This is the third part of a bunch of posts that I've finally been bullied into writing after years, and though I hope it is self-containing (it probably isn't: it was written straight after the first two at 3:30am), reading parts one and two is probably helpful.
Love can seem like the solution, but it never is; love is only the start of another problem. It was acceptable. I could ignore it. I will willing to deny myself what I wanted most. I had been too hurt by the power of love just a month before to want to throw myself into the arms of love again.
Yet the dreams wouldn't go away, they'd haunt me each night. She'd always be there. Always. She was there if I needed her. I knew that. Was she in reality? Doubtful. But there was no question about what was on my mind. I loved her. Loved her with a love that was more than love.
The road to recovery is never an easy one, it is full of as many pitfalls as the road you fell down to get to where you are. The hardest challenge of all is acceptance. I'd been depressed to varying levels (at age 15) for the past six or seven years. Depression was nothing new. I could cope with this. I've done it before. I'm still here after all these years. I'll make it through. Nothing's that different this time, I'm just a little worse.
I owe it all to a few of people, Rich especially, for eventually convincing me to go and speak to a GP about it, a mere four months after trying to kill myself for the first time. Making that phone call, that appointment, that was the hardest thing I've ever done. I honestly don't think I've ever found something so seemingly trivial, so menial, so difficult. Even then, it took two appointments for him to get enough of the story out of me to really make a decision (that latter of the two was deliberately placed at the end of the day, and despite being meant to last only twenty minutes, lasted ninety). I was referred to a psychologist in the nearest Children's Psychiatric Unit (around 20 miles away, yay for the NHS).
Meanwhile, back at school, the act of life was increasingly diverting from the enemy within, as my imagination whirled to try and sustain the act, sustaining an act on lie after lie, the act thereby becoming an enemy to the reality itself. Yet, the two would co-exist until I left school out of necessity, for I never wanted to have to explain a radical change to everyone, although the majority of my good friends in my final year would know the real me, not the act.
The act itself may be hidden enough, but there were elements of reality I could not hide: my blossoming love for one girl would be found out by the majority of my friends, and I would eventually be blackmailed into doing something about it (something along the lines of either I did it… or they did it for me). Of course she said no. This was expected. It didn't hurt. But it was never love that needed to be requited. It was always more affection, more I'd be there if she ever needed anything from me. A love that is everlasting.
After a several month wait, I finally got to see a psychologist, though it took a few months more until I ended up with one who I really felt comfortable talking to. He would play a large role in me regaining real trust in people, and being able to really move forward in life.
Exams came, exams past. Another year of school was over.
My final year of school started differently to many of those that went before it: it was around half my lifetime ago that I was in such good mental health, although still far from perfect. I went about the tiresome process of trying to find some friends that I fit in with, properly, for one final time. Somewhat amusing, I fell into the group of girls who were somewhat around the group who had been my friends for the past two years.
Girls still seemed like a slightly different animal, ones that I couldn't associate with too closely, something that goes back to my previous school, where the separation between boys and girls was very marked. It was almost scandalous to be seen as much as talking to a girl, yet alone generally socializing with one. And if you touched one at all… Wow. That would be talked about for weeks to come. I had arrived at secondary school used to far greater separation between the sexes than most, and it took me right up until my final year to really break down that barrier that had been put up around me.
The girls who I spent my time with in my final year would ultimately conclude that I, myself, was a teenage girl. What that means, I'm still not entirely sure, but it must mean something. It became apparent that I manage to relate to them far better than the predominantly male group of friends I had been in before. Do I regret forsaking them to spending my time with a bunch of girls? Not particularly. They were always so much kinder to me, and when any of them were horrible to me they didn't try and hide behind some veil of pretending to be nice to me, but in reality undermining the very ground I stood upon.
At the end of my final year of school, I would for a second time go on the school's annual trip to Hadrian's Wall. I hoped this would be a chance for me to have some fun with the small number of friends I was really close to, almost all of whom were on the trip. As it happened, I became fairly abandoned, seemingly excluded, like all the years before. Nothing could have been a worse attempt at a send-off, but sadly nothing could have been a better summary of my time at the school.
I returned home to have one day to pack, and meet up with one final friend (one of the girls) who to this day I will try and meet up with if at all possibly while in St Andrews, before heading off to Sweden for my first proper full-time job (well, internship really) at Opera Software, thereby giving me chance to make an entirely clean start, with none of my past with me whatsoever.