Heck, I Don’t Know Me

I’ve been quiet the past couple weeks. They’ve been harder weeks than usual, what with screwing up at work, uncertainty about keeping the job, and finally the promise of accommodations and all the resultant thinking of “What a horrible human being I am to need accommodations at work due to my disorder and PTSD” ((It’s apparently fine to most people if you have a disorder or disability as long as you’re strong and inspiring and in no need of accommodations. Because damaged people are worthless unless they manage to be normal, and handicap parking is such a cop-out. /sarcasm)), and to tell the truth, right now I’m recovering from a rather vivid nightmare so everything is kind of D: and such.

So anyways. Yesterday I realized I don’t know much about me and hate myself for no good reason. I really have Welcome to the Jungle: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bipolar but Were Too Freaked Out to Ask, by Hilary Smith, to thank. I finished reading it a week ago, but it’s really helped me look at my bipolar as a disorder rather than as a fault, and answered quite a few questions. It’s really written for the Millennium Generation, but I think if you’re pretty well adapted to Internet culture and memes, it’s fine. It’s funny and a bit corny, but you need the corny to swallow the facts that come along with it, and bipolar is, in isolation, pretty damn unfunny.

So anyways anyways. I was thinking about my bipolar onset. Not that I knew it was bipolar at the time, nor that my father featured classic symptoms of bipolar I, but it was a distinct ending of an era for me. Until then, school was enough to fend off my PTSD ((Not that I knew what PTSD was at the time, either, nor that I had the classic symptoms of hyper-vigilance, inability to sleep, and flashbacks.)) and I happily gave it my complete attention because of this.

And then my concentration cracked. Or rather, disappeared seemingly overnight; *poof*, when I was 20. The bipolar had come for me, along with the PTSD. The nightmares got worse and more vivid; the aural and visual hallucinations started (which the PTSD, I’m sure, was glad to have assistance with); and the mania/depression rapid-cycling started. I thought it was just the realization of my parents being abusive compared to the relative normality of the rest of the world, where people didn’t have to worry about being tortured or threatened at the turn of a word. Instead, it’s probably that plus the bipolar, which probably sped up the process—or even started it. Otherwise I think I’d be dead by now, because my father certainly would never have let me grow up past a certain age.

The mania explains another reaction people had to me: that I was doing drugs. I’m actually a boring old tee-totaler, so I never understood why people thought this… unless they interacted with me during my manic episodes, when I might as well have been stoned. It also explains why some were convinced I was a bad daughter and thus deserved to be reunited with my parents to right the wrongs of my ways. Which incidentally also sped up the process of separation from my parents, because there is nothing like parents who want to kill you, literally, to make things like changing your name/identity and leaving with nothing but the clothes on your back seem little compared to not dying in a horrible way. Self-preservation is a strong instinct.

Things are now explained, including my father’s untreated bipolar I co-morbid chronic PTSD leading him to engage in his tendency to be incredibly abusive ((Understatement. Read the rest of this blog to find out more, if you like.)).

Anyways anyways anyways, I was thinking about how much I hated myself. And how a lot of it boils down to despising myself for, basically, having a lot of the symptoms of bipolar and even those from the PTSD, thinking they were a weakness rather than something that had just happened to me. It makes about as much sense to hate yourself for having the flu, which is to say about diddly-squat sense. And because I hated myself so much, I didn’t bother to learn much about myself. I’m not a naturally self-reflective person—growing up in a war zone of sorts doesn’t lend itself to giving one time to develop such a thing.

So I’m going to have to find out more about me. Thus far, I have figured out that I can be silly. I guess I can find out more about me from reading this blog.

It’s strange, to consider that I have been me while not knowing what it means to be me for over three decades now.

Anyways4, I guess I have a journey of self-discovery [sic] to make.

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4 thoughts on “Heck, I Don’t Know Me

  1. I also found reading Hilary Smith’s book this year to be exceptionally helpful. Until then, I felt my mental illness was a stain. Now I can think of it as a particularly fussy and clever and often mysteriously pet animal that lives under the couch.

    You’ve been journeying four years at least.

    • Four years I’ve been writing this blog, but in many ways kind of blindly. If I look inside myself, it’s only to look away later (one of the reasons I started blogging Dancing with Psychologists).

      It’s getting better as I remember to, well, remember more about the past days rather than brushing it all under a rug and attempting to live only in the moment.

  2. I’m glad you are okay enough to post again. Good luck on your journey of self-discovery.
    You’re very responsible, if that helps any.

    • I could be more responsible, actually. I’m not sure how responsible I am; a lot of it tends to be canceled out by sheer denial….

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