Saturday, November 15, 2014

Being Bullied

 This was my report I submitted for an assignment I had in a class at school to "expand our comfort zone."

Once again I didn’t end up doing the comfort zone assignment I had planned. Instead I ended up deciding to do something on the spot, because it was out of my comfort zone. I was in the Tanner building late Thursday night. It was about 10pm. I needed a place to sing for homework we had in university choral. At this time of night however, the doors to the rooms were locked and I couldn’t find anywhere private to sing. It was late and I needed to get to bed soon. I didn’t want to have to pack up and go and try to find a place to sing at another building. I wanted to just sing right there in the hallway of the tanner building. But immediately I shunned the idea. There weren’t a lot of people around, and this hallway was separated from the main part of the tanner building by a doorway. But there had been some people who had moseyed through the hall. I am not a professional singer by any means and didn’t feel comfortable singing out in the open where others could hear me. Especially since I was going to be using headphones in order to hear the recordings better, which would make singing out loud more awkward.
But it hit me that this was something out of my comfort zone, and that I could do this for my comfort zone assignment. So I sat down in the hall way and started practicing singing the Haitian Noel piece. Once I started practicing the fear of how others would perceive me went away. Well, it didn’t go away completely. I still thought about how others might be hearing me, but for the most part I didn’t seem to care anymore-focusing on doing my assignment instead.
To explain why this was meaningful for me I will need to share a little background information. I was made fun of from Elementary school all the way to my freshman year at BYU. In Junior High I was severely bullied by those that I hung out with. I look back now wondering why I didn’t try to make new friends, but we were all in the same “advanced” classes and they were the only people I knew. It was complicated because they never rejected me in terms of not wanting to hang out with me. I hung out with them, but often conversations turned, or jabs were made, at my expense. One time, in jest, they picked me up and put me in a trash can. In High School the guys on my Water Polo team constantly made fun of me. Even our JV coach treated me poorly-he was a young guy who had graduated from high school just a few years before. And some of the guys in my freshman dorm hall harassed me with prank calls over the course of the year. During the calls they made fun of me.
Over the 14 years I have struggled with a number of personal issues. About three years ago I started to experience severe depression as a result. While meeting with a therapist, I discovered that the issues stemmed from the “trauma” of being bullied while was growing up. I learned that throughout the years I had suppressing the anger I had towards the people who made fun of me, and the embarrassing experiences I had with them. Of course I never knew at the time that I was suppressing them.
This comfort zone assignment was meaningful for me because it gave me practice to not care about how other’s perceive me, or what they think about me. It was while meeting with my therapist that I realized how much I constantly think about how other’s perceive me. It is something that I want to change, and am slowly starting to do so. But it is going to take a long time to recover, discover my self-worth, and stop participating in unhealthy coping patterns and behaviors.


  1. Wow. Good for you for singing in public! Small steps lead to great journeys.

  2. Man I know how you feel. I was picked on growing up too. I was the fat kid until I hit puberty and I was always teased. I was the type of person that would fight whoever picked on me. I was bigger than most, so generally I won those fights, but I still felt alone and like an outsider afterwords. While working step four I realized that some of those times I thought kids were picking on me, was really just me thinking like an addict and not understanding "normal" boyhood behavior, but most of the times this was not the case. I am still working through the trauma of being picked on while growing up and I know what you mean, I am almost CONSTANTLY wondering what others are thinking of me, or how people think I look. Dude, every time I walk into wal-mart I'm afraid someone is laughing at me because I'm like a walking Wal-Mart advertisement because half the clothes I buy are from there. (See, even now I'm thinking you are thinking, "Dude this guy really IS lame" and your laughing at me right now aren't you!) I didn't realize for the longest time that this was connected to my lust addiction, because I'd take those untruthful beliefs (I'm not good enough, I'm not worth it) and then think other people MUST be thinking I'm a loser (I'm not good enough, I'm not worth it.) which then leads me to want to isolate and live in fantasy land where I'm the awesomest person ever. Meaning I end up thinking, looking, and acting on bad stuff. I'm so glad I've had a therapist that's been able to help me with this, as well as the 12 steps and God. Thanks man, its nice to know others know where I'm coming from.

  3. That's awesome that you could overcome that. I had similar fears growing up. I always wanted to be in school plays, but being made fun of stopped me every time. I remember being in my first community play after high school. It was so fun to go out there and do what I loved doing.

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