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Panic attacks

Bullying & Beyond…Denial

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Time and the right conditions not only preserve but bring about something of beauty – Marie Clancy.

 

When we deny who we are and how we really feel, either physically and/or mentally we silence our authentic self.  We reject ourselves. For years I didn’t admit that I have fibro/fatigue, except to a few family members and close friends. When we reject ourselves we are bullying ourselves. We think we are not good enough, we focus on our flaws and feel a sense of shame.

Similarly, when we are bullied we are also silenced. We are judged by someone and denied the opportunity to be our real selves. We think we are not good enough and we withdraw from society or family. When we withdraw emotionally we block off our true emotions, denying ourselves the right to acknowledge and feel our emotions.

When our daughter experienced bullying, it caused her to step into survivor mode. She put up a front whilst crying inside.  She couldn’t let the bullies see her crying. She knew if she broke down crying, it would fuel even more bullying.

After finishing secondary school she moved past bullying, building back her resilience. She participated in further education and in society. She set and achieved many new goals. She met new and inclusive peers, friends and educators. All these mature, self-aware people bolstered her confidence.

However, even if it’s been years since you were bullied, a simple, present day event may unexpectedly trigger the same feelings. This was the case for our daughter.  It only took one educator to criticise Emma and her work, in front of her peers, to bring our daughter right back to survival mode.

This time it was different. Emma found the courage to address the issue to her school counsellor. She sought advice. She spoke up to that educator. She stood up for herself. She didn’t need to call upon her parents. She was self-sufficient.

But despite speaking up for herself, the trauma of being disrespected and denied the right to be herself, triggered her survival mode. All the things she could do with ease soon became overwhelming. That was almost nine months ago.

Anxiety
Low mood
Mood swings
Isolation
Fear
Agoraphobia
Panic attacks
Loneliness

All symptoms of bullying.

Then Emma’s new puppy, Doris arrived.

 


More mental health support came on-board.  But there are still ups and downs.

She felt lonely a few nights ago but she didn’t deny her feelings. She didn’t hide it. She cried for the loneliness and for the years of denying her true self.  You can learn more about isolation here Bullying & Beyond…A victim’s abject loneliness.

She cried while we were away, only showing us a glimpse when we returned. But a glimpse is enough to show us that she has turned a corner because now she is beginning to listen to and acknowledge how she feels.  She is learning to externalise how she feels instead of internalising the pain. That is a big step and an important lesson!

We can also learn a lesson from her new, trainee Psychiatric Assistance Dog, Doris.

Doris saw Emma’s upset. Doris didn’t deny her. The opposite in fact, Dorris, a little puppy, stretched herself across our daughter’s lap and kissed and licked her. Dorris accepted Emma exactly as she was.

Have you been denied the right to be yourself?  Do you deny yourself? What supports can you access to build your resilience and be your true self?

Le grà,

Mindfully Marie xx

Three Things Challenge: Sunflower, spatula, raise

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Growing sunflowers from seed or running the spatuala around the inside of her great-grandmother’s baking bowl as she removes the remnants of banana bread or coffee cake, just two surefire ways, to raise her spirit from the clutches of anxiety! You too can find the sun within your clouds!

Le grà,

Mindfully Marie xx

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/74951/posts/2287778360

Bullying & Beyond…A victim’s abject loneliness.

Abject … sunk to or existing in a low state or condition : very bad or severe…

Loneliness… being without company, sad from being alone…

If you feel lonely, you are ironically not alone in that feeling, you are one of many, part of a silent epidemic, not unique to Ireland…

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.independent.ie/irish-news/health/loneliness-a-silent-epidemic-and-the-last-taboo-in-ireland-37018602.html

And if you want to identify the different types of loneliness and why it matters, you might like to read…

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-happiness-project/201702/7-types-loneliness-and-why-it-matters%3famp

But when mental health is being impacted by bullying, loneliness is one of the many feelings you experience.  

It wasn’t unusual for our daughter to come home from school sad and lonely.  The cause, we’d eventually learn was the result of exclusion by bullies.

Some of this exclusion came inadvertly from her quiet nature, making it difficult for her to feel free and easy in a crowd unlike her younger brother.

It’s also possible that she was labeled ‘a snob,” her quietness being mistakenly judged and found lacking; labeled unfriendly, aloof or too big for her boots.

I am compelled to warn parents to be vigilant, as the exclusion our daughter felt was very real.  

Exclusion is just one piece of arsenal employed by bullies.  It is actually a very nasty and common tool used by bullies.  It is both physical and psychological in it’s make-up.  It takes only one bully to disrespect and isolate your child and soon the bully will manage to sway the other, easily led children to do the same.  Often the other children are uneducated on the topic of bullying and being uninformed, they are unaware of the powerful and damaging impact of their actions.

Soon your child is isolated…

Alone…

Lonely…

Confused…

Voiceless…

And they begin to wear the labels, “unfriendly, “shy,” “snobby,” “not good enough” until that feeling of loneliness permiates their entire being.

Slowly their inner monologue changes from warm and fun-loving to I’m alone, unwanted, unloved.  

Before you know it, it deepens to “there’s something wrong with me, and the bullie’s labels turn your child’s belief that they are “shy” into social anxiety.

Be mindful that any ongoing stress, even when professional support is sought out, can still trigger anxiety years later.  

Panic attacks can develop, leading to further self-exclusion or worse still panic disorder.  This feeling of being overwhelmed by any social interaction can lead to agoraphobia (ag-uh-ruh-FOE-be-uh), a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and makes you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed.  You can learn more here…

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/agoraphobia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355987

So don’t stand for bullying, address it immediately, be aware of the power of exclusion and don’t allow bullies to bully you into silence and loneliness through your child.

Have you or your child experienced exclusion? How did it affect your/your child’s inner monologue?

Le grà,

Mindfully Marie xx

… to lowest pitch of abject fortune thou art fallen — John Milton (in Sampson Agoniste)

Time and the right conditions not only preserve but bring about something of beauty – Marie Clancy.

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