No matter how small a thought or worry is, it’s still significant. If you belittle someone’s feelings, You are worsening the problem. There are so many types, They all vary in severity. I will discuss some of my issues and the mental illnesses I think I have. I know it’s easy for me to just throw around words like depression, anxiety, and paranoia. I know I should get clinically diagnosed before going on about these topics, but I won’t. Why won’t I? The better question is why should I? So people will take it seriously? (for once) Or so people can tell me that I’m fine? That there is nothing troubling me and that I’m just being a teenager. Who are they to tell me that I’m fine, I am far from it, but they don’t really care. Nobody really cares, They pretend to care most of the time. Now I’ll admit my “depression” isn’t as severe as others, However it has close ties with my anxiety and paranoia which are bad.
It all started in 3rd class. I remember always trying to spike up the front of my hair with water from the tap in the class bathroom. People laughed at me. They told me I looked stupid (which I did, they were right) On one of those days, I said and I quote, “I wish I was a boy,” you can imagine the strange looks I got for saying that in 2006 as an 8 year old girl. Before you say anything, I don’t want to be a boy now, I love being a girl. I just used to think that boys had it better. Not in relation to rights or anything like that, But I use to think only boys could have short spiked hair. That only boys could succeed in the world of sport as a career, That only boys could be strong,tall, and capable of driving well. This wasn’t really a horrible experience, the boys in my class were always at me, not just then. They constantly badgered me about how “in love” I was with my guy friend, According to the boys, apparently girls and guys couldn’t possibly be “just friends” I think I recall at some point them making fun of my excessive amount of freckles, They would call me “Freckles” (so original I know) or “Spot” as an insult. I’ve always been really sensitive to the tone of people’s voices. This might seem weird but let me explain. While people used to say genuinely mean things to me in school, it usually was nothing too terrible, But the way in which they said it would often lead to me crying, followed by them calling me a “crybaby” which I was. I still am I just hide it better now. They were trying to hurt my feelings by sometimes saying normal,nice things but in a sarcastic and/or rude tone (this is why I can’t take compliments to this day) This is the main reason that people (including friends) use to say that I wasn’t really being bullied. Both my friends and the boys who “weren’t bullying me” used to say “You take things too seriously. God can’t you take a joke.” I’m sorry but when did insulting and laughing at someone become considered a joke? Oh yeah that’s another thing, people laughing AT me is something that during my school years happened on a daily basis by everyone (even teachers) I would often go home crying and/or cry myself to sleep some days. I would cry because of how horrible my school day had gone.
4th class has been one of my lowest points to date, I feel bad saying that because I met my American friend that year, but besides that the year was pretty bad. The boys were extra horrible to me that year so you can imagine my dismay when the teacher had me sit with loads of the boys around me with only one girl around me, my American friend. It got too much that day,so I drew a picture. I drew a train-track. I was standing on the train-track. There was a train coming at me. The boys around me were looking at me and said “what the hell are you doing drawing that, it’s weird” Well first they asked me what it was supposed to be because I couldn’t draw at all. Anyways I responded with ” maybe I don’t want to live anymore okay?” This was my first suicidal thought. I think I was 9. I think my American friend was concerned and told the teacher. I say this because later that day, or week, the teacher brought me outside the room door. She said “I was told about what you drew, you know this could be very serious. What you drew wasn’t very appropriate.” Now, I hated this teacher more than anyone. I had her in junior infants as well, she is the reason I fear teachers and authority to this day. I didn’t want to tell her the truth, if I was having problems, she didn’t deserve to know, I had friends who were there to help me (they weren’t) So I lied to her, I said to her very seriously, “I didn’t draw anything. I’m fine. There is nothing wrong.” Anyone who knows me, knows that I can’t lie for shit. I always laugh, whenever I try to lie so it’s obvious when I’m not telling the truth. So when I lied to the teacher, it was scary how I lied to her so easily. She let me go back into class and never spoke out about it again. Also, at the time, I didn’t see what the problem was with drawing, it’s not like I tried to kill myself it was just a drawing. The other girls in my class thought I was just looking for attention “Oh will you stop already, no one cares that you think you’re sad.Lighten up.” (I’m paraphrasing but not really exaggerating, like this is fairly accurate.) Another time I was thinking of committing suicide was sometime after this, like a couple of months. I was at my friends’ house.They had a bunk bed. I had a belt. While they were out of the room, I took off said belt and tied part of it to their bed above me. I tried to tie the other part around my neck. It didn’t really work. It didn’t tie well and I was a bit too tall to hang myself from their bunk bed. Also I would have felt guilty to leave them with the burden of me dying in their room. I continued to cry myself to sleep. I repressed all of my feelings as my friends didn’t care. I hated my life, myself, and most people. Yet I still loved my friends.
