It’s not only what people say. It’s the way these things linger in the mind. It’s not the instance of bullying, it’s the aftermath. It’s the buildup of insult after insult and injury after injury. To believe this has no long-term effects is simply inaccurate. To believe that any trauma has no long lasting reactions is equally inaccurate.
Everyone experiences trauma. Some have it worse. Some have it easier and some will keep their secrets and hold them in silence. Some never step forward. Some never talk about the hands that bruised them or the wounds that scarred the heart. Meanwhile, the mapping of our thoughts or the pathways of assumptions are based on the ideas of personal survival and protection.
The mind itself has no logical understanding of why we were abused or hurt. The mind only sees the abuse or the aftermath of beatings and serious events. This has nothing to do with intellect. This has nothing to do with personal ability. Instead, the mind holds onto the past instances, which limit our abilities to reach our potential because of our subconscious programs that molest our understanding. This is the realization that pain happened here. And pain is danger. The mind always looks to be free from pain and seek safety. This is our natural programming to protect ourselves. We want ease and peace. We want safety and protection.
As for bullying or when it comes to rejection-based memories and experiences, the mind responds on this behalf. There is a chemical result that connects to emotion. Therefore, more than the instance of bullying itself, there is the aftermath, which needs attention because otherwise, the symptoms become so weighty that we often misdiagnose the root of the problem.
I was prescribed medication as a child. I had struggles in school. I underwent moments of public humiliation. I had my share of bullying. I was never big or strong. I never had much athletic ability. I looked much younger than the others in my class. I was much smaller too and skinny; as in terribly skinny. I was a terrible eater. And no one ever asked why. No one ever asked what I was responding to. No one ever asked me about my early memory of a babysitter that forced me to eat the cereal and milk with a roach in it.
I read poorly in class. My comprehension was poor. My math skills were far below average. Hence, there were insecurities. Hence, there was a need to hide but yet, I had a desire to be wanted and included, which I tried as hard as I could but to me, my interpretation of rejection was painful and dysphoric. No one ever connected the fact that there were other aspects that linked into this.
There were unfortunate instances, which were far beyond my control. There were instances of unfair moments when trust was mishandled and whether this was due to an inappropriate family member or whether the intention matched my interpretation, my mind held onto these clips of unfortunate memory which led to debilitating beliefs.
I held onto the violations of boundaries, in which case, my personal chemistry responded. My perception of self was altered as was my appropriate understanding of boundaries of how people should be treated. I lost sight of my worth and potential because as an end product, all of my equations equaled the common problem: Me. In other words, everything I did and everything I responded to was based on the records of my past. I based my opinions under the assumptions of past experiences and biased opinions that were tainted by an old background, which became embossed in my thoughts, feelings, actions and abilities of expression and interpretation.
Sounds like a lot, right?
Well, maybe it is a lot. Maybe this takes the past a bit too far. Or, maybe this only makes me human. See, there is a reason why we behave the way we do. There is a reason why we choose certain traits and habits to form a sense of comfortable understanding. There is a reason behind our reactions and our personalities. In fact, if we knew this about each other and if we understood more about the way other people behave towards us, we would never be offended by them because we know what they say has nothing to do with us.
But when you’re a kid and when you’re picked on or feel small; when you see yourself as unlike everyone else or dissimilar; when you think there is something faulty about you and when someone picks on you and some adult tells you to say, “I’m rubber you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you,” the fact remains that we are not rubber. The fact remains that “sticks and stones may break our bones,” but as it was mentioned by Robert Fulghum in his book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, “sticks and stones may break our bones, but words can break our heart.”
Bullying is a violation of boundaries. The emotional result lasts longer than the insults and bruises. There is no “let it roll like water off of a duck’s back.”
Ever wonder why a child of a young age, whose day should literally be made up of playing with toys or games commits suicide? Ever wonder why someone at the age of say, somewhere around eight would swallow down a bunch of pills, hoping to slip away in his sleep?
Ever think that this is a result of bullying? Ever realize how the boundary violations have long-lasting effects on people? Ever see how depression that runs so deeply has a meaning behind the symptoms? And why is it that this is all we treat? Why do we medicate symptoms, when in fact, this masks the problem rather than treat the root of the issue.
Ever wonder why people find themselves lost as adults?
Look at their history. Look at their traumas.
You’ll find more than just answers here.
It takes a lot of work to overcome one’s self. It takes a lot of work to overcome self-doubt. It takes effort to learn new methods of thinking and find new pathways of understanding.
Trauma is often the root, yet, no. We look in every other direction and disregard the source. And what do people say? Just let it go, right? Isn’t that what people suggest?
That was the past, right? And of course, this is true. However, throughout the years, we have devised a way of thinking, behaving, responding and assuming which has subconsciously programmed us to be as we are; to act the way we do and to live as we have been. This is the result of unresolved tensions and past violations and our personal history lessons we learned from the earliest breaths.
Me, I had to rebuild my future by challenging the assumptions of my past. I had to reshape my thinking by adjusting my trained reactions and preemptive behavior. I had to change the records of my history by creating a new future away from my old fears and pains that lingered far longer than the violations occurred.
It’s not what happens so much as the aftermath it creates. It’s the cesspool of shame and guilt, which drains into the swamps of regret and leads us down to the quicksand of rejection-based thinking.
I hate bullies.
I still have some unresolved tensions which arise in my thoughts. I have old memories, in which I find myself entertaining them and trying to reword my responses to protect myself and stop from feeling weak (or vulnerable).
I find these tensions arise when someone speaks to me in an unacceptable way – especially if I don’t respond or don’t have the right “comeback,” so to speak.
And I catch myself now. I work hard to encourage myself. I stop the interaction because in my new beliefs, I understand that no one has the right to pick on me. No one has the right to hurt me. And no one has the right to bully me. This means I reserve the right to walk away and speak with whomever I choose.
I had to learn how to be my own best friend as well as my own hero. So if I ever feel scared, insulted or threatened, I know that no matter what happens . . .
I will always be on my side.