The past week at school was perhaps the worst I have experienced in my life. We had a project where we worked intensely on personal development and reflection on one’s persona. I had tasks where I had to expose my deepest of secrets to people I don’t want to dislike me. Already at lunch I panicked and wanted to leave. My program managers and my project partner had long talks with me convincing me not to. I sat down in front of my classmates with my body shaking violently, hysterically, trying to find words but instead I choked and teared up. The task was reading out my weaknesses and see how we could turn them into opportunities. I couldn’t. Instead my head was flooded with self hatred and doubts so reading it aloud slashed up all infected old wounds and shames for all to evaluate. The following two days I wept nonstop, thinking that this, this is when I die.
For the first time, probably ever, I had to ask for help regarding my personal issues. And it took more than courage – it took fucking vulnerability. I was sure they’d hate me but nobody even frowned or found me disgusting when my whole body shook from fear and sobs. Instead they grew from being able to help. And their help was invaluable. I keep on thinking I know myself and have my shit together, but I don’t at all actually, which is fine too. Nobody fucking has, but we all go around pretending, feeling lost alone.
During these nights Daniel stayed up with me on Skype, trying to comfort me for hours and hours, and on Saturday he arrived in Stockholm.
We stayed in bed and I read out loud all the things I had written down during the week that I feared that people would find out about me. I told him about my eating disorder as a teenager and my loneliness in not being open with my parents. I told him about how I’m scared to talk about my feelings because I’ve never leaned on anybody and that’s why I write so much because then nothing of it seems real. I told him about everything that hurt. But also everything I am proud of and the tools I was given on what to do to not ache as much anymore. He just listened. Patiently, attentively.
– I will help you get through this, Linn. I promise. And it will take time, but that is fine. We will do it in your pace.
I didn’t have any tears left, just hollowness and relief. So I hugged his chest as he held me, listening to his lungs and his silent worries. Then we laid in bed, eating cheese doodles and sweets naked, binge-watching House of Cards and talking laughing breathing. I think he felt relieved too. I texted my project partner I did it.
He’s my rockstar Daniel, but this is my battle and I’m going to get through this only by pushing myself to open up. It will take a long time, but I will. I am just so grateful to go to a school that works so much with mental health.
This is the hardest text I’ve written because it reveals so much of what I doubt about myself. But the stigma around self hatred, especially for females, has to stop. And it’s important to seek help from professionals! Maybe we can help each other by sharing?