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April 23, 2021, 09:05:07 pm

Author Topic: My Place -- A Creative Corner.  (Read 2254 times)

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s110820

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My Place -- A Creative Corner.
« on: May 17, 2020, 07:59:40 pm »
+11
Hi everyone,

You may recognise me as a continuous contributor to the various ATAR Notes forums, but today I would like to share something that is extremely close to my heart. Three years ago, I was in an extremely dark place. Not only did I feel uncomfortable in my own skin, but at the same time, I felt as if I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. The weight of my insecurities, my self-doubts, my flaws and my struggles completely crushed me. When I was younger, I felt alone, worthless and ugly. Every time I looked at myself in the mirror, all I could see were my flaws and my imperfections, not what makes me, well me. All I could see is how I imagined myself to be, not my actual appearance. But of course, I won't go into all of the details on this forum as my story can be extremely triggering for many of the users on this platform. However, I do have to warn you that since I wrote this piece during my struggle, several triggers may be apparent throughout my narrative. These triggers may include bullying, depression, anxiety and may contain mentions of suicide and eating disorders. Please be careful as you read my story and of course, if you are struggling, please consult professional help. They're here to help you, every step of the way.

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS
[/b]


        Home by definition is the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household, but it can also be a prison for many people suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder. People with Social Anxiety Disorder are often afraid of meeting or talking to people, even their own friends, because of the irrational anxiety, fear, self-consciousness and embarrassment that follows. For some people who live with this stigmatised disorder, like me, home is a safe haven where the amount of irrational and negative thoughts they have are limited. Like many mental disorders, various types of anxiety have been reduced to a joke, romanticised in books or in reality, ‘swept underneath the rug’ and are barely recognised in today’s society. For example, many people in my school constantly use Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as a punchline, commenting: “you’re so OCD”. They laugh because they think that this is funny, but it’s not. OCD is not always the constant state of being clean. People with OCD have recurrent and persistent thoughts, images or impulses called obsessions which can cause significant distress or anxiety. In response to the obsessions, a person with OCD performs repetitive behaviours called compulsions which are, for example, counting or washing their hands completely. OCD is one of the most misunderstood mental disorders that has been widely stigmatised by adolescence who fail to realise how a single ‘joke’ can affect people who are suffering from mental illnesses. People who stigmatise mental disorders don’t realise how it can affect someone - those three words do not just affect one person but millions of people who live with the stigmas against their mental disorders. Thus, due to these stigmas, those with mental health disorders shy away from seeking help or talking to their friends, family and people they trust about how their mental disorders impact their lives.

             One of the very common experiences Social Anxiety can develop from is bullying, whether it may be frequent criticism from peers, parents or teachers.  From a young age, I was prone to crying in unnecessary situations such as someone shouting at me and being quite shy. Because of these vulnerabilities, I was forced to climb what seemed to be a never-ending mountain for friendship and acceptance. But as I climbed higher up, the mountain has obstacles such as exclusion that dragged me back down. In primary school, I was often picked on because I was an easy target — a vulnerable kid who didn’t know the difference between toxic and real friends.   I often described myself as a ghost — someone who drifted from one friendship to another, trying to find a way up the mountain. At this time, I felt like a fish who was swimming in a stream trying not to drown, trying to stay afloat even when the rushing water pulled me down with the weight of loneliness. I could feel myself drowning in a current of insecurities, friendships I never had, the pressure of trying to fit in and the thoughts that roamed my head. The stream of the friendships I never had drifted me to a group of girls who did not strike me as bullies.

I never succeeded, and I was being dragged further down by insecurities, a lack of self-acceptance and self-worth. I was pushing myself out of my comfort zone to fit in, to be accepted by my peers, but the number of incidences of exclusion was increasing rapidly and I was losing hope. As I recalled the frequencies of these incidences, I realised that it wasn’t just one experience but rather an experience that happened countless of times. I remembered my teacher talking to our class about the difference between bullying and teasing — how teasing was just making fun of someone whereas bullying was more than one incidence. So, I fought against my fears and went to my teacher to report the bullying that I was dealt with but she didn’t believe me. She thought that I was making it up because my bullies were ‘perfect little angels’. So, I informed my parents about my situation but they were to busy with their work to listen to me.

