You know that way where you just can’t catch a breath and everything is lumped on you all at once? Being a carer is tough, and don’t get me wrong, given the choice again I would make exactly the same move I did the first time round, but it’s really hard to live your life as a carer and not be able to fix things. It’s also really hard to carry the guilt over the frustration over your situation, whether it’s the isolation, the control aspect of lifelong illness, the non existent time off, or any number of other things, life is hard. And reality of life as a carer is that the already normally difficult life is that much harder still.
Ok. So t week I thought long and hard about what I wanted to write. I wrote out a whole 4 page thing and then panicked about what people would think of the content.
I do this a lot – worry over the reaction I will get from society. Why wouldn’t I worry, what confidence has society ever given me that I will be listened to, understood or accepted? Pretty much none to be honest.
I struggle at times to say what I want and need to say. I can stumble and stutter over my words and sentences, draw a complete blank and be unable to progress because the thought process has been arrested – and I do mean that. It’s like a black hole that sucks everything up, words at first, then point and reason and at times origin of the thought too – gone. then I’m left standing like an idiot trying desperately to piece together any spare fragments of the original intent of the communication attempt. You know this actually gives me a headache? It’s painful and frustrating and upsetting and when people talk over the top of me, or don’t give me a chance to gather my thoughts it makes it worse.
This is why I find writing so freeing I think. Because the pictures in my head flow onto the screen rather than causing a traffic jam on their way to becoming sound. My mind also does a great impersonation of a kangaroo on speed. It bounces from thought to thought and I can very quickly go off on an unintentional 2 hour tangent before realising that I have lost my way to my original intended point, if I even remember what that point was.
Anyway… I was talking about what I had wanted to write. I had decided to tackle bullying. Both in my own life and in general. But I found that as I wrote, the memories translatd very vividly onto the page and I found that I had named at least two people whom I am still somewhat connected to. I only used the first letter of their names and no more, but the overwhelming guilt I felt over even writing down what had happened – like I was the bad person for sharing my experience – it was crippling.
Why should I feel like this after twenty-five years? I’m not the one that instigated that day. I’m not the one who gathered the entire class to target one person. I’m the victim and I am the one who is holding the damn guilt – how fucked up is that?! Not one person from that class – a class I was in for seven years of primary school- not one of them will have ever given that day a second thought. I think about it often, even now. Don’t get me wrong, I was getting bullied long before this incident in p3, but this was another level of cruel. What’s worse is that the boy who instigated the entire thing was someone I considered a friend at the time, as was the girl who eventually caught me and got a black eye for her trouble. Her father even claimed that she hadn’t been at school that day. Aye ok then, very good.
That’s not the only time a whole class has descended on me. Though it hurt most because it was my class, and though they had been teasing me and making fun of me through p1-3 I never expected that they would all take great pleasure in trying to catch me so they could batter lumps out of me.
That bone deep anxiety I have over what I say and how people will take it will never leave me. I know that what I wrote just now wasn’t the cause of this anxiety, my insecurity about my ability to put my point across is more than half of the reason, and general bullying throughout my life is pretty much the other half.
My mum used to say “Why is it always you?”
The thing is, no matter how good an actress you are people always know. Especially kids. they always know you’re not the same. People are cruel, kids are crueller. That shouldn’t be the way it is, but it unfortunately is exactly how it is.
Even in my adult life I have been bullied pretty severely by bosses and peers. No physical stuff since high school mind you, but really nasty verbal and cyber stuff – the most recent of which was an online writer’s community who I will not directly name but they pride themselves as the oldest and best run literary forum. Hate to tell you folks, that just isn’t the case. There is a clique at the centre of the forum hierarchy that are the instigators of any and all drama. They hate when people have a different opinion and they hate to be called up on their constant dribble of bullshit even more. Three bouts with the “clique del la *founder* member’s club,” and I was done. I left the forum feeling browbeaten and deflated because again, no one wanted to know. Including the agent that runs the apparently “wonderful and friendly” place. The kind of shit I’ve had over the years, no one should ever have to deal with. Again, like Aberdeen, a lot of this stuff is a little too heavy for me atm and can be shelved for another day, or perhaps shelved entirely.
As a parent, whose child is starting school after summer, thinking back on this stuff terrifies me. Not least because I am pretty certain that she is also likely to be HF. I am more than a little convinced that both of my kids are on the spectrum. I don’t see that as a problem until someone else makes it one. But I do feel 1000x more aware of things that may happen, and sadly bullying is something that terrifies me.
I pretty much kept the bullying and teasing quiet. It’s pretty much a given that if I said about one instance when I was a kid, I hadn’t voiced at least three others. In fact, jumping back to that p3 incident – my mum only found out that there was a problem the next morning when I burst into tears at breakfast because it dawned on me that I would have to go back and face them all and I was petrified. I kept the fact that my entire class had basically attacked me to myself for over fifteen hours until I realised that I had to do or say something to keep myself away from them.
My daughter is so like me that I worry she won’t voice things that she should. I do realise that it is something I will have to tackle if and when it happens, but it doesn’t make me feel any more comfortable right now.
And of course my son is about to start nursery too, so here’s hoping they have a great time and my worries were unfounded. I’d love that actually. To be proven wrong about society by society itself. That would be a turn around. A welcome one at that.
Ok I’ve typed myself out for tonight. My brain was a mangled mash to begin with and now I’m just worn out.
This is not the only post there will be on this subject, i’s such a huge and life altering thing, how can you fit how it affects you into just one post… you can’t. But it is all I am saying for now. As always, comment and query if you like. Take care of yourselves!
Cheerie-bye the noo! xx