October 21, 2015 at 8:48 am #85777AnonymousInactive
I’m asking you as the starter of the thread
I don’t know how to ask it specifically. please may I ask if it’s not too private that you describe to me a scenario or two – describe the scenario and describe what your bully said to you at that time. I dunno- tell me one that happened today or yesterday xxOctober 21, 2015 at 11:52 am #85808
Today, this morning, about a half dozen times only (a slow morning)- I don’t remember, I think and as I finished a thought, a random thought, I feel anxious, distressed. I go over what I just thought and I think: I thought wrong. I talked and as I finished saying what I said, I felt distressed, and went over what i said, to figure out what I said wrong. It is the second guessing, ongoing, of what I think and feel and say and do. IT is a continuous pain in the *$#& and I am working on it.
A specific recurring example: I see myself in the mirror and I think: FAT! You are out of control. You can’t be trusted. You can’t stop eating.
anitaOctober 22, 2015 at 9:02 am #85853AnonymousInactive
ah I recognise the fat one – I used to say the same to myself over and over and over til I made myself cry. Now I’m not fat because I work hard not to be but I still see a fatty in the mirror.
the other example… wow – sounds like a trap – sounds like entrapment. in my CBT course they say there’s no such thing as a wrong thought. the fact that you are capable of thinking a thought at all says it’s not wrong – it’s just a snapshot of a situation and is probably just trying to tell you something. They say to question your thoughts.
‘you thought wrong’
… who says? who says I thought wrong?
ok but whose eyes are you looking at that through?
my mum always said I was never going to amount to anything and so it must be true (eg) so it follows anything I think is probably wrong.
ok but what does the real me think?
well I thought this because this thing flashed through my mid
ok and what were you feeling/ what were your surroundings/ what was the association at that moment?
they say to stop and look not at the thought but at everything you are experiencing that very second and see if you can piece together where the thought came from and who’s really saying it
that way deconstructing it and breaking it down into a less threatening thing.
I learned that and it helped meOctober 22, 2015 at 9:03 am #85854AnonymousInactive
there’s a post on the main page here about breaking down the inner bully – have you read it?October 22, 2015 at 11:10 am #85871
I have a whole slew of Inner Bullies, each responsible for bullying me in one particular area. They, all them inner bullies have meetings in which they make sure all areas are covered. They take turn beating me up, so that each can have its resting time to regroup. It is easier for me to pick any one time to scan the bullies and tell them: “Put the whip down! Nooo… (I see any one raising his hand holding the whip)- put it down. Those bullies, you can’t reason with them, they only know how to do one thing: pick up that whip and whip. It is instinctive, knee jerk thing. I read a lot about a lot of things. I am working on it more so these very days. I notice distress- that means most likely some bully is whipping me, then instead of THINKING (my old way) I just visualize the hand holding the whip half raised and I tell the bully or its hand (doesn’t matter, it is not a real person beating me, it is a one dimensional entity that only does one thing and automatically) and I say: “Put down the whip.”
And on and on. It is exhausting, Pomplemous. This is why I wrote to you on another thread that it is up to you, to do more of the healing work- or not. It is not a walk in the park, no guarantees, lots of discomfort about expanding into what is new and unfamiliar. But I am already walking this way and I am too far on the path to stop. Strange, i don’t think it is a matter of choice anymore, I just keep moving forward.
anitaOctober 22, 2015 at 11:23 am #85876AnonymousInactive
I like the visualising thing. That excellent. I wish I could reach in and sort out some of those bullies for you. I’m so glad you’re not giving up.
The inner critic never goes away but the ears with which you listen to them can be changed with time and practice.
I was lucky in that the worst of my bullies evaporated the second my brother pointed them out to me . He says he stills gears them in me but I keep a couple to keep my ego in check.October 22, 2015 at 12:27 pm #85887
Thank you, Pomplemous. I wish for you as well to silence your bullies.
anitaMay 10, 2022 at 9:43 am #399875
I decided to bring this thread from October 2015 back and invite members to comment on it more than 6.5 years later.
