What went wrong?

This topic isn’t new. In fact it is quite stale. It’ll be a really long entry, so please bear with me.

 

I thought, and i thought hard about it. Not once, not twice, but more than you can count on your digits. Where did i go wrong? I ask myself endlessly, having my question go unanswered every single time.

There was no ‘declaration form’. There wasn’t a form for us to declare any  of our medical problems. There wasn’t a form for us to declare our history. None of those things. Nobody knew how much baggage i was carrying, except for RA, which i was open about right from the start because it is only right for them to know. I didn’t think i had a lot of excess baggage. That is, until everything exploded.

I thought me having RA was my disadvantage. I was so afraid that having another problem would add to my disadvantage. I knew it was a problem, but i wasn’t going to let anyone know, because i’ve been coping fine all along. I knew that i was going to be judged on that, and very terribly at that too. I had no intentions of having it exposed. None at all.

I was getting highly-strung, and this came after the first elimination. I was getting ridiculed for wanting it badly. They think of it as nothing, but i was terribly ridiculed. I felt so alone. I wondered why nobody wanted it as bad as i did. I wondered too, about how my team mates couldn’t careless, and how they couldn’t show more respect to the trainings, the trainers, me, and themselves. I was appalled, really. Things started to go downhill when i was paired with my partner. As if i wasn’t already pissed to begin with, the partnership stressed me out a great deal.

Things exploded into a million pieces of shrapnel, causing damage everywhere, when i snapped. It was too much for me to take. I tried so much to help myself. I confided in others, hoping that they can somehow help me. I confided in others, even though i know i was taking huge risks and  i was essentially sabotaging myself, because i really wanted to get things right. I confronted the issues, and made active efforts to improve things. And don’t say i didn’t try, because i bloody tried, and i was punished for it. I made so much effort to make things better. Granted that i was offered several alternatives and options to try and improve the situation, it was difficult to accept any of those. It was difficult because my problems were long-standing, and it was even more difficult because it tampers with the sound mind. I was asked to solve problems that i couldn’t solve by myself for 1.5 years. I was asked to see someone who slammed the door shut at my face. I was asked to reconcile with my parents, whom i have an issue with for most of my life. I was asked to work on the partnership with the most difficult and complicated person i’ve ever met in my life. I was asked to change, and change, and change, and change until i didn’t even know myself. And they still wanted me to change after that. They wanted me to accept these, and expect that at the snap of their fingers, all my problems would vanish into thin air. If only. If only…Sometimes things got better, but then it’d be temporary. I tried to be optimistic about it. But i couldn’t. I tried to put up a false front, but i couldn’t after it crumbled.

I got hell from my partner every single day. (And don’t say that i’m pointing fingers because it is a known fact that she is still giving others hell. IT’S A FACT.) I got ‘punished’ by my teachers for trying to help myself and the situation. I got berated at by the big one, for being unreasonable, disrespectful, and needing to ‘toughen up’, as if i wasn’t already strong. The way things build up, and the way the whole situation culminated…

Can you really expect me not to lose it? Can you really expect me to not do what i did? There were already so many warning signs that pointed that i was already very emotionally unstable and labile- all the crying, the intense emotions, the furrowed and knitted brows, withdrawing, behavioural changes etc. Me being unreceptive to feedback even though i usually am, was also a big warning sign. All these were already present when they had to add fuel to fire. Do they not know that they were stretching me too much? I was communicating to them throughout and i was openly emotive. They knew that i was going to snap any moment.. And yet they still did it.

I did what i did because it was too much for me to handle. I don’t think they perceive it the same way. I tried so much to see and understand where they’re coming from, and why they did what they did. But did they do the same to me? No. I had to take it in my stride that i had my confidance betrayed. I had to take it in my stride that i was shamed. I had to take it in my stride that was it was insinuated that i was weak and disrespectful. I had to take it in my stride that i was getting trampled on- my confidence, my pride- and that they let her continue to trample on me. Because afterall, it was my fault, and my fault only. All these happened while i was losing my sanity.

How is it possible for all of these to happen, and then have me go home to act like nothing has happened, go to bed like life was a bed of roses, and expecting myself to wake up in the morning sane, breathing, alive and kicking, knowing that i am still alive just to be tortured and put through sheer hell? Can you really blame me for what happened?

