Clear Sky, 62°F
As posted to FB Group "Bipolar, BPD, and MH Safe Haven"
ok, so I’ve been a member for a while and haven’t really been active. But I’m having some trouble. I’ve distanced myself from my family of blood. My siblings abused me, resent me for having protected me, without any of my knowledge or request, for being gay. And still resent me for it yet refuse to talk about it. Am I wrong to be unwilling to just forget? To me one can only forgive after discussion and deliberation, once each other is understood. Forgiveness can’t be given arbitrarily, in my beliefs. And to forget is even more impossible for me. That’s akin to acting like nothing ever happened, especially when something did. I was traumatized for life and they most likely are the reasons why my Bipolar Depression and Panic Disorder came into being. I already had the genetic predisposition. My mom also apparently always knew this also. Which adds a significant impact on my relationship with her. Especially since I’m far closer with my mom, especially as an adult, than I’ve ever been with my siblings. According to them, I’m trying too hard. WTF! But that’s not the actual reason why I’m posting.
As a result of me finally realizing that my childhood wasn’t simply abusive, but that I was in fact abused, and identifying the primary culprits as my siblings, not my mom as previously thought, I’ve replaced them in my life. I’ve replaced my whole family actually, but they exist in parallel since I refuse to disown my family of blood. I’ve always felt that that’s the cowardly way of doing things, much like forgetting arbitrarily. But the two I’ve deemed closest, also feel a mutual bond with me. One complication is that they’ve become romantically involved. I regard them as each my twin sister and my brother. But they don’t regard each other as siblings, quite obviously. But with them living together now, and 400 miles away (they’re in Connecticut, I’m in Pennsylvania), I’ve started feeling increasingly isolated from them. I know that my feelings run deeper than theirs, no matter how much that hurts me and I wish it wasn’t true. But I think part of that is as a consequence of my Bipolar disorder. We naturally feel all emotions more deeply and more extremely. They could never feel as deeply as I can. Maybe that’s not just a curse, but also a blessing to having this disorder. We feel more deeply than those who don’t have Bipolar or any other mood disorder. But I also fear that they’re more important to me than I am to them. That hurts more. The depth of emotion can’t be helped, it just is. But the assignment of importance, that’s a whole nother matter entirely. Anyway, my twin is not much different in thinking than I am, except that she doesn’t have Bipolar, or Panic Attacks. She has insanely more resilience than me, probably why she has no mood disorder and why mine are so severe. My biggest issue is that she feels ignored, including by me, which has had its own consequences, led me the closest that I’ve ever been to suicide, that day I was virtually catatonic. I felt like a zombie. I felt immune to any emotion other than dispair. Even all of their love, or declarations of it only prompted me to dismiss them as that they were only saying that they loved me out of guilt. It was only once I saw the sheer fear and longing in my Partner’s face and eyes that I started snapping out of it. But she’s been very short tempered lately, since she’s very overwhelmed at home, but the constant screaming just triggers my past childhood traumas. And the one I regard as my brother is a newer addition, so to say. But the difference is that he does have his own psychiatric issues that have only recently been noticed. But what hurts with him is that he’s a severe introvert, can almost never get him on the phone, almost always will only talk through text, and even then, gets upset with me when I’m too clingy, that just triggers my memories of how my blood siblings treated and still treat me. Even worse, they both have gotten into the habit of accusing me of making everything about me. Just because I want to speak about how I’m feeling. Am I wrong? I feel like I need to walk on eggshells with them, just like my blood, but in the same respect, I feel like they are with me also, they deny it, which just pisses me off more. But I fear that they don’t know me anymore, they just know that I’m sensitive and either fear triggering me or downright don’t care if they trigger me. I find myself seeing my blood siblings in them. I don’t want that. I would feel like a failure. I just wish that they would try to see things as I do, to feel as I do, to think as I do. I just want them to accept me for who I am, all of me, no reservations, no exceptions.
