A Window to the Past

Please come to Boston for the Springtime
I’m stayin’ here with some friends and they’ve got lots of room
You can sell your paintings on the sidewalk
By a café where I hope to be workin’ soon
Please come to Boston
She said “No – would you come home to me?”

— Dave Loggins

Summer 1974

I’m sitting on the bed staring out the window facing north with a view of the backyard.

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Modern view, pool was to the left

My mom has her student teaching friend over for a swim in our pool. She’s in a bikini which is why I’m staring out the window. I’m 11 if that makes any sense. I suppose that’s when I started to see girls as less icky and well . . .more interesting.

They’re talking about pop music and her friend Bev, asks if she’s heard this song yet.

Strangely, it’s the next song that plays on my radio, which is tuned to Y103, a station from nearby (but not really) Sharon-Youngstown that is somewhat famous for playing several tunes in a row and having no DJs.

It would be the first of many, many ‘coincidences’ where someone, usually me, would think of a song, no matter how old or obscure, and I would hear it soon on the radio. It used to happen so often that I began to wonder if I had some kind of weird ESP for pop music. It doesn’t happen anymore which kind of makes me sad.

But anyway.

The summers of my youth always seem surreal. I call them the ‘golden summers.’ A three-month respite from the nuns and a time where I can read stacks of books, doodle on endless sheets of paper provided from my mother’s second grade class, and stare out this window wondering what my life would be like once it was allowed to start.

On this afternoon my dad was at work which was great because I wouldn’t have my body freeze up if I heard him lumbering up the stairs. My brain could stand down for a little while.

I remember when I got enough nerve to venture out the other window on the roof of the garage and lie on the shingles and look out at the world while listening to the radio.

I really didn’t have any friends, but I had the radio; it’s DJs and music were my companions. To this day there isn’t a song in the top 40 from the 70s (well from 1974 on) that I don’t know the lyrics by heart.

The first time I heard ‘Radio Ga Ga’ from Queen, I got misty eyed. Freddie Mercury and I had something in common.

I’d sit alone and watch your light
My only friend through teenage nights
And everything I had to know
I heard it on my radio

I stared down at the pool and wondered if I would ever have a girlfriend. I doubted it. I was, am, and always will remain, fat like the rest of my family, and a grotesque mix of looks from both parents without the endearing qualities of either.

Obviously, I already had a poor self-image. It was 1974 and even my family doctor, that same year, gave me a pamphlet at one of my check-ups titled ‘Are You Really Serious About Losing Weight?’

We forget 99.9% of the days of our youth and remember .1% if we’re lucky. But the things we remember are the formative memories. When you’re 11 and even your doctor is fat shaming you, it’d hard to forget forever.

I grew up in that room (1968-1984 RIP). I had the best times of my life in that room. I had my books, my radio, my fish, my little black and white TV and my doodle paper. One day I heard this oldie:

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me
I am shielded in my armor
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb
I touch no one and no one touches me
I am a rock
I am an island

 And a rock feels no pain
And an island never cries

–Paul Simon (obviously)

That was me. But when I hear those lyrics even today, I weep inside.

My shrink asked me to talk to that little boy. I told her I had. What I didn’t tell her is what I would have said.

‘You think once you get out and on your own that you can start living. But kid, you’ll never be quite able to shake off all of the shit you’re eating now at home and at school. You’ll see 31 therapists and all of them won’t be able to help you. Neither will the 30-odd prescription medications. You will never recover from what is happening to you. You’ll be married three times, run through fifteen plus jobs by the time you’re 50 and be miserable in almost all of them. You’ll have a handful of half-hearted suicide attempts to look forward to and a lifetime of regret. It will never get better than it is now, staring out the window on a summer day looking at a woman in a bikini twice your age and listening to the radio.

 Oh, by the way kid, one day when you get to be in your fifties, you won’t be able to listen to these tunes anymore because the memories will be too painful.

 But you won’t remember the good times as much as you’ll clearly remember your father spitting words at you – not of love, but contempt – that you will never forget. In fact, on his death bed, your mom will have to make your father tell you you’ve been “a good kid.” But you’ll know it’s the lying words of a dying man.

But it’s all you’re going to get from him.

