Wednesday, 11 January 2017

From being a nobody, to somebody, to a nobody again.


"Hanging by a Thread"
formerly titled "The Secret Garden"
(Taken years ago, re-edited)

I have experienced being bullied. Not physically, but more mentally and emotionally. I used to be made fun of. I remember when I was in primary school, we were having an event. Me and a couple of friends, decided to wear colour coordinated clothes. I can't remember exactly what colour, I think it was green. So, on that day, I happily wore my green baju kurung only to be greeted by my friends who all wore the colour red instead of green. They giggled amongst themselves when they saw me and I questioned "Weren't we supposed to wear green?". Was it just a joke to them? I don't know, but all I remember it made me really sad and mad at the same time. I felt really left out. 

I try to be friends with everyone, including the popular kids at school. When I was 13, during Form 2, we were having a concert, my class decided to do a 60s dance performance. I think it was for Teacher's Day. If I remember correctly we danced to songs by The Beatles. I brought my camera to snap photos of that day. In the dressing room we were all laughing taking photos together, I even sat on one of the girls lap. At that time, everyone was having fun. When I had the photos developed, I brought it to school to show it to them. 

And it was at that time, I noticed, the girl that I was sitting on the lap with, was embarrassed that there was a photo of me and her. I think she even told me not to show the others? But they noticed, and I could see from their expressions that they were making fun of that photo. It was confusing really. These girls would invite me to their houses, yet I noticed at the same time, I was made fun of. I was foolish trying to fit in. 

In another incident, my classmate, used her brother to act as though he liked me. Which at that fragile and naive years of just hitting puberty, I believed that he liked me for real. It felt nice to have some boy like you, it's flattering. Especially because I had low self-esteem. Felt that I was not pretty enough. In the end I found out it was all an act. And I saw their cynical laughter directed towards me. And I knew it was all a set up. The laughing stalk yet again.

Another similar incident; a friend made up a secret admirer, sending me letters and making phone calls by using perhaps their guy friend or brother to act as he was the secret admirer. To them it was all fun and games, but it really did leave deep scars when I found out that there really was no secret admirer. Felt like such a loser.

I don't blame them entirely. Probably I was somewhat annoying that they wanted to teach me a lesson. I was kind of a spoilt brat as a kid, and sometimes liked to show off and seek attention. I am the youngest in the family and the only girl at home. I could get almost anything I wanted. Perhaps I deserved it? Heh. I do believe though, that in a lot of bully cases, the victims allow themselves to be bullied. Nonetheless, whatever the cause, bullying is plain wrong. It can affect a person for a long time. 

I then left that school to go to a boarding school. There, I had the time of my life, and had the best group of the friends till this very day. The boys there were extra mean though. I used to be made fun of all the time. Was I really that weird to be made fun of? I was lucky enough to have amazing friends that had my back. So it wasn't so bad. 

All of these bitter experiences, I bottled up inside. I let it out through the poetry I wrote, the drawings I did and the photographs I took. Perhaps that was why some of my photography works were very moody, deep, dark and emotional. And these works had tremendously good feedback. It felt wonderful to be appreciated. I then saw that hey, I can be somebody, someone who is liked and not made fun of anymore. I wanted to be that popular girl in school. I needed to prove to people that.. "You know what, I'm no longer that girl you can make fun of. I can be somebody, I can even be better than you." Uh-oh.. BIG MISTAKE.

This led to my downfall. It just made things worse. At first it was great and all. It eventually got me more depressed. I relied too much on what people would think about me. I relied on the approval of others. It consumed me. Say if one of my works did not get as much positive feedback as my previous work, I'd be questioning myself "What did I do wrong? Why am I not good enough?" I'd overly stress myself thinking too much about it. I spent too much time thinking what was wrong, rather than trying to improve for the better. 

I did not go out much, especially to socialize and hang out with friends. Mainly because I was not allowed to. Pretty much why I was so happy to go to a boarding school. I came to that school a bit later, and the other students were telling me "Habislah malam ni menangis". I was like, why would I cry? I was super happy to finally have my 'freedom'. Haha. Not to say I had a terrible childhood experience at home. It was fun, I had friends over and I did go play and my neighbours house. But as I grew into my teen years, I wanted to go out to malls, hang out with friends, that which I did not have the opportunity to. Parents were quite strict about that. So hanging out at the town mall, Wetex in Muar was really exciting for me. Going into The Store to buy Mee Segera PAMA was always something I was looking forward to.

