I could go on and on writing about how childhood bullying still affects me as an adult, so I will try to condense it.
I was a shy child, smaller and a year younger than most of my classmates. I also went to school where most of the kids lived in very rough circumstances. I was overprotected and my parents were also quiet and not assertive, so I already was at a disadvantage before I ever walked into the school. The real harmful bullying did not begin until 6th grade. Ever since, I have been battling depression, anxiety, substance-abuse, etc. I have recently discovered I have Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, after years of being treated for Bipolar Disorder! I have endured a lifetime of emotional pain from the bullying. It pretty much took over my life and because of it I know that I didn't succeed very much. I became a loner. I didn't want to get involved with things. I became hyperfocused on my children being mistreated by others and overreacted at times or didn't react enough. I am suspicious of other people and I always watch for them to bully me, also. I am 49 years old and I am still afraid! I've had numerous therapists and been on nearly every med in the book. I became an addict in an attempt to rid myself of my pain and feel happier, because after the bullying, I had alot of trouble experiencing or expressing any pleasurable emotions. In one sentence: Bullying has pretty much taken a talented, capable, attractive person and turned her into a miserable, depressed, fearful shell of her former self. It ruined my life. I am still looking for peace.
i too have been chasing psychiatry for years and have been medicating for bipolar. i tend to blame mania for my rage episodes. i just logged onto Facebook tonight and saw that a girl I grew up with was connected to one of the worst of the bullies and it made me want to throw up. it actually makes me happy, sometimes, to see that his life hasn't gone very far. im a 41 year old woman ... still having to prove myself. i am sick of it. i never talk about it but if it does come up, i come undone. i too am hyperfocused on my child being mistreated. i want peace too.
I am 48 & feel exactly the same. To make matters worse Im married to a narcissist who (until recently) I thought was the love of my life. He has been a horrid person to me 25 yrs & because of my childhood traumas & bullying I thought I had no self esteem & felt blessed that a man even wanted me as his wife. I clammered for any spec of emotional sweet crumbs he would throw me. I still dont know who I am because Ive been so busy being what he wanted. I too just seek peace....
A footnote to my previous answer: I was a scared kid, too shy and frightened to defend myself from bullies. I wish I could advise the special ed kids I teach to hit back and shove back. But a lot of parents do not want their kids to do that, so I don't say that. Not feeling sorry for myself, but bullying is an experience that takes away a person's self-respect and feeling of worthiness.
Reading these comments is a bit heartbreaking. People walking around wounded from something that happened many years ago... without the tools to help let it go. CBT--tried it, all it did was make me feel frustrated that now I knew I "shouldn't" feel like this anymore, but had no tool to break that bondage to the trauma.
I was bullied in public school (by teacher, principal, and fellow students), I won't go into detail but even though it was only for a year, it left a deep mark. I'm 44 now and have only within the past year been able to disconnect from the trauma. I still have work to do but my quality of life and well-being is exceptionally better, it's miraculous.
I was diagnosed with Complex PTSD and anxiety about 9 years ago. I had a psychiatrist, a psycotherapist who specialized in PTSD, among other self-help stuff that didn't help at all. None of it made a dent, rather it just stirred up the memories and made me rawer emotionally than I've been since I was 12.
It's a lot of suffering to deal with PTSD, try to live in a world that constantly triggers you and you have very little choice about how you feel or respond because the trauma is so entrenched that the reaction occurs before you even have time to think about it.
What I have learned in the past year that has helped me on the road to real recovery is that I am not broken. Nobody broke me. My brain has actually been working exceptionally well at doing what it believes is protecting me. When we are bullied, it is a traumatic event that is perceived as (and often is) dangerous and the acute emotion ensures this memory is stored firmly, along with the emotion of the time. As you get older, this memory is used as a gauge by our brain, and whenever it encounters anything similar to the original bullying event (even someone looking at you sideways) provides support to our subconscious that we are in danger. Our brains are designed this way to protect us. It sharpens our senses to the point where things that are no longer dangerous are perceived as dangerous. We are prisoners, constantly cued to detect and perceive danger at the slightest provocation. We are powerless, it seems, simply moving through life, getting triggered and feeling all the same old feelings over and over again.
