Last night, July 16, 2019, I was a guest on Brain Injury Radio with Mathew West with Second Chance to Live with Craig Phillips. You may listen to the radio program by clicking on the link.
Below is a sampling of what we discussed during the radio program, as well as some practical Solutions. Practical solutions that can help us to find freedom from the bully.
Bullying, Control and Manipulation
Bullying is really all about control and manipulation in order to take advantage of to exploit. Bullying is never about the person being bullied, but about the bully. The individual being bullied believes that they deserve to be bullied (otherwise they, would stick up for themselves). The root at the belief that they deserve to be bullied is that they are flawed and defective.
Bullying, Self-esteem and Self-worth
Bullying continues to undermine and deteriorate self-esteem and self-worth. The individual being bullied may have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and feel that they are the reason for unrest. They may develop a victim mindset by believing that they deserved to be abused. They may believe they are stuck because of their circumstances. They may believe that they have few choices. They may feel like a “deer caught in the headlights” frozen, and unable to move.
Being bullied leaves the individual feeling minimzed, marginalized, dismissed and discounted.
Our Brain Injuries and Bullying
Our brain injuries can leave us believing that we are victims of our circumstance. In the process, we may believe that we are unable to change or do anything because of our deficits and limitations. We may find ourselves focusing on what we are unable to change and yet deny that our lives have changed. Frustrated and angry we may experience depression and isolation. In our frustration and anger, may have lost hope. We may feel self-defeated by what we can no longer do, while not understanding why?
Empowering Our Ability to Stop the Bullying
In the process, we may take on the identity of our brain injuries. We may find that society has placed a label and a stereotype as someone with a brain injury. With the label and the stereotype, we may experience a stigmatization that places us in a “box”. In a “box” that seeks to define who we are in life. A “box” that seeks to lead us to believe what we can and can not accomplish with our lives. Like the deer caught in the headlights, we may not realize that we have choices. Choices that empower our ability to stop the bullying.
How to No Longer Be Bullied
In my experience, I needed to grieve the impact of my traumatic brain injury. I needed to do so to grow in awareness to keep me falling back into the belief that I deserved to be bullied. As I grew in awareness, through confronting my denial, being angry, trying to not be a person with a brain injury (so as to not be labeled, stereotyped and stigmatized), and experiencing depression because of what I could not change I found myself being able to do something different. Getting into action (to discover how I could use my gifts, talents, and abilities) helped me to realize that I had choices.
Choices, despite being minimized, marginalized, dismissed and discounted by the label, stereotype, and stigmatization by bullies. Choices that helped me to realize that I could use my gifts, talents, and abilities. Use my gifts, talents, and abilities in ways that would work for me despite what I could not accomplish because of the impact of my brain injury.
During the radio program, I shared and discussed 12 action steps. The action steps that helped me find freedom from being bullied. These action steps can benefit anyone who may find themselves being bullied.
Action Steps Used To Set me Free from Being Bullied
May 3, 2008 B,y Second Chance to Live
“If nothing changes, nothing changes. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’re going to keep getting what you’re getting. You want change, make some.” Courtney C. Stevens
In my experience, I have found that I determine how I choose to experience my life. I am not saying that I am able to control people, places and events because I am not. To think that I have the power to change people, places and things is foolishness.
With my awareness, I have come to realize that having control or asserting control is merely an illusion of power.
When I let go of the illusion of control I am able to accept that I am powerless over people, places and things. As I practice the power of acceptance new doors are opened to me. When I admit my powerlessness, I am able to admit my limitations. Through admitting that I have limitations, I discover that I am not helpless. When I realized that I was not helpless — in my process — I had a spiritual awakening. Because I am not helpless, I am able to take action steps.
These action steps enable me to accept the things that I can not change, to change the things that I can. The difference between what I can and what I can not change.
Through my process, I have grown to trust a power greater than myself. Consequently, I have made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of that power. In the process, I made the decision to become a proactive participant in my life. Subsequently, I have been empowered to change the things that I can. As a proactive participant in my life, the obvious became apparent. I needed to change my attitudes and the perspective (s) that I placed on my experiences. I needed to be honest with myself. I needed to be accountable to myself.
I needed to keep the focus upon myself. I needed to take a fearless moral inventory of myself, not to berate who I am but to free the negative energy of my defects of character.
Through my process, I discovered that my defects of character were in essence the defense mechanisms that I used to protect myself over time. Through examining my motives and by being honest with myself I began to realize that my defense mechanisms were no longer serving me or enhancing my relationships. In actuality, I found that my defense mechanisms were hindering my ability to truly live my life. Through being honest with myself I was slowly able to come out of hiding. My isolation was broken when I met with my sponsor and shared what I discovered about myself.
As I trusted the process and shared my story I discovered that I was not terminally unique. As my sponsor listened without judgment I began to learn to trust again. In my trust, I became willing to have my defects of character removed. In the next action step, I humbly asked the God of my understanding to remove my character defects.
