Tag Archives: Bullying

Thoughts on Bullying

My letter in response to reports of a bullying epidemic in a school local to me:

I feel I cannot be silent after hearing of the appalling treatment of pupils at Rednock school in Dursley. This may not be a problem unique to Rednock, but there are obviously serious concerns there.

We like to blame the school entirely, but I believe we all contribute to the disgraceful, and to a large extent- socially acceptable- form of toxic abuse.

How do we all contribute you may ask?

– By passing by when we see somebody being verbally or physically attacked, thinking it’s somebody else’s problem. It is our problem too. We are so scared of becoming bullied ourselves to stand up for someone. This increases the bully’s power over US.

If we are scared of the bully and take no action, we are contributing to the problem.

– By laughing as a bystander when somebody else is chastised for some small thing- red hair, an overweight body- whatever the issue may be.

By laughing we are contributing to the problem.

– By allowing people in our own family to constantly pick on, criticise and demean a particular family member- this in itself is bullying, and is setting up the target for further bullying at school because they learn to accept such behaviour. This behaviour may take place in private or in front of others. In private it is particularly insidious and difficult to spot, and yes, it does happen- from parents and siblings, and also from children to their parents.

By allowing bullying at home, we are contributing to the problem.

– By over-protecting our children. They do not learn to protect themselves, this is such a crucial life skill. If a child is not taught how to protect themselves- how are they meant to do this in the real world. We are setting them up for bulling.

By over- protecting our children, we are contributing to the problem.

– By befriending a bully. It can feel good when a bully likes us. They have tremendous social power, and control through fear- therefore approval from such a powerful individual can feel especially gratifying. Joining in the chastising of certain targets, gaining the approval of the bullying instigator can feel good, so we become bullies too.

By befriending a bully, we become bullies ourselves. We are contributing to the problem.

– Some teachers have allowed themselves to be so concerned with their job performance that they have no energy left to notice or prevent bullying.

By putting our own job performance ahead of the care of children, we are contributing to the problem.

The government wants us to accept bullying tactics- because they use them themselves. They don’t want people to have their own voice and stand up to those with power, so why would they see tackling bullying as such an enormous problem?

WE are the ones who give bullies their power. WE let them terrorize, not only in schools, but in workplaces, and at home too.

The targets are often so beaten down and battered by the abuse that they are left with very little energy reserves to deal with the abuse or learn to overcome it. WE must do something- we who have energy left to stand up and prevent the bullying. WE are the ones who must not accept this behaviour anymore and take action.

Schools, no doubt, must do MUCH MORE to tackle bullying, and I mean MUCH MORE.

WE are the ones who insist that getting good grades at school is more important than overcoming bullying. It is not. It is such a key life skill to be able to protect yourself from bullies, by learning to love and appreciate yourself so much for who you are, that you will protect yourself fiercely- this should be made PRIORITY over how well we achieve in school.

Those who are bullied frequently have been taught that they are not important or worthy or loved, and that to be disrespected in such a humiliating way is just how things are, and to be expected. They have no self-esteem left to protect.

WE must teach our children how loved and supported they are in life. This way they will feel good about themselves and not allow themselves to be bullied.

WE must treat children with equal respect as adults, not shame and demean them because they need looking after. They have less power than adults and so it is especially important for them to be treated with respect, so that they respect themselves. When they learn to protect themselves, they will not accept bullying either.

WE must teach them that they are not over-sensitive, it’s just that other’s can be extremely cruel. It is not their fault.

WE must stop allowing bullying to happen in front of our own eyes and thinking it is somebody else’s problem. It is a problem for ALL of us.

WE give the bullies power by allowing them to terrorise, whether in school, at home or in the workplace.

WE have to stop being passive and accepting that abusive behaviour is the norm.

Bullying should never be considered normal. It is NOT normal. The kids who are abusing are also likely to be abused at home or elsewhere- they learned this behaviour from somebody!

WE need to take responsibility too.

