I work for a very large health insurance and health service provider. One day at work, I walked past a woman who works in the department across from mine. I know her from my past and started having awful flashbacks and panic attacks.
About 10 years ago, when I was 17 or 18, this woman's boyfriend sexually assaulted me after a party, and then she punched me repeatedly. My recollection of the incident is vague as I was going in and out of consciousness. The next day, she and her friends repeatedly called me names.
The whole experience was traumatizing for me, and I was so upset and ashamed of what happened that I did not call the police. I didn't see her again for a few years. When I did see her, I didn't say anything because I didn't want to bring up this horrible memory, and it had been too long for me to do anything about it. I had a career and children by then, which I couldn't jeopardize for an old revenge.
I now see her at work, and each time I see her telling her friends about me while pointing at me. I cannot work knowing she is in the same building, and having to relive the traumatic memory every time I run into her. I spent the entire rest of the day reliving the memory, regretting that I did not call the police, and being so anxious I was sick to my stomach, jittery and feeling useless. I feel like I shouldn't have to work in those conditions.
I know the incident occurred 10 years ago, before either of us worked for this company, but I cannot forget that she assaulted me and then harassed me about it. I also don't want to spread this story at work.
I was thinking about asking HR if they could transfer her away from me. They have done this in the past when they hired a guy who turned out to be an employee's ex-husband. I am hesitant to bring this up to my boss because it's embarrassing and I also don't like involving my personal life with my work.
I want to know if bringing this up will achieve anything. Can my company help me, or am I just stuck having to relive these memories every time I see her?