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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My therapist said today that I should contact my old school bullies and tell them how they have made me feel. I would have to contact a few people from middle school and high school and write them a letter or message.

She says the aim is for me to feel as if I have justice and that if my bullies know how they have made me feel then that will be enough, even if they don't apologise or even reply.

I was bullied a lot from the ages of 8 to 17 and I am still haunted by the memories from the past. Do you think that this is a good idea?
 

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I too suffered terrible bullying throughout my childhood and adolescence so I can understand the scars that can remain into adulthood.

I can only speak from my own experience, and I don't feel like it would make any difference for me to let the people concerned know the suffering they put me through because they wouldn't understand.

A few years ago, one of these people came to greet me in a bar. He was sitting with many of the people who caused me so much pain and held out his hand but I didn't shake it. He even invited me to go over and talk to 'the guys'. As if it didn't even happen!!

I don't feel like I should waste time and energy writing emotionally charged messages to people aren't even aware of their own actions.

I'm sure my stance is probably coming from some residual anger or fear or something but that's how I would look at it in this moment.

Your feelings are probably different on the subject so I suppose you should think about whether it would make a difference, and more importantly, would it help you to move on from it.

Davey
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I too suffered terrible bullying throughout my childhood and adolescence so I can understand the scars that can remain into adulthood.

I can only speak from my own experience, and I don't feel like it would make any difference for me to let the people concerned know the suffering they put me through because they wouldn't understand.

A few years ago, one of these people came to greet me in a bar. He was sitting with many of the people who caused me so much pain and held out his hand but I didn't shake it. He even invited me to go over and talk to 'the guys'. As if it didn't even happen!!

I don't feel like I should waste time and energy writing emotionally charged messages to people aren't even aware of their own actions.

I'm sure my stance is probably coming from some residual anger or fear or something but that's how I would look at it in this moment.

Your feelings are probably different on the subject so I suppose you should think about whether it would make a difference, and more importantly, would it help you to move on from it.

Davey
I don't blame you, if an old bully had done that to me I would be pissed too, he's acting as if nothing happened, as if you're buddies or something. I don't care about an apology, I just want them to know the pain they have caused me, I'd be angry if they pretended that nothing happened between us.
 

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The effect it's had on me has been deeper than I could have imagined. Only now many years later am I starting to realise how deep the wounds are...

If you feel like it would give you some release, I say go for it!

Let us know how it goes!

Davey
 

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That's a hard one. If you were like, 25 or 30 and she said that I would call it a great suggestion. I have doubts that your fellow 21 year olds are going to be super compassionate and understanding.

But, your therapist thinks it's a good idea and I assume she's helped a lot of people going through the same things as you.

How do you think you'd feel if you got a mocking response?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's a hard one. If you were like, 25 or 30 and she said that I would call it a great suggestion. I have doubts that your fellow 21 year olds are going to be super compassionate and understanding.

But, your therapist thinks it's a good idea and I assume she's helped a lot of people going through the same things as you.

How do you think you'd feel if you got a mocking response?
I dunno, that's a good question, I mean I'm not too worried about the response or even receiving sympathy or compassion from them, I'd just feel better if they knew how their actions made me feel. If they choose to react to this knowledge by mockery, then so be it.
It just bothers me that they might not know the psychological scars I'm feeling, it just reinforces the idea that I'm a victim who has been unjustly treated. The bullies who at least recognise how they have made me feel have been easier to forgive.

The effect it's had on me has been deeper than I could have imagined. Only now many years later am I starting to realise how deep the wounds are...

If you feel like it would give you some release, I say go for it!

Let us know how it goes!

Davey
I know what you mean man, I feel as if the bullying effects me a lot more now than it did back then at the time.
 

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Ive been thinking about doing this... Ive looked at the facebook page of my worst bully in elementary school and his cover photo says "Trust in your struggle" and he has a bunch of nerdy movies/books listed on his profile. I find thins funny since he use to lay into me for being weird/nerdy/ugly. I think it would be a bad idea though.. since he would probably respond negatively or just wouldn't understand.
 

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Doesn't sound like a good idea to me not yet any way maybe in 5 10 years but even then why bother what's past has past and is it really going to change anything and will they really give a crap , and what is there thart they can say to change things , like sorry ,now will that make any difference .
 

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I wonder if it might be more constructive to write letters to them (by hand, not email) about how these people made you feel. Writing by hand really forces you to put a lot of thought into what you're saying and why you're saying it. Don't send the letters right away. Put them away for at least a few days. You might not send them at all. Let things settle in your brain and then read the letters again later when you're feeling calm(er). The Rashomon effect can be a big factor since our emotions can get the better of us, blinding us of perspective. Writing can help you deconstruct these memories and maybe give you a little of that perspective back. It can make it easier to heal. Sometimes just writing it all down is enough acknowledgement to help with the healing.