WE are part of the problem, but also the solution.

WE must NOT allow bullying to be socially accepted anymore.

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Suppressed Anger & Fears of Abandonment

Does anyone else have difficulty owning their anger? By this I mean do you find that you get angry with yourself when you feel anger towards another person, if that makes any sense?!

Basically I feel very uncomfortable with my own anger towards others and I’m trying to work through this issue.

Any anger I feel towards a friend or loved one I struggle to deal with. I think it might be due to a fear of abandonment: if I’m angry with those I love- I might push them away, which is always the last thing I want!

Black & White Thinking

My thinking around all this is probably very black & white, which is a well known cognitive distortion in those with psychological issues. If I feel angry I judge this as a “bad” feeling. I often transfer this to thinking that I am a “bad” person for feeling “bad” emotions.

Black & White Thinking & Bipolar Disorder

To me, black & white thinking & beliefs seem to merge very well with the idea of Bipolar Disorder. The word Bipolar means two polar opposites- such as hot and cold, or indeed, black & white.

As we develop through childhood, do we learn to see ourselves as all good or all bad?

Do we reject the bad side of ourselves & embrace only the good?- Hypomania/Mania.

Do we accept only the bad and none of the good?- Depression.

Depression is sometimes thought to be caused by suppressed anger– anger that we consciously push out of our awareness or ignore. In an attempt to process these emotions- which never really leave our whole being- we automatically turn them around to ourselves. We may have been brought up to believe that it is safer to be angry with ourselves than with others. Being angry with others may have caused very difficult circumstances in key relationships. A deep fear of abandonment by caregivers is obviously something a child is very likely to feel as their parents are absolutely essential to their existence as they see it.

Traumatic Experiences With Anger & RageID-1007128

If we deal with Bipolar Disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder, we may have had particularly traumatic rages with others, which we felt were so powerful they overtook us completely. This can be a very scary experience and one that we would do anything to stop from recurring.

High Sensitivity

If we are also Highly Sensitive (take the test here) we will likely process seemingly smaller behavioural clues as rejection or abandonment: thereby increasing the likelihood of Bipolar Disorder, Depression & Anxiety occurring in later life.

One of the diagnostic criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder is described as “frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.”

Any anger we experience towards someone we love may then be construed as a threat to our safety and therefore a potential danger in provoking this abandonment.

ID-100156695Bullying as Abandonment

Abandonment can also be seen to be a rejection by our peers. We are isolated as different and therefore a target for teasing and abuse. This creates an intense feeling of isolation and loneliness- effectively abandonment by peers.

Abandonment by God

I often think there is a real link between religion and psychological disorders. If we were brought up to believe that we were “bad” for feeling angry towards our “elders”, or that it was in some way unacceptable, we may have grasped hold of the idea that we could possibly go to “hell” for these feelings. We would therefore be rejected by God and cast out.

It all sounds very extreme and is initiated by such prehistoric religious ideas  (in my opinion) that are still circulating today.

(My idea of God is now very different- a belief in a loving, forgiving God who would never abandon any one of us. It is only us who can abandon Him.)

Suppressing Anger As A Coping Mechanism

We suppress our anger as we view it to be so dangerous to our wellbeing. It is the way we have learned to cope with our deep-seated fear of rejection.

To move forward we need to address and question this belief. Is it still relevant in our adult lives? Are we capable of taking care of ourselves? Do we love ourselves enough to take on challenges ourselves? Why do we feel we NEED other people so desperately for our basic survival?

We could identify situations we have handled on our own and feel a sense of accomplishment in that. Or challenge ourselves to participating in something just a little scary, but fun, to increase our confidence in ourselves.

Inner Child Visualization.

It is also helpful to travel back through our memories of childhood and identify times where we felt desperately abandoned. What happened? How did it feel?

Imagine your little-self and how you would comfort yourself if you could travel back and be with her/him now to support them. As your little self, imagine that love and support coming to you. If spiritual, you may like to imagine a beautiful guardian angel enfolding you in her/his protective wings.

