An ex-boyfriend once told me that he hated the sound of my voice. Two minutes later, he broke up with me. We had been together for two years, which is a really long time when you’re seventeen, and I was gut-wrenchingly heart-broken. The way that most teenage girls are when the love of their life turns out to be ... human.
This happened six years ago and it absolutely amazes me because I haven’t been able to forget those words since. I hate the sound of your voice. The words upset me now and I couldn’t imagine how much they broke my heart when I was a delicate and emotionally unstable teenager.
You see when I was younger, I was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease called lupus. I was so crippled with arthritis that I couldn’t walk the 300 metres to school and I once couldn't stand up from the toilet. It was pretty bad.
So bad that they put me on a medication that they use during chemotherapy for cancer patients. This seems really intense now but at the time, I didn’t know much better. The medication was intended to stop my immune system from attacking the tissues in my body but the side effect was that my immune system stopped working completely.
For three whole months, I was riddled with the flu and not a single doctor in Coffs Harbour could tell me the reason. My coughing was so bad that it would cause me to vomit, ultimately leading to scar tissue on my vocal chords. So for my seventeen year old boyfriend to tell me that he hated the sound of my voice, after everything I had been through, was soul-crushing.
At first, I was devastated about our break-up. I didn’t want to go to school. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t want to do anything except lay in bed and feel sorry for myself. But eventually, I got over it and I made the conscious decision to start speaking up.
“So the guy doesn’t like the sound of my voice? Well he’s about to hear a lot of it!”
And I swear to you, I never shut up!
The lesson or moral of this story isn’t to be a rebellious, smart-ass teenager like me but it is this: