I think it is a matter of internalizing a particular way of being and worldview which is then repeated in our future decisions and behaviour. I was harassed by a group of males during elementary and middle school because they thought I was aboriginal for some reason (even though I'm pretty damn white
). Although I cognitively recognized that it was their behaviour that was wrong and dismissed them as jackasses, I did internalize the idea that people are 'unsafe', which continued to influence my behaviour years after the fact.
We are really responsible for choosing whether or not to continue behaving this way though. I understand that bullying can be traumatizing, especially if you don't have many internal and external resources, but at some point, you have to make the decision to break your own cycle of thoughts and choose a more empowering way of being. If you have enough internal and external resources, you don't even have to let bullies influence your way of thinking at all. I don't hold it against a person for not having those resources though. They may not even be conscious of the fact that they are living a pattern of victimization.
Originally Posted by Marth
Well from a different perspective, I WAS THE BULLY in school. I don't really understand why you would let experiences from your teen years still bother you and traumatize you.