Someone shoot me…

…is something I say ironically during the day.

But today I asked myself: is it actually ironic?

[TW mentions of suicide]

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I can’t talk.

I think it’s been about a month since my last post on this blog. This is actually a good thing, it means I’ve had nothing to rant about xD 

But a few days ago I broke down in tears because of – you can probably guess – being in public. I wanted to write about it at the time, but I couldn’t bring myself to, so here it is now ^^

There were two incidents that day, the second not exactly being about speaking but still it hurt me deeply, particularly because of who caused it.

That morning I had a physics lesson, normal. The teacher wrote down formulas that we had to complete on the board, some easy and some pretty hard. She wrote down the same number of formulas as there were students so that EVERYONE had to go to the board. I realised this so I thought “Better go quickly and get an easy one before they’re all taken, that way I can just get it over with quickly”. So that’s what I did.

The formula was simple, I knew how to fill it out, and at first it was going well. But as I reached the second thing that I had to write, my brain froze. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t concentrate. I knew what the answer was but I wrote it the wrong way around because I couldn’t function anymore.

The teacher asked me to explain what I had written, so I explained what I should have written, which was correct. She then told me “But that’s not what you wrote.” I quickly realised my mistake. It was easy to fix: swap the two numbers I had mixed up. But again, I froze. I didn’t know how. Fortunately a nice guy in my class saw that I was in trouble and told me I just had to switch them, so I thanked him and did.

I quickly rushed back to my seat because I could feel the tears welling up. I hadn’t even needed to speak more than a few sentences, but just being exposed to barely 20 people sent me haywire. My body physically couldn’t handle it.

But that’s not what truly upset me. I was shaken and closed up, but not upset. That’s where the second incident comes in.

It was the very last lesson of the day with a teacher whom everyone loves, including me, because she’s kind and laid-back. She was telling us about how people naturally feel the urge to laugh when seeing someone fall over, even if you feel guilty afterwards.

In my class, I have a reputation as someone who is very quiet, serious and hardworking but still kind, which is a reputation I’m content with. But I feel like I’m severely misunderstood as a person, because in reality I’m not like that at all. In fact, with people I’m close with or on tumblr I’m the least serious person you could ever meet XD 

The teacher then asked me specifically “how about you, Anna, do you laugh when someone falls over?”

At first I thought it was just at random, or perhaps because I’m shy she wanted to hear me talk, even for a second. Because I wasn’t expecting her to ask me this, I simply replied “Sometimes.”

We then moved on to the next topic.

But it took me a second to realise the meaning of her question. She had previously said that people felt like laughing when seeing someone fall over, that it was normal. She had insinuated that everyone acted this way.

So if she already knew that everyone acted this way, why ask me?

Because I’m not “everyone”.

I’m serious.

I’m hardworking.

I’m quiet.

I don’t laugh.

I don’t talk.

I can’t talk.

She wanted to know if I’m actually capable of being a fucking human being. The fact that she was supposed to be the nice teacher made it worse.

Thank goodness it was the last lesson of the day, because as soon as I entered my bedroom and locked the door behind me, I broke down crying.

I can’t help it if I’m shy.

I can’t help it if I work hard.

I can’t help it if I seem serious. I’m not. I’m really not.

I can’t help it if I physically can’t handle talking in front of groups of people.

It’s all a mask that I wear to protect myself, but it’s attached to me and I can’t take it off. I don’t know if I ever will.

Thank you for reading this til the end, it means a lot ❤️

Has living in France affected me as a person?

For those who don’t know, my family and I visited France for long periods of time (a couple of weeks or months) up until I was about 5, at which point we moved definitively. I’ve only visited England twice since, and I’ve been living here for nearly eleven years.

Sometimes I ask myself “If I’d have stayed in England, would I be a different person? What would have changed?”

There a two main differences between my home in France and what was my home in England:

  • Town VS Countryside

I used to live in a town called Burntwood (I don’t mind saying the name because I don’t even live there anymore). Being in a town means that, of course, there are cars and people that go by your house every single day, and you can’t avoid real life social interaction.

Now, however, I live in the middle of nowhere where there are a total of about four houses in a kilometre radius, and I can easily go for an entire summer holiday (here they last about 2 months) without seeing anyone except my parents and my brother. This has enforced my introvertedness and awkwardness in the face of people xD 

I think that if I’d have stayed in a more populated area, I would have grown up with people so I would be used to being around others. I would have an actual social life (shocking, I know) and if a stranger were to come up to me and ask for directions, I’d be able to answer calmly and normally.

But seen as I grew up in the middle of the countryside, the only people I saw other than my family being at school, I now freeze up whenever someone I haven’t spoken to at least three times before talks to me. I even get nervous in front of some people in my class, and I’ve known them for nearly six months now.

But living in the countryside isn’t the only reason for which I’m extremely quiet and externally emotionless. This is an appropriate segway to the second difference between England and France, and this one is the primary one:

  • The language barrier

Now it’s probably obvious by now that I am fully bilingual and can understand French as easily as I can English, but not necessarily speak it.

Don’t get me wrong, grammatically and vocabulary-wise my level of French is pretty much on par with my level of English. I mean, it would have to be, otherwise I’d be pretty much screwed xD

When I say that I can’t speak French like I can English, what I mean is that I can’t express myself like I can in English. Either I can’t find the right words or it just sounds wrong. This has lead to occasional arguments with French friends who get offended when I don’t share secrets with them but I do with English friends. And of course, when I try to explain to them that it’s just easier for me to say things like that in English and it’s not at all because I don’t trust them, that comes out wrong as well.

I’ve noticed recently that I tend to stutter a lot and mispronounce things as well (such as saying “oo” instead of “u” and vice-versa), which makes me even more uncomfortable and awkward and has also added to my dislike towards talking out loud in front of people.

I feel like if I’d have stayed in England, I wouldn’t have these problems because everyone around me would speak the same language. This would, again, allow me to have an actual social life instead of shying away from things like that.

Conclusion

Yes, I think that living in France has affected me as a person. If I had stayed in England, I would be a lot bolder and have more confidence in myself. This makes it sound like moving to France was a bad thing xD

Moving to France, I think, wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Yes, it limited my public speaking ability by a huge amount, but I was also able to discover a new country and learn a new language fluently, which is a huge plus for later in life. A few sacrifices just had to be made along the way, including the one where I have only seen certain members of my family twice in eleven years because they’re unable of coming to me, so I have to go to them.

Thank you for reading this until the end ❤️