Secondary school wasn’t much of an improvement (for the most part) In 1st year, I started drifting apart,yet remaining friends, with my friends from primary school. By 2nd year we were strangers. The friendships shattered into a million little pieces Just like my heart did (sorry, I’m a little over-dramatic at times) When this fell apart, I went into a dark spiral of self hate (from which I have not really come out of, even though I’m completely over this ordeal) If they didn’t want to be my friends, who would? I didn’t make it much better by spending everyday listening to ‘True Friends’ by Hannah Montana on repeat. Also, I was having a horrible time at school because I was frightened of a LOT of my teachers from 1st-3rd year (my worst year of secondary school) I did still have friends but I never felt I clicked with them. They weren’t people I really hung out with outside of school. Another thing that was going on during those horrible years was that I was “bullied” while cycling to and from school. I’m still surprised I didn’t off myself in those years,but here I am. I had nothing to lose. I had lost my friends. I was scared of my teachers.People who didn’t know me hated me. I had so many suicides planned out but I was too chicken to do any of them. Being me I always took others feelings into consideration before my own. So while I didn’t feel loved (the only love I wanted was from my friends, I didn’t care about anything else) I knew my family loved me and I didn’t want to cause them any pain. because I knew that me dying would heavily impact their lives in some way.
In 5th year, any of my school friends that I actually liked talking to and got along really well with (bar one who later repeated 5th year) were doing Transition Year. I officially started 5th year with zero friends in my class. I didn’t talk to anyone in my class for a while. I was always in the T.Y. room before school and at lunch. Other than them, I was forced to be friends with a girl from our friend group who wasn’t doing T.Y.
Thank God she wasn’t in my home room.
Things went fine most of the time but I never really liked her.
She would always only make small talk like “Oh isn’t it cold today” or “Rain again”
I know this sounds a bit mean to say but she made my life hell the last 2 years
Later on in 5th year she made me stop swearing because SHE didn’t like it.
Yet she only didn’t like me swearing, our other friends could curse to their hearts content.
I started to feel really trapped, like I was suffocating.
I swear to relive stress, anger, or any emotion really,
Because of her, I was forced to pent up all my feelings even more than before.
Even if I only said ONE swear word,
She would be like “Oh bad words 😦 ”
On the day of the Awards ceremony and Dance off that year, I really started to hate her. (we’ll call her Shylock)
The teachers were dressed in the school uniforms.
I was making a joke about one of them breaking the dress code.
I said “Look she’s wearing sneakers, better send a note home”
So then Shylock scoffs and goes “Sneakers? SNEAKERS? They’re runners. Haha, stop being so American.”
“Well I’ve always said sneakers, and so has my family who are all Irish.”
Now this wasn’t the first time she commented on how I spoke, we had this same exact conversation like 2 months before.
Also I said police in a conversation once, and I nearly said cops but stopped myself before I could because I knew she would say something.
Well she also didn’t like me saying police either because “It’s too English, it’s supposed to be the Gardaí”
First of all, she’s half English herself.
Secondly, she understood what I was trying to say so I don’t see the problem.
So one reason why 5th year was actually good, despite Shylock being my shadow constantly,
I was in the same class as people who I never had classes or had only one class with before.
There was also lots of people coming into our year who did T.Y., and there was loads of them in my class.
