One of my biggest issues with the mental health profession is the way it takes this “one size MUST fit all” mentality. Any quirk in how one looks, thinks, feels, or what you want, if at odds with the statistics of what’s “normal”, it is a personality disorder. Your dad walked out on you as a kid so you fear abandonment and can’t forge relationships well? Borderline. You like to wear clothes that aren’t sold at The Gap in neutrals like black, you’re anti social. If you love to read vampire books and horoscopes, that’s magical thinking thus you are schizotypal.If you were bullied for years in school and are paranoid and distrustful…paranoid personality disorder.
I miss the good old days when it was called being an individual.
It seems like every quality I have to my personality, especially the ones I like that are eclectic and off beat, are the very things earning me all these “personality disorder” labels. Never mind my history. Never mind the example set by my parents. Never mind I was bullied in school, my parents hated each other, I spent my childhood raising my sister while they worked…Nope. I don’t fit the green festering mold of normalcy so the problem is me, not that society is intolerant of anyone who is different. It doesn’t matter to the professionals that I was improperly diagnosed and medicated for over ten years, which means all those years were spent making me worse instead of allowing me to work on getting better. I’m a malingerer. Forget the interaction that nearly killed me. That’s not a factor at all.
You know what the factors are that make my personality “disordered”?
*** I like to spend time alone. Like, lots of time. Because all my hobbies are solitary and I don’t need an audience to come watch me read a book.
*** I have always liked to “dress outside the norm” which means wearing what I like as opposed to what is the local trend.
*** I enjoy reading and writing vampire stories and think it would be awesome if they were real, I’d become on in a heartbeat.
*** Even when stable and not panicked, I still don’t like going out to crowded places like malls and bars. It’s not my thing.
*** I am bored easily, like my alone time, and in every relationship, find myself crawling out of my skin with the need to break out, as if imprisoned. Relationships don’t give me the space I need to be who I am and somehow, this is my fault and some dysfunction.
*** I do not desire the picket fence fairytale. I abhor the concept of marriage and commitment and stagnating in some socially acceptable concept of what should be my norm and make me happy. I’m not anti social. It’s not that I don’t want love and companionship. I just don’t want it on conventional terms and that’s fine by me.
*** I am actually cheered up by all the things the professionals say is manifestation of my illnesses and disorders- loud aggressive music, Halloween decor, coffins, the color black, horror movies, crime documentaries, forensic books, sarcastic humor even. WTF? If it makes me happy, how is it a disorder? Unless they’re saying being happy is the disorder, which I’d buy. Happy is a fallacy.
*** That I have no desire to fit into some mold even if it means I am isolated and ostracized.
*** That I am paranoid and find it hard to trust people. With my formative years of being bullied to the point of suicide…I think it makes perfect sense. And every time I push myself to venture out and trust someone ago, time after time, I am proven right to be wary.
*** Moodiness. Yeah, in spite of the bipolar, the definition of which is MOOD SWINGS, being moody is a disorder itself. If your brain is constantly jerking you around sending incorrect info, you’d be moody too, ffs.
Now that’s just a smattering of what the professionals have force fed me over the years. And I honestly think most of it is shit. The sunshine spewing counselor may have been onto something when she said I see things in black and white, no shades of gray, and that I can’t regulate my emotions. BUT again, bipolar tends to taint these things from the get go, so exactly how do I regulate and differentiate until my chemicals cooperate? To imply it’s simply a skill I don’t have is asinine. I’ll admit my ignorance on most things easily. But my perception is so often askew, I can barely handle the here and now, let alone look back and reflect and work on my “issues.”
And my issues that concern me aren’t even a blip on their radar. They’re too busy focusing on all my traits that don’t fit this cluster or that cluster, yet MUST be the cause of dysfunction. If I just wore bright colors, listened to shit like R.E.M and watched rom-coms, I’d be just ducky.
Fact is, all my life, I have been the square peg and they keep trying to push me into a round hole. Rather than admit it doesn’t work, I am expected to drop everything and change to accommodate them. I think it’s rubbish. I think all their therapy and terms and disorders and clusters and the fact none of them can agree on a damn thing has done more damage to me than bipolar ever could. I was fine with myself before all the counseling. I LIKED me. But to go in and be told weekly for twenty years about your every fault…It takes a toll. Now I question myself at every turn. I know when I am right and I still doubt myself because it could be some personality disorder trait keeping me from seeing myself for what I am.
It’s exhausting. This is supposed to help me, but aside from the first few years…I’ve gotten nothing out of counseling in a very long time. Just more baggage and neuroses and feeling shitty for being who I am. Truth is, more people could stand to get real and be who they really are and quit worrying about how this Facebook friend will drop them if they buy that shirt that’s no in fashion, or that Yololoser on Twitter will start a flame war about them admitting they like music that’s not top 40. GROW UP.
Being who you are is likely to get you labeled as having a disorder. Being who you’re not will do the same. Being who everyone else is, you’re creating what constitutes a disorder. Honestly, how is my wearing black and liking Jason Vorhees impacting anyone’s life? It enhances my comfort. I hurt no one. Where’s the disorder, except in other people’s inability to embrace what’s unique about each and every one of us who stray outside the “sheeple” herd.
I often wonder if I were to remove my social filters and tell others what I think of their bland or obnoxiously bright wardrobe and their lame ass taste in chick flicks or comic books or the fact they drink beer which is disgusting to me so I find them disgusting…How would the sheeple like such judgment? To be called disordered based on things that make them feel good.
I have a personality disorder. It’s called Square Peg In A Round Hole Disorder.
It’s way less benign than the metastatic worldwide personality disorder of, “I don’t have the balls to be who I really am so I’m just going to go with the flow and not stand out or rock the boat.”
If not wanting to be one of the sheeple makes me weird…Weird is crazy sexy beautiful. Fuck normal. It’s a cure for insomnia.