I’m going to preface this simply: Logic and Rational do not apply to the mentally ill mind. If you think you can reason a mentally ill person out of one of their episodes (Depression, Panic, Flashbacks, Suicidal Ideations, Homicidal Ideations, Triggers, Psychosis, Catatonia, and the list goes on.) then you are horribly mistaken. In fact, that mentality could even cause more harm or even push the ill person past their limit. It is however notable that there are some, albeit few, exceptions to this rule. However, unless you know the sufferer well enough to know that it won’t make them worse, it could still trigger them. Primarily this all needs to be looked at on an individual basis, some people respond better to some other people. Some only have one person who can “snap them out of it.” For some people, that person is different based on the situation and especially based on the trigger. Usually it’s not something difficult for that one person to get the sufferer out of their state, it’s just a matter of knowing what triggered them. You must always be mindful of what you say within earshot of someone in an episode, even unintended, that can be an additional trigger. Remember, the best thing that you can do is to keep the person from harming themselves, harming others and to keep reassuring them with some affirmation (that they’re loved, that you’re all there for them, that you’re worried about them) anything that shows a connection to the sufferer. The less isolated they feel, the less likely that they will hurt themselves or others. I cannot stress enough, the sufferer is not rational and not logical. The worst thing you can do is to make them feel guilty or that it is in any way their fault. If someone around you has an episode, the chances of it being self induced are slim to none. So blaming the victim is not just wrong, if will worsen their condition. Even if blame is placed after the sufferer is out of the episode. These people are not selfish and are most likely hurting many times more than you could possibly hurt. Additionally, the sufferer almost always blames themselves for anything that may have happened, even knowing that it was not in their control. So making them feel guilty when they’re already blaming themselves will also just worsen the situation. People suffering from any chronic mental illness and/or childhood or adult traumas. Physical disorders count as well, but they tend to get relatively more sympathy and understanding. The mentally ill are treated like they create all the situations that happen to them, as if they intentionally want to destroy their own lives and relationships. If you don’t have a chronic mental disorder, think thrice (not just twice) before you place judgment. And be careful, to you, your judgements are just that, to someone mentally ill, your judgements are interpreted as a complete condemnation of themself. As illogical and irrational as it sounds, it is illogical and irrational. You can’t apply logic and rationality to the mind of someone with a severe mental illness, it will backfire.
This is not directed at anyone specific but as a public service announcement from one of the colorful 10%. I am a gay man and am only 1 of 10% of the population. I recognize that as a minority in a society that is only just learning to acknowledge their minorities, that my point of view will be misunderstood by most. Our society is Heteronormative and Heterocentric. But even saying that can be controversial, because what right does 10% have to question a society of 90%. But I digress. The purpose of my post is to inform the 90% about somethings:
1. Being gay is not a choice, we are born this way. And while I can’t speak for our female allies, I can say that being a gay male has been shown to be genetically determined. The “gay gene” is actually a naturally occurring and functional mutation on the X chromosome of gay males. Further proof of this is that biochemically, gay males produce a hormone that straight males do not. And it’s the female hormone known as Progesterone. But don’t mistake the fact that we’re still male and still have and produce all the same hormones as straight males. We just produce an extra one.
2. The reason for me bringing this up is not just to highlight the difference, but also the sameness that gay men have with straight men. Just because we’re gay, in this I am speaking of all gay people, does not mean that we are automatically infertile or Sterile. This also means that just because we are not driven to be with the opposite sex, does not in any way mean that we somehow have lost or relinquished our natural human instinct to procreate and have our own progeny (children of our own blood) or to have a desire to parent. Meaning Maternal and Paternal instincts. All still there. That’s not to say that many gay people aren’t socially conscious and as a result would rather adopt the many orphaned children out there, sacrificing their own drive to have children of their own blood. But that’s not all of us.
3. While, like I said above, many gay people opt to adopt from the overflowing numbers of orphans domestically and abroad. That is not the only avenue available to us. Like I said above, we are by no means infertile or sterile, so there is surrogacy available to us. Unfortunately since that involves the use of In-Vitro Fertilization (unless the gay people involved are open minded enough to do it the “old fashioned” way), this avenue is often only open to those with considerable resources at their disposal. But still, just because a gay man doesn’t have a woman or a Lesbian doesn’t have a man, means nothing, and to say so leads to my fourth and final point.
4. You don’t have to use a gay slur or physically assault a gay person to be homophobic. You just need to regard us, in any way, as less than you. If you do, then congratulations, you’re a homophobe. This is said not to shock or insult, but to make you think about what you say, and how you you say it, before you say it. None of us are perfect and I suspect that many people who don’t realize this fact pride themselves in how homophobic that they are not. So if a gay person points something like this out to you, no matter how much you feel that you are not a homophobe, you don’t really have a place or right to be offended or insulted by that gay person. If you’re not gay yourself then you can’t possibly understand how that gay person is feeling. You can sympathize, you can care, you can be compassionate (and please be so as much as possible, it is appreciated). But you cannot know, nor can you possibly feel the same.
Again, this is not directed at any individual but meant simply as a public service announcement to those of you who never knew.
Overcast Clouds, 70°F
Neither do I, handle lies. But no one has told me what happened that day. No one even offered. As much as they say that they’re scared for me, I still think they’re scared of me, for me for how I could harm myself. But just like I said that day, guilt. Maybe it’s my severe mistrust. You lost it when you went back to Chris after Harrisburg, you’re regaining it. Becci, unintentionally, abandoned me and she’s been far more intolerant of me than she used to be. And I’m still getting to know Joe. He welcomes me in in one breath and violently pushes me away in the next. I know that they have to walk on eggshells for fear that I’ll blow up. I’m a ticking time bomb. But at the same time I’m walking on eggshells, exactly like my childhood, they don’t realize, or care, or simply can’t handle that they, unintentionally triggered 3 weeks ago by making me relive that trauma, that you witnessed first hand. To them I’m just making it all about myself. But I wasn’t in so much pain before then. It also doesn’t help that rather than being kinder, they’ve become more hostile, to me, in my perception, I’m willing to admit that it might be a delusion, but at least with some basis in fact. Please don’t share this. Other than Heidi Morgan or Kristen Clark (married now), you’re the only one who really understands the real consequences of what happened. I’m going to share this with Stehman as well.