What we need to do is eliminate the negative emotion that secured the trauma in our brains in the first place. I've found a couple of ways to do this, though I am sure there are many more (EMDR comes to mind, google it if you haven't heard of it). One of the things that helped me is WHEE, check that out too. The other, most impactful tool I've found is called FasterEFT. Many free videos on youtube that instruct you how to free yourself. The idea basically is to rehears the trauma and then interrupt the emotion with acupressure stimulation. You learn how to quickly move from the trauma memory to a positive feeling simultaneously. The good feeling quickly replaces the negative emotion and yo
Sorry, my comment got cut off. Continued from the previous comment:
The good feeling quickly replaces the negative emotion and you are trauma-free. By interrupting the negative emotion with a positive strong emotion you "collapse" the negative emotion and it is gone. Believe it or not, you can then recall the memory and instead of feeling bad, you actually feel GOOD. You actually KNOW at this point with emotional proof that the trauma is OVER. When you have accomplished this, you will notice that people don't look at you sideways anymore. You will notice that the pressure in your chest and shoulders has lifted. You are provoked to tears over seemingly minute things anymore. People can talk about bullying and it doesn't make you feel sad. You stop rehearsing the old trauma in your mind because there is no power left in it anymore.
An example. I have always had difficulty with authority figures, especially if they are critiquing my work. Criticism has always triggered me deeply--makes me feel like I'm an idiot, worthless, stupid, piece of crap, you name it. One night I worked used the FasterEFT acupressure method and rehearsed a memory of an abusive female teacher (she called me an idiot, punched me in the head and knocked me on the floor for laughing in class, threw chalk at me, told me I wasn't smart enough to go to advanced level in high school). When I got the worthless feeling from rehearsing the memories, I interrupted that with the acupressure and then immersed myself in a good peaceful feeling. Back and forth, in the trauma memory, then out of it and into the peaceful feeling, all while doing the acupressure. In about half an hour, I could rehears the trauma and not feel worthless. In my mind the memory shifted and the teacher apologized to me. I forgave her, and I forgave myself for holding onto the trauma and beating myself up with it all these years. I felt GOOD. No matter how I tried to drudge up the bad feeling, I couldn't.
The next day, and every day since (about 8 months now) I have zero triggers or bad feelings around my boss. It is nothing short of miraculous. Just using a simple technique in half an hour I undid the power of a memory that has kept me triggered for more than 30 years.
Thank you. Im going to research your information & start immediately
Did you find anything that helped? I totally forgot about this site and just logged on today and read my old message, along with the others. I hope you are doing well. If there is anything I can do to help, let me know.
To be honest I am not sure i have ever really dealt with it. Cope yes. To start drinking was my way. Then sex then gambling then running away.
Here I am, 60 years old with nothing as I could never stand and take abusive behavior at work etc. I have had 100 jobs and am starting a new one again tomorrow.
As I look back at the bullying by parents, alcoholism and beatings and emotional abuse, I can see why I react. I recovered from acoholism, gambling and sexual women excursions.
I gave my life to Jesus and now he is my hope and where I cope. I spend much time worshiping him and trying to believe he always loves me inspite of every tiny little thing i do wrong. Sometimes it is all I can do and other times he has to do some incredible thing to make realize it is true, again and again.
I chased money for success to PROVE I was not just some welfare brat as the kids in school called me. I have recently come to see i could never quite grab hold of it as I was always running from success and abusive personalities in my work place.
I turned to helping others overseas and thought that might do it. However, at the same time I married a filipina who is now dying. This has been a horror show for me. Three marriages, one son born with a terrible disease, now my wife dying of an incredible disease.
Overcame sexual abuse, physical abuse, alcoholism, gambling and sex addiction, overcame my mothers suicide, my dads emotional abuse and some religious abuse. By overcome --- I am still here.
