First let me disclaim that I do not intend to “hide behind” my illness/symptoms or give myself excuses for my flaws. But I guess I can also give myself the kindness that no human on earth is perfect. And one of my most GLARING flaws is with the social realm.
I fear groups and gatherings… I think a lot of people who have been “diagnosed” can probably relate… At first Chinese New Year and Christmas were Really challenging. I can’t remember the number of years I didn’t go for those gatherings. But then, totally unexpectedly, my extended family has become more accepting. Perhaps they too experience similar, predisposed – biological and nurtured – challenges.
I am SO grateful the first thing they ask is no longer “When is your turn, AH? ” or “WAH you put on/ lost so much weight!” Losing weight can become horribly scary when you are a yo-yo and have gone up and down >15 kg, 4 times in 30 years.
I guess when your locus of control (your self-esteem and need for validation) is based on the outside —-> and you are a Self-Obsessed Control freak (Yes, Hi.)… You are in for what is Essentially Social Suicide.
If self-control is not exercised, and pride is not addressed– One either hides from the world.. Drowning in despair/delusion, or lives in a Constant flux between intense fear and a feeling of an intense injustice.
I am now, Grateful for my mom’s family. I realized we were not so different. And they are nice, without treating me as “different”. My intense fear of going to grandma’s house has eased gradually. Many of them individually also have been and are a source of strength, and support over the years. Though I resented some of it, very wrongly at first.
But since it is Mother’s day, I want to focus on my Mom today. So here’s it is:
From the middle of last year to the start of this year, I really resented my mother. Although acting out of love and anxiety for me, I felt my freedom, autonomy and dignity were taken away.
Let me give you an example. She comes into my room at will, while the door is closed and I am dressing up. I am in the midst of it and she says: “This bra is too tight! Your breasts are spilling out! Wear the black one, LAH…” ok.. sorry TMI BUTrrrreally ARGJHGHGHLKJSDFHsdahf ;kjsdhlkaw]!@#$%# I am 30 and she wants to help me choose my underwear. Srsly???..zzzZZZZZZZZZzzzz
Also, although I have already messaged her that I am coming back after dinner. She starts messaging me at 4 to ask again if I am having dinner, then starts to call me from 8:30pm to ask what time I am coming home. Stella said it rightly, “I hear the irritation in your voice. Remember…”
But my mom. Mom, has been through it. Mom, was the one who came to the hospital every single day during the two weeks I was first hospitalized at the Institute of Mental Health for psychosis symptoms. Mom lost so much weight. She took the bus every day, the one and a half hour journey. I was in a daze those days. But I could remember her neck growing bonier and bonier. Her face looking more and more tired.
Am I so blind that I did not realize that she is the strongest person in this family? Mom knows! She knew it all. She was the one who has been feeding on depression, bipolar, gratitude, optimism, she got did the DBT workbook with be when I was thought to be BPD. Then she went through WRAP with Caregivers Alliance, and made me go for it now.
The most bittersweet memory I have, truly, is a muted one. It was the only depression that I count as a True, Noonday Demon. Not leaving the home, every morning she brought me food and read me the Armour of God.
Surely, I cannot still blame her for loving my brother more when we were children? She had said: “You had your father, I thought it was alright.”
Perhaps, going through the wilderness – this 15 years of wandering… Has helped to make Mother’s Day Happen.