A Personal Journey: Overcoming Abuse and Standing Up Against Tenant Bullies

The excerpt below is from a workbook I recently acquired and I am excited to share it with you today. Despite its relatively small size, the workbook is filled with valuable information that I found immensely helpful. To enhance the learning experience, there are thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter. I truly enjoyed reading this book.

In my exploration of different forms of abuse, my personal experience with the Abuse and Smear Campaigns stands out as unique. It is rare to find a situation similar to mine, where I was subjected to abuse by a tenant in an apartment building where I worked. While working in the industry for 16 years, I witnessed numerous instances of injustice towards building staff at the hands of tenants, and unfortunately, I even had my share of such experiences.

During the tenant’s eviction process, I encountered the wrath of a narcissistic adult bully who was determined to tarnish my reputation and disrupt my personal life. This individual sought revenge for the eviction and launched a malicious smear campaign across various platforms. Initially, I had some doubts about the severity of their actions, but the undeniable evidence present in their online content has made it abundantly clear.

Although I still harbour some resentment towards this situation, I have made significant progress compared to a year ago. I am grateful for the inner strength and determination that allows me to fight for my personal rights. Fear will never dictate my actions again. Each day, I focus on affirmations and self-care, which bring me closer to a state of calmness and empowerment.

A turning point for me occurred when I received a call from the owners’ lawyer, igniting a fiery passion within me. This motivation led me to create my own website, mytruthoftenantbullies.com, which was my first site in late 2018. It infuriated me that someone else believed they had the authority to dictate my actions. Since I no longer worked for the owners, I felt no obligation to remain silent or cease defending myself online or offline. Refusing to conform to the demands of others for their comfort became a firm principle for me. These adult tenant bullies hold no authority over me or my choices. Despite their delusional attempts to test me, the reality is that they lack the power to control my life.

I always found it ironic that these adult tenant bullies championed their personal rights under the Charter while completely disregarding mine. They would complain about the lack of support during any process they faced, yet they were simultaneously infringing upon my personal rights. All the rights they boast about online also apply to me and others, even though they blatantly ignore this fact. The hypocrisy displayed by these bullies is astonishing and glaringly obvious. As I continue to educate myself, I feel a sense of upliftment.

The following excerpt exemplifies the progress I have achieved. I have accepted the bullying as a reflection of the bullies themselves, their need to be right, to be recognized, and to be accepted. These bullies believe they have authority over my life and actions. Nevertheless, toxic adult bullies are unreasonable individuals whose toxicity almost drove me to madness during the HRTO process due to their relentless tyranny. Their constant barrage of insults and name-calling aimed at wearing me down and forcing me to surrender took a toll on me. This toll can even be seen in my writing during that time.

Even now, they persist in pretending to hold influence over the people in my life or those who associate with me, failing to acknowledge that their actions only prove that I am the target of their bullying. They consistently attempt to make me feel guilty for their eviction, insinuating that I engaged in illegal practices. During the HRTO process, I became excessively entangled in this “mish-mash” of false narratives. Thankfully, that chapter is now behind me, and I am free from their emotional manipulation.

It was utterly unreasonable for them to expect me to condone their violation of rules and congratulate them for it. I do not operate in that manner, and nobody should. Yet, that was what they desired. They went on to blame me, asserting that their eviction was unjust while conveniently ignoring their own actions. However, the documents they shared inadvertently revealed the myriad of legal reasons justifying their eviction. Such reasons cannot simply vanish because they choose to disregard them!

I had to step back from my emotional reactions, take a pause, and analyze the scientific aspects of this situation. This process has enabled me to learn and grow every day. Their writing now reveals their own biased perceptions of people and life, demonstrating their deep-seated hatred and resentment towards those in authority or those leading more successful lives. This was even evident on the RooseveltSkerrit.com site.

These adult bullies are control freaks who believe they are special and deserving of preferential treatment. In their conversation with one of the owners, while awaiting HRTO and Divisional Court proceedings, it is clear that they attempted to manipulate the owner into “fixing” the situation so they could remain in the apartment. They consistently aim to coax others into adopting their mindset.

Their inability to control entry into the apartment propelled them into this conflict. They disapproved of my firm stance and uncompromising principles. They desired absolute authority over the apartment, determining who could enter and when. They even went to the extent of printing out documents about BBQ safety to emphasize their viewpoint. Their disregard for their neighbours’ inconvenience caused by the smoke was alarming.

Their own needs consistently trumped anyone else’s concerns. This is particularly evident in the parking issue. They assert that we take away a parking spot from a paying tenant to give it to them for free, while simultaneously expressing dissatisfaction with the presence of my two cars. They even threatened to deduct rent for a toaster oven and a parking ticket (received due to their parking rule violation). Who engages in such behaviour?