I have many memories of staring out that bedroom window, especially when I’d get up early to watch the sun rise. I just knew things would get better. They had to, right?

Talk to that wounded little boy,’ my therapist would tell me decades later.

I never really told her what I would say. I’d make up some shit like ‘it will get better, someday you’ll write for a newspaper and be on the radio and life will be worth living.’

I’ve never told anyone this before: my first halfhearted suicide attempt was when I was 15. All I wanted then was a girl I could talk to and who would talk to me.

The story is almost true, except there wasn’t anyone waiting so I made her up. In effect, making the longing for [a companion] stronger. It was a recap to my first trip to each of those cities…[and] how I saw each one. The fact of having no one to come home to made the chorus easy to write. Some forty years later, I still vividly remember that night [of composition], and it was as if someone else was writing the song.”

Dave Loggins on writing ‘Please Come to Boston’

Posted in books, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Catholic school, childhood terror, growing up, mental health, my father, regret, suicide, When we were very young | Tagged | Leave a comment

On My Own – from now on

starr-tlc-trauma-blog-image-1What happens when your therapist takes the side of people who traumatized you?

Therapy sessions can be a blur of words and reactions. Many times, I’ll be conscious of the clock and try to fit in everything I want to discuss within the 50 minutes allotted.

With my mind and memory being somewhat faulty, I can miss things said in the moment that only sink in later.

This is one of those times and now I have lost any desire to see this therapist anymore.

Without being too specific (because my trust issues got ratcheted up to ‘11’ by this incident), I was outlining the patronizing treatment I get at work due to being regarded as the ‘office mental case.’

Because I had been previously honest with my therapist, I had told her of my history of run-ins at my workplace, also explaining the toxic work culture of my workplace and noting that a chain of events that started with employees waiting for me to say something that they could take as ‘suicidal ideation’ nearly got me killed.

And then my therapist dropped the bomb.

“Now look, I need to say this: don’t you think that they have a point?”

Excuse me? I’ve been an exemplary employee the last full year and I’ve explained the situation thoroughly and my own efforts to calm the waters for the sake of earning a living.

But I didn’t say that. Cringingly, I agreed with her at that moment.

I agree because I can’t always disagree. There is an unequal power dynamic at play here and it’s easy (here and elsewhere) to agree and hate myself later.

Besides, she seemed pretty firm about this so there was no chance of changing her mind.

But this wasn’t over.

A little later on in the session, she accused me of thinking “like a victim” and had I ever tried not thinking like a victim?

“But like it or not,” I retorted, “I have been a victim of things that were done to me.”

“See! That’s what I mean,” she said. “This is your mentality.”rtxysqo

Finally, I got upset enough to remind her of the abuse that took place in my childhood, coupled with the abuse that happened in the workplace, how I had done my best to continue to work on my reactions to triggers and I had developed inner strength from continuing to work in an environment where I had been traumatized. I pointed out it’s hard to fight so much conditioning that I’ve been hard-wired to react a certain way when I get triggered.

These arguments were to no avail.

If I had lain down and died, figuratively, I would concede her point. But I have fought my issues, even when I didn’t know what they were called, every step of the way for 40 years.

But in the end, I might have just as well bought a copy of ‘The Secret.’ Apparently, I attracted all of this somehow and everything that follows is on me. I am not a product of, or my behavior in reaction to, my environment. I must conform to my abuse and learn to accept it, let it float by like a meditative cloud, and then let it go. If not, it’s on me.

This is why there is a Mad Pride movement.

So, I should feel shame because I allowed this to go on for 40 year without ‘snapping out of it.’ I didn’t need a therapist to tell me that – my father used to say as much, except that (1) he meant it to humiliate me and (2) he was yelling which he always did.

It’s easier for by-the-book therapist to simply conclude the ‘here we have another Borderline who, like all the others, is resistant to proven treatment methods.’

Every nightmare, every flush of fear, every outburst of anger has nothing to do with decades of conditioning. I am merely playing the ‘victim.’ I would like to know what tangible benefit I’ve been receiving from ‘playing the victim?’ Believe me, I do not expect pity. Neither our culture nor mainstream psychiatry in general are very big on empathy. In fact, they mirror each other in their desire to apply some kind of ‘pick yourself up by your bootstraps’ theory to every situation.

