INSIDE OUT: Fighting Since Five


How did I get into fighting?

I didn’t want to fight. Fighting came to me!

In kindergarten, I was a beautiful, shy, androgynous mystery child. My earliest memories of school are of being bullied. I remember an older kid who would cross over to our section of the schoolyard and taunt me. He would make fun of my clothes, my skin, and tell me I was poor. It was very puzzling to me. I remember him looking at me with hate one day and spitting in my face. I did not break eye-contact with him as I wiped it off my cheek with my sleeve. I was so confused.

I don’t remember all the things that were said and done, but I know it happened frequently. Eventually my mom noticed I had bruises on my arms. My mother’s solution was to enroll us in a Kung-Fu school downtown - I was being hurt, she thought my brother was a weakling, and my older sisters could benefit by joining as well. One big happy family.

FLG at 5 years old.

FLG at 5 years old.

I won’t get into the years of suffering and torment I endured as a young child at this school - it was an emotionally humiliating, physically torturous, abusive environment that has scarred me for life. I used to pray to GOD that we’d get in a car accident on the way there. My family didn’t protect me from that experience and that’s something that has always hurt me. The torment inside those walls bred a fierce and hungry beast on the playground. I fought bullies at school on what seemed like a daily basis. I remember body slamming, clothes-lining, kicking kids in the face, knocking the wind out of them, and smashing them over my knee. I remember feeling very proud and strong.  

At that amazingly fun Kung-Fu school, I was emotionally abused for being a “fat slob.” If I didn’t perform with energy, it was because I was “fat.” At home, my family called me fat. At my parents store, their friends called me fat.  At school, the kids called me fat, poor, and a he/she. I fought back so much when anyone made fun of me, but then I would go home and cry A LOT by myself because it was shameful to cry openly.


FLG at 13.

FLG at 13.

When I was 13, I started smoking cigarettes and weed. I stopped playing all sports and my weight ballooned to 200 lbs in a very short period of time.

When I was 14-15, I had my heart broken and stopped eating for six months. I lost 50 lbs.  

When I was 16, I started getting into chemical drugs and by 17, I had a great little business going. All my friends got sick and we all looked gaunt. I was now underweight and weak. But it didn’t take long for my weight to rebound.

I did terribly in school because I hardly showed up. When I did show up, I was high and selling to other kids. People my age were scared of me. I intimidated them and took their personal belongings as collateral if they didn’t have enough money. I didn’t value school because it was something I was told to do by adults. I didn’t trust adults because I didn’t have a reason to. Any routine that had been prescribed to me had caused me pain.

I took pride in being a good dealer because it gave me control. It protected me from pain. It earned me respect and gratitude. I was respected for the skills I had: accounting, weighing, measuring, maintaining contacts and relationships, and meeting people’s demands on time. I was running a successful little business.

But this lifestyle took a toll. Climbing the ladder in this position came at a heavy price.

People around me went to jail.

Guns were pointed at heads.

I experienced psychosis from tasting the rainbow.

But, nothing scared me more than my parents finding out.


At 19, in high school. FLG just posing for the camera.

At 19, in high school. FLG just posing for the camera.

When I was 20, I  joined a Muay Thai club. I badly wanted to feel better - I just wanted to beat the crap out of something. Training at the club gave me such an endorphin kick that I forgot all my problems in the time I spent there each week. In each two-hour session, four days a week, I gained confidence in my physical and mental strength by surviving the torturous workouts: hundreds of squats, push-ups, sit-ups, and screaming while punching pads. Whoever endured the most pain was highly valued; it meant that they had the most willpower. I saw new possibilities for myself. I wouldn’t need to get high if I could feel like this.

When I was 21, I knew I needed a big change. My heart was broken, my friends were gone, I didn’t want to go to school, and I couldn’t see a future for myself anywhere. One day, my mom casually mentioned that I could get my citizenship in Taiwan (where she was born), if I went soon.

That idea was all I could think about. I knew the only way things were going to get better was If I left the country.

A brand new beginning.

This is Part I of “Inside Out” - a series about FLG’s fighting memories. Follow us on Instagram for updates on the next installment.