Author Topic: 8 Years removed from Gyne and Still Not Cured  (Read 1611 times)

Offline asdf

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Wow, I haven't been on these forums in forever (was a constant creeper all through high school).

I don't think about my gyne to much these days but a news article got me thinking about bullying and I decided to write a blog post about my own experience with it.

 Bullying: What it is and What it Isn't


A while back a local radio station posted a story on their Facebook page (News Story Here).  The gist of the story is that a 14 year old girl who had been bullied since a young age about her appearance, specifically her ears, underwent plastic surgery to correct the problems she had been tormented about.

I proceeded to read the comments that people had left and the overwhelming majority followed the same basic theme; that the parents, the girl, the surgeon and anyone else involved should be ashamed of themselves.  In peoples eyes to have surgery is to let the bullies win, and rather than change her appearance her parents should be teaching her have confidence in herself and value whats on the inside.  After all, everyone is bullied and most people get through it just fine.  And while in some senses all of that is true, in another, more accurate sense its nothing more than useless and utterly ignorant rhetoric.  And before I tell you why that is lets take a journey through my high school years to learn what bullying really means.

It was only a few weeks before summer break.  Grade 9 was ending, and I was walking down the hall with two friends.  My best friend at the time was telling us about how his girlfriend had been making fun of him for having no pectoral muscles,  I didn't really care and was hardly paying attention.  Then it happened, the beginning of the end.  He continued his story "So I said to her, at least I don't have man boobs like Student_Doctor".  Now I was paying attention.  My heart sank.  I of course had realized that my breasts were a bit bigger than they should be for a skinny kid like myself, and the areolas themselves were huge, puffy and obviously visible through most shirts.  However this was the first time anyone had said anything to me about any of this.  I don't really remember the next couple of weeks.  After that there were more comments, I even got into a fight with another "friend" who wouldn't let up one afternoon.  But soon the year was done and I knew that by the start of the next year my gynecomastia would be gone (after all every article I could find on it promised me it would).

Only they didn't go away, they only grew a little larger.  At least everyone will have forgotten, I kept telling myself.  Unfortunately they hadn't, things picked up exactly where they had left off.  I stopped hanging out with my former friends and began eating lunch with the few other class loners.  The next three years were hell.  I was tormented constantly.  People would walk by and "honk" my breasts.  My nickname was bosoms.  Every day all I cared about was not being noticed.  I wore sweaters no matter the weather, I slouched constantly (and my posture today doesn't thank me).  And maybe it helped, maybe I did get noticed less, but the ridicule didn't stop.  After grade 11 I had discovered a forum for people with gynecomastia.  Thank God I did because this is the first place I realized that there was a cure, and not the chinese herbal remedy website that claimed a 100% cure rate that I used to leave open on my parents computer hoping they would notice.  It was then that I made a move out of desperation.  I printed a story I found on the website that mirrored what I was going through and typed up a short letter explaining what I felt and when my mom dropped me off at summer school one day I left it on the seat as I ran off.

I finally got the breast reduction surgery after I graduated high school.  It was amazing.  Not perfect mind you, my nipples still look a bit weird to this day and the left breast is still a little bigger than the right, but it was amazing.  For the first time in years I could wear a t-shirt in public.  I could walk into the wind and not have to pull out the bottom of my shirt and hope no one noticed.  Unfortunately despite my new chest I remained the same person I was in high school.  Every day I went to class and sat alone.  Even though the reason I had started to avoid people was gone, the behavior stuck with me.  I had literally 1 friend in the world, a relative of mine who I would play video games with, and it stayed this way for the next 3 years.  It wasn't until my third year of university that I finally, through a coworker, met a group of people who would eventually become friends.  It was also through this group I met the woman I would eventually marry.  Despite this group, and my lovely wife I'm still feeling the effects of that bullying.

Here we are almost 8 years out of high school, finishing med school, and I still struggle with severe social anxiety.  Finally, thanks to our psychiatry course, I have begun treatment, but nothing will ever truly erase what happened.

