Am I A Bully?

One of the things that happens to us when we have gone through abuse, whether it was from family, classmates, workmates, or a partner, is that our subconscious repeats what they said to us and about us. The insults, the jabs, the put-downs, these things are not forgotten by the subconscious, but are retained. When we leave them in there, they settle deeper and become their own mantra, even though they're not true, telling us we are a loser, we are not worthy, we are bad, we are ugly, we are unlikable, we are incapable. We can even believe that all these things are actually real, and forget that they are things someone else said or implied to be hurtful.

Eventually we may hear this mantra in our subconscious so often that we believe that people we just met also think these things about us. We no longer see ourselves as we really are, and we think that people who are actually kindhearted are shaming and judging us as well. It becomes harder and harder to see the difference between kindness and arrogance.

When we let this go on without seeking healing, we can start to project all these things onto other people, especially those close to us, especially those who actually care. Because these are the people who feel like they are part of ourselves, so what we feel about ourselves, we extend onto them. If we have the echo of "I am a bad person" in our subconscious, we project that echo onto the other person "you are a bad person, too." Obviously, this will cause all kinds of problems in any relationship, which only serve to re-play the mantra in our heads "I am unlikable".

The reality of our current society is that there are indeed a lot of people who are actually impolite, self-centered, uncaring jerks, we run into them every day it seems. Some of the people in our "friendship" circles turn out to be this way. The problem for those of us who have been abused is learning how to deal with them without letting their behavior reaffirm and magnify the subconscious echoes already in our heads. (That is how bullies so often end up in charge of things, they push buttons in us that other bullies had already implanted and get us to feel confused, feel embarrassed, back down and quit.) Without that mantra in our head "I am not as good", we would not so easily back down or fear putting ourselves out there.

Sometimes we fear our own reaction to bullies so much that we stop ourselves from doing anything that would require dealing with them. We can become reclusive, even agoraphobic. Sometimes when we start fearing our own loss of control, or when we build up a huge amount of resentment and anger, we may then take the next step into identifying OURSELVES as one of the BULLIES. When we do this, we begin to feel accused and attacked by anyone who talks about abuse, counseling, and healing. We have put ourselves in the "abuser" role, and forget that we were actually the target of abusers. Identifying ourselves as NOT a "Victim" is about Ego protection, and Ego protection is almost always due to having been bullied by someone either in the past or in the present, or both.

If we are living in a Bully Culture (most of us are in the U.S.) then we may protect ourselves by identifying ourselves as a "Bad Ass" so we won't get targeted for yet MORE bullying. And if we identify ourselves as "Bad Ass", we deny ourselves help and healing, and we may end up living inside a thick, hard, protective shell that's very, very small, for years, even for the rest of our lives. We only trust others who are "Bad Ass" too, which means we end up with bullies for friends. We often actually attack anyone who offers help and healing to ourselves OR to OTHERS. We decide that "Victims Are Weak" which of course is horse sh**, and we know it, but we must adapt this false stance to fit in with the others who are pretending to be "Bad Ass". We tragically end up forgetting that standing up against abusive people is the ultimate sign of strength, not BEING one of them. Anyone can BE one of them, all it takes is a little acting and the right clothes. (A person who is truly a "Bad Ass" does not feel the need for anyone to notice.) Real strength lays in resisting this impulse and finding help to heal the echoes in our subconscious that keep telling us we don't deserve a good and happy life. We can make them go away with the right help, we can rewrite and undo that mantra that someone else put in our heads.

"Dr. Phil" did a quick illustration on his show about the echoes implanted in our subconscious by others. This is Meghan, she is only 15. She already believes the echoes, but she has not yet forgotten where they came from completely. Her family reconfirms these echoes with their cold and judgmental treatment of her (more bullies). Luckily, her mother has enough awareness to see she needs outside help. You can find it here:

Meghan's Echoes