Thanks TM, Geoff and Matt! Seems when I think I've traveled pretty far down the road with this, it suddenly feels like I wake up and find I haven't gotten anywhere. Healing words like you all have shared mean a lot.

Originally Posted By: This Man
You will find them to be an insecure little person who gets their feelings of accomplishment from hurting and publicly embarrassing another.

I do think what you say is quite true, even though the ferocity of the bullying belies that logic and makes me lose my religion all over again.

Originally Posted By: Matt
The more you just give yourself to people, the more they take. It sets up a sick dynamic and bullies can sniff it out and exploit it quickly.

I don't argue or even doubt that at all. I just am completely clueless to understand it. I just cannot fathom what would motivate such behavior.

I still think the dynamics involve me as well - that I somehow attract these people into my life. This is not the first time - or even the second time - this kind of thing has happened. I'm an abuse magnet - have been since I was twelve. I wonder if that next-door neighbor never trespassed my boundaries back then, people would be doing it today. Not that I'll ever know the answer, but I still wonder.