Undoing the damage of bullying

Hey,
I thought this may help too, and also if you have any stories about how you are breaking through that feeling of dis-powerment that bullying has given you...please share, it would help wonders for someone out there.

Love to you
Moongal x

If the primary damage that bullying causes is damage to identity and self-esteem, then taking steps to repair identity and self-esteem are in order for people looking to heal from past bullying experiences. What needs to heal, in most cases, is not the physical body, but rather, identity and self-concept. Bullied people need to learn how to feel safe again in the world (or safe enough). They need to learn that they are acceptable people who have something to offer other people. They need to feel in more control over their moods and urges. They need to feel again that if they set their mind to something that they can hope to accomplish it. These are not modest goals, by any chance, but they are the sorts of things that bullying victims need to think about working on.

Therapy is likely to be of particular utility with regard to depression and anger that is secondary to having been bullied because mood problems that have originated in this way are very likely to have come into being as a result of victims having become convinced that they are worthless and incompetent. Here people closely examine their core beliefs about themselves.

Social withdrawal problems and social anxiety also can be very profitably addressed within therapy. One of the really nice things about a therapy setting is that role playing can take place between therapist and patient so as to provide anxious patients with opportunity to practice and improve how they will interact in feared but desired social situations. When basic social fears and skill deficits have been addressed, it should become easier for socially withdrawn people to find the connections they need to finally feel fundamentally accepted by others.

I typically hate the overused word "empowered", but I'm going to use it here, because it really fits here. People who have been bullied have been fundamentally dis-empowered. Their feelings of personal safety have been violated and their belief in their own competency and adequacy has been brought into question. Such people may exist in a state of perpetual avoidance and paralysis. In order to feel good about themselves, they will need to break through that paralysis and engage in something that helps them feel like they are gaining in power. Not power over others, but power over themselves. No other people can do this for them. Each paralyzed person has to decide to empower themselves.

Extract: http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=13057

Hey,
i thought I would share my story here...I am currently still working on getting past my bully's.
At the age of 12, I was a bright eyed little girl, I was beaming with confidence and so happy, I was so popular too especially with the boys.

By the end of my 6th class I was a completely shattered girl. The girls became jealous of me and began to call me "slut", (even though I had never kissed a boy at this stage) they used to prank call my house, they all "ganged" up and arrived outside my house one evening to break some horrible ****** news to me, and then ran away leaving me in tears.

I still think of that little girl, I often want to talk with her and tell her that it's not her fault that she did nothing and that was their problem, and that I feel her pain. What they did to her. 12, as most of you heading into teens is a hard enough age, without that...

Anyway that has stuck with for life, never feeling good enough, it actually brings a tear to my eye thinking about it now. I hope anyone who has felt that awful pain is figuring their way out and letting go, because it was not your fault you were bullied...remember that.

Love to you all
Moongal x

Hi Moongal, thank you so much for sharing your childhood bullying stories, as I know that it couldn't be easy to do so. I was seriously bullied by my three older male second cousins when I was younger. It was absolutely awful; they did everything from continually making fun of me in front of friends to dunking my head under water when we were swimming in the pool and holding it there for long periods of time. As well, in grade school friends made fun of my mom and how she dressed. Then, when I was working in corporate, there were two bosses that clearly stand-out on the bullying front. They berated me and bullied me endlessly just because they felt that they could. It was awful and made my life a living hell.

And what could you have done for that little girl????? What can any of us do MORE NOW then what we're trying to do by spreading the WORD & teaching the next generation???? It forever lives w/us but WE can change it, we have to.

I absolutely agree with you April. It is up to us to change this and completely put a stop to bullying. The only way for us to do that is by continually bringing light to this subject and spreading the word.

I think it's about healing yourself...along with helping people.

I am so sorry puppy that, that happened with you, how awful that someone could do that to you and say those nasty things about your mum, which i know must have gone straight into your heart.

But that is their issues and you didn't do anything to bring that on...I hope you realise that hun. You are a wonderful, kind supportive person and a treasure.

Thanks Guys
love to you
Moongal x

Oh, thank you so much for your sweetest and kindest words Moongal. They put a huge smile on my face. I just want to do anything and everything to help both kids and adults combat this behavior and put a stop to it all together.