(the following was inspired by The Daddy Yo Dude Unfiltered’s piece entitled: Bent, not broken)
In the deepest depth of the darkness, I had days unlike any days I had ever experienced.
Days on which life swirled around me, flowed up, down, backward, east, west, and pulled me in every direction. A thought? What was that? Thoughts were for other people, other humans who could engage in meaningful conversation with each other, meaningful multi-syllabic conversation. Other people who did things besides dishes, diapers, breastfeeding, feeding dogs, cooking, cleaning…. other people who did things like shower, leave the house because they weren’t afraid of everyone else knowing their secrets. Other people who could chop vegetables for their families without a zillion thoughts about how to use that knife for something besides chopping the vegetables.
Life was for other people.
Not for me.
Life requires you to hold it together. To not fall apart. To NEVER fall apart – not even behind closed doors.
We hide those who fall apart. We hide ourselves when we fall apart. Because we are not supposed to do this – we are, above all else, to stay together. “Keep it together man!” or “Just keep swimming” are a couple of recent quotes which come to mind here. (And yes, I realize that I am quoting Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo. I’m a parent with three kids six and under. I watch these films often therefore the dialogue is applicably stuck within my few remaining brain cells)
Sympathy for all. No stigma or shame attached there.
But if your MIND breaks?
Holy effin’ robin eggs, batman.
If your MIND breaks …..
Society at large would have you believe:
It’s YOUR fault.
YOU can snap out of this.
And if you can’t snap out of this? YOU will never get better.
Once you get better, you are never ever allowed to break your MIND again.
(yanno, because YOU broke it to begin with and should now know how NOT to break it again)
Dear Society At Large:
My Mind broke. Twice. Or more. I wasn’t to blame. It happened. I sought help. I didn’t get help. I got worse. My mind broke even more. Shattered, dare I say. Decimated. Dust. I got help then. I wandered aimlessly about the hidden place – the hush hush ward of the hospital. The place where they say “You don’t have to tell anyone you were here.” (The first rule of Psych Ward is that there is NO Psych Ward!) The stigma? It starts THERE. It travels home. It spreads. In every direction, in every crook and corner of society it creeps and crawls. And it is there we, the ones with the broken minds, are expected to stay. We are sent home with this expectation, this order to hide ourselves away, to lie about what really happened to us. In the dark corners. The crooks and the crannies. Where NO ONE CAN SEE OR HEAR OUR BROKEN MINDS AND VOICES.
I’m in the middle of the room.
On a table.
Shouting out my story.
TO ANYONE WHO WILL LISTEN.
(Not as sexy as a stripper but I’m there and I’m rockin’ the room)
Because you know what?
I was broken. But I’m not anymore.
I broke the old me. I broke the scared human. I broke her and I left her far behind, crumpled in your dark corner. I gave birth to the new me. I like the new me. She says things outloud. Things that shouldn’t be said and don’t want to be heard by you. But she says them anyway. At the top of her lungs to anyone who will listen.
She is healed. Scarred, but healed. New scars don’t scare her. New scars excite her because it gives her another avenue full of houses to which she can reach out.
I wish you the best of luck, dear society.
YOU may bend me. But YOU? May never ever break me again.