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An Open Letter to the Bully In My Lit Class

Dear bully.

That’s correct, I won’t call you by your name because you don’t deserve to have that sort of recognition.

This is an open letter to you. And God, I hope it finds you.

Do you know what it took for me to get out of bed this morning? Did you know that throughout the course of the day, the growing tension in my head kept getting worse and worse? Did you know that I’ve been dealing with this condition for as long as I can remember?

You don’t. And you lack the compassion and humanity to ever understand.

I’m so sorry, in an open discussion style course, that I chose to relate to an example that was brought up regarding the way American society pushes medications at people. I’m sorry I’ve been one of many, who have had drug after drug after drug thrown at me as a half-assed attempt to “cure” my incurable pain. But, I spoke up. I continued the conversation the class was having, and tried to connect our current world with the book we were discussing. I mentioned that doctors don’t advocate for treatments like acupuncture or Chinese herbs, and that those treatments can be extremely expensive, so people often can’t afford more natural ways of treatments because this society is so focused on pushing drugs. I mentioned that acupuncture is a known treatment that has helped thousands of people with my condition, but insurance won’t cover it.

You flat out told me I was wrong. You told me that there is no medical evidence to support that.

I hope you recognize how close teeth came to being smashed in today. I hope you recognize the restraint I had to put on myself to prevent you from being harmed. I hope you recognize that I won’t take the bait.

And then, you mumbled under your breath that I needed to do more research.

That I, chronic migraine sufferer of almost 10 years, patient to countless doctors, member of multiple communities, advocate for spreading awareness on this condition, needed to do more research.

I’m sure you could add up all the hours you’ve spent in your education doing research for various papers… Now multiply that by 10. That might begin to represent the countless hours I have spent researching this horror. That might begin to represent the thousands of articles, medical journals, and blogs I have combed through hoping I might discover the complex solution that could provide me the most relief.

And, what about all the time I’ve spent communicating this information back to doctors, and having test after test after test, and sitting in waiting rooms? What about the years of my life before I even knew what to research where I did my very best to get my family to understand what I was going through and that I wasn’t faking it?

Migraine is quite simply the only thing my life consists of. There is no hobby I partake in. There are no new friends I have acquired that don’t also suffer from migraine. There is no guarantee that I can attend every class, or every shift I am scheduled to work. There is no guarantee that I won’t accidentally take my drugs too close together and not have eaten enough food, and have to be rushed to the ER because I OD… I’ve come close. One morning I woke up and took my medicine and went back to sleep. I woke up when my alarm went off and didn’t remember getting up earlier. I tried to get ready for class. I barely touched my oatmeal and scoffed at my coffee. I left for my physics class and took a dose of a different type of medicine along with a nausea pill. An hour into the lecture, my friend had to walk me back to my dorm. I couldn’t see. I couldn’t breathe. I was sweating. But I was cold. He just made sure I got back to my dorm okay. I told him I’d be fine. I was in bed all day, sweating and crying and going in and out of consciousness. I should have gone to the hospital. But I didn’t know I’d even doubled up on medication. And on an empty stomach. I could have died that day, but my roommate at the time kept a cool cloth for my forehead, made sure I sipped water, and convinced me to eat as much of a cliff bar as possible.

That was one of the scariest days of my life.

I hope you find compassion somewhere. I hope you stop generalizing people into subgroups that all fit the same shoe.

You, are the worst type of human. Because you know what you are doing. For your sake, I hope the next time you speak, you know what you’re talking about. And if you don’t, I hope the person you’re targeting has good composure and recognizes how breathing exercises go a lot further than knocking someone’s teeth in.

You are a bully. You are a bully who directly targeted someone who made the choice to make their disability known. You targeted an already crippled individual. But you couldn’t see the agonizing pain that I was is? So that makes the credibility behind anything I say disappear?

If you say so.

Sincerely,
-A

Sorry there is no photo today. No picture can represent today. No one should have to be dumbed down or scoffed at for acknowledging a medical condition. The world that we live in is a harsh place and eventually maybe we’ll be treated better, but that day isn’t soon. I know I’m not the only one who’s experienced this. Yes it’s bullying. Yes its wrong. But it also mirrors how systems in our country treat people with any variety of medical condition. This is worse than family telling me what I should or shouldn’t do to fix myself. This is a stranger. Taking it upon themselves. To be the expert.

Today was a bad day.

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