Bottle Up & Explode!

Sometimes, keeping all of these thoughts inside becomes an unbearable burden, but for your sake it’s one I’ll do my best to carry alone.

I’ve always had a tendency to see the world through rose coloured glasses or whatever they call it, to believe that two people on opposite sides of the globe might actually find a way to be together despite our failures being what we ultimately share in common…

I never see reality for what it is in the moment; it’s always a retrospective. I should know better, I should recognise the same naive hope that I used to have and how entirely unrealistic it is, and in a sense I do, but it’s too late at that point…

I can’t help you because I can’t help myself, but I’m never going to admit this because to do so would be even more devastating than shouldering the burden of my own failures alone… I’ve no right to rob you of your own optimism or hope.

What Matters to Us?

I cannot deny my education; I can’t hide the BA in Philosophy or the BS in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics that I have earned over my 9 semesters as an undergraduate in college. I can’t deny that I was a mere 3 credits from adding a minor in physics to that list were it not for the government telling me I had “too many” credits toward a degree and my grants would be cut. I also can’t deny that I spent two years in a graduate programme studying mathematics, even if I didn’t complete the requirements to obtain that Master’s degree before my financial assistance was, again, cut off. I did well in school, but that being said, school is the only life I’ve ever known.

I am essentially an educated but unemployable person, both on the autism spectrum and a member of the LGBTQ+ community living in the reddest of red states. Most regular retail or call centre jobs would, I know for a fact, drive me to a mental hospital if not a successful suicide attempt within 2-3 weeks – I know this because I have tried to work in those environments and something inside me knew that if I went back for one more day, I was just asking for my third admission, my fourth admission, to the mental hospital which is so broken in its system of operations that it thinks treating suicidal patients as prisoners and cutting them off from any support system or coping mechanism they have found in ordinary life is somehow going to help them. (I’m sorry, but denying me regular contact with my own mother was not helpful in dealing with my internal struggles.)

I have lived my entire life with the belief that I, as a person, am worthless. I still believe this, despite the progress I have made with weekly therapy appointments in acknowledging that my skills might be unique or valuable in their own right. I still maintain the fundamental belief that I, as a human being, am worthless. This is a fact that has been drilled into my skull from birth by both my parents and the society in which I was raised.

Yet, most people look at my CV and see academic success alone. The lack of reliable work history concerns potential employers but the presence of significant education is enough to convince socially funded programmes that I don’t need their assistance. Even if I have a disability, I’m not disabled enough. I don’t deserve healthcare benefits because, even though my income is less than $500/mo most of the year as I struggle to get on my feet as a freelancer with zero self confidence, I don’t qualify for healthcare assistance because I don’t have a child and the social security office probably won’t grant me disability benefits based on the argument that “I can work some, but my mental health would not allow me to function in a full time job with benefits.”

I just want to be able to afford regular check-ups with my primary care physician to keep my mental disorders in check and monitor treatment. I shouldn’t have to pay hundreds of dollars for a 20 minute visit consisting of “Is your medication still working?” “Well, yeah pretty much,” “Okay, here’s a refill.”

I certainly shouldn’t be hit with over two thousand dollars worth of bills because I was forced into a mental institution against my will over a misunderstanding by ignorant cops who see old self-harm scars and decide that those are enough to warrant an involuntary mental health hold in which I end up handcuffed, treated as a prisoner thrown into an ER where I am denied my basic right to use a fucking toilet; even if I willingly surrender my right to pee in privacy, I can’t even leave the room with supervision to use the proper facilities. All of this because I have old scars on my legs which indicate a history of self-harming behaviour.

The very fact that I had success in university is a curse when it comes to finding employment that I am mentally capable of handling, and it is also a barrier preventing me from gaining access to healthcare that, from my understanding, was intended to help those (like myself) in a position of poverty that feels impossible to escape from.

