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Everything posted by TooOld4This

  1. TooOld4This

    Just want to be heard...

    Sorry you're feeling so low, S_G_W I too, cut myself when i was about your age (older, actually; i was in college). I still have the scars on my left arm 40 years later. i remember how i hated myself so much, only the act of hurting myself could silence the self-hating voice in my head. Wishing better days for you.
  2. TooOld4This

    Adult Survivors of Bullying

    Hope you can get some healing soon, Tangysalt
  3. TooOld4This

    Hello--need some advice

    I can make another recommendation, Bella, from my own experience: take your son to a stylist, preferably a female one. I know you're fundamentally a good mother, Bella; a bad one wouldn't bother to ask for help. One of the main causes of my emotional stagnation when i was his age was, i didn't know how to look normal. Many teenagers are self-conscious about their appearance (or even ashamed of it; i know i was). This causes them to withdraw and not interact with peers. I think it also draws negative responses from peers, too. Other young people sense their self-consciousness and they read it as either weakness or hostility. I'm sick of adults who say, "just have confidence, and people will like you." Pure myth and nonsense. Confidence can't be manufactured out of nothing. If you get him a few sessions with a professional stylist who can guide him into dressing and grooming himself in a way that's appropriate for him, then he'll know that he looks normal. Dancing lessons or tennis lessons wouldn't hurt, either. Your son needs to have a REASON to be confident; then the confidence (and the social life) will follow.
  4. Ever notice how, when you complain about abusive adults or bullies in your past, people always want to speak up for the abuser or bully? It usually goes like this: you complain about someone at work/school/social event who pushed you around (usually verbally, by shaming you, but sometimes it's even physical intimidation), and you're hoping that your listener(s) will sympathize with you and express solidarity with you. But instead, you get crap like, "Oh, try to understand his feelings; he probably had a bad day." "Don't be so hard on her; she probably just has low self-esteem." "Well, he must have a difficult home life, and that's why he acts that way." WHAT?? WHAT??? WHAT THE HELL???? They're actually TAKING THE ABUSER'S SIDE; NOT YOURS. I see it in journalism all the time, hear it in conversation all the time. WHO'S SIDE ARE YOU ON, JERK? I've even heard therapists do this. It would be bad enough if they did this for everyone, but do they ever do it FOR YOU? "Oh, try to understand his passiveness; he probably never learned how to stand up for himself." "Don't be so hard on her; she's awkward and shy because people shamed her in the past." "Well, just because he's the target of shaming and intimidation, doesn't make him a loser." Oh no no no; they don't take YOUR side and apologize for YOU; they silently judge you. "Loser." "Wuss." "Wimp." "Chump." Maybe they don't even do it silently. I don't believe for a minute that "their intentions are good, even though they say the wrong thing." No, it's an ingrained habit of sucking up to the abuser because they admire the abuser's power (at least subconsciously) and feel uncomfortable around vulnerability. What's the problem, jerks? You think vulnerability is some kind of virus you might catch from us? I know perfectly well i'm not going to change any minds or behaviors with this post. The people who need to hear this aren't reading this Forum. But for us who have been wounded, sometimes it helps if we can at least name the problem and shake our fists at it. So, for the record: when i complain about abusive assholes, don't respond by making excuses for them. For once, please show me that you're on MY side instead of THEIR side.
  5. TooOld4This

    Stop speaking up for bullies, will you please?

    Yesterday my wife experienced this problem; exactly this scenario. She saw one of her pupils kicking another boy. She got in his face and told him "NO!!" and, when he ignored her and resumed attacking the other boy (because that's what bullies do), she pulled him away. The special education coordinator (who is NOT a teacher, just a bureaucrat on the premises who lectures the teachers on how they should let aggressive children do whatever they want) reported my wife TO THE POLICE. The cops questioned her and everything, and she is now suspended (albeit with pay) from her job. This is what i was talking about; this is what i saw in school and have read in countless articles: adults who treat the bully as if he were the victim, and punish anyone who tries to give the bully what he deserves. No rigorous psychological study has ever confirmed that bullies are victims with low self-esteem. The rigorous studies have all concluded that (what a surprise!) it is the VICTIMS of bullying who have the low self-esteem. The idea that bullies somehow deserve compassion and sympathy is a myth. It's a lie fabricated by shallow middle-class writers and academics who hate authority and love "bad boys."
  6. TooOld4This

