Why I should feel empathy and remorse to my former bullies?

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Dillogic
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03 Jun 2022, 10:55 pm

I don't hold any negative opinions on people that caused the PTSD stuff. Just life stuff, which may or may not have made me a stronger person that can endure things. They caused some mental illness, but whatever. They didn't feel anything since they lack that empathy, so no real point feeling anything back, either good or bad. I moved on. Scars of the mind and body are just scars and reminders of life that we go through.

I hate betrayal, and that's something I have trouble forgiving and forgetting, along with people harming those close to me, because whilst I might not care too much about myself, I do care about said close people greatly.



cyberdad
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03 Jun 2022, 11:00 pm

Fair comment, often seeing something in real-life or TV can trigger the PTSD but that doesn't mean one has to carry a flame of hatred for the bullies who for the most part have long forgotten you exist.



FranzOren
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04 Jun 2022, 9:51 am

It makes sense.



naturalplastic
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04 Jun 2022, 12:22 pm

You dont need to feel empathy for those who bullied you ages ago. A certainly not remorse. You never did anything bad to them -so what is there for you to feel "remorse" about?

Okay maybe fantasizing doing bad things to them is something you feel guilty about later. But you didnt act on the fantasies so you never actually did anything to harm THEM.

The thing you should do is just get past it, move on, and stop thinking about having been bullied.



Last edited by naturalplastic on 04 Jun 2022, 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

FranzOren
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04 Jun 2022, 1:09 pm

It's hard to move on, I feel very hurt. Being used as a tool to be made fun of for having atypical development is very painful. I am trying my best to move on, but those negative memories keeps coming back and the more angry I get.

I need some help and therapy. I hope you know what I mean.



naturalplastic
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04 Jun 2022, 1:38 pm

Well, do that then. Get some professional help.



Joe90
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04 Jun 2022, 1:49 pm

It is best not to obsess over it like the OP does, but I do understand how hard it is to just forget and move on. The bullying I faced ruined my whole teenage years and it has left me with scars that will never heal and it even comes back to haunt me. Like if random teenagers in the street make noises at me or something I feel angry inside, because it reminds me of my teenage years. Or if I feel excluded or rejected by my peers, it brings back my teenage days when other girls deliberately excluded me and treated me differently. Also I was so clueless on some things when I was a teenager, that I often embarrassed myself and had to learn the hard way that people do judge tou. So while I learnt from those experiences, I think I had learnt too much, and now I'm TOO conscious of myself and everyone around me and how I am treated, etc.

Your child/teen years can actually have an affect on who you are for the rest of your life, as those can be the years we remember the most.


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FranzOren
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04 Jun 2022, 1:52 pm

I agree. Thank you!



Fenn
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04 Jun 2022, 4:09 pm

I don’t need to feel remorse for something someone else did, but I am responsible for my actions and reactions. My brother used to use size and age advantage unfairly. I am still angry with him - but it was years ago and I am safe now. I have tried confronting him as an adult but (it appears to me) he is in denial. Once, as an adult, I saw two brothers having a shoving match. I was around 30 and they were teens. I yelled at the brothers I thought was the aggressor and shoved him into some nearby cardboard boxes.

This was over 20 years ago.

Problem? He wasn’t my brother. My trouble with the past coloured the present. I was an adult and should have refrained from getting physical with a teen. Now I was the one with a size advantage and age advantage. Now I was the one not using self-restraint and taking unfair advantage of my superiority. In this case remorse on my part is appropriate. If I had done more work on empathy for my brother I could have been part of the solution instead of part of the problem. It can be hard to forgive someone who has not acknowledged wrong doing. But empathy is about seeing someone as human. With good and bad in him, just like I am human with good and bad in me. If I am able to recognize the good and bad in a bully I might do a better job recognizing the good and bad in me.

Resentment is like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die.

Resentment is like setting myself on fire and trying to annoy someone else with the smoke.

Revenge is like trying to say 1 bad + 1 bad = 1 good instead of 2 bad. It is bad math. It doesn’t heal me to become what I hate. It just spreads the pain. It can also hurt innocent bystanders (and one of them may be me) and be out of proportion - I don’t make good decisions when I am hurting and angry.

If someone spits on me and I put that person in the hospital as “payback” (no, I have never done this) I would have reason for remorse. That doesn’t condone spitting. It means I can see when I am wrong.

Those are some reasons for remorse. It is about building a better me - not something the bully “deserves” or “doesn’t deserve”. Character and integrity. Not feeling remorse in such situations can really tear me down inside.


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FranzOren
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04 Jun 2022, 4:25 pm

I agree! Thank you!



KitLily
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06 Jun 2022, 9:18 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
I'd listen to KitLily if I were you!


Gosh! Someone listening to me for once :lol:


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06 Jun 2022, 11:17 am

KitLily wrote:
You shouldn't. End of.

I live by this motto: the best revenge is to Live Well.

It means to focus on you, your life, your happiness and not the people who hurt you. Karma will deal with them.

Hence why when I met my previous boyfriend who had really hurt me decades ago, he found I am now happily married, have a child, a job, a home, friends etc. I am not still pining over him, sad and lonely. He wasn't too happy about that. Dear oh dear. I had moved on happily instead of getting revenge.
Wait until you get to be my age.

Most of the bullies I knew in childhood were rebellious risk-takers.  By now, most have either broken the law and ended up in prison (then on the street), or they would not listen to people who said, "Don't" and went ahead and did something stupid that ended their lives.

One bully in particular wanted to be the biggest, baddest, buffest body-builder around, so he took black-market steroids, buffed up, got brain cancer (like
 Lyle Alzado ), and died in a vegetative state.



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06 Jun 2022, 11:32 am

I'm 53. I suppose I'm lucky that I wasn't bullied horrendously at school, so I can't remember their names or what they did. Much less care.

Being bullied as an adult has been worse, because it's all the whispering behind my back, excluding from events, talking over me, just plain ignoring me. I wonder if it would be better to be physically bullied, then at least I could unleash my considerable pent up rage on a bully.


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06 Jun 2022, 11:40 am

Trust me, you are better off in your current situation than in being physically abused.

Words and ostracism can be dealt with or ignored.  I have my own hobbies and interests, and it does not matter if no one else is interested.

Yet, when I go on a trip or attend some special event, and I hear from some of those 'frenemies' things like "You should have invited us to come along", I just smile and ask them how their latest party/reception/shindig went, knowing full well that I was not invited.

The dumb looks on their faces are priceless!



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06 Jun 2022, 3:15 pm

Sometimes emotions are subconscious, natural or involuntary

There are no emotions that someone "should" feel

"Should", "can", and "will" are all three different things

"There's a thin line between love and hate"



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06 Jun 2022, 3:22 pm

cyberdad wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
At least I'd hope so because the entire relationship you have changes as the person ceases to be your peer. In this case the person you had the relationship with is still the kid you remember but you're no longer the kid they bullied, you're a grown-ass man who's had lots of time to mature and gain perspective (just like the bully hopefully has if you encounter them again).


I've come across my former schoolyard bullies 20-30 years later and they always act like I was their long lost friend. They all have one thing in common whether you meet male or female bullies from decades before....they all have amnesia. I also find that amnesia in people who were friends with you in school but now pretend they don't know you.


I don't ever tolerate that pattern of behaviour either. I'll bluntly remind people how they treated me but I don't do it with the intention of reheating stale beef, just simply to force people to acknowledge previous actions. I don't become open to their friendship, but I can at least abandon grudges and desires for hostility.


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