Personally, I was bullied my entire childhood by the very people who were supposed to love & nurture me, my own family. The Brown Recluse never allowed me to choose anything for myself; not shoes or clothes, high school courses or activities, nor friends. Nothing. Since what I went through never had a "name" back then, I always believed what they told me. I was told I was fat, ugly, stupid, and had better learn how to cook & clean & take care of babies, because that was all I'd ever do. However, I've happily spent 37 of my 55 years proving them wrong. I'm a successful businesswoman, a devoted wife, and a loving, nurturing mother. I'm also a jack-of-all-trades and have learned to wear many hats in my time and my life is full to the point that I won't allow bullies to penetrate my space. Ever. Again.
It also took me a long time to recognize bullying in my friends because that's how I had grown up. I grew up with a family of bullies, so I was secretly well versed at being surrounded by them. Once I figured out that those friends wanted nothing good for me, I extricated myself from them even though they continue to ridicule me to this day. In other words, I was finally able to see what I'd been allowing to happen to me all of my life. Once the beast has a label it is much easier to deal with that beast. I could care less what those people think and when they say unkind things about me & try spreading rumors about me, I am honestly sorry for them that their lives are so incomplete that they must mess with mine to make themselves feel better. I have better things to do with my time.
The way I see it, you can blame your parents for the terrible mistreatment you received growing up. Because, well, you're just a kid. Fortunately, once you are away from their clutches, you are the only person to blame if things don't go in the right direction. Being mistreated as a child leaves scars that are there for life. Those scars never go away. That said, I was still able to ascend into adulthood and take responsibility for my own life, in spite of their all-out efforts to sabotage everything I said and did. I've also found that the world is full of people who want nothing more than to bully other people and unfortunately, great numbers of these beasts exist in the working world. That's probably why I've enjoyed having an online business working for myself. I urge anyone stuck in a job where they are being bullied to flee as quickly as they can. There is always another job, another career, another corner to turn. Don't ever allow yourself to feel trapped or that there is no other option. Life is full of options.
I completely cut my family out of my life nearly 23 years ago and I can assure you that I've never been happier. Yes, it would be nice to have close family & relatives, but not if they are nothing but thorns in your side. I've been happily married for 30 years and raised two wonderful & loving children to adulthood. I was lucky enough to marry a man who is from a wonderful family. Not everyone is that lucky. If my mother & brother had been allowed to have their way, they would have ripped my family apart over & over again. Once I came to that realization, I was able to cut my puppet strings & free myself of the ugliness & hate I had suffered under for so long.
Basically, I decided that "the buck stops here" and I would never inflict any kind of pain on my children for anything in this world. It still eludes me that those who are supposed to love you could do such a thing. I just don't get it. Never have & never will. It was my own independent decision to not pass on the kind treatment I had received. I love my own children so much I simply am not able to understand why or how anyone would want to hurt their own child, physically or emotionally. Frankly, I felt cutting my family out of my life was the only recourse I had and I was right. I know that it has not been that easy for so many others. Some families can literally paralyze you, rendering you incapable of ever getting out. It turns out, I discovered early in life that I actually had a little steel in my spine. Sure, I still have the scars, but I've used them to my advantage by being who I am and accomplishing the many things I was always told I could never accomplish. That is my revenge and as the old saying goes, "Revenge is best served cold".