Monthly Archives: May 2016

Stigma

There are days I just want scream at this entity called God. I want to look at Her and say stop fucking with me! I am losing my sense of humor with the crap you have heaped on me.

I didn’t ask to have Multiple Sclerosis

I didn’t ask to have an abusive childhood.

I didn’t ask to be transgender.

I didn’t ask to be Bipolar.

I didn’t want to be an alcoholic

Merriam-Webster defined Stigma: “a set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something.”

The word Stigma should not be used when people look at the above conditions. All of the above issues are just part of who I am. People and society who try to put a negative label on this items tend not to understand the nature of the conditions. Which one of these labels would anyone want? There are days I feel like that car in front of you that is plastered with a myriad of bumper stickers. You want to read them all however there are so many and you can’t focus on them.

When I tell people I have MS I sometimes get the “I am sorry” comment. I want to strangle the person, however I smile and tell them I am doing very well and my therapy is working very well. As a woman I have learned to deflect the comments and never show what is going on inside of my body.

Being transgender probably carries some of the worst labels. We hear things like “Shemale” and “Tranny”, which are connoted with pornography. Currently right wings Christians are waging war against Transgender women with “Bathroom Bills”. They want people to believe we are pedophiles and predators. Others think we perverted and are really men that just want to wear dresses. The negative labels of being Transgender can be oppressive and is often the cause of manic depression and suicide. Ask yourself the question, why would anyone chose to be transgender when the result was hatred, loss of family and friends and blatant discrimination. I don’t think you would find too many people willing to make this choice. If you were to ask people that push negative beliefs about transgender people, if they had ever met or sat down to talk with a transgender person, they would say no.

Being a recovering alcoholic always has negative connotations. People see us as drunks or people that can’t control our drinking. No, I shouldn’t have started drinking; however, I had this noise from Gender Dysphoria and anger from the abuse. I wonder how many people would have dealt with these issues without alcohol. I look back and can see the beginnings of my Bipolar issues early in my adult life.

Having a mental illness like being bipolar is where Stigma can be overwhelming. When you look at movies or television shows the person with mental illness are seen as abnormal. I saw a show where a young woman was violent and destructive and her condition was Bipolar Disorder. The viewers were led to believe bipolar people are out of control. I recently read an amazing book and the husband was articulate, gifted and talented. Yet he committed suicide because of his bipolar condition. Yes, he destroyed everything, his business, marriage and family. His life was like the classic Shakespearian tragedy. I have the same bipolar condition he had and telling people that I have Dysphoric Mania is difficult. Do I want to be painted like the Bipolar characters in this book or movies? You have to understand telling people are risky and can lead to marginalization. Add the fact I have been suicidal and the negative labels can be impossible to live with. Like this real life Shakespearian character, I have left wreckage in my path. This includes alcoholism and suicide attempts.

People do not understand mental illness can be difficult and having someone shine a light on you is not welcome at times. I do not want to be seen as some sort of freak show character. For so many years I did not want to admit to myself that I had a mental illness. Yes, I was on anti-depressants and accepted I was dealing with depression; however, I thought it was the “garden variety” depression. I never wanted to admit I had serious issues, and only was ready when things got bad recently.

Using the word Stigma with regards to any of the issues above perpetuates negative connotations and creates depression and isolation. We must work hard to eliminate this word and the negative label if we want acceptance.

Stigmas

There are days I just want scream at this entity called God. I want to look at Her and say stop fucking with me! I am losing my sense of humor with the crap you have heaped on me.

I didn’t ask to have Multiple Sclerosis

I didn’t ask to have an abusive childhood.

I didn’t ask to be transgender.

I didn’t ask to be Bipolar.

I didn’t want to be an alcoholic.

Merriam-Webster defined Stigma: “a set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something.”

The word Stigma should not be used when people look at the above conditions. All of the above issues are just part of who I am. People and society who try to put a negative label on this items tend not to understand the nature of the conditions.

Which one of these labels would anyone want? There are days I feel like that car in front of you that is plastered with a myriad of bumper stickers. You want to read them all however there are so many and you can’t focus on them.

When I tell people I have MS I sometimes get the “I am sorry” comment. I want to strangle the person, however I smile and tell them I am doing very well and my therapy is working very well. As a woman I have learned to deflect the comments and never show what is going on inside of my body.

