Health and Fitness

Mental Disorders and Why Ignorance Is Bliss….Until It Kills You

If I had a cast on my leg and some crutches, it would be obvious to you that I am injured.

If I made my way around life attached to a wheelchair, with my pant legs hanging where limbs did not, you would allow me to be disabled in peace.

If I walked with a cane, clicking a path ahead of my one foot in front of the other, I imagine that you would move out of my way to allow me a little extra space and some consideration.

But since I don’t have a disability that others can see, some think I have no disability at all.

Because I do not wear an eye patch, or require medical equipment or a slanted ramp to enter a building, I am okay, just like the rest of you think you are.

If you only knew how wrong you were.

If you only knew how wrong I wish I was.

I’ve been accused of ‘accepting’ that I have a mental disorder as if ignoring these feelings will make them magically go away.

In this logic, the behavior is only there because I ‘think’ its there, and not in reverse, it is there but I don’t ‘think’ its there could be the case as well. I get lost thinking sometimes.

I used to think that ignoring the feelings would make them not affect me.

As long as I wasn’t behaving based on what my mind was telling me to do then I was ‘fine’, I’ll just ignore the fact that my mind was telling things that other people may not consider healthy.

But since I never told anyone, it was easy for you all to play along, at least in my mind it was.

I ignore the fact that the feelings I have churning around inside of me are violent and angry and they cause me to become so enraged that I think myself capable of killing others at any given moment, and for no good reason.

I make no mention of the fact that I can devise ways and reasons and meanings in my head that speak to some motivation within me to ‘do things’ that may not be good for myself and others.

My sudden feelings of hatred for the people I love scared me.

Because what would happen to them if I couldn’t control what I felt inside? What would happen to me?

I ignored my feelings when those feelings began to make a great argument for all the perfectly logical reasons I should jump out of a window while living in a high rise apartment on Roseville Ave.

I ignored those feelings when they told me to set the sister of the man who raped me on fire so that she and her goon friends would stop gang jumping me because he and his friend were arrested and charged (but not convicted) of my rape.

I ignored the feelings and kept living.

I ignored the feelings inside my head when they told me that I should kill everyone in my foster home, since as my mother said, “no body wanted to be bothered with these kids if not for her charity”, and with my father’s sudden death I was nearly convinced the .22 I kept hidden in my room and a quick trip through the house with a pillow would solve the problem of ‘what would become of the kids that no one wants’.

What would become of them? I can fix this for everyone and no one has to hurt anymore.

I cried all night and paced the floor of my bedroom with the loaded gun in my hand as I battled my brain and her clear instructions of how I could alleviate the problems of society with the grace and empathy of a simple homicide/suicide.

I counted enough bullets for the house and had one leftover for myself. I wondered how long it would take for them to find us; this morning would have been our last as a family, because we are a family and I was going to protect us from the un-wanted-ness my mother spoke so often of.

At some point exhaustion took me.

I woke up the next day and as I floated through the house in a manic blur, I saw my little sister’s smiling face and I was happy to see it, and I hoped I had made the right decision by allowing us all to live…even if no one wanted us.

I often regretted the choice I made, at least for myself.

No one knows how much I exercised restraint that night so long ago, and any many, many, many nights similar to that one.

You say I should ignore these things, and I do ignore the voices and instructions. If you don’t count the notes of ‘ideas’ that I am constantly scribbling down to develop at a later date of which will never ever realistically arrive.

The nicer people say that I am ‘creative, intelligent and eccentric’, which sounds better than obsessive compulsive, loopy or as the folks like to say, “thinking I’m better” than everyone else because I process information alarmingly fast and speak with no filter.

I ignore the colors, the screams, the sounds, the rage and the hostility and the hyper sexuality.

If you don’t count the nightmares that I have every night, the wash of emotion that takes me over when I hear certain music or the overwhelming need to scream when I view certain artwork, than yes, I’m perfectly fine.

Colors may make me angry and some music may make me want to maim.

The amount of time it takes for my mind to process some assault on my senses is the amount of time it takes for me to have the potential to become financially bankrupt, contract HIV, fall head first into a raging drug addiction or run screaming into the path of a moving train as an attempt to gain some much needed quiet time.

I ignore the fact that I have almost no control over my environment, nor my body’s emotional reaction to it. I live awash in a type of violation to my soul that can’t be explained.

I ignore the feelings of hatred for myself and others. I talk to you even though I feel like you are disgusted by me.

I speak with a low voice and do not offer much to the conversation; I ask about you and offer the illusion of intimate exchange. But how much do you really know about me?

My feelings of insecurity boss me around, my nervousness and anxiety from being around people make me appear uncomfortable, which then makes you appear uncomfortable.

I continue to attempt to remain in the company of humans, although it physically hurts me to do so sometimes.

The things you say, the things you do, the way you treat each other makes me never to want to come near you again.

But I am forced to.

I extend my hand in friendship even though I know you are, like other ‘normal’ people, too abrasive, needlessly cruel and insensitive to people unlike you and our involvement in friendship does not really offer me anything beneficial.

I ignore my disdain because it’s a part of what’s ‘all in my head’ and not because you really earned it, or so I tell myself.

I ignore the anxiety that I feel every morning when I open my eyes and realize, begrudgingly, that I am alive, yet again.

I ignore the fear I feel when I have to leave the house each day and make my way to the serenity of my cubicle. Headphones turned up to tune you out, eyes watery and cheeks strained from weeping while I wait for my commuter bus.

My “good morning” consists of the obsessive anxiety I feel for fear that my child and I will be homeless even though I’m considered to be very hood rich. Before, until I wasn’t, and now I worry and pace and consider suicide still.

I ignore the obsessive sporadically occurring bits of random, minutiae of senseless details that meld together on their own and capture my mind’s attention which then causes me to cycle faster and faster and faster until thoughts smear and drip into a Kayne West sample with Cyndi Lauper yelling “She Bop” over and over and over and over.

Sometimes the brain re-mixes are dope. I wish you could hear them.

I ignore the need to run away from everyone and everything, far enough away to whatever place I can reach, where there is peace and quiet.

Drugs, graveyards, empty public parks where I watch people get robbed from a great vantage point, a top random rooftops and now my own home.

I can’t be here too long, so I come and go as often as possible.

I ignore the feeling when I refuse to succumb to my desire to fall away from civilization when I actually do answer your call, or text you back or choose to open my front door when you ask that I open it to allow you to see me long enough to make sure that ‘I’m okay in there’.

“intersections scare me……..tall buildings dare me”

I ignore the need to hurt you because I perceive you as hurting me, or you did purposely hurt me, or I think you want to hurt me in the future, or you tried to hurt me for reasons I do know and ones that I made up in my head.

When I want to hurt someone, its much easier to turn that hatred in on myself, rather than on you.

No need to acknowledged the cuts, cigarette burn marks and bruises on my writs, arms and legs.

Just keep ignoring me, it’s easy, I do it all the time.

I ignore the mind noise and instead keep it contained in my head. I do this to protect you all from it, I’m strong enough to fight it alone and so I have all these years.

If the monster that lived in my head wanted blood; I offered myself up as a sacrifice.

I distrustfully watch you all as you happily invite me into the fray where we joyously hold hands while we all know something is wrong with Tracy, but we all just ignore it.

If only I could explain to them how happy I was to have discovered that I have a disorder and not that I’m just broken, fucked up or imagining what’s going on inside my mind.

My disorder has a name.

Bipolar Disorder.

And you can ignore it all you want, but sometimes I just can’t. And whether you believe it or not, and whether you can handle it or not, this is what I live with and I refuse to ignore it any longer.

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