Scattered Clouds, 64°F
it’s ok if you don’t have a lot to say. I do, but I’m not saying a word unless wanted. You’re right about me pushing, and Joe’s right about me caring too much. I do care too much, which is why all of this hurts, and why I’ve been fighting so hard for the whole group. I basically replaced Greg and Rachel with you guys, because they have far too much resentment that they refuse to work through. So to me, and I didn’t make this decision lightly, they’re lost causes. I still love them. But if I had to chose between them and you guys, you guys win. So when I say that you’re acting just like my family or siblings, please realize that that is not a compliment, it’s a warning. It’s agony to me when I feel like I’m being treated the same way as my family did. Because I chose you over my family of blood. I actually need family, a group of people who will always be there for and with me, who I never have to fear that they will harm me, who I never have to question what they say because how they say it says the opposite, who always treats me with respect, who doesn’t look down on me, and who can take accountability for their own actions. I’m sorry that I’m so much to deal with, I admit that it’s true. I’m not in any way discounting any of you traumas, but have you even stopped to think that I have them too, and they’re one of my triggers. Some of you might not need love or connection as much as I do, or even need it at all. But I’m a compassionate person, by nature I express myself with love. But that also means that I need an abundant supply of it. I recognize that I will probably never, in the rest of this life, receive the total amount of love that I need. Maybe if I can start loving myself, but just doing so, may be easy for you, but I’ve had a lifetime of being told, in one way or another, that I’m too much, I can’t be deal with you (now or ever), it’s all in my head (imagination, not true mental disorder), get over it, just stop caring so much. Any of that sound familiar? I can say, personally, that I have done my best to never utter any of those words to anyone, because I know how much damage they did to me.
I’m done hearing, "boo hoo Phil," or that I’m making it out to be all about me. I have never once questioned, criticized, berated, or been anything but supportive and present, for every one of you. Because I enjoy helping others, that’s the compassion. I’m sorry that none of you are are strong enough to deal with my psyche or issues. I’m not challenging your strength in other areas, just in dealing with the severely mentally ill.
Clear Sky, 66°F
well yeah, I just know that it didn’t work. I’m still lost as how to reconcile everyone’s differences. Becci’s instability, abusive environment, constant fear of her children being taken and feelings of isolation. Harley and her own severe anxiety, marriage problems, and her own children. You with the shitty situation that you’re living in, back home, with the parent who started all of your abuse, in a far weaker state because of the PNES, Cavernomae, Bloody Clots (why didn’t you tell me) and tumors (also why didn’t you tell me) and your willingness to just cut people out of your life without warning. Joe’s insecurities with the abuse he’s been put through, not just as a child but continuing through adulthood, the inherent mistrust that that leads to,
Overcast Clouds, 68°F
Mel, I really feel like I destroyed everything this weekend. I’m thinking more clearly, and I know that you all love me, or did at that time. But I’m looking back and realizing how difficult to deal with my psyche is. I keep going to the fact that it was too much, for all of you. And I know that makes me difficult to deal with. And I gladly deal with all of your issues. I enjoy doing it, not because I like to meddle, but because I get satisfaction from helping those that I love. But now, I don’t know who I have to turn to. It should be Stehman, and he handles it as best as he can. But ultimately none of you are strong enough, mentally, to help me. This is why I feel isolated. I know it’s too much for you all. I know that I’m being segregated out for all your safety, and my sanity. I agree with the idea of working on individual relationships on my end. My fear is that there is no guarantee of the other valuing me the same that I value them. Yes, I know that that just is what it is. But, I guess, to me, that’s acceptable for acquantiences but not to family, especially à soul family. Of course we will get annoyed at each other, and we will have to learn to listen and talk to each other. But, in my belief, love still must be universal and unconditional. Otherwise, is it really a family. This is a lot. And I’ve expressed pièces of my concerns to different people. But the truth is that I have a lot of concerns, and this is because I’m doing as you and Joe instructed, to stop being in the gray all the time. So I’m seeing things as one way or the other without any in-between. There’s also something else based on Joe’s reading of me. But that’s something else. I’m sorry if this is too much. I’ll probably just put this in my journal and never send it. Or, when I feel that you are all ready to accept what I have to say, then I’ll tell you all. But by then, I hope that all this is irrelevant.
Pain doesn’t have to be physical
Pain doesn’t have to be seen
Pain can’t always be measured
Pain can’t always be treated
Pain can’t always be explained
Pain can be mental
Pain can be psychic
Pain can be hidden
Pain can be incurable
Pain can be localized; or it can be systemic
All forms of pain are debilitating
All forms of pain cause damage
Everyone reacts differently, even to the same type of pain
But most importantly, everyone is in some form of pain.
I am in pain.