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It seems the only way I truly understand anything is via contrast.

I could have turned out like my mother. She's high-strung and psychologically unhealthy. Extremely. Her issues are endless and she has never addressed them. I am as familiar with her narratives as she is, because I have heard them all my life-- written in stone, without question or analysis. Memories, incidents, and interpretations that serve to reinforce her identity as a martyr and victim. She routinely breaks down and acts out in totally unacceptable and dangerous ways. She is not okay.

I have spent a fuckload of time unbecoming the things I learned to be because of her. I doubt people would even recognize me 20 years ago because of the work I've done. I am physiologically prone and behaviourally trained to be anxious and depressed, and while I take medication I have also implemented all kinds of other techniques to change my brain and manage my dysfunction.

Sometimes, when I talk to her or witness her behaviour, I can feel that person inside me. The panicky person, who finds everything overwhelming, the "end of the world" thinking, the frantic, incoherent "it's all too much" mentality. The flailing, drowning person. It terrifies me more than anything in the world, because I have Been There and Done That, but it's like a shadow from which I can never completely detach. When I have proximity to my mother, that shadow seems to gain substance.

But I'm much, much better than she is. (Not as a human being, but in terms of mental health.) I am stronger, calmer, more rational, and healthier. I have earned this health through work and effort, including the fearless moral inventory that underpins any real change. I am not her.

Please god.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Oct. 15th, 2015 06:08 pm (UTC)
Having witnessed the contrast myself, though briefly, I can say I would never have guessed that you were any different 20 years ago. Or that you could be. My anxiety is different from your anxiety and your mom's anxiety and everyone else's. You are you and no one else.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )