I came across an interesting little article while doing some reading on bipolar. You can read the full article HERE. The jist of it was that people who have what is known as "early onset bipolar disorder" tend to have no sense of self or identity. They use a lot of big words and medical mumbo jumbo, but from what I understood of it I can totally see this in myself. I was diagnosed with "manic depression" at the age of 13 and put on antidepressants/anti-psychotics meds.
One thing that I do that pisses people off is copy them. I take on mannerisms of the person in front of me. Maybe they pronounce words in a particular way or have some unique hand movement when they talk. Without even realizing it, I just start doing it too. I can do it as well as the person. Even mimicking accents, I am from the south and use to have a very pronounced southern accent. If you met me today, you would never be able to figure out where I am from based upon my speech. People think I am making fun of them, but in reality I think I subconsciously just pick up traits I see in others. I often don't know what is acceptable. What is me. What is bipolar. What is normal. I have no idea about acceptable social boundaries. When are people just being "polite" vs. being "honest". I have no idea what reaction is expected of me when I am around people so when I see someone doing something and people aren't flinging poo at them I just do that. At least this is the explanation I have come up with.
For a very long time I honestly didn't even realize I was "crazy". I accepted my behavior as "normal". Even though my life was in constant chaos and turmoil I blamed others. The father who abused me. The mother who abandoned me. The ex who broke me. I blamed everyone around me. I took no responsibility for my life or my actions. Since I have started to realize that I do have a problem. A fixable problem. Maybe it can't be taken away totally but it isn't just beyond my control. I can change me. I can be a better me. Since making these realizations, I have been slowly figuring out what is me and what isn't. Slowly taking on my own traits. I still feel the pull to be "like others". To copy them. To just do what they are doing, but now I try to pull back whenever I feel this. To take a moment and figure out exactly what it is I want. What I actually feel instead of just copying what I see from the person in front of me.
The hardest part of finding me is realizing the life I have now is not necessarily the life I want but the one I am sort of "stuck with". I love my husband, but I feel suffocated at times. I want to do so much and if I just walked away from him, I could do every single thing I wanted except I don't really want to walk away. There are parts of my life with him that I want, but there are parts I can't stand. I feel torn between running and remaining. Finding the balance of a life that was created inside of chaos is extremely difficult. Maybe once I figure out who I am and what it is I want then the answers will become clearer, but for now I am still searching. Still figuring out what is me and what is the reflection of another.