Stepping Into Our PowerID-10021637

We are powerful beings, though it may not always feel this way. We have choices in life- choices in how we deal with emotions, situations, challenges, how we perceive things, etc.

By increasing the feelings of confidence in ourselves, we can rely on ourselves more and feel less fear of abandonment. Potentially we will then have no need to suppress our own feelings of anger as we step into our own powerful selves. We will learn to embrace our own anger as an emotion which can teach us about ourselves, and one that we can eventually become comfortable with. It will not cause our loved ones to abandon us. It is safe to feel angry. It may not feel this way yet, but imagine your own confidence growing as you experience and deal effectively with it. We are powerful enough to take charge of such a powerful emotion and use it to initiate healthy change in our relationships.

Related Posts

Bipolar Disorder- Repressed Anger

Bach Flower Remedy Consultation: Anger and Low Motivation

Take Back Your Power

Changing The Mind- Programming

Little Me and the Angel

Resources & Links

What is Suppressed Anger?

Cognitive Distortion: How Does Black & White Thinking Hurt Us?

Subservient Anger in Bipolarity

What is the Relationship Between Anger & Depression?

Highly Sensitive Person Self-Test.

Borderline Personality: Diagnostic Criteria

Photo Credits: Storm by dan; Sun by graur codrin; Lonely Girl by Sira Anamwong; all via freedigitalphotos.net.

A Letter to a Bully

To the Bully,

You scared me. You belittled me. You made me feel inferior, like a slave. I spent far too much of my time trying to please you in order to gain your approval. I didn’t realise that you didn’t give a shit about me. I worried and fretted about your anger, aggression and spite. I didn’t understand that there are people in the world who are only out for themselves. You were so skilled at pretending to be someone’s friend and then stabbing them in the back.

You raged and shouted- blaming your whole sorry existence and misery on a few of us gentle ones. I thought I wasn’t good enough, but it was you who projected this onto me. You are filled with rage and pain. I felt it every time I was in a room with you- you loved to share it out with us. I tried my best to understand you and be compassionate. I did my very best. I now know that there are people in the world who cannot love other people. I couldn’t even comprehend this at the time- it was completely foreign to me. You enjoy inflicting misery and pain: it gives you security.

But now I am beginning to see the gifts you’ve given me. You helped me to wake up to the misery I was living in everyday at work, and to see that I was desperately trying to be something I wasn’t. I will never feel alive working in an office for a company only out to make money. I will never be trendy and with the “in” crowd. I was never cared about in a group I truly thought were friends, but turned out to be completely dysfunctional. Friends can be toxic.

You’ve shown me my magnificent side. Your hatred of my talents and strengths have just spurred me on to cherish them and change my life. I don’t want to be like you. I can’t believe I spent so much time and energy getting you to like me. It’s quite funny really!!

I feel sorry that you are lonely and have no love in your life- only the vague illusion of it. You’d have liked me to be an alcoholic, go clubbing, to have no relationship and be stupid. It is sad that you feel the need to be around others you judge to be inferior just so you can feel better about yourself. Now I hope that one day you will see the love and light in life and that you don’t have to spend your time in misery.

I forgive myself for my anger towards you, and for judging you. I remember to see the gifts you have given me.

I needed to quit my job. I’m happy I did. I need time to heal and to learn to be and love myself just as I am. I don’t want to feel ashamed to be me. I don’t want to feel ashamed to be successful. I don’t want to be so damn scared of being judged and criticised by others. To be ashamed of myself as a person is one of the cruelest things I could do to myself. Perhaps I was the real bully in allowing myself to be abused by others.

 

To the Other Bully: Me

I’m sorry I made you small.

I’m sorry I told you that you are wrong to be you, that you are faulty and a freak.

I’m sorry I told you that you shouldn’t be yourself.

I’m sorry I denied you.

I’m sorry I made you say yes, when you screamed no! at the top of your lungs.