I don't drink, drug or want to kill myself. However, the thing i have not been able to overcome is all the grief and loss. I did find going to the Philippines where people are so different and they respect the white people did something to me. They acutally like me !!! Many times because they think so highly of us. Others because they want us to help them. They think they can get from me.
The most profound experience was when I made balloon toys for kids. they crowded me for hours. Their tiny smiles and reaching out to get one. It was overwhelming to see their little hearts of love all around me.
The point is this.. can we ever get over how it stole our identity from us. I think all we can do is accept who we are inspite and build whatever happy life for us we can. Try to find things that bring happiness to our inner heart and stay away from those who drag us down. Far far away.
I told my brother yesterday after he used me one more time i dont ever want to go anywhere with him again. he took it to mean goodbye so i will leave it there.
I told my son after many years of now birthday or Christmas card and his not wanting to stop drugging the same.
The only thing I can say is that I am the one who has to stop the abuse. I don't allow people to use and abuse me anymore. I pray lots and actually have a church that truly touches God. Jesus is my best friend. he never leaves me, condemns me or rejects me.
Love is the only answer. Lov
I would like to say that all the comments that I have read here have made me realise that I'm not on my own. I didn't have a happy childhood and bullying was part of the problem. I was brought up on put downs and any negative comment by the people who were suppose to care to the teachers at school were believed. Although I didn't welcome names and comments I just accepted it.
As an adult I am walked over if I allow it. I'm too nice for my own good. I'm paranoid and feel hated by everyone. Making friends is a nightmare because I can't seem to make the connection with people. I find myself trying to contact old friends but that only makes me feel better for a short time because I live miles away from them.
I'm constantly going over past social events and wondering if I have offended anyone. Will they talk to me again?
My son is in junior school and I worry about the friends he has or doesn't. I hurt for him when he is not invited to parties.
Anyone reading this would think it hilarious and that I should pull myself together.
I'm in my forties and I think will I ever be rid of the loneliness that I feel everyday.
Past events disable you and no matter how many depression tablets i pop or counciling i receive I can't shake this secret hell that I'm in.
I will try the suggestions given on this page. I know I am a good and kind person and I know that believing in myself is difficult when I have a mental recording inside me that hinders any progress.
i understand completely. Everything you've written, i feel too. I left school 20 years ago but it hasnt gone away and i really struggle with people still. I wish i had a magic answer to all this, but i dont :(
Am trying CBT currently, so we'll see. take care
I was bullied all the way through primary and secondary school, as well qas being emotionally and physically abused at home by my mum. I started to fail in school whereas before I had excelled, attempted suicide at 14, and left school with nothing useful to better myself with.15 years on, I've suffered depression, can't speak to other people and have a very hard time even leaving the safety of my house. The best thing I did was cut my mother out of my life but I have no idea who I am, what I'm supposed to do, can't even make decisions. I tried CBT but couldn't bear being so close to a stranger. I wish I could be normal for my kids sake but people underestimate the long term damage bullying has, particularly if the bullied have no support from anywhere.
No I don't feel it is possible to put bullying behind you. Like yourself, I have had therapy but was always given meds, too. I was bullied throughout my school life, from elementary school through college. It seems that most students who were bullied were not bullied in college, but that has not been my experience, nor that of some others I have seen. I am now a teacher, and when I happen to be walking in the hall and the kids are changing classes, I still get that oldtime feeling: anxiety, fear of them pushing me, hitting me, shoving me aside and telling me to get out of the way, you ----head, or worse names. I try, I do try to put
it behind me, but I just don't know. Anyway, I send good thoughts your way.
I was a slight kid that took a lot of crap from my contemporaries in elementary and middle school. I have a lot of anger over being thin today and a little peace in the fact that they are all overweight slobs with impending heart conditions. Yes, I am still angry. There...I said it and I don't take it back. Its not going anywhere.
I was ostracized by the other kids in my class growing up because I was "uncool".
To a now adult eye, I can see I was too talkative, too forward and friendly, too willing to be friends with any person I met.
I was bully bait.
My daughter enters Kindergarten this year.
