Have you ever been bullied? - Page 2 - Social Anxiety Forum
View Poll Results: Have you ever been bullied?
Yes 24 77.42%
No 7 22.58%
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post #21 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-30-2020, 05:26 PM
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post #22 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-04-2020, 01:59 PM
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Yeah, it depends on a lot of things. Though I don't necessarily think you could know that it doesn't still happen just because you haven't observed it. If I get harassed by 20 different people (most of whom don't even consider what they're doing bullying, ofc) I'm aware of all 20 people harassing me; but they're only aware of their own interactions with me. So they only see 1/20th of what I see. What looks to you like "fights or animosity between certain individuals" might only be the tip of the iceberg. Ofc, I hope that you're right and that things are much better now than they used to be. All I know is that most people were probably not aware of the extent of bullying I experienced because I hid it from everyone. Abusers always threaten you with violence if you tell anyone about what they've done to you. This is standard stuff.

I grew up in a small, rural, redneck town in the 80s. Back then, being trans wasn't a thing. There were transvestites (men with a weird fetish), f*****s, and pedophiles/child molesters, and people basically considered them all the same thing. They were basically synonyms. If you were any one of those things, you were all of those things, and you were a pervert. That's just how people thought about it when I was growing up. You couldn't come out back then, because if you came out, people assumed that meant that you molested children. And people felt perfectly justified in talking about how they would kill a person like that if they ever met one. I heard stuff like that all the time. And because people suspected I was "queer", even though I never came out, they felt justified in making my life hell.

People threatened to kick my *** all the time. When guys harassed me in the halls (usually in groups of two or more), other students frequently encouraged them. The ones who didn't just looked the other way. Not one person ever stood up for me. (Though I stood up for myself every time.*) Teachers never intervened, but it's not like bullies threatened you in front of the teachers. And it's not like I could go to the teachers, because "snitches get stitches". (And the teachers wouldn't care anyway, since they didn't like queers, either.)

I used to take a different path home from school every day, and leave at different times, just to throw people off. I got jumped a couple of times (from behind, ofc). One guy held my arms behind my back while the other guy punched me in the stomach. Another guy punched me in the back of the head from behind and when I fell over he got down on top of me and kept hitting me. One guy (the town bully, who had a history of violent assault) threatened to kill me and stalked me for a couple of weeks, following me around in his car. (That guy beat up 3 of my friends a couple years later.)

Another time, a guy and about 7 or 8 of his friends took me and my friend out to a field so the guy could beat me up. He said if I fought back, they'd hurt my friend, so I just curled up in a ball and let him hit me until he got tired. He told me if I told anyone, they'd kill both of us. There's no one to turn to when the police and the school administration think the same way as everyone else. Cops don't care if some queer gets their *** beat. I "had it coming". Just like girls who wear skimpy clothing. So there was no way I was going to get the police or my parents involved. It would have made everything more dangerous. If I pointed my finger at one person, his friends would just beat me up as "payback". If it happened that my "secret" came out to my parents, they might have kicked me out of the house. (And they did kick me out when I was 18, when I dropped out of school, partly because I didn't feel safe there.) It was my parents who told me to stay away from the one "known queer" in town (who I met and who was very nice) because he "probably molested children".

Ofc, things are a lot better now, and I'm glad LGBT+ kids don't have to grow up the way I did, but that was the world I grew up in. I think people have trouble imagining what it was like. When I tell people about the stuff that happened to me, a lot of people don't seem to believe me. And maybe it would have been different in some place more progressive. But my experiences aren't atypical for trans people. Lots of trans people have gone through far worse than I ever have. I was never hospitalized or raped or murdered. But I probably would have been if I'd come out of the closet.

High school was hell. I hated pretty much every minute of it. And now I get to bask in the unrelenting anxiety of being afraid of pretty much every person I meet.

