The Empowered Employee

How To Find Closure After Workplace Bullying

Closure after workplace bullying; it’s what every target desperately searches for. The elusive treasure chest filled with peace.

If not found, we risk our health. We can lose our connection to people and our ability to find fulfilling work. We can find ourselves stuck in a current state of discord, unable to move forward.

At least, that’s what was happening to me.

It was just as I described in part one of my story: Workplace Mobbing In Aviation: A Survivor’s Story

I made the decision one day, enough was enough.

Below you will find my path towards closure after workplace bullying. Perhaps something in it will help you find yours too.


After 12 years working for a company I adored, I made the decision to leave following months of abuse which affected my health.

I’ll never forget the moment I submitted my immediate resignation. It was a Tuesday morning, late October. With my heart pounding, I paused just long enough to acknowledge the finality of the email I’d written and then…

I hit SEND.

Immediately following, I walked outside, closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I lingered there for a bit as the rays of the sun caressed my face. For the first time in forever, I stopped running and allowed the breeze to wrap itself around me, providing a much needed embrace.

I felt a sense of relief. Finally, I was FREE.

Over the next few weeks, there was a complete disconnect from the pain I had experienced. I was truly enjoying my new life and thought perhaps this was it…

The answer to closure after workplace bullying was LEAVING.

Unfortunately, I found it wouldn’t be that simple.

Just beyond the false sense of peace, the need for answers soon began to creep back in.

Naming My Experience

Articles on difficult bosses and stress at work simply weren’t enough to explain the mind-boggling experience of going from a healthy, high-performing employee to losing it all.

One day I stumbled upon Dr. Gary Namie, the founder of the
Workplace Bully Institute . What he described started to fit my experience and I knew I was on to something.

I then found articles on mobbing. Now it was abundantly clear what had taken place.

Naming my experience was a major starting point in my quest for closure after workplace bullying. Had I not been able to understand what happened to me, the event surely would have haunted me for years.

But just like leaving, naming it wouldn’t be enough to provide closure after workplace bullying.

While absolutely necessary, facing what happened to me resulted in extreme anxiety and fear. All of a sudden, my world was becoming smaller and I wasn’t able to connect to the reality that I was safe.

I needed help.

Finding The Right Therapist / Coach

It’s absolutely crucial to find a therapist that understands closure after workplace bullying.

I know, because I failed to listen to this advice not once, but twice…and it cost me dearly in terms of time, money and progress.

One therapist looked solely to my childhood while the other to my internally “flawed” beliefs about the world. Both focused on the internal instead of the external. A sense of foolishness and humiliation now accompanied my pain.

It was time to get it right.

Within weeks of working with someone familiar with my experience my anxiety was lessening. I was able to accept and understand my constantly changing emotional state. And my confidence was on its way back.

With her continued help, I was ready to take on my next challenge.

Getting Past The Obsession

Getting past my own personal circumstance was very difficult for me. I found myself constantly trying to piece together every last detail of my story.

I had to decide how much more time I was willing to spend on all of it.

There is a truth to workplace bullying / mobbing I had to accept; much of what happened I would never know. The destruction of my career and reputation was done behind closed doors of which I had been denied access.

I chose to define my story by the most important factors to me.

Reflecting on the event and matching it to the research allowed me to piece together my trigger event, the major betrayals, and the now obvious antics used.

I was ready to branch beyond my specifics so I could move on.

Countering The Power Of Bullying By Reconnecting

The very nature of bullying is to disconnect us from each other. To make us feel as if we do not belong. That we are alone.

In order to counter that, I knew I needed to CONNECT again.

I read about others that had similar experiences. I started to focus on workplace aggression in general. How rumors work and why they’re so damaging. How bullies operate and how it can escalate to mobbing.

I learned about the normal human responses when under attack (so helpful in relieving the regret for actions I took to salvage the situation) and how traumatic events physically manifest themselves in the body.

The more I was able to see my experience as typical, the less personal and scary it became. I felt less alone and more understood.

I was now ready to move on to the next obstacle on my quest for closure after workplace bullying.

Finding My Voice Again

Everything about who I was and what I believed in was left in ruins.

As I worked to piece myself together again, it was important to reclaim the characteristics I proudly embraced before…albeit, more wisely this time.

In the midst of the fear, it was time to be fearless.

In the midst of an evil world, it was time to find the good in it again.

And in the midst of mistrust, it was time to trust again.

I found three processes that helped me with this:

  1. The first was getting the experience out of my head and onto paper. Writing about my experience miraculously broke through the walls my mind and body had put up in order to survive.
  2. The second was to rediscover another passion of mine. I knew I always enjoyed and excelled at writing. While engaging in this activity, hours would pass as mere minutes. I began to feel motivated, excited and fulfilled again.
  3. The third process was by forgiveness. For me, this meant finding gratitude in the midst of my pain. I became hyper aware of each moment that was only possible now that I was no longer working in that toxic environment.
    The more blessings I acknowledged, the less room there was for anger towards those that hurt me.

