The bullying effect

It's not unusual for late diagnosed autistic persons to have been bullied as children and/or teenagers. Some get over it quite quickly. For others it can result in chronic (severe) mental health problems. I have very low self esteem because of it. Part of that is the constant thought that I'm an imposter, not good enough,stupid etc.

I need quite a lot of help with practical/technical matters. In that way I definitely am stupid. I'm not, and have never been, 'street smart'.

Comments

  • Teach51Teach51 Citizen
    edited May 28
    There are different types of intelligence, emotional, intellectual, technical, creative, financial and more. Very few people are blessed with all and what remains is to make the most of what we have been given and not be too regretful about what one lacks. I sincerely believe that self-criticism has a greater negative impact on our sense of well being than anything external, unless sustained trauma existed in childhood and that's difficult to heal. 
    I constantly go on YouTube to find out how to perform technical tasks whether computer related or concerning some device performance. They have everything there, manuals, instructions for smart phones, Google docs, computer functions, even an Ikea digital clock, whatever you need. I may need to watch (I am a visual learner) a video 20 times until I get my head round something but I usually find a solution online.
    Sorry I digressed and didn't talk about bullying, of course my family history was abusive and I believe that my ADD contributed greatly to my vulnerability plus early onset CPTSD made me absorb violence and bullying and not retaliate. If I see bullying of any kind anywhere I pity whoever is the target of my wrath and response. It is the thing I detest the most.
  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen
    I can relate Firemonkey, my context is that the bullying became secondary compared to other experiences.

    I reached a critical point in my mid teens, where I had enough and I wasnt putting up with any of it any more.

    As such I feel I had a different reaction to both over time.
    I developed a fearlessness, I mean that I knew I could take a significant amount of pain,  physical and psychological and fight back even though the odds were stacked against me.

    A good thing for survival purposes, not a good thing for skewing my perception of what was normal or acceptable.

    For years I had a very harsh self judgemental internal voice, it didnt belong to me though, it belonged to past experiences.

    Im actually gentle empathetic and reflective by nature, my thoughts for others were always gentle and empathetic.
    I might have called myself stupid, but never another for the same misstep.

    As part of healing from these traumatic experiences I have needed to reprogram my internal voice away from the harmful (external in origin eg calling myself stupid) messages and back to my own authentic voice, im not there yet, but 90% of my thoughts these days about myself are gentle and kind.

    I started working on the things I say to myself in therapy, 2-3 years ago, its been a slow process, but one I highly recommend.
  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen
    I also had a similar experience of boarding school as you.

    What I learnt eventually is there is a life outside of that and you can make a life for yourself. I personally prefer to work from home, it allows me to be myself more. However even if you can't you can control your life outside of that.
  • firemonkeyfiremonkey Citizen
    @Teach51 Are you a believer then in  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_multiple_intelligences?  That's  very controversial.

  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen
    My thoughts on Gardners theory is that they are areas that we have a natural disposition for and if we are given the right experiences at the right time we can develop skills in these areas more naturally than others.
    I dont believe that IQ tests are the only way to measure intelligence.
  • BenderBender Citizen
    It's not unusual for late diagnosed autistic persons to have been bullied as children and/or teenagers. Some get over it quite quickly. For others it can result in chronic (severe) mental health problems. I have very low self esteem because of it. Part of that is the constant thought that I'm an imposter, not good enough,stupid etc.

    I need quite a lot of help with practical/technical matters. In that way I definitely am stupid. I'm not, and have never been, 'street smart'.

    As I'm sure I mentioned before, this uneven distribution of skills/different types of intelligence seems very common with people on the spectrum, often leading to "you're too smart to be this stupid" kind of comments. 

    Bullying=abuse. Always. How you deal with it and how it affects you will depend on intensity and duration, your own personality, how much support and help you get from others, whether or not someone teaches you how to handle it etc. 

    While many people still think that various forms of mental and emotional abuse can be used as development and learning tools - especially in social settings - I believe this is a very dangerous and toxic frame of mind that needs to be debunked already. Especially if it happens during childhood or teenage years, while both your brain and psyche are still developing, the effects of bullying can be very drastic and long-lasting.
  • BenderBender Citizen
    Teach51 said:
     I sincerely believe that self-criticism has a greater negative impact on our sense of well being than anything external
    Very astute - but self-doubt and self-criticism are usually triggered by outside input. And they can become deep-seated or even an intrinsic part of yourself if you're berated and invalidated brutally or for long enough. Especially as a child, when you're forming your attitude towards yourself and your self-image, and it can become cemented and very hard to reverse. 
  • Teach51Teach51 Citizen
    @Teach51 Are you a believer then in  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_multiple_intelligences?  That's  very controversial.

    Not really, I have never actually heard of it as such, but in my vast experience dealing with both patients and students, observations of myself and my children, I see that a person can be abysmally bad in one sphere and absolutely brilliant in another.  I have had dyslexic students who could never progress in a regular learning environment and Kinetic ADHD learners who can't learn when they sit still while learning, but playing chess online or pacing the room they absorbed what I was presenting perfectly. It takes a lot of open mindedness as a teacher to help the student realize what his particular skill and learning mode is and let them play chess while you are teaching (adults). I don't read theories nor can I absorb and comprehend them but my hands on experience has given me no doubt that these different intelligences exist and it is the teacher's job to enable the student the freedom and self-confidence to try and discover them. I have taught many dyslexic and ADHD CEO's who's unhindered, imaginative thinking out of the box led them to establish successful start-up companies. The IDF actually encourages out of the box thinking and diversity of thought and ability.
  • firemonkeyfiremonkey Citizen
    There does seem to be an attitude of 'I coped with bullying  by doing x ,so why can't you?'  It's a subject that if you bring it up the odds are you'll be met with that response or similar.
  • firemonkeyfiremonkey Citizen
    edited May 28
    I think that whether I'd gone to private or State school I would've been bullied. The difference being that if you go to a State school you get more of a break from the bullying. 
  • Teach51Teach51 Citizen
    I think that whether I'd gone to private or State school I would've been bullied. The difference being that if you go to a State school you get more of a break from the bullying. 
    It helps if you have allies, did you? Boarding school seems to me a recipe for disaster for anyone less that skilled socially and not popular. 
  • firemonkeyfiremonkey Citizen
    There was one person at prep school I mistakenly thought was a friend. Years later I found him on Twitter only to be blocked by him. At public school, where the severe verbal bullying occurred, there were no allies. The sons of British diplomats went to boarding school at the age of 8 or under. The daughters several years later. As an introvert,physically awkward, socially gauche and bad at sports , I was different from the usual public school boy who was brash, had reasonable social  kills, was an extrovert and at least competent when it came to sports.
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