It wasn’t the first time it happened.
A monster has been stalking me since around fifth grade, and I wanted to tell my parents, but who in the right mind would believe a child’s absurd story of a freakish hellion haunting her every waking hour?
Who in the right mind would? I doubt that I myself am in the right mind.
It would be weird to sort of assess myself like this since I am not anything near professional or credible, but I would understand why it picked me for a victim. I was such an easy, vulnerable target, starting off as a timid child who was bullied year after year until it grew in me that the people around me were only using and pushing me around so they could use some help with schoolwork.
At first, I assumed it was normal to see such a creature hang around with you for a while. But one time, something hurt me like it would anyone else. Bad things are normal in life, after all. The odd beast tailed me for an entire month. I began to doubt things were still right. I read around and the words I found felt like my truths, sewn perfectly into what was happening to me, yet I still denied what was before my eyes.
I thought, “Impossible. I am only in fifth grade. Fifth grade. They say kids have colorful array of thoughts. This is just a figment of my imagination.”
It would go for a while and I’d enjoy myself with my family, then it would drop by again and take so much time before leaving. It always came and went without warning. Eventually, it neither shocked nor bothered me anymore, so I treated it like a frequent guest. Sometimes I’d even wait for it at the door, since I wouldn’t consider a school year normal until I broke down at least once.
I kept silent about it until two years ago, when I found friends who genuinely cared, whom I could trust well enough to admit it to. By then, it grew so much already and it was beginning to act disturbingly comfortable every time it lingered.
When I was stressed out, it twisted my tongue, either making me stammer or slurring my speech whenever I tried to speak. Whenever I tried to do things, it would plant seeds of doubt within me and kept me stagnant. I already have a small appetite, but with it, meals felt like a tiring chore. I had always been hard to send to bed at night since I was very little, but whenever the freak came by, I would lay awake or cry silently under my pillow while everyone is sound asleep.
Life would be hard to bear often, so it would invite me to lock up in the bathroom to cry. I’d wash my face with cold water after so my eyelids didn’t swell so much, then I’d go out like nothing happened. Other times, I slept it off whenever and wherever I had the chance.
It was at its worst this school year, most especially last week (which explains why I didn’t post last Sunday). A mix of family dilemmas, a pile of school-related paperwork since the term is almost over, and all the other constant troubles I bear, created something like a perfect storm. Fatigue regardless of how little work I did. Headaches that would last for days (my head actually hurts right now since the past four days). Very frequently putting off schoolwork and not caring. Sleeping hours past midnight and waking up for school late. Getting away with only crackers for breakfast, occasional skipping of lunch, and a few glasses of water all day.
Worst of all, it reached the points I feared the most: when I’d punch the wall or the bed’s headboard and want to do more despite the pain; and when I’d think of suicide and not feel any fear anymore. It’s like I’m set to self-destruct.
A few days back, I called my best friend on Skype at 2 am and cried about how I could no longer get a hold of myself. It pained me how he was crying over my words. I told him that I wanted to open up to my teacher and my family about it to lighten my suffering in a harmless way. We agreed that I would do it the next day. We slept past 4 am. Morning arrived. I went to school. I didn’t do as I promised.
Telling the truth is the right thing to do, but there are just so many reasons to hold back. First, medications are expensive and my family has a ton of other things to spend on. My mother, too, has her own depression to deal with already, frustrated by a paining disorder she was born with. It is difficult enough to bear when one family member is ill. I don’t want to heighten anyone’s pain twofold.
Second, the people who secretly celebrate whenever I fall would be so glad to hear the news. They hide their demons in faux halos and smiles even if everyone else knows how they truly are. They make school life poison for me. I loathe every second I share the air with them.
At times, I’d tell myself they never mattered anyway. I’m strong enough to embrace my agony, but not strong enough to open up to anyone older about it. Funny how I could write it here, but I just couldn’t tell them face to face.
A monster has been stalking me since around fifth grade, and I wanted to tell my parents, but I still don’t know how.
What do you think? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! 🙂
Photo from: http://doom-generation.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/trapped5.jpg