Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. ~George Santayana
When I first started out on this adventure to recover from the long-term damage that youth bullying caused me, I decided to do it with a blog website in 2007 and write down all the stories I could remember about what happened to me as a highly sensitive youth who was bullied daily. I created the website, “Bullying Stories” to do just that.
My purpose was altruistic in that I thought if I shared my stories, others would know they are not alone and I also thought it cathartic for me to let these stories go. I had buried the stories for so long in my mind, but at the time, after several incidents, to include the Columbine High School shootings, 9/11, and the Virginia Tech shootings, my stories came back to the surface of my mind.
Of course it was both altruistic and cathartic, but I didn’t yet understand that I had to let go of my past or be doomed to suffer with the C-PTSD I had been dealing with for near 30 years at the time.
I remember the early days of writing my stories down and weeping while writing them. I should have known then that it wasn’t going to be that easy to get past them, but it did feel good to get them off my chest. What I didn’t expect, was that I would be flooded by other people who wanted to also share their stories on my site. I recall reading them and thinking that, what happened to me was, in some ways, less painful than these stories:
- There was the Pain and Suffering stories of someone whose life was irrevocably changed.
- The Old Woman who cannot let go of her childhood bullying trauma.
- There was the story of the grandma with her secret of what she did to her bullies as a youth.
- Texas councilman, Joel Burns, sharing his own personal story to try to stop suicides, due to bullying.
- And then there is the one that was the most difficult for me to read called The Locker Room.
These are only a few of the stories I received. I am always happy to share more stories about bullying, as we are doomed to forget it if it isn’t kept in the spotlight. That said, the media does a pretty good job of talking about it now. Not so much, when I started in 2007.
So why share the stories?
They are living legacies of what can happen when people bully others. It inspires us (or at least me) to continue to share and talk about the harmful effects of bullying. It also still allows people to cathartically release this pain they are hiding.
What I didn’t understand when I started in 2007, was that releasing the story is only one part of recovery. The other is to let it go and move on in life. This, for me, took a long road of mental health therapy and working hard to return the authentic me that I had been hiding for over 30 years. I am happy now that I went through it and have come out better on the other side.
I think it is healthy to share our stories, but only if you truly plan to let it go or seek help to overcome the pain it caused. I didn’t understand that at the time, but certainly do now. And I will continue to share anyone’s story that wishes to share it here. Just send me the story at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will see to it that you are sharing your message.
As usual, thanks for reading. As I undertake my next novel “Crossing the Line” about the violence that bullying causes, please support me by voting for it to be published at soopllc.com/blog/book-ideas/crossing-line-alan-eisenberg/. I ultimately need 5,000 votes, so please help me out and share with others. I am, as always eternally grateful for your support.