No. You can’t. You cannot. But sure as hell they did. And after what happened, they expected me to be better when i went home. Just like that? They thought it’d be better to crush everything that i was fighting for, after i got home. They figured that i would be better at handling it then. But sure as hell were they wrong. Because in the chain of events that started that day, i had things thrown in my face like getting pelted with eggs. Just when i thought  it was over, another egg came for my face, leaving me very confused and discombobulated. Maybe it would be more apt if i said artilley shells, not eggs. They thought that i’d be better off without it, because afterall my health ‘matters most’. Was i already in good health in the first place? No. I bargained. I almost got it. But then came the statement that i had to promise that what happened wouldn’t happen again. In my head, at the very moment, it screamed ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? Because i know for the fact, i knew it very well, that they REFUSED to change the pairing. They knew that the partnership was a large part of how things happened. But they’d rather let it go on just for that gold medal, or none at all. They’d rather have me stay and partner her and risk my sanity, than let me stay on and change partners to improve the situation, even if it means not winning. Things could’ve turned out prettier, rather than the pitifully ugly scene it is now. It was the end of story after the big ones reconfirmed with me that i was going to refuse to stay on and help them with a better chance of winning because they wanted me to partner the most pathetic person in the world. They had nothing to say. What they had in their minds was the chance for a gold medal. Not my health. Not my wellbeing. Full of deceit. So conniving. LIARS.

Somehow, in my who-gives-a-shit-about-me opinion, i think that they are jaded, delusional, and maybe a little insane. It dawned upon me that they had cleverly pushed all the blame to me. By removing me from the equation, they thought all would be fine and dandy. Now how warped is that? It’s amazing. So amazing. There they are continuing with life as it is. Being stuck with such a rotten egg, and diminished hopes of winning. Because all they did was to sweep the dirt under the carpet. The dirt is still there. And the dirt will continue to be there, forming dust bunnies that can only get bigger.

Here i am wounded, left to extract the million pieces of shrapnel that entered my body when it exploded. I am expected to get better and stand up  even stronger. If otherwise, then it would reinforce the fact that i am weak and it was a wise decision to crush everything that i held onto so tightly. People are all telling me to move on, let go, stand up strong. As though i tripped and fell, and it’s as easy as standing up, dusting the dirt off my knees and hands, with not a single graze, and then carry on like nothing happened. (HELLO?! I fought a war here, not play with bubbles for goodness sake!!!)

I’m sorry, but i can’t. Because i gave my best, and my best just wasn’t good enough. Because i gave it my all- commitment, discipline, hard work, team effort, which is all very evident- but i was written off, just like that. Because i tried and i tried so hard to make it all work again, but i was severely punished for that. Because despite of my shortcomings- my RA and the problem that consumed me even before i was in it- i did my best, found no excuse to be less than mediocre, never letting RA interfere with my performance, kept it going despite the stressors from academia and bullshit administrative duties for my class, and gave it my all. Because i trudged on even when i was in pain- back pain from transferring, wrist and elbow and shoulder pain from CPR, finger pain from using forceps, hip and knee and foot and toe pain from just being there, having to move about, sit on the floor, bend my knees because of body mechanics- and i took pride in that because even though it was difficult to put aside the pain, i wanted to do my best to show the rest that i could perform despite what i was experiencing. Because i was a source of motivation for the rest of the team. Because i worked so hard at my critical thinking skills knowing that it has so much more room for improvement, remembering almost all the scenarios we have done, writing all of them down, and rethinking through all of them to try and get more practice. Because i spent so much time on a piece of homework that had to be done in a pair, and my partner had clinicals, and so i took it upon myself to make sure it is presentable and useful because i take pride in my work, and i respect the trainers. Because i took it upon myself to search for CPGs, even those that have been removed, and health education materials, because we were sorely lacking in those, reading and filing all of them for future reference. Because when all the other pairs were practicing furiously, my partner refused to work with me, so i was all alone in the lab for a good 2 hours squeezing cotton balls at least a hundred times, wiping the trolley surface at least a hundred times with the folded gauze in my forceps, just because i wasn’t so proficient in it. Because i was doing well before everything started to take a turn, even when things were bad, and i could’ve been there on the podium with a medal. And because the entire ‘misadventure’ could’ve been well avoided, turning it into a win-win situation, instead of the lose-lose situation now, if not for the mishandling.

If i am really the one at fault, as insinuated by them, where did i go wrong? No one who had a part in causing my breakdown is talking to me(although i am the one who refuses to speak to the pathetic one). No one wants to tell me anything. That maybe things are not the way i perceive it to be. That maybe they really do care. I didn’t get a pat on the back. Not even “You did what you could, and you did your best”. I keep telling myself that, but me telling myself that is different. It would’ve made a world of a difference if they said that to me. It could’ve made things better on my side.