*One time, at a hs dance, a bunch of preppy kids and their gfs came up to me and my friends and the head prep made some comment about us being homosexuals (because we weren't dancing with girls, I guess). I asked him if he was jealous and wanted to cut in. That kind of pissed him off, and he made some kind of comment about how they had 'ladies' to dance with (which made them straight, I guess). And I told him all I could see were a bunch of skanks. Which didn't go over very well. Man was he pissed. He told me he was going to kick my *** after the dance (ofc) so I snuck out a little early. Ngl, my big mouth definitely made matters worse, but at least I don't have to live with regret about not standing up for myself. I did the best I could, within reason.

Oh wow, I'm at a loss for words - I can't believe what you went though. You really went through a lot, far more than anything I have ever experienced. That's for sure. I wish you could have gone to high school where I did and you would have been much safer and wouldn't have had to endure those negative and frightening experiences and the toxicity. I went to HS in the metro region of a city in a blue state so I'm sure that explains a good deal of the difference in attitudes about bullying in general but also respect for people who are different and therefore vulnerable.

I can completely understand how going through all that must have led to the anxiety that you suffer from today, especially if you have a predisposition to anxiety like many of us here probably do. It makes me feel like almost guilty for getting as anxious as I do around people when I've never experienced anything anywhere near as traumatic. I read your post like 3 times to make sure I took it all in and I can honestly say it makes me feel sick thinking about someone being treated this way. And as you said, yes things are on the whole better today, albeit not everywhere. There is still a great deal of intolerance, but today you are far more likely to find an ally and people who accepting and understanding. And remember, this type of behavior isn't a negative reflection on the person being harassed. Rather, it speaks to the moral deficiency of the bully. People who are secure in themselves have no need to bully others or be anything but respectful.

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post #23 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-04-2020, 03:31 PM
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Thanks, @either/or . The anxiety is still there (and the nightmares--I'm always being chased by something in my nightmares) but it was a long time ago and I don't think about it much anymore, except when the topic comes up. But it has made me extremely wary when I leave the house. I'm always watching my back.

My therapist thinks I have complex PTSD (since I have almost all of the symptoms), but anxiety runs in my family (my mother, her father, and all 4 of my bio siblings have anxiety disorders) so I probably would have ended up with anxiety either way. I have two sisters with PTSD, and I feel bad about being as messed up as I am because they've both been through worse than I have and function better than I do in many ways. So I think feeling guilty by comparison is pretty much universal. SAD can be crippling all on its own, without any trauma.

Things are better for trans people, in a lot of ways, but there's also a lot of backlash right now, so I think we're going to see a lot of hate crimes over the next few years. I'm just hoping I'm not one of them.

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post #24 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-06-2020, 07:48 PM
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I've found bullies to be defenseless cowards when confronted with somebody who fights back. Seriously. Food for thought.
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post #25 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-07-2020, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asittingducky View Post
I've found bullies to be defenseless cowards when confronted with somebody who fights back. Seriously. Food for thought.
I've found this generalization to be a good way to get yourself hurt if you don't use your head.

I stood up for myself in hs, and the more I did, the worse the bullying got. But maybe that's the difference between an isolated jerk who takes a dislike to you and systematic discrimination where many people are cooperating in your harassment. Or maybe it was because, like many people who are bullied, I was physically smaller and weaker than the people bullying me; who, in any case, always either came up behind me or approached me in groups of two or more. I'd like to meet the person who can fight eight people at the same time and win.

I think you have to look at each case individually and make a risk assessment. Never met a bully who worked alone. But that's just me. Food for thought.

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post #26 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-07-2020, 06:31 PM
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Yes I have a long/big nose. In high school people would flick it. They'd throw paper balls at it & if they missed would say it's because of the air currents around it. 99% of the time I was ignored tho

Occasionally I was the bully. That was in elementary school tho.
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post #27 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-11-2020, 04:04 PM
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My therapist thinks I have complex PTSD (since I have almost all of the symptoms), but anxiety runs in my family (my mother, her father, and all 4 of my bio siblings have anxiety disorders) so I probably would have ended up with anxiety either way. I have two sisters with PTSD, and I feel bad about being as messed up as I am because they've both been through worse than I have and function better than I do in many ways. So I think feeling guilty by comparison is pretty much universal. SAD can be crippling all on its own, without any trauma.
Well, I think certain people are born with predispositions to anxiety. I'm fairly sure I was. My nervous system is always just ginned up. Like its always over-excited. A lot of things make me nervous. Because I'm not that good at socializing I sort of see it as threatening and get nervous - and my body has habitualized that so now it associates the two and anytime I try to socialize I get anxious.

