Darren Tay – Outlast

Darren Tay tells of his childhood experiences being bullied and what he did to overcome it.


Hey loser, how do you like your new school uniform? I think it looks great on you.

When I go to school, my high school bully Greg, would stop me in my tracks during recess and would tell me, “I’m going to so get you outside, I’m going to knock you in your teeth, punch you in the gut, and laugh at your sorry behind.” Ever wondered why bullies felt they need to tell you the exact sequence they’re going to bully you? My friends, whenever I heard those words, my hand would tremble. Have you ever felt so fearful that you cannot eat or sleep?

At age 16, Greg was six feet tall and weighed 240 lbs of what I can only presume to be biological insulation. I tried everything I could. I tried buying a cake for Greg, hoping he would stop. Only to have the cake on my face. I tried telling the teacher about it. Only to have Greg torment me even more. I even tried taking up Taekwondo and Karate. Only to break my wrist while trying to hit a thin plank.

My friends, just as I was about to give up, my aunt gave me words of wisdom. She said, “The way to deal with bullies is not to hide or run. The way to deal with bullies is to outsmart and outlast.” It was like a light bulb in my mind that went “Bing! I can do that.” And with whatever 14-year old smart brain I had, I managed to outsmart and outlast Greg. I changed to a new school.

Several years later, after my encounter with Greg, I met a bigger bully. A better bully, a stronger bully. And this bully, no matter what I do, I could not get rid of him. This bully would echo negative words to me. Telling me I’m a loser, telling me that I will never, ever succeed. My self-esteem would be so damaged that some days I would just want to lie in bed. Not wanting to get up. Have you felt that way before?

This bully knew my schedule so well and would stalk me 24/7. And I could not run away from this bully because this bully resides here. The bully is inside me. My friends, as much as we try to deny it, we are our toughest and strongest bullies. We beat ourselves up, and put ourselves down. Have you ever felt that you were not good enough? I felt that way.

At times, we are our worst enemies. How long have you been wearing your invisible underwear outside your pants? How long have you permitted your inner bully to take charge of your life? Five minutes is a lot. Now, I remembered the inspiration, “outsmart and outlast”, but this time around I could not change to a new neighborhood. I could not change a new brain, I could not run away. Something else must change. And this was when there was a turning point in my life. I met Greg [inaudible 00:03:56].

Greg by the way, is now a counselor, teaching teenagers to combat bullies. Who knew? And this was what Greg told me, he said the best way to deal with inner bullies is not to run or hide. You cannot run away from the bully here. The best way to deal with it is to stand firm. Face it and acknowledge its presence. When you do so, you’re no longer identifying with it. You’re stepping out and observing it. Your inner bully will weaken and fade. I was thinking, “Wow, that’s profound! How come you didn’t tell me when I was 14?” But I’m not afraid anymore. I’m in control, because I’m acknowledging it, I’m stepping out of it, observing it, and watching it weaken and fade.

My friends, let us all not run away from our inner bullies anymore. Let us all face our inner bullies, acknowledge its presence and fight. Let us all be vulnerable together as a family, supporting one another. Because we can all outsmart and?