I have had to hide the way that other social workers bully me

I have had to hide the way that other social workers bully me

 

I need to be honest with you… doing all of this takes a toll on me.

Writing the book, running the blog, putting out content on Facebook every day, responding to all your messages.

Trying my best to be a good social worker, trying my best to be a good husband, trying my best to be a good father to my little girl.

I wake up at 7am and I work until 11pm. Every single day.

Social work, social work, social work.

One of the most common comments I get on my Facebook page is ‘I don’t know how you do it’. I usually just say something like ‘lovely comments like yours keep me going’… but, when I really think about it, I sometimes don’t know how I do it.

Well… maybe I do know, but I don’t want to admit it.

I do it because I sacrifice all the things I used to do in my spare time. No more nights out with friends. No more trips to the cinema. No more computer games. No more football

Like most of you I do this because the altruistic part of me thinks that other people’s needs should come before my own.

It’s the reason why I stay back at work until the job’s done, the reason why I’m giving £1 from every book I sell to my local food bank, the reason why I try to respond to every single person who contacts me for support (I get hundreds a day).

Nothing new in that self-sacrifice, we all do it.

But I’m not after any sympathy, this is the path I’ve chosen. Knowing how hard I work won’t be news to any of you because you’re all doing the same. But there are other things that I must put up with, that I’ve kept quiet for a long time, that perhaps you aren’t so aware of.

I have had to hide the way that other social workers bully me

For the first year or so of my ‘Social Work Tutor’ days, the only harassment I ever got was from people who had a grievance with social workers. It was the same old argument of social workers being corrupt, stealing children, lying about parents and getting bonuses for adoptions.

Then, last summer, things changed when I blocked two fellow social workers from my page for trying to defend the actions of a man called Ben Butler who had killed his 7-year old daughter. I called this man a monster and two social workers said this was wrong because there were reasons why he might have done these things.

I’m sorry, but for me there is never any reason why anyone should ever kill their own child. I didn’t want to tolerate such awful views on my page and swiftly blocked these people.

But one of them was persistent and felt wronged by my actions, like she’d been silenced because I wouldn’t allow her to try and justify the killing of children. With too much time on her hands and a chip on her shoulder, she approached her friend who allowed her to post a terribly mean-spirited blog on her website.

I’ve reflected on the impact of this in the past but, to cut a long and sad story short, that blog heralded the start of 14 months of daily harassment, stalking and bullying.

The mistake I made was trying to fight back against this

The number one piece of advice for the internet is ‘don’t feed the trolls’ but I ignored this advice. The reason I ignored this advice is because I reasoned that people such as social workers and solicitors wouldn’t stoop so low.

Wouldn’t stoop so low as to promote lies regarding HCPC referrals about me that have never been made.

Wouldn’t stoop so low as to stalk my baby daughter online and gleefully point out that they had been looking at her.

Wouldn’t stoop so low as to track my wife to her place of work.

So, I tried to stand up for myself by pointing out that promoting false HCPC referrals was defamatory, that exposing my personal life was breaching my human right to a ‘private and family life’ and that, in my opinion, it really wasn’t fair to be targeting me in this way (especially when we should be trying to unite and make changes that benefit everyone in social work).

Instead of working, my response simply added fuel to the flames and so began 14 months of daily harassment, stalking and bullying.

They now knew that I was reading what they were saying about me.

They now knew that I would react to the awful things they’d write.

They now knew that their words were hurting me.

Sometimes it would be less abusive. Sometimes the attacks would get so intense I’d have to shut down my social media accounts. Sometimes I’d end up in tears.

But the bullying and harassment was always there.

They knew that I was reading now and they knew that their words could hurt me.

I thought that was as bad as it was going to get… but I was kidding myself.

You won’t believe what other social workers started doing to me next…

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