by Jason - A former service user

I would like to thank everyone from CMHA for providing these quality services to enable me to enhance my life skills, build up my confidence ...

I grew up as an extremely self-conscious child who was generally shy and nervous. I am the 3rd child in my family with two brothers, one older, one younger and a sister. Being the middle child always made me feel very left out because family friends and relatives would always ask. "How's your older brother, sister and younger brother?" In conversations, they would never ask of me. From a young age, segments of my family, relatives and friends had put me down and I had always been told they don't talk to me because I was too serious about everything.

During those early days at school, I also suffered from urination problems. Every time I felt nervous, I would have to go to the toilet. It was very frustrating for me because every time I needed the toilet, I was too afraid and embarrassed to ask the teacher because I did not like the attention I received from the other pupils whom might laugh or think of stupid things about me. So I would usually have to wait for hours till after school. Being very desperate wanting to go to the toilet everyday at school was a total disaster for me! So disastrous that one time, at my primary school in year 4, I could not hold on! I completely wet my trousers in front of the teacher and all the pupils in my class. How awful was that! I was not even brave enough to tell my mother about it; instead I lied to her saying that someone accidentally spilt water over me. I had also wet my bed several times when I was a child.

中文版

I started my first primary school feeling very nervous around everyone. The teachers I had in school were very strict. Many pupils bullied me in class including my so called close friends. I was then moved to a new primary school from Year 5. This made me feel ever more nervous about the new pupils at the new school because I was the only Chinese pupil there. Here, I was more bullied by the new pupils. They called me horrible names like monkey man and picked on me because I was Chinese. I had fights with a gang of pupils because they were bullying me. I had quite a poor self-image because of that. I remember once during Year 6, I met a girl in class that I really liked. I thought she was very pretty. She had sat next to a pupil sharing a desk. The teacher then made arrangements for us to be moved to different places. I was placed to be sat next to the pretty girl on that desk. I felt very happy until I had my first huge disappointment. She took a pencil and drew a line halfway across the desk, saying to me that this half was hers and the other half was mine. I felt extremely disappointed, rather upset and very let down. I could not understand why she did that but only believe that she did not like me.

Going into my Secondary School, I was again bullied. More horrible insults kept resounding in my ears. They called me thick and stupid, more stupid Chinese names, sung stupid songs, laughed at me; I had more fights. Each time I was bullied, I thought to myself, 'why are they doing this?' Anger built up in me and that anger made me think through and through again why I was bullied. At last, I did not want to think anymore, I just believed I was thick, stupid and ugly, and that was why I was bullied. I had a lot of stress due to this. I found most of the subjects difficult. The pupils at school were constantly teasing me. I liked so many girls, but most of them at school, totally ignored my presence. I was really unhappy and did not like myself. I felt afraid to look in the mirror because I believed I looked ugly and stupid. I just hoped a miracle would happen, like I could change my whole body from head to toe. It never came; I just had to face reality.

I struggled with my studies towards my final GCSEs. I could not concentrate and I was rather anxious and worried about asking others for help. When my GCSE results came out, I could not bare to look at them. It was not bad as I expected but the results were not good. I was in deep misery not just by the results, but to everyone who would think I was just thick and stupid; they would not understand my struggles. I had only one chance in life; this was to work hard and do well in my A Levels so that I could prove myself to others that I could go to University and excel in life.

Feelings of Depression

Karaoke singing was wonderful and a form of escapism. I started at the age of 14 and now am confident in my abilities. Most of the time, I never knew I was any good at it, because my brother constantly bullied and put me down. I had been told that "I sung like a cow" but gradually I became better, my confidence rose quite a bit and eventually I started singing for the students in my class during A Levels. Everyone in my class was impressed! I was given the opportunity to perform my karaoke singing on stage at the end of my A Levels in front of the whole year and the teachers as well. They really enjoyed it and the applause had made me feel so relieved and emotional inside! But during this time through my A Levels, I felt lonely. I liked the positive attention I received via my karaoke singing but I wanted more of that positive attention. I wanted more and more and this had made me feel depressed.

Finally I made it to University. My university life was totally different as no one bullied me, but I struggled badly during my studies. I, again, had similar problems that I wanted a lot of attention from everyone I liked and because of that I was very self critical of myself. I was constantly thinking that I needed to be better than others to get that attention. So I involved myself in many sporting activities, worked out at the gym, practiced snooker so much that I spent an entire year after graduation to become a professional snooker player but this never happen and I was deeply depressed. Then I had problems with finding full time proper employment. Eventually, I had many emotional problems concerning finding work, personal issues, family problems, and worries about the future. I just felt I could not accept myself and I had no real future ahead of me.