I have NEVER had an anxiety disorder in my life. No mental health issues at all after getting out of high school...
But the thought of my daughter going through what I went though causes panic attacks..
I don't know what to do.
In my experience the advice given by - StandUp2Bullies - is the worst advice that you can give to any child who is being bullied. My father told me the same thing. The problem is, if you do try and fight back and you "fail" for any reason, (In my case, because they are bigger than you and there are more of them than you), you have let your father down and yourself down. I was so ashamed I could not tell him what had happened. It's very hard to climb out of that hole. I'm now 50 and have only just been diagnosed with PTSD from being bullied at school. I keep telling myself that my father meant well, but back then all I could think of was that I'd let him down. I can see now that I was totally outnumbered, but back then I saw myself as weak. In our society a man is not allowed to be weak. A man is not allowed to lose a fight, even if the odds are against him (most popular movies (e.g. Jack Reacher) perpetuate that myth). My father passed away 15 years ago, so we can't have this conversation. I'm not sure how you overcome the long term effects of something like this, (it still keeps me awake at night), but what I do know is, telling your child to fight back with violence of any kind is the wrong thing to do!!!!!!
When I was young my father told me if someone hits you, hit them back. Sounds wrong but it actually works better than you think. I was bullied by different kids at different times. When I fought back they stopped. I would also pick up for other kids who were bullied, even my younger brother. Bullies try to beat you down and treat you like dirt so they can look strong in front of their friends. They are idiots really. A well placed punch can take that power away. My daughter was bullied at school and my wife's idea was to go to the school and complain. Every second or third day my wife would go to the school. When the school did little to stop it, we put her in a different school. When my son went to school he got bullied. The school did little to help again. So this time I told him the next time someone hits you hit them back hard. Three days later I get a call from the school because my son fought back. He got suspended for a day, but that bully never touched him again. Don't get me wrong, I never started a fight with anyone and always tried to walk away whenever I could. There are times when you just don't have a choice. My son has not been bullied since. He has just 3 years left in school and I hope he never has to fight again.
That's good advice if you're as big, or bigger. But if you're smaller or heavily outnumbered, as i was,it's not an option unfortunately. I'm glad it worked for you and your son though.
I was bullied most of my life im 23, my nick name in high school was shrek, im still bullied today by random people on the street as a result I have no friends and I live most of my life in the house as im scared to go out in public. I have depression and im suicidal. ... how have I coped? Self mutilation, drinking and smoking
My answer? With great difficulty. After reading that article, I was shocked to learn that everything on the long term list was me to a tee. Everything that I'm going through suddenly now makes sense. Perhaps now I can finally mend.
As a kid, I escaped by living in my own world: reading, crafting, drawing, climbing trees, rollerskating, learning the violin. I sought out wholesome "poultices" for my soul.
But to this day, I'm an outsider; some of that roots in my being an INTJ, but a good deal of it goes back to having always been taunted and rejected in American grade school. It leaves you scarred for life, even if you're not a total cripple. ;)
I am 50. I was bullied in the late 60's thru the 70's. It was so bad. I never told my mom or mommy(my mom and grandma) it was so bad. They even broke into our house and stole my swimming trophies. I was so loved at home. I couldn't tell
I have tried too, if you have the money, not segregated because people think your crazy for defending yourself, and your dangerous because you say 1 thing (the truth) and 3 attackers say 1 thing, and 7 of there friends, who cheered them on 5 minutes before, no one wants to hear it 50 times over, Me: see my face, it was for no reason,Teacher/Authority: You provoked it, I had to pull you off of him, you say it over and over, you never did anything,its never you Me: he and 2 others in the other room rite now bashed my head with sticks, what do you want me to do, let them crack my skull,do you see my face, were you born with a god damn ba
What I'm reading has me really concerned. It's been months since this post but I've only just seen this. In one way or another we have all felt alone and lonely with no one to turn to especially with our experiences. Being beaten on, cornered, unprotected by those who should have and didn't, betrayed by those who shouldn't have, and it's an easy place to stay - that hole where we are so desperate to climb out of and have no idea how the hell to get out of. I'm in my 40s and you're so young. I've been where you are - even a psych ward for a suicide attempt in high school. I hope you are reading this or someone else in desperate straits might see this. It isn't all dark. It isn't all misery. I put my struggles in my life down to other things until recently it struck me that it was all about that God-awful time so long ago. That you know what it is that is causing you all this pain is a step in the right direction. Sort it out now. You're right that the computer and 'net are not places you will find authentic relationships but they are safer. But it isn't really living. Use your fear and anger to put in you motion that you'll start you're life. I've been exactly where you are. It's not fun but there is a way back from it. I'll be thinking of you and cheering for you. xo
I'm 60 and I haven't. Bullied constantly from 9th grade to graduating HS by a pack of boys, cost me my selfesteem and the ability to look forward to any real goals in life. I just wanted to get away and hide. Teachers ignored what was going on and socalled friends turned on me. All of this led to drug abuse in my twenties to escape.I have never gotten my life together consistently.
