Compartmentalizing Bully Experiences


I was talking to a co-worker the other day about this Blog and why it is so important a subject to me. The question was asked “why focus on the adults point of view of bullying?” It’s a good question. To me, a lot of it has to do with the fact that, as adults, we seem to be good at compartmentalizing bad experiences so they hide in our mind. A child will tell you of their experiences, but as adults, we seem to not want to discuss our own incidences and bury them in our memories.

But, I don’t think they ever are buried. We just don’t talk about them. But they are there. I test this theory with those I talk to by asking them to tell me the first and last name of their best friends in elementary school. Most people can do that. Now, if they admit to being bullied, I ask them for the first and last name of the bullies. They can do this also, because, I theorize, that that person is as ingrained in their memories as their best friends. That, to me, is somewhat frightening how big a role these bullies play in our lives.

So, again, why the adult perspective. Because one of the things I think is that adults, by compartmentalizing these moments, don’t allow themselves to accept and move on. To learn from them and, by sharing them, learn that they are not alone and have never been alone. But also, if we as adults now have the understanding of rationalizing what happened, we can help the children learn to cope better and know they are not alone and remind ourselves of the perspective of children going through bullying.

That is why, almost selfishly, I am writing this blog as part of a cathartic experience to exorcise these bullies from my past who have faces and names I still know and think about every so often. I actually hope to see them again, when I make this documentary to get their perspectives on what happened and how they felt. Wouldn’t that be interesting.

One thought on “Compartmentalizing Bully Experiences

  1. Actually this makes a lot of sense. It’s very similar to the coping mechanisms employed by public safety personnel. When I wsa an EMT, we used to have CISD or Critical Incident Stress Debriefing. They were basically a way of talking through a tough incident with others in the field so you didn’t carry the burden alone. Think of it as group therapy for emergency responders. It’s been done for years and it works.

    I think you’ll find it immensely helpful as well as being helpful to others as they encounter your blogs and have an outlet to share their experiences too.

    I hope that you as well and anyone else who has dealt with similar experiences can use this as a tool to excorcise these demons without completely forgetting either. After all, it is the events of our past that make us who we are today.

    While there are always things we would like to go back and change, we need to accept our wins and losses, our successes and failure, our mistakes and achievements as simply what they are……and hopefully learn from them!

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