Being mentally ill is often means being the butt of a joke, of a stereotype.
The broke creepy loser who lives with a parent who can’t handle the real world.
Granted, the typical image this invokes is a fat guy who never showers and yells up the basement stairs for his mother to feed him and never goes anywhere.
I don’t meet those particular criteria. I also don’t call customer service helplines to breathe heavy on the phone while listening to the unfortunate woman on the other end.
However, I tell myself how pathetic I am roughly thirty times a day, I often have difficulty reading social cues, and I twitch at sudden noises. When I am out in public, this has garnered me odd looks. I assume this is because, until I do something like jump at the sound of a slamming door like someone was just shot, I appear ‘normal’.
My therapist tells me I am too harsh on myself, and people with my illness may spend their entire lives dealing with it, and that the longer and more intense the trauma, the longer the recovery, if it can be called that.
To hold myself to standards that might apply to the average (neurotypical) person is absurd, and pointless.
I understand what she means. That does not mean I do not resent being who I am.
That, as stressful as it might be, I want to pay bills, buy my own groceries, go to and from work so I can support myself while working on my own projects, that I want to go out without any fear. And I can do those things. But not without help, and not yet, not entirely.
I resent my pills, the fact that my brain does not function properly and requires outside chemical intervention to mimic ‘normal’ behavior.
I resent my coping skills: my index cards, my deep breathing, my grounding exercises, my coloring books.
I resent wondering is something as simple as cold medicine will set off an anxiety attack.
I resent my need for my sun lamp, my meditative meandering hours.
I resent my comfort objects, my desire for a new spinner ring.
I resent my nightmares, my restless nights, my days on edge.
I resent being the butt of a joke that isn’t even funny.
Carrying this much resentment is not healthy. Of which I am aware. Which can lead to resenting my resentment.
And so on it goes.
I realize a lot of people resent, fear, or dislike people who are neuroatypical.
I have little tolerance for it.