Life began to change for me

Then one day, a different approach in my life began. I soon had the confidence to tell my mother the problems I had as she was the only one that I trusted. After trying hard to convince her that I had a problem, she soon understood that I needed to meet more people and to get to know them more. She noticed an interesting advertisement from a Chinese newspaper about CMHA and the counseling services and social groups they offered. My mother thought that this could be something for me to be involved in.

After seeking counseling for a month or two and attending the social groups, I felt more confident, more relaxed, generally happier meeting with other people at CMHA. I have been to other counseling services before but this one really helped me out. I was made more aware about the reasons why I was feeling depressed from time to time. The counselor was very helpful and I was indeed making very good progress.

I am now currently working for a high street bank as a senior sales support assistant. I am extremely happy about it and very satisfied after having struggled for almost a year and a half to find a full time job. Although this job will be for a six months contract, I feel that I am capable of working there longer because I just had a good review from the bank manager recently. Overall, I would like to thank everyone from CMHA for providing these quality services to enable me to enhance my life skills, build up my confidence and allow me to gain a better chance to obtain this extremely fulfilling job. I still have a long life journey ahead of me and have to make every effort to get through this journey. More importantly, I will always have to believe that I am just as important as anyone else.


English Text

我的生活經歷

作者:Jason

小時候以來我都是一個非常自覺的孩子,一般情況下都很害羞和緊張。我是我家裏的第三個小孩,有一個哥哥、一個弟弟還有一個姐姐,作為排行中間的孩子總是讓我覺得我是被遺忘的一個,因為家人朋友以及親戚總會問:“你的哥哥、姐姐還有弟弟都好嗎?”談話中,他們從未問及我。從很小年紀的時候開始,親朋戚友的隔離使我覺得很沮喪,他們總是說他們不跟我談話是因為我對每一件事情都看得很重。

剛開始上學的那段時間,我都被要常常上廁所這個問題困擾著。每一次我感到緊張的時候,我就一定要去廁所。這樣讓我感覺非常灰心喪氣。每當我需要上廁所想要跟老師說的時候我都會很害怕和覺得不好意思,因為我不喜歡受到其他學生的注意,他們都會取笑我或者聯想到一些無聊的事。所以通常我一定要等幾個小時一直到放學時間。每天上學都不顧一切地想著上廁所對我來說簡直是天大的麻煩!小學四年級我無法忍耐的那一次的傷害最深!在上課的時候我在老師跟所有的學生面前完完全全地弄濕了我的褲子。那是多麼糟糕啊!在媽媽面前,我甚至不夠勇敢去告訴她事實,取而代之的是我騙她說有人不小心地把水濺到我的身上。我小時候也曾經有幾次都尿濕了我的床鋪。

我開始上第一所小學的時候,面對身邊周圍的人我都覺得神經很緊張,而且那所學校裏的老師們都很嚴厲。很多學生,包括我那些所謂的親近朋友,他們都經常欺負我。於是,我就由五年級的時候轉學到一所新的學校。這卻令我面對新同學們的時候覺得更加精神緊張,因為我是在新學校裏唯一的一個華人學生。在那裏,我受到了新同學的更多的欺負。他們都叫我一些討厭的名字,例如猴子人;還有總是作弄我,因為是中國人。我常常都跟一群學生打架,因為他們又在欺負我。因此,我的自我形象比較差。我還記得六年級的時候,我遇到了一個我真的很喜歡的同班女孩。我覺得她非常漂亮。她那時候坐在另一個同學旁邊,兩人共用一張桌子。後來老師安排我們坐到不同的位置。我就被安排到坐在那女孩旁邊。我感覺很開心,後來她用一支鉛筆在書桌的中間畫了一條線,然後對我說那一半是她的,另一半是我的。我覺得很失望,相當心煩還有非常的低落。我不能明白她為什麼那樣做,唯能相信她不喜歡我。

