When life doesn’t go to plan

Sometimes, life sucks. Things which we hadn’t foreseen, or that we hoped wouldn’t happen, happen. Now, obviously, I only have 20 years of experience behind me, but I have still tasted disappointment.

I remember in Year 13, I was all set to go to France for a work experience exchange and was pretty excited(as much as the depression allowed anyway). However, a week prior to the exchange, the head of sixth form called me out of a maths lesson because he wanted to speak to me. As we neared his office, I saw the deputy head lingering by the door, waiting for us and it was then that I realised this would not be a light-hearted chat. (He’d chatted to me and some other students the other day in his office about the state of the Physics department and I just expected this to be another of those chats. How wrong I was.)

Apparently my oh-so-kind friends had expressed concern on various occasions for my well-being. I had not asked for their input and I certainly did not want to be having this conversation. I kept silent. I should have lied as they asked me if I was hurting myself, if I felt suicidal recently, if I was struggling with eating. Apparently they have a duty of care or something, and would have a meeting with some senior members of staff and the child safety officer (even though I was over 18) to decide if I could go on the trip to France.

In the end I wasn’t allowed to go on the trip. They also told me I either had to tell my parents about what was going on in my life (they had no idea up till this point), or they would. Since then, I’ve been informed that this is actually illegal as I was over 18. I’ll be honest, when they told me, I did not react at all well to the news. I went directly out from that office to find the first bathroom I could and hurt myself. F*ck, as I was writing this just then, it hit me how ill I was back then and how far I have come (although I’m far from well). I used to disappear off at basically every chance I could to self-harm. In my free periods, between lessons, at lunch, just before and after I had my French and Spanish conversation lessons, and as part of my night time routine. I was hurting so much.

Also, it’s funny. I like to entertain people, to be interesting and keep people’s attention on me. Yet, this side of my life, which is certainly ‘interesting’, is a subject I am very silent on.

Anyways, this is something which I was disappointed about for ages. Sometimes I still get feelings of regret about not being allowed to go, especially when one of my friends who had ‘snitched’ on me went on the trip. It just seemed so unfair, why was I being punished for being ill?

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28)

When I was first informed that I couldn’t go on the trip, I could only see bad things that had come of it, an opportunity denied, my trust betrayed. Yet, God has caused this to work for my good. Perhaps certain things would not have come to light if not for this escalation, and my parents would not be aware of the struggle I faced each day. And perhaps their fears were unfounded, and I would have been fine in France, but there’s no way to know that. I could have attempted something, or cut too deep and had to go to hospital, with the added difficulty of being abroad and also on a school trip, leading to insurance complications. Who knows? The only thing I know is that God is good and He loves me, even when the situation would suggest otherwise.

Much love, God bless xoxox

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