Believe me

That little globe just got me again. I logged into pick up the link to 2012 and I found three flags, none of which I recognised and not even the names that appeared with them helped in the slightest. I know I have said it before but that whole thing of people in places I didn’t even know existed, wanting to read what I write, is just wild. Geography has never been my real strong point and worse than that, the only reason I know where most places in Europe are, is thanks far more to my love of history and the international news we see in this country, both always focus on where the latest war is, rather than anything what so ever to do with what I learned at school. I actually these days can look back on my schooling and honestly wonder what on earth where they trying to do to me for all those years, as educating clearly wasn’t anything to do with it. I would actually go as far as to say that they didn’t even lay the foundations, as they achieved more effectively in putting me off learning than inspiring me to do anything. These days it seems so far away from relevant, but all my adult life the one thing I got out of an expensive education where great elocution lessons, being able to speak well and to speak clearly, was at the root of every single job I have ever had. It got me through the door far faster than any fancy CV, as I didn’t have one, or even fancy qualifications, I don’t have any of them, could ever have achieved, from that point on it was up to me. The work ethic I was brought up with was the final thing that meant I was able to build a life for myself, putting in the time beyond those I was paid for, to educate myself in what was needed. If I were the parent of a school aged child and I wanted to help them, that would be the two thing I would do for them, find the money for elocution lessons and teach them to work hard beyond anything anyone would ask of them. Actually there is one other thing I would do, I would also always have the TV on outside of school, all channels banned other than news and documentaries, now there is a rounded education.

There is one thing that being eventually diagnosed with a chronic illness does for you, it makes you look back on your life with kinder eyes. Those time when you didn’t know why you felt the way you did, but you know you failed others, spoke to them harshly, or disappointed them, as you didn’t have the strength to fulfil a promise, all change totally when you factor in the now accepted fact that you were ill. We are all our own harshest critic, we all have a talent to look at what we have done and to be disappointed by it, but when you eventually see that much of what happened wasn’t really your fault, that you can now prove that it wasn’t, it actually changes your past. It is the only thing I have ever heard of that can change the past, it doesn’t change how others felt at the time, but those who got fed up hearing you say, “I’m tired”, “I just don’t have the strength”,or “Everything is so painful”, at last know it wasn’t made up as they thought, it was all real.

Even now I still try not to say how I feel, I guess I learned that lesson from those who were around me in the first 20 years of my illness, you shut up when you aren’t believed, but you shut up so well that even once you have the proof, your instinct is still to stay quite. Being believed is or at least should be a basic human right, spend 20 years not being believed and it changes you, you lock part of yourself away, out of sight from everyone and you pretend, act as though nothing is wrong. I spent years when every step I took caused me pain, but on the outside, I showed nothing, I learnt it so well, that I know much of the time I still cover the truth. I taught myself to be as close to normal as possible, even when my health had pulled me to my lowest. I have fully written about my lowest points, the times when I tried to kill myself just because I couldn’t take any more of not just the pain, but of not being believed. To be believed you have to be able to prove something, that seems to be an unwritten rule, yet we listen to the stories of those who are older than us and have lived through lives so different from us and we believe them, proof or not. So why do people not believe those who are ill unless they have a piece of paper to prove it? Well I have that paper, no one now questions, they believe me at last, I doubt that I will ever find the exact words for how it felt to have not one single person, even those who were supposed to be the people who loved and cared about me, not believing a single word I said. That kind of pain has no tablet that will take it away, nothing that will wipe it clean, it is pain that is still inside me and I guess always will be. A medical failure to diagnose stole most of my life, my family and so much more, but I blame no one, it was just what happened and although others now believe, other understand, not one has ever said sorry for not having listened or believed what was in front of them, me. These days my health is multiplied by numbers I can’t even think of, I can walk as though I am in pain, without being scared of the scorn, or the sighs of not again. I have tablets that will take away the worst of the pain that my illnesses cause and life in the past 13 years has strangely been better than I ever remember it being and all because of three little words that people don’t say, but show in their eyes, “I believe you”

It is strange looking back on my life like this, especially knowing that on the scale of things, my life is of no more importance than a flee on a cat. I suppose that is part of the reason I still write, knowing the impact it has already had on a handful of lives, I now hope that one day it will be looked back on as my achievement, something just beyond average, because it helped some people to deal with the tougher things in life. One of my most recent #PSMyWords I wrote said “Every life has a reason, all you have to do is find it & make it your achievement”, that’s how I feel about all of this now, here is my reason, I just have to keep working on it to make it my achievement. Having said that I also thought my last job filled that role, but it was destroyed by my health, I guess we all go on looking and trying until there is nothing left, but the last things we ever did, or maybe it is as simple as being believed.

19/06/12 – ‘Normal’ odd? > http://bit.ly/1uF7ogR

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