    Adult Survivors of Bullying

    Well hello all: it's me, TO4T checking in again. I just turned 60 last week. (So maybe i should change my avatar to "MUCH Too Old 4 This"?) Honestly i can't say that i've experienced much improvement in my self-image. Over the 5 or so years that i've been posting in this chat, i've been doing a number of activities to try and make myself feel better: i've traveled to a number of foreign countries with my wife, i bought my wife some expensive gifts, i've marched in several protest demonstrations against -- well, i'm American, so you can guess whom we were protesting against, i worked for a political campaign, i have been drawing political cartoons against [same person, and his supporters], and i'm helping to organize an alternative church (one where, hopefully, Franklin Graham and Pat Robertson would feel very uncomfortable). But looking over the 50 years since the bullying started, i can't really say that the hurt went away. Maybe it does for most people; it didn't for me. What happened, mostly, was i looked for distractions (like drawing or travel) and focused on the distractions as much as possible. I don't know, i've stopped trying to look at the world the same way happy people do. I've noticed that most of them had advantages or privileges that i never had, so it's relatively easy for them to see the sunshine. But me -- i can't live their life; i have to live my own. I smile at people whenever i can, speak compliments and encouragement to my co-workers, kiss my wife for no reason at all, tell my friends how grateful i am to have them in my life, and try to remember as many good experiences as i've been lucky to have had. I'm not a dreamer, i'm a liver. I look down at the concrete under my feet and try to find something interesting there; because that's reality. Hope you all are finding some way of moving up. But even if you aren't, keep posting; and we'll all be sad together when we need it.
  7. TooOld4This

    My so called life

    Hello everyone, It's been awhile since i've posted; but i haven't gone anywhere. I've spent the last year just trying to overcome the inferiority feelings that i've detailed in other posts. I've marched in a number of political protests to overcome my despair over the last election (hint: i'm in the USA), i wrote long and heavily-illustrated letters to my Senators and other political leaders (because a picture's worth a thousand words), and i'm running a Slide Show of pictures from my last two trips abroad scrolling on the Desktop of my work computer, to make me thankful for the chance to travel. I'm hoping that, by physically practicing thankfulness, that i won't spend so much time remembering everything that was humiliating and pathetic during my youth. How's everyone else doing?
  8. I did something foolish yesterday — i looked at an ex-girlfriend’s Facebook profile. This is somebody i broke up with 28 years ago; you’d think there wouldn’t be any pain anymore. But there it was: i saw her picture, i remembered her face, i remembered the tears that i saw in her eyes back then. Tears that i caused. I did that. I broke up with her, I made her sad, I caused her pain. I want so much to reach back into the past, back to 1989, and erase that pain from her life. I don’t know; of course it’s possible that time has already erased her pain, possible that she’s been really happy from 1990 on. But when i thought of her sadness and hurt feelings, it still hurt me. So how do i know she doesn’t still hurt, too? This is what i was thinking. Sorry, everybody. I’m whining. This isn’t anything that’s going to help anyone with their issues. But i had this really intense sorrow when i saw her picture, so i wanted to unload this.
  9. TooOld4This

    What soothes you?

    I need a vacation; that will soothe me. I'm going to Cuba.
  10. TooOld4This

    I don't know who I am

    Hope you find a way forward, PrettyLou. Just because your career and relationship aren't finished yet, that doesn't make you a failure. Plenty of people are in your situation when they're your age; i remember i certainly was. It looks very hopeless, i know; but it's not. Keep doing good work at the jobs you have, and try to find options for further education. I don't know what country you're in, but if you're in the USA or Canada (as it sounds), there are community colleges that can give you very useful (and inexpensive) career education. PrettyLou, there's a company somewhere out there who needs you. Not somebody like you; you. There's a young man somewhere out there who yearns for a girlfriend, and you're perfect for him. Don't lose hope. You'll make it to your destination one day at a time. Keep going to work and meeting people. You're perfect for someone.
  11. TooOld4This

    whining thread

    Finally, some comfort. Yesterday i marched in the local March for Women's and Human Rights. I don't feel like a victim of the Trump Movement anymore. Now i feel like a member of a resistance movement.
  12. TooOld4This

    Hidden metamorphosis for everyone

    Hello, Miracle. Hope you find comfort here. I think i agree with Jazz's proposition that some of human suffering is in fact a reasonable, natural response to awful circumstances. Poverty is poverty; not just a "bad attitude." That said, i do think that choices matter: our negative circumstances can make us think that life is ENTIRELY predetermined, and that there's no point in looking for a way out. We become passive and we stop watching for opportunities. That's a trap. Hope you remain watchful, Miracle. I wouldn't want you to miss that doorway to a better future.
  13. TooOld4This

    My so called life

    My wife and i once rented a cabin near a lake in the Georgia mountains. On one night i got up to use the bathroom and, when i was done washing my hands, i turned out the light. Because of the cabin's isolation, i was plunged into total darkness. As in Small's narrative, there literally wasn't even enough light for me to see my own hand in front of my face. And it was... thrilling. I was astonished by the beauty of the experience. The world around me became instantly electric, alive with sound and smell and touch. My hearing and my tactile sense, neglected for so long while my eyes had ruled the world, suddenly had the chance to show me what they could do. I felt my way through the doorway and felt the grain of the natural timber doorframe. I heard birds and cicadas murmuring outside. I smelled the blanket where my wife was sleeping. I had lost one sense but somehow gained my other four. I no longer feel bad for blind people. Yes, they have trouble getting around, but that's our fault, the sighted people. We built streets and buildings for ourselves, and that's what made our world difficult for them. But i experienced their world for just a few minutes: it's a rich and sensuous place.
  14. TooOld4This

