So I find it funny when people who know me well still fight to find the balance of what they can say around me and what they cannot. Most of my closest friends and family understand that I fight life with humor. So they know that I joke about my conditions and issues. Some outsiders looking in may find some of the jokes to be a bit crude. Especially as many of them are from me…A psychologist may say that I am trying to beat them to the punch or covering up my vulnerability or something…The funny part is that I have a degree in psychology and that is not the case at all. I actually find humor in a lot of the dumb/ silly things I do and say because I love to make people laugh and comfortable around me.
Now I get that if you are too crude or over the top that this can have the opposite effect and that can actually make others uncomfortable. So you make people feel like dang she is overcompensating, sadistic, dark, etc…However, most of my jokes are pretty light and I try to keep them fairly sparse. The funny part is when others make a joke and take it over board. They are the ones who you then look at like well dang…
I have had people I barely know say things about MG, chronic disorders, or mental illness (without knowing I have it or am more sensitive to the issue) say really crude things right in front of me. Those are the ones that get me. They happen to be some of people quite well. So before I ever divulge anything about myself I try to ask them why they feel that way or shed a positive light on the situation to see if maybe they feel any different after giving them some education.
Point and case:
While watching the episode of #Empire last week Kelly Rowland’s character who is mentally ill was having was having a bipolar episode specifically a depressive state and it was dramatic. As I was sitting there watching the comment was made, “D*mn so bipolar just make you sit there looking crazy and sh*t like that!” After stating, “That b*tch crazy” for sitting in a trance like state with her hair disheveled ignoring her child in a unkempt. I said well actually people with bipolar have manic and depressive states and that was a depressive state and depression comes in different levels and yes it can look like that where people are almost rendered helpless and do not move and cannot move and commit to daily functions for themselves. I was a bit taken aback by the person who said it especially since they knew my biological mother and brother are both bipolar…they did not even think about the comment. But I simply kept my cool and explained it and said this is why we need to change how people see mental illness.
I cannot get mad that they did not know this. More t.v. shows need to reach our society that our generation is watching. This happens to be a good one. I just try really hard to educate everyone I run across though I know I cannot save them all!
SO many of you know that I suffer from anxiety. I have most of my life and was not diagnosed until I was 15. This came at a time when I felt like I was drowning in my anxiety. Many teenagers feel like this however. I was finally at a point where I could not always control how I felt. I had outbursts of crying, rage, and just retreated into myself. Most of my friends would not see it but the people I dated saw it often. Heck these poor guys probably thought I was bananas! My poor journal read like a manic harpy and I was constantly thinking of running away or some scenario that would bring the world to remember me as well as some tragic way hand print to leave on my mom. Oh the epic fight of mother and daughter. When I think of it now it seriously makes me laugh so hard I cry! I remember sitting in my room and fuming for hours of how one day I would just curse out real good, LOL. I thought one time secretly of slapping her. But I took it back instantly. If you ever met my mom she is a very VERY thin woman. I feared ever hitting her because I knew I could probably really hurt her or worse and I didn’t want to do that. Just make her mad or make her see my point and back down. Make her see I was right…Though I rarely was back then. The only department I may have been right in was maybe having a bit more attention instead of the negative reinforcing attention my brother got for being bad.
My anxiety seemed to stem from very young. My biological mother (whom I also call mom) is a recovering drug addict. She has been sober for over 9 years and I am the proudest cheerleader for her! However, when I was toddler and she was going through her addiction she did some less than favorable things which included abuse/ neglect by legal terms. The best decision she made while trying to find herself and then eventually becoming sober was hand guardianship over to her aunt and uncle whom I call mom and dad. There may be some anxiety stemming from this however I think that most of it comes from this next bit. My younger brother whom I loved and adored was always with me. I cared for him like my own baby. Though he was only a year younger than me I protected him and cared for him during those rougher years. He loved me too. Then when moved to my aunt and uncles (our ‘new mom and dad’s) house he changed. He was not the loving brother I remembered anymore. He was mean to me. But it was not all of a sudden. At first he still clung to me. I still did everything for him and my parents said let him speak for himself. Let him do this and that for himself. It caused me problems to see him struggle with this. He eventually got it though. I guess I had more problems with it than he did. However, then he began to change. He would taunt me, and call me names…normal brother stuff at first. Then it escalated. He would call me more harsh names behind my parent’s back. He would say things about me that were not true at school and start rumors about me that were horrible. He would tell everyone at school when my menstrual cycle started and tell them when I got in trouble at home and what it was about.
Nothing was off limits to him. He did anything for a laugh and it was always at my expense. It was horrible. He would call me a whore, a slut and the like yet I was a virgin. Guys would come up to me with expectation and wanting to date and dump me after a week because I was not ‘putting out’. Eventually he got bold and started to do these things in front of my parents and they started seeing his behavior get way out of hand. However, at this point things had gotten so bad there was not much they knew to do. They had tried everything at this point but he was nearly a grown man.
My dad always said the boy needed one good butt whooping from some kid and that would fix him. Apparently that never happened or worked it it happened secretly. My brother my brother turning on me as I felt happened was a hurtful and sore spot after all those years. I would try to do things that interested him and he still had no interest. He was only interested in being a BRAT or hoodlum after a point. I could not be that person. I was not a ‘bad’ person or a criminal. I knew the people he hung out with and what they did and I could not do those things. I thought that he wanted to go to college and I even offered he come stay with me in my apartment under the condition that he either go to school or work. It never happened. He graduated school and went to New Jersey. There he did ok for a living with another aunt and got kicked out after starting his usual antics. Then not long after that he got in BIG trouble. I thank God constantly because I was not far from making the same decisions my brother did, but something told me NO. It had to be God but honestly I told myself at the time it was my friends, it was my drive not to be like him for how he hurt me, it was my thirst for education. Little did I know…
Many can see why I have a lot of anxiety. Those closest to you know how to push your buttons and cause you the most grief. He surely did and does. Recently I sent him a letter explaining how though he may call me sensitive among many other words I became an advocate for bipolar people due to him and my biological mother. I want to help people like them. He is considered severely bipolar among other comorbid issues. I also told him that all I ever wanted was to be accepted by him, the one full-blooded brother I had (because I have many other half siblings by my biological father) who went through everything I did and whom I have loved since the day I saw him and cared for him. He is the only one who knows ‘US’. He finally apologized! There was no sarcasm, no cursing, no if, ands, or buts or retaliations. I was almost scared to receive the next letter because I was expecting him to send a response with something mean Like I’m sorry but you it was in the past and you shouldn’t be so sensitive and so on and so forth. I had a whole arsenal ready. Of how he didn’t get to pick what hurt me and what didn’t and so on. But it quickly deflated and melted away when I saw that! All that emotional baggage just started dropping one by one. I just stared blankly at the letter. I was just stuck reading and reading that line. It felt good to finally feel like I could move past that. To feel like after over 20 years of a battle nearly 30 years of a relationship could feel like it was finally beginning to HEAL!