I agree that it might not be the best idea to confront old bullies at such a young age, especially if you aren't feeling extraordinarily confident. The point of this exercise shouldn't be about letting other people know how they hurt you but giving you inner strength.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I wonder if it might be more constructive to write letters to them (by hand, not email) about how these people made you feel. Writing by hand really forces you to put a lot of thought into what you're saying and why you're saying it. Don't send the letters right away. Put them away for at least a few days. You might not send them at all. Let things settle in your brain and then read the letters again later when you're feeling calm(er). The Rashomon effect can be a big factor since our emotions can get the better of us, blinding us of perspective. Writing can help you deconstruct these memories and maybe give you a little of that perspective back. It can make it easier to heal. Sometimes just writing it all down is enough acknowledgement to help with the healing.

I agree that it might not be the best idea to confront old bullies at such a young age, especially if you aren't feeling extraordinarily confident. The point of this exercise shouldn't be about letting other people know how they hurt you but giving you inner strength.
That's what I'm planning to do, I want to send them an email or a letter telling them how they've made me feel and how their treatment of me has scarred me, given me depression, worsened my social anxiety, and ruined by ability to connect with people.
My therapist said that I'm plagued by regret for not standing up to them back then so if I send this letter I can finally stand up to them after all this time which will give me inner strength. Plus, I will feel more vindicated if they knew how they made me feel. Even if they don't feel guilty, at least they would know. Right now, the fact that they are oblivious really bugs me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
At the age of 21 if you contact them now it might be a bit of a shot in the dark as a lot of people still aren't mature and regretting what they've done until they are 25 years old. I'm not saying it's impossible though. (edit; I've seen other people are on this point too).

I don't think it's impossible. I'm 20 and recently confronted someone who used to be a friend and told them the damage they left on me... (it was a blow out in 8th grade) and I didn't even have to bring it up. I facebooked her on her Birthday on facebook, not thinking she'd reply, she wrote me how she was sorry for what she had done and she was sorry that she let her immaturity slip that far down. I wrote how I felt in a rather well thought out letter to her and she replied back... I never responded (taking the last word). We both got closer and I felt no need to re-open the friendship. It was helpful tho.

There where other people that bullied me I often look at their facebook page and realize just by how they are presenting themselves they have not changed from hgihschool and realize it's not worth it... Some people do no change.
I think it depends, some of them have changed and matured and some of them haven't. I don't care what they think of me nor do I care if they don't feel regret, if finding out how they have treated me provoked a reaction (positive or negative) then I can finally move on. I have no wish to be friends with any of them.

To be honest I wouldn't have wished someone I hate a happy birthday on Facebook, but I'm very stubborn like that lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Doesn't sound like a good idea to me not yet any way maybe in 5 10 years but even then why bother what's past has past and is it really going to change anything and will they really give a crap , and what is there thart they can say to change things , like sorry ,now will that make any difference .
It might make a difference to me, I can finally move on, I often have dreams about this bullying and when I'm trying to sleep at night I'm plagued by thoughts of humiliation and regret, I just want inner peace, I don't want to change anything.
My therapist told me an analogy relating to law, that in some cases, the perpetrator has to come face to face with the victim to he/she can see the consequences of his/her actions, it's like that. Does it change anything? No, but at least the perpetrator can see first hand what he/she has truly done.
 

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My therapist said today that I should contact my old school bullies and tell them how they have made me feel. I would have to contact a few people from middle school and high school and write them a letter or message.

She says the aim is for me to feel as if I have justice and that if my bullies know how they have made me feel then that will be enough, even if they don't apologise or even reply.

I was bullied a lot from the ages of 8 to 17 and I am still haunted by the memories from the past. Do you think that this is a good idea?
it's all unresolved issue that you are carrying around with you. it's like baggage. you need to resolve it. only then can you feel free and move on with your life

I suffered all kinds of bullying during my life. I developed social phobia when I was 5 years old and as a result of that I was a very weak person. A lot of people took advantage of my weakness and targeted me.

My own family caused my social phobia by treating me badly. then when I was suffering they refused to help me. and not only did they refuse to help me some of them took advantage of the way that I was and bullied me.
Some of my own friends bullied me too. and I had about 7 incidents involving violence in my life were people had targeted me because I was weak

Living with social phobia is like carrying baggage around with you through your life. and having all of these unresolved issue with people who have targeted you is like carrying around baggage too

My plan is to first overcome my social phobia. then once I have done that I am going to make a LIST. a bit like on ''my name is earl'' where he makes a list of all of the bad things he has done. and then he goes and corrects each one crossing everything off his list one by one. the only difference is my list will not be about bad things I have done but about bad things that have been done to me. my plan is correct everything on my list and cross them off one by one. I have to face everybody that has targeted me

only when I overcome my social phobia and correct everything on my list will I have no baggage, feel free and be able to enjoy my life
 

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It might make a difference to me, I can finally move on, I often have dreams about this bullying and when I'm trying to sleep at night I'm plagued by thoughts of humiliation and regret, I just want inner peace, I don't want to change anything.
My therapist told me an analogy relating to law, that in some cases, the perpetrator has to come face to face with the victim to he/she can see the consequences of his/her actions, it's like that. Does it change anything? No, but at least the perpetrator can see first hand what he/she has truly done.
If you feel it will help you , you must try , hope it goes we'll for you and you find what you seek , good luck and please re post how you go as it may be helpful to others . I really hope it works out for you .
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If you feel it will help you , you must try , hope it goes we'll for you and you find what you seek , good luck and please re post how you go as it may be helpful to others . I really hope it works out for you .
Thanks man, I probably won't do it for a while, I'm still mulling over it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
it's all unresolved issue that you are carrying around with you. it's like baggage. you need to resolve it. only then can you feel free and move on with your life

I suffered all kinds of bullying during my life. I developed social phobia when I was 5 years old and as a result of that I was a very weak person. A lot of people took advantage of my weakness and targeted me.

My own family caused my social phobia by treating me badly. then when I was suffering they refused to help me. and not only did they refuse to help me some of them took advantage of the way that I was and bullied me.
Some of my own friends bullied me too. and I had about 7 incidents involving violence in my life were people had targeted me because I was weak

Living with social phobia is like carrying baggage around with you through your life. and having all of these unresolved issue with people who have targeted you is like carrying around baggage too

My plan is to first overcome my social phobia. then once I have done that I am going to make a LIST. a bit like on ''my name is earl'' where he makes a list of all of the bad things he has done. and then he goes and corrects each one crossing everything off his list one by one. the only difference is my list will not be about bad things I have done but about bad things that have been done to me. my plan is correct everything on my list and cross them off one by one. I have to face everybody that has targeted me

only when I overcome my social phobia and correct everything on my list will I have no baggage, feel free and be able to enjoy my life
I'm sorry about everything that's happened to you man, I feel that I need to do the same to move on too.
 

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this was recommended to me in therapy a few years back as well. like most people have mentioned already, its for the purpose to helping you let go of the bitterness and negative emotions of the past, that kind of baggage that was foisted onto you by others but you still mentally carry around. whether they respond or not or how they do doesnt matter. its all about you dropping off the crap they unfairly put on you. so whenever you're ready, go for it.
 

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That's some weird kind of therapy if you ask me. It's not like the movies where the murderer comes face to face with the family of the victim and breaks down crying.

Here, we're talking about events that were committed by children bullies, these men now probably don't even remember doing these and if they do, they would never be convinced that they're responsible for so much harm.

Like I said, this therapy is suspicious because it lingers on the past. You cannot do anything about it now, whether they say they're sorry or they don't answer or they're aggressive. You can only move on and that's a choice that you have to make on your own regardless of your bullies.
 

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How about if you wrote an anonymous letter to their parents and tell them about how much their son tormented you in high school. Most likely they will understand what they did everyone grows out of it and if they haven't they are worse off because they haven't grown out of thinking like a child.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
My concern from this is what if you get a mean, hurtful response from these bullies from your past. Surely there has to be a way of releasing the feelings that you've been holding inside in a way where it can't necessarily backfire. At the end of the day, does it really matter if they know how you feel? My advice would be to find a way to let go of the past and focus more on your future. Then again, I am not a mental health professional so maybe my advice isn't worth much. You can't change what happened to you and how other people treated you. Work on establishing goals, moving forward, and forget about the crap you can't change.
They need to know, I see them with their buddies, smiling and laughing, and it makes me boil inside. They picked on me, humiliated, singled me out for no reason, they didn't do this to anyone else. I ****ing hate them, I wish they would get cancer or AIDS and just die (ironic considering I have Freddie Mercury on my avatar huh).
I don't care about my future, I'm depressed and sometimes suicidal, I'm not going to live a long fruitful life, I just want them to pay big time before I go. Even if they don't apologise, the fact that they will know is enough to me. I hope the knowledge torments them inside, drives them insane, though I know it won't. Even they don't care, at least they know, it really bugs me that they don't know how much they have scarred me.
 
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