The thing that hurt the most? The thing that absolutely shattered me?
It happened recently. And honestly, I don’t think it would have hurt at all, if it was at least a little bit true. It wouldn’t have hurt at all, if all the stuff before wouldn’t have happened. But then again, if all the stuff that happened before wouldn’t have happened, maybe it would be true.
I have been through a lot. And I don’t just say that because it sounds good and it sounds like I’m strong or whatever. Because, I don’t think I’m strong. I actually think, I might be weaker than most, but even so, I got through all this stuff. I survived. I got through so many illnesses, some of them even life-threatening. And then I was bullied for being sick. I was bullied for nearly dying. And that wasn’t even what hurt the most. I was being bullied for being myself then, too. So I stopped being myself. I was bullied for not being myself and I was more miserable than ever, having forgotten who I really was.
The worst thing about being so sick wasn’t even the fact that I was sick. I mean that was bad, obviously. But one of the worst things ever is looking in your parents’ eyes and just seeing fear. Seeing fear for you. Of course they try to hide it, try to downplay it, but you still see it. You still see that they know, just as well as you know, that this is serious. Then, when I got better, my parents were still afraid. Every time I got sick, even if it was just a little cold, my dad (being a doctor himself and feeling partly responsible for not diagnosing my illness sooner) would freak. He would examine me, send me to other doctors right away, give me all kinds of medicine. And twice it really was serious again. Not as serious as the first time, but still being sick for a month or two. He couldn’t deal with it. Of course. I don’t blame him. But to be honest: I needed him to be able to deal with it. Him not being able to deal with it, that meant I wasn’t able to deal with it.
So I went on with my life, pretending everything was okay. And after a while, after many nights spent crying in my bed, I came close to being fine. I was fine with having been sick, with having missed so many weeks of my life because I was lying in bed. I wasn’t fine with any of the other stuff. Because what you have to understand is that being sick for so long at such a young age, it isn’t easy. You feel like you missed out on so many things. You feel like you’re behind, like you’re failing, like it’s all your own fault. And then being bullied, being an outsider because you were sick, that just made it worse. That just made me feel like it really was my fault, like I should have done better. But I pretended to be fine. I didn’t want to bother anybody. I didn’t think I was worth worrying about.
To actually reach that state of being okay, really okay, it took friends. Real friends. They made me feel like it was not that bad. Like it wasn’t my fault that I got sick and that it wasn’t my fault that I got bullied. I believed them. And you know, that year wasn’t all good either. There were ups and downs, but that didn’t matter. It was so much better than what I thought life to be like. For the first time in my life I didn’t feel like a complete failure. I was somewhat confident. I was happy.
And then I had to leave them. I knew that that was coming, but that didn’t make it hurt any less. I hurt for months and I didn’t think anybody really noticed. I didn’t think anybody really cared.
So I was hurt and alone. Again. My family was busy and I didn’t want to burden them with any of that. So that left me alone. For a really long time. I thought I sort of got through leaving my friends. It started to hurt less. I started to smile more. And then school started…
People weren’t talking to me, but I was still topic number one around town. I didn’t dare to say anything to anybody, for the fear that they could spin it into yet another rumor. So I acted like it didn’t bother me at all. I would go into class, act as friendly as possible and try not to cry ’till I was home and alone.
I held it together somehow. I thought I could get through that. I mean it would just be two more years, right? And then I failed my Maths exam. I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal. But it was.
You see, I had always been a good student. And I was proud of that. It was one of the only things I was ever proud of actually And I didn’t fail the exam because I didn’t study enough or because I just didn’t understand something. It was because I couldn’t concentrate. I was taking that exam alone in a small room in my school, because I had been sick on the actual exam date. Somebody kept coming into the room, knocking on the door, talking to me. And then I panicked. You see our Math exams consist of two parts. The first one is mostly multiple choice or one word answers and you have to get eight out of twelve to get a positive mark. If you pass the first part, you pass the exam, no matter what you got in the second part. I got seven right in the first part, an A in the second.
That was what pushed me over the edge. And I know it sounds stupid, but I started crying in class and my classmates just didn’t care. They basically laughed at me, they thought it was so funny that I, the good student, failed an exam.
That was when I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I just wanted to drop out of school. I just didn’t want to be anywhere near the town I lived in anymore. I got sick. And I don’t mean depression or something and don’t get me wrong, that is just as serious an illness as everything else. But no, I got physically sick. I had a really bad lung infection and had to stay home for about two months.
That’s when I told my parents. That’s when I told them about the bullying that has been going on basically since kindergarten and I told them that I couldn’t stay there any longer. I didn’t tell them all of it. I didn’t tell them any details. I didn’t tell them how bad it got sometimes.
And that’s when my dad said that I was sensitive. And that’s what hurt the most. He basically said that what those people did to me wasn’t all that bad and that I just thought it was so bad, because I was sensitive. My dad’s a psychiatrist. I expected better from him. I expected him to understand that what he just said basically meant that all I went through, all I struggled with for so long, was all in my had. That if I was just different, it wouldn’t be so bad. That it was my fault.
And I know that he probably didn’t mean it that way and that’s why I’m not angry at him. At least not so much. But that hurt. That really hurt. Because it wasn’t anybody from my class saying it and it wasn’t me saying it about myself, it was my dad. One of the few people I thought I could rely on. And that’s why it hurt so much. Because from that moment on, I couldn’t rely on anybody anymore. I was on my own. For real this time.
And then I told them that I had to go. That I had to start fresh. And I wouldn’t take no for an answer. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going far away. Just a few more months. Then it’s all over. And I have so many doubts. Of course.
I mean although it’s horrible here, at least it’s familiar. At least I know what to expect.
But the worst thing of all: I feel like I’m running away. I feel like I’m just giving up. Like I’m once again just not strong enough, not good enough.
But I’m doing it anyways. Because I know that I can’t live trough this any longer. I know that I can’t survive this for another year. And even if it doesn’t get better, when I go away, at least I tried, right?