It’s been over three years since the loss of my job at the hands of a workplace serial bully boss, and her little mob of supporters. Without pause or doubt for a moment, I believe it to be the worst experience of my life. Most targets, and only targets, would agree with this perspective. A true understanding, only born out of actually experiencing this strange brand of hidden hatefulness, first hand.
Now disabled since the loss of my job, I’ve had adequate time to thoroughly review both my memories and the many documents that validate my experience, during the last years of my employment. It still, seems so unbelievable to me!
Having always been anchored by my Christian faith, I spent endless hours in prayer and meditation re-examine my own behaviors and motivations as well as trying to understand the perspectives of others involved. Throughout my recovery, I continued to be haunted by memories of people involved, who couldn’t believe that what I was saying, was real, despite having known me for years.
What was the bully doing, to make others believe her, over me? I finally came to a knowing, that although bullies (also called successful psychopaths) are truly experts at deception, it’s simply not logical to believe, that any one person, is capable, of so thoroughly changing the perceptions, and manipulating the behaviors, of so many people. Yet, they do, over and over again.
Successful psychopaths fool millions, like Hitler did, or thousands, like investors robbed by big business, or maybe just a few dozen, in a few hundred thousand work places, across the country. It happens all around us, all the time, but we never see it, when it’s happening, it’s only seen in retrospect.
I have come to believe, that there are some aspects of the bullying phenomenon, which are supernatural, and that it is, literally, spiritual warfare!
This all came together for me, after coming across an old *book I have about the life of my favorite saint, Saint Bernadette of Lourdes, and rereading it for the third time.
Saint Bernadette lived during the 19 Century and is most famously known for the healing springs at Lourdes, France. The site, where Bernadette experienced 18 apparitions of the Virgin Mary, during what was described, as “ecstasies”.
Extremely poor, illiterate and chronically ill, she was just 14 years old when our blessed mother revealed to her this healing spring where millions continue go, till this day, seeking healing from physical illnesses.
Although many spontaneous and unexplained cures do occur at the spring, most pilgrims are not cured of physical illness. Instead, many come away spiritually renewed, gaining an inner knowing of how to suffer right.
The gift of the miraculously healing spring, is what most people remember most about Saint Bernadette’s story. What is not remembered, is Our Blessed Mother’s primary message for both prayers and penance, for the forgiveness and conversion of sinners, and how Bernadette, as an adult, was a perfect example of doing just that, despite a special type of challenge, that many of my readers can understand –
After the apparitions, Bernadette, lived on to serve God by entering a convent, where she not only vowed to a life of poverty, chastity and obedience, but as a bride of Christ. Through God the Father’s divine providence, she became a perfect example of how to share in the passion of Christ’s suffering, with joy!
Although it is well-known that Bernadette suffered horribly from asthma and tuberculosis since childhood, her physical suffering was not thought to be her heaviest cross to bear. Her road to sanctity, was surprisingly at the hands of what we now refer to, as a workplace serial bully boss! Really!
The bullying by Mother Marie-Therese Vauzou, extended over a period of 11 years. At first, in her role as Mistress of Novices, then later, as the Superior General of the order. This is a fact that even I didn’t notice, until looking into this favorite saint’s life for the third time.
This diminutive saint, never wanting to draw attention to her self, was later described as a “victim soul”, having endured what we now call “bullying” by a superior who emotionally abused Bernadette as well as several other subordinates throughout her many years as a leader of this convent. Mother Vauzou is described as arrogant and jealous of Bernadette, having been favored by God, over herself. She is a typical serial bully boss, described, as sharing all the usual attributes that bully bosses are known for. She was a perpetrator of a type of emotional abuse that we now know goes unnoticed by most. Perhaps that in its self, is the most important part of this story. How hidden, and unnoticed adult bullying really is.
During beatification testimonies, most everyone acknowledged observing the severity of her treatment as it occurred, but no one ever questioned it or tried to stop it, for reasons that no one was able to explain in retrospect.
Learning that my favorite Saint was a hidden target of a horrible bully boss confused me. Why would God allow that? I found it impossible, to write the final lines of this article for publication until I knew the answer, why!
After months of further reading, I came to realize that every Saint I had ever read about, suffered both physical and mental pain. This came to an understanding, of why God might allow Bernadette to suffer such cruelty.
Bernadette, wanted more than anything else, to be a Saint. She was known to have said so, on several occasions. She strived for perfection, hoping to earn an eternity in heaven. Jesus Christ, was THAT WAY, the ONLY WAY.
Bernadette completely surrendered her will and soul, to Jesus and God the Father’s divine will. She came to learn to depend on Jesus, alone. Jesus was her all, only Jesus.
Jesus taught followers to expect suffering and persecution, if they were willing to give up every thing, to follow him. Although Bernadette had her fair share of physical suffering through disease, it was unlikely that she would ever experience persecution. Who, in a devotedly Catholic country, would persecute some one, believed to be a saint? Perhaps, the hand of God was involved.
I now realize that Bernadette knew this, and likely felt blessed, not vexed, like I did, when she was able to fully experience persecution at the hands of a bullying nun. This also explains, how Bernadette was so easily able to maintain her composure, never once seeming upset or angry, (like I did) when bullied. Instead, she always expressed gratefulness for her superior’s correction.
I now believe, that divine intervention is very much involved in the bullying and mobbing phenomenon. Looking at both my own experience and that of Bernadette’s, circumstances occurred in ways, that are just too unlikely to occur merely by coincidences. For example, who would think it possible, that a superior of a religious order, could be so cruel?
I regularly read the Bible,which I call the magical book. It’s the only book, that teaches you something new, every time, you pick it up. Since coming to understand the supernatural aspects of the bullying/mobbing Phenomenon, words I never noticed in the Bible before, now standout as examples. Have you ever noticed that the bible makes regular mention of God changing the perceptions of people? Such as, God closing peoples’ ears, eyes or minds, from hearing, seeing or understanding something? It stands out all the time to me now.
Now knowing,that God is very much involved, all my silly questions about the bullying and mobbing phenomenon have answers. Who’d have thought?
I know it’s been a long time since I last posted, but I now feel back on track. More articles will follow soon. There is so much more to learn, from Bernadette’s bullying story. So stop by, or RSS this site, for more new articles.
God Bless you all! ABC
(Rev. 20:12) All persons that can comprehend between good and evil will have to stand before the Lord; nothing is hidden from the eyes of the Lord.
Bibliography: Saint Bernadette Soubirous 1844-1879 By Francis Trochu, Pantheon Books 1957 – This book was the primary source of factual information used in this article, although never directly quoted. Having also used Internet articles and other resources such as the Bible, it has always been my practice, to write my own impressions, using my own words and style of writing.
Filed under: ABC's Favorite Posts, E) TRUE STORIES By ABC | Tagged: Adult Bully, closet serial bully boss, Saint Bullied, St.Bernadette Soubirous, Supernatural aspects of Bullying, workplace bullying and mobbing | 5 Comments »