I recently wrote a post on how I was becoming ready to share, and I intended to talk to family members about the difficulties I’ve had in order to help them better understand why I can’t do certain things. I felt positive they’d understand, and even try to help me. How wrong was I?
I’d spoken to my mum and asked her to let my uncle know I was struggling with certain things and explain the journey I’m on. She agreed, and believed it would be a good thing for me to do.
Today was the day, they came over to my mums and we were due to call in and see them. When we arrived, everything was very normal, we said our hello’s and everybody was happy. Then, on the sly, my mum said ‘I’ve spoken with them, I’ll tell you later what they said. But they know why you don’t go’. And that was that. I felt quite good, like a weighty had been lifted.
We were all sat in the living room, and the next conversation made me realise the reaction he’d had. Firstly, he put me on the spot and said ‘so when are you coming over?’. I went cherry red and said that we’d been discussing it and that we were going to come over. He kept pestering and I basically shut down, and stopped talking. The conversation passed and I thought that was that.
As they were leaving, we were saying our goodbyes, and he came to shake my hand and dropped the bombshell.
‘Come up to ours and just get a grip’.
Three words that would punch me in the stomach so hard I didn’t know whether to throw up or cry.
‘Get a grip’.
He then looked me in the eye, smirked a bit then walked off. I was devastated. He’s pretty much the only family I have that are worth knowing, they’re the ones I get along with and I genuinely thought he’d help me, so to hear him just completely generalise my condition and throw in ‘get a grip’ ripped my heart to pieces.
I’m very selective about what I share and who I share it with. I’m a big believer in fighting the stigma, and strongly believe I feel ready to share my story. I feel ready to tell people and educate. What is clear, is that I’m not ready for the negative reactions. I don’t feel strong enough to be belittled, I’m not ready to be judged for having an anxiety disorder.
I opened up because I didn’t want them thinking I was a dick and being rude. I wanted to be open and honest. And for what?
I’d rather have people think I’m a dick than someone who’s lost the plot.
I’m absolutely gutted, but I WILL bounce back. I WILL be strong and eventually, I’ll dismiss these comments as pure ignorance. For now, however, I need to consider who I open up to, and what I tell them.