I never missed the time I spent in secondary school. In fact I was glad that I graduated from that hell hole that left me with many indelible emotional scars that I’m still trying to erase till now. I was never like the normal male. I was feminine in my actions, hung out with predominantly female friends ( i guess cause the other guys didn’t really want a feminine guy friend idk?) and somehow that elicited nasty name-calling like ‘gayboy’, ‘sissy’ etc. from large cliques consisting of BOTH guys and girls (guys especially). I was the butt of all jokes involving gays and also the lab rat to their theories involving hormones thats they read online (you know like those which says if your arms meet when you reach them out you have more oestrogen than testosterone something like that etc.) I used to cry so badly almost everyday when I got home and was at a lost as to who to turn to. Secondary school was a tricky period because puberty first struck and I was in the midst of finding myself. Even IF I was gay, who are they to call me those names in a extremely derogatory manner – it hurt me emotionally and left me helpless.

I sought advice from my parents once but they brushed it off saying that they were being immature and wouldn’t do it ever again (well it didn’t stop for like my entire secondary school life). Besides that, I was taunted for my acne and physically weak frame (small and skinny) by the bigger and more authoritative guys – they made feel left out during pe lessons and basically from the rest of my secondary school life. My closest friends were aware of my predicament, but couldn’t help at all as the group that taunted me was large in number and huge in influence and that they themselves were facing their own problems (how were they ever going to help me???)

I then sought advice from a close teacher who said that groups like these will grow out of such nonsense and disperse (but honestly, it felt like I was their ONLY target, the butt of all their sexuality jokes) – that is the problem, till now their friendship has grown stronger than ever. They hang out and have fun frequently as seen from their glitzy instagram photos (which i have been trying to avoid but to no avail as they will just pop out everywhere) my acne has worsened despite years of visits to the dermatologist, effort spent of going to the gym to make myself stronger to fend of any bullies has resulted in my acne worsening (i suspect from drinking protein shakes and frequent exercise) and slow progression. I also thought that retribution will befall on them for the emotional scars that they have inflicted on me but they seem to be living very happy lives, getting attached, acting as if nothing bad ever happened. During my tertiary studies and army, people have been nicer and I have unconsciously forgotten about most of them during those times.

But now, i’m in the midst of waiting for uni to start and my mind keeps wandering to the dark period when I was bullied (or name called) and it doesn’t help if their photos keep popping up everywhere on social media. It is getting really bad because I myself feel like I’m getting some sort of social anxiety when I meet relatives or friends for fear that they willjudge me and of course for fear that I will see any of their faces in the streets (well sg is not very big). I am constantly fretting and nervous and that honestly has affected my self esteem tremendously…..

This is a plea to those who had similar experiences. How did you ever get over this emotional scar, to forget the bad memoris completely????

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