Bullies are not always people. Bullies can be health issues and other life challenging situations. I recently saw an article that begged the question, "Is epilepsy a bully?"
Yes! Epilepsy is a bully! Epilepsy has bullied me into a corner where I am dependent on others and their schedules. Epilepsy has caused me to be frustrated half the time and sometimes asking that "why me?" question which only spirals me down into a self pity pit.
I had my accident when I was working for a company way out east, about a 45 minute drive from my house. It was a long commute, but I really could not complain. I was having a tough time finding a job when everyone else was having a tough time finding a job. I guess I chose to graduate from college at the wrong time in US history. Oh well.
I was on my way home from work when I had a seizure on the highway. I was very lucky. I was not hurt, nor did I hit anyone. Instead of being afraid for my life, I was afraid I would lose my job. That seizure left me with no car, no license and thus no way to get into the office. How is that not being bullied !? But it went a step further. A coworker of mine upset me with her comments about being unable to drive. So now I was dealing with two bullies; one where I had no control over, and the other was an intimidating lady who childishly picked on me.
I thought about finding a job closer to home, but again, not a lot of companies were hiring. Whether I was trying to get to my current job, or a job down the street, it was a long bus ride. I figured I mind as well stick with this company so long that they would allow me to work from home. My manager had no problem with me working from home, but I wanted to show my boss that I was dedicated and was working. So I figured out a way to get into the office. It was not ideal, but that is what being bullied is like. You accommodate the opposing party so as to make them happy, versus making yourself happy.
In order to get to the office, I took two buses and a cab. That may seem excessive, but it really was not. The buses connected within five minutes of one another and the cab ride was quick and cheap. Unfortunately, this route into work was short lived as it was becoming too long of a day for me. Stress and lack of sleep are triggers for my seizures. This rough commute was just adding to the problem.
The buses were still an option to get me close to the office, but not there all the way. Once again, I was worried I would lose my job. Another coworker of mine offered her help, and went completely out of her way to come pick me up! She helped me make that 45 minute commute into the office twice, sometimes three times a week. Her help made me see that not all people were laughing at me. It was just that one coworker.
But that one coworker and seizure after seizure still got to me. I was clueless how I was going to combat these two different, but equal, epilepsy bullies. I've now done my research. When faced with challenging situations or people we have options.
Face your bully head on! I tried running from epilepsy. The problem with running away from a health issue, is that it is still an issue. You can not run away from a disease or disorder that needs a pill every day. It is easier to wake up every morning, look down at the pills in my hand, and seize the day. Get it?
Avoid it, there is no harm no foul in doing so. It was a blessing is disguise that I was able to work from home part of the week. Not going into the office on a regular basis allowed me to not have to deal with that mean coworker. While I would have loved to give her a piece of my mind, it was not worth losing my job over telling her off. I was already worried about losing my job anyways from the standpoint of not being able to drive there every day.
Karma really is a bitch. That mean coworker went to follow her dream and it fired right back at her. She failed. I like to think that it was the universe using that as payback for her nasty comments about me being unable to drive.
The best way to stand up to a bully or intimidating situation is to accept it and let go. Do not get me wrong, this is by far the hardest way to stand up to a bully. Accepting that I have been restricted from driving has taken me years! My only regret is that I should have accepted that fact a long time ago. It's time to let go. That does not necessarily mean giving up, it just means to stop dwelling on it. I have to keep reminding myself that there is the Tesla Model S to look forward to!