And The Blame for my Mental Illness goes to...
I wonder a lot about how my past shaped my mental well-being today. I was at a genetic disposition for mental illness, but I feel like my childhood affected me also. When I look back, I can remember all the symptoms of mental illness in my younger self: Depression, anxiety, bottling up my bothersome emotions, not feeling like I could be myself.
I use to tell my family when I was a kid sometimes I felt "unreal" but it was hard for anyone to understand. It was only later I learned about depersonalization disorder.
You may have felt this way before. I describe depersonalization or derealization as feeling very dreamy and like your observing yourself outside your body. You feel disconnected from reality -- causing you to worry about your own existence sometimes.
Weird, right? If you've never experienced this, then you should feel lucky. Depersonalization has a connection to BPD and childhood trauma.
Another thing I did to cope was talk to myself through imaginary friends and talk through tough situations. My positive self-talk helped me deal with my feelings, especially the ones I felt I couldn't communicate to anyone else.
As a middle child, I often felt alone and misunderstood. I was a bit effeminate (I learned this was unacceptable at a young age), shy, and wanted acceptance. I can't say that I received the emotional support that I needed growing up, so in return I suffer from childhood emotional neglect (CEN). This is when a child does not receive enough emotional attention or validation from their parents. Basically, the child feels like they're feelings don't matter so they in return don't matter. You can imagine what happens if you become an adult after a childhood feeling this way.
But I found it hard to place the blame squarely on my parents.
I could say my parents, who gave me everything I needed to succeed, ignored my emotional well-being and left me to fend for myself. I had to come up with ways to take care of my emotions because they went unnoticed which made me feel invisible. In return for the rest of my life I am cursed to always crave emotional validation and have a distorted self-image. I want to please people and I want attention and love. All the things I feel I didn't get when I was growing up!
That feels unfair and horrible to say. My parents did not abuse me and were present in my life, but I can't help the way that I feel. After much thought, I realized that blame will get me nowhere.
My parents only later in life truly understood what mental illness was and they went above & beyond providing for me to make sure I would be happy. When I had a mental breakdown in my young adult years, unable to cope anymore by myself, this began an awakening journey of understanding mental illness for all of us. Also, it's true I have never been a parent so I don't know what that responsibility like.
I remember thinking working at a call center was easy, until I took my first yelling callers and swiftly quit 🤣. Nothing is as it seems until you're in that position.
I could blame a teacher for singling me out, my bad grade(s) in school(s), or having to hide that I was gay living in a small Christian southern town with Baptist black parents.
I want a solution because frankly, there's nothing I can do about the past. You gain experience overtime until then you try your best.
I've always been afraid to have children and here's why:
But I can't help but think with the knowledge I have and the love that I know, that surrounds me. With my parents as grandparents with all they've learned in their lives, having a child would not be such a bad thing though I'm still not committed to the idea 😅
Say it with me:
There's no time for blame when you can shape the future!