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Making a Change

answered 10:44 PM EST, Tue November 05, 2013
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anonymous anonymous
I was bullied a lot as a young teenager. My family moved a lot and I was not too socially adept so I had a hard time fitting into new schools and by the time I’d make a few friends I would be heading somewhere else. When I was a sophomore I moved into hell. There was this group of boys that bullied me really viciously and an administration that refused to intervene. I was overweight and they managed to take pictures of me in the gym shower and then photocopied my picture with mean captions and slid the papers into every student’s locker in the whole school. This was 20 years ago and before it was considered important to stop bullying. It was so bad I considered suicide. Instead I dropped out of school and toughened up. I lost weight, got tatooed and put on muscle. Worked as tree planter in remote locations and forest fire fighter. If someone looked like they were about to give me shit I’d get aggressive and physical and I got into a lot of fights and I never got bullied again. I thought that was what I wanted but now I am in my 30s and people are so intimidated by me that I have no friends or romantic partner. I am not bullied but it is just as lonely. I thought I beat the problem but I am just as scared today as I was then and I wasted a quarter of my life because I’ve been so scared. I worked so hard to build this wall and now I don’t know how to drop my defenses. What happened in high school is still screwing me up 20 years later…

Raffi Bilek Says...

I'm sorry for all the awful experiences you've been though.  You've clearly had to deal with a lot. Unfortunately, this is not a problem you are likely to be able to solve in a Q&A forum. I think you are best off finding a therapist to work this through with. It doesn't sound impossible, but there's no quick fix for 20 years of wall-building. Feel free to contact me if you are interested in working online (or in person if you are in the NY/NJ area), or else find someone in your area who can help. Things can get better!

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