A student, a mentally ill person, and a cat

Stories and poems from a Dutch student in Belgium who has five mental disorders, but isn’t that crazy.

Right before my last hospitalization in a mental hospital 1,5 years ago, someone told me that “I would probably be the most normal person there”. I didn’t really know what to respond to that, so I didn’t. Someone I know from group therapy freaked out during a telephone conversation once, and the person on the other end told her that “there wasn’t anything she could do about that, you know, she was just mentally ill”. She didn’t really know what to respond to that, so she didn’t. When I told my housemate that I have Borderline personality disorder, he responded that, right, he had heard of that, Borderline means that you are always angry (I’d known him for some six months, he’d never seen me angry). I didn’t really know what to respond to that, so I didn’t. A therapist once told me that she hoped that everyone with Borderline would just kill themselves, because all we did was ruin other people’s lives. I didn’t really know what to respond to that, so I didn’t.
Some examples from our dichotomy between “ill” and “normal” that is still very much alive. But what if you combine both? When I am “normal” people tend to forget I was ever “ill”, and when I fall ill people tend to forget that I am still also normal. Yet, I, and all my mentally ill friends; we are very, very much both. Here, I’ll try to convey both crazy and normal, both ill and healthy, and perhaps make the stigmas a little tiny less smaller.

In a world that doesn’t seem to get any less complex and chaotic, I feel increasingly uncomfortable keeping silent. In my (again increasingly, lately) chaotic and complex self, too, I feel how I need to do another attempt to speak up. So here’s my two cents; one for you, one for me. 🙂 I’ve always very much admired people who manage to not abandon their blogs because, as of yet, I’m not one of those people. But you’ll never know until you try, perhaps this one will be my little victory.

PS. To round up the title, I also have a cat (who is not mine, actually, but she has made it her life mission to stalk my room, so there you are).

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