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Old 01-20-2011, 12:48 PM   #1
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Severely bullied, not cabaple of having a healthy relationship?

I am not really sure what is wrong with me.

I suffered from bullying at school since I turned five years old until I was seventeen and a half, when I actually dropped out (because of the bullying). Years and years of non-stop torture. It took several forms, sometimes physical violence, but most frequently insults and isolation from the group. This was always carried out by the same people since I was unlucky enough to have the same classmates all through elementary school, and when we attended highschool, I had to catch the same bus as they did. Catching the bus was truly a nightmare.

I have no clue why I was the most bullied student in my class of twenty-something kids, not being ugly or overweight, just a bit taller than average maybe. Plus, I was a naturally outgoing child, very talkative and active. All that I can think of as a reason is the fact that I was a little sensitive, especially where animals were concerned (and to this day, I'm a hardcore animal lover). The fact is that, over the years, all this bullying harshly repressed my outgoing personality and damaged my self-steem until I became really awkward in social situations, especially during my teens. I subconsciously assumed that people weren't naturally friendly and that stopped me from being as social as I wished I had been, even though I did have friends.

All my bullies were boys, even in highschool. They stopped me from meeting new people there by letting them know that I was the school's punchbag, so I couldn't start anew until I quit. Even though it was terribly awful and I was constantly on an emotional rollercoaster, I think I was pretty strong, and never ever complained about going to school or stopped getting the best grades of my class. My mother kept telling me that when I grew up, I'd be over and done with them, so I kept hope in heart and worked hard to be a happy adult. I didn't think for a minute that it would have such a repercussion on my life as an adult, as well.

Recently I've come to fully realise how much it has stigmased me, to the point that I might not function normally if I don't control my emotions. This is why I'm seeking advice. I feel as if the insecurities that trigger arguments in my relationship may be a cause of all the bullying that I've been through and the negative self-image it created, and I really, really don't want this relationship to fall apart. If this is true, how can I manage to get over it? Someone once told me that I have to learn to love my inner child so it stops crying for help, that I have to tell her that she's great and worthy of love, but how???

I used to think that I was over this; I finished school and started college, I went back to being chatty and outgoing instead of self-conscious, I got real friends and a boyfriend that I'm worthy of, instead of settling for anyone and then dumping them.

But now, I truly feel that it has shaped me as an adult for the worse and the older I get, the more it stops me from having a normal life. I also feel that if I don't get a grip on the situation, I might undergo depression in the near/middle future and most surely lose my boyfriend and fail at college. It's like I'm destroying my own life and I don't really know what to do about it.

Could it be possible that I'm too emotionally dependant on my relationship because of the negative experiences I've been through, or does it have to do with something else? Sometimes, I feel as if being with him is the real engine in my life, the reason that keeps me going, even though I keep doing other things too. I'm always hoping he texts me, says something nice to me or pays me attention in any way; and if he doesn't show as much interest as me, I end up hurt. I know this isn't healthy at all for either of us, how can I stop this???

I have to say that I'm in my twenties and I always had a good household environment. Any input with be welcome, thanks a lot

Last edited by Fanfan; 01-20-2011 at 01:39 PM.

 
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:11 PM   #2
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Re: Could it be possible that I am not capable of having a healthy relationship?

I'm having many problems in my marriage right now because of me not addressing issues from my youth. I've been with the same woman for 13 years and may lose her. We have three young children, recently moved into a new house in a wonderful neighborhood, and really we have everything people dream about. But because I never addressed past issues I had with myself, much like the issues you seem to have with your self, I may lose it all. Don't be like me. Find a therapist and go. It's too hard to fix yourself, maybe even impossible. You seem to understand your issues but now you need to learn how to handle them properly and that can be done in therapy. There's nothing wrong with going, it's an eyeopener and you'll feel soooo much better as time goes by.

 
Old 01-20-2011, 01:14 PM   #3
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Re: Could it be possible that I am not capable of having a healthy relationship?

its possible.....I feel that way myself, that I'm not capable of having a healthy relationship........
but on the flipside, I (and you) can't take all the blame.....
to have a healthy relationship, you have to be healthy, and also you have to have a healthy partner.....that said, I can see how it would be hard for ANYONE to have a healthy relationship as we have no control over other peoples emotional health....or lack thereof.....

 
Old 01-20-2011, 01:21 PM   #4
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Re: Could it be possible that I am not capable of having a healthy relationship?

Our life's experiences affect us all of our lives, most especially childhood ones as we are so much more vulnerable and able to be shaped. But we can overcome and sort of suppress those experiences, and learn from them.