In my original post, I stated (slightly edited): “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? … Bullying oneself is counterproductive to survival and thriving. Why does (a human) think and feel and act against its own survival?”
Inky wrote: “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“.
jock wrote: “I have sense that someone has to do it. I can’t go un-bullied. That would be chaos… I know I am hypersensitive to criticism. Is that because my inner bully is so loud?“.
My thoughts today: an abusive, bullying inner critic is an inner bully. The inner bully takes hold of a person’s mind in childhood after being repeatedly bullied by a parent (in most cases). My personal inner bully copies the bullying that my mother repeatedly exercised against me.
The inner bully is a mental representative of the real-life bully in a person’s life during childhood. In childhood years, aka formative years, the real-life bully is formed into the mind, becoming the mental representative of the real-life bully.
The survival motivation in regard to having an inner critic (not a bullying inner critic, mind you), like jock said, is to avoid chaos on society. For example, a person who is in a rush is approaching a line in front of the cashier in a supermarket and he/she feels the impulse to push people in the line and be first, but because of the inner critic, he/ she does not rush and pushes people, creating chaos. Instead, the person waits in line, and order is kept.
Like Inky said, as social beings, an individual needs to get along with others, because rejected from the social group, away and separate from the social group, an individual (particularly in early societies) would not stand a chance to survive. And so, parents rightly teach their children how to control their impulses so to get along with others, to survive and to thrive.
Problem is when a parent is a bully who has problems controlling his/ her impulses and whose motivation is not to promote the child’s survival and thriving, but to express his/ her anger against the child and feel better for it (for having temporarily relieved oneself from the anger). What happens then is that the bullying messages that the parent expresses to the child (you are bad, you deserve being punished, punishment is coming to you for anything you say or do, or even think, etc.) are formed in the child’s brain in the same way that reasonable messages of getting-along-with-others are formed.
Back to the waiting in line in the supermarket example: a healthy inner critic would say to the rushing person: wait in line, like the others, it is not nice to push people, the cashier will probably call security if you push others and you’ll get in trouble, leading the rushing person to control his/ her impulses and wait in line, like the others.
A bullying inner critic would say to the rushing person: what is wrong with you, why are you rushing?! You are always rushing, and you are about to be punished for it! leading the rushing person to experience a panic attack perhaps, abandon his cart and leave the supermarket.
anitaMay 10, 2022 at 3:06 pm #399890HelcatParticipant
I agree with much of what you said regarding the inner bully.
I’d like to share my experience of largely overcoming it.
My method was tackling the negative beliefs that I held about myself. “I’m not good enough!” was a regular back in the day. To counteract this I explored the ways in which I am a good person.
Learning to forgive myself was an importantstep too. People aren’t perfect and they make mistakes. Committing to do better and working to resolve qualities and traits that I didn’t like about myself helped me to like myself.
Self-love is something that takes time to develop. For a long time, it felt like the pieces were there but they didn’t quite fit. I developed confidence in my own skills and abilities, overcame anxiety to achieve goals, I was kinder to myself and even liked myself, I protected my boundaries. Yet, I didn’t feel like I loved myself.
Then one day it clicked. To want those things for yourself you have to love yourself. Loving yourself is not necessarily how you feel about yourself. It is the commitment to the process of taking care of yourself and believing that you deserve good things.
I would add that having supportive caring people in your life is very beneficial for this process as often it is other people that encourage you and believe you deserve better before you believe it yourself.May 17, 2022 at 11:03 pm #400574
Hi, I found this thread interesting. “You are your own worst enemy” is a quote that’s stuck with me for years. Over the years I’ve thought about it more and more, we usually as individuals know ourselves the best out of anyone in the world- because we usually know ourselves so well, we know exactly where to stab the knife.
