I am going to share with you today how I lost the extreme fears that I had from the Smear Campaign and Cyberbullying against me and even the fear of Fire. It is a trick I learned while in therapy back in 1994 and it is discussed in the article below. It is called desensitization therapy.
As you know, the house fire I had in 1991 caused quite a few issues for me, least of which was my extreme fear of fire. I couldn’t even handle the smell of burning wood, it would cause me to freak out. Imagine, a person living in NL, with fireplaces, wood burning stoves, and outdoors fire pits, in homes all around, I would get this smell a lot! I refused to even have candles, let alone light them. My anxiety was terrible then and it got terrible over being Bullied. All part of PTSD.
After I got back on my feet and was able to leave the house, I went around my home and would unplug everything, except the fridge and stove, before I would leave and I lost count of all the times I turned around and went back home, after just leaving, to make sure. I became a little OCD on fire and what could cause them and I came to see it was understandable.
I still today have issues with candles and cooking. I stay in the kitchen while I cook, and I won’t leave a candle burning alone in a room, but because of this therapy, I got over my fears.
It took many weeks of desensitization therapy to get rid of that extreme fear of fire. I would slowly expose myself to visuals of a fire, like in a movie. I would say you heard of the movie Backdraft with Kurt Russell, Billy Baldwin, Robert De Niro, and the Canadian, Donald Sutherland. It was the first task I was given, to watch this movie that came out in 1991. Would you believe, it took me about 8 days to watch the whole thing? I would watch in parts, as once the fires started going in the movie, I could only watch so much at a time. I can watch it all now, no problem. I still get flashes of memory while I do, I can even smell the wood burning, but I don’t freak out anymore. The memories just flow thru my mind, and out and I am fine…
After that, I would have to do to expose myself to various fires and flames, so I could face my fears and hopefully, get past them. I made my way through movies, fireplaces, wood burning stoves, and firepits, as they all give off different smells, did you know that? My nose knows all the different smells of different things burning.
My last task was the hardest, to go to a bonfire. As we are a Island, there are a lot of beach parties when the weather gets good enough and people get together on the beaches and sit around a bonfire, socializing. That was the hardest for me as I had to get close to a pretty big fire and the smell of damp burning wood is very close to the smell of a house burning. That one took the longest to do but by the end of that summer of 1995, I was good with them.
It took me the better part of 2 years to get to the point where I am now, free of fear of fire. I am more cautious, some of the OCD stayed with me, but I don’t have any problems with that, as I feel safer. It has taken me the better part of the last 2 years to get to the point now where I am very comfortable around other people and in social situations.
Trauma is caused by your sense of safety being ripped out from under you, and whether it be by house fire or by being Bullied, it causes many issues. Both scenarios, I ended up with a changed life, and a I became a changed person.
This past couple of years since I moved back home, I started the same therapy and slowly started exposing myself to various things to expose myself to my fear of people and social situations. I wrote posts before about how I would leave my home and walk, with my head down. Over time, I started lifting my head and meeting the eyes of people I passed, and meeting the eyes of people serving me at stores and whatnot. I had to remind myself to look up, I got use to hiding. It was a slow process, but I am now at the point where I feel no anxiety in just leaving my home. I can go out and be around people, socialize, and actually have fun, with no worries of anyone even bringing up any of those websites or make accusations against me. I am free of fear of being turned on by another!
I had to work out a way to start exposing myself to social situations, and face my fears. I joined a walking group last year, with a few women, and that lead to a joining a dart league, where there are way more people. Over time, I have made new friends and reconnected with old ones. I still don’t socialize too much, I like my peace and quiet, but I do get out with other people, and I slowly got over my fear. The more I went out and engaged in my community, the easier it became. it is second nature to me now, once again!
When a friend, who works for a property management company here, told her boss about me last Sept 2021, for a Administration position there, I did meet with them, and I was eventually offered the job. I turned it down, as it was too much. In my meeting with them, I did talk about those sites, and he even brought them up while I was there. This man laughed so hard at the first bit of texts there that he read on the first page on stellareddy.com. He told me that I shouldn’t worry about the content of that site, as it was easy for him to see it is about revenge and that was all he made of it.
