I am moving on with my life and there are lots of good things happening – some of which I will blog about but I wanted to record how this past year have been and my extraordinary experience of being bullied as a grown up. I am not allowed to talk about the bullying I have experienced or indeed the events that preceded and came after being bullied. This is not uncommon. We are not allowed to talk about bullying. We don’t talk about it at home or at work. We talk about whistle blowing and values and standards of practice but we do not have an open conversation about bullying. Close friends have listened, but a lot of folk cannot look you in the eye. So many people have quietly told me about their bullying experience. It is like a secret club and in order to survive to work, sustain family and personal relationships we stay quiet. Actually experiencing bullying leaves you in a very lonely place.
I am going to talk about how it has made me feel.
I am strong. I am described by others as strong and capable. This could never happen to me. I feel shame.
I was bullied at school and vowed I would never be bullied again. I have been. I feel shame.
Shame that I was taken in, I let my guard down and allowed someone to bully me.
Shame that I have lost my confident capable self.
Shame that I have cried everyday for months.
Shame at feeling hopeless.
I thought I would feel proud and brave at speaking up. I thought that calling out bullying would make me feel better. It didn’t. I just feel shame.
But no one likes a snitch, do they? And we do not tell tales? I feel shame.
By publicly admitting to bullying just made me feel weak, like I had caused all the distress and I just felt more shame.
I feel weak as it caused me so much distress. I have cried every day. I feel shame at not being able to cope and to move on.
I feel weak as I am no longer confident at making decisions. I feel shame.
I feel weak as I did not make it stop. I feel shame.
I feel weak as I did not walk away and I feel shame that I did not walks away earlier
Others were not bullied so there must be something wrong with me. I feel shame.
Calling out a bully, following all the right protocols should or could have made me feel empowered supported back in control.
I feel dis-empowered
The process did things to me that made me feel hurt, and not in control
I walk away with shame
I am not allowed to talk about it so I keep quiet. I know it carries on. I feel shame.
I grieve, I cry , I will pick myself up, build myself back up and will carry on. Just give me time.