上到了中學,我又一次被欺負。更加討厭的侮辱一直在我的耳旁迴響。他們說我是笨蛋、愚蠢,還叫著我一些愚蠢的中文名字,唱著愚蠢的歌,取笑著我;於是我打架打得比以前多。每一次我受到欺負時,我都在想“為什麼他們要這樣做?”我心裏的怒火慢慢累積,而這怒火使我一次又一次地反省自己為什麼會被欺負。最後,我不想再去思考什麼,我祗是一味地相信我是笨蛋、愚蠢的和醜陋的,這就是我被欺負的原因。因此,我被沉重的壓力壓著。我覺得大多數的科目都很困難。學校裏的學生都經常地恥笑我。我喜歡很多女孩,但是在學校的時候她們都完全地忽略我的存在。我那時真的非常不開心,自己也不喜歡自己。我很害怕照鏡子因為我相信著自己長得醜陋,而且看起來很愚蠢。我祗是希望一個奇跡會發生,就像我能夠由頭到尾地將自己改變。奇跡卻從未出現,我祗能面對現實。

我向著最後的中學考試奮鬥。我不能專心學習,但卻非常擔憂,而且很害怕尋求其他人的幫助。當我的中考成績公佈時,我看也不敢看一眼。成績沒有我預期中那麼差,但也不怎麼好。我曾經深深地痛苦,不祗是因為我的成績,還有因為那些認為我是愚蠢的笨蛋的每一個人;他們都不明白我的努力。我在生命中祗有一次機會,就是在我的A-Level考試中努力,去向其他人證實我能考上大學、我能戰勝自己。

 

沮喪的感覺

唱卡啦OK讓人感到愉快,還是一個逃避現實的方式。我在14歲的時候開始唱,現在我已經對自己的唱功很有信心。很多時候我都不知道自己擅長唱歌,因為我哥哥經常欺負我,讓我感到灰心。我曾被說我唱得想像一頭牛,但是我逐漸地進步,我的信心增多了不少,到了最後我在A-Level的時候開始代表我班內的學生唱歌。我對班裏的每一個人都留下了好印象!在A-Level的結尾,我得到了在舞臺上向全年級,包括老師們,去表演我的歌喉的機會。他們都很欣賞,而且那掌聲使我放下了心頭大石,內心感到百感交集!但是我的A-Level的整個過程中,我感到孤單。我喜歡我由唱歌時受到的正面的注意力,而且我想要更多那種注意力。我想得到更多,但這令我覺得很沮喪。

最後我還是考上了大學。我的大學生活完全不一樣,因為沒有人欺負我,但是我在學習中很困苦地掙扎過。我,又一次地,有著相似的問題,我還是想得到我喜歡的每一個人的注意,因為我是一個律己嚴格的人。我經常以為,我要得到那種注意我就需要比其他人都強。所以,我參與了很多體育活動,經常去體育館。畢業後的整整一年我都在練習桌球,因為我想成為一位職業桌球手,但這沒有成真,我又深深地沮喪。後來,我在找工作上遇到了問題,我不能找到一份全職的正式的工作。最後,因為找工作、個人因素、家庭問題、還有對於未來的擔心,我又遇上了很多情緒問題。 我覺得我不能接受自己,我覺得在我的前方沒有真正的將來。

生活開始轉變

後來一天,我的生命裏開通了一個不同的道路。我不久就有了跟我母親談及我的問題的信心,畢竟她是我唯一能夠信賴的人。經過努力地使母親信服我的問題,她很快就理解到我需要接觸更多的人,認識更多的人。她在一份華人報紙上留意到了一個關於華心會的很有趣的廣告,廣告提及到華心會提供的諮詢服務還有社交小組。母親想到這可能就是我可以融入進去的。

經過了尋求諮詢服務一至兩個月,還有出席到社交小組的活動,我感覺跟華心會的其他人的接觸是我更有信心,更加放鬆,總括來說更加開心。之前我尋求過其他的諮詢服務,但祗有這個真正的幫助我。我更能明白到我自己一直以來都覺得沮喪的原因。諮詢工作人員對我的幫助很大,我是真正地有著很大的進展。

我現在在一條主要街道的銀行工作,擔任高級銷售支援助理一職。對此我感到很開心,經過差不過一年半的掙扎後得到這份工作我感覺很滿意。即使這工作祗是六個月的合約期,我覺得我有在那裏工作下去的能力,因為我剛剛得到了銀行經理的一個很好的評論。大體來說,我希望感謝華心會裏向我提供那些優質服務的每一個人,是他們是我增強我的生活技能,建立我的信心,還允許我得到一個很好的機會去找到這份非常讓我滿足的工作。我的生命還有一段很遠的旅程要走。我會努力向前到達終點。我總是會相信我像其他人那麼同樣重要。