Let me tell you the story of a girl I have known since childhood. She won’t mind me sharing this story with you I’m sure. Until the age of three, she was just “normal”; or more like what everyone considers being normal, just like any other child her age. She was always smiling and laughing and loved going to play at the nursery; the sandbox, reading corner and the little green tricycles outside. Life was great, without any troubles, worries or fears. Just taking on life one smile at a time.
Unfortunately, this didn’t carry on for too long. At the age of four onwards, her life took a turn for the worse; she wasn’t the same old little girl her parents knew. Slowly, day-by-day, she pushed herself away from everyone around her, everyone who loved and cared about her. Not because she wanted to, but because she had to. Each day, she lived in fear, in fear of everyone and everything around her. Not because she wanted to, but because she had to. And each day she would have a breakdown, tears would stream out of her eyes. Not because she wanted to, but because she had to. She herself had no idea why she was going through such a phase, a phase that seemed so out of the ordinary, and a phase others used to their advantage. She was harassed for being different, bullied by the students and picked on by her teachers. She didn’t tell anyone. Not because she didn’t want to, but because she didn’t know how to. Each day was a challenge for her, a day would feel like a day of hard work, a day which would physically and mentally tire her. Each second of each day of her life felt like torture.
This carried on for a few years until she was around 11 years old. She spent approximately 7 years fighting the fear inside of her so she could be what everyone thought was normal. 7 years. She was selected as one of the brighter pupils in her school, categorised to be “Gifted and Talented”, but her teachers told her she wouldn’t make it far in life, she got told she’s a failure and that she’s an attention seeker. She got told that there would be no future for her.
But that’s what they said… today; this girl is sat here writing this blog today sharing her story with the people who might read this. Yes, that’s right, this girl is I. Even today, my parents don’t really know anything about this anxiety; I don’t know how to talk about it to them, hopefully some day in the future I’ll have enough courage to do so. There was hardly anyone there to help me through it, I mean I had the support from my parents and siblings who unknowingly helped me through the most fragile part of my life, and I’ll forever be ever so grateful, but outside my home, I was on my own. I got no help in school from any of the teachers, instead they chose to ignore me and leave me to deal with things on my own. I was the most unconfident person in my class and my teachers labelled me as “bright but lazy”. I achieved many things after I got called a failure. I became Head-Girl for my primary school at the age of 10. In secondary school, I continued to get bullied; but I turned out to be a Prefect for the school and came out with brilliant GCSE’s. I went on to study my A-Levels at sixth form and now currently in second year of university. Alhamdulillah. Now for me, that’s an achievement. I have the most wonderful friends in and out of uni, who are always there for me when I need to talk. They’re just amazing, the best!
I’m not telling you part of my past so you can feel sorry for me; I’m telling you because people out there need to know about this. Part of my childhood was snatched away from me, and there are many children out there who will go through the same. I’m not ashamed of my past anymore, at first I was uncomfortable with talking about it, but now, I’m more than happy to share my story if it helps make a difference to someone else’s life. But then again, this is only part of my past; there were some more emotional parts that still hit the soft spot when I try to talk about them.
Just like any other problem, people need to be made aware of how anxiety can affect a young life, because people around you may need your help. All they may want is someone to talk to, someone with whom they feel comfortable around, and someone who isn’t going to laugh at them when they talk about what they’re going through; but most importantly, someone who is willing to understand.
Just before I go, I want to say thank you to everyone who has been there for me when I have most needed them, and have never given up on me. I love my whole family and all my wonderful friends! (You know who you lot are!!)
Also, thank you God for giving me such a wonderful life and giving me the best in life. May there be no other person who has to go through anxiety the same way I did… Ameen.