As expressed, briefly, in my previous post, a year and a half ago I went to a psychologist… it took 24 years to get that referral. There are multiple reasons as to why it took that long, some of them falling on me and my own personal fears of being “broken”, some of them falling on the BC health care system (my overall experience with doctors, in the city I currently live in, is overwhelmingly negative as it is), but eventually I got that piece of paper I had been silently begging for – the chance to speak to a professional.
To truly understand what an accomplishment that was, I need to break down a lot of my fears and experiences that had built up to that point. I am going to be doing this over multiple blog posts as it will be hard to encapsulate everything in to one.
First of all, let’s just put this out in the open – I am a weird person. I was a weird kid, I am a weird adult, I hung out in the weird circles in school (and was constantly reminded of my weirdness by people outside of said weird circles) and I have my own circle of weirdness now. Everyone’s definition of weird is different, a direct definition would be:
This is hugely relevant, from the beginning of grade school I was perceived as “weird” –
In elementary I was weird because I wore too many dresses – I started wearing baggy sweatpants and sweaters.
In middle school I was weird because I chose drama over sports, chewed on my sleeves and had a hard time making friends, I was the kid that ate lunch in the bathroom and would’ve rather stayed inside my room playing video games than going outside – I started self harming, drinking / taking large amounts of painkillers and tried to commit suicide at age 13.
In high school I was weird because I “looked like a boy”, went to punk shows, didn’t have money for nice clothes, dated someone younger than me, I was the kid who spent the last dance alone or was last picked for gym teams – I continued self harming, built up my walls, learned to trust no one and lived a persona that didn’t care about what other people thought or said, until eventually I didn’t exist to them.
Now, I’m going to break here and say, this isn’t about pity and I understand that a lot of these things seem futile, and in the grand scheme of things, you would be correct. But the reality is that these experiences shaped a lot of my inner monologue for the majority of my life and therefore neatly folded, packaged and sealed my self worth with a big ol’ “that weird girl” stamp in burning hot wax. I have also made the effort of leaving out direct instances of bullying and personal issues outside of school because this isn’t about what people did, it’s about how people’s perceptions contributed to the person I am now, and the fears associated with that; fears of rejection, isolation, ridicule and honesty. I would not be doing myself justice if I were to ignore this aspect of my life.
So, let’s hop to the last 2 years of high school – this was only the second time that I was honest about my mental health (or what I thought to be honest), it was the first time, however, that I was told I should be on medication.
<INSERT EXTREME FEAR HERE>