How can I overcome traumatic memories from the past? Proving very difficult?

Posted , 8 users are following.

Hey guys

I hope all is well with you.

Currently I am a 26 try old student in London. Cut a long story short I am struggling very much with overcoming unsettling memories from my days at school and teenage years when I lived in Scotland.

The biggest fear of mine is that of one high school bully who tormented and threatened me every single day after I embarrassed myself in fights back then. Trouble is he was a friend when he though I was cool but after several embarrassing incidents suddenly turned on me.

My fault with this is I retaliated by lying and saying of he doesn't stop my brother and his gang will sort him out. This made him get worse and laugh even more at me and became intimidating as I knew that he was a likely gangster. Anyway one night he called me and said "I will bring it ass down easily as we arranged a foght, which was ofcourse lies I told". When o couldn't u can imagine how it got worse.

During that time none of this affected me, but now when I look back I get flashbacks which terrify me with the though of ever going into him.

Is there a way of can overcome this? Or do u think I'm exaggerating this fear?

Thanks very much for Ur help.

1 like, 14 replies

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    The bloke isnt worth thinking about. Whats a bully going to amount to in life, bugger all. Get on with making a success of your own life. You may feel ashamed that you couldnt deal with him. Take up boxing or a martial art. Will give you confidence of being able to handle yourself, and him if you ever run into him again. I was a bit of a whimp at school, though never really bullied. Took up weight training, to the extent, that i dont need to back down, if confronted by someone. Im not a thug myself, but its quite empowering to know you can deal with certain situations.
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  • Posted

    Hi Adame,

    I'm sorry you have these flashbacks, they are an awful way of reminding us of past pain. I would say this emotional flashback you talk of, obviously I could be wrong, seems to have got to a point where this specific flashback is recurring frequently? We can think of trauma in many different ways and over analyse as we become ever more hyper-vigilant in the present. Our memories can get jumbled and the brain at times can confuse us even though we are very sure of the specifics of the incident that occurred in the past.  

    Fear from any thought process is fear and it is real for you, so I am sure no-one will tell you you are exaggerating this fear as it belongs to you. How we can over come is lengthy and not an overnight fix especially as it is recurring from an early age. What you may find is that this memory you are fixating on comes from other past fears and connects from them and with them. In other words, your fear was there way before this specific incident took place - and that's what you could look more closely at

    A good schema therapist will take you through childhood experiences and explain why you have fixated on this specific fear. It takes time and there is no timeline or symbolic processes at work with this type of therapy as it is cognitive based, (but not CBT) it offers real help and healing and can be private or through your NHS service.

    All I will add is that you alone can do this, your fears which are very real to you can be healed with time and therapy, which will give you clarity and confidence which all of us deserve. There are additional supplements that can help such as mindfulness, reading on different therapy disciplines that you think is best for you. In the meantime, try and be easy on yourself, go do some things you enjoy and be hopeful in knowing that people do care and also hopeful for you future as you go along the path of healing therapy.

    p.s. there is a quick technique that schema therapy offers - find an object of your choice - when you feel fear, have the object in your hand and think of this reply and of the others that have been there for you and kind to you, this gives comfort in the moment. 

    Take care 

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    • Posted

      Thanks omni your reply is much appreciated. The only thing that still worries me though is just the element of what if o bump into that person again and I am what you could say on the back foot. It worries me that if I were to visit Scotland again this person would terrorise me again which considering what they r capable of is what scares me of you know what i mean.

      However over the past few years I have bumped into old school classmates who I didn't like but ended up being very nice to my surprise. I just hope that person is the same

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  • Posted

    Hey ahaha I used to do this... I used to get flash backs of when one of my bullies used to push me and ask me to fight her, I never would being a timid and NICE girl. She even done it to me at the top of a flight of stairs and I had to catch myself on the banister. She also pulled down my trousers and underwear in the middle of my town during a small local festival. I was maybe only 12 or so but it definitely scared me for quite some time. I woukd often imagine her pushing me. Sometimes I would feel intimidated just thinking about it. Other times I imagined I went nuts on her hahah. When I started my new school I was relived I would never see her but still thought about it. Last year while at the same yearly local festival I stood up to her when she tried to cause an argument between me and a new friend I had made. I stood right square in her face and said the words she had to me all those years. "Fight me, if that's what you want" just do it. I smiled and laughed as I said it inches from her and she started shouting and raving, but didn't once put her hands on me. Only when a bunch of people came running over to separate us did she start "swinging" I laughed and stood where I was and told her when she was done being held back here I was. And I wasn't going anywhere. Her friends took her away and they left. It was definitely amusing to Watch. Since then I havent worried or thought about her once, although I would kinda like a go at her again hahah.... this same thing happend me with two sisters a while after in a diffrent area. The girls boyfriend was insulting my father for no reason in town any time he would walk down the street they woukd shout at him. My brave brother knocked the guy out cold in the street one day but that's what got me into a confrontation with the girlfriend and her sister. They were sat at the bottom end of a feild down a lane way. And I was at the top of that feild with my friends when a guy came up to me laughing telling me the girls at the lower end said they were "after" me and we're planning to beat me up. (I need you to know I am not a fighter, lol at all) but you got to do what you got to do... so I told him to go back down and tell them if they wanted me, I'm right here.... we got into a fight that day. And I took them both on. I wouldn't say any of us "won" but I didn't run and hide and I didn't back down either. Since then my dad was free to walk down his own street in peace. And for that I am glad. Sometimes we gotta trust ourselves to have it in us when needed and just go with it. The only person you have is yourself so make it the best one :P

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    • Posted

      Wow Shannon your stories really are surprising for me to here and I'm very glad of your great courage. I know you are right when I think about it, but the only thing which makes me that little bit affraod is with the fact he is involved with drug dealers and gangsters and I have nothing to stand against that.

