A few days ago, something unusual happened to me.
Outside my blog, my panic disorder is a secret. Only a few people, who are the closest to me know about it. Also, about my abusive, alcoholic father, who beat my mom in front of me when I was a child. People hardly realise my sensitivity both when it comes to my inner peace and when I have to deal with everyday problems.
Those people cannot see into my mind, don’t know about my past, basically I seem to be a less then ordinary person to them. Somebody strange, a little weird, too silent and somebody who is afraid of almost everyone. But I’m quite fine with it. Furthermore, sometimes I love this idea that at least in my mind I can be alone and don’t have to express every feeling of mine. I have something I can keep only to myself.
As a result of these, over the years I got used to that people make judgements about me without getting a little closer to me, they arbitrarily label me as a weep, a doormat to rub their dirty feet on, somebody perfectly irresponsible, because I overslept due to my sleeping problems, and disorganised because they cannot see the mess that overtakes my mind, neither can they feel the fear that every little physical symptom of my illness raises in me. Over the years I got used to hide these things in me, and endured the painful prejudices without defending myself as I was well aware that some people simply cannot understand it. In fact, I never expected anyone any more to realise and not even acknowledge that I have a much bigger problem than what they think. I decided to fight all alone for my own good because I know no one else would do this for me.
But the other day, first in the approximate 7-8 years of living with my panic disorder, me and my illness got acknowledged. It happened on the primary school graduation of my distant nephew. I haven’t been in their town since I was a little girl but all of his family remembered me. His grandpa smiled when he saw me and said ‘here comes the shy little girl’. I didn’t really understand why he said that, I was so little when we last met that I could hardly recognise him. Later my mom said, I wasn’t really friendly towards him in the past. So I told him I can’t remember that time but I’m sure there was nothing personal about it. Then, he told me of course, and he didn’t mind as he knew I was just a little girl, and maybe his really deep voice scared me. Or..
He said he heard about my past, he didn’t elaborate on that so I asked him what exactly je was talking about. Instead answering, he just patted my head, smiled gently and said that we don’t have to talk about it.
This little acknowledgement and unexpected care surprised me so much, I just stood there petrified and couldn’t believe what had just happened to me. The little girl in me was more shocked, I was simply surprised. She would’ve cried but I didn’t. This very simple but caring act of grandpa melted my heart and I felt that all my silent sufferings got acknowledged. And this feeling was simply awesome. I wish all of us could experience something like this, at least once in a while.