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Being a Bully to Myself:

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  • #85195
    anita
    Participant

    I am a bully and a victim all in one. Part of me bullies myself, beating myself up, shaming myself, blaming me, scaring me and the other part is bullied (by me), beaten… by me, shamed by me, blamed, scared.

    Being one own bully is very common. If you are your own bully, can you answer those questions:

    Why do you bully yourself? What is the bully’s motivation? Is there a benefit to it? A payoff? What do you get from bullying yourself? If you only suffer because of it, why don’t you… just stop?

    And if you know, as I do, that we humans are animals, why does nature allow such a disturbing distortion of natural law? I mean bullying oneself is counter productive to survival and thriving. Why does an animal thinks and feels and acts against its own survival?

    anita

    #85196
    jock
    Participant

    Why do you bully yourself? What is the bully’s motivation? Is there a benefit to it? A payoff? What do you get from bullying yourself? If you only suffer because of it, why don’t you… just stop?

    1. I’m not aware I am bullying myself or I have sense that someone has to do it. I can’t go unbullied. That would be chaos.
    2. The bully thinks he is just acting on behalf of the mafia boss, like a hitman.
    3. I get a satisfaction from keeping my other inner selves downtrodden. They (the downtrodden ones stay lovebale because they never get a big ego. And then I mostly identify with these cute, seemingly harmless ones. I think I come from a family culture/Christian culture that encourages harmless, non-assertive, compliant behaviour. I was rewarded for that behaviour when I was a child. My mother once said of me:”Oh Jack, you were such a placid child!” And so it was my job to be placid, one reason being that my next eldest brother was disabled and far from being placid.
    4. I just needed someone’s help to identify them and objectify the situation.

    #85198
    jock
    Participant

    Unfortunately I have projected this inner bully onto others at times. Not aware of it at the times I was doing it, I can use negative sarcasm to attempt to belittle others. This is obviously something I am not proud of. All I can say is, this bully only bullies himself now which is at least progress.
    On a larger scale, I can imagine countries like America, China and Russia bullying smaller countries. in this sense, it seems there is a natural law of the jungle that the big and/or strong bully the weak. If we apply the same rule to our inner selves, the bigger inner selves bully the smaller ones because they can. Sometimes the law of attraction as if the smaller one has a magnet “please bully me”.

    #85201
    Inky
    Participant

    Hi anita,

    I think we bully ourselves because:

    1. When we have space and time to think, we fill in the void with these thoughts
    2. We are keeping ourselves in line
    3. We are social beings and actually take cues from negatives and hurts to fit in with the group
    4. We do this because negatives warn us of danger and death (on a primal level)
    5. In the old days, if you were cast out of a group, that often, literally, meant death
    6. When you’re having a great time at a party, or are trying to help someone, we don’t bully ourselves at all! I notice it’s only when we’re alone, with time on our hands.

    Sorry if my thoughts are so jumbled. They came all at once!

    Maybe this is why spiritual masters encourage meditation, being happy with our own company and non-attachment!

    Anita, you are Great!

    Please Change the Script in your mind! 🙂

    Inky

    #85204
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jack:

    I need time to study your two comments here and will come back and respond thoroughly.

    Dear Inky:

    Thank you for the You-are-Great comment. That is kind of you! And yes, I would very much like to change the script of my mind. I need time to study your response as well and will come back to it with as thorough an examination as I am capable of. What jumps at me right this moment is numbers 2, 3, 4, 5- the Superego I am aware of, is the psychic entity coined by Freud whose job is to fit in the group and that superego in my case (and in many others’ unfortunately) overgrown its social effectiveness into a destructive force. Your number 5 is giving me a stronger sense of its job, of why it is there, the consequence of not fitting into a group being death.

    Can you elaborate more on #5, examples?

    anita

    #85206
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Inky:

    One more question: regarding number 1: “When we have space and time to think, we fill in the void with these thoughts.”and in # 6: “…it’s only when we’re alone, with time on our hands.”