      The thing whichade the altercations worse at that time was the fact o told him I did and o feel so guilty and regret it for mentioning my older brother as it might cause him trouble.

      None of that is possible now I know, but it's just a fear I have in my mind that of my brother found out I said that about him he would go crazy at me.

      Then again my family always stand by me and my brother is the opposite of me so of that was ever to happen who knows.

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    • Posted

      Yeah I have had my fair share of aholess in my past too. And I do get your worry. Honest I'm not a brave type but in the moments that I had to, I really just bit the bullet and said or did what I needed too. It dosent always need to be a confrontation as there are some of my past bully that I see in the street on a regular passing who will niw smile at me and some even try to talk to me now... not that I'm intrested in befriending any of them I can still smile back and say I don't wish them "the worst" .... the guy that I told you about who my brother knocked out. I was there with him when it happened, we were walking home from the swimming pool at the time. And when we got home I knew they were going to retaliate... I said to my brother I bet he will be up her with his bigger brothers in 10 minutes for you... so we went inside and my brother sat at my front window watching. And sure enough about 10-15 guys in there mid 20s all came walking into my dad's front garden. I was terrafied at the time and these guys were known to be the tough ones in the town. No one crossed them they were dealers and always in trouble with the law. But I watched my own brother that day, he saw them all come into the garden and he screamed at them out the window not to step into our garden. And a few started to. So my bro put his own Head through our front window, in anger and adrenaline he headbutted the window and it smashed over him. Blood running down his face he ran out our front door and started screaming to them "come on then" and I kid you not ! One of them shouted are you nuts man and ran back. All 15 of them honedtly backed off and left. I was in the back room in serious panic. But heard it all. I couldn't belive that all of them ran. 😅😅 but I suppose my bro splitting his own Head open in anger was enough to convince them that he wasn't messing or backing down. Ahah maybe he was the one that gave me the inspiration to be tough and trust myself. . . If you act like a loony, chances are no one will want to try you... so trust yourself to be brave smile and even if your not strong. You can still scare them with your ruthless mentality. .. but as your worried how they may retaliate I suggest you just get on with your life and worry of none of them. Chances are you will not see him again and if you do. Time may have changed him, or he may be on probation 😅 or he may be afraid you will get him locked up. Or he may just want to chill out now and forget about it. Or he may still be trying to act jack the lad. But let him. What's the worst he can do.. that you couldn't recover from. you will always be fine in the end. And in time it will be a distant memory. smile ?

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  • Posted

    I was bullied at school, in fact all 3 schools by all different people. Never once did I stick up for myself. It always stays with you. I remember all their faces and names and my face burns to this day just thinking of how cowardly I was then. Now I am older and wiser and have gained the strength that comes with maturity and I know that nobody would ever treat me like that again, I just wish I had had that strength then to stick up for myself. I do believe in Karma though, and I am sure those bullies will get their just desserts in one form or another. Every time those bullies pop into your brain, try and put them out again. They really aren't worthy of your thoughts.

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    • Posted

      I think it's the not sticking up for our selves that bother us... wishing we did more. I'd say let karma handle it or trust fate that if you do bump into them you will be just fine if you put trust in yourself

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  • Posted

    I was bullied a lot during childhood for my werid accent (a brit growing up in Canada) Only now getting to terms with it. It’s amazing how much power early memories have. I’m sure the person who was doing the bullying would now be ashamed of their actions. I have found it helpful to imagine my adult self guiding my child self through the memories. I hope you can find a way through this. 
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    • Posted

      I believe that a lot of bullying is due to jealousy, although the bullied person would probably not agree. Jealous of looks or figure or materialistic things. Or in your case your accent. Perhaps they should be pitied for their feelings of inadequecy. Bullying is not the answer though.
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    • Posted

      Yes lotty sometimes a letter to your younger self works wonders! Just to show yourself the changes in what you would do and how you might or could have acted ... just reading back the letter and realising the change in your mentality is enough to bring some comfort. That if you were to ever be tried again you know how not to feel and act... 🤗 I have done all of these things 😅 xx

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  • Posted

    Hi I think the fact you didn't stand up for yourself is a self esteem issue and I understand that coz I too was bullied at school.  It was only ever verbal bullying coz I was one of the tallest biggest girls in school and no one ever dared to take me on physically!  I would probably have run away if they had!

    Nowadays while I have never actually been in a fight I do stand up for myself if I have to and make a point of it.  I have a look at the issues and whether it is really bothering me and if so I take action.  If it's not then I forget about it.  It is very important to pay attention to your self esteem.  x

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