People can be mean and cruel, and often times are. Instead of showing appreciation to a loyal, hard worker, they make more demands on you. No praise is given for all the great quality work, not to mention the HUGE amount of work, that you do. They go on a mission to find fault over every little thing with you, making a mountain out of a mole hill. They speak to you as if you are beneath them, lower than scum of the earth. While they aren’t necessarily always raising their voice at you, they speak to you in a condescending tone as if they are some how superior. News flash! They aren’t! Furthermore, how they act, what they say, and even what they do – NONE of that is a reflection of you. Instead, they are showing you who they really and truly are. What I would like you to realize is that it doesn’t define you. No matter what they say about you, how they try to turn things around on you to make you the bad guy, the attitude they take with you, the harsh tone they use when speaking to you – NONE of that defines you at all. Instead, it lets you know the type of person they are. They have a heart problem. Deep down within themselves, they have issues that neither you nor I can fix.
When is enough finally enough, though? As a Christian, just how much are you supposed to sit there and take? This keeps coming up with different situations. Yes, I realize you’re supposed to turn the other cheek. I realize that you are to do unto others as you’d want done to you. I realize that just because a person does all of this and more to me, I don’t have to respond to them in the same fashion. I get that. All of it. But, what I’d like to know is when is it okay for a Christian to say I will NOT continue to be mistreated? Why is a Christian – just because they ARE a Christian – expected to put up with ill treatment? Why is it okay for a person to bully, belittle, degrade, etc. another human being? Why should we continue to sit there quietly praying while they all but beat us over the head time and time again. When is it okay for a Christian to stand up for themselves and say I will NOT continue to take this!
Let me give you a little history here. It isn’t that this person said and did all of these ugly things to me once and I got bent out of shape. No. Not at all. There is more to this than most know. Allow me to enlighten you.
I worked for this company for ten years. Not all of those years were bad, though. During those ten years, I formed a friendship with an older lady in the office. Since it was a small office, we were there most days alone. We became friends, and all was well for a while. Until she started taking her frustrations out on me. I never knew when it would happen either. One day things would be fine, and the next day, something set her off and I was her target. I left in 2003 due to this individual. They were diagnosed as bi-polar back then, but they refused to take their medicine. They attempted suicide several times before I left, and despite how I was treated on numerous occasions, I tried to help them. The thing I realized back then is that you cannot help someone that does not want to even help themselves. No matter how she treated me, though, I was there to help her when she needed me. I visited her in the hospital after one of her attempted suicides, with tears in my eyes begging her not to do anything like that ever again. When she couldn’t function and do anything in her house, or even write out her own bills, I went to her house (an hour and 15 minutes away) to help her. I took time away from my family to be there to lend a hand. That is the Christian thing to do, right?
After ALL of this, finally I had enough when one day she literally chased me around the office. On one occasion when we were left there alone and she was having a bad day, she came across the desk at me and got in my face. I told her to leave me alone, yet she would not so I got up from my desk to walk away. That is when she went after me. I kid you not. I ended up screaming at her to leave me alone as I ran up the stairs of our two story office building. Later, I did try to tell the owner what happened. Much to my surprise, he asked if she had hit me. When I said no, he did not see a problem then since she hadn’t laid a hand on me. I told him I was coming to him before it got to that point for him to HELP with the situation. Since he did not, I left.
Fast forward ten years. This same individual was diagnosed with cancer. Her cousin contacted me, and I then wrote a card to this individual telling her I was sorry to hear the news but to please let me know if I could do anything for her personally or for the company (as I knew she would need to be out for treatment – also, the original owner retired and his sons were running the business now so I was more than willing to help them as well if it was needed). Shortly thereafter, she called me and asked me to come back to the company as she was really behind on a lot of invoices. I agreed, and when I went in there, I found boxes upon boxes of invoices that needed to be scanned into the system, tons of past due invoices that she hadn’t touched, and I immediately went to work resolving all of those issues. I got the company completely up-to-date and current on all of their bills, and I had a nice system going in Accounts Payable as I had all but taken it completely over while she worked on other areas in Accounting. Two years later, though, and I’m afraid here we go again as she has started to target me once more.
