My whole life I’ve been surrounded by control freaks and bullies. My mom, ex-boyfriends, bosses, sisters. I imagine I even have control tendencies and bullying issues. Yup, my whole life. I’m sure I’m not the only one and at the time, I had no idea how to stop bullying.
We’ve all had to deal with one or two control freaks and the odd bully at some point in our lives. But being bullied is damaging. More so than people realize.
It’s no fun. For real. But the point of this blog isn’t to moan about all the controlling I let happen to me it’s actually about me letting the controller control me.
Yup, I said it. I let them control me. So obviously, my mom, well there was little I could do about her control. It just happened, and you rolled with it.
Now, my ex? Well, that’s a different story.
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My husband was a narcissistic bully
Once upon a time, there was a broken girl who was desperate to be loved, appreciated, adored, and wanted. She would do just about anything to get all this attention from a man. Many times, she would sacrifice her self worth for any or all of these things.
The last man who claimed to love her SO much gave her all those things but it all came with a high price tag. A price tag she knew she couldn’t afford but she paid it anyway.
He gave her love, told her he adored her, even put her up on a pedestal every now and then. There were days, she felt like a Queen. He bought her lavish things, took her on trips, even bought her a car.
Yes, life was good, kinda.
Until this happened….I realized my husband was a narcissistic bully.
The high price of being bullied
When the first sign of control reared its ugly head I ignored it. Why wouldn’t I? I finally found someone who will put up with me (I know, just typing that sounds pathetic), treats me like a *Queen* (on a good day), is lavishing me with gifts and love (mostly after a big fight or he did something really mean to me) and really, for the most part, life isn’t THAT bad.
I was being bullied and let it go.
A smidgen of my self worth
A wee bit of self respect
See? Not much at all. And I carried on with this man who claimed to adore me. Oh, how he adored me.
I was getting bullied and let it go…
Weeks, months, and years go by. The price of control has reached a dangerous all-time high. I’m not sure what to do anymore. Every day I’m not so sure I can really afford to pay the price anymore. Being bullied became an almost daily thing.
My heart and soul are battered and beaten. I’ve already paid with all my self worth, self confidence, self love, you name the selfs, I’ve paid them out. This control crap, I’m starting to realize, is really expensive and I’m flat broke.
My heart is completely bankrupt. My soul is empty. I’m done. I can’t pay anymore. I am now just numb. A zombie. A *yes sir* zombie. I’m there now. Broke and broken.
And it hurts. It’s so dark and lifeless and painful. I’m a broken shell of a woman.
Some causes of bullying
To understand the bully I think it’s important to look at the causes of bullying. We first have to realize the people aren’t born being bullies. It’s not in their DNA.
Something has happened to them in their childhood/school years/or as a young adult that has turned them into bullies. Remember, we aren’t born with hate, we learn hate. That’s such a powerful statement.
Bullying behaviour is mostly the result of stress. When we are stressed or angry, we act out in fear-based ways. Bullying is the result of that.
So let’s take a look at some of the causes of bullying
- strained relationship with parents/guardians (most come from dysfunctional families)
- being bullied as a child themselves
- low self esteem
- need for control
- jealous of the person they are attacking
- inferiority complex
- narcissistic personality disorder
This is just a small list of some of the causes of bullying but you get the idea. Bullies are often a product of their upbringing or the way they were treated in school by other students, or at home by other adults.
This is their defense mechanism to fear and low self esteem. Knowing this, it’s easy to not blame the bully, but we still do. I found this really good YouTube video that helps us understand how the bully works and thinks (start it at the 2:00 mark)
How to stop being bullying
This is how it went down for me…
One day, it just happened. There was nothing left inside of me, yet I could still catch a teeny tiny glimpse of pride. Oh, it was so tiny but I knew, with what was left of my heart, that little flicker was my tiny pilot light of pride. My pilot light of faith and determination. I was tired of being bullied.
The teeny little light of hope. It was flickering. I could see it, barely, but dammit I knew it was there.
And it was time for me to turn on MY control and take back my life. It was my turn to stop allowing someone else to control my life. And I was scared. Senseless. But not hopeless. I had a little bit of that left.
After almost 8 years, I walked out. And never looked back. I finally stood up to the bully and left him.
I’ve filled my *self love/self respect/self confidence* bank account back up again and though it did take a while, it didn’t come without tears, frustration, anger, and sorrow. It came with all that and then some but the bank is full. Again. The *self bank* is now overflowing with riches, never to be bankrupt again.
How to stand up to a bully
First, we have to remember they operate from fear and lack of self esteem. I don’t think they mean to be bullies but it’s all they know. They are protecting themselves from people seeing who they really are.
It’s important to use your voice in a very assertive manner and let them know you will not tolerate their BS. Bullies will often chip away at your own self worth because they are intimidated by it. You must know your worth and never let anyone tell you are worthless/dumb/useless or anything negative like that.
Working on and maintaining our own self worth and self confidence is so crucial. Too many young people commit suicide because they’ve literally been bullied to death. It breaks my heart to read these stories. Unfortunately for parents, we don’t even realize what is happening until it’s too late.
Here’s an article you should read on the statistics of bullying. It’s alarming and so sad.
I think it’s so important, mandatory even, to teach our children that they are magnificent and amazing just the way they are and to continuously boost their confidence and self worth.
Helping them set boundaries on what they will and won’t tolerate and accept in their lives is crucial. Check out my self help mini eBook on how to do that.
Being bullied as an adult
Like I was, many adults are also being bullied either by their spouses, coworkers, or family members. It’s important for us to know that we are not deserving of these attacks and to stand up for ourselves. Use your voice more often and let the bully know you will not put up with their behaviour.
Narcissists are notorious for being bullies and if you are in a relationship with a narcissist, get help or get out. You might really like this amazing program by Kim Saeed. She is a specialist in dealing with narcissists and she’s awesome! Click the image below to check out this powerhouse program.
Do your part!
If you see someone being bullied SPEAK UP!! Don’t just walk away and let the victim deal with it themselves. Clearly they can’t. So many of us ‘don’t want to get involved’ which is such a horrible excuse. Abuse is everyone’s business.
Be part of the solution. Butt in. Make it your business. You could be saving someone who is close to a suicide attempt. You could be saving a life.
Dealing with bullies
Let’s face it, it’s no fun being bullied, and those of us who are, are usually submissive, scared, shy or lack self esteem. When we do some deep internal work and build our self confidence and self esteem it will be so much easier dealing with bullies.
Learn to find and use your voice and stand up for what you believe in and stand against things you won’t tolerate. You can put a stop to bullying.
Peace and Love