Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Open Letter

Hi world,

I'd love to have a moment of your time if I may?

You see, you judged me today when I limped onto the tube with a stick and needed a seat but walked off normally when it got to my stop.

You called me thirsty, slutty, a whore, a tramp… a whole manner of disparaging names when you saw me out on a cold evening in just a dress.

You told people I was an attention seeker, a psycho, a fucking lunatic when you noticed the purple and silver scars on my legs. You pulled your children closer to you, shielded their eyes, changed seats. 

You whispered behind my back saying I was full of shit when I told you I only had two hours of sleep last night. Apparently there’s “no way” I could be an insomniac without looking like a zombie.

You said I was fat and disgusting when I wore a vest top and hot pants on a hot day. You told me I should stop eating and maybe try exercising instead of being so “fucking lazy”. You said it was my fault and the fault of fat cunts like me that the NHS is suffering.

You took “sneaky” pictures of my armpit hair whilst I held the handrail above my head. You showed it to your mate and you both made disgusted faces and then laughed.

You yelled at me. “What the fuck is wrong with you?” But this is just rhetorical isn’t it? You don’t actually want to know what’s wrong. You don’t really care. You just wan to make yourself feel better by dragging me down. That’s how you get your kicks. That’s why you’re so buoyed, why your ego is so huge… you think you’re better than me. Than people like me. People different to you.

We are very different you and I. That is certain. For starters, I wouldn’t dream of dragging someone through the mud just to make myself feel better. That’s just mean! I also wouldn’t judge a person based on their appearance. There’s no sense in that. 

Before you go dragging anyone else down so you can feel better about yourself, understand something about me:

I need to walk with a stick and sit down on the tube sometimes. You see, I have a chronic pain condition. Everything hurts. Always. Some days I can manage the pain just fine. However, days like today, when I limped onto the tube and sat in the disabled seat, my back was REALLY hurting. The kind of pain that makes you want to vomit. Also, my knee was hurting. You see, it tends to dislocate at will. The last time it dislocated, I had to force it back so hard that I am left with a dull ache in my knee that becomes a screaming pain when it gets cold. Sitting down even for two stops can give me enough time to recenter myself so I can continue the rest of my journey.

I wore a dress. This is kind of a big deal for me. It was cold according to the mercury. I didn’t wear a coat. You see, I have this issue with my hypothalamus. This is the part of your brain that helps maintain homeostasis. It regulates your body temperature. Mine doesn’t work. My thermostat is permanently stuck on sub-saharan desert. I am always hot. Sounds great doesn’t it? I live in England. It’s always cold. High body temperature must be great right? Wrong! High body temperature leads to excessive perspiration. This makes me dehydrated a lot. I have had head a headache since about 1995! It also means that I can’t dress appropriately for the weather. When I wear too many layers I feel suffocated. It’s horrible. Typically I wear jeans and t shirt every day. That is my “workwear”. I hate it. I wish I could wear shorts sometimes but you see, I have scars. 

Scars. Big fat silvery scars. Long narrow purple scars. Criss crossing my thighs. A reminder that I wasn’t good enough then and that I’m still not good enough now. Self inflicted scars. Sustained in battle. Against myself. Since the beginning of my memory. Maybe even further back. I know how they look. I see them every single day. Sometimes I trace them with my fingers. Hearing the screams of my trauma. Occasionally, I trace them and smile. I smile because I am still here. I am still alive. I am not the kind of person to hurt anyone. Not on purpose. Just myself.

I’m fat. Yes, I know this. I’m fat because I’m in pain. Not the other way around. Walking hurts. Standing hurts. Sitting hurts. My shoulders dislocate more and more these days. Sometimes I’m carrying something heavy and I hear that distinctive pop. Other times, it happens when I am sleeping! Imagine trying to exercise. Constantly in pain. Random joints dislocating. Having to monitor my breathing. My posture. My joints. Trying to push through that pain barrier without causing long term injury. I know that I’m fat. What I didn’t know was this excluded me from wearing shorts, dresses, crop tops… I have been to the doctors. A rarity for “fat cunts” like me. They can’t really do anything for me. I can take medication but that may exacerbate my brain fog. It will make me tired. Listless. Numb. 

My armpits are hairy. My legs are hairy. My *gasp* private parts are hairy. Why? Is it because I’m a feminist? Is it because I’m too fat to reach everywhere? No. Whilst I AM a feminist and fat, these are not my reasons for being hairy. My main reason for being hairy is simple, I don’t care. My other reason is that reaching around to shave various body parts is a struggle. The last time I shaved my pits, I dislocated my shoulder, slipping with the razor and almost losing a nipple! No “beauty standard” is worth that or any other level of pain!

I know that you aren’t really interested in what is “wrong” but I want to tell you anyway. In addition to the above mentioned issues, I also have poor mental health. I have Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Insomnia… amongst other things. I also have Autistic Spectrum Disorder. These things combined make it incredibly difficult for me to be around people. Especially new people. Socialising is one of the most terrifying and exhausting things I can do. I sleep between 4 and 6 hours a night. When I do sleep, it isn’t restful. It’s difficult for me to find a comfortable sleeping position. Sleeping on my back affects my breathing. Sleeping on my side makes body parts go numb. Sleeping on my front is impossible with such an ample chest! I'm used to sleeping so badly. My body has adjusted.

Despite all of these struggles, I get up every day and go to work. I work long hours. I rarely take sick days. I don’t complain. I maintain friendships to the best of my ability. I am a loving and devoted partner as well. Yet you brand me. Label me. Judge me. Write me off. All because I don’t fit your image requirements. I am a human being. I have feelings. You don’t need to know my story to show me basic human decency. You should do that anyway! 

There are many other obstacles I face every single day but I think this is enough education for now! I owe you nothing! 

Stop holding your fellow humans to impossible standards and just live your own life! We are all fighting battles no one else knows about.

I don't want your applause. I don't need it. Waking up and surviving another day is all the applause I need.

Thanks for listening.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting this. I have been struggling with scars on my tummy and on my thighs. I have never worn shorts. Tomorrow I am going to buy a pair of shorts and maybe even a cropped top!

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous,

      That is truly amazing. Take your time though. Just trying them in the fitting room would be amazing. If you wear the shorts and crop top around the house, that is a HUGE step!! If you manage to get out in them, WOWZER! Seriously, that takes some stones!

      Know that when you are wearing your shorts, the Bipolar Kid will be beaming with pride!

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