What does she think I’ve been trying to do for the last 40 years? Despite my issues, I have worked since I was 16 with only seven total months of unemployment in that time. I have never been ‘work-shy.’ When I was suspended from my job for 76 days in the winter of 2016, not only was I fighting to return to work, I was also applying for other positions at my agency feeling a change of venue would do me and the agency good. Every time I have been knocked down I have picked myself up off the floor and jumped back into the fray.

What more does modern psychiatry want from me? A never-ending fountain of self- shame and blame?

I blame myself for this though: I knew talk therapy was not and would not work for me at least a decade ago. But being the compliant person that I am, I kept pounding my head against the therapeutic wall. Perhaps, like the person in the old joke, it will feel so much better when I stop.

After just having completed a week at ‘Alternatives 2018,’ this therapy session drove home the lesson I learned from fellow ‘Mads’ there: we are on our own and providing each other support is the best therapy of all.

Now I face a delicate situation – how do I extricate myself from therapy that my psychiatrist, who controls my medications, insists I continue? Can I convince her it does me no good? And if not, can I adjust my sessions to ‘vanilla’ where we forever spend the rest of our time talking about benign bullshit? Or do I do like so many others in my situation: play the game ‘Hey, I’m Cured!’

But once I do manage to end my time with this therapist, I swear on the grave of Judi Chamberlin, I will never speak to a therapist again.

Posted in abuse, Alternatives2018, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, childhood terror, counseling, depression, Mad Pride, mental health, paranoia, parenting, parents, Police, PTSD, shame, stigma | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Last Alternative?

Alternatives2018-Logo-HartiganSo I was thinking today at a workshop at the #Alternatives2018 conference that there is an 800 lb gorilla sitting right in the middle of the Pryzbyla Center at Catholic University of America. This workshop was discussing Mad Studies and Survivor-Controlled research in the US, which is practically non-existent, unlike other countries, such as the UK, where it is REQUIRED.

There was a lot of talk about institutional roadblocks, the resistance of the professional class, the money-driven research supplied by drug companies, etc. Many ideas were floated to work on pressuring universities and government mental health agencies to include people with the lived experience of mental illness to be part of the research and decision-making of these critical studies, which is a great goal.

The problem as I see it is simple – the money for this kind of research, even for children, according to researchers Nev Jones and Emily Cutler, is drying up fast. I can see the day coming when pretty much all such research funding by governments, foundations and universities will dry up, with the exception of drug-financed studies and studies with a profit endgame.

The 800 lb. gorilla is the Trump Administration. This edition of Alternatives was produced by the people for whom it was intended – no Federal money was used to subsidize this conference. What I would like to see is a realization that very shortly, if not already, we will truly be ‘On Our Own’ to fight for our rights and influence public policy by ‘alternative’ means, i.e. very impolite demonsrations, ala ‘ACT UP’ from back in the day.

It is not hard to believe that Federal agencies supporting mental health research and advocacy will soon have their funding eliminated. For guideposts, look at what is happening at other Federal departments – Education, Health and Human Service to name two – a complete re-alignment of mission away from true human service and towards the meanness of ideological conservatism.

I really enjoy these workshops and the spirit in which they are given. It truly feels great to be among our own people and using our voices, energy and intellect to empower a movement.

But at the same time, I fear we may be whistling past a graveyard. Due to the outright hostility of the current administration to human service and social activism, what we are planning today may become extremely difficult because nothing moves in the USA without the backing of cold hard cash and friends in high places.

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They had nothing to lose but their lives

I earlier drew the comparison between the Mad Pride movement and ACT UP. I think while we plan today, there should be some consideration given to the possibility that in the very near future, direct action may be the last and best tool we have to fight for our cause. It is something I think most people would wish to avoid but these times are perilous and lives are at stake.

Posted in Alternatives2018, bipolar, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, donald trump, ImNotAshamed, Institutionalization, Mad Pride, meds, mental health, schizophrenia, self care, shame, society, stigma | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Podcast: Anger and Everything After

MY latest podcast. The real ‘me’ of long ago makes an appearance – the angry citizen, the rabble rouser, the person who spoke truth to power – and paid dearly for it. Borderline rage? Or justice denied. Talking about Alternatives 2018 and why it matters/societal influence on ‘mental illness’ and the phenomenon of arrested development in BPD.