Granted, this is addressed in the debate over health care to a very limited extent, or at least I have to believe that these issues are covered in the lofty ideas Democrats propose for reform – I haven’t heard anything specifically dealing with mental health and the marginalization of those of us who have a record of being diagnosed with any form of “crazy”. Be it trauma, depression, autism, schizophrenia, they don’t care. We’re all labelled as second-class the moment that someone from the system steps in to intervene and make everything exponentially worse by claiming to “help” us.

I want so, so badly to see someone in a position of relative power, someone who the people are listening to and who has even a modicum of influence over the issues that common Americans think about, speak out against this broken system and declare their support toward those of us who need legitimate help to tackle these battles – not prison sentences that the court arbitrarily decides they’re only going to foot half the bill for.

Maybe we’re a minority, maybe we’re not a group that’s going to show up to the polls en masse and make a substantial difference, but we are sentient human beings with legitimate thoughts and feelings, and we should not be treated like second class citizens or criminals simply because we have been labelled with some form of mental illness.

We still matter. We’re still here, and we are suffering, and we deserve every basic human right just as much as anyone else.

That Moment

I was watching Kanye West on the Netflix special with David Letterman, and while the whole thing was actually incredibly interesting, there was this one specific thing Kanye mentioned that’s still resonating with me.

For mentally ill people, there can be “that moment” – the moment when everything builds up to such a point that you become so paranoid, so convinced that the world is against you, that you have nobody in your life that you trust, and how do the authorities deal with us in this moment?

We’re handcuffed, shipped off to a hospital, cut off from everyone in our lives, essentially treated like criminals. They don’t do this to people experiencing a physical health crisis. They don’t handcuff you and throw you in the back of a police car because your cancer is acting up and you need a doctor. But at that moment when we need someone, just a single person we can trust, they do the absolute /worst/ possible thing instead. They take someone who is already breaking from the stress of mental illness and do everything they can to make it WORSE.

And this needs to change. I don’t know what I think about a lot of the things that Kanye says or does (to be honest, I never paid that much attention to him in the first place), but I have to say on this point he is 100% correct. The gross mistreatment of the mentally ill in society NEEDS to change. This system that treats us as lesser people, that does everything to make us worse and nothing to make us better, it desperately needs to change.

It’s been almost three months since the incident happened that saw me handcuffed in the back of a police car, sent to an emergency room where I was literally denied use to the bathroom because of the cuts on my legs, and I’m still dealing with the fallout from this whole ordeal that really, at the end of the day, only served to make me feel WORSE about everything in life. I’m fighting huge bills I can’t afford, having to make my case for financial assistance and payment plans because some judge arbitrarily decided that the state would only cover a certain amount of my bills and the rest is my responsibility. I’m broke; I’ve got student loans, credit card debt, and now the state is making me pay for what feels like my own time in prison?

At least if it was for potentially killing someone else instead of being at risk of killing myself, I wouldn’t be paying for the fucking time spent in prison.

 

Secret Recovery?

There’s something clearly absurd with the compulsive need to keep your intentions to get rid of bad habits entirely secret, but it stems from a deeper compulsion not to admit to their existence at all.

It’s this pre-existing notion that, even mentioning recovering from addiction will taint someone’s perception of you, that they will always hear “addict” much more prominently than the idea of recovery, and now you’re judged for a habit that you’ve already judged yourself and tormented yourself over to the point of pushing yourself to stopping because you still can’t actually admit to anyone else that the problem ever started. Even if they held suspicions, you can’t confirm them.

There’s no recognition, no understanding, you’ve got to hide the stress of withdrawal and pass off the symptoms as something else as much as you can and it almost becomes self-defeating.

And yet, the alternative is worse. Admitting your struggle is unthinkably worse. Every moment of weakness or imperfection must have, at the very least, shreds of doubt; none of them can be confirmed, and then overcoming any struggle at all becomes a non-existent act.

