09. Harassment took my health

Since the beginning, I was very emotional with regards to everyday events at work and always nervous in unclear and uncertain situations. After returning home from the office, I still lived through what happened that day at work. I constantly recalled and re-lived the words and behaviors of my bullies.

The first symptoms of disease appeared in the first months of my employment in the department of human resources management.

In the beginning …

• First came anxiety. I went to sleep, thinking anxiously about the next day. In the morning I awoke with spasms in the stomach and felt a fear of going to work. Anxiety and discouragement was steadily growing within me.

• I started to have trouble sleeping, and over time sleeplessness accompanied me constantly.

• I lost my appetite. I began to feel stomach discomfort more and more and this intensified with particularly stressful situations such as being called into the boss’s office for an unpleasant conversation with him. After each such conversation I got stomach pain.

• Over a relatively short period of time, I began to feel fatigue and physical weakness. There were also headaches and dizziness, which I never had experienced before.

• For days I was accompanied by nervous tension, which I stifled, and which I tried not to show on the outside. This was the beginning of neurosis.

• I started to have problems with my legs and muscles. Once I got out of the bus and immediately noticed that something happened to my legs. I had the impression that my muscles were stiff. I could not move to go to the tram stop where I had to board a tram to work. I waited a few minutes before I could go on normally. Later, I noticed similar symptoms more and more often.

• Another time, I was running to the bus, and then in a rush when trying to board it – I fell down the stairs. I felt that my legs had gone limp. I had no strength to stand up, and only one person helped me up. A few more similar falls on the steps of busses or trams followed.

• These events resulted in an increasing fear of getting on public transportation. I noticed that an anxiety soon appeared in me when a bus or tram that I was about to board approached. I could get on normally less and less often and usually had to use my arms to pull myself aboard.

• I did not know what was happening to me. I could not understand how this had happened, that I was afraid to take a regular bus considering I had traveled all over Europe by bus and train, and bus and train travel was a real pleasure for me. In addition, I was always considered to be very healthy and so I was asked myself: What is happening to me?


• At the end of month the apprehension has accompanied me since the beginning of working in the department of human resources management, gradually transformed into an anxiety with different characteristics. First, I began to fear going to work and contact with those who bullied me.

• When the leg pain became increasingly troublesome, a fear of walking and falling on the street started. Then my legs shook and I could not stand in place on my own. That’s why I usually had to have something to hold on to not to fall. When I was moving from the place, my legs were heavy and lifeless as a log, I could barely drag them. It was a real hassle for me.

• In situations such as the above, another kind of fear appeared – fear at the sight of people. I simply feared I would fall in front of passers-by. When someone was in the vicinity then the fear grew and my legs gave way, I felt lightheaded and it seemed to me that I could faint at any time. It got so bad that I most often walked after dark so that nobody could see me.

With the passage of time …

• I was seized by my growing obsession with anxiety. I began to fear the exercise of ordinary, everyday tasks, like crossing the street, walking up the curb, entering staircases, going to the store, etc.. Anxiety and fear saturated my whole life, as happening was unbearable.

• Constant anxiety attacks completely shattered my peace and turned my whole life upside down. I felt worse and worse, both mentally and physically.

• There were also other signs of disease: severe pain in the neck and spine, chest pain of varying intensity and more and more I weakened physically. It was a nightmare!

• I was full of resentment and bitterness, and what was going on inside me can be called “the storm of emotions.” While outside I tried to keep calm and be composed and courteous to colleagues. In reality my strength was slowly coming to an end. I felt like a balloon inflated to limit, which, full of negative emotions, including grief and sense of injustice – would momentarily burst into pieces.

Unfortunately …

• My health began to affect my work. I was already not accompanied by the initial enthusiasm and joy with the change of position. Work did not give me any satisfaction, and tasks, which had so far been a big challenge had become merely a necessary duties, performed with great effort.

• Over time, I had increasing problems with concentration. I discovered also that I gradually ceased to believe in myself, my capabilities and skills. I began to lose self-esteem. In previous jobs I believed that I was able to do something important and useful for the company. In the period of employment in the department of human resources management, I lost that faith.

Finally …

• After several months of working in stress, in a condition of psychological overload, and with the risk of losing my job, the worst ailments and disease came.

• The fears intensified to such an extent that one can speak of traumatic anxiety. Often I would wake up at night under the influence of nightmares.

• Serious physical illnesses developed. I was accompanied by frequent blockage of natural reaction, which initially took place only in stressful situations. Later this ailment appeared and intensified in the ordinary course of events of everyday life. Symptoms appeared out of nowhere – at work, on the street or anywhere.

• I had increased problems with my legs, joints and muscles. I had huge problems with walking and I could no longer commute to work alone. Almost every day I had to use a taxi because I was no longer able to either walk to the bus stop or take the bus or tram. .

• I was also not spared neurological pain- stiffening hands, drooping eyelids, double vision, trouble and difficulty in speaking (mumbled speech, stuttering), difficulty eating and swallowing, stiffening of the jaw. Due to the nature of the symptoms the doctors diagnosed me with myasthenia gravis, an incurable muscle disease.

• Problems with my heart intensified. Before the disease, I had rarely used the elevator in the building, going on foot (even with heavy shopping) to the sixth floor, where I lived then. And the severity of symptoms, even after going a few meters on the street felt strong palpitations and shortness of breath. In this way, I could not cover any distance without stopping several times to rest.

Events at work caused a lot of diseases and ailments in me, which in a relatively short period of time led to the almost total destruction of my body.