I met him on the first day of work. A smile. A handshake. He definitely had charisma. A charisma strong enough to shut all of the alarms that rang in me at this very moment. He was my new boss. And I had signed a contract to work for him, I was his new employee. I was his.
It took me exactly two weeks to understand that the image of the great guy was just a façade, and that I had made a deal with the devil.
It took around 1 months for him to shift my mind and destroy my self-esteem. He could be soft and sweet when people were around and switching to a threatening, abusive, angry man during our face to face meetings.
It took him 2 months to make me doubt about my competences and my knowledge.
It took him 3 months to make me think that I was worthless and that I was not able to do anything right.
It took him 4 months to put enough pressure on me that I would develop chronic anxiety, strong enough to struggle to sleep. Strong enough to do random panic attacks at work and at home.
On the 5th month, I was lying down at my doctor’s office, hearing her saying that she had never seen me in such a state. My body was wrecked. He had turned down all the lights in my head. I was seeing only dark at this point. I was not enough, I was not doing well enough. He blamed my personality. He had reached me to my core. He succeed to put me to the ground and I felt dead inside.
It took me 1 month to sleep one complete night without waking up sweating.
It took me 2 months to stop having random panic attacks.
It took me 3 months to let anxiety go.
It took me 4 months to rebuild a bit of self-esteem.
It took me 5 months to heal the impacts on my body.
Today, I’m almost clean. But I feel that sometimes, my soul is still wounded. Even if this happened a long time ago.
It took me almost a year to understand he was unstable and suffering. To understand he was the issue, not me.
It took me a year to feel alive back again.
Whoever you are, you don’t deserve to be belittled. You don’t deserve to be threatened. You don’t deserve to be yelled at. Don’t let hierarchy fool you.
I had the chance to leave. Not everyone has it. And today, I understand why some people end their lives due to their jobs. Who knows what would have happened if I had stayed?