How did it start? Well, last Friday, she sent me a text message, but I did not respond because I was off that day and in the middle of the woods on the back of my horse. She knew my husband and I were going on this trip, too. I didn’t respond to her message, and honestly, I forgot about it until Monday morning when I was greeted with a harsh tone upon my arrival to work. Without even so much as a “Good Morning” from her, she said with a hateful tone, “I need you to come in here.” Honestly, I did not want to go in there as she was already speaking to me in an ugly manner. I tried to be the bigger person, and I tried to let this roll off of my back. Yet, it continued Monday, into Tuesday, and Wednesday I finally had enough. I held my tongue and accepted the way she was speaking to me all week, and although I did not like the papers being flung in my face and her waving her arms in my personal space as she was talking because she was angry at me, I still tried to remain calm. Wednesday, though, I tried to speak to her about how she was acting toward me. It made it WORSE, though, and I said I was not going to tolerate this ill treatment from her again. I stood up to her – I did not cower down – and where did it get me? Yes, I felt good inside of my soul because I did not let the bully win. I did not cower in the corner when she tried to tower over me launching insults and speaking to me as if I was lower than dirt under her toenails. I kindly reminded her that SHE called ME two years ago and asked me to help her. I asked her if she still needed my help. She said she did, so I told her that I would appreciate if she didn’t treat me this way then. That did not go over well with her, and what happened next I had already predicted. Wednesday, she took all the invoices I was working on off of my desk. When I came in, they were gone. Then all day Wednesday, she withheld work from me. The invoices that the owner approves, I would normally key. He approved a huge pile of bills that morning, and she kept the basket in her office. She withheld them all day, not allowing me to work on them. She took every invoice that came in the mail that day and hid them from me so I would not have any thing to work on. And then … she told me not to come in Thursday because there wasn’t anything to do. I knew she was lying, as she was swamped with work! Yet, she was withholding work for me to do so she could dismiss me. So, I gathered my belongings and out the door I went. I called the owner after I left, and I relayed to him everything that happened. He said he would talk to her – not even a minute into the conversation he volunteered to talk to her. So he KNOWS how she is! I told him, though, that it would only make it worse if she found out I was talking to him because she told me in these past two years NOT to go to him. And here I was … going to him because I felt he needed to know how she was not only treating me, but I have witnessed her mistreating another lady in the office upon my return two years ago. These two years, I have witnessed her being so ugly to this lady. She has treated this lady really badly, and the lady was like I was ten years earlier, and she just sits there and takes it, cowering at her desk under the pressure. I let the owner know this because the individual should NOT be allowed to get away with bullying and yet all of her 65 years, she HAS! That is why she is the way she is today! She has been allowed to bully and intimidate, and no one has called her down or put her in her place so she gets WORSE!
So I’m here to tell you – if you have encountered someone in your life that has treated you this way, it is not you, dear one. Their mistreatment of you does NOT define you. You do NOT deserve this treatment at all, and you should not have to cower down to them when they start their bullying and intimidating tactics. You have EVERY RIGHT to stand up for yourself, even if no one else stands along side you. Even if you tell the owner and nothing is done about it, you have every right to demand respect from people. Yes, even as a Christian! I have turned the other cheek with her time and time again, as you can see, and my cheek has been slapped again and again and again. No one has the right to continue to abuse you, and that is exactly what this is: abuse!
Stand tall. Hold your head up high, and know that you deserve better than this. You have every right to walk away! God will handle them in the end. You just take good care of yourself and don’t let what this individual says and does affect who you are! This has no reflection on you but shows the person they truly are. There is a time to pray over them and a time to realize that it is time to walk away … and this is me … walking away from that individual, standing tall with my head held high and my integrity still in tact knowing that she is a troubled person and no amount of help I can offer will fix her ugly heart that is filled with hatred. I give her and this situation completely over to God!
No one has the right to try to make you feel inferior or as if you do not matter. You are a child of God, and you do not deserve to be mistreated by any one! You have the right to stand up for yourself, and yes, you have the right to walk away … and still remain a Christian when you do!