 

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The Origins of a Crippling Fear

I was talking to my supervisor this morning. She went on a family camping trip over the weekend and now is sore. Her family had struck out from their campsite, exploring the nature preserve and saw some interesting land formations, flora and fauna.

I couldn’t help but remember when my family would go camping and we would be glued to the tent. I don’t know why my father never took us out to explore the area. Maybe he thought it was too dangerous for us to traverse – my mother was never steady on her feet due to her post-natal girth. As for my sister and I, he probably didn’t want to hear us whine.

So it was bacon grilled on the Coleman, board games and boredom. With extended family, camping seemed to be an excuse to play cards and drink beer – while spraying on layers of ‘OFF.’

The other memory I have is going over to my aunt and uncle’s rustic retreat in upstate (not the UP) Michigan. They lived in Houghton Lake, a place that experienced winter for six months a year and where snowmobiles had the right of way on the city’s streets from Dec. 1 through Feb. 28.

My cousins were always there and they were much more outdoorsy than my sister and I. They had snowmobiles and their beloved dirt bikes and would tear around the countryside with reckless abandon – even taking the snowmobiles on frozen Houghton Lake once the police declared the ice safe.

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Kind of like this one but a little more beat up and dirty.

This memory is of one summer day up there and I think I was 12-years-old. My cousins were riding their dirt bikes and offered me a bike to ride around a little and get used to it. After all: it was just a bike with a motor attached, right?

My father, however, was having none of it. Too dangerous for a son he was already consigning to a soft un-manly life due to my love of books and general distaste for hunting and fishing.

I’ll never forget when my aunt Delores, my dad’s sister, said in her gravelly voice, “I wanna ride one of those.” So they gave her one. And, of course, she was drunk. She revved up the bike and promptly drove it about 20 feet directly into a tree.

She fell off the bike and other than a few scratches and cuts, the only thing really hurt was her pride.

But I’ll never forget my dad’s reaction.

He wheeled ‘round on me and viciously (his yelling had that edge to it) yelled at me “SEE! See what can happen on those damn bikes! You wanna break your neck!? I told ya those things were dangerous and you ain’t ridin’ one!”

Of course, my father had puttered around on one – I remember the picture my mother took.

Any my dirt bike riding cousins were ages 15, 13, 11, 9 and 8. And they rode without any trouble.

And I wanted to point out to him that his sister was drunk and shouldn’t have been riding one anyway.

But I didn’t want to get backhanded. I knew what it was like to see my dad’s beefy forearm heading for my face.

Psychologists ask for stories from our childhood and I believe they never really hear them or draw the correct conclusions from them. Most of them just care about how you feel NOW without understanding that how one felt THEN has a direct effect on how one feels and reacts now.

As I grew into adolescence, the fact that I could but did not want to, handle a shotgun or fishing reel, was taken by my father as a sign of un-manliness. My book reading and my incessant need to ask why were also taken as a sign by him that I would grow up as a soft, whiny intellectual who would never amount to anything. I spent too much time indoors soaking up knowledge rather than being his mini-me, shooting at any four-legged creature that dared to step out of the woods.

Soft. Too soft to ride a mere dirt bike? If I fell off would that reflect badly on my father? Or was this just his way of driving home to me his anger that I was not and could never be as outdoorsy, tough and self-reliant as my cousins (who were actually very nice to me)?

Well, whatever the lesson was, it sunk in.

I am 55. I have never ridden a dirt bike. I have never even sat on a motorcycle. I would like to, but now I really don’t trust my balance or skill. Or is that because I was told I was too soft and stupid to experience  such fun?

“You wanna break your neck!? I told ya those things were dangerous and you ain’t ridin’ one!”

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1975 dirt bike, 1975 kid. He was my age at the time. 

The words were said in the summer of 1975. I would like to have some shrink tell me how to remove them from my conscious hard-wiring. They are no means the only words that were said to diminish me, to shame me, to lower my expectations of my own skill and abilities and to hold me back from experiences other kids were having.

