Art Therapy



Bullying is more than just play ground teasing. The victims are harassed at school or work, and can suffer from attacks on the social media as well. I am not exaggerating when I say this form of abuse can be emotionally destructive. Therapy is not a crutch and it can take many forms in the healing process. It can be counseling sessions or discussion groups. Therapy seeks to bind wounds and restore inner tranquility. My personal road to inner peace travels along the brush strokes of painting. It has done much to repair a lot of inner damage and gives me a great feeling of purpose.

I was not referred to art by a counseling professional. Rather, my introduction came from a rather unique source. Like many people, I am a devout person and seek help from God. Prayer helps me find meaning and purpose to my days. At a very depressing time in my life, as I was alone in a room praying for deliverance from all the bullying I was forced to endure, a sense of calm suddenly enveloped me. I cannot fully explain it, but I felt being gently guided towards art as a means of dealing with the pain. A voice from inside was urging me to pick up a brush. I guess the best way to describe it is that in this dark moment, when everything seemed hopeless, a light shone through. It had a splash of color.

I have never had formal art training, and abstract art is something that comes very naturally to me. My work is not something which is planned in advance; it simply pours out from me. What I quickly discovered when I was in my Jumper paintings zone was my stress level dropped dramatically. Many of the fears and worries I confronted daily seem to go away while I was working with paint and brush strokes. I was still working in an office where bullies were ruling the floor. Yet, as I painted I felt safe. I wasn’t feeling as nearly as nervous. I had many scars on my psyche and the art work was healing me. I experienced my inner self being gradually restored.

Please understand that when you are surrounded by bullies it is very difficult to express yourself. Your environment discourages that. Painting allows me to fully explore who I am, and let the world know who I am. It was not long before others showed professional appreciation for what I was doing. This led to exhibitions in Paris, Dubai, and Venice. My artwork has been seen internationally and I have one of the best art studios in the Houston metropolitan area. More than any recognition or commercial success, art has broken down the walls that others built to imprison me. What hate seeks to build, art helps to bring down. I use art to put an end to the darkness.

It is so much more than pretty pictures. Art is a healing force and this gift given to me I share with others. Autistic children sometimes feel trapped and cannot express themselves. I work with these kids to help them better communicate feelings they had inside. I am firmly of the opinion artistic expression has the power to liberate those who are the victims of bullies, and the vicious hate. I offer my work to those bullied knowing art helps with healing, and can restore a sense of self-worth. This is my life’s work and I embrace every aspect of it.


One final note. I was the only person physically in the room when the inspiration to use art came to me. I do not, however, feel I was alone. To this day I remained convinced that a very dear friend was standing beside me, protecting me from harm. I believe He still watches over my shoulder.

Bullying Destroys Innocent Lives

Quite a few people don’t understand bullying. They are not fully aware of the long and short term consequences of this kind of abuse. Sadly, they think it is pretty much just a part of life and everyone will have to endure it while growing up. To them, a person has to learn how to handle it and things will get better as time goes on. There is just one problem with that line of thinking: things don’t get better and actually get much worse. I know this because I have had to deal with bullying all my life.

I was teased unmercifully as a child because I was different from all the other kids. The verbal slaps turned into physical ones, and I was beaten up more than once by the playground bully. The trouble stayed with me as I learned to deal with my sexual orientation. Being gay as a teenager in Houston was one bad day after another. The bullying did not stop when I became an adult.

Despite my employer having a policy against intimidation and harassment, my supervisors were actually ring leaders in the emotional harassment I had to endure. I did nothing wrong, disobeyed no instructions, and followed every agency policy. My being gay was the reason why coworkers took verbal potshots at me. As I mentioned in the documentary on my life struggle, The Jumper Maybach Story, I was forced to retool my career. All of this because some people thought it was okay to make fun of my being a little bit different.

Victims are often Children

Kids bear the brunt of a lot of bullying. The statistics are alarming as well as revealing:

·       more than 3.2 million students are bullied every year, because of this;

·       close to 160,000 teenagers will skip school daily in order to avoid the harassment;

Bullying is not a healthy part of growing up and yet in spite of these figures, approximately 25% of all teachers see nothing wrong with bullying, and boys will feel less sympathy for the victim as they get older. Studies have shown that victims are more likely to experience headaches, bedwetting, and other psychosomatic symptoms. The anxiety and depression experienced in childhood continue long into adult years. I can remember feeling suicidal more than once as I got older. I’m certain other victims have felt the same way. We are denied the right to self-esteem and instead must deal with self-loathing and a fear of social relationships all of our lives. It is hard to trust other people because you never know when the bullying will start again.

Bullying cannot be Tolerated

This all has to change. Schools need to have firm rules about bullying which apply in every room and every corner of the building. Companies need to have strict harassment policies and human resources must enforce them. Laws have to be enacted to protect innocent people from the abuse. I would include in any penalty some form of counseling. Many bullies have issues buried deep down inside of them, and only through therapy will they confront these demons. Counseling can help prevent such people from acting out again. Companies should have employee assistance programs which includes counseling therapy for those who have been harassed in the office. It helps develop a safe environment in which everyone can work productively.


I’m a firm advocate for putting a stop to bullying. It destroys lives and ruins victims inside and out. There is no reason for bullying in a compassionate society. Too many lives have been shortchanged and stunted because of vicious behavior of other people. We cannot wait for things to get better at some later date. Bullying has to stop now!