Ever have one of those days which makes you question whether or not you can actually rely on your own impressions?
Well, imagine EVERY day being like that, and you’ve got an idea of what millions of mentally ill people live with. It’s as if the world is full of passive-aggressiveness, which is a mind-fuck of epic proportions that can drive us to the point where we can’t trust ourselves to separate what’s real and true from what isn’t. Sometimes it gets so bad that we become suspicious of everything and everyone—especially their motives—and we take absolutely everything personally, even though on an intellectual plane we know our response to this manufactured stress is irrational.
Some call this behavior ‘paranoid’; others call it ‘delusional’. But whatever it’s called, it makes life really, really uncomfortable. No one WANTS to think the people in their lives are trying to make them crazy, but evidence seems to be everywhere: the son who remembers every birthday, anniversary, and special day in his father’s life, but doesn’t even bother with a phone call on Mother’s Day. (For three years running.) The co-worker who spends her lunch hour visiting all of the other workers in their cubicles, except you. (And speaking of which, there are two women from the other office who were surveyors at the facility where I lost my shit, and I know they remember me. I also share Dr. A’s hunch that they were told on the follow-up visit why I wasn’t there anymore.)
Even the bill collectors are conspiring to ruin my life and make sure I spend the rest of it in a cramped apartment in a bad section of town, just so they can extract their pound of flesh. A LOT of pounds, actually…….between medical bills, some back taxes, and student loans, Will and I are close to $100K in debt. There’s no way that we’ll ever make even a dent in that, and we know we’re close to having to file bankruptcy. Again.
The first two times, I spent us into bankruptcy court; this time, it’s no one’s fault, but I’m still embarrassed to approach our attorney with yet another request to file. And it doesn’t look like we’re even close to the end of the medical spending, even with good insurance, so I’m not sure how beneficial it would be to file now. So the bills continue to wash over us like a flood of garbage (which is where most of them wind up) and the phone messages are becoming more frequent and insistent, while all I want to do is tell ’em to take a number and get in line behind everyone else who wants a piece of me…..if I could screw up enough courage to call them back, that is.
I’ve NEVER been good with the telephone, as I mentioned some time back; it’s one of those bipolar “thangs” I’ve had to fight all my life. I’d much rather text, e-mail, or even talk to someone in person. The phone is an instrument of torture for folks in bad financial straits anyway, and if I don’t recognize a number, I’ll let the sucker ring and go straight to voice mail. I’ve had too many collections people threaten, badger, and humiliate me into payment “plans” that I couldn’t afford, so I’m not gonna make it easy for those damned sharks. It’s not that I’m unwilling to pay what I owe……I just can’t see myself becoming destitute so they can earn their commission.
And by the way: just because I’m a teensy bit paranoid does NOT mean they’re not out to get me. So there.