Being transgender probably carries some of the worst labels. We hear things like “Shemale and Tranny, which are connoted with pornography. Currently right wings Christians are waging war against Transgender women with “Bathroom Bills”. They want people to believe we are pedophiles and predators. Others think we perverted and are really men that just want to wear dresses. The negative labels of being Transgender can be oppressive and is often the cause of manic depression and suicide.

Ask yourself the question, why would anyone chose to be transgender when the result was hatred, loss of family and friends and blatant discrimination. I don’t think you would find too many people willing to make this choice. If you were to ask people that push negative beliefs about transgender people, if they had ever met or sat down to talk with a transgender person, they would say no.

Being a recovering alcoholic always has negative connotations. People see us as drunks or people that can’t control our drinking. No, I shouldn’t have started drinking; however I had this noise from Gender Dysphoria and anger from the abuse. I wonder how many people would have dealt with these issues without alcohol. I look back and can see the beginnings of my Bipolar issues early in my adult life.

Having a mental illness like being bipolar is where Stigma can be overwhelming. When you look at movies or television shows the person with mental illness are seen as abnormal. I saw a show where a young woman was violent and destructive and her condition was Bipolar Disorder. The viewers were led to believe bipolar people are out of control. I recently read an amazing book and the husband was articulate, gifted and talented. Yet he committed suicide because of his bipolar condition. Yes he destroyed everything, his business, marriage and family. His life was like the classic Shakespearian tragedy. I have the same bipolar condition he had and telling people that I have Dysphoric Mania is difficult. Do I want to be painted like the Bipolar characters in this book or movies?

You have to understand telling people are risky and can lead to marginalization. Add the fact I have been suicidal and the negative labels can be impossible to live with. Like this real life Shakespearian character I have left wreckage in my path. This includes alcoholism and suicide attempts.

People do not understand mental illness can be difficult and having someone shine a light on you is not welcome at times. I do not want to be seen as some sort of freak show character. For so many years I did not want to admit to myself that I had a mental illness. Yes I was on anti-depressants and accepted I was dealing with depression; however I thought it was the “garden variety” depression. I never wanted to admit I had serious issues, and only was ready when things got bad recently.

Using the word Stigma with regards to any of the issues above perpetuates negative connotations and creates depression and isolation. We must work hard to eliminate this word and the negative label if we want acceptance.

For Survivors of Suicide

I danced too close to the flames

“Why did you have to be consumed?

Don’t you understand there is no reason to the question of Why

“Your dancing is so selfish”

There was nothing but the flames and I had no choice

“You hurt so many people, didn’t you care?”

 

People who survive the suicidal death of a loved one have so many questions as to why the person committed suicide and often feel they will never know the answers.  They want to lash out at the person because they left wreckage behind and they often feel the person was selfish.

What can I say about why I have danced with suicide all my life other than it has been with me for a very long time.  In my sections on “Dancing with Suicide I tried to explain the causes of my thoughts.

Religious people will tell you that suicide will result in a one way ticket to hell and my response is that a Dysphoric Mnania
Bipolar episode is living hell.  When I am in a full blown cycle life is pure chaos.  I get complete agitated depression and suicide invades my mind.  It is pure noise and all I want to do is shut off the fucking noise.  If you say God will not accept me into heaven. I then ask God why I had to deal with the living hell?

People will say I am selfish because I committed suicide.  What survivors don’t realize is that there is no hope in my mind and maybe It is selfish to commit suicide, however is it selfish to just want the noise to stop?  You may say I should have taken my medications and checked myself into the hospital.  Well I do take my meds, however my bipolar disorder sometimes breaks through and the hell begins.  If I am lucky or feel the episode starting, I may contact friends and they will try to convince me to go to the hospital.  I also ask why did you wait for me to kill myself to show you cared or feel you can make comments.  If you had been part of my life you may have me with you today.

Survivors will say I created wreckage when I committed suicide.  If you look carefully you would see my life was a stream of wreckage.  People would avoid me because of my depression or irrational behavior when I was having episodes of hypomania.  My finances were messed up, and I would go on impulsive shopping trips.  You may say you are at the point of leaving me because of my behaviors.  So let’s get real I was creating wreckage while I was alive.  You have to understand that the consequences of the wreckage were pressing down on me like a ton of bricks and my depression was triggered.  Also my hypomania was triggered because I try to figure out a path out of the wreckage.