Now back to the original story.  I of course have no idea what this young lady's experience with bullying was like, but it doesn't really matter, the point is that people who have not experience true bullying have no idea how devastating it is.  You cannot ignore it, overcome it through self confidence or any other stupid trite BS saying you want to throw at it.  Getting surgery didn't let the bullies win, it let that girl (and myself) win for the first time in a very long time.  You really want to deny her that to prove a point.  Yeah yeah, the inside matters, but guess what when that inside starts to think that the only escapes are suicide or surgery the time for making points is over.  The reason why all that doesn't work is because everyone is not bullied.  Someone called you fat once and you ran away crying?  That's not bullying.  You did something stupid and everyone made fun of you for a few days until it blew over?  Guess what, not bullying.

I'm not even sure what my point is or why I felt I had to write this (well other than the fact that its 2am and the buproprion has got me wide awake).  Anyways yeah, bullying sucks, stupid rhetoric sucks and nothing pisses me off and breaks my heart more than disrespect towards others.

If anyone cares the blog is called radiculopathic and is on blogger since I can't post links.

Also I know Im not a great writer but let me know what you think.  Also any questions I would be happy to answer.

Linkback: https://www.gynecomastia.org/forum/index.php?topic=26398.0

Offline Paa_Paw

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I signed in here 8 years ago, We don't hear much from the old crowd. I'm not sure if you would recognize Grandpa Bambu, He may have signed in after you left us. HeadHeldHigh put in a brief appearance some months back and then he disappeared again. Hypo has not been active for a couple of years.

I would hope that you stick around. I was so old that when effective surgery became a reality I had other priorities. A person like yourself that has gone through the surgery can answer questions from a perspective I simply do not have.

Sorry to hear that your experiences after surgery were not as liberating as hoped. Perhaps the problem is that you waited too long for surgery and the things like social avoidance had become ingrained habits.

Welcome back.
Grandpa Dan

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asdf,

Thank you for sharing. When I encounter someone who is different in ways they can't control I want to keep my own experiences and stories like yours in mind, always.

Offline asdf

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I signed in here 8 years ago, We don't hear much from the old crowd. I'm not sure if you would recognize Grandpa Bambu, He may have signed in after you left us. HeadHeldHigh put in a brief appearance some months back and then he disappeared again. Hypo has not been active for a couple of years.

I would hope that you stick around. I was so old that when effective surgery became a reality I had other priorities. A person like yourself that has gone through the surgery can answer questions from a perspective I simply do not have.

Sorry to hear that your experiences after surgery were not as liberating as hoped. Perhaps the problem is that you waited too long for surgery and the things like social avoidance had become ingrained habits.

Welcome back.

Yup I remember all of those names.  Funny how this site can be such a big part of your life and then all of a sudden not be.  In my case I know once I had the surgery I just wanted gynecomastia completely out of my mind to try and move on.

Also don't get me wrong, the surgery wasn't perfect, and it obviously cannot repair the emotional damage but it was still one of the best things that has happened to me in my life.  It allowed me to live again and there is no way I would be where I am now without it.

Not only that but, I know that in the post I may sound a little bit frustrated or bitter but I'm not at all.  I don't have any regrets, and despite the pain I endured years ago, and the problems that I still deal with because of it I can look back now and thank God for the positive things that came out of my gynecomastia.  I may have lost friends because of it, but not only were they not true friends but if I had continued to hang out with them I would probably be where they are today, working menial jobs spending all my free time drinking and doing drugs - no thank you.  I may not have had a girlfriend until I was 21 because of the shame I had, but now I can say that the only woman I have ever been with, and ever loved is my beautiful wife.
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Everyone has their struggles in life, currently one of mine is social anxiety, but so what?  I have a great life, 25 with a wife and 16 month old son, about to graduate medical school into a career that I not only love to do but am passionate about.  Why focus on the negative?

hammer

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It is really great that you are now are focusing on the positive things in life! It would be a blessing if everyone could learn to do that, and the sooner the better! If one can start early in life just think of the pain it can save a person from going through!

Congratulations on how you have moved on with your life and where you are now, the blessing of a loving wife, a young child, that is what life is about!

God Bless and the best of luck to you in the coming years!


 Bob aka Hammer


 

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