1. They make you feel so sad you can become physically or mentally sick and want to stay that way.
You are crippled by the intensity of the emotions they both cause as if you've been a big moto accident and have to go through therapy to remember how to use your limbs again. Limbs like... believing in yourself. You don't want to go to school or much of anywhere actually, maybe if you lay in bed everyone will think you are not well, they will leave you alone and you wont have to face that bully on the playground of life today because you're still hurting from yesterdays punches to the gut. You just want to lie still, catch your bearings. You just want to be left alone with your pain until the pain goes away.
2.They build a wall between you and your dreams.
The pain of being stuck in that state of disbelief can become all that you know, almost comfortable, certainly more comfortable than the thought of sinking farther down into the floor, than loosing any more than you already have. New beliefs grow, the belief that your hands are built too short to reach out and catch your dreams. Brick by mental brick goes up until the wall reads sentences that burn themselves into your brain, sentences that tell you that your dream was never meant for you in the first place because dreams aren't real, they are only pretty. Like that moment when you face the bully on the playground, when the school doors seem too far away to run to, like the teacher would never hear you scream from here. Like everyone else has their eyes purposefully averted. Like maybe you were never meant for school in the first place. Like that moment when you feel so small and so silent and so insignificant in the world, staring up at an assailant who knows exactly all of these things that you are feeling.
3. They convince you to settle for almost happy.
Realising that you have been living in the delusion of a dream can be brought across as very comforting. It becomes easier to believe that you were born weak than it is to believe that nothing is wrong with you except that you're just not strong enough quite yet or for such a long period of time with no explanation that you can currently understand. So you settle for almost defeating the bully today. You almost made it through, that is good enough. You almost pasted the test that would change your life. You almost told the teacher who pulled your hair. You almost told your mother what he said and almost gotten him in trouble. You almost hit him on that playground and shown him whose boss. You almost left that abusive relationship almost....almost....and what else can a person ask for than to get so close to a dream, even if you never actually reached it you are lucky to just be allowed so close to such a pretty thing. Like diamonds.
Maybe tomorrow you'd hit back...maybe...almost....maybe.
One of the things that really confuses me is the notion that extroverts don't get anxious. People have a way of looking at you and judging that because you have over come one battle or another at a different interval than they have, that the monster must not have been as big or as bad for you as it was for them.
I am a person who often speaks my mind, especially if I am passionate about the topic. I am a person who does not particular whimper at the sign of a room full of people all listening and looking to me for a speech (once I have prepared) this is not because I do not become anxious.
I am also the same girl who has become physically ill because she was invited to a party that she wanted to go to. I have become broken and bent over in crippling tears on bathroom floors as I questioned my ability to walk into a room next door.
Anxiety is not dictated solely by personality. You can be brave, you can be bold, you can be loud and beautiful and popular and smart and good with your words and still be anxious because anxiety is like a bully and bullies hurt you not because they are right.
Bullies succeed because they convince you that feelings are bigger than you are.
Peace. Love. Don't Listen to the Bully.