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Confronting the past – self experiences?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Linnea, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. Linnea

    Linnea Peer Supporter

    I grew up in a small village 30 minutes outside the town I´m living in right now. Between the ages 6 and 15 I was more or less bullied, mostly in school. I had friends, but a group of boys really “hated” me and did everything to remind me of it. No adult saw what was going on and tried to help me. I was scared almost every day for those 9 years.

    Yesterday, reading one of Sarnos books, the thought of making a visit to that village came up. Visit the schoolyard, and maybe even the house I grew up in. Just the thought of it made me cry and I felt extremely scared!! I haven´t been back more than once since my parent sold the house when I was around 20, and that time I went with my parents to pick berries. The whole drive on that well known road made me cry, but I hid it, as we had children in the car. It was horrible.

    All my adult life I´ve had dreams about my childhood places, especially our house, dreams that always made me sad, even though the dreams weren´t sad themselves. I´ve had therapy and talked about the bullying, but obviously never fully gotten over it. I feel it´s time to make a visit, just because I fear it so much – confronting fears is crucial, right?

    Does anyone else have any experience in confronting the past? What did it feel like? Feelings afterwards?
  2. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Hi Linnea,

    I was also bullied by a group of kids from the time I was 11 - 17. It was somewhat less bad in that they also picked on several of my friends--at least I didn't feel it was just about me.

    Just yesterday I was thinking about rereading the journals I kept from those days and wondering if it would be good to remember all of that. I don't know if I will "go there" now either, but it's interesting that we were both thinking of this issue yesterday.

    Thinking of you-
  3. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member


    I have mentioned this before, but now I will share it with you.

    In a program I did, we were asked to dialog with someone from our past, an entity, anything that came to mind. I wondered how this would possibly work for me. But I gave it a go and it turned out to be the most powerful jounaling tool I've learned. I couldn't believe the conversations that came out!

    Perhaps before visiting the scene, you could try this too. You would be speaker #1, and "the boys" would be #2. Start a with a question. In your case the question might be "why were you so mean to me?" A question with the least amount of emotion you can muster. And then script the dialog as quickly as you can, without thinking of the answers. Just write.

    I think you'll find that they will answer you, and you'll also find the intentions behind the bullying. My guess is: it had nothing to do with you at all. It had to do with their insecure feelings about themselves. Obviously these boys weren't the "popular boys in the class" or they wouldn't have been so cruel. I am betting that each one was wounded in their own way.

    The point is, once you discover through "talking with them" their motives for bullying you, it will lessen their power they still hold on you. And once that happens, you can return to your village, head held high, and smile when you greet old friends.

    I hope you'll try this. I found that instead of a lot of pain when I did a dialog, I learned a lot about the OTHER person I was writing "with".

    If you do try this, let us know how it goes.

    Pandamonium likes this.
  4. Pandamonium

    Pandamonium Well known member

    Hi Linnea,
    I haven't physically revisited the past but I did mentally revist several events and people, and as BG suggests, I tried to have a dialogue with them. I found that each time I did it the feelings were less intense and I got to the point where it/they didn't bother me any more. I feel for you but the strong physical reaction you showed tells me that you have not go those feelings out of your system despite therapy.
  5. Linnea

    Linnea Peer Supporter

    Thanks for the tip BG and Pandamonium, I might try that! "Unfortunatly" the worst bullies were the most popular ones, that had the most power and the ability to convince other persons to join in. But of course there´s reasons behind the bullying that I don´t know of, though sometimes I think I need to find the anger first, not just dwell in the sadness. Ones I wrote an angry letter (not for sending) to them, maybe I need to do that again..

    Veronica: I had the exact same thought, reading my old journals! Probably painful, but it might be a way to get the feelings out.
  6. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Well that does make this a little bit harder to work out. Simply because I initially thought they were mindless thugs (which they probably were) that chose you as their "victim". As Panda suggests, find a way to write to them. Any way that works for you until they've lost their power. You are kind and gentle and they obviously were not. In fact I wonder if just one of them feels badly today for what they did to you.

    Reading back in your journals what you wrote while it happened can help to bring those feelings up again, but it won't resolve it.. So perhaps reading and then writing to them in any way you find helpful to you - will finally release the power they still hold over you today. That isn't right. And you can bet they don't spend as much time on what they did, as you do. They're mindless thugs - and if they haven't come to terms with the things that wounded them, then they're probably still bullies today.

    None of that is your problem or concern. You simply need to find a way to release the power they hold over you. It will feel great to be free of them because truth be told, they can't hurt you anymore unless you allow them to.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.

  7. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Yep, my bullies were supposedly "cool" popular kids too. Every so often Facebook suggests I friend them (no thanks!) Most of them seem to have turned out OK, which is comforting and also surprising.

    To me it doesn't really matter what was wrong with those kids--they were mean. We had problems and we didn't pick on people. Allow yourself to be angry, not dwell in it, but feel it.

    I think even as a kid I spent a lot of time trying to give people like this the benefit of the doubt instead of just letting myself have the feelings.
  8. Marla

    Marla Peer Supporter

    I was bullied for a year and half in 8th and 9th grade, I had already been through fear in my household so this just added to it. I told my parents but they were going through bad emotional stuff themselves and barely hanging on so I got no help what so ever. If I went downtown and the group (I called them the hards because they were the rough kids who smoked) saw me they would tease, threaten and push, and clip me. I had already lived with nightly nightmares from 7 to 11 years old so having this happen at 13 was horrible!! Maybe the fear I already had inside me pulled them to me. I have been back to the house I grew up in, the junior high where it happened, its been so many years now the feelings from it are mostly over. What does remain for me was my mom who had 3 nervous breakdowns the first when I was 12 left me totally on my own. To this day even though she has been fine since my 20's and i am 55, I can't be close to her. She wants to be close to me and I feel enormous guilt over it, I think that is part of my TMS. I have tried to talk to her a few years back and she totally denies my reality and says the things that happened didn't. I think she can't handle the truth so chooses to remember only the good, not the negative. I think I might have to journal a pretend conversation with her or something, I don't know…I think for you Linnea, it would help to go back and see that it is not scary anymore. I live two states away now from my hometown and where I lived with my ex and bad memories, that helps in some ways and not in others because you don't face it.
  9. Pandamonium

    Pandamonium Well known member

    writing letters and not sending them is a great way to deal with the emotions.
    Lori likes this.
  10. Linnea

    Linnea Peer Supporter

    Thank you for sharing your experiences and advices, I take it all to heart. Marla, that must be so hard not to be believed by your mother or that she chooses not to believe it to protect herself.

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