In your case obviously the events fueling the anxiety feedback loop are far more extreme and has resulted in PTSD. I can only imagine what that must be like. I think some people who don't have a predisposition to anxiety can go through things like this and never develop a problem, i.e. people like free solo climber Alex Honnold who climbs mountains with no ropes and no fear basically because the fear center of his brain essentially doesn't function, he actually had an MRI to demonstrate this. Then there are people like us whose brains' fear centers are overactive. Throw in a few traumatic experiences or difficulties or disabilities and there you go, got yourself a nice personality disorder or PTSD or whatever. Which is why tolerance and understanding are such important qualities for humans to exhibit toward each other.

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post #28 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-11-2020, 04:05 PM
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I've found this generalization to be a good way to get yourself hurt if you don't use your head.

I stood up for myself in hs, and the more I did, the worse the bullying got. But maybe that's the difference between an isolated jerk who takes a dislike to you and systematic discrimination where many people are cooperating in your harassment. Or maybe it was because, like many people who are bullied, I was physically smaller and weaker than the people bullying me; who, in any case, always either came up behind me or approached me in groups of two or more. I'd like to meet the person who can fight eight people at the same time and win.

I think you have to look at each case individually and make a risk assessment. Never met a bully who worked alone. But that's just me. Food for thought.
Well I learned in kindergarten not to hit people. Useful lesson. You win MUCH more that way. And it makes it all the more effective when you fight back in more devastating ways. And if you're not a terrible person it's generally easier to avoid having to take on any more people than the specific harassers.
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post #29 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-11-2020, 04:12 PM
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Was bullied quite heavily in school because I was always the quiet kid who liked to read. I don't really blame the bullies now though even if it has kinda left me with pretty bad trauma that I've never fully recovered from. I like to think they're well adjusted adults now and regret how they treated me back then.

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post #30 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-11-2020, 04:44 PM
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Yeah. Some of the stuff helped **** me up a lot psychologically.

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Yes. One of the reasons why I think public schooling should not be mandatory, at least not in the form of a place where you physically corral children who may not want to be there and may hate each other's guts.
I agree. It's like prison.

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post #31 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-12-2020, 03:03 AM
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Yes I have a long/big nose. In high school people would flick it. They'd throw paper balls at it & if they missed would say it's because of the air currents around it. 99% of the time I was ignored tho

Occasionally I was the bully. That was in elementary school tho.
My ears used to stick straight out when I was little. Had plastic surgery to fix it at 19, but had similar experiences in grade school. Would get my ears flicked constantly and was called "Dumbo" like the cartoon elephant. In high school I wore my long to cover my ears.
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post #32 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-12-2020, 04:07 AM
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Well, I think certain people are born with predispositions to anxiety. I'm fairly sure I was. My nervous system is always just ginned up. Like its always over-excited. A lot of things make me nervous. Because I'm not that good at socializing I sort of see it as threatening and get nervous - and my body has habitualized that so now it associates the two and anytime I try to socialize I get anxious.

In your case obviously the events fueling the anxiety feedback loop are far more extreme and has resulted in PTSD. I can only imagine what that must be like. I think some people who don't have a predisposition to anxiety can go through things like this and never develop a problem, i.e. people like free solo climber Alex Honnold who climbs mountains with no ropes and no fear basically because the fear center of his brain essentially doesn't function, he actually had an MRI to demonstrate this. Then there are people like us whose brains' fear centers are overactive. Throw in a few traumatic experiences or difficulties or disabilities and there you go, got yourself a nice personality disorder or PTSD or whatever. Which is why tolerance and understanding are such important qualities for humans to exhibit toward each other.
I agree that some people have a predisposition for it. It's more a matter of the particular symptoms you end up with (and therefore what you get diagnosed with), which might be partly a matter of which particular experiences you happen to have. Idk. I've never really been that concerned about what people think about me, for example. I'm not afraid of saying something stupid or doing something embarrassing, or admitting that I'm "behind" in some way. I don't struggle to read social cues. I spent 13 years in retail, so I know how to talk to people. But those seem to be common problems for people with SA. I'm worried specifically about violence or discrimination.

