I Don’t Want Your Pity


I’m back at university, which means interacting with other people, group work, class-wide work, and all that jaz.  This of course means explaining to a new group of people that my medications can make it difficult for me to talk at times – I’ll forget words, stumble over others, supplement one word for another without noticing at the time (I usually notice a few seconds later that I’ve done it), and the like.

And now explaining why I have to look like a robot and have no facial expression because I have trigeminal neuralgia throughout all three trigeminal branches – optic, maxillary and mandibulary branches.

Why I’m only coming to compulsory lectures / tutorials / practicals for a little while.

I am in an amazing group for my group work.  I am in a group that love each other dearly, who are open and inclusive, and who are genuine rays of sunshine.  I know their looks and their consideration come from a place of genuine care, but I don’t want it.

I don’t want it because it means they hear what I’m saying, and they think that’s awful, and I can’t allow myself to think that, because if I do I will break.  Because this is my normal, this is my life, it can’t be awful, and I can’t think that it is.  I can’t let myself think that my life is awful.

Because once I go down that road I meet nothing but expansive depression, and I don’t have the time for that shit.  I have a degree to smash.

I also don’t want the pity from my friends.  Or suggestions that I should take a semester off.  Not when I’m actually doing better, not when I’m improving day by day, not when they don’t see that because they don’t interact with me day by day.  While I appreciate it’s from a place of concern, I also found it rude and overbearing.

Except I also feel guilty for finding it rude and overbearing.  I feel guilty for asking her not to mention it again, for asking her to trust me when I say I’ve got this.

Managing disability surrounded by able bodied people is a challenge.  Dealing with their perceptions, their opinions, and their ignorance is, at times, completely beyond me.

So instead I whinge about it in a blog.  Hey, it gets it out there, and it makes me feel better, and hopefully someone else will read this and know they are not alone in what they are feeling or what they are struggling with.

I don’t know the answer to these challenges, I just know that I have to work through these feelings to understand what it is I don’t like and come out the other side.

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