15 January 2016

a lonely road

It can be a lonely road, this long way.  Trauma recovery and mental illness are not pretty, to say the least.   The pain and illness are mostly hidden.  What is seen is often misunderstood, taken for moodiness, pessimism, self-pity, creating drama.  When you're on the healthy side, it's hard to walk with someone who doesn't get better, in spite of all your good advice!

I've experienced more people walking away from my journey than the years I've been on it.  That has been terribly painful, but I bear no ill will, because I get it.  I have not trusted people, not loved them well.  I've been immersed in sadness and pain.  I've questioned and despaired.  I've known the "right" answers, yet been unable to embrace them because they weren't good enough.  I've had to hear the same good answers and reassurances over and over, so often that even I tired of them; yet still they didn't sink in.  I've barely had the fortitude to walk this road myself; I'm honestly not sure if I'd be cut out to walk it with someone else.

I think some people left my journey - or simply didn't join me - because it was just too weird.  Mental illness can run the gamut:  depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, dissociative identity disorder, reactive attachment disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, and many, many more.  Not everyone feels equipped to know how to respond to mental illness, and that's really ok.  Others left my journey because they discovered their own brokenness - they just needed to focus on their own healing journeys.  For some, I think the nature of my journey was just too painful for them to be a part; it brushed wounds in them that had never healed.  Some who thought they knew me well, really didn't know me at all, and they couldn't walk with a stranger.  Some didn't understand, or just misunderstood different things, or wanted my journey to look more like their familiar, or wanted it to look less ugly.

However the leaving occurred, while I understand and forgive, it was deeply painful.  I came to a point where I simply couldn't bear anymore, and I drifted into isolation.  This solitude was - still is, if I'm really honest - my preferred state; for a long time, there was a disconnect between me and all others.

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