I’m sorry I made you say no, when you ached to say yes.

I’m sorry I made you believe the bullies were right.

I’m sorry I let others treat you like shit.

I’m sorry I hated you for not fitting in.

I’m sorry I forced you to be someone you’re not.

I’m sorry I’ve gagged and bound you, hidden you from the world.

I’m sorry I didn’t let you feel what was natural to feel.

I’m sorry I haven’t let you fly.

I’m sorry for abusing and ridiculing you when you became depressed and anxious.

I’m sorry for trapping you in a life you hated.

I’m sorry I felt disgusted and repelled by you.

I’m sorry I didn’t protect you from harsh people and environments.

I’m sorry I made other people superior to you.

You are beautiful, creative, intelligent and full of love for others and for life. Remember and believe this.

You are free to fly…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credits: Gulls flying by tungphoto via freedigitalphotos.net; Letter by Simon Howden via freedigitalphotos.net.

Self-Respect

 

My recent experience of being bullied at work has got me thinking about the way I treat myself.

If our outer reality mirrors our inner reality, then perhaps there has been something seriously amiss with the way I treat myself, something I’ve been blind to?

Being bullied made me feel:

Angry

Unimportant

Disrespected

Inferior

Betrayed

Undeserving/unworthy

Unappreciated

 

Do I ever make myself feel this way?

 

Bullying Ourselves

Going through depression, hypomania, anxiety, panic attacks and rage severely affects our confidence and view of ourselves.

It is so easy to view ourselves as:

-struggling through life

-less capable than others

-abnormal

-emotional  wrecks

-failures

-unworthy of  a fulfilling, purposeful, joyful life full of the things we love.

 

During depression this can can develop even further to:

-self-hatred

-disgust with ourselves (sounds severe, but I know I’ve felt like this)

-“less” than human

-despicable

-stupid

…..or any other abusive term that comes to mind.

 

As much as other people are able to bully us, so we are able to abuse ourselves. It is very easy to be blind to this self-treatment as it may have developed over a long period of time, or been the only way of thinking we’ve ever known.

 

Developing Self-Respect

However, we are able to help ourselves to lessen our negative thinking- which is in no way our fault (we were brought up learning to think in this way/influenced strongly by biological factors. We never asked to be this way).

It is a kindness to ourselves to firstly become aware of any self-abuse and secondly to replace it with love and acceptance.

Using affirmations to gently lead ourselves back to love is a practice taught by the wonderful spiritual writer Louise Hay. This involves repeating loving statements to ourselves. Instead of rationalizing our way out of negative thinking, as practised in CBT, we invite loving words into our hearts. In this way we are focusing on loving and accepting ourselves, rather than fixing ourselves, which CBT involves- which can infer some defect on our part.

Affirmations allow us to accept ourselves as we are. They allow us to love ourselves as we are, warts and all. We do not have to change. We open ourselves up to the universal love that is all around us in abundance.

Some examples of helpful affirmations are:

-I love and appreciate myself just as I am.

-The universe loves and appreciates me just as I am.

-I am meant to be here. I am needed.

-I respect myself for surviving deep despair and anguish- I am developing great strength.

– I forgive myself the past.

-Today I will take beautiful care of myself because I am precious.

 

With regards to my own abusive self-talk, I open myself up to a new way of being:

-I have great respect for myself.

-I show myself great respect.

-I treat myself kindly.

– I am worthy and deserving of kind, respectful treatment.

– I release myself from self-blame.

-I forgive myself for treating myself harshly in the past.

 

Our right to a happy life.

As Bipolar sufferers we are challenged throughout our lives to endure many extremes of mood, the vast majority of which are painful, debilitating, confusing and lead easily to us blaming ourselves. We are not to blame and we are in no way less worthy of a happy, healthy life.

Our needs are different to others and it is perfectly acceptable that we adapt our lives to fulfil our needs and keep ourselves in balance.  We need a more peaceful life, one filled with care and kindness towards ourselves, which in turn teaches others about the value of loving themselves.

