Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

My daughter’s work colleagues are mainly middle-aged women, and are bullying her.

Every night my daughter is in tears and tells me she wants to quit but I have insisted on her returning as she worked hard for the position she is in. To see her go from a confident young woman to an emotional wreck is hard to watch.

One of the women was passed over for her job, which is why they taunt, tease and threaten her on a daily basis. They say it’s only a matter of time before she is fired.

Her doctor has put on Prozac for the short term and says she needs to see a Counsellor to help empower her.

I have always said it was a bad idea but now I realize how desperate she is.

I don’t know how to help her and feel I have let her down.

What do you think?


Aunty S responds

Don’t be too hard on yourself my dear; you are obviously a caring and concerned Mum or you wouldn’t have written to me.

Your daughter’s Doctor is a wise man; he is handling the situation correctly as Prozac should only ever be used as a short-term fix, never as a way of life.

I’m afraid these dreadful women (bullies) have tipped your daughter over the edge, but she will gain the confidence to regain control of her life, with the assistance of a good Counsellor and the love and support of her family.

Personally I would rather work with a pack of wolves than a bunch of vicious middle-aged women.

Listen to your daughter, validate her feelings and support whatever decisions she makes.

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Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

When I began reading your old posting of a young man who stayed with you to recuperate after being bullied, I realized I had to share our story with you.

When our son left school he worked for an older man who bullied him everyday.

His father and I told him he was in the real world now and if he wanted to finish his apprenticeship he would have to take it. He walked off the job much to our disappointment after five months.

We never spoke to him for several years as his employer was a friend and he told us of how he gave him many chances even though he was belligerent and lazy at work. We felt so ashamed.  We never doubted his word.

Five years later we found out he had driven a new apprentice to the brink of suicide after our son left and all other apprentices or workers had only lasted a few months. They all had been horrifically bullied.

We were devastated that we had been lied to.

We made contact with our son and apologized and thankfully he has forgiven us but we have wasted so many years being angry with him when it wasn’t his fault.

When we sat down and finally listened to him as to what happened, we were shocked; the bullying started from day one on the job and was an everyday occurrence. His employer would scream abuse over anything; if he couldn’t find a tool, it was my sons fault and would shoulder charge him and scream into his ear that he was useless just like his father. The list goes on. The hardest one to listen to was when he described how he would play practical jokes on him endangering his life on many occasions.

I hope other parents read this and will listen to their son’s if they talk of being bullied in the workplace.

Our son survived with no help from us and some days I can hardly live with myself for what I did to my son. My husband’s guilt brought on a heart attack and he often cries with shame.

Everything you wrote about a bully is so true.


Aunty S responds


Sadly, since first broaching the subject of bullying a year ago, I have heard many similar stories.

Thank you my dear for sharing your story and your son’s story. I acknowledge how hard it would have been to put this into print.

Six years ago workplace bullying was never mentioned so you were in the dark as to how manipulative a ‘bully’ employer could be.

Of course, through your naivety, you let your son down but you have a second chance; some parents do not.

I can only imagine the guilt you are living with.

But let’s take a good look at the situation.

From where I am sitting, it appears all three of you were victims.

Yes your son suffered the most but he was courageous and walked.   On his own, he convinced another employer in the same trade, to take him on so he could complete his apprenticeship. How proud you must be of him.

You were lied to and manipulated by your friend into believing the worst of your son. An excellent bullying tactic!

Only time will heal your hearts but try hard to forgive yourselves; your son has.

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Barbara Coloroso Quotes

“Compliant children are very easily led when they are young, because they thrive on approval and pleasing adults. They are just as easily led in their teen years, because they still seek the same two things: approval and the pleasing their peers. Strong-willed children are never easily led by anybody–not by you, but also not by their peers. So celebrate your child’s strength of will throughout the early years…and know that the independent thinking you are fostering will serve him well in the critical years to come.”


“If we parents accept that problems are an essential part of life’s challenges, rather than reacting to every problem as if something has gone wrong with the universe that’s supposed to be perfect, we can demonstrate serenity and confidence in problem solving for our kids….By telling them that we know they have a problem and we know they can solve it, we can pass on a realistic attitude as well as empower our children with self-confidence and a sense of their own worth.”

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More on Bullying 3 – 19 March

Some common characteristics that most bullies share:

A bully has a need to control and dominate others

A bully has an extremely jealous personality

A bully is a compulsive liar

A bully lacks empathy but is able to mimic it when trying to manipulate someone

A bully is quick tempered, impulsive and prone to mood swings

A bully is highly manipulative

A bully enjoys spreading lies, rumours, hurtful gossip or innuendo

A bully thrives on yelling, name-calling, mocking, insulting or ridiculing

A bully will use physical gestures to intimidate or threaten

A bully uses aggressive posturing

A bully disguises true intentions and emotions

A bully intimidates through verbal aggression

A bully in a work place situation tend to undermine all other   workers to look good in the eyes of management

A bully intentionally intimidates their target

A bully will goad their target/victim

A bully has the need to feel powerful and in control

A bully has the need for attention.