I was never really an athletic person either, and this attribute would lead to teasing from my classmates. I have Mild Cerebral Palsy which indicates that the severity of brain damage suffered from birth was only significant enough to cause slight impairments such as physical and mental limitations such as taking a while to process information. I never shared this secret with my classmates and I was too scared to tell anyone because of my fear of being bullied again. Since my peers didn’t know about my condition, they would often tease me about how I couldn’t catch a ball properly, do anything in gym class or had trouble with lifting heavy objects. As I have grown, matured and started to feel comfortable in my own skin, I have learned to accept my condition without reminding myself of the discrimination that comes with it.

These two main experiences shaped and developed my Social Anxiety. As I graduated primary school, I saw high school as a glimmer of hope — a new chance at fitting in and reaching the top of the mountain. High school has been an emotional rollercoaster for me: I made new friends (one of them was my newly found friend in primary school), I strived to be the best I could be and I attempted to ride the roller coasters that I feared.

              I had a teacher once who accepted me for who I was — he was the reason why I was motivated to come to school and learn. He often told the class maths jokes which would make the whole class, except for me, look at him in confusion. He made me laugh, made me feel like I was accepted, made social interactions easier by letting me email him instead of talking to him but most importantly, he helped me escape my bubble of insecurities. He may not realise it, but he is one of the reasons why I am still here today and I would like to thank him for that. He was a great teacher, a friend and a role model. Like me, he also suffers from an anxiety disorder — Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but no matter how much it affects him emotionally, he always has a smile on his face. Yet, my Social Anxiety took a turn for the worst. The number of negative thoughts that roamed my mind increased and I became more scared to talk to him. My thoughts often made-up scenarios and the most significant scenario was once where he would call me a ‘f —ing retard’ while I was standing outside the door, waiting for him to help me with a mathematics problem. However, my problem with a simple maths equation turned into something more complex. Whenever I saw him in the hallways, I would always have a freeze or flight response. I ultimately avoided him due to my belief of him hating me, but I no longer want to live with this guilt for the rest of my life. I want to have the ability to explain what’s going on inside my head to him one small step at a time. I would like to explain everything to him but my negative thoughts make it hard for me to do so.

        Fast forward a year, and on top of everything that I was dealing with, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which is when my body sees a part of itself abnormal when it is not and tries to attack it. This process is similar to the way the body fights infection. My doctor described my decrease in iron levels as that “it is a miracle that I am still functioning because the iron levels are so low that I should be in a comatose state” and due to this, my energy levels are affecting my academics. My parents are doing everything they can to keep me afloat. Although I missed many hours of school for checkup appointments and blood tests, I am feeling and functioning much better prior to my diagnosis. I have many hurdles to jump over such as my Social Anxiety Disorder, my Mild Cerebral Palsy, self-doubt, insecurities and my autoimmune disease but I know, that when I am home or at school with loving parents and supportive teachers, I can battle minimise my negative thoughts, try as hard as I can, face my demons and try to stay afloat. Without the roof above my head, I don’t know where I will be now. I can imagine myself living on the streets with no one that cares, loves or supports me though my race of many hurdles. I can imagine myself crying myself to sleep, as the dreams I have for the future will forever be dreams and the food that I wish I could eat would not come out on silver platters but from the disposed waste of the garbage bins. My home is a safe haven for me. I can be myself and limit my negative thoughts by loving myself and being grateful for what I have, and what I will have in the future. My home may not be as beautiful as those in magazines but the most important aspect of a house is what is within its walls. The heart within my home is what I believe makes my home a safe haven. After all, home is where the heart is.