Every person I spoke with over the past couple of years, had the same reaction upon reading the content on any of those sites. I had so many people tell me the contents in all those sites were done out of spite and that this anonymous person was looking for revenge. I was shown that my fear of another person turning on me because of their allegations, was all in my head. I was also shown that even if someone did see those sites, and did want to question me about it, I have no reason to be concerned as they will clearly see that the person in that site don’t exist. I am not that person and all it will take is to talk to me for a few minutes to know that. If anyone does decide to get nasty, I can WALK AWAY! I don’t need to stand there and take anything from anyone I don’t want too! I learned I have options!
I am so confident now in myself and my own autotomy, as a result of the desentization therapy I have done this past couple of years. It is a great tool to help get rid of fears of any kind. By exposing yourself to it, and going through changing how you think about it, you can get past it, but as with all things, it takes time.
You can’t fight your fears and pretend they don’t exist. You also can’t give in to them and allow them to control how you live your life. I could have easily become a hermit, confined to my home and avoiding social situations and other people, but because I don’t want to live like that, I had to find a way to face them. This is how I did it, by deliberately putting myself in the situations I feared the most and as I was, I was talking to myself and showing myself that it isn’t as bad as I thought it was. I talk to myself , a lot!
As I learned from my past experiences, I will have up and down days, but I can manage it. I expect to get past this Truma of being Bullied so badly by Tenants just like I did from the fire I had. I know I will, as I want too. My determination will help me get where I need to be, every time. I get down and out sometimes, but in the end, I always find the strength to get back up and keep going, after a while. I have too much of a will to live to ever be taken out by another person, or situation, for too long. I have survived way too much to be taken out by Bullies.
As with both situations, I refuse to allow something else to control me and how I live my life. Back then, I faced my fears, as I refused to live in fear of fires, especially living here with the smells all around me, and today, I refuse to live in fear of people and having them turn on me.
This website, is one of the biggest social things I could ever do. Opening up my life to ridicule from readers on the internet, and sharing my story to billions of people who access the internet on a daily basis, was a very big step for me to take to fight my fears of people.
I have had more people see my site, and comment on it, than I had people commenting on their sites to me! I even have people I don’t know contacting me from Facebook and Pinterest, about my site, not theirs, and it has all been good feedback. It make me very sad to know there are so many people out there living their lives in fear like I did. It breaks my heart to know that there are so many others suffering from being terrorized by Narcissistic Adult Bullies and how the laws make it so hard to fight them. One day, I know there will be a way for people to fight Bullies and get back their lives from smear campaigners, like Kory & Allison Read.
No one should have to suffer like this, it is a nightmare that is so hard to get out of. I pray every day that they also find the courage to keep fighting and know they are worth the effort. We all are! Don’t give someone else the power over your life and tell you how to be.
I included a link at the bottom to a PDF worksheets that gives you various tasks to help you expose your fears too, if you want to have a look. It is similar to what I have.
Systematic desensitization therapy is a type of behavioral therapy used to treat anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), phobias, and a fear of things like snakes or spiders. The aim of this therapy is to change the way you respond to objects, people, or situations that trigger feelings of fear and anxiety. You will learn coping tools to help you stay relaxed and calm.
How Does Systematic Desensitization Therapy Work?
Systematic desensitization therapy has three main steps. First, you’ll learn ways to relax your muscles. Next, you’ll make a list of your fears and rank them based on how intense your fears are. Last, you’ll start exposing yourself to your fear in stages so you get more and more comfortable dealing with it.
Step 3: Working up through the fear scale through exposure. The process of exposure can be done in two ways:
- In vitro – the patient imagines being exposed to the object of fear in the mind’s eye.
- In vivo – the patient is actually exposed to the fear.
A third type of exposure therapy called virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) has become popular in recent years. Virtual Reality (VR) technology mimics real-life situations in a computer-generated environment. Virtual reality exposure therapy helps you work through your fears in a safe and controlled place.
Systematic desensitization therapy is an evidence-based therapy. When a treatment is evidence-based, it means it’s gone through documented scientific testing and extensive research, and has been shown to be successful. Studies point to the effectiveness of systematic desensitization therapy for anxiety disorders, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder. For example:
- A combination of anxiety management training and standard exposure (SE) or virtual reality exposure (VRE) treatments was found to be successful in treating 93% of patients who experienced fear of flying. All the people who got successful treatment had flown within 6 months after their treatment.
- Prolonged exposure therapy has been shown to be an effective first-line treatment for veterans and military personnel with post-traumatic stress disorder. It also helps with other feelings people may be having such as anger, guilt, depression, and negative health perceptions.
koThis is a link to a interesting PDF with tools you can use for yourself.