A bully has the need to feel superior

A bully will use social media to spread their lies

A bully is quick to feel anger and aggression

A bully enjoys inflicting pain and suffering

A bully fears being exposed publicly

A bully will bluster when caught out on a lie but will recover quickly

A female bully is always vain and shallow


Sadly there are many more characteristics but this is enough for now.

Never underestimate the power of a bully and never assume their victims are weak as this is wrong.

By the time a victim has found out what is going on behind their back in the public arena, the bullying campaign is well under way.

It’s very common the first they know of it, is by one of the bully’s bystanders/followers, hissing something at them.

A bully must isolate their victim quickly; before they discover what’s going on; to gain the upper hand.

It is a frightening situation to be in whether you are twenty or sixty.

The shock that someone can lie about you is quite soul destroying but once you understand the ‘working mind of a bully’ it is much easier to deal with.

Next time I will talk about ways to combat a bully.

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Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

I have just finished reading about the grumpy old parents who by the way should be ashamed of themselves so I thought I’d tell of my problem. It’s not my parent or parents; it’s my kids.

I’m a widow and live in a huge beachfront property which is far too big for me these days since my husband died.
I am very lonely and desperately want to sell and move to where I can visit restaurants, take in Shows, shop and enjoy the company of my friends.
I have found the ideal house; it is compact with a pool and a spa and is close to the most amazing shopping centre which has cafes and restaurants.
There is a bus stop outside my door for travel further afield. The local Realtor has a buyer lined up to cash buy my house.
All that stands in the way is my indecision as my family is insisting I stay where I am as they intend to take over my house when I die.
They have even worked out the rates share between them.
As I am in good health they may have a long wait.

This home of mine is not a family home, that holds childhood memories for them.
My husband and I purchased it only five years before he died.

My friends have all moved back to the city as they found the isolation too great here as well.

Am I being selfish?


Aunty S responds

Of course you aren’t my dear, it is your house and you can do what you want with it.

I admire the fact you recognize you are lonely and want a change in your life.

To find a dream home and to have a Realtor with cash buyer is no mean feat. Well done.

Now all you have to do is go ahead!

It’s that easy.

Your kids have been a wee bit naughty in trying to bully you into staying put.

I won’t rave on as to how I feel about their behaviour but I think you can figure it out as to what I would say to them if given the opportunity which of course won’t happen as you live on the other side of the world so they won’t be coming into my Fruit Stall to tell me off or throw fruit at me for siding with their mother.

Life is about adapting to change.

Trust me I know this one.

Enjoy your new home.

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Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

I have just finished reading the story of the woman who has an abusive father.

This is my life except for one fact; it’s both my parents.

Their demands wear me out and I am intimidated and frightened of them even though I’m fifty years old.

I work fulltime and then my evenings are taken up cooking and cleaning for them.

They refuse to have home help even though I’ve offered to pay. I mow their lawn as they don’t want a stranger doing it.

I live in the same town as them and my husband and I constantly fight over our lack of time together, and my brother calls me a doormat. He is angry with me for not standing up to them and is prepared to go halves with me to pay for private home-care. I seem to have spent all of my life trying to make them like me so I suppose this is why I am their doormat.

I haven’t had a break from them in over twelve years.

I know my brother and husband are right but how do I break free?


Aunty S responds

Oh my darling girl, you can do it.

You are halfway there by writing to me.

You have spent a lifetime trying to win your parents love and respect at a huge cost to your health and now the relationship you have with your husband is strained.

Time to walk away my dear.

Folk will only change if they want too. I’m sorry but your parents don’t want to change.

Visit them with your brother and kindly tell them you can no longer cook and clean for them as you are worn out, and explain that private homecare and gardening which includes the lawn being mowed will be covered by both of you from this day on.

Don’t back down my darling.

I am only a click away.

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Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

My husband has taken a position in a ghastly small town without telling me and I don’t want to sell up and move as I could think of nothing worse than living in the country as I am a city girl.
I have lived in this house for twelve years and my gardens are exquisite as gardening is my second love after my family.

He says he is tired of working long hours to pay off our mortgages and wants to spend more time with the children and me.

He didn’t expect my negative reaction as he thought I’d be happy as our financial situation especially would drastically improve so now he is sad whilst I am angry.

I agree things have to change but not as drastic as moving us to the country.

Am I being unreasonable?


Aunty S responds

I am a country girl and could think of nothing worse than living in a city or a small town!

How about a compromise?

As your city home is a garden paradise, I checked out this small town, which by the way isn’t ghastly, and it so happens that there is a gorgeous house for sale set in a fantastic garden setting on the outskirts and it comes with a pool and a spa. The local school has an excellent reputation and is only a walk away.

You will be mortgage free and think of how this factor will impact positively on your lives.

I have sent you the details of the house.


Of course your husband should have told you how much he desperately wanted to escape the ‘mortgage drowning trap’ but he didn’t and now you must keep positive and show your kids you are willing to adapt to the changes that have been thrust upon you all.

Remember always his intentions were admirable as all he wanted was more family time and the mortgage noose around his neck, loosened.

You are a lucky girl my darling so count your blessings.

Hug him tight and reassure him that everything will be okay.

We are the stronger sex my dear.

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Spring Orchard Photos


Sam took these photos today looking over the south end of the orchard.

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