The arrogance displayed in these actions, along with numerous others, was truly shocking. However, they fail to realize the wrongfulness of their actions.

Although I was previously entangled in their web, I now reclaim emotional distance more swiftly than ever before. They are who they are, and I can only control myself. My goal is to manage my emotional reactions to their behaviour as I continue to navigate this lifelong process. Despite the challenges ahead, I firmly believe that I deserve a fulfilling life free from adult tenant bullies, and I am determined to achieve it.

The website I initiated out of anger has transformed into a journey of self-discovery. I have learned valuable lessons from others who have shared their stories here, and I am eternally grateful to them. As my story helps others, it is crucial to remember that we should support one another rather than tear each other down. The narratives others may share about me are not theirs to tell.

All these websites they create solely serve their own interests, seeking attention and validation of their beliefs. Their content revolves around tearing down others in an attempt to make themselves look superior. I choose to distance myself from their endeavours and focus on learning about their tactics to safeguard my mental well-being. They can continue to harbour hate toward me, but it neither bothers me nor has any impact. Why should it? They hold no significance in my life, and thus their opinions hold no value.


Rise Above them

 It is about them, not you; you have got to know this. Toxic individuals make you insane because their conduct is so unreasonable. Furthermore, because the “feeling guilty” button is huge on many of us, even the suggestion that we may have accomplished something incorrectly can hurt our certainty and agitate our determination. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, their conduct conflicts with reason. So for what reason do you permit yourself to react to them genuinely and get sucked in with the general mish-mash? The more nonsensical and misguided somebody is, the simpler it ought to be for you to eliminate yourself from their snares. Stop attempting to beat them unexpectedly at their own game. Distancing yourself from them emotionally and approach your relationships like they’re a science task (or you’re their therapist). You don’t have to react to the emotional disorder—just the realities. What your abuser state and do, and the suppositions they have, depend altogether on their self-reflection.

Gaslighting Recovery Workbook
How to Recognize Manipulation, Overcome Narcissistic Abuse, Let Go, and Heal from Toxic Relationships

PUBLISHED BY: Amy White
©Copyright 2020 – All rights reserved.

Types of Abuse

 Different forms of abuse have been generally recognized to occur within relationships. Four types of abuse exist ( Good Therapy, 2019; Jared Justice, 2019a; Lancer, 2020):

 4  Emotional or Psychological Abuse: This is a chronic manipulation pattern to control another person (such as who they communicate with and the person). Tactics employed are; verbal attacks, intimidation, humiliation, isolation, or threats. A person may also utilize gaslighting to make a target question their memories.

 Other Types of Abuse

  1. a) Verbal abuse – Any derogatory language that abusers use to denigrate or threaten a victim. This includes belittling, bullying, accusing, blaming, shaming, demanding, ordering, threatening, criticizing, sarcasm, raging, opposing, undermining, interrupting, blocking, and name-calling.
  2. b) Technological Abuse – Is similar to cyberbullying. It occurs when a batterer uses technology, such as social media, to harass, stalk, or intimidate a victim.
  3. c) Spiritual Abuse – Spiritual abuse is anything that gets in the way of the victim doing something that causes them to feel great about themselves. More so, spiritual abuse is when a partner does not let the other practice their own moral or religious beliefs or their own culture or values, that is, the use of spiritual or religious beliefs to harm, scare or control any person.
  4. d) Manipulation – Indirectly influences someone to behave in a way that promotes the manipulator’s goals such that the words seem harmless and even complimentary openly, but underneath, one feels demeaned.
  5. e) Gaslighting makes one distrust one’s perceptions of reality intentionally or believes that one is mentally incompetent.
  6. f) Competition – This is contesting to always be on top, sometimes through unethical means, such as cheating in a game.
  7. g) Sabotage – It is a disruptive interference with one’s endeavors or relationships to seek revenge or personal advantage.
  8. h) Lying – It refers to a persistent deception to avoid responsibility.
  9. i) Withholding – It includes withholding such things as money, sex, communication, or affection from one.
  10. j) Character Assassination or Slander – This entails spreading malicious gossip or lies about someone to others.
  11. k) Negative Contrasting – It is making comparisons unnecessarily to contrast someone with other people negatively.
  12. l) Exploitation and Objectification – It means taking advantage of one for personal ends without regard for one’s feelings or needs.
  13. m) Neglect – It is ignoring the needs of a child for whom the abuser is responsible. It includes child endangerment, that is, placing or leaving a child in a dangerous situation.
  14. n) Privacy Invasion – It means ignoring one’s boundaries by looking through one’s things, phone, mail, denying one’s physical privacy, or stalking or following one.
  15. o) Violence – Violence includes blocking one’s movement, throwing things, or destroying one’s property.
  16. p) Isolation – This separates one from friends, family, or access to outside services and supports through control, manipulation, verbal abuse, character assassination, or other abuse means.

