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My dad had cancer when I was 10 and nobody cared.
5 years ago · · Cancer,
This is gonna be long, but it'll be worth it, I swear.
The summer before grade 5, my dad got sick. He would feel nauseous, throw up a few times, then be alright. This happened around 3 times before a doctor would see him.
They thought he had kidney stones. They thought that for weeks and weeks. Then he was rediagnosed.
My brother was 8 at the time. I will always remember my parents sitting us down on the couch, and telling us they had something to say.
I thought it was about me leaving my bedroom light on all the time.
He had cancer.
The room spun. I couldn't hear. My heart stopped, and I thought, 'doesn't that kill people'? And then I thought, 'well, it can't kill him. He can't die. He's my dad'. Of course, I didn't realize how bad it was.
Only 4 other people in Canada had the type of cancer he had. He was going to die. Everyone knew it, including me.
I went to a new school that year. I didn't know anyone. I was so excited that summer, to meet new friends, to have new teachers, to start fresh. I had made a list of things I wanted to be able to do before middle school.
I wanted to learn how to dance, how to draw, how to sing, how to play the piano, how to do karate, and how to play the violin. I couldn't wait.
I went to school that year with a heavy heart. I was scared, lost, and sad. I was ten. I couldn't cope, and nobody cared. My teachers kept piling assignments, homework, and detentions on me. I failed multiple subjects, when I had previously gotten straight A's. I was left on my own, and it just got worse. I had few friends, no free time, and no dance, art, piano, karate, or violin lessons. My world and was crashing down around me.
Of course, it gets better here, right?
No. That comes much, much later. Four years later, in fact.
Please, please bear with me.
I graduated grade five, and moved on to grade 6. Middle school. By this time, the world had defeated me. My dad was dying, I hadn't seen my mother away from work in weeks, and so many of my friends had left me. I couldn't come over to their houses after school. I wasn't worth the effort.
I agreed with them then, and I agree with them now.
It just got worse. In grade 4, before all of this started, I had been identified as gifted/exceptional. I was supposedly smart. I was placed in the gifted class, and surrounded by self-absorbed kids with zero care for other people. Stripped from my remaining friends and placed with the social rejects, where I now belonged.
I kept failing subjects, and my parents were called, multiple times. At one point, I was misdiagnosed with severe ADHD and almost medicated and institutionalized. My parents were too busy to deal with a useless child. Of course, I wish I had ADHD. What I in fact had was crippling anxiety, OCD, and depression.
I was eleven.
One night, when I was home alone (as I was most nights), I got tired of this. Tired of all of this.
A bit of a warning, this is the part where I almost commit suicide.
All anyone was focusing on was my failures, my life just kept getting worse, my teachers and parents would yell at me and call me stupid, I felt sick 24/7, and I just wanted things to go back.
It was like I had become an adult in a manner of weeks. I did all the things a parent was supposed to do. I cooked dinner, cleaned the house, helped my brother with his homework, went grocery shopping, took care of my overworked mother, and neglected myself.
I wanted it all to end.
And so, I took our bottle of Advil out of the medicine cabinet, and got myself a big, big glass of water.
Suicide isn't how they show it in the movies, with the crying and screaming, dramatic music featuring violins, and sudden saving of the main character by their parents and/or love interest. You know that Phil Collins song, In The Air Tonight? With the awesome drums? That song was stuck in my head. It was... peaceful. Relaxing, even. Like a migraine subsiding. It was all going to be ok, because I was going to kill myself.
Of course, I didn't.
It wasn't what you expect. I was about to swallow the Advil when I realized that I was going to see a movie with my friends tomorrow. If I killed myself, they probably wouldn't go. And that would be awkward.
And so, I put the Advil back, and poured the water out, slightly dejected. 'Another time,' I assured myself. Later.
Luckily, there was no later. Grade six would end. Summer would come. And that summer would be the worst time of my life. I would be yelled at, threatened, insulted, I would cry on my bathroom floor at 1 am, feeling so sick and panicky, and my dad would pull on my arm so hard my shoulder would be dislocated.
He would tell me I was fine.
He would tell me I didn't need to go to the hospital.
He would tell me I was overreacting.
I had to read the Wikihow article on relocating my shoulder, and experienced one of the worst pains of my life. Dislocating a shoulder hurts a hell of a lot less than relocating it. Anyways, you're probably getting bored, so I'm gonna wrap up.
Life moved on, and I moved with it. My dad didn't die. He's alright now. I'm kind of alright now. I'm out of the gifted program, away from my terrible teachers and my terrible friends. I'm in high school now, and I'm ok. I have great friends, and an overall good life. I'm happy. I'm no longer that 11-year-old girl that wanted to die.
And no one, NO ONE at my high school knows anything about my life from grades 4-8. I think I'll keep it that way for as long as I can.