The Past

I wonder sometimes why I am depressed? Mostly I wonder why me? Maybe there’s a purpose behind all this. I don’t really know. It’s crazy. Having no control over my emotions, over my body. Everything that was solely mine is now in the long, strong and scary hands of the medication and the doctor. It’s difficult. To write this post requires a concentration that I can hardly spare. If I write this now I probably won’t be able to do anything all day long. And I wonder why I am like this, even though the answers are there. Right in front of me.

The past has clung to me all my life and I have carried it this far, but this fight against my past to shake from its grip is almost as hard as fighting the depression. At some level it is linked to my depression, a major or minor part I can’t tell, that’s the doctor’s job. But I know I carry burdens from experiences that haunt me. Having flashbacks that cripple me, and make me shake every other day. I can barely think straight. Some things in my past that seem so innocent have left wounding scars. One very simple example is my inability to be good at Math and Science, it has scarred my self-esteem all my life because my school always prioritised those subjects always made it seem like those were the coveted and the respected subjects.

But my creativity was clamped in a box till the eleventh grade, and even then I only shared the creative space with a few people. My parents didn’t understand it. My appearance and the dreaded word ‘tomboy’ also had something to do with the bullying I faced, being called in school, “A boy in a girl’s clothes.” It wasn’t easy dealing with that and then later physical abuse during lunch breaks, verbal abuse, people shunning me because they thought I was dumb, ‘weird’ or whatever. It hurt my self-esteem left me incapable to bear crowds and stand on a podium.

My teachers constantly compared me to my sister, someone who didn’t face this heightened bullying or roguish outcasting, I was literally pushed out of every circle and fended for myself. And even then they couldn’t stop sniggering, laughing, commenting and making fun of me behind my back and to my face. I was reduced to a joke and so was my identity. Why is bullying not taken seriously in our schools? And today with discussions with few other people who went through similar experiences I don’t want to start a pity club, but I want people to know that bullying hurts and it is not easy to forget. I faced it at school, on the bus back home, in my colony, it was everywhere. And the worst part is I wasn’t the only one.

It led me to self-harm, feeling of worthlessness, anger, and silence. I kept quiet as compasses were pointed at my back, my skirt was pulled down in the dark, and my parents couldn’t do much about it and the teachers didn’t do anything at all. I just found comfort in books, maybe that’s why I love Harry Potter because being different suddenly became normal. I have faced sexual harassment in the past, that wasn’t easy either and I won’t talk about it here. But that is my reality, not just my past.

They tell you to forget but you can’t, so every time I sit for an exam or sit down to do an assignment the taunts ring in my head, “Sahitya is a Dumb Bum!” Every time I wear a skirt, I feel dread. And every time someone looks at me I want to look away. Maybe that’s why I don’t like being hugged, don’t like being touched. But does it matter now? Yes, it very much does. And the worst was that even when I tried to stand up against it I was stopped, why? I still don’t have an answer. They thought I was dumb but I was reading Marx and Tolstoy at the age of thirteen, I was in love with Oscar Wilde and O. Henry. Did they even try having a conversation? Sitting with me at lunch break was a problem because I wasn’t able to get more than 15 on 20 on a stupid Chemistry test.

They say childhood is the best, not for me, it wasn’t. And there must be so many children, so many adults who have been through that, and we’re all together in this, except we all want to keep quiet, so today I unapologetically speak about all this, I reached a level through my own metal worked harder than most to prove I was smart when I didn’t have to and burned out. I kept going I wanted to be accepted and kept wanting to change who I was. Today I stop. With this post I only want to tell you it’s ok to turn around and tell people they are wrong it’s okay to be ‘weird’ one day everyone will want glasses because ‘nerd’ becomes the new cool. One day everybody will think, “You’re fine, you were always fine,” and one day everyone will tell you to, “Move on.” It’s not that simple, I know it and so do you. So there is no cause for my depression, I just am, and maybe if all this hadn’t happened I’d still be depressed, I will never know, I don’t even know if I want to know.

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