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January 21, 2017 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Hard Knocks

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My life is a mess

Question:

I have been bullied for about 3 to 4 years but over the past 7 weeks it has gotten worse. I have started to hate myself and I have started to think about what the world would be like if I was just not here. I am going to speak to the nurse and maybe a professional about depression. I can't handle it anymore. When I wake up I think to myself it's going to get better but it never does. I would say I get 200 jokes a day made about me and my lifestyle, my family, and other stuff…maybe more.

I've started to get stressed. I can never focus and I can never keep working as I am always waiting for the next joke to be made. My life is a mess. I haven't told anyone that it has gotten this bad. I can't tell people I feel weak. I feel like I am being sad but I need help. I can't believe that it has gotten this bad. On the surface I am so confident but on the inside I am dying piece by piece. I get mad at everything because I am stressed. I suffer with anger management issues but I stopped going to my sessions. I can never just be normal. They find it funny so I laugh it off. There are times when I have flipped, grabbed, and pushed people because mainly I can't take it.

I am insecure. I feel like I would be better off dead. I have never spoken to people about it because I never thought they would care, but right now I need help. Today it was so bad before lessons, I couldn't take it. Today I came home and I cried and I cried because my life is a mess. My parents don't know about this and I don't want them to because I don't want them to worry. I need help and I need it soon before it's too late. I have self harmed before and the way I see it there is are no more options.

Ben, 13 years old

Answer:

Dear Ben,

Welcome to my group of grandchildren. I am here for you.

One of the main reasons I became a psychologist is because I also was severely bullied when I was young. If I could use the hell as a spur to build a good life for myself and to do good for many other people, then you can too.

The first thing to get clear is that you do not deserve punishment. There is no need to harm yourself, and you certainly have done nothing that deserves the death sentence. So, before anything else, realize that you are a good person. Look in a mirror and say, "I deserve a good life. I will build a good life for myself." Do this, over and over. Then it will come true.

Second, you must get help. OK, you now have me, but that's only email. I strongly recommend that:

1. You tell your parents all about it. If you can't do it any other way, let them read your cry for help, and my answer. They need to know; otherwise, how can they help you? You've been protecting them. I am sure they are strong enough to put up with it, and you need them on your team.

2. One or both of your parents, and you, need to have a talk with the school principal. Bullying is against the law, and I am sure it must be against school policy. When those kids no longer have you to pick on, they will find another victim. And because they can get away with it now, they will grow into the kind of people who cause harm wherever they go. So, you owe it to other potential victims, and even owe it to the bullies, to officially report the abuse.

3. Yes, a few sessions with a good psychologist who works with teenagers is essential. The school may have a counselor, or your parents may find someone.

4. Start learning a suitable martial art. This is not so that you can physically fight, but to build inner self-confidence. My sport was judo, and it has been immensely helpful to me. Other suitable sports are karate, kung fu, Tai Kwan Do, Brazilian ju jitsu, and aikido (although that one is best as a follow-up of another type).

5. Chances are that it will be impossible to change the attitudes of this particular bunch of kids toward you, because it has gone on for so long that they think it normal. So, I strongly recommend a change of school, if that is at all possible.

With the Christmas break coming, you have time to rebuild your self-confidence and inner strength. So, if next year you start in a new school, you can begin your life there in a way that will attract friends rather than bullies.

Your new grandfather,

Bob

This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 31 years experience as a psychologist and is registered with the Australian Psychological Society. He practices in Australia. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counsellor.

For more information visit the site or compact information page on QueenDom.

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