Friday, January 29, 2010

don't make me yell at you.

I'm in therapy. I know, I know. You? you're asking. Yup. Me. In fact, I've been in therapy for, oh, areallylongtime. See, when you grow up in a house where your mother is a schizophrenic, you're pretty screwed up by the time you're in your late teens and early twenties. I'm now in my early thirties. There's a whole bunch of screwed up there. When I got to college, I told myself that I'd go to see a therapist since it was free (one of the perks of being part of an academic community) because I was feeling totally depressed and hopeless and all of the things that so many of us humans feel, but for me it felt a milliontimesworse because I had a certifiable crazy woman as my mother. Compound interest, if you will.

And so...therapy.

Most of my therapy sessions revolved around the utter sadness, frustration, and anger I felt towards my mother and her illness. However, after 20 years of Certifiable Crazy, including (but not limited to) year-long stints in state hospitals, week-long stays in psych wards, delusions, the inability to leave the house, and a suicide attempt, my mother is better now than she's ever been. Miraculously. Yes, a trifecta of healing: God, the right meds, and a near-death experience.

My anger has turned to compassion, and my sadness to joy, because for the first time in my life, I have a mother. So what do I talk about now in my therapy sessions? Finding my voice. Yes. The little voice inside of me that's been pushed so deep down for so long has finally started squeaking a bit more loudly. I want a voice. My voice. I want to learn how to find it completely and to use it. Without fear. Do you know how hard that is? It's reallly, really hard. It's hard to have a voice, to be taken seriously, especially when you're a woman-a model-an actress-a glorified secretary.

I am such a people-pleaser. Oh, yes, a self-proclaimed doormat, but instead of the word "WELCOME" written across my head, I have the words, "YES, PLEASE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ME BECAUSE YOU KNOW YOU CAN BECAUSE I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO BACKBONE AND AM SUCH A 'FRAIDY CAT TO SPEAK UP...OH, AND ALSO I REALLY WANT YOU TO LIKE ME."

Well, no more. The Reign of Terror has officially begun. Oh, yes. Watch out people. This voice? She's on her way to coming in loud and clear.

I am going to give my opinion.
I am going to tell you what I think.
I am going to express my beliefs.
I am going to say "no" and not feel bad about it.
I am going to disagree if I do, in fact, disagree.
I am going to speak up for what I need.
I am going to speak up for what is right.

Oh, yes. This voice is on. its. way. up.

with love from Pittsburgh,

8 lovely bits o' feedback.:

Duel Living said...

Rock on with your bad self! You deserve some happiness, and piece of mind. It is sad to hear about your mom's long battle with mental illness...but it's great that you are helping yourself find your way through this vida loca!

laureen said...

ME TOO!! LOUD AND CLEAR!! when are we having our second cup of tea & story telling time? oh but so not bedtime stories, unless we're talking nightmares here. seriously.

Tobi said...

I cannot tell you how much I love this!

alissa said...

fabulous! bring it on:)

Chris said...

Oh snap....

your friend laura said...

aw, you guys are awesome. :)

brandi--thanks, love. yeah, mama's doing so much better, and now it's my turn to get all crazy...crazy with my strength!

laureen--this week. let's have tea and storytime. seriously. email me your availability. we. must. play.

tobi--i cannot tell you how much i love YOU.

alissa-that's right, sister. it's. on.

chris--you crack me up. xoxo.

laureen said...

woot! see ya soon.

krista said...

i like the sound of your new voice.