Originally published in “The Unwarranted Bachelor” in 2016.
My childhood was divided between two cultures. The one my immigrant family belonged to and, Canadian, the one that surrounded me. From this stemmed many problems for me, more than I can or dare to remember.
Starting kindergarten with a limited understanding of the English language was one of them.
I’m not sure if this was the root of my constant bullying, but I do remember one bully in particular using this against me. You can imagine, the kid told the teacher, “He did it on purpose.” I didn’t know the meaning of “on purpose” at age six, and I got in trouble for accidentally stepping on the kid’s untied shoe laces.
Eventually my temper reached the boiling point. I snapped at the bullies and, again, I was the one at fault. I’m noting saying I wasn’t to blame, but the older bullies were so well versed in their tactics that they knew how to manipulate the teachers.
By the time I reached grade five I was known as the kid with issues. I always had limited number of friends, and among them an even smaller amount of true friends.
Surrounded by bullies and loneliness seems to sum up most of my childhood and early adulthood.
The catch-22 of adolescent depression: get bullied for being different; lonely for having no friends; trying to stand up for self; get bullied for your reaction. And the cycle goes on.
Eventually I learnt how to deal with them and my depression, but no thanks to the education system. They did try but failed. The bullies always seemed to get away with it.
As an adult I still suffer from depression and loneliness. This I will never deny. There are times I still can’t think straight and I react negatively. Thanks to my fallen and sinful human nature.
How did I find my escape as a teenager? God the Father and Christ the Son. Faith in the Triune God helped me get through it. I stumble most when I lose focus on Him.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12, ESV).
When I find myself in my darkest hours I need to turn back to the Light. It’s not always easy when you find yourself alone in the world, but Jesus is here to help and guide to back to the Way (John 14:6).