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Our life's experiences affect us all of our lives, most especially childhood ones as we are so much more vulnerable and able to be shaped. But we can overcome and sort of suppress those experiences, and learn from them.

I'm not a counselor and if you have never seen one, maybe you could benefit from counseling. But my advice to you would be to sign down and write out "feeling letters" to everyone you can think of who bullied you or made you feel inferior. Take as long as you need - weeks, months, whatever it takes, as some memories will give rise to other memories. Write a letter to the person (or group if necessary) who picked on you, outlining just what you feel they did wrong, how it made you feel, etc. Get it all out in the letter (you may have to write subsequent letters as more things rise to the top of your mind). After you have written these letters, you should have a little ceremony where you burn them or tear them up or shred them, whatever works for you. As you do it, tell yourself that you are letting the memories out and becoming a whole person, one who loves the child inside of you and is allowing that child to grow up.

Realize that the perpetrators did what they did not because they felt you were inferior but because THEY themselves felt inferior to something in you. It is very likely that because you were so friendly and bubbly and outgoing they were jealous, feeling that because they weren't so outgoing they were going to make you feel bad. This type of mentality grows and spreads as the "followers" are afraid to assert themselves. It becomes a vicious cycle until they don't even know how to break it. You need to tell yourself over and over and over and over again the truth - there was nothing wrong with you; there was something inherently wrong in the people who bullied you. Bullies never bully because they feel inferior; they bully because deep down inside they feel like they are inferior, often because of abuse from parents, older brothers or just some feeling they have that they aren't worth anyone's love. Everyone reacts differently to this type of abuse or feeling; some internalize it like you did; others turn to bullying to make themselves feel "better." You can bet that they never feel better, though.

But YOU CAN FEEL BETTER. You can overcome this feeling inside. Write it down. If you want to be really creative, after you've written the "feeling letter" to someone, write a letter to yourself "from" them expressing how sorry "they" are for the way they treated you; that they knew it was wrong, etc. You may be amazed at how cathartic it will be for you; how much better you will begin to feel and how much you will soon be able to love the wonderful, intelligent, special person you really are.

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