Mean and Scary

mousy-ladiesSince my last post, words of love and encouragement, texts, phone calls, offers, cards and funny videos poured over and through me.

Part of it is Facebook. This was the first “I’m thinking about suicide” post that I put on Facebook, so some of this kindness comes from people I’ve not seen in decades—junior high school friends, relatives, etc.  They don’t know that, while serious, this is a side of the illness that comes around every few years.

Part of it is the word.  Suicide.  It brings out the panic in people.  It ignites folks like other incendiary words—God, Abortion, Trump.  And fire requires action.

Part of it is that kind people need to do something to help.  And they’re used to sicknesses that get better.  A little chicken soup, a little gift, and the icky stuff goes away.  They don’t understand that I’m always sick—more or less—no matter how sane I sound or look.  It’s a matter of degree.  A little chicken soup-kindness everyday would be lovely.

It’s been difficult—teaching about mental illness, resetting my boundaries, and reaffirming what I really need—at a time when I want to punch most people in the face.  This is not how one thanks everyone for kindness and thoughtfulness.

I isolate when I’m “unwell,” but this is something more.  I can’t seem to navigate the niceties of social interaction.  I can’t pretend to listen to other folks’ three-ring shit shows (and I normally do a grand job at that).  I can’t tolerate the nattering of voices or the pressure (albeit internal) of protecting others from my illness. I’m scary at present.  And mean.

The last thing I want to do is hurt kindhearted folk.  It’s one of my nightmares—shoving away everyone who loves me with this illness.  It’s such a huge disconnect—hanging on every kind word and pushing away the people who speak them.

All I can say is Thank You and I’m Sorry.  Don’t stop asking questions—not about what you can do for me, but about the illness.  I am a font of knowledge on mental illness and if you need to understand, I’m your gal.  That’s one interaction that won’t get you punched in the face.

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27 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Alice
    Oct 12, 2016 @ 09:36:06

    Yup. I soooo get it. 😦

    Reply

  2. Leslie
    Oct 12, 2016 @ 09:39:12

    I love you Sandy. I hope that you start to feel a little better very soon. I understand this post all too well. In fact, I’m getting ready to write/post my own version of this. I’m glad that you had people sending you love from facebook. I tend to hear crickets when I post there, so I don’t even really bother with mental health stuff there anymore.

    Reply

  3. Neil
    Oct 12, 2016 @ 09:58:06

    Sandy, BPAD is a tough disease – you are dealing well with it and seem to be insightful in regards to your symptoms- not an easy task. Hang in there!

    Reply

  4. Cate
    Oct 12, 2016 @ 10:11:27

    One of the challenges of writing about suicidal ideation is what you describe: People have been taught to see it as a cry for help, and respond to it as such. They do not look on it with the openness and curiosity they might bring to descriptions of other parts of the writer’s experience. It seems to generate a “panic” response that impedes understanding and authentic, empathic connection.

    Reply

  5. LindaNoel
    Oct 12, 2016 @ 11:13:26

    Dear SandySue — and I mean it, Dear, Every, and I mean every time you write that you want to punch someone in the face (long before the chump or dear DeNiro said that phrase) I spontaneously have a fist-pump YES! or YAY! For years I have a sincere “I just want to slap ’em” in response to syrupy-niceness/female adults who speak like little girls/ more than 2 apologies-for-nothing from female adults/ and a couple of other standards I can’t recall now. Saying it out loud around someone else whom I know will get it has been so liberating, and writing this, I see it has been a claiming of my own Flexible-Boundaries, i.e. I don’t have to be just one way within approveable norms. But the discomfort/frustration I’ve felt with the sincere kind, want-to-be-helpful responses — well, I’ve shut off my inner squirming with the requisite polite and partially sincere but not-felt-right-then thankyous. I have never heard/read any one else mention these “not how you should response to kindness” inner squirmings or bursting explosive physical imaginings altho mine are wanna-get-the-hell-outta-there physical burstings. Whew! Another way your honesty here gives me another piece/nuance of my real Lindaness. AND I love this “Part of it is the word. Suicide. It brings out the panic in people. It ignites folks like other incendiary words like God, Abortion, Trump. And fire requires action.” And I must have this “Never underestimate..mumbling” card. I’ll order it on Etsy.

    Reply

    • Sandy Sue
      Oct 12, 2016 @ 19:00:39

      It always feels good to know you’re not the most twisted Twizzle Stick in the bunch, and that someone GETS you.
      I’m afraid the Mousy Ladies left the building a while ago. Sorry.

      Reply

  6. pegoleg
    Oct 12, 2016 @ 11:46:43

    I don’t know what to say, Sandy. I’m thinking of you, pulling for you, and hope you don’t punch me in the face.

    Reply

  7. Cheryl LaVille
    Oct 12, 2016 @ 12:04:00

    I love you through it all. Just so you know.

    Reply

  8. Littlesundog
    Oct 12, 2016 @ 18:13:41

    It’s a good thing to own “Mean and Scary”. It’s also good to educate and help people understand whatever it is you want them to know. Yes, it seems there are numerous “three-ring shit shows” to indulge in wherever one goes. No wonder most days I’m happy to hide out in the woods with the wild things.

    Reply

  9. Val Boyko
    Oct 12, 2016 @ 19:29:08

    I love how you address what is real and meaningful for you Sandy … that’s something many social interactions rarely embrace or understand. Hugs 🤗

    Reply

  10. Sawsan
    Oct 12, 2016 @ 19:45:14

    Sending you lots of love and holding you tight in my heart.

    Reply

  11. ReadingAlcove
    Nov 01, 2016 @ 13:07:59

    Like Frodo’s ring. Wanting so much to be invisible, and yet knowing it will only hurt us in the end.

    Reply

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