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  • Jason Wood

The Bully Cycle

The first time I was bullied was in 2nd grade when several boys in my class started calling me “porkchop” and “fatty” because of my body. The seed of insecurity was planted in my mind.

Insecurity would continue to grow and worsen throughout my youth as middle school and high school bullies would continue the barrage.

“Stop acting like a girl.”

“You’re so gay.”

“He’ll need a bra for those man boobs.”

As much as I tried to ignore their words, the damage was already done. I had a diminished view of myself and began to despise the person I was. That’s why I joined Weight Watchers and also why I shut down and stopped sharing my emotions and my true authentic self. I built up walls and lived behind a mask to protect myself from the bullies.

These actions may have finally silenced the external bullies, but they also caused the internal bully to take over.

The bullied became the bully.

I constantly tore myself down and heckled insults my way on a daily basis. There was no room for self-compassion. I also bullied others, often for the same things I had been made fun of for. I was projecting my pain and insecurity onto them. I tried to build myself up by tearing others down. It was unsuccessful and only led to more pain. If anything, it made me further despise the person I was.

Recovery has not only given me the opportunity to heal from the bullies of my childhood but it’s also given me an opportunity to heal from the bully I became. The one who hurt himself and others. I sincerely apologize to all of those I hurt with my own words over the years. I work every day to be a kinder, more compassionate person to myself and those around me.

Recovery also signals the end of this toxic cycle of bullying in my own life. I hope by sharing my story, I can help others heal from the bullying in their own lives.


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Sounding the siren on men's mental health.

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