The Hidden Truth

Previously, I have touched on the fact that I am very functional and often have a hard time convincing people that I am truly sick.  I am very good at hiding things.

TRIGGERS AHEAD!!!

Most of the time: I am scared, I am weak, I am useless, I hate myself, I am unloved, I am a freak,  I am unworthy of the people in my life, I don’t belong, I am going to die alone, I am unworthy of love, I am completely worthless, and it wouldn’t matter if I were no longer here.

I bet none of you knew all of that.  And that’s the way I live.  That’s why, “But you don’t look sick,” is what I hear from so many people in my life.  I even hide from myself.  It often surprises even me when I hit the wall and have to admit myself or get an urgent appointment with my doctor or therapist.  Don’t get me wrong, medications help me enormously.  I think if people knew how much I hide, they would worry more.  That’s not why I am writing this, by the way.

I was talking to one of my friends last night when the concept of my bipolar came up.  He told me I needed to write this post…for real.

I am firmly of the belief that, even though I am better at hiding it, my bipolar is getting worse/stronger.  Even though I am doing better on this medication combination and I do feel more level, I find myself feeling disconnected and isolated.  I know.  I talk about my friends and how much they love me all the time.  Just because they love me for who I am doesn’t mean I do.

I have mentioned before that I had a not-so-pretty childhood and young adulthood.  The funny thing is that my family doesn’t remember things the way I do.  So which is reality?  If my memories can’t be trusted, how can I trust anything?  How can I trust the way I feel if it’s based off those memories?

In so many ways, I wear masks.  And often, I wear more than one at a time.  I wear a smile until I am around close friends, then I can show them a sliver of the truth.

But beneath all those masks, no one knows how often I envision being in a massive car wreck when I drive.  No one knows how often I think about just letting go and letting that near-miss happen, letting my car drift into the one next to me at 70 miles an hour.  That would make for a spectacular wreck.  Do I know why I think about these things?  Not really.  It’s nothing I can explain.  It probably has something to do with the three wrecks I have been in, but I don’t know what the connection is.  The funny thing is that I know there’s no guarantee that I would die.  I could just end up maimed.

But sometimes I think that wouldn’t be so bad.  Maybe I would become a stronger person that way.  You always read about people that are in horrific accidents coming back stronger and more capable.  Since I am weak, useless, and worthless now, what’s the risk?  Either I die and put the people around me out of their misery (because I often feel like I am nothing but a burden to the people around me), or I’m hurt and I have a new chance at life.

So many people would say that I can make my own new chance.  I don’t feel capable of that. I honestly don’t feel capable of anything at all half the time.  But I fake it well.

You know the phrase, “Fake it ’til you make it?”  I hate it.  I know there are situations and people that it works for, but there are so many of us faking it straight into our own private hell.  I have faked it so well that my doctors have no idea of what’s underneath my masks.  Granted, I don’t show them, but then again, I often don’t show me, either.

My emotions feel like this huge pool of dreams and hatred that’s far away from me.  They keep trying to get to me, but I put up more and more barricades.  Occasionally, they get through those barricades and I am swept under the oily, sticky self-hatred that the thin, watery dreams just can’t wash away.  That’s when I end up in the hospital, when I have the hardest time functioning, and when my self-hatred is most apparent.

By the way, for those that are wondering, that distance between me and my emotions has been there longer than my bipolar.  I remember being in fourth grade and crying because I was so hurt by what someone else said.  My memories get jumbled here and I can’t quite remember if what I think happened really did.  I was crying and a male (I can’t remember boy or adult, just older than I was) came and told me that I couldn’t let those others see me cry.  It would just make things worse for me.  I needed to be strong and not show them that they were hurting me.  It certainly didn’t happen overnight, but I think that’s when I really started building those barricades.  I was a sensitive child who wrote poetry and stories.  I wanted to draw (although I was told I couldn’t draw just because my brain and my hand weren’t on the same page yet).  But I was being told in so many ways that it wasn’t safe for me to be a dreamer, an artist, or a sensitive person.

So I started hiding that part of myself.  As a matter of fact, I hid that part of myself so well, I forgot about it too.  The only part of it I kept was the writing.  Probably because it was the most “okay” of my artistic pursuits.  And it was only a hobby.  So my emotions and I were already not on a friendly basis when I hit puberty at 11/12.  And just to be fun, let’s throw bipolar disorder on the bonfire of confusion in my head and heart.  Maybe that’s why the meds work, but I’m still so fucked up.  I don’t know.  I do know all of this is why I started wearing masks.

The funny thing is that I remember only glimpses of my life at the time.  Granted, they are mostly negative, but that is what our brains remember best. [FYI, I am having a really hard time not going off on tangents while I write this.  But I am trying to stay with the hard truths.]  And I’m not sure I always remember things accurately.  I might be making some of this up.  But it’s now my reality, whether it happened the way I remember or not.

My family (btw, I am not condemning them for this, just showing) doesn’t remember things the same way I do.  We remember some things similarly (it will never be identical between different people), but others, they don’t remember at all.  I expect not to remember things because my memory seems to work a little differently and there are large chunks of my life I don’t remember.  It doesn’t bother me when they bring up a memory and I have no recollection.  On the other hand, when I bring up one of my memories and they have no idea what I am talking about, it seriously freaks me out.  I have to wonder if this memory is something I made up completely.  And what does that tell me about myself?  How can I not be a freak if the memories I have based my life and my personality on aren’t real?

