Collingwood Nick wrote:
Deranged Nasat wrote:
One of the most harmful long-term effects of bullying, in my experience, is that it causes you to lay down thinking patterns that lead you to accept helplessness and apathy. In my case, I soon realized that there was nothing I could do to stop the other children mocking me and holding me up as an object of fun. When they harrassed me, all my options led to the same result. If I ignored them, I was hilarious and so mocked further. If I answered them politely, I was hilarious and so mocked further. If I answered them angrily, I was hilarious and so mocked further. If I danced around and clucked like a chicken...well, that would be no more hilarious and mock-worthy than anything else I did. In hindsight, I can see the effect it had on my thinking patterns; setting up a block that shuts the mind down when confronted with any sort of obstacle or interaction, because my experience is that it will be painful and humiliating and whatever I do it won't bring me any success. It really did lay the foundation for one of my more troublesome traits, which is to see life as a set of obstacles that I just refuse to face because I'm convinced "I can't do anything other than be knocked along passively by these waves".
I can sympathise with that - very much so. Have you had much luck 'reprogramming' those ineffective thinking patterns?
Well, that's an ongoing process. My mind latches onto patterns very easily, so training it away from these automatic responses is quite a struggle. Still, I'm making progress, especially since I was introduced to cognitive behavioural therapy. And I'm hoping that I can wean my mind off of the negative automatic thoughts and onto more helpful ones by making use of that same tendency to fall into patterns. One thing I've tried is visualizng the negative thoughts as physical structures, and when they spring up and assault my mind I "dissolve" them with a wave of positive thoughts. Sort of like aggressive swarming nanites that are also smileys.
It mght sound odd, but it often works, especially if you treat it as a humerous game.
It's worth noting, I suppose, that I'm only 22. Other members of the board have already suggested that I've made quite a breakthrough by challenging my negative thinking patterns so early, but I wouldn't expect to have fully succeeded after such a short time. I imagine patience plays into it too - don't be put off if at first any improvement seems to be slower than you'd like.