Monday, December 6, 2010

The Humiliation of the Crazies

I've come to this point in my healing at which I am wincing at some random memories of the strange things I have said and done while I was, for lack of a better word, crazy.  You know the type, they're all the sort of things normal people do all the time.  It's just that they have come to my memory all at once. . . like the dam is broken and they are all rushing at me because I am now coherent enough to think about them.  So here I am obsessing and feeling the humility.  Here is an example:
In 2009, we were living in this darling little old house.  The bus would stop directly in front of the house each morning to pick up the boys for school.  One morning, my kindergartner was not all put together when the bus arrived. My oldest walked out of the house, leaving the front door open while I was stuffing the little one into his coat. It was, of course,  very frustrating. He was fussing and I was rushing and being very pushy.  I helped him roughly with his back pack and turned him toward the door which was open wide with the bus driver looking directly into my house.  I'd say even into my eyes!  My heart sank, "They are going to think I am one of those crazy moms who can barely get through the week!"  My heart sank deeper, I remembered, "I am crazy!  I'm on medication, I'm in therapy, and I can barely make it through the week!"  I couldn't even begin to keep up with my children's needs, to say the least about homework, fundraisers, seasonal events, field trips, lunches and back packs!
What is so strange about this thought is how I ever came to separate myself from the "crazies".  Just months earlier I had been certain I would always take my stand with the lowly and broken.  They had become my people.  I could not stand church, but I felt at home at the mission.  I looked around and thought, "these people have found life to be as difficult and painful as I have."  They were my brothers and sisters and I thought I would never again consider myself above them. 
Well, I guess it was one thing to be crazy, and completely another to have someone see my misbehaving in my own home.  At this point I was certain that everyone at the boys school had figured it out. . . the office staff by now knew how disorganized we were, the librarian by how many books we lost or didn't bother to read and return, the teacher by all the missed homework and back packs crammed with old paper and lunches.  Yuck! The reading specialist certainly knew I was not "on it".  But even the bus driver, come on.
Anyhow, the strange, clumsy things my family and friends have witnessed are now resurfacing and I am mortified.  I was too sick at the time to care.  If I thought about it at all it was a quick, "Oh, that didn't go over well."  I am somehow beginning to wrap up this crazy time.  I'm coming to terms with what has been said and done in regard to my relationships.  I have perspective again and I'm trying to see it all for what it was and get over it.
I guess its frightening to look back and see what a precarious thing my life has been and how strange it all would seem to those I know and love.  I really figured everyone knew I was seriously sick. I was mistaken.  My brother and my sister didn't even know.  Did I tell them? Did I expect someone else to?  I felt so strange I would have thought you could tell every time I tried to put a sentence together.  Maybe that's it?  I think I must have barely talked at all.  And this inwardizing (is that a word?) probably left everyone to come to their own conclusions.  And boy, does my family, myself included, love CONCLUSIONS.  The sad thing is I felt judged and abandoned.  How could they make those terrible assumptions about me? They were not "in-the- know". Why weren't they helping me through this nightmare? They had no idea.  By the time they confronted me about my seemingly careless behavior, I had already suffered through the first year of recovery.  That was 2008, the year my nervous system went totally wacky and I began a long journey to healing.  It was a year of grieving and convalescence.  I bought myself flowers weekly and lay in bed with my covers mounded around me, gazing at them, just trying to breathe and trying so hard to be kind and compassionate to myself even though I was being so negligent of everything else.  I could put myself off no longer.
So now, I think I'll forgive myself for all that negligence and I'll forgive my friends and family for their various reactions to it.  It couldn't be helped.  And I am glad I made it, on my own.  I was the only one with the power to heal.  I needed to learn to take care of me.