The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Photo: Sweet peas and runner beans

Photo: Sweet peas and runner beans

Yesterday I woke at six fretting about someone who bullied me at work seven years ago.
“You have to let go.” I told myself. “This is eating you up.”
I didn’t like this guy. Let’s call him Len to save his blushes. I didn’t respect him. Every now and then Len would order me into a private office and declare.
“I know what you are doing.”
Clearly someone had overheard me talking about him and reported back. I would try and stare him out and then he would say.
“I have a very sensitive nose – you smell.”
It was hurtful and enraging. I had a shower every day. What more could I do? As I couldn’t think of how to answer, I always remained silent.

Now Len was close to another colleague of mine. I liked and respected this lady but she endlessly went on about problems she had drinking whisky when she was at work in her last job. I never knew how to respond and felt a bit sorry for her. As she mentioned it so often I began to assume that it was a real problem that she was tackling now.

Years later when I’d left that job far behind Len told my closest colleague that I was drinking in the office that we shared. He wouldn’t back down when she vehemently denied this. Unfortunately she made the mistake of telling me. I longed to go round to the office and confront him. And the other lady I liked had been hoodwinked into believing him. Suddenly their comments made sense. I was furious. I was being accused of something that I would never dream of doing.

This has haunted me for years. I’ve tried writing imaginary letters, to Len, to the lady that I liked. I’ve thought of asking him to apologise. I’ve tried pretending that I didn’t mind – I had no respect for the guy so why take his nasty remarks so deeply? I thought of the lady as a friend – why wasn’t she straightforward with me? The matter could have been dealt with in seconds.

But the one thing that I had never considered was to forgive him. Recently I invested in the e-book “The Secret behind The Secret” by Dr. Eric Amidi, a quantum physicist. This book is great for helping you deal with damaging and restricting mental blocks. I’ve been reading a couple of pages a day on and off for the last six weeks. I reckon that it’s a sound read. The Secret is inspirational but it doesn’t really get down to the hard facts of how you actually, practically can get the best out of your life.

I am aiming for a rounded life. I don’t want fast cars, vast mansions and millions in the bank. I would like to live here with Danny and have the freedom to develop my cooking and gardening and have enough cash in the bank to fuel this passion.

This morning I read two pages from Eric’s e-book. The theme was forgiveness. Of yourself and others.  I didn’t twig that I had a problem with this. I tested it out and tried to genuinely forgive Len and also myself for hating him. The cage door opened and I flew. Suddenly Len’s lies didn’t matter anymore. I also realised that if Len hadn’t been so mean I might still be working in his company and not here on my own road, forging the life that I always dreamt about. So actually in the end Len did me a favour.

Update: Eventually I found that I hadn’t forgiven Lee Sears – yes that’s his real name – and he now lives in Bath and runs a company similar to the one which I worked for. His bullying  played on my mind and many years later I contacted his old partner and the HR person who worked in the company that he and his partner had sold. Old employees that I knew were still employed by the new company. Everyone was shocked by his behaviour and had no idea about what was going on with me and Lee.

Bullies like Lea Sears need to be exposed and vilified. His actions carved out the heart of me.  Even though I worked really hard, I could still see him in my head. It’s silly, I know but no one wants to hear that they smell. And there was no one that I could turn too as he was a joint owner of the company.

Incidentally he had worked with the Met and boasted endlessly that he had beaten up drug dealers. He said it was fine as they were trash. I found this really shocking.

What Lee Sears didn’t know was that when I caught a burglar, over 20 years before I met him, the dectectives on the case activly encouraged me to join the force. I did consider it but it was people like Lee Sears that put me off. Back in the 1990s the Met didn’t have a very good reputation,

There’s management training, and there’s really good management training. When it comes to Lee Sears, beware. He might have changed but I doubt it.

  Leave a reply


  1. Hi

    I was moved by what you wrote and by the kind and sensitive replies – some of which are from people troubled by the same kind of thing. There were some good pieces of advice too.

    Perhaps the kindest way – in my case, I’ve found it effective – is to consider how these kind of people come to be. They are sent to try us, for sure; but why are they like that? Well, it’s because they have fallen on their heads and their wiring is all mixed up (or their social thermostat is not working). Consider it that way…they are damaged individuals selectively trying to ruin other people. If what they need to heal them is love, they’re going about it the wrong way. Best get out of their orbit.

    At the worst point with the boss from hell, I came across The Positive Revolution by Edward de Bono – it’s a light quick read but the main point came with one page that actually helps you see what kind of person you are dealing with on a scale of + to – 10 (more or less). If you’re suffering this kind of person, reading de Bono’s book will help you as it helped me.

    I should add as a final word of warning that we should look at ourselves very, very carefully to make sure that we are not making anyone else’s life a misery too! (I’m sure we aren’t but it’s worth checking!!!)

    Best and kindest wishes to you all,


    • Fiona Nevile

      Thank you Mike

      I ordered this book – only now available second hand – as soon as I’d read your comment.

      I’ve been plagued with bullies throughout my life.

  2. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Jan

    It is a good book if used in connection with The Secret. As it’s not airy fairy and gives nuts and bolts ways of overcoming negative blocks. It is expensive but I have found it worth the money – particularly now I’m off the road so to speak.

    Hi Toffeeapple

    This daemon had to be purged as it was driving me nuts. The forgiveness route worked for me.

