Not long ago I received an email from a 42 year old man who
was still suffering from the chronic bullying he experienced in school.
He relates, "It
was 4 years of Hell. From the moment I got into school, until I left,
it was constant. It was worst in the boys locker room at gym. Things happened
there (rat tailing in the groin, having non sharpened pencils put in the
butt) that have repercussions to this day. Telling the teachers only made
it worse, as it meant beatings later. My parents told me to ignore or avoid
them, but they made it a point to find me."
when I was on crutches for a little while, it wouldn't stop. I was pushed
over and had my crutches taken away from me.
I am a diagnosed bipolar, and through counseling, the incidents in school
seem largely responsible. I fear crowds sometimes, and prefer solitude.
I am meds just to get through the day. There have been a few times when
I have been asked to come to re unions, but of course, I tell them I want
nothing to do with them. Somehow this hurts them.
thought of suicide (precious few bipolars don't). ...I have been
hospitalized several times. I am unmarried, as I cannot have any
kind of relations with anyone. This is what bullying can do, but
I'm sure that there are many of you that know that...."
right, that I hear these type of survivor stories all the time, but they
are still painful to read because I feel the pain that you experienced
as you tell it. Bless your heart, you have endured so much.
you don't mind if I give you my thoughts on how you might heal from your
trauma. I don't want to sound like a preacher. Certainly I'm
not perfect, or even near perfect myself, but, I really thought about you
the last couple of days and how I might be able to help you - I didn't
answer your email immediately because I wanted to think about just what
out, I believe you need to have a "forgiveness ceremony" and decide to
let these past abuses by these bullies go, forgive the bullies and let
God take care of them.
to do this is to write out every incident that happened to you (mention
the names you remember) on small pieces of paper over the next couple of
weeks and then invite a friend or relative over to read them and put them
into a fire, vowing to remember the incidents no more and forgive all of
the people involved. (Think of each of these bullies as 3 year olds
asking to be held and forgiven after they have wronged you - its much easier
to forgive someone if you think of them as a child first.)
have to be religious or believe in God to do this, you just have to believe
in your ability to do this.
died by suicide, we had to do a lot of forgiving to do. First we
had to forgive Jared for doing what he did. The whole family has
been able to do that. Then we had to forgive the kids, and the one
bully who made his life so full of sadness. We have forgiven them
too. (They never asked for forgiveness, but we let our bitterness
when you do this, your life will change almost immediately. You will
feel a great weight lifted off of you and it will be like you have come
out of the darkness and into the light.
are two articles about forgiveness that I found that might help you understand
what I am talking about. The first is by Bishop H. Burke Peterson:
next is by James E. Faust:
two men are religious leaders in my church. They have some important
words to say about forgiveness.
you well as you go through your healing process. I know enduring
the type of trauma you went through is just as bad as losing a loved one
by suicide...and I know you have felt like ending that pain by suicide
too. Forgive and you will feel like a second birth has happened.
Then GO to that reunion and hold your head high.