I am quite aware that my pain over this break up with “The Collector” and a death of a family friend, a new job, and the distance between Clyde and I, unusual behavior being displayed by family members towards me were mere symptoms bringing every thing to the surface. I envy Forrest for his confident belief that
“I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is.”
I haven’t a clue what it looks like, and in this hole, my mother gave me a great gift by saying,
“Katie, you always represent this family’s greatest fears.”
There began my search in the self help section, Thelma laughing at my relentless search to diagnose myself, the books were stacked high, my conclusion that after many self quizzes, Narcissism, Bipolar disorder, and a few others, maybe I had nailed it down to three but it was exhausting work because if I had split personality disorder, would the other personalities even know?
Divorcee suggested PMS.
That brought up the possibility of PMDD, the mood disorder from PMS that I saw once on those commercials of hugging couples, which makes no sense at all to me. I put that in the “MAYBE” column, certain if I had PMDD, no man was going to be hugging me, and I sure as hell would not be soul gazing.
So, after earnest prayer, existing the Circus, I entered counseling, a whole blog in itself, seeing as my most favorite therapist ever, a tall skinny woman with no emotion and all logic, had me sell items on ebay for her, meeting me in the parking lot to pass over diamond bracelets and earrings, bicycle helmets and leather jackets, only to call me when listed to have me bring them all back, a game we played because she felt sorry for me not being able to afford payments.
I just saw her the last time, maybe a year ago, after moving many offices and firing every assistant, her eyes tired and sad, I helped her move when she finally opened up to me.
It took my psychologist this long to tell me what was going on?
Geez. She said she just couldn’t do it, that she was being put on restriction by the difficult court system. So unfair, I thought.
She said she had been summoned for trial for having an inappropriate relationship with another female patient.
Now are you telling me…all these were not said out loud but in fast stormy memories in my brain, the sitting in her floor putting stamps on envelopes, the returned items, the never having paid a bit of money, her referring to me as her favorite lost child struck a chord.
My therapist was sick.
Um, maybe I didn’t need medication for ADD, and I didn’t care if I did, the wheelies in the parking lot on my way out said I had broken up, felt sorry for her, knew deep down she is a really sweet person, but the leaving said it all.
I knew I HAD PROBLEMS, but therapists were a lot like people out of jail or AA, I learned quick you need to watch your back.
This therapist is different, but you never know, since my family counselor growing up told my mom everything I had said, I had learned later that is what Kat’s favorite word “inappropriate” would apply and so this lady was an act of desperation, and I decided she probably needed a proper checklist.
This was going to be easy, or so I thought, hoping to hand over my research, diagnosis, and tell her payment plans only, no barter or ebay sales allowed, and maybe if she was legit, she’d pee in a cup or offer a lie detector exam, the proof maybe I had not just wasted MY money on the quack, not the other way around.
People say I have no logic. Please.
She was old, but jolly old, the kind old, with deep blue trusting eyes and little wrinkles. I wondered if she would adopt me.
It took ten seconds of me giving my case, all the facts for her to stop me.
“So, you are diagnosing yourself so your family will feel better dear?” Hmm. I squirmed. I felt strategic combat here, my narcissism made me see that my bipolar actions made me crazy, that ADD made me forget that I was Manic Depressive, the part of me that makes this shit up.
“Yes.” I said, thinking this was the easiest 75 bucks this nice lady ever got. So, I gave her a little back history, to make it easier, of course, to see what a nut job I am.
I found out that Narcissists don’t believe they are which makes them indeed Narcissistic, that manics can stay up for weeks, which kinda blew it all, seeing as I stayed up two nights in a row sometimes in school, have creative highs and crash lows, but I was missing something obvious. I had not come out of the bedroom in different outfits and makeup, and found that smoking wasn’t a symptom of bipolar behavior, but a poor choice, and so my confusion perhaps was related to “white noise” a psychological word I had impressed myself in knowing, out of a book I couldn’t pay for, but took notes on anyway.
She laughed in the sweet way. The way grandmas do on t.v.
She suggested homework, affirmations, and so yeah, yeah, yeah, I have a father who sends hate mail and stalks, the occasional bat is needed at the door on Easter, but really lady, you suggest I have boundary issues, ME?
Wait a second. Confusion turned to dizziness now, as I was calmly told that children of chaos, God forbid one who leaves dead roses in the mailbox, did not have intuition but were feeling all the emotions of people around them, a safeguard to protect others but ultimately myself, from pain and anxiety.
She asked slowly, and again, why did I need my family to believe I had a mental illness?
She is good, I tell ya.
The spot in my stomach got it, hard, and the tears came up my throat, which I choked them back, because I said, “I make them afraid. They think I will end up like my father.”
The dam broke.
I saw my problem in clear patterns, but to change them would to be going up against my greatest fears, and in fact, my fear has been justified.
I have been terrified, begging God for a disease rather than stand up for my self, a sad little girl who thought being separate wasn’t love, but finding no, it is.
To love myself is to be separate in identity to my own mother, to not help others afraid, to not take on the role of “problem child” wouldn’t that be betraying myself?
Her silence gave me my own answer.
No. Sometimes it is in changing oneself, it not even being personal, family dynamics will shift and respond in great resistance.
With my family, she warned, especially my mom, had most definitely a case of Post Traumatic Stress syndrome, I believe, of course the one I feel hit my heart like a brick is the very one I can’t remember, haven’t memorized like a fact or marked down in the Barnes N Noble, my caffeine addiction a factor I noted to write down to the “Bipolar” column.
I don’t know what love is yet, but I know it is okay now to be feared, well my mind says this, my heart breaks and hair stands up in the process, so I am terrified, trying to duct tape my mind and soul together as I watch my relationships disappear around me.
My greatest fear has happened.
I may lose everything to find myself.
I may be an orphan to feel whole.
I may have boundaries, but no one to practice them with, that in the end, just like my father, I will be abandoned, and not only that,
but it will be all my fault.
I want it back, the ebay saleswoman, who never brought up boundaries, and I wonder why. Helllooooo.
Perhaps I needed her pain too, as if I could save even a therapist, I could avoid the weight of my life, a crashing building with only my self to hold on to, and so today, I will read the book the wisdom woman said, again, ask God for help, just for today, and remember that always, truth sets me free, and that the truth is, to be whole is all I ever wanted, to not hurt people is my fear but not my responsibility, that nothing comes from elephants, not rocking boats, and people who have whistles but never use them.
It is time to call out the elephant, rock the boat, blow the whistle, and remain. Remain in hope that love will set me free.
Maybe if I love after even all of this, something will be left for Kat and Lola to be proud of. I dedicate this journey to them, the only reasons I have to push through the storm, to believe in magic, gifts my spirit can’t see, to heal the splintered pieces of me.