To Those That Broke Me More

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


This is an open letter to those in my past -- not that any of them are likely to read it. It is also an answer to questions put to me in a rather disrespectful comment. The cover image is from
Pixabay -- is not me. And anyone is free to use it.


To Those That Broke Me More

I was recently asked in a comment – a disparaging one -- ‘Have you not learned anything?’ And with that came speculation about my age. I am 57 years old – now you know – but I am just the same as when I was 17. A misfit then and a misfit now.

Back to the original question. Oh, boy, have I learned anything? You bet, and nearly all between the ages of 11 and 20. The following years have done nothing more than reinforce those lessons. DO NOT TRUST ANYONE AND DO NOT TRY TO CHANGE WHO YOU ARE.

A bit of history here to back this up, but I will not be naming names. It’s all true, whether you choose to believe it or not.

Although I never had a lot of friends in junior school, I did excel at the work. I was the girl from a council estate that would be going far. Well, I did go far, just not up but down. My mother had a total nervous breakdown and was away for a long time while I lived with her parents. My father was out at work all the time so he couldn’t take care of me and my brother.

This is not a tale of wicked grandparents though, I loved them both dearly and they did whatever they could for me. No, this is a tale of wicked classmates! The ones that found out and taunted me with it all the time – there was not even the token level of understanding towards mental health issues then as there is today. It was something to be hidden, ashamed of, never admitted, and association with it left a person tainted.

Blame! That’s what I got. How I had caused it, made her do what she did. I failed at everything, very quickly, withdrawing and eventually doing what she did, twice. Needless to say, I left school just before my 12th birthday, when I was put in an Adult Psychiatric Ward. Again, these weren’t the wards of today, but the wards of Electro-convulsive therapy being widely used. No, I never had it, but I was shown it – the threat being made sometimes in words.

Already flooded with guilt, some of the staff were part of a religious group claiming to be Mormons. They befriended my mother and blamed me for her actions. Eventually, when she took me along to one of their gatherings they attempted to wash away my sins by holding me underwater.

Never having been religious in the slightest, they did manage to make me become an even firmer atheist.

So now I’ll turn to the doctors. You have to bear in mind here that there were not the range of mental health disorders identified then as there are now, and I have every belief that now I would have been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. Not then though. I couldn’t answer enough of their current affairs questions so I was out of touch with reality. The diagnosis went from paranoid, schizophrenic, psychotic, and finally settled on manic-depression. Quite frankly, they were not that interested, just wanting to pigeon-hole people and treat them by the book. You learned the rules, toed the line and eventually earned your get-out-of-hospital-free card.

I was too young to finish education so at 14 I became the youngest ever mature student at a local college. Instant misfit, all alone, although I did make a couple of vague friends, and it was with these doing a lunch break that I first went blind.

Lots more doctors, this time arguing if it was a mental problem or a physical one. It was a game of eeny-meeny-miny-mo with me being tossed backwards and forwards between them. Sometimes I could not walk or even stand, sometimes my hands would not work, and sometimes I could not see. Multiple sclerosis! That’s what they decided. And I’d better get used to it, because starting so young it was going to quickly take me over.

I fought it. I stopped eating, stopped talking and got on an exercise bike for two hours morning and afternoon whenever I could. I was sent to a neurological ward where in my non-talking state I was treated as a freak. But I did have a lumber puncture – a procedure that haunts me to this day. It did however prove both the diagnosis, and the suggestion that it was imaginary, to be wrong as it was a virus that was continually running around my central nervous system which eventually, after 5 years burned itself out.

So then I went to college at the ripe old age of 20. Again, I did not fit in. I could cope with the work, but not with the people and after 6 weeks I dropped out. From then on I think I learned to accept that I was not going to fit in, that I never would.

Take a low profile, keep out of the way, accept who I am and don’t trust anyone – least of all professionals. Hullabaloo22 is the real me, just as I was when I was 17. I don’t want pity, sympathy or anything else, other than acceptance for being who I am. And Booksie is the one place in which I feel at home.


Submitted: August 23, 2018

© Copyright 2021 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Comments

jaylisbeth

I admire your courage to share this with us here in Booksie, as much as I admire and value our friendship. Even despite that we barely speak, I have always felt close to you. I think you are brilliant and kind along with very brave. Brava, Hully :)

Thu, August 23rd, 2018 2:39pm

Author
Reply

Thank you, jaylisbeth. No doubt you can guess who was behind the questions and comments that led to me writing this. At least it puts and end to some of the speculation.

Thu, August 23rd, 2018 7:42am

Adam L.

My utmost respect to you, Ms. Hullabaloo. I admire that even when retaliating you do it in the classiest and respectful way. My hat goes off to you!

Thu, August 23rd, 2018 2:50pm

Author
Reply

Ha! Well, thank you, Adam. I had reservations about posting this but I just wanted to set a few things straight.

Thu, August 23rd, 2018 7:53am

Mike S.

You've had quite a ride, haven't you, Hull?

Thu, August 23rd, 2018 6:32pm

Author
Reply

And things sure have not got any smoother, but that's another story. Thanks for giving this a read, Mike.

Thu, August 23rd, 2018 11:34am

Kemy2U

The truth is always found within the heart

“To bare the soul in all its naked and splendid glory, is the greatest element known to mankind/womankind ever achieved.”
Flawless piece Hull.

Love and Hugs,
Kemy

Thu, August 23rd, 2018 6:56pm

Author
Reply

Thank you, Kemy. I wasn't sure whether to post it or not, to be honest.

Thu, August 23rd, 2018 11:58am

Sue Harris

This was painful to read, let alone experience. I'm so pleased you have finally found a place where you are able to get some fulfillment in your life. You have huge influence here on Booksie... I am in awe of your talent and I also value you as a friend. Booksie needs you, Hully, just as much as you need it.

Thu, August 23rd, 2018 7:28pm

Author
Reply

I'm not too sure about that one, Sue. Thanks for giving this a read, and for all your support!

Thu, August 23rd, 2018 12:31pm

Jeff Bezaire

Brave, honest words, Hully.
I agree that we all need to accept who we are - it's something many people struggle with and try to change - but there's no changing the true you.
A beautiful letter, Hully, in its candour and the courage it takes to write something like this. I have the utmost respect and admiration for you, for all you've been through and all you continue to battle through. You are a diamond that shines absent the sun's light.
Bravo on your bravery and your honesty. It is inspiring.

Fri, August 24th, 2018 4:18am

Author
Reply

Thanks for giving this a read, Jeff. I'm hoping I've not made a big mistake in posting it. But, it's true, Booksie has allowed me to be myself, at least in writing and I'm just the same in the way I think as when I was 17.

Fri, August 24th, 2018 3:07am

moa rider

Pole Mama Hullabaloo. It's good that you posted this because it's awful that you are not alone with the treatment meted out to you. While early treatment might have been through a lack of knowledge, people were used as guinea pigs and there's no excuse for that. Even here in Kiwiland so many people have slipped through the cracks and its getting worse with fetuses being exposed all manner of drugs and nobody knows how to cope. Keep doing what you do. Usianguke

Sat, September 1st, 2018 8:52pm

Author
Reply

Thanks for giving this a read, Moa.

Sat, September 1st, 2018 1:55pm

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