When I first found out that T.Y.’s would be coming into our year, I was a little angry at first.
I felt like they would take over our year and make everything about themselves,
They didn’t and I got used to them being around, they were part of our year.
If anything they made our year complete.
They were all so fucking lovely and everything, I couldn’t handle it.
Like they were only in my year for 2 years,
Yet a lot of them talked to me way more than some people who were in my year the full 5 years ever did.
They’re all so talented and hilarious too.
Luckily at the beginning of 5th year, I figured out a way to avoid being “bullied” for cycling.
I stayed in school for about a half an hour after it finished, so that all the “bullies” would be gone home.
By staying after school, the girls going to study were there too while they waited for study to start.
There were 3 girls who was were always in the class-Elsie, Kadance, and Acadia.
I did have Maths and Chemistry class with Kadance but I didn’t talk to her for a long time.
I did talk to Elsie, I had English class with her.
Now I’ve known of Elsie’s existence since 2nd year, when she brought in her drum kit.(You can probably tell who Elsie is supposed to be)
Our rooms were right next to each other, and I spent all of lunch that day just looking at the drums, watching her play them and thinking “wow she’s so cool”
Ever since I was little I’ve always loved the drums, but my parents would never let me get them.
Needless to say I was kind of jealous of her,
But I also wanted to be friends with her, and I felt I never would be because I thought of her and her group of friends as the “popular crowd”.
Why would they ever talk to me?
Anyways I’m getting off track, back to 5th year.
Elsie would often talk to me after school, I wouldn’t say we were great friends with each other (not at that time anyway, we became better friends in 6th year)
Obviously it must have seemed strange to the three of them that I was staying late after school.
Most people are ready to run out the door once the final bell of the day tolls.I also was in school really early in the morning in 5th and 6th year, another tactic to avoid the “bullies”
So I was in school much longer than anyone else, except for you know the people who actually went to study.
So the three, after a few weeks, asked what my deal was, why was I always staying after school?
I told them that the boys in the Sem and Tec. had been calling me names and laughing at me whenever I cycled past them and how that went on from 1st-3rd year.
Of course, they sympathized and were like “just ignore them,they’re just a bunch of idiots”
This reassurance did help, but I can’t ignore people ever.
I have an inability to do so.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing though. There was days where I had to leave at the same time as everyone else.
Without fail I was laughed at.
I never understood the joke of a girl cycling.
I’ve since realised after all this and through interactions I’ve had with people that I am the joke.
I told a girl who was in my class who had done T.Y. about this too,
It was the only discussion I had with her that year,
We didn’t know each other, we just knew each others names, her name is Mae.
However she seemed to find my predicament sad, and she too told me to just ignore them
I know that I couldn’t really have gone around like this kid though
So I was fairly happy throughout 5th year, I liked most of my teachers (my French teacher scared me so much though)
I didn’t have anything to really worry about and my grades were good for the most part.
A week before our summer exams, I was sitting in my tutorial class in the DCG room.
I was sitting with Kadance and the teacher let everyone talk seeing as it was one of the last classes before summer.
I probably would have sat there not saying anything, being my quiet, awkward self as normal,
But Kadance recognised the bracelet I was wearing (It was a Camp Takota bracelet, it’s from a movie that some Youtubers made)
I got so excited, because most people just weren’t as interested in Youtubers as I was.
While she didn’t really watch the ones who made the movie, she knew who they were and we talked about others that we both liked.
It was the start of a beautiful friendship, and it was just by some magical chance that it started.
The summer between 5th and 6th year was brutal though.
I didn’t hang out with anyone, I was just at home all the time alone.
I went to my friends house one day, but one day out of three months isn’t a lot
6th year I would say has been my best year socially but a pretty bad year mentally and academically. (my grades have been horrendous this year)
Since I was about 14 or 15, I started to question my sexuality but even more so in 6th year.
When I went to London on the Science Trip, I saw girls holding hands and I saw one couple kissing under the Christmas lights, oh my God it was so freaking cute.
