[CN: emotional abuse, mental illness]
I am pleased to bid a firm farewell to what has been an abysmally stressful week.
Everything is very crowded and loud inside my head, at present.
I feel in disarray. I feel at war within myself again, every part of my mind deciding for itself which other parts belong and which should be jettisoned. Violently, if needs be.
I am so very tired, and grown again afraid of the night.
There are names and theories for my particular mental health condition. There is even a DSM diagnosis with criteria that feel spot-on, though I prefer not to say what. [It’s rare and little-known, with a name that resembles something far more common, so even people in the know frequently misunderstand.] Figuring out what was wrong took over 23 years of misdiagnoses, unproductive (at best) therapies, and unnecessary medications — the only measurable result of which was to make me more vulnerable to my spouse’s mental and sexual abuse.
Most days, I am simply grateful that I finally got answers that makes sense. In the just-over-a-year since I named this condition, I have come so very very far. And then…then there are the other days.
The days when I am so very, very, VERY pissed off.
Because it didn’t need to be like this. Because none of this has an organic or genetic causation. Because this was something done to me.
I realize I am hardly alone in this. I am in plentiful — and plentifully good — company, even just among those of you likely to be reading this now.
I am not even alone within my family: I have no doubt my father’s personality disorder, root cause of the shattering of both his children, can be traced back to those who raised him. And my mother, who enabled and enforced my father’s abuse, has suffered plentifully herself; even without knowing what her challenges may or may not have been when first she met my father, it’s clear how far she has bent her own orbit around his narcissistic distortions, starting a full decade before I was even born.
I don’t want this post to end in such a dark corner. Not for you, and not for me. So let me make instead a brief request:
Please — if you at all can — spend time this weekend truly listening to someone you love. Ask a child to tell you a story. Ask your partner to share a dream. Revisit an inside joke with your oldest friend. (Don’t feel you have someone to ask? Tell me a story instead, right here. I promise I will listen, with everything I have.)
I promise you this, too: the gifts we make of ourselves return blessings to us threefold, and threefold-three again.
You are, all of you, so very beautiful.
Even in your darkness.
Even in your darkest dark, know that love will see you shine.
In my eyes, you are all shining even now.