But if I'd had devastating social embarrassments instead of violent bullying, maybe I would have ended up with SAD instead of PTSD. Because a predisposition for anxiety clearly runs in my family. Is there even a difference between SAD and PTSD other than the experiences that led to the particular fears? If you had a devastating social embarrassment, and you have flashbacks and nightmares about it, and you avoid situations where it might happen again, well ... that sounds a lot like PTSD, only in the realm of social interaction instead of physical violence. But idk. I'm just thinking out loud here.

That's interesting about Honnold. I've never heard of him; but then, I wouldn't have, since I'm scared of heights and avoid watching things that involve mountain climbing. I can use a footstool to change a lightbulb, but anything higher than that and I'm out. I have vertigo, too, which makes things worse, since I already always feel like I'm about to fall over.

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Well I learned in kindergarten not to hit people. Useful lesson. You win MUCH more that way. And it makes it all the more effective when you fight back in more devastating ways.
I learned not to hit people as a child, too. (Not sure if you're implying I didn't.) When I said I stood up for myself, I meant that when people insulted me, I insulted them back. But I have never started a fight in my life, or insulted anyone without provocation, and have never had any urge to. Even in the fights that I was in, I never had an opportunity to throw a punch. This was the reason I objected to your post; because it didn't seem generalizable to my experience.

And I have never had any urge to "fight back in more devastating ways" (nor am I sure what you mean by that) because I have never had any interest in hurting anyone, and that includes getting revenge. All I care about is avoiding people like that in the future and forgetting they even exist if I can. People who thirst for revenge are exactly the kind of people who frighten me. Psychologically, we're polar opposites.

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And if you're not a terrible person it's generally easier to avoid having to take on any more people than the specific harassers.
I honestly have no idea what you're trying to say here. Maybe my reading comprehension sucks. Are you implying I must have been a terrible person if so many people wanted to "take me on"? I had a lot of "specific harassers". Sometimes, they would approach me together, because, you know, they were friends. That happens when you're part of a disliked minority. You don't have isolated problems with specific individuals; you have problems of one sort or another with almost everyone.

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post #33 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-12-2020, 03:02 PM
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My ears used to stick straight out when I was little. Had plastic surgery to fix it at 19, but had similar experiences in grade school. Would get my ears flicked constantly and was called "Dumbo" like the cartoon elephant. In high school I wore my long to cover my ears.
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Yah I got ears that stick out too. They never got the focus quite to the extent like my nose did.
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post #34 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-12-2020, 03:07 PM
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I have, one year in primary school and another in secondary. Wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to put up with abuse at home, too.


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Is there even a difference between SAD and PTSD other than the experiences that led to the particular fears?
I can't speak for everyone, but looking back at my past I can't pinpoint a particular experience and say "this is it, this is where it started." It was more like day after day of feeling like I was inadequate and undeserving of positive attention and feeling like everyone was following a set of rules that I'd never been taught.
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post #35 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-12-2020, 03:49 PM
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Yes, mostly online. Much of it was before "online bullying" was even recognized as a thing; whenever I reacted or mentioned it, to anyone online or off, I was told to "Get off the computer and go for a walk, it's just the Internet, it's not real!"

I've been criticized, mocked/ridiculed, trolled, impersonated, parodied, been blamed for things I didn't do, had people call my personal experiences lies, banned without cause, stalked, harassed, and even threatened with rape once. Hahaha, just log off and take a walk, it's just words on a screen, it's not real.

Nowadays it's recognized as a real thing, there's awareness and all. Makes me feel pretty bitter about the way everybody brushed it off back when I was the one being hurt.

I went through what would nowadays be considered "bullying" several times in school as well, though again, back then, it wasn't recognized as bullying and even I didn't consider it that (the term "bullying" was mostly reserved for threats and intimidation whereas what I went through was mocking and ridicule). And again, the reaction I got from others whenever I reacted was generally "Just remember, 'Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me!'" I wanted to say that yes, words DO ****ing hurt, but what was the point.