Everybody has weaknesses, but also strengths. We are asked to remember these and focus our energy upon them, and love and respect ourselves enough to play with our gifts and talents without judgement.

 

Resources

Louise Hay– her beautiful books teach us how to incorporate loving affirmations into our lives. One of my favourites is You Can Heal Your Life.

Photo credits: Blossoms by Simon Howden, Girl Hugging Heart by freedigitalphotos.net, Frustrated Lady by David Costillo Dominici

Bipolar Disorder- Towards Healing: Self-Forgiveness

My blog post yesterday was full of resistance to my emotional sensitivity and the pain it has brought me. I was feeling very bitter and resentful towards the people who have abused my softer nature, most recently in the form of bullying at work. I want to try and heal these angry, hateful thoughts.

I think the number one job involves forgiving myself, as outer reality is often said to be a reflection of your inner life. And I know I bully myself.

I forgive myself for trying to make myself fit into society- by pushing and pulling my soul around and denying my true self it’s needs in order to avoid the disapproval of others, criticism and bullying. I have abused my soul by ignoring it’s cries for creativity and expression, for feeling shame for liking the things I do and having a spiritual life. I have felt the need to hide this part of me. I am scared of being different. I was teased no end at school because I went to church every Sunday, one of about three in our class of thirty to do so. We were called bible-bashers, people didn’t want to hang around us. As a child I blindly allowed everyone to see me as I was- I loved listening to classical music from the age of 11, going to the ballet and going birdwatching. I naively shared my passions out in the open, unaware I would be an ideal bullying target. So naturally I shrunk back from my peers and started to feel ashamed of the things I loved- I felt hopelessly inadequate.

I forgive myself for hiding my authentic self, it was a perfectly natural defensive response. I no longer need to hide.

I forgive myself for allowing the opinions of others to be more important to me than being true to myself.

I forgive myself for rejecting my sensitive nature.

I will work towards forgiving the bullying, but I forgive myself for my current anger: I am only human.

I now allow my true, authentic self the freedom to flow and flourish.

I celebrate my authentic self by indulging in my passions. This is not selfish, it is an act of kindness towards myself.

I nurture the gifts my sensitivity brings me.

There are many other areas in which I would like to forgive myself, but I think working on one issue at a time is probably the way forward.

Photo Credits: Angel by Michal Marcol; Rainbow by Graur Codrin.

Bipolar Disorder: Hypersensitivity Sucks.

I’ve been diagnosed as Bipolar for about 13 years. Throughout this time I’ve had periods where I’ve questioned the diagnosis. Major Depression I was in no doubt about having experienced, but I have wondered if the hypomania is just from me having quite an energetic, confident, excitable personality. I would say I get hyper and distractible, but I’ve never experienced the drive to stay up all night cleaning or writing novels. But my main issue is that I never seem to be completely symptom-less.

Despite being on (a wacking-great dose of) anti-depressants and mood stabilisers, which keep me much more balanced than I have been in the past, I still feel chronically questioning of my life, waiting for death, struggling to work or at least to maintain relationships at work. I feel sorry for myself a lot and would like to rid myself of the feeling of victimhood I seem to foster.

Currently I’ve hit yet another brick wall where work is concerned- I’ve quit due to chronic bullying. It hasn’t been severe bullying by any account, more of the psychological mind-games type, which was torturous enough. I’ve been having panic attacks again, feeling intense anxiety and having to always be on guard to see where the next “blow” is coming from.

My hypersensitivity has been my downfall in this situation. Being so easy to upset is obviously, to a bully, what blood is to a shark. I keep thinking why the hell do I have to be like this? Why can’t I just have a pill to take away this emotional fragility? This is where I think that Bipolar doesn’t cover all my symptoms- perhaps I have Borderline Personality Disorder too? Obviously the mental health profession don’t have the time or resources to investigate into this further. It seems they’re only there if you’re gonna hurt yourself or someone else. I guess I’m starting to realise I’m the only one who cares or can do anything about it.

