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I have this situation: I suffer from PTSD and have many triggers especially mainly bullies or retaliation.

In the place where I work there is a person who has been bullying me for awhile. This was perceived by me as a trigger, but in my situation I find it really difficult to talk with appropriate manners since it overwhelms me with rage. This is not counting the amount of stress that induce in me and the lack of sleep, etc. All things that make it more difficult for me to speak appropriately.

I've read posts here about how to handle similar situations but I did it too late, since I did what most of those post strongly recommend to avoid doing. One day with apparently no reasons, after a night of no sleep, because of another very stupid joke he said to me, I went to talk to him in the workplace face to face and I used foul statements because I was trembling for hours before I decided to do this.

I spoke with my supervisor about this since he has hints about my situation, but I have been told that I must learn how to talk with people. I cannot talk normally with people in these situations. I know that now the thing is escalating against me due to what I said.

I don't know how to handle this. I like my workplace and many of my colleagues, but I'm thinking about quitting before further escalations since I do not know how to act.

Can anyone give me some advice? Have you dealt with similar situations? Can you help me to understand the outcomes of this?

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    Do you have a formal diagnosis of PTSD and any of your triggers? – Tymoteusz Paul Feb 7 at 8:26
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    I empathise. I also kinda lost my cool in the past with a colleague who I perceived was mocking me. It takes a while to learn how to be firm without being aggressive, especially if you've had bad experiences in the past. I hope you've taken a few days off to get some sleep in, and if you haven't, I strongly recommend you do. – rath Feb 7 at 13:09
  • "very stupid joke he used to me" What was the joke? Maybe you could ask your job for some anger management training, or maybe you could seek that out yourself. – Stephan Branczyk Feb 7 at 13:35
  • I don't speak from experience. If you regret acting that way with your colleague could you buy them a box of chocolates or something edible, and say sorry? If you feel the person constant mocks you then you could either speak to your colleague asking him to stop, or ask your manager to have a word. – Monstar Feb 7 at 20:51
  • What have you done to seek treatment or help? Can you show you did those things? – Harper - Reinstate Monica Feb 8 at 13:24
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Look at few things which are in your favour

  1. You have a known condition which I assume can be certified by a doctor
  2. Your condition is triggered only when someone bullies you (with the information we have so far). So it should be the bully who should change first since bullying is not a medical condition. It should be easy for them to just stop bullying you.

  3. Your 'wrong reaction' is limited to verbal abuse, not physically hurting someone. If you can at least maintain that (not that verbal abuse is okay but considering that is not in your hand as of now), and not cross the physical assault line, you can still save your job.

but I'm thinking about quitting before further escalations since I do not know how to act

No one has asked you to quit and there is no reason for you to do so. If there are further escalation, handle it at that time. Worst is you quit AFTER the escalation, not before.

May anyone give me some advice?

  1. You do whatever you can to improve your situation. Medication, Counselling, etc.

  2. Request your manager to understand this and also send a note to the team sensitising them about your situations and few suggestions on how they can avoid your triggers. Also note that, not bullying your co-worker should be a policy for everyone, PTSD or not! So it is your manager's responsibility to ensure that anyway.

  • Agreed, if there is any escalation, it will look much better for OP if they have already started to address the issue on their own (through counselling or similar) rather than them being forced into it by the employer as a last resort. Time to be pro-active. – delinear Feb 7 at 12:27

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