Unfortunately, suicide looks more and more like how I will end my life. Would prefer a natural death, but starting over at 60 with limited funds sucks. Hope it turns out otherwise for me, but if it doesn't I'll be at peace with it, more or less.
When I see kids violently acting out against their school or hurting themselves, I know why. I know a lot of what they're feeling inside. I managed to live out most of my life, but inside I can still feel it. It never went away. Before the bullying, I never thought about ending my life. Since it happened, I've seriously thought about it maybe 4 times. Like now. I feel I will be relieved when I can put this life behind me.
Please don't do that. I totally understand how difficult it is to live with the trauma of being bullied, but read my post up above. There are ways to remove the emotional power from those memories that cause you so much pain. Memories only feel real because of the emotions that are stored and make them feel real. Once you remove the old negative emotions, the memories will lose their negative power and will fade away to their rightful place: the past. It is possible to be happy from now on. If you need to talk, hit me up. It's ok. You were put on earth for a reason, and it wasn't to be bullied. You are a masterful creation. If I can help at all, please let me know.
The only thing that helped me was getting revenge on those that bullied me. By revenge I mean physical violence.
Ive never gotten over it.I just learned to bury it & keep smiling. Im so damaged I didn't even realize until 3yrs ago that Im married to a severe bully 25yrs. His treatment of me wasthe same as I recieved growing up at home & all through school until I dropped out after 9th grade in 1979. I never have had confidence to go back. I work 3 times as hard at everything I do just to try to avoid criticism & to be appreciated but it doesnt work. Others take credit or it goes unnoticed. I have discovered that I am a magnet for narcissists too because theyre the only people I was exposed to regularily as a child & their mistreatment of me seemed normal except Im always sad. I dont know how to fix the damage. I only know how to smile & pretend it don't hurt ....
I was bullied from first and secondary school. My parents enrolled me in a Tae Kwon Do class while ending secondary school. I trained for 4 years. It did help my confidence as a child but as an adult I suffer from the abuse. Every day in school I tried to exist and have peace but I struggled to find it. I was an only child and didn't have the skills to protect myself against bullies with words etc. I was a perfect target to be bullied.
Today, I'm 46 years old and do what I can to work through my wounds. I do notice that I come across a lot of adult bullies. It's interesting how child bullies grow up to become adult bullies, if they haven't learned from mistakes.
In every challenge in life I always ask, What am I suppose to learn here? As an adult from being bullied I still have wounds that come up once in a while and the pain can last for a couple days. With me, it's a continual journey to find a way to let go. I'm hopeful that one day my wounds will heal. I do a lot of reading on the subject. You also become stronger from a challenging circumstance and become very aware.
I wish you well on your journey and hope you and others find peace.
I think it makes you stronger maybe not better. I have been bullied all my life sadly in relationships with men, my parents, colleagues, at school and at work even friends and in-laws
. I was sexually abused as a toddler and was extremely withdrawn which makes you a target for bullies. My question is why is it still happening to me now at 47?
I did not answer the question as you can see, I had my own question.