I feel like I’ll never be able to keep a “normal” job. I’m so thin-skinned. I hate this. People say that I should look at the good side of being so sensitive- I am fairly arty and musical. But I lack the emotional strength to take on any criticism without dissolving into floods of tears, so I avoid taking art and music any further so I don’t have to deal with the emotional fall-out. But now I realise I’m living my life in a tiny restrictive bubble.

I just keep thinking- why am I like this? I’m sure some kind of trauma must have created this hypersensitivity. When I get criticised I feel like my whole world has fallen apart and often have a panic attack. I just don’t get it and wish that I could intellectualise myself out of it- but I feel so stuck. I don’t know how to move forward with this symptom. Obviously restricting my life even further is not the answer and I really want to work on drawing, piano, flute and being more creative.

The bullying experience at work has been a nightmare and I’ve completely lost trust in people who I truly thought were my friends. I feel confused and bewildered by the whole thing. I keep thinking: What did I do wrong? I must have deserved it in some way. People never like me, I just don’t fit in. There must be something wrong with me. 

I just seem to keep attracting traumatic events in my life. I’ve no idea why, but sometimes I just want a break!!

Photo Credit: Akeeris

Bipolar Disorder: Repressed Anger

The Red Button

I am notoriously bad at asking for help when I need it, particularly in the face of the mental torture of Bipolar. I guess even after all these years with it I still feel ashamed, as if it’s all my fault. So asking for help comes with swallowing my pride and risking feeling vulnerable and exposed

Over the last couple of weeks my depression symptoms have been increasing in severity – mainly relentless despairing thoughts, fatigue and I’ve also been having panic attacks again.

Two days ago I was at work, sitting at my desk in the office thinking that I couldn’t handle this job anymore: a reaction to a few snide comments from a colleague.

This person is someone who pushes my buttons. Not just a few; all of them. Including the big fat red one that says “do not press under any circumstances”. Pushing the red button is my trigger into panic, anger and despair. It is the doorway to all my past pain and trauma. It is what I fear the very most,  and I know anyone getting near it will trigger my emotions to spiral out of control. I do whatever it takes in life to prevent anyone from getting even close to this button. But this colleague somehow manages to slip and slide her way around all my control mechanisms and with a sly, gleeful grin on her face, jumps up and down on my past pain anguish and trauma.

Suicidal and Resigned

So there I sat at my desk thinking that there was no way I could handle working with her anymore. I was exhausted, tearful, verging on suicidal. My body had almost given up. I wanted out of my life. I could easily have just curled up in a ball and refused to move or speak.  Let someone else take care of me if they want me in their life so much. I clock-watched for the rest of the morning. Each five-minute period more painfully slowly. I told myself to wait it out til the end.

I managed to get myself home at the end of my shift. I couldn’t go on like this.

Back in October I experienced a severe depression. Over the last few days I could feel the same symptoms coming on again. I knew that the previous episode had been triggered by an argument with this colleague. I had thought I was over all the depression. But seeing it come back in identical form made me realise that drugs and CBT weren’t going to help me anymore. I’d seen the psychiatric nurse recently and I’m on a huge dose of anti-depressants. I needed something different. I was beginning to think the key to my healing was in this relationship with this person and the buttons she was pressing. I was in so much confusion and turmoil that I knew I couldn’t make sense of all this on my own. I knew I needed to talk to someone, and I knew exactly who to ring.

Asking for Help- Ripping off the Band-Aid

My spiritual development teacher, Dawn Chrystal, patiently listened to my panicky sobs on the other end of the phone, helping me through the hysteria. She’s a wonderfully calm person and I regained composure fairly quickly. I think I panicked because I was so scared to reach out to someone I don’t see very often at all, especially about feelings that are so despairing and private and excruciatingly painful. Also talking about the emotions to her made them seem all the more real and raw.