Emotional and Psychological Abuse

 Some people believe the thought that no problem exists once the abuse is not physical; nevertheless, other methods of abuse can end up being much more harmful to the mental health of a victim. Emotional and psychological abuse is both quite different from physical abuse, and although they do not leave physical scars, they can become just as destructive. They result in long-term damage to the victim’s mental health.

 Emotional abuse is also commonly known as psychological abuse or chronic verbal aggression. It is any act (including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, degrading, intimidation, infantile treatment, or other treatment) that may reduce the victim’s sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth (Tracy, 2012a). Emotional abuse also refers to the type of abuse that influences someone’s feelings, that is, an attempt to govern the other person using the victim’s emotions as the weapon of choice. Emotional abuse impairs emotional life and hinders personal development. Emotional abuse takes place when resentment starts to outweigh compassion such that there is a translation of the resents—that resentment to harsh words, lack of care, and unfair behavior to one’s partner.

 Psychological abuse is also referred to as psychological violence or mental abuse. It involves trauma to the victim via various other abusive behaviors used to control, terrorize, and denigrate victims. Psychological abuse aims to manipulate, hurt, weaken, or frighten a person mentally and emotionally, distorting, confusing, or influencing a person’s thoughts and actions within their everyday lives, changing their sense of self and harming their well-being (Kaukinen, 2004). Additionally, psychological abuse is usually placed at intervals with warmth and kindness to create emotional confusion. Psychological maltreatment can destroy close and trusted relationships, friendships, and even your relationship with yourself. (Tracy, 2012b).

 Signs and Symptoms of Emotional and Psychological Abuse

 Abusers employ a wide range of hidden tactics to maintain control and brainwash their victims. Some signs and symptoms of emotional and psychological abuse so also, their respective examples include (Tracy, 2012; Pietrangelo, 2018; Jared Justice, 2019b; 1800Respect, 2020):

 1  Humiliation, negating, criticizing – These tactics are meant to undermine a person’s self-esteem such that the abuse is harsh and relentless in both big and small matters. Some common examples are:

  1. a) Name-calling – The abusers will call the victims all sorts of names, such as “stupid,” “loser,” etc.
  2. b) Character assassination – This usually involves the use of the word “always” (such as you are always late, wrong, etc.)
  3. c) Yelling, screaming, and swearing are meant to cause intimidation and make victims feel small and unimportant.
  4. d) Public embarrassment – The abusers pick fights, expose the victims’ secrets, or make fun of their shortcomings in public or the presence of family, friends, support workers, or associates.
  5. e) Belittling victims’ accomplishments – Abusers might tell victims that their achievements mean nothing and may even claim responsibility for their success. Instead of congratulatory, abusers take the initiative to belittle victims, whether by ignoring, shaming, or criticizing.
  6. f) Sarcasm – This entails ridiculing victims such that when victims object, the abusers will claim to be teasing them and tell them to stop taking everything so seriously.
  7. g) Joking – The jokes might contain an iota of truth to the abusers or be a complete fabrication, all aimed at making victims look foolish.
  8. h) Insulting victims’ appearance – Abusers make comments about victims’ looks, such as ugly hair.

 2  Control and shame – This aims at making one feel ashamed of one’s inadequacies. The tools employed are:

  1. a) Threats – Threatening to harm a person, the person’s pets, children, or other people who are essential in such a way to get the person not to leave them.
  2. b) Financial control – They might keep bank accounts in their name only and make one ask for money. One might also be expected to account for every penny spent.
  3. c) Direct orders – This involves issuing orders which are expected to be followed despite one’s contrary plans.
  4. d) Digital spying – They might check one’s internet history, emails, texts, call logs, and even demand one’s password.
  5. e) Monitoring one’s whereabouts – The abusers want to know where one is all the time and insist that one responds to calls or texts immediately. More so, they might show up just to see if one is where one is supposed to be.
  6. f) Treating one like a child – They instruct one on what to wear, what and how much to eat, or which friends to be seen.
  7. g) Feigned helplessness – They know it is sometimes easier to do things by oneself than to explain it. Instead, they take advantage of this and say they don’t know how to do something.
  8. h) Unpredictability – They tend to explode with rage out of nowhere, suddenly shower one with affection, or become dark and moody at times.

 3  Accusing, blaming, and denial – This behavior arises from an abuser’s insecurities. They want to produce a hierarchy in which they are topmost, and one is at the bottom. Some examples include:

 1  Blaming one for their problems – Whatever is wrong in their lives is one’s fault; hence, they utter words like one is not supportive enough, didn’t do enough, etc.

