Every one is aware that being a teenager is difficult. Your world starts to change. Exams are looming scarily in the future. Friendships change as personalities develop. For most people their first experiences of love are during their teenage years.
I met Jacob when I was 17 years old, in our history class. It definitely wasn’t love at first sight for either of us. I was shy and scared and he was loud and confident. We were and still are as different as day and night. I would and could only talk to my friends. I’d seen him around school but never spoken to him. Strange to think now we have been together for 3 years.
It was clear to everyone I was painfully shy but I chose not to share my battles with fibro and anxiety. At that point I hadn’t even admitted I had a mental health problem. I just assumed and everyone else did I was just shy and scared of everything. Jake knew I didn’t like talking, unless I was with close friends and family. It is like my voice box has gone on holiday. I try to speak but pitchy squeaks come out instead of words.
He was kind and patient with me, he didn’t pressure me to talk to his friends or meet his family. In fact for a while he was happy for me to deny any involvement with him. He knew it had nothing to do with him, more my fear of being talked about.
I already struggled to go to the sixth form study room in my school. Every time I walked through the door it felt like vultures were eyeing me up, looking for weaknesses and gossip. In reality most of the other students couldn’t care less about me, but through my paranoid ears I could hear their cruel whispers. I felt they were constantly talking about me. Up until I started dating Jake I could rationalize my thoughts by convincing myself there was nothing interesting about me that was worthy of any gossip. I kept myself to myself. However now I could hear the walls whispering about my relationship and in particular how mismatched we were.
I told Jake pretty early on about my Fibromyalgia not that he had ever heard of it and it’s not exactly the easiest to explain. Little did he know he would become my part time carer.
There are not many teenage boys that would accept this task and I gave him hundreds of opportunities to leave me. I told him I would understand if I was too difficult for him and that he had no obligation to stay with me. I would have been upset undoubtedly but to commit to caring for someone you have no obligation and during your teenage years is a huge task. Every time I say it, he tells me to stop being silly, and he loves me despite the fact I’m hard work.
During these last 3 years he has accompanied me to doctors appointments, held me whilst I cried in pain, painted my nails when I’ve not been able and generally helped me to be as normal as possible. He’s even lifted me upside down by my feet to alleviate some of the pain in my back. He has ‘ attempted ‘ to follow yoga videos with me (unsuccessfully I should add.) He’s cooked for me, comforted me and made me litre mugs of tea to help combat my nausea.
We have a long standing joke that there’s so many things wrong with me, they should turn me into glue. I think he’s probably right, I would be more useful that way.
Ultimately I wanted to write this as a tribute to my amazing boyfriend. I couldn’t have coped without you. I’m sorry for all the soppyness. I’m not normally like this. But Jake is such an amazing human, and he deserves recognition.
Jakey, I love you and thank you for everything 💕