Duncan (nobodysreadingme) said yesterday that he admires my resilience. I found that a curious thing to point out, but sweet and touching, too. It has also helped me realize, looking back, that I actually must be kind of resilient. I’ve had my flirts with depression, and I certainly get low and desperate moments with a hopeless mood that makes me feel like my whole life is shit and maybe I should die. When they are there those feelings are really strong, but those moments don’t usually last and never really have. Sooner or later I always feel like ‘fuck all, I’m not gonna do anyone the favor to just go away for good’ and that ends the depressive mood.
It’s a feeling that I have known for a long time already, and I remember having it towards my mother mainly. She made it no secret that she hated me for being alive and often said things like ‘I wish I had aborted you when I still had the chance’ and while that always made me real sad and I felt like I shouldn’t be living on one hand, I also had the ‘fuck you’ reaction. Maybe that was because I knew that while I was getting hurt, I also had something my stepfather wanted. I remember being conscious of that fact. I remember knowing that that was why my mother both hated me, and couldn’t afford to lose me, because without me, my stepfather would probably not have stayed with her.
In some perfectly weird and twisted way that gave me power. It was power I wish I would never have had, because look at the mess my life turned into because of how fucked up everything was, but even so, I think that’s where my resilience comes from. I was aware that despite all the pain it caused me I was important, even when it was in a sick way, to both my parents. I think that was what gave me the leverage to develop my ‘fuck you’ attitude that keeps me from staying down. I’m somehow too stubborn to. Weird how life works.
Anyway, I’ve made a list of the things that I think contributed to my ability to stay alive and not give in during the three major phases of my life so far:
1. The time during which I live at my childhood home (0-15)
I HAVE: what my stepfather wants, everything my mother hates, myself.
I AM: an involuntary sex object, a scapegoat, a loner, different, secretive, distrustful.
I CAN: die inside, tolerate pain, read subtle changes in people, tell which is the safer of two options, hide from harm, wait things out, distract myself.
2. The time I spent in mental health care (15-23)
I HAVE: several diagnoses that tell me who I am, myself.
I AM: a mental health case, a calculating sex object, a loner, secretive, distrustful.
I CAN: dissociate, ignore people, rely on myself and self-destructive acts to keep a certain balance, self-medicate.
3. The time after I met my real family (23-now)
I HAVE: myself, a supportive family, my mom, a good therapist.
I AM: a daughter, learning to trust and how to be trustworthy, recovering, artistic.
I CAN: think about myself and my behavior, accept my mom’s help, keep from self-medicating and increasingly from self-harming, too, let myself in for safe relationships, look towards the future.
Life sure is weird and complicated.