I immigrated to this country in my late-20s, after obtaining an honours degree elsewhere overseas.
Accepted into a master’s degree course here, I studied and also worked in the evenings assisting several professors.
The hardest part of my growing hard-earned acceptance was suffering the suspicions and nasty gossip of other women.
Some were junior staffers and other assistants within the university hierarchy, while two were the wives of professors with whom I worked.
Gossip among the juniors invented that I gave “favours” to my professors. Later, rumours persisted that I was sleeping with two different men for whom I worked (all lies).
When I achieved my own professional business based on my degree and faculty honours, I dissociated from those earlier connections, and built my current good reputation. But I’ll never forget that it was the women who were so quick to misjudge, denigrate, and spread ugly misinformation about me.
These were my so-called “sisters” in a field where even better-qualified women still had to prove themselves as good as the men.
I could’ve taken legal and/or human-rights recourse at some point, but I chose to just prove everyone wrong.
Today, I’m successful, happily married, the mother of two smart early-teenage girls.
I believe that accomplishing my dreams was a better choice than wasting my energy on anger or revenge.
Will your female readers agree with me?
I Did It My Way
Congratulations for rising above gossips and nasty detractors! Maybe they’ve learned to stop judging others... though it’s not always likely among the envious and mean-spirited.
Meanwhile, your daughters are in a generation of young woman who see your example, and the possibilities for advancing toward their goals.
A workplace manager may confront lying/backstabbing co-workers if the worker reveals a paper trail of evidence.
Or, a worker can seek help from the human resources department and/or legal investigation of any defaming statements about someone.
Note: It’s not only “sisters” who show jealousy in nasty ways.
I’ve learned from readers that backbiting, envy and lies intended to detract from legitimate accomplishments is also directed by some “brothers” about men striving to get ahead.
Fortunately, you can now use your experience toward setting a higher co-worker standard among your colleagues, whatever their gender or identification.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the mentally abusive ex-husband who now wants to “come back” (November 3):
“Having been a domestic violence victim over 27 years ago, some of which included strangulation and sexual assault, I can tell you that I’ve sought and received therapy.
“But still, on average of once or twice a month, I dream about what happened to me.
“You don’t forget trauma. You learn to live with it and deal with it in a healthy way, but it’s with you always.”
The level of physical abuse you suffered is near impossible to overcome completely, and harder to “forget” even after 27 years.
Certainly not after such violent, cruel and frightening abuse in which you must’ve felt stuck and helpless.
In the previous letter-writer’s case, it was the boyfriend’s cheating that finally moved her to end their relationship, not his mental/verbal/emotional abuse.
She’d already shown the strength and determination to try to get help for him regarding his alcoholism. She brought him to Alcoholics Anonymous, to a psychologist, a priest and a doctor.
I believe that, with psychological counselling and diagnosis of why she lacked self-confidence to stay away from him though she’d previously twice left him, she can and will overcome the past.
She’s stronger than she thinks.
Should I cut my only daughter from my will, so her partner won’t use it on himself?
She's 30, left home at 16 against my pleading. Her partner abuses her physically/mentally. He sleeps with more than one woman in the same household.
I’ve been cut off from their two children, described as the “bad grandpa.”
She returned to school just to get out of the house. He's never worked legally. The kids are always dirty, and lice riddled.
They were once placed in my protection by children’s services due to “lifestyle choices.”
He’ll take her money as he controls the finances but can’t afford a phone for her or clothes for the kids.
She needs your financial help now. Meet her at school to discuss financial needs for her/the children.
Buy her a phone and a usage plan so she can gain some independence.
Stay connected by helping when you can.
Tip of the day:
Seek remedies for co-workers’ lies/gossip while rising above them.