The people I care about most give me the worst headaches.
Dear Everyone in my Real Life,
I've been less than honest with you. Every time I see you, you ask me how I am with a look of pity on your face. I can't bear pity, so I lie. I make light. I pretend that my head is just an inconvenience. I smile and change the subject. But here's the truth: I am severely disabled. I have chronic pain that keeps me horizontal more than half of the time. I wear earplugs to watch tv. Sometimes I wear sunglasses, too. Sometimes it hurts too much to do anything but lay there with an ice pack on my face.
You, my dear loved one, are making it worse for me. I may love you, but I have a few problems with the effect you have on my head. Here are the top five reasons to justify my impending psychological break and subsequent murderous spree:
1. You stink. ANY smells can send me over the edge into the migrainous pits of hell, so your shampoo, conditioner, perfume, makeup, body lotion combo makes me want to push you away violently when you go to give me a long sympathetic hug. I don't, though. I don't want to hurt your feelings, so I hold my breath until you are done comforting me. I hope it makes you feel better.
2. You and/or your environment are noisy. I know you like to have music on in the background at all times. I used to like it too. Now, holding a conversation with any other sound competing is impossible. I get confused and angry, and start feeling nauseous. Your look of irritation as I turn it down (or off) shows me exactly how much you really sympathize with me. I'll joke to make you smile again, but I'll never forget your impatience. Also, I love/tolerate your child/dog/bird/girlfriend but I can't handle that horrible high pitched noise it/he/she makes. Hence, the earplugs. So, stop asking me like I'm not going to tell you that your favorite person/animal/thing is assaulting my head with its goddamn yapping. Cause, I will.
3. Every light in your house is on at all times and they are all piercing my retinas and stabbing my brain. Stop looking at me funny when I squint and look away from the lights or put my sunglasses on.
4. You are demanding. When we hang out, you ask a lot. I am supposed to be talkative and interesting and entertaining. I know this because if I am not, if I am quiet or more still than seems appropriate, I am subjected to a barrage of are-you-okay's and what's-wrong's that leave me even more exhausted. If I'm being quiet, it means I need some quiet time, not that I need to spend 30 minutes reassuring you.
5. You are impatient. I'll always remember when you, in frustration, told me to "get over it". And I'll never forget when you asked me, in a snide tone "Oh, we have to make accommodations for you now?" I'll remember your insensitivity and your cruelty forever and it will always taint who I think you are as a person.
I wish I could go back to being normal. I was the first to arrive at a party and the last to leave. I was loud and fun and wild. But, I'm not anymore and I may never be that person again.