Who am I after all these years?/ Re-post

Visiting Great Gramma at her farm

Visiting Great Gramma at her farm; that’s me at the far left, looking very awkward and uncomfortable.

I grew up in a family in which mental illness was a fact of life. I’m Asperger (a valid brain type from my POV) and bipolar. My brother was schizoid. Everyone functioned – not great, but well enough, but I was the only one who actively searched for answers and treatment. It caused a rift in the family and I was essentially kicked out for wanting to be healthy. I would see my brother suffering, but he refused all treatment, even when he began to get into trouble with authorities and help was offered. It is  incomprehensible to me why a person would want to stay in a frightening and agitated state and not want to live as well as possible. But then, I observe the lives of so-called normal people and think the same thing. It’s difficult for me to remember that I once had a family, so great was the gulf between my expectations and theirs. From a young age I began building a “ghost” family of artists and writers whom I admired through their works, and from landscapes and buildings in the environment,  which is populated by thousands of strangers as well as friends. The habit became so rewarding that I just kept it up, accumulating a complex library of rich characters and environments that never leaves me. This creative act is likely to be the result of being a visual thinker.

Most everyone, especially when young, asks, Who am I? The answer for me turned out to be simple: I am everything I have ever seen.

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7 thoughts on “Who am I after all these years?/ Re-post

  1. I didn’t mean to say that people with schizophrenia are the only people who may avoid help: many, many so-called normal people don’t see that their behavior is causing problems, and go on messing up their lives and causing distress to their families. I found myself in a family that refused to recognize their dysfunction and were angry with me for trying to get help. To me, this was a sad and difficult situation: I had to choose between my family and finding a better life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. …and a little sad…

    About schizofrenia, I have it and I can imagine not wanting ‘help’. Psychiatric hospitals are terrible places (especially to get well), and nobody of the staff believes what you’re trying to convey, leaving you to feeling lonely, depressed and not being taken seriously. Of course it isn’t that black-and-white, but that is how I often experienced it… not to explain away that you really could use help, and often need some.

    Like

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