Perhaps this is just a residual effect of being raised by a narcissist, of attaching so much more strongly to the narcissist parent than the passive, emotionally absent one from infancy… There’s almost a strange sense that, even though he judged me far more harshly for even the most trivial of things, he still might find a way to twist my decision to quit an addiction as a source of pride while simultaneously keeping it “our little secret;” of course, still scolding and belittling me in the process. But at least there wasn’t the uncertainty and walking on eggshells of being silently judged and not directly confronted that the rest of my family constantly gives me. Because I know they’re thinking it – they don’t understand how shut down and empty and fucking worthless I feel every day of my life, they just get frustrated that I’m not getting better fast enough; that I react poorly to having traumatic experiences casually brought up as if I’m supposed to explain the little details that I never knew a thing about to begin with. At least my father made it painfully obvious how much he disapproved and didn’t believe I had any damage… As traumatised and demoralised as it’s left me, at least there wasn’t uncertainty, a constant air of uncomfortable tenseness because everyone’s too afraid to tell me to my face how much of a nuisance I am in their lives, how they think I’m just this pathetic lost cause.

Dysfunctional families.

Sometimes, coming from a dysfunctional family affects everyone in a horrible way; sometimes, like in my case, it really just fucks up the one child who thought they could trust the wrong parent.

When you’re 5, 7, 13 years old, you don’t realise that a narcissistic father is using you, manipulating you, that his constant criticism of things as silly as not liking your haircut are controlling and unhealthy. At least, I didn’t.

Because, ultimately, Dad was on my side… There’s no denying that, no matter how much circumstance and logic explains why this came to be as it was, my mother always preferred my brother over me. He was the perfect child; quiet, compliant, sociable. Normal. Our family friendships were formed entirely around my brother’s friends and my mother’s friendships with those parents. I was left out, dragged along as a misfit who never belonged at holiday gatherings.

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On the ability to hate bad parents;

An interesting question came into my mind today.

Do I hate my father? Can I hate my father?

Realistically, it isn’t actually his fault that he’s a narcissist, despite the negative impact that his (always ferociously denied) problems or illnesses have had on our family – and the goddess only knows I’m not okay with the trauma and the damage he has inflicted on my own psyche because of it – but I’m not sure that justifies hatred towards him.

I think I could easily hate him if I wanted to, but the ease in which I convince myself of this is a byproduct of being raised by him in the first place. In fact, perhaps it’s an indication of my humanity that I don’t hate him; I despise his actions and I hate that I was born into such unfair circumstances, but if he can’t help that he’s a blatant narcissist I can’t genuinely hate him for such a thing, not without becoming as detached from humanity as he is.

Cole Sprouse __ Geschichte von Charles Melton IG __ #ColeSprouse #Riverdale #Jughead Related posts_ #Cole #Sprouse #Mitarbeiter #Jughead #Jones #Bughead #Riverdale cole sprouse kj apa vancouver lunch riverdale 02 CoI can try to justify myself as being the “better person” because of this, but I don’t think such a comparison is helpful or necessary. Certainly, it doesn’t do anything constructive for me as I try to come to terms with the unfortunate realisations about my past. It never really occurred to me to hate my mother for being emotionally unavailable – she’s just the type of person who responds to every confession of unhappiness with a very detached “How do I solve the problem?” mentality instead of what I’m really desperately begging for, which isn’t an answer or a cure, but just acknowledgement and empathy – validation that it’s okay to feel the way I do after all I’ve had to deal with.

The real difference, I’ve noticed, is that despite the damage both parents have managed to drill into my mind over the years, it’s so easy to see that my mother tries to care and just doesn’t know how to be a source of emotional support without jumping to “How do we fix the problem?”

(I’m reasonably convinced that she’s an unfortunate case of Aspergers/HFA going undiagnosed in a woman, especially given my own diagnoses and the history on her side of the family… Perhaps it’s this understanding that makes it so easy to see that she has never acted out of malice or with any intent to deceive me, and it’s not at all her fault that she doesn’t comprehend my own need for emotional validation or reassurance.)

