public / by Alice Hawke

Do you know what it feels like, simply walking along minding your own business, but so painfully aware of all the sniggering and remarks between people passing by. Always with my headphones on, but nothing playing; an excuse to ignore them, but I can hear the giggling, the remarks, the attempts to get my attention, the slurs. And every time, it hurts.

I wish I could be invisible again, I just want to blend in, to be accepted as normal, to be equal to everyone else. But there is no equality, there is no fairness. Not all lives can be improved with merely compassion (e.g. people born with physical limitations) but across the board it would be a much appreciated improvement. I’m just trying to live my life; we’re all just trying to live our lives. All of the pain in my life, and there is a lot of it in such a variety of areas, it's caused by people. Of course there are others out there having to live worse lives than mine, but the chances are that you the reader haven’t dealt with quite the continually worsening shit that I’ve been dealing with day after day. If you have a partner, or a car, or a steady job, or a ladder to the future, or some certainty about the next week or month, or possess any desirable skill that’s so hot right now. Or the right body. Or maybe you have all of those things. I have none of them, and less.

On top of everything I have to deal with just to get by, everything going on behind the facade of someone somehow managing to hold it together, and any hope for the sun coming out tomorrow being regularly knocked out of me, it would be nice if I could at least walk to the shop without feeling all eyes on me, being made to feel abnormal, like some sort of freak.

If "it gets better", I'm still waiting for any sign at all.