Jump to content
Mental Support Community

Bullying and Failure


Recommended Posts

It appears from reading a lot of the posts on this site that we all share a strong sense of ‘self‘, whilst we also have a strong sense of negativity towards that ‘self’. Do we all accept that none of us were born this way but that we learned these negative ways of thinking/behaving from the behaviour shown to us by our parents/carers?

Firstly, it is my belief these people had no idea they were creating within us the prison-like existence we are now experiencing.

It is also my belief that whilst these learned negative thoughts and behaviours cannot necessarily be unlearned, they can be understood merely as templates we have chosen to follow. We follow these templates to maintain contact with our parents/carers who were initially the most important people in our lives. They gave us life, and as babies we depended upon them for survival, love, nurturing, comfort….no wonder we followed their examples.

Our repeated failures in the adult world are a way of maintaining contact with the domineering mother who always said she would “make the big, bad, world go away, everything will be fine, there there…….”. For her part, she would also never lose the baby boy or girl inside of you!

If the child sees the mother as bigger and scarier than the outside world then for the child to succeed in the outside world would mean to lose and enrage the domineering mother, and she is a far more frightening prospect than the outside world could ever be. Therefore, to fail is infinitely more preferable as it means mother is not lost - the ultimate protector remains pacified and close to you - and vice-versa….

Those of us who become victims have initially been destroyed by pathologically inconsistent parenting. For instance, a small child’s behaviour may be fine today but tomorrow it is totally wrong, and thus the child begins to learn that for no logical reason it can become the victim/focus of extreme parental rage at any time. (eg today dropping food on the floor is fine, tomorrow you do the same thing and your mother freaks out screaming and locks you in your room for a couple of hours). Over time this inconsistency breeds doubt in the child’s mind until it suppresses control of its own emotional independence and allows it’s emotional state to become dependent upon and be dictated by the mood of the parent. The child no longer knows what is right or wrong and suppresses its emotional self-control through the fear of its parent’s unpredictable fury and rage:


Later in life this dependence progresses to friends, co-workers, partners etc. These are the people who we then allow to dictate our feelings - and they don‘t even know it. We are dependent upon them, allowing them to make us feel good then bad then any-which-way, and we have little choice other than to allow this because we have had our internal emotional controls bullied out of us by unreasonable, inconsistent, and stupid parents who appeared to hate us for no reason..

“I had a good day today: so-and-so smiled at me……or so-and-so wasn’t horrible to me“.

We are virtually compelled to allow bullies to do this to us at school, at work, and in marriage. As victims we ask ’What have I done wrong?’, and ‘Why are they doing this to me?’, and ‘Why won’t they leave me alone?’.

Bullies thrive on our fear of suffering the wrath of hell - we allow them to make us feel bad - whether we do the right thing or not.

It is this repression which separates victims from non-victims.

I hope some of this helps someone somewhere. It is how I try to make sense of the world. I don’t blame my parents, they were young and clueless about parenting, but at the same time I can’t forgive them either for the sheer agony they have inadvertently caused me throughout my life.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good morning Duncan

Thanks for your insights, I think here are lots of folks here who've struggled with this issue for years. I noticed that you moved from 1st person to 3rd person when you wrote, so thought to ask if this has been something that has affected you, too? If so, can you talk about it here?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello to you David,

Yes, I have suffered bullying at various times in my life. I wouldn't have the ideas and thoughts within me if I were unaware of the mechanisms behind it - at least in my own case.

I don't have a problem talking about it but ultimately my story is the same as everyone else's; for me the real motherlode is in understanding why we feel compelled to submit to the will of another when it is our own, precious emotional balance that is at stake. How dare a bully destroy such a fundamental part of our humanity...... And how we fight back and take back our precious emotional centre.

Believe me, no one despises bullies more than I, I have learned that to physically fight back is to win.....but the victim mindset remains and must be monitored constantly because bullying is often more than just physical threats, it is the emotional devastation and sometimes catastrophic effect on self-esteem that can be the real killer.

I have personally found as a male that the situation is much worse when the bully is a female because this mirrors my original bully - my own mother. I'm sure she didn't realise what she was doing but she nevertheless felt she had to destroy me in the battle for supremacy between parent and child. I have spent the rest of my life trying to avoid similar situations whilst inadvertently walking straight into them. The only escape is to leave the situation whether it be work, relationship, whatever. I don't yet know how to defeat emotional bullies other than to walk away. Maybe that is the victory in itself.

As much as I have my own stories, I would like to try and say things on this site which may be of genuine benefit to others because I have truly felt the pain and it hurts far more, and lasts much longer than anything physical ever could.

And what about your experiences David?

What about everyone else's experiences?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good morning again Duncan,

Parts of my life story are scattered throughout the forum. Following are 2 that may give you a picture. The bullying I experienced is extremely unique in the American culture, but common in 3rd and 4th world countries.

Post #11


Post #8


I'm on my way out but will fully respond to your questions and thoughts later today.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello David,

In the light of your post I almost humbly admit to having suffered beatings, ritual humiliation and sexual abuse too, but not to the levels you describe. It sounds like you were in a war zone, and you and your family have suffered things I can not comprehend. The damage and fall-out from those appalling events are not something I could begin to fathom or understand. (I couldn't open post 11 btw)

My selfishness and paranoia says I should withdraw from this site as there are people here with seemingly far more on their plate than I can imagine. Certainly there seems to be much confusion over feelings, and many people have major difficulties in talking about the events behind these feelings.

I know this is not a competition, and I have not suffered in the same way as you David, but I am nevertheless trapped in a private hell I wouldn't have chosen to inhabit, and that is why I am here. Maybe I can be of help to someone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Duncan. I don't believe that anyone here would ever want to minimize the pain of your experiences or make this into a "competition". When others share their personal stories it can be helpful to know that they have an idea of the place you are coming from. It can also make it a bit more undaunting to reveal more about your own difficulties. While the path each individual takes in life may be very different from anyone else's, in the end we're all flawed human beings on the very same journey. We're in this together. When someone shares a bit of themselves with you, this giving of the self is in the hope that you will feel more at ease to express your own feelings.

I hope that you stay here with us on the boards, Duncan. Supporting others within your own pain creates something positive within yourself. I have little doubt that you can be of help here and that perhaps we may return the favor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey there Duncan,

Just wanted to say...........

That well, I came here out of total desperation, confused and scared about well, everything. I needed help, and yet never had the courage to go to my gp about the things that I was personally experiencing health wise.

We all come here for different reasons, in search of different things, I am grateful for finding this site, it has helped me in many ways, but mostly for me I think that without the sound advice , support and at times genuine care of the other members, well I would never of had the courage to try and seek the pro help that I needed, and although things are tough, they could be so much worse. It helps me to know that I am not alone in my thoughts , emotions and feelings.

I hope that you remain here with us, as we all share our worlds with one another, supporting eachother as we best we can, whilst we try and overcome our own personal battles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...