I'm not a counselor and if you have never seen one, maybe you could benefit from counseling. But my advice to you would be to sign down and write out "feeling letters" to everyone you can think of who bullied you or made you feel inferior. Take as long as you need - weeks, months, whatever it takes, as some memories will give rise to other memories. Write a letter to the person (or group if necessary) who picked on you, outlining just what you feel they did wrong, how it made you feel, etc. Get it all out in the letter (you may have to write subsequent letters as more things rise to the top of your mind). After you have written these letters, you should have a little ceremony where you burn them or tear them up or shred them, whatever works for you. As you do it, tell yourself that you are letting the memories out and becoming a whole person, one who loves the child inside of you and is allowing that child to grow up.

Realize that the perpetrators did what they did not because they felt you were inferior but because THEY themselves felt inferior to something in you. It is very likely that because you were so friendly and bubbly and outgoing they were jealous, feeling that because they weren't so outgoing they were going to make you feel bad. This type of mentality grows and spreads as the "followers" are afraid to assert themselves. It becomes a vicious cycle until they don't even know how to break it. You need to tell yourself over and over and over and over again the truth - there was nothing wrong with you; there was something inherently wrong in the people who bullied you. Bullies never bully because they feel inferior; they bully because deep down inside they feel like they are inferior, often because of abuse from parents, older brothers or just some feeling they have that they aren't worth anyone's love. Everyone reacts differently to this type of abuse or feeling; some internalize it like you did; others turn to bullying to make themselves feel "better." You can bet that they never feel better, though.

But YOU CAN FEEL BETTER. You can overcome this feeling inside. Write it down. If you want to be really creative, after you've written the "feeling letter" to someone, write a letter to yourself "from" them expressing how sorry "they" are for the way they treated you; that they knew it was wrong, etc. You may be amazed at how cathartic it will be for you; how much better you will begin to feel and how much you will soon be able to love the wonderful, intelligent, special person you really are.

 
Old 01-20-2011, 01:50 PM   #5
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Re: Could it be possible that I am not capable of having a healthy relationship?

Fanfan - I can really relate to what you're going through. I went through the same thing in school, and suffered a lot of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of classmates, male and female. To this day it still affects how I am able to relate to people. But what a wonderful thing that you've found good friends and people who care about you, and someone to love!! That's so much more than I was ever able to find in my own life. But if you're still struggling with it, it might be worth working with a professional councelor to get over your issues. It could be you're suffering from Post Traumatic Stess Disorder. I was diagnosed with PTSD several years back because of my childhood experiences. When you're faced with a social situation that is stressful, uncomfortable, you flash back to those horrible experiences and it makes is harder to see the experience as it is. You see it through the eies of that tortured, abused child trying to deal with people who have decided to hate you no matter what, rather than a capable, mature adult dealing with people who have not really formed an opinion of you one way or the other yet.

I suggest you find a therapist or councelor experienced in treating PTSD. He or she can help you sort things out and help you better differenciate when you truly are being treated rudely by someone, or when your past is coloring what's going on in the present. Good luck.

 
Old 01-20-2011, 02:02 PM   #6
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Re: Could it be possible that I am not capable of having a healthy relationship?

Wow, thanks a lot BigRed54. I never thought about doing something like this letter-burning ceremony, maybe it could help. I don't think I've even written down my feelings about these events, probably because it never occurred to me that it could be helpful. It's certainly worth a try.

Well, now that you mention, this boy in my class who was especially mean and hateful came from a dysfunctional family (divorced parents, gambling father, grew up with his grandparents). I once overheard teachers say that this was the reason he acted like that to me. The same applied to another kid who was also bullied, but who bullied me as well. To be honest I don't have revenge fantasies against them, but I can't feel sympathy for them either, or condone their parents attitude. Mine would have never let such behaviour on my part go unpunished.

My mother and grandmother used to tell me that in a few years time, all these kids' lives were bound to go downhill. I never believed them, but, surprisingly, they were right. The didn't even get past the first year in highschool, they have ******, exploitative jobs and they spend all their money on cocaine and other substances they normally abuse. I guess this has something to do with the households they come from.

It's hard to be compassionate though, when I think about the person that I could have been, and the person that I became thanks to their constant cruelty.

Thanks to you too, Buckeye and Rosequartz. I have thought about counselling but right now I can't really afford it since I'm studying. I do believe that I need it though, I have been thinking about it for a long time and I think we can heal ourselves through psychotherapy. I will take the step when I can pay a counsellor.

Last edited by Fanfan; 01-20-2011 at 02:08 PM.

 
Old 01-20-2011, 02:13 PM   #7
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Re: Could it be possible that I am not capable of having a healthy relationship?

are there any counselling services at your school that you might take advantage of?

 
Old 01-20-2011, 02:20 PM   #8
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Re: Could it be possible that I am not capable of having a healthy relationship?

No Rosequartz, I don't think they offer this kind of counselling. You can get employment and accademic guidance but that's it (I think). I'll try to find out though.

 
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