My next action step involved making a list of the persons that I had harmed through out my lifetime. I placed myself on that list. Next, I became willing to make direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or other people. In my process, I shared such amends with my sponsor before I attempted to make amends to those individuals. In the next action step I made a decision to continue to be honest with myself and in the process keep my side of the street clean by continuing to make direct amends.
Next, I made a decision to trust again by praying for the knowledge of God’s will for me and the power to carry that out – on a daily basis.
In the final action step – as a result of completing the previous action steps – I had and continue to have spiritual awakenings. Consequently, I am motivated to share my experience, strength and hope as I have the opportunity.
My spiritual awakening (s) also inspire (s) me to practice the principles of 12 action steps in all my affairs.
Synopsis of the 12 Action Steps
In the spirit of sharing the power of these action steps, I have compiled a synthesis of the action steps. I will include that list below. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me through a comment or a confidential email.
How to contact me through a comment or confidential email.
Synopsis of the 12 Action Steps — 12 Step Programs
Synopsis of the 12 Action Steps — the 12 Steps
1 – You may be powerless over many things but you are not helpless. Although your life may seem unmanageable now, you no longer need to feel like a victim.
2- You do not have to be alone anymore to figure it out on your own.
3- By making the decision to turn your will and your life over to the care of a power greater than your self, you will find an unlimited source of encouragement, motivation, empowerment and hope.
4- You can find out what you have been doing to sabotage your life. You can look for patterns that have undermined your life. Consequently, you will be able to stop shooting yourself in the foot of life.
5- You no longer need to hide in the shadows. You can begin to trust. By admitting to a loving God, to yourself and to another human being what you found in step 4 that has been sabotaging your life, you can find a new freedom — a freedom that you never knew existed. Through the process, you can make peace with God and with yourself.
6- You can become entirely ready to let go of the behaviors that you have been using to defend and in the process sabotage your relationships and yourself. Be encouraged my friend.
7- You can be actively involved in the process of seeing the behaviors that have sabotaged your life removed by humbly asking a loving God to remove the behaviors that sabotage your life and relationships.
8- In working in partnership with a loving God you can make a list of the persons — including yourself — who you have been harmed by participating in behaviors that have sabotaged your life and your relationships. By making a list of the people you that have negatively impacted or harmed (that you have gleaned through completing your 4th action step) you become willing to make direct amends to them all.
9- You make direct amends (once you have completed the first 8 action steps and you have talked with your sponsor) to the people who have been negatively impacted by the behaviors that you have previously used to cope. Consequently you can make peace with your fellows, and in the process make peace with yourself. By completing this step — making amends — you can be released from the burden of guilt and shame. You can find a new freedom and happiness.
10- On a daily basis, you continue to take a personal inventory and when you are recognized that you have harmed others you promptly admit those wrongs to the person (s) that you have harmed. On a daily basis, you continue to be accountable to and for your behavior. You choose to keep your side of the street clean.
11- You do not have to live life each day by yourself. You can rely on a power greater than your self to guide and direct your steps. You don’t have to lean on your own understanding. You can pray for the knowledge of God’s will — for you — and the power to carry that out. You can trust the process, a loving God and your ability to learn from your circumstances and experiences. In the process, you will be empowered to live the life that you have imagined.
12- Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of working these 12 action steps you attempt to carry the message of the 12 action steps to other people and continue to practice the principles of the 12 action steps in all your affairs.
Note: The 12 action steps are not meant to be punitive in nature. Instead, the 12 Action Steps are designed to empower you and I to live life on life’ terms — while succeeding. The 12 action steps — by divine design – are meant to free the individual of self-defeating behaviors that sabotage and undermine their lives and their relationships. The 12 action steps — by divine design — empower the individual to be of maximum service to God and to their fellows.
Note: In the original text the 12 Steps “We” has been used where I have written “You”. I have used you instead of we to emphasize that you are powerless over people, places and things. I have needed to keep the focus on myself as I have worked through the 12 action steps. Nevertheless, by participating in a 12 Step recovery program, you never have to be alone again. As I have heard mentioned. 12 Step recovery programs are a We program.
In my experience, I have found that when I choose to take the focus off of myself and place the focus on another person, place, event, institution or thing I miss the benefit that can be gained through working the 12 action steps with a sponsor. I have found that when I am drawn to take the focus off of myself and place the focus on someone/something else that I need to work the 12 action steps. I have found that my triggers and reactions are my triggers and reactions.
In my experience, I have come to realize that the 12 Action Steps are not meant to point out where I am not measuring up. Instead, the 12 Steps are meant to set me free from limiting behaviors and limiting beliefs that sabotage and undermine all of my relationships — with the God of my understanding, other people and myself. The 12 Steps empower my ability to be of maximum service to a loving God and my fellows.
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