I would like to make a topic that can hopefully be helpful not only to myself, but to others here too.
For those of you who have had tough experiences, how do you manage to forgive yourself or others?
I don't want this to turn into a contest of who had worst experiences, because it is demeaning and guilt-ridden to do so. (Please, no statements like, "Your experience? Boy, that was nothing...your suffering was nothing compared to MY suffering!") Everyone deserves to find their peace, no matter what caused their inner stresses.
So, I'll give a little bit of my story and what I've been doing to try to help myself.
For most of my earlier school life (8+ years, from kindergarten to beginning of high school), I was bullied. I tried seeking help, but everything I tried to do to help myself seemed to fail--and the adults didn't seem to try hard-enough to help me.
I was not physically abused, but I was actively ostracized for many years. I did not make/learn how to make any worthwhile friends, and "friends" I had managed to find eventually turned on me. I wanted to hurt (or kill) myself many times, because I felt so worthless and unwanted. I changed locations and forgot most of what happened (until recently), but I was left with a residual hate and distrust of people; at one point, my thoughts were so irrational that I was convinced that people who wanted to befriend me were faking it and really just wanted to hurt me. Ever since, if I've ever experienced anything that has made me feel remotely helpless, those feelings of helplessness have quickly jumped to hellish levels of rage--both towards myself and towards others.
Fortunately, through all of this, I had loving and supporting parents. They have helped to provide some level of counseling, and I am pulling out of what has been a chronic depression. Now, I am looking for a way to move beyond what happened.
I hated myself for not being able to help my situation and put things under control, back in elementary school...but I know that I deserve better. I deserve to live and thrive in this life, and I want to learn to forgive myself so that I can feel a sense of self-worth, rather than self-hatred.
For those of you that have been through similar stories, how have you dealt with this pain?
It seems to me forgiving others is easier than forgiving yourself...so particularly, how did you forgive yourself?
Thank you for your help and support.