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Janet

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
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  • #375203
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚ I will.

    All the best,

    Janet

    #375098
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you! :))

    #375027
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I was meaning to write to you soon. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, I have made some progress! (at least I think I have) I am practicing comebacks to different scenarios and I think of words more quickly. I have also recently ended a friendship with someone I thought I could trust and they blindsided me with their wish to not interact with me anymore. The person is dealing with some issues and they always confided in me and wanted me to listen to them and I did. I also shared some of my problems with them and we bonded over both having anxiety. This person told me that they don’t want to talk to me anymore because talking about our problems gives them more anxiety. I was confused because they confided in me willingly and frequently asked for advice and started such conversations, but instead of lashing out and being angry, I recognized that this is for the best. Usually, I would obsess over this for months, even years maybe. But I was “over it” the next day because I cannot be friends with someone who wants me to listen to them all the time without being able to open up myself. I also analyzed what I could do better in the future and how I can become a better friend. Maybe I was not “badass” with this person (since I agreed to the end of the friendship), but I still feel badass because I let it go without obsessively blaming myself and telling myself that I am a bad person. I don’t need to convince this person that I am a worthy friend and this is a huge step forward for me. I was never able to do that before.

    #373249
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    yes, good idea! I imagine it will feel weird at first, but we are quarantined and I could use such a distraction. ๐Ÿ˜€ Plus, what do I have to lose. I feel like my flirting game can only go up from here, haha. But as you said, first I need to work on my assertiveness.

    I will definitely let you know how my practice works. I really appreciate you taking so much time to respond and give me advice. The mirror “experiment” might sound intimidating, but it also sounds fun to me. And that is what I need right now – to not take everything so seriously and just learn self-growth through practices like this.

    #373244
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    thank you! That is a great idea, to practice in front of a mirror. As we have established at the beginning of this thread, I’m not always aware of my facial expressions and body language. I will definitely do this.

    “Then when you see her, like an actress in a play who did a lot of practice, deliver your best performance.” – I like this description! I feel like doing this would help me with other frustrations as well. I often know how I want to react to something, but I end up reacting completely differently. Pretending to be an assertive badass might eventually lead to me being that way and not only pretending. ๐Ÿ™‚

    #373237
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    whenever we see each other she acts all sweet and, unfortunately, so do I. Next time I see her I will do it differently. When she’ll start to provoke (and she will), I’ll look her in the eyes as you suggest. I imagine saying something like this: “I am not in high school anymore, but clearly you still are. What makes you so unhappy that you have to constantly provoke and seek attention? Take your bullsh*t somewhere else and pretend to be a good person there. And get some serious help. You know who my therapist was, maybe give her a call. Bye.”

    “I knew what I should have said and doneย after it the situation ended (and not in my favor).”ย  – This is exactly my struggle. It is so easy to come up with what I wrote above when I’m alone, but in the moment I kinda freeze. Often it is not even that I don’t know what to say. It is the fear of saying it that stops me.

    #373215
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>thank you for taking the time so many days in a row to help me. Iโ€™m trying my best to stand up for myself for a while now and my brother is also helping me by teaching me how to be more assertive. I know, that if it ever happens that my bully and I meet again, I have to show her that I am not a goody goody anymore and she cannot manipulate me any longer. I should not care about seeming like a bad person if I assert myself. My brother always tells me that is better to be respected than liked. Sometimes I just need encouraging words from strangers as well, hence my post here. I like to know that I am not alone and that others have successfuly overcome such struggles.
    I hope to one day be able to say that I have overcome this struggle as well.
    All the best,</p>
    Janet

    #373205
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    “โ€“ if you want to, and only if you feel comfortable sharing, can you give me a few concrete examples of what she, when in a bad mood, specifically said and did to you that was evil, hellish, spiteful and/ or manipulative?”

    A lot of the times she just got mad, ignored me and waited until I came to her asking what was wrong. She responded by saying that if I were a good friend I would’t have to ask what’s wrong, because I would know what’s wrong. After a few days, she would act like nothing happened and was sweet again. In the meantime, I worried sick about whether I said something or did something to upset her. If I got excited about a hobby, she would support me at first, but when she was in a bad mood she would tell me all the reasons why I’m bad at it and should stop doing it. If she did decide to talk to me on a bad day, she would constantly snap at me. She would also try to embarrass me in front of others, taking digs at me and my mental health. I went to a therapist a few times and she knew about it. She also knew that I didn’t want everybody to know that, but she kept mentioning it in front of other people. She would also constantly pick at strangers for their physical appearance and it made me feel insecure because I was heavier than the people she criticized. She would sometimes yell at me in front of the entire classroom.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Janet.
    #373184
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    thank you for your words and for understanding. ๐Ÿ™‚

    “It seems like this bully is sadistic, that she is enjoying inflicting pain on others who she perceives to be weaker than herโ€ฆ; If this is the case, in first grade and all through primary school, there was absolutely nothing you could have done to make her stop bullying you. Some adult had to intervene for you, an adult she perceived as someone strong enough to hurt her. Am I understanding correctly?” Yes, I believe she is sadistic and it makes me sad to think there are other people who have suffered because of her. In high school she only had me, as far as I know (in the “school domain”). I know now and it makes me feel better that you assured me that there was nothing I could have done. It does, however, make me so angry at myself for allowing her past influence to continue now when I only see her a few times a year. It seems like she has her life all together while I’m still picking up the pieces of my life that she broke. I know I sound revengeful… ๐Ÿ™ I cannot help but feel like it’s not fair that someone who has done so much deliberate harm and lives their life without any consequences. Have you ever felt that way about someone/something?