I grew up with the mantra in my head ‘you can’t do this; you’ll hurt or embarrass yourself.’ And it’s just not as easy as some think to push those words aside when they are backed up by anxiety.

Some people go out of their way to do one thing that scares them every day. I spend my entire day being risk averse and anxious.

Hmmm, I wonder when that began?

Over a goddamn dirt bike? Probably earlier.

Parents, for the love of all that’s holy, let your kids ride, climb and swing. Encourage them to explore their world fearlessly. Yes, they will get cuts and bruises. Your job is tell them that those cuts and bruises are part of living and to see them as a badge showing that their life was lived with a fearless spirit that will carry them to much greater things – flying jets, exploring the oceans, racing cars, hiking the Appalachian Trail, skydiving, rock climbing etc. These things breed a confidence that says ‘I can do anything.’

Don’t ever tell your child they can’t do something because they might . . .

Because they might succeed.

As I’ve written, it’s little incidents; little things that children remember and parents forget. These are the building blocks that make up a life. You start building the foundation of those building blocks in childhood. If the blocks say ‘can’ ‘try’ ‘do’ ‘be’ ‘explore’ ‘support’ ‘pride,’ then I believe the child will build themselves a life without unnecessary fear.

But if the blocks you choose as a parent say ‘beware’ ‘don’t’ ‘fear’ ‘hurt’ ‘shame’ ‘can’t,’ then you set your child up for a life lived in the shadows, wanting to be more than they are but feeling unworthy and unskilled.

I have many stories like this. We forget so much of our childhood except the good times and the bad. I remember these incidents as if they happened yesterday. I remember my mother on the phone with my high school algebra teacher who told her that if I would just try my homework, I would pass with a ‘gentleman’s D.’ What did that tell me, when my mother, a professional educator, instead of demanding that I be taught, acquiesced to accepting on my behalf, a ‘D’ grade? That I was too stupid to handle anything but basic math.

And these building blocks pile up until the foundation is solid and unbreakable.

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If (when) I fall doing this, the floor will shake and everyone will look at the old fat guy and shake their heads

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I think my dad would have liked this kid. 

I’ll never know the fun of dirt bikes, motorcycles, zip lines, rock climbing, skydiving, water skiing, etc. etc. etc. And also: painting, writing a novel, creating pottery and sculpture, learning to dance, martial arts, yoga, etc. etc.

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I can see myself dangling from a rope having fucked up.

If I try, I’ll have to overcome an almost primal fear and anxiety I feel when I even think of doing these things – that injury or embarrassment will follow. I should face and conquer these fears – it should be a bucket list thing to do before I die.

Or I can sit in my house and write blog posts like this deconstructing where the fear originated – and leave it at that. And wonder what might have been.

Fear’s a powerful thing, baby
It’ll turn your heart black you can trust
It’ll take your God filled soul
Fill it with devils and dust

  • Bruce Springsteen, ‘Devils and Dust.’
Posted in Adventure!, anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, childhood terror, Fat Shaming, fear, getting old, growing up, my father, regret, social anxiety, Wonder Years | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Catch I’ll Never Have

The local classical station plays movie music late Saturday mornings. I was listening to it just now and the theme from ‘Field of Dreams’ came on.

And I, as I reflexively do when it plays, started to tear up.

The one movie that can make men cry. As opposed to most men who cry at the end (and understandably so) my favorite part of the movie comes just before when James Earl Jones delivers one of the best, most moving soliloquies of any movie. One that we so need today:

catch4Ray, people will come Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won’t mind if you look around, you’ll say. It’s only $20 per person. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they’ll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good, and it could be again. Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.

But it’s the end part that gets us guys. But I cry for a different reason.

At the end when Kevin Costner asks his ‘ghost’ father if he wants to have a catch, men everywhere are taken back to the moment, perhaps the last one, where they and their father ‘had a catch.

catch1In the movie, Costner was the one who stopped playing catch with his dad.

In my life, I weep because it was my father who stopped playing catch with me.

It came at around the same time he emotionally abandoned me; would have nothing more to do with me.

