I've been to an all-girls school; so trust me when I say I know how this works on that particular ‘type of’ bullying (sadly there is definitely types), in fact I’ve been bullied in jobs, in general and I’m sure somewhere along the line I’ve behaved in a fashion that someone say was bullish to them….and I really hope I caught it in motion and apologised, but if I didn’t, I mean it now, I am sorry.
I don’t want to diminish this - It’s a big topic, it’s a really important one – it can toughen you or it can harden you – it can break you and it can build you - but I’d like to apply short focus to one particular shade of bully, it’s one that pops up a lot in my session work, cross gender – it’s super close to home, so close its innate – it’s probably the toughest of them all – you know where I’m heading with this… it’s you.
I am the worst, actually I have been the worst at this – if bullying of self was a criminal offense or deemed worthy of an ASBO I am pretty sure by now I’d be out of juvenile detention and rocking a nifty little tag on the old ankle for this one now, file note would read ‘out for good behaviour…likely to re-offend (oh and trust me - I do! I really do!)
I’m not sure when it started, or why it did – I come from a family of self-persecutors, for sure – in fact my Grandad, the beyond wonderful Eric (We’ll come back to him in a later blog, he is very important to this picture – he perhaps laid the first paint splodge well before I was even born) suffered from mental illness, persecution disorder rocked his world every day – he never did overcome it, it sunk his ship, in fact it took down his whole world, but somewhat beautifully it built mine (but like I said – this is a BIG story – which needs more thought than me tapping out with a brownie hanging out my mouth and a cup of tea in my paw).
SO where am I headed with this? I want to start working towards rebuilding the relationship with this part of self – and to help others with that I had to knuckle down - and I thought - tear mine to shreds… wrong… what did I actually have to do? I had to bloody embrace her (really? Yep actual) - listen to her (but she is mean and rough), interview her, evidence her (proper silent witness behaviour) –why do I function like this? It’s taken a long time, I’ve not mastered it quite yet – it’s probably my biggest demon – I’ve mediated with her, run with her, cried with her, screamed at her for 32 years (nearly 32 years – give me 14 days) – I’ve made pseudo-peace with her and I’ve ‘let her go’ (‘cause that’s what I read you should do – it’s also what my mum says sometimes when she got bored of the tale having the same ending– HELLO MUM!!) more times than I cared to remember – but guess what, she comes back – she lies dormant and then she comes back fully padded up and ready to box.
I’ve done this over and over on annual repeat and man it got BORING – and then I stopped, can’t tell you why but I did and I realised I’d missed a trick, I got so wrapped up in her – so close to her I could no longer differentiate between the two – which is why I felt she was always right – she was just always too close… and then I started listening to other people’s stories (really listening, all in) – I’m not alone in the madness? We’ll that’s cool (diminishes quickly already her ‘greatness’ – this bully is not a one off – result!)
Given time, proper time (which for me is meditation and lots of it) – I gave her space and I gave her the platform to speak, I didn’t oppress her, I didn’t beat her, scream at her, flog her before she did me – I accepted her, talked to her (kindly) and now? Well now, when she’s coming at me I can see her coming and I can see her beauty – her honesty – she allows me, (when I really listen) to nut a problem out - not brandish myself with one (which was the origin of the fear of her), it’s SO healthy to drill things down - to analysis the if’s, what’s and but’s - so long as the condition in which they are delivered are constructive – so I found the beauty in the beast, I’ve begun to demystified her – I accepted her as part of who I am and I’ve worked tirelessly to build this in to my daily intention, my mediations and sessions. You can’t run from yourself, you can’t bury yourself – but you can, as in life, find the beauty in your demons and in turn (with time, patience and practice) walk with them – not be dragged kicking and screaming by the miscommunicated truths.