    #373142
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    she never said she sacrificed her life for us, she never made us feel like she resents us or anything. These are just the words I used, perhaps because I would feel that way. So, I cannot agree with that observation. I cannot speak for my siblings, but I would not feel safer if we were to leave (and they have expressed similar opinions). We would always look back over our shoulders, afraid when he’ll come and do something stupid. We would have to hide and live in even greater fear. This was never the easier route. The country I live in does not do anything for women in my mother’s position. I know of so many cases like this, my friends also grew up in families where their fathers were abusive, yet the law did nothing, even when things got physical. It is always the women who lose. It would be even greater hell for us to go through years of custody battles, any kind of court matters, etc. The situation is not as black and white. Thankfully, my father has never been physically abusive, he’s all talk, and as I’ve said, things have calmed down over the last few years. No threats or major outbursts. He has shown regret and is trying. We stood up against him and let him know that his treatment is not okay. I don’t expect he will change completely, that is unrealistic since he has his own trauma. He had a major health scare a few years ago and that is when he started to take everything more seriously. My mother, my siblings and I are forgiving if a person is making an effort to change. What this has to do with my school bully is the fact that I have told her her treatment is not okay and she continued to do it – she chose to hurt me futher even more, deliberately. She did not take my feelings of hurt into account, instead, she used them to hurt me even more, she basked in my mysery. Despite my father and her having similar traits, there is one major difference – he is trying, she did not. That is why it is easier to be forgiving towards my father and so difficult to even try to forgive her.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Janet.
    #373140
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    “โ€“ was she a bit like your father:ย nice and lenientย with everyone else, butย rude and strict with his wife and child, sometimes very sweet, at other times the complete opposite?”ย  – Yes, that is completely true. I have often thought about them being similar. You have described my father perfectly. I would say though, that I consider my mother to be very strong. She sacrificed her whole life for her children and defended us from our father. When my father was at his worst regarding his behavior towards her, she could not or actually did not leave him because he threatened to kill her and himself and all of us. That is what I mean by saying she sacrificed her life for us – she stayed with him so that we (their children) could stay safe. I would do the same in her situation because I, too, would be afraid he would actually hurt someone. Things have calmed down over the years, but he is still controlling at home and very sweet to other people. I just never thought a high school girl could also be as mean and narcissistic to such a high level and I never knew how to deal with a person like that.

    #373137
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    yes, thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚ I would like to continue our conversation.

    “You stood up for your mother for years, being nothing less than a hero, for her sake.” – I hope so, although I do know that I have caused her so much worry over the years because I still cannot let go of the past and forgive those girls. I am so insecure that it is harming not only my mental but also physical health. Somehow those girls always found the way to make me “the bad one.” And I believed them, I still do. I feel guilty even though I never did anything to hurt them. I did vent to a couple of my other friends about them and that is the thing I worry about the most – like venting is worse than their actions towards me. But since they would not listen to me and stop when I asked them to, I needed to let it out somehow. I never discussed their personal lives or secrets, but I did complain about their behavior instead of confronting them more than once until they understood. It eats me up inside that I came out a worse person than them – if they didn’t have anything to say about me, they would make things up so that they could argue with me and win.

    #373007
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Pink,

    Thank you for sharing some of your story with me! It helps to know that I am not alone and that my feelings are valid. Thank you for your advice, I will definitely follow it. I hope it’s not too late at the age of 24… Also, it’s good to hear from other people that it’s okay not to settle for just anyone just because I think I don’t have any other choice. I’ve always felt bad about saying I don’t like someone romantically because I thought that I’m not perfect/beautiful/smart enough to be picky.

    Sending happy vibes back ๐Ÿ™‚

    #372971
    Janet
    Participant

    Thank you, Anita.

    My mother taught me how to stand up for myself, but my father is a people pleaser and always told me to be quiet and to not start any arguments. I was afraid of him for most of my childhood and teenage years. So, I never stood up for myself. My mum even wanted to call my neighbor’s parents, but I would not allow it. My neighbor’s parents thought she was the golden child, spoiled her rotten and I knew they would defend her. I didn’t want my mum caught up in my problems, so I told her that things worked out. If my neighbor’s parents were to react badly and started a feud, my dad would blame me and my mom and accused us of being too sensitive.

    #372952
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    yes, that’s probably right. I probably did have self-esteem issues already at the time. And I also think it’s connected to the bullying..

    The bullying started right in my first grade. Two of the most popular girls decided to pick me for a target; one of them was my neighbor. I was shy and a goody-goody. They turned everyone against me and I think what scarred me the most was the fact that I did nothing for them to bully me. They called me ugly, gave me a nickname, mocked my hair (which was beautiful, long and thick), mocked my school supplies, my clothes. The bullying went on for years, all throughout primary school and high school. But it’s the type of bullying that changed. My neighbor was the one that manipulated me all those years, followed me when I tried to avoid her, and threw insults at me. She once told me, I think it must have been right in sixth grade that all boys like her and that I will never have what she has to attract boys. I became friends with her at the end of primary school because I was so used to being treated badly all the time that I took any good treatment that I could get, even if it was periodical. Also, being friends with her seemed like the lesser evil because whenever I tried to stand up to her, all hell would break loose. She was very spiteful. After we became friends, she manipulated me until the end of high school. She was so nice to everyone else that no one would think twice about her being manipulative. All she talked about was boys and how many offers she has. Her moodiness made me so nervous to go to school – I never knew in what kind of a mood she would be. It was a gamble every morning… if she was in a bad mood, I would be the one she’d take it on. She was either extremely sweet or the complete opposite. I was naive and told her my insecurities and problems and I was afraid to stand up to her in fear she would use that against me. If I had only stood up to her early on and never became friends with her, I would spare myself so much pain and regret. This regret is eating me up inside and I don’t know how to handle it.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)