8 Emotions That Targets of Bullying Feel

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Targets of bullying endure a hell that no one can comprehend unless they themselves have experienced bullying. It’s the same with the range of resulting emotions they feel. Unless you’ve been there, you can’t imagine the intense stress and the wide array of powerful emotions that come with it.

1.Grief- Once you become an object of bullying or mobbing, life as you know it changes. You mourn for the way your life used to be and long to get your former life back. You also grieve the loss of your respect, dignity, reputation, good standing, and your identity. You mourn the loss of your friends and in some cases, your spouse and family.

2, Bewilderment- You don’t understand why this is happening to you- why you’re being bullied and why people you love and thought loved you have turned against you. You’re also at a loss as to what you did to bring about such hatred. In your heart, you know that you’re a great person and that you never intentionally slighted nor hurt anyone. So, what gives?

3. Confusion- You’re at a loss as to which way to turn and who to turn to. And you don’t know what to do to remedy the situation because each time you try, only makes the bullying worse. You feel stuck!

4. Terror – Anytime you’re targeted, the fear can be paralyzing. You’re afraid to speak but afraid not to speak. You’re afraid of the people around you. You’re afraid to make any moves or decisions because you know that anything you do will be scrutinized and made to look bad, crazy, or evil. You’re afraid to come to school or work because you know they’re all out to get you and you know that if you show, they’ll only blindside you with another attack.

4. Sadness- You cry in your car to and from your school or workplace. You cry in your pillow at night when you go to bed. It seems that no one will give you a chance and you’re isolated and alone. When you try to make new friends, the bullies always seem to intervene and turn the new people against you too. The type of sadness a target feels is the kind that is deep, dark, and overwhelming.

6. Depression- This comes with being rendered powerless. It seems that there’s nothing you can do to change the situation. You have the feeling of being bound and gagged. You feel trapped like a rat and there’s nowhere to go where the bullies and participants won’t find you. And you feel that there’s no hope that things will ever get better.

7. Ohhhh, the rage! This is, by far, THE most powerful emotion targets can have. With each physical or psychological attack, the fury grows until you’d give anything just to have the power to rip their heads off and shoved them up their you-know-whats. Oh, yes! Rage does that to you and gives you such evil thoughts!

I remember the rage I felt in middle and high school when I was a target of bullying and it grew to a level until, at one point, I felt homicidal! I loathed them so intensely that I just wanted all of them to drop dead.

I used my brain. I didn’t allow myself to snap and take any lives. I thought about my future and how doing something horribly violent would ruin it, I then decided that none of my classmates were worth ruining my future and causing my family heartache over and eventually, a door opened for me and I was able to transfer to a new school where things got better.

8. 8Suicidal thoughts. It’s not that you want to die. You just want the torment to stop and when it gets to a certain level, death seems to be the only escape for it. These thoughts happen when you feel you’ve exhausted every possible option to make things better. But don’t give up. Because as long as you’re alive, there’s always a good chance that things will change for the better and you can come out victorious on the other side of it.

 I want you to know that if you’re a target of bullying, things may seem hopeless, but they aren’t. Things change for the better all the time and when you least expect them to.

What is DARVO?

It is just another term for gaslighting but is more in-depth. Bullies will discredit the victim by discrediting the claims.

DARVO is an acronym that stands for:

D – Deny – Anytime the target calls out their bullies’ abuse, the bullies will first deny the behavior. Bullies will counter with things like,

“That’s not what I said.”

“That never happened.”

“That’s not what I did.”

Or, they may not necessarily deny it, but may minimize their behavior by saying things like:

“It wasn’t that serious.”

“I didn’t hit you that hard. That was a love-pat compared to what I could’ve done to you.”

“If I was mad, you’d know it.”

A – Attack – Next, the bullies will attack you. They will discredit you by discrediting your claims. Bullies will use gaslighting to make you question or doubt yourself. And they will say to you, things like:

“You’re overreacting.”

“You’re crazy.”

“You’re just looking for a fight.”

“You’re a drama queen.”

“You’re being paranoid.”

“You’re being difficult.”

“You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.”

“You just won’t leave well enough alone.”

R – Reverse

V – Victim

and

O – Offender – The bullies will blame you for their behavior. They’ll claim that you did something to them to make them act the way they acted. Your bullies will make statements such as:

“It’s your fault.”

“You asked for it.”

“You had it coming.”

“You made me hurt you.”

“You’re the bully, not me!”

Understand that bullies do this to escape accountability and, at the same time, cause the target to doubt and blame themselves. The stronger the bullies’ DARVO reaction, the more likely the target will blame themselves. And when it happens, the target will feel crazy, stupid, guilty, and responsible. This is why targets often take responsibility for the abuse they suffer.

DARVO is also used to silence targets and make them afraid to speak out. If victims are brainwashed into thinking they’re crazy, they’ll be afraid that everyone else will think the same thing.

I want you to know that you’re not responsible for the vile behavior of another person because you can’t control someone else’s behavior. You can only control yours.

Know that it isn’t your place to carry someone else’s emotional baggage! And how you unload it is to go grey-rock and cut the bullies out of your life if possible.

DARVO has been around since the beginning of time. Down through history, it’s been the most common manipulation tactic of psychological abusers. Only 24 years ago did someone put a name to it! DARVO came from the work of psychologist Jennifer Freyd, PhD, who first introduced the term in late 1997.

You can read more about Dr. Freyd and DARVO here:

https://dynamic.uoregon.edu/jjf/defineDARVO.html

With knowledge comes empowerment!