I’d Have Done It Too

I’m currently waiting for Blizzard to respond to my request to remove my authenticator from my account. It was on my keys, which were often in my pockets, so the battery died from the button getting hit over and over. I can’t buy Mists of Pandaria or get on Starcraft II until this is taken care of. x.x So, figured I’d write about something I’ve been pondering.

The event that really ended my desire to be around my mother was about a week before my sixteenth birthday. She planned a party that I didn’t really want, and the night before said party, her car was repossessed because she wasn’t making payments. And then it snowed. (It was late March.)

She spiraled into a depressive state that night, and early in the morning she asked her husband to send her mom up to her room . I assume she desired comforting. Something my grandma said sparked the reactive, angry ‘manic’ phase.

At some point in the argument, my grandma picked up a book she’d brought with her (specifically for my mother) titled “Anger is a Choice”. I’m pretty sure that it was something about that which triggered my mother to punch her in the face.

Having come to terms with my own mental illness and understanding what it’s like to be told you have a choice, that you just need to be strong-willed, that everybody feels this way sometimes… You know, I probably would have fucking punched her, too.

My disease doesn’t result in violent outbursts because it’s all on the depressive end of the spectrum. If I were bipolar though, with the sudden hardcore depression followed by insane rage, having my own mother tell me that I have a CHOICE about my disease? This is the same woman who trivializes my depression by giving me fucking essential oils with the intent that smelling it will somehow fix me.

Yeah, I would probably have lost control and punched her.

On the other hand, if I were bipolar, I would be on medication. Just like I’m on medication to treat my depression. Any mental illness needs to be treated properly, and every illness and every person needs a different approach and combinations of treatment.

The messed up part of this is how victimized my grandma acted afterwards. Like, she totally doesn’t understand why my mom would ever do such a thing. She doesn’t comprehend exactly how offensive it is to tell someone with a mental illness that they have a choice about it. It’s so incredibly insensitive and downright rude.

I guess it’s time to add mental health awareness activism to the list of things I’m interested in promoting education about.


2 thoughts on “I’d Have Done It Too

  1. The particular issue you bring up (the choice thing) is pretty straight forward and I'm sure you're right, but overall this is a very tricky and difficult issue with a lot of traps and pitfalls and stuff. I hope you do take it up at least for a while and produce some good reasoned thinking on it all. I think as a culture we lack the philosophical foundation for a meaningful discussion, though there has obviously been a lot of legal discussion on related issues (little of which makes any sense to me).


  2. I know, it's totally not fair that I have the inside track on all of these stories, but here goes anyway.Your maternal grandmother is a sufferer of mental illness and is one of those many that have chosen not to address it properly. Your paternal grandmother? Yes, she too is a sufferer of mental illness, although you'd be hard-pressed to notice it. There was a time, before I was born, when she was in the hospital for yet undisclosed reasons relating to her psychological condition. There is much about this history that she will not divulge, and unfortunately there are no family members around now that would know anything about it.Of course, we've talked about my illness and what I've done to keep it under control, although I do still have rage issues (which, as it turns out, are likely related to living conditions rather than the illness), but it's still something to note.All that being said, when people marginalize the mental illness, I can't help but feel enraged by it. Generally speaking, people don't go around and marginalize the presence of cancer in others. They don't ignore ailments that are clearly debilitating, so why do we culturally treat mental illness as a weakness rather than an illness? I'm not an anthropologist, so I can't precisely say, but there is a lot of research into that. Have a look sometime…


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