It may be a slow dawning or a bolt from the blue, a nagging unease or a pivotal moment. In my case, I can look back as far as my toddler years, when my parents would drop ice cubes down my diaper so they could watch me "dance." Growing up with bullying parents can really make a mark on how you feel about yourself, as well as welts on your bottom!
Maybe your parents have knocked you back or squashed you down in order to boost their own egos. Or it could be that they were bullied as children and have a need to "get back" at the world – and that world includes the easiest target at hand: YOU. Whatever the reason, you've finally figured it out. Your parent is a bully. So …now what?
It's important to remember that having been bullied by your own parents, you're a natural target for other bullies. Like walking around with a "Kick Me" sign on your back, being used to being bullied can make it easy for others to do the same, and for you to take it.
Whether it's the mean kid on the playground, your boss, or even a co-worker who's turned his sights on you, there's probably another bully in your life who delights in stomping on your self-esteem. Well, you need to cut them off . The first step is recognizing the bully for what he or she is. That person who seems to revel in making you feel small? That person is a bully.
Next you need to understand there are no victims, only volunteers. As soon as you feel that someone is trying to squash your irreplaceable self-worth, consider the source. Your bully is in fact very low in the self-worth department himself. Unfortunately, you can't always walk away from a bully, but you can put on your protective armor, create a barrier, or turn on your anti-bullying force field; in short, don your bully-proof vest! Like sticking your fingers in your ears and singing out loud so you can't hear what's going on around you, a Bully-Proof Vest is your invisible and psychological Kevlar shield, deterring the slings and arrows from the hapless and helpless loser trying to harm you.
Bullies delight in your reactions. When you show that you're intimidated, hurt, or diminished by their actions, they are getting what they want from you. But when their mean behavior can't penetrate your bully-proofing, you're taking away their fun! After a while they won't bother with you anymore.
It's tough to be invincible against bullying parents when you're a little kid in Pampers. But now you're all grown up and you're in charge! It's time to take charge, cut loose and create the life you want with the people you choose…you can do it, you are bullyproof!