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Can't Let Go Of This Desire For Revenge

by Anonymous

I am in college now, but back in high school there was a kid who bullied me. He was in one of my classes and would shove me, say bad things about me, and take my stuff. He wasn't a strong guy but was bigger than me. I somewhat stood up for myself, but for some reason I don't feel like I did enough. If he would shove me, I would shove him back, and if he would say something I would respond.

The problem is, over two years later I have so much anger/contempt repressed inside of me that it even affects me physically. There is such a great desire for revenge, and it is not healthy.

I am confused as to what the root of this feeling is inside of me, and why it is still bothering me after all this time. I tried counseling and it helped a little bit, but I still am not over it. I don't know what to do, there seems to be no way out of this.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. Your anger is there because it is a protective emotion. You want to feel strong and capable within yourself, and this bullying situation made you question yourself. This is all very natural, and something everyone goes through, either consciously or subconsciously.

So, how to move ahead. Here is what I suggest:

1) Write the full story of being bullied, in total detail. Include everything you saw, felt and concluded.
2) Then write the story again, from the perspective of the bully. Get inside his head, and use your imagination to guess at what he was thinking and feeling. Notice what’s going on inside your own mind and body as you do this. This gives you a chance to feel the power of the dominant person.
3) Also write about every situation in which you have felt bullied, victimized, or taken advantage of throughout your entire life. Again, in each of these scenarios, imagine yourself as the perpetrator, so that you’re not just replaying the victim feelings.
4) Re-write each of these stories, until you feel you have claimed your power in each one. Change them however you need to, until you feel powerful within yourself. This is not about being powerful over the other person. It’s about claiming your own inner dominance and power.

You will also benefit from doing the exercises recommended on this FAQ page.

You can do this. You can be just as powerful as you want to be, and move through your life with confidence and poise. You don’t have to be anyone’s victim, nor do you have to become a bully/perpetrator yourself. You can be strong and in charge in your own physical, emotional and mental space.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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