Dawn reassured me and told me that she has worked with many people diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. She sees any illness in terms of the soul and said that in her professional opinion she believes there is a huge link between the Bipolar mood swings and repressed anger. It made a lot of sense to me, as I know I was extremely angry with my colleague last August during our arguments, but hadn’t expressed it in any way.

Repressed Anger

I’ve always held my anger in. I was brought up in a strong Christian household and was taught that to be angry was wrong. If I was angry I would go to hell. So I’ve always pushed and pushed it down, sucked it up and tried to see everyone in a more loving light. I tried to understand my boss and perhaps took on all the blame for our argument, accepting all her criticisms of me. If it was all my fault, then I didn’t have to be angry with her. I never expressed my anger, as nobody seemed to understand and the usual comments of me being too sensitive spilled from friends’ mouths. This only made me more angry.

But it all goes much deeper than the argument with my colleague. My terrible bouts of rage that have cropped up in the past, also triggered by this person in this situation, have their roots in my childhood and anger towards my parents. The colleague pushed the big red button, the doorway to my past traumas with them, exposing the red-raw nerve and unexpressed, repressed anger.

Dawn helped me to see that my relationship with this colleague is actually a gift. She is allowing me to re-experience the raw, un-expressed anger from my past and by doing this I can express it and let it go, a little bit at a time.

I had been denying my anger and pushing it down over endless cycles- each raging experience often proceeded by a period of depression. My depression has been getting worse and worse and she said this is because I’m denying all the pain and emotion, each time fighting against feeling it, as to me this would be unacceptable, to feel so many negative emotions- I think I’ve essentially- at a very basic, unconscious level- really believed I’ll go to hell if I do. The depression is all the self-blame and judging for being so “bad” for having this dark core inside me. I’d rejected myself again, as an unacceptable human being.

Hope & Healing

Dawn provided no end of comfort to me in showing me that overcoming the repressed past and integrating the”dark” side of me as part of my “whole”, is all part of my spiritual journey, and part of learning and growing. She helped me to see that in ringing her and reaching out, I’d let some of the pain out and have shown that I am ready to deal with the pain, to learn and move on.

I’ve learnt that there are people out there who really do understand and can help. Just by realising that there was a cause for my depression and that it can be healed, has really eased the self-hatred I felt. She has shown me that it is OK and safe and essential that I release the pain and anger I feel. I think God’s gonna let me do this a little bit at a time. By staying at my job with this person I will be allowing little rumbles with her to ease out the past, allowing me to express it in manageable chucks. It may hurt, but at least I know I have support there when I need it.

Support- Bach Flower Remedies & Exercises.

Dawn prescribed me some Bach Flower Remedies to help with the depression and anxiety. I will keep you informed of my progress with them. She also gave me a few visualizations to do:

1. To comfort my traumatized inner child: imagine I am in a big comfy arm-chair cuddling myself as a child. As a child I feel extremely frightened, alone and angry. As an adult I can reassure her, hold her and send her love.

2. Surround my colleague in bright pink loving light, within a bubble.Hand the bubble over to God. This is to make sure that I allow her to deal with all her issues herself, as I do tend to take on other people’s problems.

3. This is a very important exercise- Grounding. Imagine beautiful, white light from heaven arriving at the top of your head as a beam of light. Slowly it travels down your body to your feet. Here it continues into the ground, forming roots that reach deeper and deeper into the Earth, until they reach the centre. This exercise gives you a heavy, relaxed feeling in your body- a feeling of stability that should help you to feel supported. It should be performed with your feet flat on the ground.

4. Draw a picture of my colleague- a funny one. I drew her as a little baby sitting on a throne with a crown on her head, screeching and screaming and throwing her toys! It really helped me to see her more lightly and less as intimidating.

To Dawn- I am so very, very grateful.

To you- I hope you have, or will find, your Dawn. Give her a call!

For more information on Dawn Crystal, please visit her website.