When I was in the hospital, this 20 year old girl would walk around sometimes and say,
” I feel so manic-y! I must’ve had too much sugar in my coffee this morning!” As she spoke, her arms smacked her side up and down, up and down, like a baby bird trying to figure out what to do with it’s wings. She would walk around really fast and chat it up with anyone who would listen. ” I had too much sugar! I’m on a sugar high! ”
Needless to say, after about 20 minutes, I was thinking to myself that she must be wanting attention. Even though I’m bipolar myself, I have never been around a group of other people with mood disorders. Much less 20 of them.
Later on that day, I noticed Chatty Cathy was awfully quiet. She moped around and hardly said a word. The look on her face read, “Leave me the fuck alone”.
Looking back, I’m a little ashamed of myself for thinking that she just wanted attention. Why the hell would she be in that place if she just wanted attention? The reason she was there was because she was suicidal. She IS bipolar. This is what bipolar people do. Duh.
Now that I’m on new meds, I am constantly monitoring myself.
“Am I talking too fast?”
“Did I paint my bedroom yesterday because of manic energy or is that just me? I know I am not a lazy person and I can accomplish things without being manic. Right?”
“Am I getting irritable? Is it mania or is it because that girl is being an asshole?”
“If I’m irritable because of mania, does that mean depression is coming?”
“I’m feeling kinda crappy this morning. Is that depression coming on?”
This whole dialogue in my head is tiresome and irritating. I don’t want to think about these things, and I guess it irritated me to see with my own eyes someone else who was behaving in a way that I am terrified that I might or have acted. That I could possibly irritate people with behaviors that are weird and annoying, and beyond my control. What if people think I am just wanting attention? Get the smallest violin out, right? That’s kind of stupid when I think about how worried I am about how people think about me.
Today, I am jumping headfirst into EMDR to help me not worry so much about offending people. Well, maybe not jumping. More like, head down, slowly shuffling towards my therapist, like a dog who’s about to receive his punishment for chewing up Dad’s shoes.
My grandparents emotionally abused me for years. I have struggled with low self-esteem for over 25 years. I can’t say the words, “I am a good person” out loud without choking on the words, crying, and nausea. The pit of my stomach feels twisted, and the twisting sensation moves up into my throat causing me to gag. This is PTSD. I know this now.
I hope that dealing with this in therapy will help me not worry about what people think of me so much. Constantly worrying whether you’ve hurt someone’s feelings, offended someone, pissed someone off, been irritating or looked stupid, thoughtless, selfish, and hurtful, can make a person feel pretty bad about themselves. It causes me a lot of anxiety.
According to my grandparents, I did all of those things to them, and I didn’t even know it until I was attacked verbally about my latest offense. The worst one of all was that I was killing them because of my selfishness. My behavior was causing them so much stress that they were literally going to die, and it would be my fault. Evidently, according to them, I had that kind of power. Who knew?
The next thing we’ll probably work on today was the constant reminder from my grandmother of how I used to make my mother cry before she died. I caused my mom so much pain when I was in my early teens that evidently, she would go to my grandmother and cry. I was a little bitch when I was 13 and 14 and going through that hormone thing, and my grandparents never let me forget it. Thankfully, I got over that phase before they did die. I remember them saying when my brother went through it, “It’s just a phase, his sister went through it too”. I still feel bad however, when I think about how I caused them pain and made them cry. I tell myself that it was normal, but my grandparents just drove the guilt home.
Wish me luck today when I go to EMDR. My goal is to be able to confidently say,
“I am a good person!”