“I know what people in pain look like… and she’s definitely not in pain.” said the stupidest, most ignorant fucking prick this side of the Black Stump, to my friend…
What gives someone the audacity, sheer gall, to meet me for a few hours, pass judgement on my body, my pain and my inescapable daily experience of it, and then decide that I’m some sort of malingerer? What sort of arrogant wanker thinks he has the right to look into my mind, my heart, my body, and decide what I do or do not feel? What sort of smug, pompous, self involved, vainglorious little arse of a man (who, by the way, is not in possession of any sort of medical degree, extensive nursing training or engaged in the healthcare professions), gets to decide that I am LYING about MY pain?
Many of you know me pretty well… you’ve seen me at medieval events wearing heavy and uncomfortable clothing doing things that I shouldn’t be doing, you’ve seen me laughing and being social at parties pretending everything is fine, you’ve seen me (like this fucktard has) standing around all day in pain teaching people to shoot. You’ve seen me helping out where ever I am physically able, whilst simultaneously acknowledging and yet attempting to ignore the limitations of my body.
Some of you will know that I’m wearing bright pink today, or purple, or red, so that hopefully the people around me won’t notice the pained look in my eyes. Some of you will know that the awkward or slightly limping gait with which I am walking is from sitting too long, or the strained expressions as I execute the extremely difficult manoeuvre of getting out of a chair is from nerves shooting pain signals around my body. Some of you will know that I’ve constantly got more pharmaceuticals in my system than should be allowed for short blondes, or for operating machinery or for consuming alcohol. Some of you will know these things but then will politely refrain from mentioning it, because you know that I really don’t want to talk about it. Some of you will know that I am not really the surly bitch that my facial expressions might indicate, that it is just the strain of keeping my shit to myself all the time.
What very few of you know is just how much fucking effort it takes to keep myself upright and functioning, each and every day. Very few of you know that I have not slept for more than five or six hours any night for the last six years. Very few of you know that I am in so much pain that I take freezing cold showers in the middle of the night, to feel something other than pain. Very few of you know that I am habitually just one tiny unexpected inconvenience from tears, as I constantly channel all my energy into ignoring my pain, leaving very little energy for dealing with ‘other people’s shit’. Very few of you know how many times I have wanted to step off the planet and cease to live this painful existence. Very few of you know how dark the dark times really are, and how little real joy there is in a life filled with pain with no hope of reprieve.
What this self centred, egotistical, callous, and downright malicious cretin of a man, who made this hideously inappropriate and ignorant comment about ME, after barely four hours acquaintance, will NEVER know is just how desperately I want to march right up to him, right now, and tell him like it is. Tell him how horrid it is living in this traitorous body that gives me nothing but pain and heartache. Tell him what it is like to be constantly medicated to the point where your own recollections of the days events are notoriously unreliable. Tell him what it is like to be absolutely bone weary exhausted and yet be unable to sleep because the pain keeps you awake. Tell him what it is like to be afraid of picking up a fucking electric jug in the kitchen or reach down to pet the puppy, without steeling yourself against potentially painful spasms that could last all day. Tell him what it is like to have your first and foremost thought of every minute of every day be how much pain your body is experiencing.
Instead, I am just sitting here, asking myself why the fuck do I even go to such extraordinary efforts and measures to keep my chronically painful self TO MYSELF, if intellectually challenged individuals like this ignorant simpleton are going to judge me like this?
Just because I am not crying does not mean I am not in pain.
Just because I am not wearing a cast or a brace, does not mean I am not hurting.
Just because I am forcing a smile onto my face does not mean I am at ease.
Just because I am laughing and participating does not mean my body is pain free.
What it does mean, you narcissistic, brain dead, self-important, insensitive, chicken fucking dimwit… is that I have had over twenty years experience in dealing with MY pain. And I choose not to inflict MY pain on everyone else’s life by constantly forcing others to acknowledge its existence. Just because MY body and MY life is full of pain – day in and day out – doesn’t mean that the lives of those around me need be constantly likewise reminded and affected by MY pain. The fact that I don’t seem like I am in pain is a sign of MY achievements, in managing and mitigating MY painful circumstances, hiding MY no-longer obvious distress at being in pain, managing to attempt going about MY life as best I can.
What you can really take away from this, is that MY PAIN HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU, and I work my arse off to make sure it stays that way.