Reader discretion advised.
The majority of people I have met in life have been lovely kind caring people. The majority of them have contributed in some way to helping me feel better, to recover, to feel positive about my mental health.
Unfortunately I have like everyone met some incredibly tactless people who ask direct questions about my self harm, who don’t reply when I open up to them and who call me out on my self harm.
I worked at a cooking school for about 3 months, from beginning of August to mid October (2017) before I went on season. I met some amazing friends, hilarious, lovely, mad people. I would to this day still recommend (perhaps request a different tutor) and speak highly of this cooking school, the owners are lovely and what they have created is great. Sadly I also met one other person.
John. For those of you with the pleasure of not having him in your life I will do my best at describing him to you. Msogynist. Condescending. Immature. Unprofessional. Hold on you might say…why should we take your word for it. On my second week of working with this man he came to say goodbye, gestured for a high five. As I high-fived him he saw some of my scars, “what’s that? self harm, classic”. I was shocked. I couldn’t say anything. I couldn’t tell him how insensitive he had just been. Did he think it was funny or did his parents bring him up to think that this is normal behaviour.
From then on I can assure you I didn’t class him as a friend. Begrudgingly I classed him as a colleague. I worked with him for about 3 months. In that time he made constant misogynistic remarks to myself and to others. Now those that class him as a friend can class that as banter. I did not. Every time he spoke to me in any manner other than respect it got under my skin. With a few weeks to go he cracked me. He shouted at me for not working despite the fact I had only walked in the room 10 seconds earlier from a previous job I had been doing.
With a week to go he got to me. I went for a drive. I cut myself in a car park somewhere. I kept going. It got wider and wider. I couldn’t stop. I was crying in my car all alone. I asked my friend Leah what I should do. I took my sock off, held it against my wrist and drove myself to hospital. I took a deep breath and went in.
I had been messaging a few of my friends I worked with. I told them what I had done. They came to sit with me while I waited. Abi and Alice thank you so much for not judging, for coming to sit with me in the middle of the night, thank you for coming even though trying to think of something to say must have been so hard. Hannah, I know you would have also come if you hadn’t been so committed to the bev. In the grand scheme of things I hadn’t known you all that long, thank you for being what felt like life long friends ready to jump in and save me.
Earlier this year after season I went back to work there for three weeks. The first two were great. John wasn’t there. I was driving back from my third week when I got a call from my boss who John had been in touch with. She told me that he was refusing to work with me as he didn’t feel comfortable working with me. I had emailed my boss after my three months just to draw her attention to his behaviour and what he said to me so that it didn’t happen to anyone else. I spoke to my boss in person to find out what was happening. She explained how he was worried he would get in trouble for some sort of sexual harassment. I told them well if he believes he can act professionally as he should in the work place (i.e. not get naked on the lawn with students, not sleep with the students etc) then why would there be a problem. I said I would work with him and of course I would keep my distance. In the end he grew up and decided to work the week with me.Prick. To Abi one of the girls that came to the hospital, my boss told me that you went up to him the morning after I was in hospital and told him it was all his fault. I first thought it was too harsh I would never blame anyone for my mental health and my actions because of it. But I have changed my mind. Abi you were bang on. John it disgusts me to say that that scar, the one with stitches, the one I have to live with has your name on it, that ones on you. Now you live with it.