    Can you elaborate about your thoughts on TIME and bullying oneself? About the connection between having time in ones hands and having self bullying thoughts?

    anita

    #85220
    Inky
    Participant

    Hi anita,

    OK, #5 examples:

    1. People in certain religious communities DO shun each other (Amish, Jehovah’s Witness) if you step out of line. The future can be bleak, especially if you were born in the faith, to function in the outside world. Now imagine if you were a hunter-gatherer from a million years ago and displeased the group or the leaders. That really was life or death.

    2. In the wild, or even in early America with the pioneers, it was usually the LONE person out in the wilderness who wouldn’t survive. It doesn’t matter how tough you are, things can go tragically wrong. If you have another person, they can take care of you or send for help.

    So I think it’s literally bred in the bone, people pleasing, and being hard on yourself.

    And #6, Time:

    Well, when we ruminate, or don’t focus on other things, yes, we are far more likely to think about “whatever” and before we know it, beat ourselves up! Even driving in the car, listening to tear-jerky music can trigger a “Poor Me” thought, and then “If only” to “I shouldn’t have done that”, as an example! It is so important to focus, not as a form of denial, but as a form of boundaries, to protect our emotions. i.e. “NO! I WON’T go there! I DON’T accept that!” Then focus on other things.

    #85222
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Inky:

    Thank you for your answers. I agree of course with the above #1 and 2 and will add to it that we are literally bred in the bone as you put it, to please our parent/ primary care taker. When a mother (or a father) is hard on the child, beating him up verbally, let’s say,the child is … bred in the bone to take the parent’s side and be hard on himself so “shape up” and please the parent, be accepted by the parent. Because in the wild it is a death sentence for a young mammal to be abandoned by its mother. So this is why I have been hard on myself, to please my mother being hard on me. This is how this pattern originated.

    Regarding #6; Focus as a form of boundaries, you wrote. I like the word BOUNDARIES in this context. Forming boundaries around our thinking.

    * Jack: will come back to you.

    anita

    #85230
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jack:

    Thank you again for being the first of two to comment on my thread!

    You wrote: “I’m not aware I am bullying myself or I have sense that someone has to do it. I can’t go unbullied. That would be chaos.” I wrote to you elsewhere that I was not bullied today and yet I felt depressed much of the day, and it is my observation that I believe, we enjoy some emotional payoff for bullying ourselves. We suffer but we also experience a desirable payoff. Much like eating too many biscuits: we enjoy the eating and we suffer the weight gain. There is nothing we do, no repeating behavior, without a payoff. There is a feel good chemical/s motivating us to repeat, and so it is in self bullying. Be is a pleasure of masochistic kind or a release of tension or feeling of empowerment or business and distraction from another pain. so I felt depressed because I didn’t have the payoff of self bullying.

    So I figure I am for no longer bullying myself and go through the depression like. Like getting off heroine, it doesn’t feel good coming off (I am told) but eventually it is a good thing. Same with overeating and any other payoff/ destructive behavior.

    “… I think I come from a family culture/Christian culture that encourages harmless, non-assertive, compliant behaviour. I was rewarded for that behaviour when I was a child. My mother once said of me:”Oh Jack, you were such a placid child!” And so it was my job to be placid, one reason being that my next eldest brother was disabled and far from being placid.”

    I didn’t understand this. Are you bullying yourself into placidity, submission so to be loved, or get your mother’s praise?

    Your oldest brother bullied you. Which brother was disabled and how did it affect you… and how is it related to you being placid? Oh, and can you define placid?

    anita

    #85232
    jock
    Participant

    These are tough questions to answer Anita.
    I’m kind of vague on this I admit.
    “Placid” means quiet, not seeking attention, problem free.
    I have 4 older brothers. the first 3 were “normal” and I really looked up to all of them especially the intellectual one(s).
    The fourth eldest brother, only a few years older than me, was disabled. He was naughty, would scream a lot,used to run away and Mom had trouble controlling him. I was well-behaved so I think a relief to her because I didn’t demand her attention. I think my parents were very concerned about my elder brother and had trouble communicating with him. (he was profoundly deaf). Eventually they sent him away to boarding school for the deaf. But then my mother was busy again having two more babies (boys) after me. My mother had 7 boys in all, a great contribution to the baby boomer era.
    Honestly I feel guilty now how I have written about this. I had a happy childhood though and a lot of it was with my disabled brother, playing sports outside.