Anita asked a few questions so I figure I’ll answer.
why do you bully yourself?: first, it’s a habit. Second, I think it’s because i learned there is no other way. The world sees self love as selfishness, or so I’ve learnt. I think Self love is so funny, because I am probably the farthest from self love right now as you can get. it makes me really sad that this is the case- I cry thinking about 10 year old me who just needed love when no one at her school would accept her. But I can’t just snap my fingers and boom. I think self love is hard, it would be so hard because self love is often seen as selfish. Often self love can imply accepting yourself and your flaws, that scares me. It scares me a whole lot. If I accept my flaws they still exist they still are there, and when i ‘accept them’ i wont care about them going away because they’re acceptable. My struggle to focus on any task, if I accept that then it automatically would mean that it is acceptable. That it is ‘okay’ to not get homework done and watch Netflix instead. I bully myself and it hurts, it does because my inner bully(ies) says the same things people have told me in my life. It’s like picking a scab off over and over. But without that voice screaming at me in my head I don’t think I’d ever accomplish anything. I don’t think I’d ever do my homework if I didn’t constantly scream at myself and bully myself into doing it in the first place.
What is the bully’s motivation?: quite simply, I believe deep down somewhere that I deserve bad things. I unfortunately believe that I deserve to be bullied. I was bullied in school and when I graduated I started online university and suddenly no one was bullying me anymore, so I took on the role for myself. And I saw in a previous post on here that people so deeply want to escape the self bullying. I personally hate the feeling of being criticized by my self- but as I mentioned I have so many issues that cause more problems than the self bullying. Like the fact I cannot stop playing victim.
Why does (a human) think and feel and act against its own survival? I think this is so because early on in childhood we are drilled to believing that self bullying is the only way to survival. The school system is flawed. Children are graded and if they can’t memorize some useless information they are told they aren’t good enough and given a grade to label them so. In schools kids aren’t taught to take advantage of their strengths, they’re taught that all that matters is their grade. Their mental health does matter, if they’re bullied that doesn’t matter ( it didn’t matter to any adult at my school) family problems? Those don’t matter as long as you are pulling a 95% on all your tests- no one cares. If kids struggling in these linear school topics then “tough luck they better try harder “ say the teachers. Sure. what this teaches kids is that others (teachers for example) get to decide their worth. Kids are told how much they’re worth every time they get a test back. This cycle of worth searching can continue for years after you even graduate.May 18, 2022 at 2:40 pm #400604
You made my day when you chose to post in my old thread, taking advantage of a thread I started when you were 12 or 13!
There is a lot of what you posted here that I want to process before I reply, no longer than in 16 hours from now.
anitaMay 18, 2022 at 3:19 pm #400606
<p style=”text-align: left;”>Anita, I’m so happy I made your day. You are amazing. I really appreciate you.</p>May 19, 2022 at 9:36 am #400679
Thank you for your kind words! “But without that voice screaming at me in my head, I don’t think I’d accomplish anything” – but recently you haven’t accomplished much (“I’m months behind on my school work“, etc, your own thread), so the screaming voice is not effective, is it?
“I don’t think I’d ever do my homework if I didn’t constantly scream at myself and bully myself into doing it” – that’s lots of screaming and bullying for being months behind on your school work. Maybe there is a more effective way to motivate you to do your homework.
“I believe deep down somewhere that I deserve bad things… that I deserve to be bullied” – you formed this belief because you were bullied so much and no one stopped it from happening.
We all need life to be fair, so how does a child makes sense of being bullied? Believing that the bullying is deserved, this way- it’s fair.
“I cannot stop playing victim” – to play victim means to pretend to be a victim so to manipulate other people. An example would be a child who lies about being sick so that the parent will allow the child to stay home. Did you lie about having been bullied in school, and about being bullied by your younger sister?
You didn’t lie= you didn’t play victim.
“If they are bullied that doesn’t matter (it didn’t matter to any adult in my school” – there’s the problem, you were a true victim of bullying in school and you are a true victim of bullying at home and no one stopped it, no one is stopping it still.
* I read the original post in your new thread but I don’t want to post there because for one, we are communicating here and in other threads, and second, I am hoping that other members will answer you there. It’s been slow in the forums though.
anitaMay 19, 2022 at 9:57 am #400681
Thank you Anita. I found your replies very interesting. Thank you.May 19, 2022 at 11:20 am #400695
You are welcome, Lea. Anytime.