Survivors will say that I have so much to live for and life can be better.  My response is that if you tell me this when I am suicidal, you will just make me angry because you don’t have a fucking clue as to what I am experiencing.  When I am in the grips of suicidal thoughts or in the hell of a Dysphoric Mania cycle there is no thoughts about what my life can be in the future.  All I can think about is shutting off the chaos and noise. In my last cycle I was chain smoking and pacing back and forth with the only thoughts being suicide.  So there are no thoughts about how life can be better.  I see your comments as something you seem to want, When I am in a pit of darkness the best I can do is claw my way out of this chaos that surrounds me.  The only hope I can feel is that I will be free of the chaotic noise

Survivors will say I don’t care about loved ones and how I have hurt them.  You may think this is callous, however when I am in a Dysphoric Mania cycle and very suicidal, I really don’t care about other people and if I am hurting them with suicide.  You have to understand that I may think you will be better off if I am dead.  You have to understand that I am in a world of pure hell.  Ask yourself what you did when I was creating wreckage and did you want to escape me.

The answer to the question of WHY, is simple.  There is no “rational” thinking in my mind.  I just wanted to escape the noise.

Faces of Suicide

“I understand what you are feeling”

How can you understand, are you suicidal?

“I feel your pain”

How can you feel the chaos?

“You are rational and why would you want to kill yourself”?

There is nothing rational in my thoughts?

 

So many of us who live with thoughts of suicide hear the above comments and we struggle with trying to respond. I once was asked to let someone see what goes on in my mind when I am in the grips of Dysphoric Mania or suicidal thoughts and my response was that they would experience the utter and complete chaotic darkness. It is kind of like looking into Pandora’s Box, thinking you will understand and the result being you experience insanity.

For me the faces of suicide fall under three categories: 1. the casual thought, 2. Depression related thoughts and 3. Manic thoughts of suicide when I am in a critical Dysphoric Mania episode

The first category is like the casual thoughts of drinking. I am a recovering alcoholic and occasionally I get the thought that I can drink normally. I usually tell myself “In what fucking universe do you think you can drink normally”. I once was driving and in a very good mood. It was a beautiful evening in Portland and I had the convertible top of my BMW down. Suddenly a suicidal thought came to mind and I was very much at peace with the thought. I was shocked back into reality and realized that suicidal thoughts could just casually invade my thoughts. Upon reflection, I realize that suicidal thoughts are more frequent than I would like even though I may not act on them, I find they invade even the days when I can say I am normal in the world of Bipolar Disorder.

The second category is depression relate suicidal thoughts. When life feels like I am walking in sand, I feel as if life is rushing around me and there is the overwhelming feeling of having hope sucked out of me. In these times suicidal thoughts can be recurring and though they don’t progress to plans or the determination of acting on them, I can’t shake them. I often think that no one can see the inner turmoil and I sure as hell do not want people to see it. In this state of suicidal thinking, I have to reach into my tool box and push myself away from isolation. I have to message friends and set up times to have coffee. One of the aspects of this state of mind is that nothing gets done at home. I am less likely to cook dinner, rather go out and get takeout food. The kitchen and bathroom may get spot cleaning but nothing major. I may go out and spend money on stupid purchases. Walking through sand and having suicidal thoughts seem to just part of my Bipolar Depression at times.

The third category is what I call Manic Suicidal thoughts. These thoughts accompany the critical Dysphoric Mania cycles where Hypomania and Manic Depression merge. I am beyond suicidal ideation and I already have figured out how I am going to commit suicide. In the 2 times where this has happened I have set in motion crisis plan. I have sent out the text saying “I am Spiraling” By the time intervention occurs I am pacing and very agitated. I am chain smoking and the only thought is suicide. I am angry if someone talks to me and I am like an addict in complete withdrawal seeking madly that next hit. My mind is complete chaos fueled by the manic thoughts of suicide. It is excruciatingly painful because light, sounds and even people around me are an assault on my senses. I do not have any thoughts as to what people think. I don’t care if people will miss me. Basically the only thoughts are suicide.  When my friends were taking me to the hospital recently, they had the child lock on, and I was pleading with them to stop the car and let me out. In this state of mind, just being alive is painful. There is no hope or no reason to live, because the chaos I am going through is beyond dark and pure insanity.

This face of suicidal thoughts is the state of mind, where if you were to have a portal to my mind, you would be looking into the sheer madness of Pandora’s Box. If you looked too long you will go insane.