It’s been 3 months since i did what i did. I regressed, and i regressed a lot. I improve sometimes, but i improved only to regress very quickly. I spent a month trying to get rewired. They talked to me, they droned and droned and droned, they gave me meds and i took them, they let me finally be able to get some sleep, they let me do handicraft, they taught me new coping skills, they kept me alive and safe. But i was everything that i am not in there. Was i rewired when i they finally let me go home? Hardly. Maybe for awhile, but not anymore.

Because it’s still there. The hurt, the pain, the wounds. There wasn’t damage control. The people who are trying to help me are people who don’t know me personally. And they try so hard to help me, because they know i’m better than this.Yet those who know me through it all- when i was doing well, when i was doing badly, when i cried, when i laughed- and those who had a part, are the ones who are not helping. Not helping at all, and in fact making things worst. No damage control at all. Is a simple visit gonna do the trick? Hell no. Especially when i feel so patronised because the visit was made out of obligation. I was sobbing throughout the time that she was with me, and we spoke little. My roomie said she could feel the tension and the bad air all the way from her bed. It was that bad. She avoided what’s most relevant, and spoke about the most irrelevant things. 

What i cannot do to others, i do to myself. As much as i want a confrontation to thrash things out, i can’t. As much as i want to lash out on a certain few, i can’t. As much as i want an apology from someone, it’s not going to happen. Grievances, anger, hatred, pain, endless unanswered questions, all left for me to deal with alone. So i turn it to myself. It was something i would never have fathomed, but it is something that i cannot stop now. If i could let them feel the pain that i feel myself, i would inflict the pain on them so much so that they’ll beg me to stop. Because it is that painful. So fucking painful.

I’ve been keeping so much to myself, crying so much, and lamenting that things could’ve been better handled. I’ve held back so much only because i do not want to jeopardise the already dire situation. It could’ve been worse, and i could’ve turned nasty. But i’m holding it back. I can be nice. I can be veryvery nice too. But i can be very mean. I can be as mean as you want me to be- even if it means that people will think of me as immature and juvenile- if i am forced to. I’m already trying to be nice not mentioning names, and the adjectives i used here are mild. I’m just waiting. Waiting for January 23 2011 to come.

I have been avoiding revealing so much of what happened here. But i’m doing it now. Because i can no longer eat the humble pie and say that i’m at fault. It’s not so simple, and it really isn’t all my fault. So many details here and there that some people do not know. Some i choose not to reveal yet, some i chose to spell it out loud. There are risks in saying what i’ve put here, but who cares about those risks if they’ve been so callous with me?

I see how dire the whole thing has become. Do i gloat? Or do i pity? Somehow the ‘golden apple’ turned out to be a really rotten egg. Oops. Did you not see that from the beginning? Or did i look like the rotten egg that you couldn’t wait to discard? Now they have the rotten egg with them, and they cannot get rid of her, though by no merits should she be there(seriously). I became so worried when the rotten egg had to have a new partner. I was worried that she might turn out to be like me. I warned the big one, but of course she was too busy admiring the golden apple in her eye to notice that she was nothing but a really rotten and foul egg. I tried to help, because she was so afraid, so scared, so terrified that she’ll end up like me. But she found strength, and i’m happy for her. I do hope though, that they’ll crush the rotten egg to smithereens, because she stinks and reeks so badly of sulphur, causing irritation to everyone around her.

I’m sorry but i am not such a gracious person in this situation. I will put up with a forced smile. I will put up with pretending that all’s fine. But i will not be so gracious as to help them or support them when the big day comes. As much as i would like to be, i can’t. Don’t expect me to be happy for them if they win. Because i fell through the cracks in their journey towards it, and i can pretty much say that it is ill-gotten. Expect me to grin like a cheshire cat if they don’t. Because they’d rather a rotten apple, than me. Too bad, you should’ve known better, is all i can say in their faces if it happens then. 

There. I’ve said much. So many questions still remain unanswered. It is useless to mope about what has happened because what’s past cannot be changed. The damage is there, and they are not about to try to help. But i can change what happens in future.

Take heart that i’m not in it anymore to be used like disposables- treated like a gem when you are of value, and discarded right when you lose that appeal. Take heart that they are not better off without me. Take heart that i didn’t lose anything by not being in it, because lessons learnt from the journey are lessons that i’ll one day learn sooner or later in my career. And if anything take heart that this entire experience would make me stronger than anyone else, and a better nurse than most.
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