With my father, however, there is no good intention to be found behind his shortcomings; he has used both my brother and myself as pawns in this game, suddenly turning him into the golden child and me into the scapegoat when it serves his image best, very clearly incapable of acknowledging or caring about the intense psychological trauma that he has inflicted upon me for as long as I can possibly remember (to the point where it’s so bad that I actually find myself doubting my own memories a bit too frequently.) He’s blind to the reality of my trauma, my struggles, my complete lack of identity or self confidence; all he sees is that these things have turned me into the perfect scapegoat.

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And I hate what he did to me; I hate it with all of my being. Even after trying to go no contact, he haunts my dreams, breaking into my house leaving threatening messages telling me that I should just fucking die already.

The second I stood up for myself and tried to establish boundaries, he ruthlessly attacked me as an abusive, manipulative psychopath. And I know that, in reality, I would be justified in hating him for the years of psychological manipulation, the lies, a lifetime of being gaslighted… But it’s not his fault, at least, not in a straightforward manner.

He’s never going to get help, I know that, he’s going to desperately seek out victims to feed his narcissistic supply as much as he can and he’ll never even consider the possibility of having a mental problem, but the more I look back, the more it’s become clear to me that he really, truly does have a disorder that he didn’t necessarily choose to be ruled by.

And that’s why I don’t hate him. As easy as it would be to take the ignorant path and hate him for all that he’s done, I know that it’s not right.

I hate how much he’s damaged my self-image, my mental health in general, and I hate that he’s implanted subconscious narcissistic tendencies into my brain that I now have to constantly be hyper-aware of to be sure I fight them off, but I don’t hate him as a person.

I don’t forgive him, not in the slightest, but I don’t hate him.

I don’t think anyone chooses to have narcissistic personality disorder, and as toxic and damaging as that makes them, I can’t help but acknowledge that it wasn’t really their choice to be this way.

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I never had a genuine connection with my parents (or with my fellow schoolmates for that matter) growing up, but as much as that history has fucked me up, I’ve also accepted that it’s not really anyone’s fault…

The circumstances drove me toward a very complicated relationship with addiction, drove me to a place where I don’t have any desire to overcome said addictions and I don’t see any hope in a future where I have to constantly deal with people who will never truly be considerate or sympathetic toward my trauma, and I hate that I found myself in the middle of the circumstances, I really do, but…. While I blame my parents for failing me from the moment I was born, I don’t hate them for it, because I don’t think either of them went into this with the intention of destroying me as a human being.

It’s been a difficult distinction to process and really come to terms with, but… It seems like an important one.

bloodstainedblankets

I went a good month (if not more; I don’t really count at this point) without this happening, but of course… everything was just so empty and absurd and useless that, once again, I took a blade to my skin.

img_0788One isolate slip-up hardly seems like a big deal in the face of everything else I’m trying to process; what freaked me out the most was that I cut just deep enough for the blood to trickle down and nearly create a stain on my brand new blanket (my Swedish flag blanket, which means a good deal to me as having a Swedish name is the only real connection I have to any sort of heritage that feels real to me.) Luckily, I was quick at covering the wound with gauze and rinsing out the blanket before the stains had a chance to set in, but maybe that’s not the most relevant part.

My therapist was sick and cancelled last week (ironically, it had to be the week that I had interesting news to share and legitimate questions I need help with, but we all have our own lives. It happens.)

The funny thing about therapy is that you don’t really feel like you’re doing much more than just having a pleasant chat during the sessions, but as soon as you miss one of them it becomes painfully clear just how important that weekly hour of honesty and relief is to your mental well-being…

Even when you sit in your room feeling dead inside and bitter at the world and completely irritated at the noise from everyone else living in the house nearly constantly, including directly after your appointment, it serves as some kind of evidence that, despite how hard it is to see, those hours spent with a good therapist really do make a difference. Maybe the progress isn’t as extreme or as fast as your family expects it to be, but ignoring that, at least you’ve got some hard evidence that therapy is helping in some way.