Getting back to episode downfall.. At that time, I forgot. I forgot Him, The Almighty. I was too busy in my world. I did things for all the wrong reasons. It was so bad, that a long the way, I ended up hurting others, ended up breaking promises, ended up being selfish, and worst of all ended up hurting myself. I did achieve quite a number of things during my active phase in photography and social media. Which I should be proud of. But inside, I felt empty. All those achievements were nothing but trash. I had the wrong motivation and intention. I was too busy trying to please and prove myself to others. What for? Fame? Ego booster? Self satisfaction? In the end, I ended up being a nobody again. 

Now that is all in the past. Still haunts me at times. But I have learned from my mistakes. Whatever we do, should be based on the right intention. Never ever do things to please others. Never ever do things to prove to others. Don't do things just to please and prove yourself. Humans are weak, imperfect, and can easily disappoint. And the worse thing you can do is to disappoint yourself. 

The solution? Is "Lillahi Ta'ala..." in whatever you do. Insha'Allah you will be safe and protected from your own self-destruction. 

{Sue Anna Joe}


  1. *hugs*

    you did a great job on doing what you did to come here right now.
    for whatever reasons we've been through, it all comes back in you yourself
    learning something from Him.

    never hate yourself for being bad, misguided.
    but be thankful that you are now under His light.

    aku slalu ckp macam tu la kat diri sendiri.
    sbb aku pun serupa setan dahulu kala :)

    1. *hugs*

      Thanks. It's never too late eh? Teringat zaman kita gi workshop sama-sama.

      Psst: Panasnya sejak dua menjak ni, alangkah nikmatnya dapat makan Kamieshuka Popsicle

    2. *Hugs*

      You're still one of the coolest girls i've ever known in my entire life. Zaman adolescent memang banyak cabaran dugaan semua. May Allah guide and protect us always. ��

      ❤️, mama copi n eshaal

    3. *hug*

      Awww, that's really nice of you to say. Don't know how to respond to that but thank you. Nampak je cool, but am like a duck in water, atas nampak je tenang, kaki kat dalam air tu struggling teruk. Hahaha. May Allah guide and protect us all. Allahumma ameen.

      Love to you and your kids ❤️

  2. Dear sue anna joe, ive been following you since i dunno lama jugak :) Kenal pun bila tengok sue anna punya gambar. That time dah lah photographer women tak banyak. So, i is always looks up your artwork also artwork by Late Nadia Zahari. You guys did great job andd till noww im still taking picture :) Annnddd i always search for budubelacanbusuktapisedap blog! And we glad you did came back sue anna. May Allah bless you whatever you do and thanks you for inspire me, yes you did inspire us :)

    1. Alhamdulillah. Glad you're still taking photos. I still do, but not like I used to. Blog budu dan belacan tu tah siapa yang ambil. Happened when I deleted the blog. Thank you so much. Semua pun dariNya.

  3. Semoga Istiqamah.

    Follower since fotopages

    1. Insha'allah. Fotopages? Lama juga tu. Terima kasih ya.

  4. fotopages
    budu belacan

    myspace pun fren ingat lagi pic profile anna gif. lari2 dengan kawan hehe

    bakat yang ada dalam diri dalam setiap keadaan dan laluan kehidupan tak pernah sia sia ibarat terlontar ke darat jadi gunung, hanyut ke laut jadi pulau

    big hugs anna
    bahagia rasa baca blog ni
    rasa macam harapan diri sendiri yang kembali cerah

    1. Oh wow. Lari-lari tu atas bumbung kat OU. Yang Myspace pulak, gif korek hidung pastu calit dekat skrin tak silap. Haduiiii. Hahahaha

      Big hugs too.
      We all need some motivation from one another.
      Sama-samalah kita.

  5. Salam kak Anna. I have been such an avid fan of yours since years back. Your art & photography is definitely phenomenal & it's inspired me in so many ways to pick up & improve on my own photography. I'm so glad that I've found you again! And despite all the difficulties you went through previously, I am so grateful that it was Allah swt's way to bring you closer to Him. May we always be on His straight path, looking & learning with the right intentions & making this world a better place in His name. Seriously so happy to have found you again. Keep doing what you do! So much love for you! Bittaufik wannajah in all your endeavours <3

    1. Salam Farah. Thank you. Uhuk uhuk terharu. I wanted to reply sooner tapi tak tau nak cakap apa. Alhamdulillah, always has the best planned out for us. There is always a hikmah to whatever happens in our lives. Depends on us how we want to react to them, be it a musibah or blessing. I'm so happy that you're happy that you found me again. Hahahaha... hope to see you around, and so say hello hello kay. <3


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