Author's Note: If you made it this far, thank you so much for everything. Even if you only skimmed through each paragraph or barely read it at all, I really appreciate you reading my story. Before I log out, I would like to say a few final words. Of course, much like every single human being on this planet, I had (and still have) many ups and downs in my life. But, I know that when a new day dawns, it's not something that you should be worried about because every new day is a clean slate. I also just wanted to say that I love every single one of you, even if we are strangers. I care about every single human being on this planet. It doesn't matter what your race, religion, culture, sexuality, gender or stereotype you maybe - I love you all equally. All of the eight billion people on this planet matter to me. But of course, if you are struggling, would like to rant, vent or would just like to say hi, please don't forget that I will always be here for you so you can message me about anything at all.

Please be safe and I love you all,

Darcy Dillon x
QUT 2021 - Bachelor of Education (Primary).

I’m offering tutoring in 2021! PM me for more details if interested :)

s110820

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Re: My Place -- A Creative Corner.
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2020, 01:54:45 pm »
+1
Hi everyone,

I'm back with another update of my creative corner, and today's "creativeness" includes my extremely depressing poetry from a few years ago. If you read the post above, you may be aware that I went through some depressive episodes, and at the moment, I'm still going through one, so please be warned as there may be potential triggers throughout my poetry. And of course, if you need anyone to talk to, my Private Messages are always open if you would like to rant, vent or just say hi :)

Similarly, we are also extremely fortunate to have many helplines available in Australia -- HeadSpace and Kids Helpline, just to name a few. Both helplines have accredited psychologists and counsellors available, so please don't hesitate to contact them if you need. And of course, if you are in an emergency, please call triple (000).


Many miles below the milky way, two boys lay on their backside as they gazed upwards to the stars. To them, it was a ritual that reminded them that they were not alone: the stars up above represented each and every lost mortal who has taken their life and due to whispering and disapproval of their relationship, soon they realised that it would be them who joined the other lost mortals who disappeared from the face of the earth. The lost mortals seemed to beckon their names as they held out their hands towards the sky, as though they wanted to steal a star for a flashlight to use through the dark world.

Their names shall be forever unknown as their existence was rarely mentioned. To the outsiders, those who did not know this couple well, they were meant to be. One held an atlas at hand and travelled the direction that he wanted to follow; a path to a better life. The Other, did not have an atlas to follow but instead went with his instincts. Though the Other was lost, one showed him away through the darkness and into the light. To each other, they were like lifelines; someone to call when in need such as when they both started cutting themselves with a blade. They both knew that this blade was their ticket out of the cruel world that they inhabited but instead of joining the lost mortals above them - they stayed strong.

The two of them knew that they were just two stars in a galaxy of a billion other stars; each one sharing different characteristics that seemed to be a crime in the cruel world but they were also the two of many stars that remained shining in the sky even when their skies were grey. To their astonishment, their ritual went for longer than they had expected: ninety - six years of stargazing that they had shared together. Though they were ageing and were slowly dying inside, they made a promise to each other that they would continue to stargaze and would soon pass away in each other’s arms. One’s frail hand weaved through the Other’s fingers and held his hand. They smiled at each other weakly before they realized that it was too late - darkness was consuming their vision; it was time to move on and away from the cruel world.

They said their last goodbyes to each other and slowly closed their eyes.


I have also attached some of the posts that I wrote on Tumblr as well if you would like to read my poetry.

Thank you so much for letting me vent on this space -- I really appreciate it. I'm going through a bit of a tough time at the moment and I'm really glad that I have a platform where I can share my innermost thoughts and feelings.

Please stay strong as the sun will come out tomorrow.

Have a great week and kind regards,

Darcy Dillon.
QUT 2021 - Bachelor of Education (Primary).

I’m offering tutoring in 2021! PM me for more details if interested :)

s110820

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Re: My Place -- A Creative Corner.
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2020, 02:09:09 pm »
+2
Hi,

Sorry for another update but I forgot to add the attachment oops. Feel free to read and/or constructively criticise them if you would like. But yet again, I do have to warn you that the themes in my poetry can be triggering to some readers.

Please be safe and stay strong through this tough time.

Have a great week and kind regards,

Darcy Dillon.
QUT 2021 - Bachelor of Education (Primary).

I’m offering tutoring in 2021! PM me for more details if interested :)