I’m sorry that happened, James. I know you’re certainly not alone in that experience. My heart goes out to the child within you that is still needing and wanting love and protection.
At this stage however, is it now up to you as the adult to give yourself the love and protection you needed back then. Carrying the resentment with you is actually now victimizing yourself.
Victims are not to blame for what happens to them. EVER. No exceptions.
Yet, it is also true that no one can heal a victim of their hurt, pain or injuries except the victim themselves. There is support available to help, but the victim must choose to transform from “victim” into “survivor”.
Speaking as a victim of bullying, rape and abuse, I’m very, very aware of the emotional challenge of being in a place of having to take responsibility for a situation that was not of my own creation.
But if I had chosen NOT to, if I had chosen to hold onto the pain and resentments, than it is no longer the bully, rapist or abuser who is victimizing me, it is me victimizing myself. If I am to live my best life now, I must take responsibility for healing my own wounds — regardless of where they came from — or I only further participate in spreading hurt. Because hurt people, hurt people.
None of us can ever change what happened, but we can choose to be and become whatever and who ever we want as a result. You were victimized and that was NOT your fault. But choosing to remain the victim by carrying the resentment with you and allowing it to color your life today, decades later, IS your responsibility.
I’m not saying ignore what happened or pretend it didn’t happen. Many, many activists in the world are once former victims who have taken their power back and are choosing to help others heal.
Again, I’m sorry it happened. My own son has Asperger’s and ADHD and suffered bullying for many years. As much as I and his father tried to intervene, it still took a toll on him that he’s not done working through, even as an adult.
It’s not easy, but there is support when you’re ready to heal.
I wish you only the very best.