So that’s one more mask to wear.

I have no clue how coherent any of that is.  I’m not sure I said what I meant to say at all.  I also can’t tell you how true all of it is.  But it is my reality in this moment in time.

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~ by theartistryofthebipolarbrain on August 12, 2012.

13 Responses to “The Hidden Truth”

  1. Truth be told, I’m sure everyone feels like that at some point. Or at least I know I do. I get through it by trying to see myself through the eyes of the people who love me. Maybe if I can see what others see in me, I can learn to love myself for another day or two.

  2. “Mary”, the only name I know you by, pardon me for using it. I just have always looked at you as a friend not just a blogger. I have blogger friends and then there are a very few I feel are bloggers who I feel friendship toward. I have always felt that you wear masks. I would never think negatively for that because I did it for many years, most of my life. But I know there comes a point where that persona falls apart. I was always hoping that you felt comfortable taking your masks off while blogging on here where so many love you. But I respected the fact that you weren’t going to. I care anyway, and I feel for your being alone. I think “wow a beautiful and talented woman who can cook and loves it, alone. I have been praying that that won’t be the case for too long. I know you are independent but I have always felt that you really wanted someone there for you.
    Every since I have read your blog, I have found things to admire about you. Even feeling a little jealous at times. Not in an angry way though. Even when we disagree, I feel like I am arguing with a close friend.
    I know this post is hard for you. I am glad a friend talked you into writing it. believe me, you can share your feelings here. People will understand, be helpful and it will just help you to sort out things for yourself easier. This blogging has helped me to sort out all those things I didn’t know for sure ever happened, the things my parents act like they don’t believe me that it happened. I’m just saying , writing things down, looking back through your life through blogging helps so many forgotten things surface. Sometimes, not the most pleasant things. But it answers a lot of whys.
    I know I am rattling on trying to let you know that it is fine to open up here. I will always be ready to listen if you ever want to talk, my email is Carlarenee46@yahoo.com. I promise I won’t judge or try and give you a bunch of advice you don’t want lol. If I could magically do anything, it would be to take away those negative thoughts about yourself.

    • Thank you. You always take the time to respond to me and I cannot say how much I appreciate it. I’m sorry I don’t comment more often on yours, but often read from my phone, then forget to go online later to actually comment. Thank you for all of your kind words.

  3. I seriously want to hug you through the computer right now. That must have been a hell of a difficult post to write. As always, much of what you wrote here resonates with me, and I have great respect for the courage you have where I do not.

    I can only say not to question yourself if you can at all help it. From my experience of people not remembering things in the same way as I do (or even at all), I had to make the choice to be deliberately stubborn about such things, so as to protect myself from essentially giving others the power to convince me that I was wrong or imagining things. Being bipolar doesn’t automatically invalidate your memories, and you are NOT a freak under ANY circumstances. So there.

    Apologies for the ranting; I’m more protective of my internet friends than the people I know in real life! But you don’t deserve to feel like this, ever, and I just wanted to reinforce that point in writing, in case you’re ever in any doubt 🙂

    *Infinite hugs*

    -JC

    • Thank you for understanding how hard it can be to be honest. I often feel like this blog makes it look easy for me to speak to transparently. I know many people over the years have thought that the fact that I can talk about many of my issues means they must be “fixed” and no longer a problem. Honestly, just because I know that my past is a huge problem for me doesn’t mean I have a freaking clue as to how to deal with it. Talking/writing doesn’t seem to be all that useful for me. Anyway…I appreciate your words and caring. *hugs*

  4. My therapists have said I am the type of person who looks completely fine one week and by the next week is in the hospital, severely suicidal. I think maybe I understand at least some of what you are saying about masks and ‘faking it.’ There has to be someone that each of us can be REAL with — I mean, someone in addition to ourselves. If I don’t have that one person (and hopefully more), it is certain that at some point the feelings will sneak up on me and kick my ass. I am fortunate that I can be mostly honest with my partner and completely honest with my therapist, if I am willing to do so. Sometimes I’m not.
    I am glad you wrote this post and I hope that it will get easier for you to feel and share your feelings.

    • Thank you! I often lie to myself, which is a serious problem when you have issues like I do. I am glad you have people to share with. I am lucky to have that…if I can get the words out. Funny thing, I can speak for others better than I can speak for myself.

      • I have always found it much more comfortable to stand up for my children than to stand up for myself. Since they are now grown and my help is not needed so much, I am trying to give myself the same help I gave them in the past.

      • Good luck! I have a really hard time doing it. I also tend to start try8ng and then falling apart. 😦 Working on getting better about it isn’t easy, but I am doing it.

  5. With a few exceptions and minor alterations, you could be writing my own thoughts and feelings in this post. LIke everyone else who has commented, I think that it’s good that you are able to acknowledge what you term as “my reality at this moment in time.” If nothing else, I hope it makes you feel less alone – a most valuable gift, and one that you have just given to me by sharing what is going on for you right now.

  6. Keep writing. It’s so important. And hang in there.

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