    A feeling of uselesness

    Happy holidays, Tina. I don't know how you celebrate in Slovakia, but i hope there is joy for you with your family or with friends your age.
  15. TooOld4This

    whining thread

    Way to go, Pax. You did some ass-whooping of your own. Remember the Chinese proverb: "a journey of a thousand miles [or li; they don't have miles in Asia.] begins with a single step." You successfully did Step 1. You can do Step 2 too.
  16. TooOld4This

    whining thread

    Wishing you the best, Pax Keep trying, don't give up. I relate to the sense of hopelessness that comes from repeated failure. I finished law school in 1985, and began a long series of failures that lasted through 2008. That's 23 years, if you're doing the math. But stay strong and keep pushing forward. Eventually you'll show them.
  17. TooOld4This

    whining thread

    From one bullying survivor to another, VotC, wishing you the best.
  18. TooOld4This

    whining thread

    I'm still down over the U.S. election. I just got back from doing some missionary work in Africa, and i thought it would lift my spirits. it did, but only while i was there. Once i got back, i was back to thinking about what a sticking pile of hate we Americans have created for ourselves.
  19. TooOld4This

    The News [TRIGGER warning: US elections]

    Wow, Pax, thanks for the W.B. Yeats quote. The Homer of Ireland. As relevant today as it was then. I'll offer this one from Yeats, too: We know their dream; enough To know they dreamed and are dead; And what if excess of love Bewildered them till they died? … Now and in time to be, Wherever green is worn, Are changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born. It's too easy to focus on the ugliness. We can help our nation to give birth to that beauty. Let's get busy.
  20. TooOld4This

    The News [TRIGGER warning: US elections]

    Sorry, Jazz. I read the article; the author doesn't get it. This was not Fanfare For The Common Man. Jazz, i'm a Southerner from a small town. I grew up with these people; at my age, i went to high school with a few of them (a VERY few; as i said -- i come from a small town). I know these people; they are not Huckleberry Finn and Becky Thatcher. This was not Rise of The Blue-Collar Heroes. This was a massive nationwide lynch mob coming out of their houses with torches and pitchforks, looking for minorities to hang and witches to burn (for witches, maybe substitute women in hijabs). They don't just control the White House, Jazz. They also control both houses of Congress, and through intimidation if nothing else, they will control the Republicans who run most of the states and most of the local governments. My county went for Mrs. Clinton, but our county government is controlled by Republicans. Who will have to bow down to the mob; they have no choice. I'm not announcing the Apocalypse here; my country is the Land of The Free, and tyranny will not rule for very long. But my fellow freedom-loving Americans and i have to prepare to resist oppression. We've got to get busy.
  21. TooOld4This

    What soothes you?

    Yesterday, after 24 hours of suffering over the election results, i found an old religious hymn on my iPhone: "It Is Well With My Soul" sung by George Beverly Shea (a name that will be familiar to people of a particular religion and particular generation). The story is, Horatio Spafford lost his son in the Chicago Fire; then lost the rest of his family when their ship sank. So the hymn comes from an emotional place of loss and tragedy. That's what makes the lyrics more than just words. It's a declaration of inner peace, in the face of life events that declared war against happiness. That, to me, was very soothing. And do that in the face of tragedy was, to me, heroic.
  22. TooOld4This

    I'm terrified for my life

    Hi Feferi I, too, recommend that you stay in touch with us here. While i disagree with some of what you wrote, Athena (i went to church with the Trump voters for 35 years, Athena: they really are homophobic and sexist; that part's true), i agree with what you said about finding supportive people. Feferi, you're not alone because there are people who care about you, just as Athena said. When you feel alone and afraid, i hope you'll log in here. Just so you'll know that there is a place where people think you are precious and wonderful.
  23. TooOld4This

    The News [TRIGGER warning: US elections]

    “ 'History,' Stephen said, 'is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.' ” -- Ulysses, James Joyce.
  24. TooOld4This

    The News [TRIGGER warning: US elections]

    On the whole, yes. I especially supported his Affordable Care Act (that's as in "health care," Brits and Canadians. No NHS here) even though it's been generally a bust. Something needed to be done to shake up our dysfunctional health care situation (it isn't a "health care system"). Even if the Republicans replace it with something else; at least the boulder is moving. The problem with the Make America Great Again crowd is, they don't want to replace the ACA with something; they want to replace it with nothing, then they'll stand back and gloat about "ha ha, we sure screwed things up for those four-eyed college graduates, didn't we." I have no respect for nihilism in any form, least of all in health care.
  25. TooOld4This

    The News [TRIGGER warning: US elections]

    You might be right, Pax. No matter how much somebody might want to create a better world through an election, there will always be self-centered ignorant people who see an election as nothing more than an opportunity to express hatred of, or contempt for, a race / cultural group / gender or gender identity / religion or religion in general / subculture / region / other. Or, that's how we Americans do it. I haven't signed up with either the liberal camp or the conservative camp, precisely because they both do this. Instead of having ideals, tempered by a desire to find a shared path forward, we Americans look for an Other or Them or That Group whom we can demonize or belittle. "I refuse to feel good unless i'm putting down a group that's different from me." A disgusting attitude. Sorry, Abraham Lincoln. We heard the voice of "the better angels of our nature" and then chose the voice of our demons instead.