 2  Jealousy – They accuse one of flirting or cheating on them.

 3  Turning the tables – They say one is the originator of their rage and control issues by being in such a pain.

 4  Denying something real – An abuser will deny that an argument or even an agreement took place to question one’s memory and sanity. This is called gaslighting. It entails telling a person that their actions are crazy or that such is not remembering something correctly or always correcting what a person says intending to make such a look or feel foolish.

 5  Goading then blaming – Abusers know just how to upset a person such that once the trouble starts, they blame the person for creating it.

 6  Denying their abuse – When one complains about the attacks of abusers, they will deny it, apparently bewildered at the very thought of it.

 7  Accusing one of abuse – Abusers blame one of having anger and control issues; meanwhile, they are the helpless victims.

 8  Trivializing – When one wants to talk about one’s feelings that were hurt, abusers accuse one of the overreacting and manufacturing mountains out of molehills.

  1. Emotional neglect and isolation – Abusers tend to place their personal needs ahead of their own, thereby trying to come between one and people who are supportive of making one more dependent on them. They do this by:
  2. a) Demanding respect – No perceived slight will go unpunished, and you’re expected to defer to them.
  3. b) Shutting down communication – They will ignore one’s attempts to converse with them in person, by text, or phone.
  4. c) Dehumanizing one – They will look away when talking or stare at something else when they speak to one.
  5. d) Keeping one from socializing – Whenever one has plans to go out, they come up with a distraction or plead with one not to go. e) Trying to come between one and one’s family – They will tell family members that one doesn’t want to attend to them or make excuses for making family functions.
  6. f) Interrupting – Whenever one is occupied with something, such as being on the phone, etc., abusers get in one’s face to shift one’s attention to them.
  7. g) Indifference – They are aware that one is hurt or crying yet, do nothing.
  8. h) Disputing one’s feelings – Whatever one’s sense(s) is/are, abusers will point to one as wrong to feel that way or doubt the authenticity of such feelings.

 Effects of Emotional and Psychological Abuse

 The impact of emotional and psychological abuse could either be short or long term (Pietrangelo, 2019). Short-term effects are:

  1. a) Denial
  2. b) Confusion
  3. c) Fear
  4. d) Hopelessness
  5. e) Shame
  6. f) Increased heartbeat
  7. g) Aches and pains
  8. h) Muscle tension
  9. i) Moodiness

 Long-term effects include:

  1. a) Low self-esteem
  2. b) Depression
  3. c) Anxiety
  4. d) Chronic pain
  5. e) Guilt
  6. f) Addiction
  7. g) Insomnia
  8. h) Loneliness

 Ending Emotional and Psychological Abusive Behaviors

 The steps necessary to stop emotional and psychologically abusive behaviors include (Pietrangelo, 2018; Jared Justice, 2019b):

  1. a) Work on tackling resentment – Once you have more compassion for yourself, one will be enabled to show more careful thought for the people around.
  2. b) Stop rationalizing abusive behaviors – You need first to recognize the rude comments, jealousy, and other actions to finish them off.
  3. c) Recognizing that an unintentional abuse is still abuse – You may not want to hurt the abuser, but that doesn’t mean your behavior is okay.
  4. d) Accepting that the abuse is not one’s responsibility – You should not try to reason with the abuser(s). You may want to assist, but it’s unlikely they will break this behavior pattern without professional counseling.
  5. e) Disengaging and setting personal boundaries – Make a decision not to respond to abuse or get sucked into arguments, stick to it, and limit exposure to the abuser as much as possible.
  6. f) Exiting the relationship or circumstance – If possible, cut all ties. Make it clear that it’s over and don’t look back.
  7. g) Giving yourself time to heal – Reach out to supportive friends and family members; or a teacher or guidance counselor who can help in recovery.
  8. h) Seeking help by speaking with a doctor or mental health professional – They can help work on the inner issues you are having with yourself.

 Takeaways

 ✓ Abuse is when a person intentionally hurts another ceaselessly.

 ✓ Abuse exists in various forms and through different sources.

 ✓ Abuse usually entails the words and actions of an abuser(s) and their persistence.

 ✓ Emotional abuse is also commonly known as psychological abuse.

 ✓ Emotional and psychological abuse involves someone saying or doing things to make another person feel bad.

 ✓ Emotional and psychological abuse can happen to anyone (children, teens, and adults).

 ✓ Signs associated with emotional and psychological abuse are:

  1. a) Humiliation, negating, and criticizing.
  2. b) Control and shame
  3. c) Accusing, blaming, and denial
  4. d) Emotional neglect and isolation
  5. e) Codependency

 ✓ Emotional and psychologically abusive behaviors can have severe and devastating impacts on victims in the long run; hence, impacting the person’s ability to parent, work, socialize, and function generally day-to-day.

 ✓ Both abusive behaviors should be stopped once noticed.


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