I learned my illness in the same way that I learned people, individually.
The spiral down started from being assaulted (sexually, I am afraid) by my birth father, impregnated while still in college, brutally beaten by him, then shipped across the country back to the safety of my home.
Ashamed, embarrassed, and furious, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, (my first child) and his birth nearly took my life.
The seeds of fury already planted by my father and NOT on any type of medication, my illness began to take hold of me. When my boyfriend, at the time, decided to “rescue me”, it was not the rescue my mother or I had in mind. Now living with my boyfriend and his step-mother, the symptoms, in my pregnant state, manifested in bizarre ways. I would imagine things that never happened. I would make up a story in my mind and pretend that story was real. My mind wandered so far at times, it would terrify me. Being told I was acting strange or angry or violent. But all I felt was burning hot rage. It coursed through me like blood. It seared and burned everything in its path. And anyone.
Months would pass, and I would not even know what day it was. Then one day, I got a job. Living with my boyfriend and constantly crying baby (he was born with some difficulties due to his genes, incest and all) was not that bad but being within reach of the monster that did this to me well, no. My biological father called me almost everyday with the sick notion of me coming “home,” no freaking way. We packed up and moved into our own apartment. At this point in our relationship, my boyfriend was my hero. He “saved” me from that monster of a father, gave me a home, and was there during the birth. What he didn’t save me from… was myself.
The anger began to boil and churn inside me. Driving my basic instincts but in this twisted way. I began to feel trapped. I was not. But I felt trapped. My mind began to make up this reality that did not exist. My emotional responses to anything was way above the normal level I had witnessed by people. Remember I told you, I watched people. On tv and in real life. People were different, but they have a rhythm. Certain groups of personalities have a clutter-rhythm. This was not that kind of rhythm. It was chaos inside my mind always. Thoughts flung around inside my head with no reason or sense. My anger would turn to rage that would turn to sadness that would turn to wanting to end it just to shut it all up. I could never focus or concentrate (which made school almost impossible). My mind would wander, not outside reality, but inside my own head. Someone talking to me. Someone trying to guide me but I would block it out. Thinking it was just more hallucinations or “voices.”
“I’m so sure I’m crazy.”
This I told to everyone I could…
Then another few weeks of violent behavior, disappearing, not knowing who I am or where I am, horrible nightmares, and other uncharacteristic behavior that drove my boyfriend mad.
By the time I got pregnant with my third child, my mother had enough. She took charge and rescued her daughter. I had convinced myself that my mother was the enemy, at this time. So rescuing me proved a bit difficult and my life was in shambles at this point. My biggest regret? That I didn’t learn what I know now, sooner.
I researched, everywhere, most emotional disorders, mood disorders, and their symptoms. Because, at the 21, I was forced to see the ugly side of my illness and what I can become. One characteristic I learned about my mental illness was that there was more than one involved. And one did not function without the other. They work a bit in tandem with each other, balancing the chaos and anarchy inside my mind. It sounds ludicrous, I know, but that is what I learned.
It took me about 20 years to understand my illness in half of its entirety. I still have much more to learn but the knowledge I have gained over those twenty years is immense. One thing I learned for sure, it affects everyone differently. How it affected me was intense. It’s a wonder I never turned to drugs or alcohol (not for lack of trying, I’m kind of a coward when it comes to hard drugs and alcohol) even though I wanted to. I was too much of a chicken to use drugs to escape so I just took my anger out on everyone..including my poor, defenseless children.
Nowadays, my children (all three of them) are well and healthy, thanks to their grandmother.
That’s just the beginning of what I have learned about my illness over the years. There’s much more to come but I can only share so much. I will say that, learning your illness is the smartest thing you could do…it could also save your life.
This is Moonlyte signing off:
Make it a great day.