There was this guy singing opera in a restaurant and passers-by (including me) were able to watch him from a balcony surrounding the place.
He would sing operatic songs to women and throw them up a rose (it felt like the finale of The Bachelor except he had more than one rose)
I don’t know why but I really wanted a rose but he never threw one to me but I went down anyway and put money into his collection basket and he bowed to me, it wasn’t a rose but at least he acknowledged me.
So I left for a while, but I wanted to go back and try my luck again.
Except he was gone, there was different musicians there now.
They were a 4 piece band that consisted of two violinists, 1 cello player and a flautist.
The flautist was a girl. She was blonde, wore a beanie, and from what I could see she was fairly pretty.
I didn’t even know her and I had this massive crush on her. I will never forget the flautist girl.
I had crushes on other girls while in London, but I feel embarrassed about having a crush on them now, so let’s just forget about them.
I loved it there, and everyone who went on the trip was so nice.
Unfortunately, Shylock was my room-mate and I didn’t sleep the first night because of all the noise she made in her sleep.
Because of her I was falling asleep the next morning in the Planetarium, I was looking forward to it so much but I was so dead from my lack of sleep that I couldn’t enjoy it properly at all as I struggled to keep my eyes open
On one of the days there we passed by an award winning gay bar,
I said to Shylock “That looks cool, I would love to go in there”
She put her hand on her heart “What? Why?” she couldn’t believe I wanted to step foot in there.
While I was over there I got wristbands and one Harry Potter keychain, for some of the people who didn’t go on the trip.
Kadance gave me a hug when I gave her the wristband and keychain.
Now I hadn’t hugged someone for I’d say like a good 4 years.
I didn’t hate hugs. In fact I love them, I just hate initiating them.
In December, the week before the Christmas holidays, I became friends with Sakura.
We texted each other all the time over the holidays, I even went to her house for a day.
I was so happy but with happiness there is always a price to pay.
While I loved having like a best friend again, someone who I talked with and laughed with all the time, I started to become really stressed with school work with the pre Leaving Cert exams starting on my birthday at the beginning of February.
I was getting really stressed out with English, It’s always caused me so much grief because I want every piece of writing I do to be excellent which takes me days to write because I procrastinate a lot with writing.
I spent so much time on English that I neglected my other subjects.
Everything got too much and I started crying all the time doing my homework.
I felt guilty going to sleep because I never had all my homework finished, I had to get up early in the mornings trying to finish it.
I started harming myself a lot from January to April, and then the odd time during May and June.
Now I wasn’t cutting myself because, like suicide, I was too chicken for that.
Instead I saw a video that said people would flick their wrists with rubber bands to stop cutting themselves.
I did this but found that it just wasn’t enough, it didn’t hurt just pulling it a tiny bit.
So I would have the rubber band around my wrist, and I would pull it out really far so that it would hurt me so much more.
I needed to do it, I deserved it. I wasn’t doing school work when I was supposed to. I felt really guilty but I still couldn’t get the work done.
The rubber band would create a red line on my arm. It would swell and start to sting really bad. The lines went all up my arm, I would do it on 1-4 parts of my arm at one time.(Depending on how horrible I was feeling) The lines would last for a couple of days.
My Mom saw the lines a couple of times, I told her I just scratched my arm and they just appeared (LIES!) I wore long sleeved tops at home after that.
My friend in 5th year also noticed my marks, only four days after I started, and she broke my first rubber band and told me to stop.
It wasn’t that simple, I had to keep doing it (At least until the exams were all over)
I would harm myself with the rubber bands in school during lunch, between classes, even during classes. (I had to refrain from making any noises of pain, in case somebody noticed,they didn’t)
Not only would I harm myself when I didn’t do school work, I also did it when I said or did something embarrassing (which happened a lot)
When I was in school I even had my sleeves rolled up all of the time, yet I managed to keep it hidden from a lot of people.
Eventually I had become accustomed to the pain of the rubber bands.
So while I kept using them, I was looking for some alternatives.
