Wednesday, March 12, 2008

being known as the crazy one

Well, tomorrow I embark on a trip I don't really want to be taking. I am going to visit my grandparents up north, and relatives who never communicate with me at all. So hooray!! To make things even better the grandparents on my mother's side - and my mother is the one who planned the trip - won't let me stay at their house, because they think, based on events that happened five years ago, that I am crazy. Then my aunt, their other daughter, also said I could not stay at her house - I guess she is afraid of my craziness as well. So finally I resorted to asking my dad if he could speak with his parents, who I last saw when they kicked me out of the house 8 years ago - while I was really delusional and paranoid, if I could stay at their house. I asked him to explain I've been on medications EVERY DAY for the last 2 1/2 years, I work usually, I go to school, and I run a support group, so I'm doing a lot better now than I was 8 years ago.

The good news is that they said they don't mind if I stay with them. So at least I have a place to sleep during this trip, which is better than a few days ago when I was ready to cancel the whole trip because of these dynamics.

Honestly, I would rather stay at my dad's parents house anyway, as they have historically been much less dysfunctional than my other grandparents tend to be because my other grandfather is a lifetime alcoholic.

I guess I am a little mad right now, actually. I have been counting all the people who have walked out of my life or expressed no desire to have anything to do with me over the years since I became Schizoaffective. This is really a long list. I lost neighbors who I was friendly with because they reported me to social services for the abnormal behavior I was exhibiting and I got evicted from the apartment I was living in at the time, because the landlord was informed I was committed to as psychiatric hospital.

I lost my best friends who I met online eleven years ago, and who I trusted and confided in - apparently far too much. When I started saying weird things when I was psychotic, two of them said to me directly that they did not want to be part of my life anymore. Another one just dropped from the face of the earth and I never heard from her again - she was my best friend, Ali. All these people could have remained my friend if they could have waited a little while until I got treatment and found out what the illness was that was affecting my brain. I could have explained it all to them, and we could have remained friends. Actually if they could have pointed out to me what was bizarre about my behavior, instead of just writing me off, that might have made world of difference.

I have learned through these experiences that I really can't trust anyone very much. I have trusted, apparently, the wrong people and shared information with them that they did not understand nor did they really try to learn about what was going on. They just cut me off. And actually, if I am going to be honest, I have to say I am pretty pissed off about being treated like I am some kind of Leper by my closest friends, who are smart enough to have figured out on their own that I was delusional - but apparently never bothered to try to figure that out.

So now I have a couple online friends and two in-person friends, who both have mental illnesses, and still I don't feel like I can relate too much to anyone or trust any of these people very much. I really need friends who like the same music I do or like to go to movies, or have an interest in politics and activism, or women's history and literature, but I have no friends like that. I am not very good at making friends. Which is probably why, when I did have more close friends, I did not follow proper boundaries with how much I told them. I just told them everything, and that was stupid. Because they turned out not to be trustworthy people.

I like to think that I'm a pretty good friend to the friends I have. Two of them I have known since before I got sick, and they have been good friends by not writing me off. I like to think that I would do the same for them, if the circumstances were reversed. Maybe I would not know how to, though, and maybe I would have to tell them, "I don't want to talk to you anymore", like my three close friends did to me. I know one thing: I never knew much about Schizophrenia, before I developed it myself.

As far as my family goes, my grandparents are all pretty old at this point, and people who are up in age don't necessarily know as much about pschiatry and psychiatric problems as younger generations, since they come from an era where such problems were not talked about.

The other thing that is bothering me, is now that I am overwieght from my medication, I know people I'm related to are going to talk about my weight behind my back jut like they do to everybody else who is overweight in their family. I know somebody is probably going to make a comment to me about my weight, and I know I don't need to hear that kind of crap right now, because my self-esteem is low enough as it is. I don't really need anything to lower it! But I'm related to a lot of perfectionistic people, and I know they look down upon overweight people. What they are not going to understand, unless I explain it to them, is that the medication that is making me overweight is also vital for keeping me alive.

Sorry to sound like a grouch in this post. I guess the prospect of seeing relatives who don't really know much about my life, except the rumors that they have been told or the crazy things that I did before I was on medication, just kind of stresses me out.

2 comments:

Ken Albin said...

It may take some time for them to get to know the current "you". Most people have a rather narrow view of what they expect others to be like, based upon their own life experiences. Be patient with them and give yourself and them time to get to know each other. Don't go into it with any expectations. Just enjoy the moment and let things develop at their own pace. You have nothing to prove, so take the pressure off of yourself. Just relax. If relationships develop from this it is a good thing. If not, you haven't lost anything.

Chris B. said...

Hello beautiful mind,

Just push on, like the daisies.

I, too, prefer my MI friends because with them I don't have to pretend I'm someone I'm not.

Thank you for the kind words about my writing.

Best,
Chris B.

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