Jesse is avoiding Nate's calls He shows Paul the brochure.

Of course, when you’ve got over 20 years of trauma from an emotionally abusive father and an emotionally unavailable mother, it’s difficult to explain that therapy has helped me immensely because I’ve come to a better understanding of where my trauma came from and how deeply it’s affected me, despite the fact that I’m nowhere near ready to jump into society with a regular job and act like a healthy, functional human being…

Sure, we’ve all got problems, but we’re not all a flight risk the way I am.

I still live in a state of belief that everyone views me as a disappointment, an unreliable employee, a socially awkward flight risk…. And they’re not wrong, not really.

My personal milestone (up until 5 minutes ago) was as simple as not slicing my skin open with a razor blade. This, to me, is a significant improvement, but outside of my therapist, nobody else truly appreciates that. (To be far, I’ve learned to hide my cuts really fucking well; were it not for cops showing up at my door, everyone else in the house would be essentially oblivious to my habitual self-injury.)

Anyway, this progress goes largely unacknowledged, instead replaced by nagging questions about what I’ve been doing to advance to a place that’s about 5 levels beyond my current state of recovery…. Not that I can communicate how fucked up that is, of course.

I’m just an alcoholic that knows how to write words and care for a house full of cats; it’s going to take a lot more work to get farther than this… Just, ironically, the progress I’ve made which, to me, deserves some amount of applause, doesn’t exist to my family, as it’s really just progress that raised me up to what they thought my initial starting point was…

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Minus the alcoholism, perhaps; I can guarantee I drink 5x more than any of them suspect. (Though I would be more than happy maintaining that illusion)

The last thing I want to do is come off as some angsty teenager with the whole “nobody understands me” cliche, but in this case it really does seem legitimate that my family is, to some degree, clueless.

For good reason, though. Mum would overreact, and Dad (who is currently blocked on everything with the hopes of cutting all contact) would accuse me of lying, being a failure, etc etc until the only thing I can think of is suicide…

Still Damaged

Lord Trauma still haunts my dreams; the ideas still embedded in my psyche.

I’ve cautiously applied for a few jobs mainly for the sake of appearing to be doing better than I am, though I’ve clicked the “submit” button with the expectation of rejection or failure from the start. It’s more about putting others’ mind at ease by being able to say “Look, I applied for something.” I know I won’t get it, though; I don’t even want most the jobs.

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It’s not just laziness, though; I wouldn’t even say it’s completely self-sabotage, because there’s something much more deeply entrenched in my subconscious mind that makes it impossible to even conceive of myself as being qualified or able to do these jobs.

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If I can’t trust you, how can I trust anyone?

Somehow, I’ve always found a way, for better or worse.

It’s just those cases where the “worse” option applies that I end up asking myself this question again.

Chaos of the Storm

A war on so many fronts; yet, all imaginary.

tumblr_mt9p7owFil1rijbg1o1_500It’s not so simple as just confronting your anger when it stems from childhood abuse that your’e still struggling to comprehend… Yet, somehow, you’ve comprehended enough that it’s expected of you to start functioning somewhat normally. Like, all that pain, all that mental exhaustion and that work getting to the point of accepting that ‘it’s not your fault’ means that you’re suddenly ready to jump into society with a full time job and function like anyone else. (It’s not a conversation of praise, or even an acknowledgement of the progress made for its own sake, it’s fighting and trying to survive a fucking war as a means to an end that isn’t even happy.)

But I can’t. I just can’t. I can’t even look at a job posting without feeling a horrible sense of being not good enough and thinking I’d be better off dead if you’re so fucking tired of the burden I put on this family because everyone knows I’m not worth it.

I don’t handle expectations well, and if we’re never going to get to that point than the whole thing is pointless, so…

Yep. it’s all pointless. A total waste.

I can’t even see straight.

I’m just so fucking done.

I don’t even want to function in this fucked up society….