Final Words

While there is still a bit more work to do, I am getting closer than ever to finding closure after workplace bullying.

I need to discover what’s next after leaving my job, naming my experience, finding the right therapist / coach, getting past the obsession, countering the power of bullying by reconnecting and finding my voice again.

I don’t know what that is yet, but I see something beautiful glistening in the distance…

It’s the treasure chest. Unburied, unlocked, and filled with peace… And a far better life than I could have ever imagined prior to this event.


  • reply

    Graeme Raine

    Relief, Janice,yes. After fighting to remain in a job that I loved and was dedicated to I walked out the door. Thoughtfully my employer took the keys of my work vehicle and gave me a cab voucher.

    It is March 2017 I am 60 years old, my wife recovering from breast cancer operation four days before Christmas. What have I done? Seven months ago I had received Life Membership to the Industry Association for exceptional dedication. I was well respected by the entire industry. I had spoken at State and National conferences.

    What had happened? Well that is for another day. I was now on antidepressants, anxiety tablets to go to work and sleep. It had been so quick, the meetings behind closed doors so effective.

    The feelings of self blame. Having to explain to my wife that I had no income while she was long term off work. I had failed her so guilt as well.

    The reality!!

    I did not need anxiety pills that night or again. I gave up antidepressants under Doctors control.

    I negotiated enough pay to let me spend two months taking my wife to radiation therapy. I had a small business that gave us the opportunity for a weeks holiday in a resort town.

    Then a chance meeting that ended up in. “You are just the person we are looking for, get your application in”.

    Since getting in that cab. I have climbed a small mountain, travelled to England and Spain. Just back from a six month caravan trip around Australia. My new workplace is great, my supervisors are fantastic. It is a new career to me one I did not even know about.

    It is casual, they support my breaks away. I LOVE my new life, my wife has good results of a brain scan the tumour that was treated six years ago has stopped and we have the two year check up, shortly for her breast cancer.

    All I feel now Is gratitude. No ill will at all.

    So that is my journey. As one door closed another opened even at 61 years of age.

    November 2, 2018
  • reply

    Graeme Raine

    Janice, maybe we need to in a way grieve what was, talk about the injustice and find some one qualified to help us move forward so that this does not define us for life. It shows real strength to go for help.

    What we have done did not just happen.
    We had to sort out financial issues. We had to look at how we can buy a caravan. Gumtree saved us $10,000 over a dealers caravan in poorer condition as an example.
    My half year of work provided a tax break, then add drawing down on superannuation. This gave me the same amount of money working six months casual work would provide. Linda took Six months half pay long service leave. Wicki camps found us free camping areas. We found a way to turn those dark days to our advantage. The job I am now in requires “Lived Experience of depression and anxiety!”

    November 2, 2018
  • reply

    Scott Bump

    amazing parallel here, I’ve recently learned much of the dynamics of what typically happens with targets, the connections with others that have experienced the same with a very foggy light ahead due to feeling lack of closure. In my case it just seems that light is just a little further down the tunnel lol, yes writing it down makes it tangible and possible to process and adding after finding the best support system. Your writing really lends for showing clarity Janice. My passions I believe has become a purpose thanks to people like yourself!!

    January 21, 2020
    • reply

      The light is there for you too! With quite a tale of bravery at the end of it. Thanks for your kind words and all that you do to help others not feel alone. You have been a great source of support for me as well. Thanks, Scott.

      January 21, 2020
  • reply

    Graeme Raine

    It is this month my third anniversary with my new career. I have no regrets from resigning from my unhealthy workplace. I have since then met lovely people, some of those are my supervisors. To be told by them “we are so fortunate to have you working with us” makes a real change.

    In March 2017 I simply asked a lady for directions to my new psychologist! That chance meeting opened a door, one that I am so happy to have passed through.

    For anyone doubting their abilities, please remember that not one of your attributes has left your brain. The bully may make you question your self beliefs, that is their objective. I can say personally I have an inner peace that I would never have experienced If I had stayed in my old career. I now enjoy working in mental health support.

    May 18, 2020
    • reply

      I love your story and it gives so much hope to others!

      May 18, 2020
  • reply


    I was continually bullied by management for years. They were a mob, I became a target. I had to educate myself on what bullying actually was. Lightbulbs went off. I started recording every incident. When you review your notes, they may come in handy and it will refresh your mind how mean and unprofessional they were. After many years, there was a last straw and I left. Went on sick leave. Takes a long time to recover, I’m 2 years now off work, as your self esteem plummets. When you heal, and you will, you will do through many stages, anger, grief. They cost you your job. Move on…

    May 19, 2020
    • reply

      Sherry, so sorry you’ve experienced this. But so glad you have found some peace! Thank you for sharing.

      May 19, 2020

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