My sister-in-law, Shirley and I laughed our heads off the other week when she told me of the time she had to write a paper on “why?” for a course she was taking. When each student had finished their scenario they could leave.
A few moments later, Shirley slid out of her chair, turned in her paper and strutted out the door ignoring the wide-eyed stares as if she had suddenly grown another head.
In two lines, she wrote:
Because . . .
And she got an A!
If only the answers to all our why’s were so simple.
Sadly, though, they’re not.
Like when we moved in the house we live in now, why did I sit on the floor balling my eyes out? Why did I get so enraged and physically ill when the neighbor’s dog kept me awake barking all night? Why did my insides explode at the sound of loud music, dirt bikes, and ATV’s racing through the neighborhood? Why did I feel so exposed and afraid, like I was living in a house without walls? Why did I want to move every waking moment of every day?
Why did I cry every day to and from my new job and could’t sleep a wink night after night till I finally quit and took a job working at home?
Why did the empty nest syndrome suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks although my son had already left home and been married for several years? Why did I wear his old, thread bare shirts he left behind for weeks on end?
Why did I always feel like a legion of spoiled brats were kicking and screaming inside me and I couldn’t hear myself think or figure out which voice was mine? Why did I cry all the time? Why did I feel like I was on a never-ending ferris wheel of high’s and low’s? Why did my heart feel like it was being slaughtered with a chainsaw?
Why did I burn with uncontrollable rage? Why did I want to punch the world in it’s hideous, grimacing face?
Because . . .
My brain is twisted, like looking through a distorted mirror in a fun house minus the fun. And when your brain is twisted, you see things that aren’t there. You hear things no one said. You feel things that don’t even make sense to you or anyone else.
And it’s a living hell.
If I could unzip my skin and expose my soul you’d see the bloody bandages of self-destruction scattered around, and the walls and barbed-wire fences I built. You’d see the blood, sweat, and tears of trying to fit in, to belong, to understand what I did so wrong that the whole world turned against me. Then, you will only see a glimpse of the pain I’ve endured before I even started first grade.
Although I’ve been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, it doesn’t make it any better. It’s a bit comforting knowing there’s a name for it, but medication is expensive and often makes my symptoms worse instead of better. And sometimes if the medication works, I can’t tolerate the side-effects. Counseling in the past helped tremendously, but nothing of late helps me at all. However, I have an appointment with a new doctor who specializes in BPD.
Maybe help is on the way.
Time will tell.
My weaknesses have made me strong . . . even tough. “Badass mama” my son jokingly calls me. Though it took nearly a lifetime, I’ve finally embraced my God-given Choleric/Melancholy temperament and stopped pretending to be the gentle, easy-going Phlegmatic like my brother and like my mother tried forcing me to be.
It’s been a long, tough battle I fear I will never win on this earth. But, through it all, I’ve learned to laugh at myself . . . one of my many coping mechanisms. Even after slamming the door and bawling my eyes out for however long it takes for me to become human again, I can laugh.
Well, after a day or two.
Okay, at least in the same year!
Because . . .