Wednesday, 4 December 2013

The only thing to fear is fear itself

Today I am going to talk about what frightens me the most.
When I was 12 I was bullied so badly at school that it caused me to have panic attacks, I've mentioned on here before that my mother got really scared and pulled me out of school and so I ended up home educated for the rest of my secondary school years because all of the other schools in the area were over subscribed so I couldn't get in anywhere else.
Over all I am quite happy with the level of education I received, it meant I could concentrate more on the things I was good at (mainly arts based) and if I was having trouble with something I didn't have thirty other kids to compete with for help, but the one thing that wasn't so good was how painfully lonely it was.
I was in my teens, things were hard enough with my body throwing random curveballs at me without having to go through it alone, and yeah I had my family around but you know how it is when you're a teenager, nobody understood me, at least that's what I thought (and to be fair some of my problems surrounded coming out, and nobody in my immediate family DID understand that, and hearing stuff like "I don't see why the NHS don't accept gay men's blood, it's not gay people that spread AIDs it's the bisexuals you have to worry about" didn't really help) and so when I had problems I just stopped talking to people because I was frustrated and felt like nobody was listening.
At some point my family started to notice how withdrawn I had become and a youth group was found nearby and I started to go to that, unfortunately it had been almost two years since I had left school and I had trouble talking to people my own age. I would freak out on the bus on the way there for months, convinced that people were just pretending to like me (in a couple of cases it turned out I was correct to think that but fuck this people) and for a while I felt even more alone, like many young people I felt like the only people that understood me were musicians and it was around this time I started listening to AFI and felt a deep and somewhat weird connection to the lyrics of The Nephillim "he said I now feel more desperatly alone, even though they wrapped their arms around me as I'd fallen." And I felt like I'd never be happy again.
Eventually though I ended up joining another group tha was more politics based, which was kind of weird because I never really saw myself being into anything political and then boom suddenly there I was every month trying to make young people's voices and opinions heard, it shaped a lot of who I am today funnily enough, and I met people then who I am still friends with now. An offshoot of that group turned into an LGB (they totally forgot about the T which makes me feel a bit awkward now) group and I ended up getting the support I needed and eventually came out to my family, which got a resounding "ok why are you telling me this now? What do you expect me to do about it?" Rather than the hugs I needed but oh well at least I managed to come out eventually.
I still have trouble speaking to people sometimes, and I know it does frustrate people sometimes but at least these days I have people (a lot of people, more than I ever thought I'd have) who care enough to get frustrated at me, I don't ever want to be as lonely as I was in my teens again.

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