A Long Time Coming: Intro

“She needs to get a grip. Millions of people are in her situation… (etc.)”

Do you remember saying those words? Do you realise that I was told by so many people that you had spoken a series of extremely hurtful and insensitive things about my health?

“The sooner she and (head of sixth form) realise she’s going to fail and she gets kicked out, the better it will be for us! I don’t understand why anybody is wasting their time with her.”

(I was walking right behind you when you said that one).

Within half an hour of being in the same room as me, people I had never met walked over to me and told me that you hated me. “The purest, most irrational hatred” that you had ever experienced, apparently. And you tried to spread it, with no idea what else I was trying and failing to swim against. I hadn’t even spoken to you. I’d no idea what face belonged with your name.

Did you think I wouldn’t find out about the things you said? Did either of you ever stop to consider that the ugly things you spread would leave me suicidal for months? Would you have cared, if you did? I highly doubted it, but just in case you would have, I couldn’t tell you – I wanted to spare your feelings. Only one of the three of us needed to cry themselves to sleep and suffocate in shame. So I smiled at you, I was civil. You had no idea the damage you had done and would leave, that I’d be too ashamed to talk about my health to anyone at all, would skip appointments, until my heart was so outraged that I collapsed on the school field (and when the ambulance arrived I begged it to leave and to let me go back to lessons, but my heart rate was over 160 and Skippy was generally grumpy and I lost consciousness again when I tried to get up and walk away in fear of fuelling your fire. The paramedic crouched down and used his knees to  push me down onto the ground, and when I explained why I needed to go, he said some marvellously offensive words about your insensitivity).

People who know me, who thought they understood, have no idea what you did to me. I couldn’t explain it to them because at the time I could only cry and yearn for the grim reaper to take my hand. They know the things it drove me to, they know that for the first time I cried in front of them, they know I stopped going to my hospital appointments or letting someone know if I felt unwell and needed medical attention (with disastrous consequences); but they’ve no idea why, not really.

I’ve hidden from this for too long. Because I was, in a weird way, afraid. Because, for a long time, I drank your words like they were truth. Because, for even longer, they tore me apart and cut me to shreds and left me sobbing under my bed covers, hating myself, digging my nails into my flesh as hard as I could to try and replace one pain with another.

I don’t care any more. I want you to know what your insensitivity did to me. I know you don’t and will never read this blog but I want this out of me. I need closure. After 2 years, I am ready.

And it has been a long time coming.


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