Define yourself

Story By: Guy Guy

After the death of his grandfather, Guy lashed out at his long-time bully, and then shut down. Read of his determination to become the guy he wanted to be.

Guy in hat with yellow background
No-one wanted to know how I felt, they all wanted to get their feelings off their chest…

I was sitting in maths watching time go by, waiting for lunch break, when a teacher came into the room and asked me to pack my bag and go to the principal. I walked into the office to see my dad. He said, 'Son, we have to go to the hospital something's happened to Granddad'. I kind of stood in shock. We got to the hospital and my grandfather was in a bed with all these doctors around him, all of the family was there they all cried about how sad it was and hugged me. I was so confused I couldn't cry.

Within a couple of weeks we knew what was wrong... he had lung cancer caused by asbestos. They said he didn't have much chance of surviving it and there was nothing they could do.


My dad was there - he took my sister and me to the hospital - everyone was there but Granddad, he passed away during the night. Everyone came over, hugging me and saying how sad it was while crying on my shoulder. I was that angry at everything I couldn't cry, I refused to believe anything. I just stood there like a statue listening to everyone's cries.

The funeral was the same. No one wanted to know how I felt. They all wanted to get their feelings off their chest and I took them onboard. I walked away that day feeling sick, exhausted and confused.

After a week of sitting in my room just staring at my roof, eating very little, I decided I had to move on and go back to school. I went to school and withdrew from everyone. I started spending my breaks by myself, I started smoking and being the trouble-causing kid. I don't know why but I did. There was a bully that had picked on me since the beginning of high school he teased me one day about my granddad, I punched him and walked away with a shattered wrist. I felt so alone.

Do something

I finally realised I had to do something about this. I told my dad, he took me to a counsellor, the only problem was since I had withdrawn so much I had a huge problem trusting people and doing anything different. She was nice and supportive, but I didn't say much - Dad talked for me. She said I should go home and write how I feel and bring it back instead.

After writing down what happened and what was going through my head, we talked a little bit about it and I felt a bit better. I went home and ate something different for a change. We did this for a few weeks until I built up the courage to talk to her about it face-to-face. I truly wish I had then - I would have opened up a lot sooner. I was scared about talking to a stranger face to face.

There are a few things that kept me going and one is this quote: 'Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself' - Harvey Fierstein 

Have you learned to define yourself?

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Last reviewed: 01 July, 2015
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