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An Old Familiar Bully.

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An old familiar bully is back in my life again.  I know, some will tell me to ignore this person, others will tell me to block them out of my  life by any number of means, and yes, maybe someone will suggest that I take legal action for a Stay Away Order by a court.  This will be well intentioned at first, until they learn who the bully really is.  When they learn though, all too many will themselves become my bullies and not be helpful, no matter how well meaning they think they are going to be.  This I have learned will be the pattern and I am sitting here typing this with both sadness and with dread.


The bully is myself, a self that comes out from time to time. This is a self that deeply undervalues what and who I am told that I am by others.  During the period this self is in control, compliments, and positive evaluations, and even just simple appreciation for what I am and have done digs a pit (maybe a grave) and threatens to push me in as I feel it.  These things do not lift me up because I do not feel they are appropriate for what I am or what I accomplish in their lives or my own.  I can allow that for some of the people I work with, doing the same thing would be extraordinary for then to do.  I just see it as a job to be done that I can do.  I am nothing extraordinary in my own mind and would be at fault if I did not do things I can. 


I know the history of my bully self when I am in clearer moments.  It is a history that begins in childhood when I could not develop in many things that even I wanted to do because of medical issues with an over active immune system that tried to cure me of my own body.  Only time would be the ultimate cure or control over this if it ever was cured or controlled.  This upset some expectations of my parents and it was added to when a younger sister was born, but with an easily correctable medical problem which they paid strict attention to with visible relief when the correction was made.  I received my regular medications and some physical care, but it always seemed that my care was an imposition and not a celebration. In one sense it made matters worse that both of my parents were highly educated in specific fields, and thus teaching myself to read by a very young age, and developing muscle coordination of my fine muscles did not really impress anyone in the family.  These things were considered “ordinary” and announcing that I finished a project, or finished a book high above my age level met with the reaction of “Ok, now you can do something else”.  No appreciation and often anger if I was reading under my bed covers.  With craft projects, it was an “Ok, go clean up the mess on the kitchen table”.  I was given the lesson that I was never more than OK, and often told of mistakes or imperfections in what I had done in a way that negated the good.


In school, this carried on when I and my parents were called into see school counselors about my test scores on many tests the schools of the time gave.  My scores on the tests were some of the highest the counselors had seen, but did not match my school class work which to me was boring and things I already knew, but where my attempts to demonstrate the knowledge were also met with “well you did not do the work, so I don’t believe you really know it”.  All of the examples I can come up with would fill nearly a volume.  I learned good things about myself that were presented in a negative way as if they were in my case, a disease, and not an accomplishment.  As for the grades, by that time I knew that I would be punished for what others deemed a poor grade, and I would get no attention if they were perfect.  “I would not have expected less from YOU!” would have been the best I could hope for with perfect grades.  It did not help at all with my relations with my classmates, since sometimes it seemed to them that I was showing off especially with some of my teacher’s comments.   The same too for my younger siblings who did get their classwork done and because the oldest of my younger siblings (the one with the correctable medical issue) was a female, her showing off in some subjects was considered extraordinary.  Attention was turned to her again and my seemingly mediocre achievements was tucked into the family closet. 


In a nutshell, I was emotionally neglected for long periods of time and in time became my own most critical judge on things I was doing on my own, and even today I can see every flaw in what I do.  I assume that others see those flaws as much as I do, and only say nice things for one of two reasons.  Either to close things between us on that project, or they have been taught to give compliments as politeness no matter what.  A third dark reason which I learned long ago, was that appreciation and compliments were a prelude to involving me in something for which I would receive little or no recognition for and would be messy in a way I had to clean up.  Compliments came as a manipulation.  While I was emotionally abused as well as neglected, of the two, the neglect to me today is the worst of the two.


I actually have many skills and talents that I have developed over the years, and I know I am more skilled and talented in ways that others are not.  The other side though is that I cannot imagine any not having as many especially because I do not feel that I have more than they.  I cannot show a degree or certificate on a lot of things I do and I have to justify my ability to do them to others for whom that is the proof.  Splat.


“You got dinner and new jeans that’s all you need to know I care about you”.  “You got your paycheck didn’t you?  If you were not doing the job you would have gotten a pink slip”.   


If you have read this to the end, no Love You responses “hugs” or attempts to tell me nice things for a while, please!!  An “I got it” is about my limit.  If you want to do something in response to this, go and tell your child or younger relative sincerely that something they did was good and wonderful, that you appreciate how they are growing, and make sure they feel good about it If they are having trouble with something, give constructive help, and not an off-hand “practice makes perfect” where you do not help with the practice.  Be sure they are not emotionally neglected or abused.  Be willing to praise the good without offsetting it.  The phrase “that was great but-----“ makes something terrible instead of wonderful.  Just because that happened to you does not make it the right way in the world.  It was bad then as well as now.  I may feel better In a few days, but I do need some space to battle my old self bully again.

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Just now, VickySGV said:

If you want to do something in response to this, go and tell your child or younger relative sincerely that something they did was good and wonderful, that you appreciate how they are growing, and make sure they feel good about it


If this is the wrong time for this, please accept my sincere apology.  On these lines, though, I feel the need to point out that you're a fantastic moderator and TransPulse is lucky to have you.


Take the time you need.  We'll be here when you're back on top.

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I will be on the Forums @Dev maybe just from a little different POV , and in this case I can make an exception for the response but I may need to re-read it in a day or two.  I helps me to share the problem now that I know what it really is, and some may notice that I have not mentioned GD in it, it is one of those things that even with the GD harnessed is going to be in our lives once it gets there.,

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Thank you for sharing Vicky.  I am sorry you had to grow up that way.  No one deserves that.  What many parents do not understand is that emotional damage can be worse than the physical.  I hope that you take all the time you need to make peace (if that is correct) with this side and can return to be the person we know and appreciate.  



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Carolyn Marie

Vicky, I'm sorry you are feeling like this right now, but I do think that you will get through it all right.  You know where to find me if you need anything, my friend.


Carolyn Marie

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Thank you Vicky while my circumstances were different much of this rings true ans I do many of the same things you are not alone



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