DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I left my husband a year ago, due to the verbal and mental abuse. I thought I'd improve once I left the situation -- big mistake. I have not received any counselling and so all the memories keep coming back, and I even lost a job due to pent-up anger. Do you have any suggestion of a counsellor who specializes in this topic. Note that I don't have much money. Would there even be someone that would help me for free? My body has left the situation, but my mind is still locked in the abusive situation. I just want to be happy and I don't think that is too much to ask. Please help. -- Abused Mind, Winnipeg
Dear Abused Mind: You are wise to have taken note that the mind doesn't catch up instantly. You need to be briefed on the abuse effects and then taught new ways of thinking, higher standards for behaviour towards you and coming from you, and especially, new ways to talking to prospective partners. Call Klinic (784-4067) for times they are open and go for free counselling sessions. The person you see will be hooked into all the services Klinic has to offer for a person in your situation. You need private help now and a support group as well ( though it may start in the fall). And here's one very important tip for you. Never tell a new man that you put up with abuse. It attracts the abusers and sends up red flags to a good guy that you may still have significant baggage. Get the help, stick with it when topics come up you don't want to face, and get rid of as much emotional baggage as you can.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: This is in regard to the person who signs her letter Gassed Out because she is being hit by offensive gas from the person sitting in the desk in front of her at work. Leave the products Gas-X (available in gel caplets, gum or strips) and Beano on the offender's desk. He'll get the point. -- Ms M, Winnipeg
Dear Ms M: I agree that the man who constantly passes gas at the desk in front needs a strong message, but perhaps one gas product would be enough and you don't put it on his desk for the rest of the place to see and snicker over. He will figure out it's someone who sits close. If the workplace place is big enough fellow workers might ask human resources to speak with him. If it's small and has a good upper boss, he or she is the one to deal with this problem.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: This is in regard to Bullied's letter, about the large bully at work that even terrifies her immediate bosses. While not knowing the entire situation, I think this could be considered a case of harassment. Your suggestion to Bullied that he/she go as a group to their HR is a good start. Failing that, however, I would suggest they also investigate with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission. Bullying is a form of harassment and no one should have to work in that environment. The fact that the offender is suspected of having a bi-polar disorder does not excuse that. There are treatments available to help folks with these conditions. Please forward this website to Bullied (if you can). It might provide some good information. http://www.manitobahumanrights.ca/harassment.html ---- Help for the Bullied Office Workers
Dear Help: Thanks for taking the time to write in and I think it's always prudent, if it's a group problem for the group to act en masse so it can't be misconstrued as "personality conflict" between the bully and the one complaining.
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