I have to say something to all of those out there who insist on bringing up the “sins” of their mentally ill daughters, sons, brothers, and sisters. “Knock it off!” You have no idea the grief and embarrassment that you constantly insert into their lives. Your stories are never funny and you can never make us feel any guiltier than we already do. To make matters worse, you, without the benefit of any training or experience, do not know enough about mental health to judge between bad behavior and a mental health episode.
It took 13 years from my first identifiable episode with mania until I was diagnosed at 30. During my manic episodes, which could last for months, I did things that I would later deeply regret. However, I could do nothing about what had already been done. My first psychiatrist called these episodes “quiet mania” because other than my destructive behaviors, my other symptoms: like lack of sleeping (2-3 hours a night), hyperproductivity, and having tons of energy were easy for others to ignore. They would last 2 weeks, a month, 3 months, and then one day be gone as quickly as they had arrived.
What may have appeared to an outsider as the willful disregard of an uncaring young woman was actually mental illness taking control and ruining my happiness. Regardless of how you believe that it impacted your life, it is nothing compared to its impact on mine.
I am 2 months shy of my 40th birthday and I’ve made the decision to leave my past in my past. I see a psychiatrist and a psychologist for treatment. I take my medication every day and I try to keep my stress level as low as possible to prevent future manic or depressive episodes. I’m doing everything that I can.
If you have someone in your life struggling with mental illness, take these words to heart, it is difficult to do this alone but it is more difficult to do it when someone is dragging you under.
I was once told that there are three sides to every story: person 1, person 2, and the truth. I guess that ratchets up the more people that you get involved in a story, but ultimately there is still only one ultimate truth.
We are all fallible. We trip, we fall, and we make mistakes. Some of us viciously try to destroy others because we can and we get please in watching someone else fall. Others petty crimes are the whispers in the ear that a person can’t be trusted. The feeding of doubt.
In the midst of the story are those who do not mean to harm, but somehow do. Or, those taking deliberate actions that they know could destroy them. Those who care about no one but themselves.
It seems so easy to judge each of these people. You assume that you know their stories, understand their lives. You don’t. The truth is as elusive to you as trying to catch mist in your hand.
Many of you know that I am an Episcopalian, and certainly not part of the Evangelical base that Mr. Trump attracks. As an Episcopalian, I have found my church to be far more forgiving of people’s sins, especially sexual sins than Evangelical churches. We, however, draw the line at sexual assault. Not that you can’t be forgiven for sexual assault, but that when you confess your sin before God you should ACTUALLY mean that you are sorry. You shouldn’t 30 seconds later begin justifying your behavior. My beliefs, the beliefs of mainline churches, aren’t really the point of this post.
For the last week, I have been waiting for Evangelical leadership to put their money where their mouth is so to speak and denounce Donald Trump. Not necessarily because of his actions, which were heinous, but because he is not sorry that he committed them. Moreover, he epitomizes many of the sexually deviant things that Evangelicals claim to be against. He admits to having an affair while married, he admits to trying to have another affair while married. He admits to trying to take sexual advantage of women in an inferior position to him, and to whom he was not married. He admits groping (sexual assault) women against their will. By his own admission, he was a sexual menace. The numerous sexual harassment, assault, and sexual discrimination lawsuits against him personally indicate that this behavior has not changed.
So, here is my question Evangelical friends, this is just the latest of issues that show that he “isn’t on your team” yet you keep supporting him, what does it take before you drop the pretense? Does he actually have to shoot someone during a rally? Rape someone live on television? Or, could you find justifications for that as well?
For the record, he was pro-choice until he decided to run for office. Keep that in my dear single issue voters.