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First time post - returning to work after stress leave due to a not so nice colleague

Community Member
Hi everyone. First time user. I have recently had several life changing events and had a little breakdown and realised that I have anxiety and probably a bit of depression as well. After several months on a temporary contract at a secondary school, I applied for and was successful in getting a permanent position at a different school. It started off ok, but then a colleague started to become very critical of everything I was doing (so it felt like anyway) and she was just plain nasty, ALOT of the time. She was confusing me with her instructions and it left me scared to ask her anything, even to go to the toilet or fill up my water bottle. Then during the last school holidays my father was hospitalised over in NZ and passed away two days later. Due to COVID isolation restrictions and on both sides of the border I was unable to go back. It was heartbreaking and I had to watch Dad's funeral via livestream. Once I returned to work things did not get any better with this colleague. I was too scared to make a fuss or fight back. Until a couple weeks ago it came to a head and I broke down and did try and let her know how i felt but she left me in tears. I had an awful stressful weekend worrying about it and when I came back on the Monday she was no different. I ended up walking out and havent been back. I have had several days medical leave. The employers know why, and have spoken to her and she 'had no idea that this was how she was perceived". They have made some changes, but I am so scared to return. I am supposed to go back in two days but catch up tomorrow to make sure all is ok to return etc. Part of me just wants to quit and not go back, but we need the money. The other half doesn't want to give up. This has been my thoughts back and forth the past week. I get a tight chest and just want to cry. Any tips on how to get back to work and stay calm would be much appreciated. I need to find a way to walk in with my head held high when I just want to run. I also worry about how everyone else thinks of me at the workplace and seeing this colleague again for the first time.
1 Reply 1

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Dear dmaescott,..

We would love to warmly welcome you to the the Beyond Blue Forums...I am so sorry that it’s taken a while for you to get a response...sometimes a post can get pushed back..when the forum get busy... It has nothing at all to do with your post....

I am deeply sorry about the loss of your father..my heart goes out to you and your family..my deepest a Condolences...

I think sometimes when we start a new job..that over the first few days things are going okay...Then sometimes their is someone that starts to be critical of your work..I put this down for now..being the centre of attention as your learning what’s required of you to your new role...and also making new friendships, this person could be feeling a little left out..They are just my thoughts...

I am pleased to hear that the employers have spoken to her and she now realised that how she is treating you is not at all acceptable...and is a form of bullying...

I am not sure if you went back to work today, after your few days off..,,I hope that this person is being respectful towards you since you’ve been back...

Please if you feel up to it..could you keep us updated on how you’re doing..Talk here anytime you feel up to it..We are here for you..and hopefully we can help you some..

Kindest wishes with my care..Dear dmaescott..