My First Bullies

Who in your life held you in unconditional high regard and rooted for you, ride or die 24-7-365?

Who in your life consistently instilled messages of doubt, fear, shame, guilt, defectiveness? Chances are that those very people made damn sure to amplify that message at every opportunity, to share with anyone who would listen. The person/people who did so to me, needed for me to be bad and wrong so they could feel right about how they treated me and for enlisting others to support their smear campaign. AND to help them curate affirm their identities as the perpetual victim, the martryr, the hero.

Having the primary women in my life bully me, collectively, particularly when I struggled in ways they could not relate to or manage, was devastating. Allowing and expecting my proximity only when I happened to please them, banishing and condemning me the rest of the time. Never ever to be counted on as trusted allies to me. Conditional af –soul-crushing and heart breaking. Not loving. Not kind. Not Safe. Always needing to punish/shame or rescue. Who even benefits from that….ohhhhh- naricissists do.

As I review these patterns and try to make sense, I am finding undeniable connection between the bully, coward, persecutor and the “rescuer”. It is one persona, seeking control, pity or admiration— at any cost.

It is a freaking miracle that I have been able to learn to recognize and address the negative effects on me and to examine toxic attitudes and behaviors which I learned, copied, developed to cope within that malignant dynamic. I have so many things which I have said and done which make me cringe, too many to count. Fortunately, 99% of them are more than 15 years behind me. Cliche as it is…hurt people, hurt people. And when we know better, we do better.

I am beyond grateful for all of the unlearning and reparenting. I can see many reasons for why I behaved as I did and in my effort to understand and explain it, if only to myself, I do not think for a moment, that having a reason is the same has having an excuse. Some things can simply not be excused. Forgiven, maybe, but not excused.

Without recovery, I absolutely would have (unknowingly and naturally) abused my children, simply by doing what I had learned and experienced: each time I annoyed, inconvenienced, challenged my bullies–typically by having and expressing a feeling or need.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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