    #85262
    Chris
    Participant

    Ayn Rand wrote “It is a moral crime to contribute to your own destruction” (or something like that). Yet most of us engage in self destructive thoughts and behaviors. What we sometimes fail to realize is that thoughts and behaviors are choices. If we take the time to examine our thinking, to build a strong philosophy and to live congruently with this, we are no longer in conflict. It’s often when we hold ideals that are not congruent with our thoughts and actions, the internal bully shows up because of contradiction. Either the ideal must change or the thoughts and behaviors. The bully is there to point out the contradiction. It’s just like pain, rarely the problem, just a message pointing out a problem. It’s an invitation to change one’s core philosophy or one’s way of life. Most people do not take the time to consciously choose their basic philosophical premises, so the adopt a philosophy of default. Fertile ground for the bully to appear.

    #85265
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jack:

    Your niche, as one of 7, was the placid niche, the problem free niche. That was your best shot at a happy childhood. A family role, a sibling role, the one submissive to the older, bullying one, maybe submissive to the other older ones as well, and one, unlike your disabled one, “problem free”- unlike him, not one to give your parents trouble.

    Authentic Jack though was not problems free, was not placid. It was only his role, so to get along in the family structure, so to have the best childhood he could have in the family you were born in, with the siblings before you and after you, adjusting to your spot with the siblings older than you and later to the siblings younger than you.

    Authentic Jack though is not okay with being submissive in life and is not problem free. Never was. It was only to get along then with what was.

    To ASSERT and to state your problems and deal with them and assert-> to break free from the early role, to be and become YOU.

    Dear Chris:

    Thank you for your response.

    It is also a distortion of nature, to contribute to one own destruction. It is a distortion of nature when a parent attacks her own child- it doesn’t happen in nature. It happens in human families frequently, a parent attacking her or his child, again and again, giving rise to the bully in the child, deep in his psyche. It is instinctual and automatic rather than philosophical, the making of the internal bully. The bully is there to shape up the child so to please the (bullying) parent and survive.

    A young animal, duck, deer, follows its mother wherever she goes, so does a human child. If the mother attacks the human child, the child will follow with the creation of its own bully and attack itself, follow suit.

    I disagree then with your statement that the bully is like pain, rarely the problem. I think the bully is the problem taking after the bullying parent that was also the problem.

    This is making me wonder, what is the nature of an internal bully (an abusive Superego) in a child and then adult who was not bullied by a parent or by a sibling/ another or others (while unprotected by a parent)??? Is there such a case?

    anita

    #85266
    jock
    Participant

    thanks for more insightful comments anita

    #85267
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jack (the below will include references to Inner Selves…IST, Inner Selves Therapy):

    You are welcome, Jack. As usual I was expecting an attack- yes, an attack by you for my above analysis. Meaning I attacked myself for posting the above, I-said-something-wrong Wilma whipped me. About a dozen times today, if not more: not only the two Wilmas but others as well. Renee is set on me taking a walk today, only it will be a short walk which is okay with me, get the heart going and so on. Fran looked at my belly (well, I looked and she had something to say about it) and Tammy, well, she did say the one thing she always says. My policy: greater awareness, notice, disengage. It is a real challenge on my part to not eat too much. Tammy is not making it up, I did eat too much for ages. Anyway: awareness, disengagement (NO, Argue back Becky- No arguing with Monster Mary)

    And P.S. Max the Motivator had the last say in the last of your board meetings, not Norman, so good… I do not like Norman! Or Mary)
    anita

    #85270
    jock
    Participant

    those naughty characters of yours are playing up again…
    could you talk to them like naughty children?..” if you don’t…, then I’m going to have to….”

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