We do for others because we don't know how to do for ourselves. We do for others because we feel it is the only way to make up for the damage we feel our craziness is doing to society. We do for others because it makes us feel good when nothing else in the whole world does, not even pills. We stay quiet and sit in the corner because others seem so much more needy. We require so little, you and I. A fact which does not sit well with others who would label us as too much to handle. When in truth, all those such as us really need is a bit of understanding, a bit of reciprocation, maybe a touch on the cheek once in a while and a sly wink. The rest of the world is needy. I'd rather be crazy. ~~Aimee

Monday, 15 August 2011

I Don't Know Who I Am

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.


lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog said...

My wife wrote something a few weeks ago about what it's like living with me. It;s on her blog called "The Anxiety of it All". It was all true and was actually kind of nice. I felt ashamed, offended, and angry when I read it. Why?

Because it made realize that even when things are good between us and I've decent to live with that day, she has the memory of me being a jackhole.

I feel suffocated too. It has nothing to do with my wife or the girls. It has to do with my head. I am never at peace.

This is why I relate to you so much. Its a double edged sword sticking through our conscious every damn day.

Kristy said...

I was dx.at 17 with early onset BP. How I can relate to your post especially with minimicing peoples accents or way of speaking . Part of that was I hated my southern accent from the states. I also tried to immulate successful people because I never knew how to be successful. I guess it goes back to the sense of self. Don't much like chaos though.

Kim said...

Again I have to digest this. I need to look into my life and see if the person I'm thinking of does this. She definitely does not let on any kind of self-awareness. I think if she just talked about it once in a while, let me feel what it must be like for her, I could feel more soft toward her. Instead she criticizes my parenting skills, compares my kids to her other grandkids (where my kids fall short) and I just end up wanting to be away from her again. In our 33 year relationship she has never once offered any insights to her behaviour. It makes it so hard.

Maasiyat said...

Lance, definitely a double edged sword. Actually I think remembering that I am a bitch is harder on me than my husband. I remember much more than he does which doesn't allow him to forget completely because I can't let go.

Kristy, I do that too. I want to be "accepted", successful, "good", all of those things but have no clue what they really are so whenever I see someone who is accepted I just do what they do, be what they are like what htey like and have no clue what it is I am or want.

Kim, I definitely feel for you. I have noticed that mine and my husband's relationship has improved drastically since I began sharing with him aspects of my illness. He understands more now. He still calls me on things but he at least understands it's not "personal". Not directed at him and can detach a little bit. But as always you take care of you. You're an amazing person and sometimes you have to distance yourself from it especially if the person refuses to even acknowledge the problem. YOu can only help yourself you can't force someone who isn't willing. The fact that you even try to understand even though the person isn't willing to admit anything just goes to show what an amazing person you are.


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