During my last year of high school, I had a particularly rough time dealing with all of the school work because I was constantly exhausted, depressed, anxious, and struggling to get along with people. I didn’t go to school for much of the week, and when I did, I often spent most of my time in the special education room working by myself.However, on one of the occasions I did go to class because it was essential to have explained to me what we were doing, I had an outburst.
At my school, people seemed to think the due dates were optional, and it was a “just hand it in sometime over the next couple of weeks” thing. I think the teachers wanted to enforce the due dates, but they struggled because many of them were just genuinely nice people. Because of this, people would take advantage of them.
So, when I was the ONLY one in a class of thirty kids to hand in my assignment on time, and the teacher gave everyone her “Come on people you’ve got to hand it in as soon as possible!” speech for the seven hundredth time that year, I’d finally had enough.I stood up, and took a deep breath.
"I understand," I began, "That each of us have our individual struggles. But I also know that most, if not all of you, don’t have depression so crippling that you can’t leave your bed most days, or anxiety disorder so horrible that you can’t maintain friendships because you fear so badly that you’ll screw them up. Or learning difficulties that actually inhibit your ability to process information quickly."
Tears pricked my eyes.
"I know this, because almost all of you aren’t in the special ed room, and almost all of you don’t get singled out in a special little group to do exams, and almost all of you don’t even try, and still do decently well at school."
"Well, guess what? I have depression so bad that, most of the time, I can’t get out of bed until very late morning, and, even then, it can sometimes take me an hour or more to psych myself up to actually put my feet on the floor. And I have Anxiety that is so bad that I can’t actually speak right now to all of you without stuttering, mispronouncing words, and repeating phrases. In fact, most of the time I can’t approach people because I feel like my heart will burst through my chest it’s beating so hard."
"And I have learning difficulties that mean it can take me three or four times longer to do a task that you could do faster, better, and more easily than I could ever dream of. I also have my parents splitting up, my dad dealing with alcohol and mental health problems, and my mum and nan struggling with cancer. All of my issues combined mean that I struggled a lot more than most of you would have to in order to get this assignment in on time, and I still managed to do it to a very high standard. It makes me so mad that I have to struggle along and hand in an assignment that will get the same grade as someone who will take two weeks longer to complete it with their "normal" brain."
I stared at them all for a moment.
"Get your shit together. At least have the respect to hand in your pieces on time and level the playing field just a little for people who truly struggle."
I sat down.
There was quiet muttering, and then everyone went back to talking with their friends. Nobody had cared.
So I just gathered my things together and walked out.
I topped that class overall - above all the people who could’ve done so much better if they’d put their minds to it. In fact, I got the best mark overall that anyone had ever received for that class in the entire time it had been running at that school.
Fuck people, seriously.