At the end of his hopes and dreams that I would become a replicant of himself – a hunter, fisher, outdoorsman. That I wouldn’t be someone that he could be proud of around his outdoorsman friends. That I wouldn’t be tough enough to handle real life.

And since he could not believe that would be a failure of his, it was my failure to be the person he ordered from God. And he didn’t want to be associated with a failure.

So, from about 14 on, he wasn’t.

So, when I see that scene, it hits be like a gut punch for a different reason.

It took me many years to figure out why he did what he did. And when I figured it out, I wish I hadn’t.

Ray Kinsella had closure with his dad. I would never have closure with mine – he died catch2when I was 20.

And truth be told, had he lived, I probably would have nothing to do with him today.

I guess when I look at other guys dad’s the guys that we in my little league, cub scouts, elementary and high schools, I wonder what might have been in my life if their dads had been mine.

Maybe I didn’t see their dark side. All I saw what those dads standing behind their sons, coaching, mentoring, talking to them about life – the things my dad never did for me. Somehow, he just expected me to pick it up somehow.

And I look at the men these guys became – men their dads, if they are still alive – would be proud of. I know my dad would have not been proud of me – the ‘mistake.’ It is a valid question which one of us would have broken contact first.

There are things we can’t change in life; things we will always wonder about and ask, ‘what might have been?’ I have been trying to overcome my father’s abuse and indifference for over three and a half decades without much success.

For it is money I have, but peace I lack.

And yet, I still love ‘Field of Dreams’ for all it is and says about the yearnings from son to father that echo throughout the ages – for the need to reconcile, to forgive, to understand how boys become men, and men become fathers and pass on whatever they need to for their sons.

Dedicate the film to the sons who never had to wonder what might have been, never had to question their father’s love, or if they did, were able to have a touching and meaningful reconciliation at some point.

The reconciliation I will never have; at least not in this life.

Posted in abuse, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, children, growing up, my father, parenting, parents, peace, regret | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

For a Moment to be Ourselves

Last night, the madness group (or ‘mental health’ group if you prefer) staged an Open Mic Night where several people including four very talented teenagers, shared their personal stories. This was part of an overall effort to allow these voices to be heard and to fight stigma. I read my own piece and another excellent poem submitted by a local Pittsburgh poet.

And now here we are on the day following and, for me, there is a little letdown. Not from the show which was awesome, but by my performance piece, which I loved but cannot really live.

The force behind the show, Allyson Cypher of the group that put on the show ‘Inside our Minds’ read a piece that slammed (and rightfully so) her former employer, a mental health non-profit. She described an office environment not unlike mine (although things are better, for the moment). Although she did not, and I will not, mention the name of the non-profit, she hoped at some point the word would get back to them.

I, on the other hand, only felt free to say what I wanted to say from that stage. I didn’t call out my employer either. The piece was not specifically directed at them but was mainly about my experiences in their employ. I said things from the stage that I could not say to the people I work for.

My piece starts out with scenes from my youth where my innocent enough behavior was punished in several ways, which caused me to believe that there was something wrong with me – but I could never quite understand what it was.

The part where I make my proclamation is here:

So what is wrong with me?

Do they want to hear about Borderline Personality Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Secondary Bipolar Disorder, PTSD or anything else 31 therapists have diagnosed me with?

Would they care about the long term effects of taking Abilify, Topamax, Zoloft, Paxil, Lamotrigene, Ativan and the list goes on and on.

Nah, at work they just hope I can act ‘normal.’

Well fuck you. This is my normal. This is my human experience. This is all I know. And I am tired of apologizing for who I am, what I do, how I act and how I cope. 

Yes there is something ‘wrong’ with me.

I am not ‘normal.’

But I have seen enough of ‘normal people’ to know

I’d rather be me.

There is nothing wrong with me.

And I can’t help feeling sad that I can only say this on a stage miles from where I work, to people who are not employees and don’t understand what has happened to me here.

Because if I said this at work, they would find a way to fire me or make my life as miserable as Alyssa’s employers made hers.

But at least for a scant minute I could speak from the heart and say what I feel.

I wish everyone could.

Posted in Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, childhood terror, ImNotAshamed, Mad Pride, paranoia, Poetry, regret, shame, society, stigma, work | Tagged , , | Leave a comment