Two seconds during a class in 10th grade caused me so much hurt I couldn’t see people in the eye for 2 years
The last place I lived was a tropical area. There was no pollution, trees all over the place, and a minimal number of cars. It was heaven for me and my skin.
But Delhi. Oh, Delhi had something else in the stars for me.
The pollution and dust wreaked havoc on my skin.
I would’ve been able to deal with it if I was living in Delhi from childhood, but I was not.
I survived 9th grade without re-precessions, but in 10th grade, acne got me.
I broke out as if only I had acne in the whole world. Let’s say my face was filled with red bumps.
During a class in 10th grade, my bench-mate and I were talking, and the teacher overheard. (Talking during class is bad if you don’t remember 😂)
She came by to our desk and slapped him on the face.
I was expecting the same, but, for a moment or two, she stopped.
And I saw it on her face.
The feeling you have when you look at a rotten banana on your shelf.
The feeling you have when you’re passing a landfill and forgot to roll up the windows of your car.
The same feeling of disgust I had when looking at myself in the mirror.
I hated that feeling, but that day, it become a deeper part of me.
She patted me on the head and went back to the blackboard to do her business.
What she probably didn’t realize is her two seconds of staring caused me so much pain I wasn’t able to look people in the eye for years.
I am not blaming her.
She did nothing wrong.
She didn’t scold or say anything bad.
Hell, she didn’t even slap me on the face.
But those 2 seconds, when she stopped to think about the acne on my face, were enough to make me realize what I had become — a red, bumpy face monster.
I only remember giving exams after that day. Nothing in between rings a bell, because I didn’t pay attention to any of it. I was worried about what people were thinking about my face. I become so fucking self-conscious.
Entering 11th grade, I did some online research and treated myself with benzoyl peroxide. But I never Googled ‘how to deal with the trauma caused by bad acne’ because I didn’t know what ‘trauma’ was.
My knowledge of mental health was zero.
Even after the acne was gone, I could still feel the pain. I let the hurt silently seep into all my relationships without even realizing it.
It took me years to realize what had happened. The realization majorly came after I became a part of The Wall And Us Foundation. That’s where I learned what ‘real’ pain is. I realized acne isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a person. And I learned how to navigate ‘pain’ and be okay living with it.
Some part of it lives with me today, but I have to live with it.
If I had better knowledge about what acne is and why it happens, I would’ve never taken those moments to my heart. Yeah, it was stupid to take that to heart. But what goes on in a teenager’s mind only the teenager knows
All I know is — Einstein’s theory of relativity was correct. Time is relative. Those two seconds might’ve meant a breath to someone else, but the same two seconds felt like centuries to me.