I’m watching an old version of “A Tale of Two Cities”- I don’t remember it too well, but I do remember that the hero sacrifices himself for the cause of freedom. I think of sacrifice, and I wonder if mental illness makes people into sacrificial lambs. I have been dealing with my illness since I was a teenager- did this cause me to start with good grades in high school, only to see them drop to place me in the bottom fifth of my class..
I can always offer the excuse that I was troubled and anxious like the majority of my peers. To be fair, I felt like a fool a lot of the time, and I felt stupid the rest of the time. But this was supposed to be a learning experience , and I wondered why I wasn’t learning too well. My classmates, or the ones I felt close to, seemed to take life in their stride, getting good grades, belonging to the elite of the school. My brother was two classes ahead of me and, in typical brotherly fashion, kept as far away from me as possible. I started wondering what was wrong with the world, with others, with me..
I discovered in university that I was a total introvert, and could only watch as the other students made friends, joined sororities, formed cliques. My room mate told me her life story on the first night of our life together. I remember that she would ask rhetorical questions ,while I thought an answer was expected. She turned out to be okay, and we got along well enough. What I remember most about my time in school was that I finally made some friends, only to lose them when I got drunk at the local pub, again and again……Needless to say, shortly thereafter I dropped out of school.
On my first job, I was nervous, ill-equipped socially and emotionally, and I hung on hoping that things would improve..they did, and they didn’t. I met a chap who had taken a class in college from my stepfather.We became friendly, only to become sexual partners and screw things up. I am not good at sustaining relationships, and my neediness became so problematical that I started seeing a psychiatrist. Did this help- not really.
The love affair lasted a year or two, and I became totally dependent on my boyfriend’s good opinion. Our relationship ended when I bought him a Seiko watch for his birthday, and he didn’t come home to celebrate. Was this my fault..yes, of course it was, as I had to learn to become self-sufficient. (I was also sad because I had pawned a pair of earrings which had belonged to my grandmother).
I could go on, and on, but I’m sure you get the drift..Illness is a bitch, but finding your way out of the labyrinth will, or may, help you to get out of cloud-cuckoo land. I feel like there are some good things in my life, and it’s up to me to make the best of them. Of course this is not the whole or even half of my adventures in wonderland.. old age comes to us all, and recollections become foggier. I have actually had three boyfriends in my life so far..well, I’m 68, and I don’t expect another prince charming to come calling..
So, I wish you luck in life, and I hope you find something and, perhaps, someone to help you enjoy it.