Something of huge, psychological value clicked inside my skull today. I'm overwhelmed by all of the mental work I've done to get here, and so I need to write everything down in case I lose one of these precious fragments. Like puzzle pieces, I've had ideas I've been attempting to piece together for nigh forty-five years. At this evening's conclusion, I believe:
I am a good person with both a mental illness and a personality disorder.
I have often lived an unstable life, affectively, interpersonally, and materially.
I have experienced decades of trauma stemming from neglect, emotional/verbal abuse (gaslighting), physical, and sexual abuse.
My mother is undiagnosed, but meets criteria for Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder.
I was a difficult child to raise.
I was the weird girl. Like, really weird. That's part of what made me a challenging child. And even though I like that weird girl now, I don't know how many of those bizarre quirks came with my biological hardwiring or if they were result of environment.
My mother loved me deeply. I know that. She wanted children desperately, but was not equipped to be an emotionally available, nurturing parent. That wasn't her fault. She did the best she could, but that meant shaming me for behavior for which she was responsible, undermining my perception of myself and the world until I questioned reality, and stunting development of my self-esteem.
My abuse wasn't my fault.
I can see and evaluate my life more clearly and objectively with compassion for all the players.
The events of my childhood scarred me. I was born with the genetic predisposition for Bipolar Disorder, but I learned the behaviors I display of Borderline Personality Disorder.
I've spent years of my life trying to prove that I was worthy of being liked. I indulged a savior complex, over-extending myself helping marginalized communities, trying to earn a measure of self-worth. I reached out to others to take care of the child I once was.
I am working toward greater self-awareness. I am trying to take care of myself. I am being brave and honest with myself. I am confronting the monsters in my closet after all these years I shivered in terror under my dark covers of vulnerability. I am trying to get better.
I feel terrible for the parenting mistakes I have made, and I have many times. I have not been very good at providing my kids with stability, even though I love them and enjoy who they've become.
I am not a bad person, and I do not deserve to feel ashamed for who I am now or for who I was in the past.
We all get here, get banged up, try to fix the dents, and then leave. That's life, and that's okay. There is beauty at every angle. Even when it's coupled with pain.
I'm on the road to forgiving my mother, but I am not obligated to open myself up to further trauma/abuse. It's hard to want a close relationship, but also understand the cost of taking down my boundaries.
I am still weird. I can be loud, garish, and brash. I am also comfortable alone for long periods of quiet time, peacefully. I'm okay with liking myself. I'm not ashamed of saying I think I'm really cool. Humbly, of course.
Bottom line: I am truly enough.