The one time I told a guidance counselor about two girls bullying me every day when I waited in the hall after lunch, he was apathetic about doing anything about it, insisting that his hands were tied since I didn't know their names. I said I could ID them from a yearbook, and I did so--still remember their names to this day. Guidance counselor was still reluctant but said he'd talk to them and get it settled. Well, he must've changed his mind because nothing was ever done, the two continued bullying and teasing me in the hallway after lunch (they'd follow me around, snickering just within earshot; when I'd go to get a drink from the fountain one of them would jump in front of me to cut me off while they both laughed; passive-aggressive **** that could be excused as "Oh, I didn't even know you were there!" like typical coward bullies)...I ended up going to wait in the hall at the other end of the school just to get away from them. This almost made me late for my next class every day. Nobody cared.

The irony is the guidance counselor was the one who'd requested to start seeing me because I was so shy and quiet and depressed in school...I didn't go to him on my own. Lot of good it did, he was just one more in a long, long line of professionals who pretended to care but then decided I wasn't worth the effort. Having professionals brush off your pain all the time is just as bad as the bullying, it proves you don't matter.
Admin doing nothing about bullying is par for the course at schools. Admins don't want to go thru the work of it, the only thing they can do is get the parents involved & parents don't care, they think it teaches the kid who's being bullied a lesson, etc. Many reasons.

My alma mater has been promoting a 'Be Nice', zero-tolerance policy the last few years, but who knows if anything's actually changed. Also, in some ways I think that ignores some of the issue b/c 'don't bully' doesn't help the kids who are excluded from things, like my issue was.
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post #36 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-12-2020, 04:44 PM
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Yes. Some that even came from 'teachers'. Only stood up a few times but it never went physical despite that I was threatened once *(by a peer). Now I can technically confront if the person has done something, usually multiple times, but it has taken years to get to that point and it has only been done a handful of times.
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post #37 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-13-2020, 05:55 PM
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Honestly, I'd have to say no. I dealt with being called names in school, being laughed at and lightly ridiculed, but it was never something that I would term "bullying". I treat myself worse than anybody else ever has. I was never threatened with violence that I recall. I had a school-only friend whom I knew from grade school through high school who was a bit more bullied, although again, I don't think it was anything physical. We didn't talk much in high school but he was sort of picked on and I should have stood up for him. I recall once that a couple kids were ridiculing him before class one day, but not me because the one kid's family knew my family. I should have said something but I was too weak to do so. A few years ago I looked on his social media and he had a post about the effects of bullying.

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post #38 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-14-2020, 04:58 PM
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@truant nope, I wasn't implying any of that. My only assumption was a desire to stand up to bullies. At least from what I've seen, sometimes it just comes down to who is louder in these sorts of conflicts. I feel the effort is necessary sometimes to not let bullies think they can just dominate the situation while others stand by.
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post #39 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-15-2020, 09:50 AM
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I have , in high school.
I was bullied all the way through school. Mostly starting in middle school and all the way through my first job where I worked for a bunch of abusive A holes.

I can remember being anxious and nervous and not feeling normal from a very early age. Had panic attack if I had to speak in front of class. Which led to few if any friends and bullying. I grew up in a pretty abusive household as well. Lot of fighting between my parents so that didnt help either.

Guess I had a lot of things working against me. I feel shame that I didnt do something to stop the bullying. But my SA and lack of a support system made it seem not possible at the time.

Pretty sure my home life and bullying led me to develope complex PTSD as well.

Pissing me off looking back how people take advantage of people who are having mental health issues. People have this attitude that they are making you to tough and helping you by abusing you. Add to that if you try to ask for help or tell somebody your labeled a snitch.

Puts a person in a near impossible situation
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post #40 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-19-2020, 12:52 PM
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Yes, a lot in school. I had a bad speech impediment, I was also chubby and had no idea people didn't like me. If I heard people talking about something I had any interest in I would walk right up and just start talking to them. I had no understanding of social norms.

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