To My Mother, Who Couldn't Understand My Self-Harm
If you struggle with self-harm or experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, visit this resource.
Growing up with mental illness is tough. Even more so when the ones who are supposed to support you don’t or can’t understand. When I told you I was cutting you cried, and I thought things would get better. I thought you would try to understand what I was going through. I came to you with honest intentions trying to get help. But you treated me like my bipolar disorder was a personal shortcoming and not a disorder.
Maybe you thought you were trying to be helpful, but it cut me deeper than anything I did to myself. You locked up everything sharp in the house saying it was to “keep me safe,” but your lack of trust only made me feel like I was a failure in your eyes. I came to you for help and you treated me like a criminal, with no closed doors and daily body checks. I lost all privacy and lost respect for you. It’s the reason I moved away. I couldn’t stand how alone living in your house made me feel.
Looking back on it now, I have to wonder if you truly thought you were helping me. Sometimes I wonder how different it could have been. If I could have just talked with you about it. If it wasn’t such a taboo topic in that house. I thought because you had a chronic condition you would understand some of what I was facing, but I now see how the pain you were in made you blind to mine. You couldn’t possibly see how pain was a release to me when all you wished for was to be free from it.
It made us too different, like there was a whole ocean between us and the places we were.
I’d like to think over the years you have come to understand a little what I go through, but since we don’t really talk about anything other than niceties, I guess we’ll never know. Just know I don’t hold the way you treated me against you anymore. I have gotten over it, but I wish things could have been different.
We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.
Getty image via stsmhn