While I was doing my homework, I would slap myself across the face as hard as I could.
I gave up on this after a couple of weeks because I was nervous of knocking my teeth out.
I started to do a form or cutting. I didn’t use a blade, like a knife or a scissors.
I used my fingernails to make scratches on my left hand, until it started to bleed(I still have little scars on my hand)
My excuse for these marks that I gave my Mom was that I cut it off the corner of my French folder because it was sharp, and I had actually done that a couple of weeks before accidentally.
Things started looking up in May.
We had our Graduation Mass, and everyone was all dressed up in wonderful dresses (I wasn’t in a dress, fuck that) of course that was after we changed out of our uniforms.
I wore make up for the first time that night.
Mae was the first person who saw me when I arrived at the church and said I looked lovely.
I then went over to some of my friends-Elsie and Sakura
They couldn’t really believe that I wore make-up.
Elsie said I was beautiful, while I still don’t believe that to be true I repeated it over an over in my mind for the entire night.
It wasn’t the fact that she said it, it was being told that I was beautiful by someone who was a friend, so I knew that they weren’t just saying it to be nice, but they were trying to be sincere and honest.
The night itself went really well, and I talked to loads of people.
While everyone at my table was gone taking pictures, I was sitting alone for a bit.
So at three different times 3 people from my English class, sat next to me and talked to me for a couple of minutes.
Everyone had started to notice me and talk to me in the past month, and they all wanted to just make sure I was okay.
A couple days after, everyone had started talking about the upcoming Same-Sex Marriage Referendum
I came out to Sakura as Questioning in February, or around then, and my 5th year friend in like the first week of May.
However on May 17th 2015, as a comment on a No campaigners Facebook post, I came out to my entire year.
The response I got from that was completely unexpected. I got so many nice messages, and supportive comments.
Everyone then really knew who I was. It was weird to feel accepted not just for my sexuality, but for everything else about me too.
The next day in school I got 2 high fives and a cookie, because I came out.
I felt like I was one of the popular girls, along with the other people who weren’t straight in my class because they stood up against the No campaigner and came out too, people seem to forget that they came out. I kinda stole their thunder on that one. Sorry you guys.
With the lesbians being popular it felt like I was in the high school from Faking It (It’s a MTV show where those who are typically seen as the outcasts (i.e. the nerds, gays and lesbians) pretty much rule the school.)
The last day of school (technically) for us as 6th years, was the most amazing, yet nerve-racking, day of my life.
We were all signing each other’s yearbooks, I tried to write really honestly and nicely about the person whose yearbook I was writing in.
I received such heart warming messages that I got emotional reading them.
I try not to read them too often or I’ll get a massive ego.
I was called things like “generous,” “inspirational,”cutest person ever” and most importantly ” a good friend”
That last one makes me feel so accomplished as a human being (well being called cute was great too)
Later that day, in the afternoon, I had to read a poem that I wrote about my time at the school, in front of all the students and teachers.
While all the 6th years were being so encouraging cheering me on,
I was nervous as fuck.
My knees were buckling, my voice was shaking a little.
I was having major heart palpitations.
The reason I decided to read the poem, is because I wanted to have the right parts emphasised and particular emotion in the certain sections.
Like my plea for people to go vote in the Referendum, which was on that day.
I tried my best to make it funny and I got one big laugh in one part, which was what I was hoping for.
Once I read the last line, they all applauded and cheered, and I ran to the back of the group of sixth years.
I was too nervous to stay out in front of everyone for longer than I had to.
Like there is such thing as too much attention.
During the study week, I had great conversations with Mae. Even though on our last official day we had this big emotional goodbye.
She was telling me that she had friend troubles in the past. That while she may seem happy all the time she’s not.
I had another friend tell me too that they have confidence issues sometimes.
Now everything is fairly okay at the moment except I’ve had some dark days since the Leaving Cert ended, which is the inspiration for these blog posts.
I did have suicidal thoughts during the last of exams too but I’m doing good again.
I would like to thank everyone for all they’ve done to help and support me over the past couple of months.