of her really changed when I started to see her quirks as warning signs . I know I contributed to our fall out and have been getting help with my own stuff. I think there are some grains of truth in her accusations but they are muddled up by her rage and blind spots. She said she thinks I may have a BPD and /or DID, and need anger management help.  Iíll talk to my T about those possibilities. But Iím middle aged and Iíve  never been told that before. I think that would have come up before now if it was really true.
I gave the letter to my spouse and he said sheís very direct and descriptive  in the letter. But he didnít see it as abusive. Thatís frustrating because it feels abusive to me.
For now, it will remain in a file in a file cabinet. I need to shake it off and move on. I move out this weekend into my own office - no suite mates anymore.



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JollyJazz

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Re: received an abusive letter from coworker
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2018, 06:09:37 AM »
Could you show the letter to your T? Often PDs engage in a lot of projection. Someone that is prepared to send a long ranting and accusatory letter is likely to have the anger problems.

So sorry to hear you are going through this. It sounds so upsetting. Sending support! :)

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clara

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Re: received an abusive letter from coworker
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2018, 12:35:32 PM »
I agree that it's likely more her projecting than anything.  NPDs do this constantly--accuse others of what they are the ones doing.  One thing you can do is make a copy of the letter then put the original in an envelope and mail it to yourself.  Keep the unopened letter which, hopefully, will have a date stamp on it, until needed if necessary.  That way, you're starting a documented paper trail.  It may or may not serve as evidence if she stirs up trouble down the road, but the "may" is what you're after. 

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desertpine

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Re: received an abusive letter from coworker
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2018, 05:55:33 PM »
Thank you for the idea about mailing it to myself. I wrote the date on the envelope but hadn't thought about getting it postmarked.

I will take it to my T and see what she thinks. For now, I'm trying to focus on getting my new office set up and so when people ask how the move went, I can focus on the good news instead of going down the dark road that just stirs me up. I realized part of me found it vindicitive to tell people what she did - like my own smear campaign to drag her name through the mud and that feels awful. It certainly doesn't bring healing! 
In the letter she diagnosed me with a PD and possibly DID (dissociative identity disorder). It's like she was trying to use a diagnosis as a weapon. Thing is I agree that I might have some symptoms of BPD but I've never been diagnosed with it. And certainly never with DID - that was an absurd statement.  Even if I did have a dx of those, for her to use those terms as insults with an intention to hurt me is an abuse of her power as a psychologist. A small part of me wants to report her to the Board - but that would be vindictive and no good could come from that. The little kid in me is like "I'm going to tell on you....you're gonna be in big trouble for talking to me like that!" LOL - I have to laugh at how there is still a little kid in me even though I am middle aged.
It is also triggering for me to get a letter like this because I have been on the receiving end of this kind of letter before. And admittedly, I have written one or two of them- about 20 years ago. My mother and sister have both sent similar letters to me. My mom actually snuck a mean letter into my carry-on luggage when I flew back to school after the holidays. So growing up, I thought that was the appropriate way to communicate with someone you had a conflict with and that saying such hurtful things was normal. But it isn't - it is one thing to journal or write such a letter and not send it. But to actually send it causes more harm and distress for both parties.
There is this thing called disorganized attachment that happens when infants/children grow up in scary situations and can not escape. This description really fits what I'm feeling. It's like my brain is trying to make sense out of this situation but there isn't a rhyme or reason to it. So eventhough I know she can no longer bully me, emotionally I still feel stirred up and on edge. I keep thinking over and over and over the relationship, trying to make sense of it and come up with something I should do so that there is more peace inside. So my self-care for now is to not do anything - do not respond to her, do not take any action that involves the letter, and minimize how much I talk about it to others.
What of the best lessons I am taking away from knowing her is the power of emotional empathy. She has very good cognitive empathy and gives concrete advice on what strategies to implement. But without emotional empathy, that advice is cold and controlling. Real connection comes from the emotional empathy and for that, one must listen with one's heart - not just one's head.


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JollyJazz

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Re: received an abusive letter from coworker
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2018, 09:30:18 PM »
I showed my T an email from my M once.
It was actually not that bad of one (or so I thought at the time). It was so illuminating as she went through line by line, and dissected what was going on - e.g. this line is emotional blackmail, this is guilt tripping etc.

I wouldn't beat yourself up too much about mentioning the letter to other people. It is true that she did that and you don't owe it to her or anyone else to cover up anything cruel or inappropriate that they have done to you. Writing an abusive letter like that is deeply unprofessional behaviour! But yes, I definitely think its best to focus on healing.

I think its normal to ruminate about something like that. I would too. That's awful :( Good on you for focusing on self care now.

I'm sorry to hear about your Mum putting a letter like that in your luggage! Horrible. Its one thing to do these things as children, but one would hope adults grow past that.

Although it is triggering, talking to your T about a letter like that could potentially give you a double whammy of healing - since you also have had to go through that in the past from your M.

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clara

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Re: received an abusive letter from coworker
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2018, 01:52:17 PM »
People who do this...know what they're doing.  They know the reaction they're going for.  They want the momentary satisfaction of knowing they "got you" in a way where you can't immediately fight back.  It's not like talking with you face-to-face.  It's cowardly and manipulative and never, ever accomplishes anything.  Does anyone ever receive a letter like that and think, "gosh darn it, they're right?!"  Maybe some people do, but probably only if the letter is also supportive and sent with a good interest at heart.  That's not what you're dealing with here, desertpine.  This is scorched earth behavior. 

The thing is, she had a reason for doing it, but the reason will never make sense to you because there's no sense to it.  You can't figure it out because  you can't be in her head.  I know when I've had to deal with people like this, (and I received a letter like this once from a coworker who was stupid enough to put it into writing but I was equally stupid in not taking it to our manager and demand that she back up her accusations with concrete evidence and not what she felt or what she believed) my first reaction is to kind of believe what they say because they know how to work triggers, but I then recognize it as a trigger and then feel sorry for them because this is how they go through life.  They will never change and will repeat these actions with others, time and again, over and over.  Imagine going through life like that.  Imagine always looking for an enemy, or someone you can blame your own issues on.  Always having to deal with such deep-down self-hate, such feelings and awareness you can never bring to the surface because you're afraid of your own self.  Being too much of a coward to deal with your issues.  You're the brave one, desert.  You and everyone on this site who are willing to examine their lives with the blinders off.  These other people are such cowards.  Yeah, I pity them.