    Hello Diane

    Poor you. I hate bullies. Even though we know that they are weak people with low self esteem they still can have a powerful effect on our lives. It was the right move to leave. Well done.

    Hi Pamela

    I have heard that EFT is extremely powerful. I reckon that I need to look into this. Thanks for the nudge!

    Hi Steve

    That was a genuine error. If he ever found this post he would know who he is and so would the lady. But no one else would guess. The forgiveness thing worked for me – I don’t care now.

    Hi Petoskystone

    Thanks for your support. Much appreciated.

    Hello Lee B

    I reckon that everyone has some baggage. The problem is realising that we have it and how destructive it can be. I was shocked when I discovered the freedom of forgiveness that’s why I wrote about it. Thanks for leaving a comment.

    Hi Joanna

    I so agree. But it took me years to get to this point as I tended to just try to bury the fury and resentment which, as you say, only magnifies the problem.

    Hello LindaM

    The book pointed me in the right direction. I wouldn’t thought of the forgiveness route at all. I just beat myself for not being able to let go for years.

    Hello S.o.L.

    Being in the situation in the present is totally different than looking at as a bad time in the past. A past situation might haunt you but it can’t hurt more deeply. You are in the cage with the animal. I just remember being in the cage with the animal.

    I can see now that my mistake was to be passive. It might be an idea to look around for a new job and if you can secure one, leave and give your reasons for doing so.

    In this financial climate any job is better than no job so bullies can really let rip.

    Hi Mandi

    Oh I’ve been arrogant in the past!

    I’m lucky as most of my life I’ve been able to work for myself and having had a glimpse of office politics and the effect on work output I would hate to have to work in an office environment again.

    That poison quote is great and so true.

    Hi Kathy

    You are so right. It’s best not to dwell on the past but that can be quite difficult at times. It’s hard to live in the present and not hop from past to future. Being present is what I would love to attain this year.

    Hi Daryl

    Thank you for dropping by!

    Hi Mutley

    I loved your comment. Your little girl sounds such fun.

    Hi Joey

    I believe in Karma too. Your right Len isn’t worth dwelling on.

    Hello Hopflower

    My first reaction was to consider suing Len. The company had a lot of savings. But then I reckoned it would be just as unpleasant as the experience and far more drawn out – legal action can take years in the UK.

    One day he will try his tactics on someone with far more bite than me and finally get his comeuppance.

    Hello Wendy

    Yes that quote from Mandi’s comment is great. Holding grudges can silently poison your life.
    Like you I hate injustice.

    Hello Helen

    Oh I feel for you. That must have really hurt emotionally as well as financially. Having faced that fact that I might not be able to return to my old job I have to find new ways of generating an income. I started by watching The Secret and then I found Dr Eric’s book extremely helpful. I am now making a vision board/treasure map and am begining to feel that I’m flying the plane (almost!) rather than being on auto pilot.

  3. Thank you for sharing this story, it makes me feel I’m not alone with my thoughts. Someone conducted a similar slander against my husband about five years ago this was the final straw that saw his business go under takeing us both close to financial ruin. OH has moved on and reinvented himself whilst I on the other hand forced to give up an embronic business that I thought was my lifes task have stagnated and felt vunerable and powerless ever since. I feel my self reaching for that ebook right now.

  4. This is another interesting and thought provoking post. I totally cannot bear injustice – it really,really upsets me.
    Part of the comment left by Mandi impressed me greatly ‘Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die’
    This is something I shall remember. x

  5. hopflower

    I am glad you found peace after so much awful slander. I do need to say, however, that that is no excuse for their behaviour and that decent people do not do those things. I am surprised that you did not contact the labour board or a lawyer for said slander. That is just awful and I have had problems on my jobs like that too. I do know that what you say is true; but forgiving is one thing and allowing them to continue with such behaviour is another. You can forgive them and yourself, but that does not mean that they should be allowed to get away with that stuff.

  6. Am a firm believer in Karma.. what goes around comes around. Suspect Len was and probably still is an unhappy person. Don’t give him another thought as I’m sure you have better ways to spend your precious time.

  7. My little girl say to me dad you smell,i probley do,lol i just awnser i have a bath once a year weather i neen it or not,she don’t get it.

  8. What a powerful post. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Fiona its also probable that because you are not at your strongest and have more time than normal to think that you remember Len. Because you are a straightforward person you took people at face value and found out afterwards that this lie about you was in evidence. Dont ever change your own values, you know whats right. I’m sure you dealt beautifully with the situation when you were at work, and Len never knew how much he rankled….and he still doesnt. So he lost all round, and he lost your respect as well. You emerged as the winner in this situation.
    Pleased you felt better after reading the book.
    Don’t dwell on the past..concentrate on the wonderful life you have now…..sure Len is still not a happy fulfilled person.

  10. After witnessing my mothers abuse from my father for 30 years, I suppose I have always been a bit too proud and outspoken, cutting off my nose to spite my face on many an occassion where speaking my mind and the words ‘poke your job’ rung out as another door slammed! I rather pompously declared that ‘I will not prostitute my self respect for anyone who ever they think they are’. Its got me in some scrapes and living on a diet of tea cigarettes and rich tea biscuits a fair few times when I have mouthed off and my self respect was far greater than my bank account.
    However as far as not letting things go, someone far wiser than me once said ‘ holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die’. This has always made alot of sense to me so its good you can let these bad feelings leave you and make space for good ones instead as you deserve to be 100% happy and at peace with yourself.

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