Owning the crazy

I wonder often if I’m crazy. Call it a bit of leftover debris from a less than stellar childhood but this actually a real thought that crosses my mind far more than I want it to. Do crazy people know they’re crazy? How do you define it?

I go from being pretty sure no one likes me, to being pretty sure I don’t like anyone, to being pretty sure I just don’t care.  From: I want to integrate into society and be a good citizen to I want to burn the world down to fuck everyone Im moving to a cabin in Alaska. Rapid cycling bi-polar? Schizophrenic? Normal and unable to cope with a world so disconnected? Isn’t Google self diagnosis fun!

Is it crazy to have wondered if Im crazy?

Ive actually done a lot of research on this. I’d like to say that’s sad but it’s more scary than anything.

I can remember being in victims services filling out forms with a social worker in order to get my victims compensation cheque. At the time I was horrified by most of the questions: “Do you self-harm?” “Have you ever tried to commit suicide” At 19 I found such notions to be pathetic. They were weak. Only the weak and weird suffered such delusions. It was bad enough that I had been labelled with PTSD, although at the time that label meant little to me its full scope has surfaced since.

Since that day in that office Ive done many of those things I formerly viewed as cowardly. More than once.  Does that make me weak? Pathetic?

Crazy?

I read a lot about how child abuse impairs the development of the brain of a child. How a constant state of stress causes the brain to train itself to skip the emotional response and jump right to fight or flight. Eventually the brain cant recover. It’s stuck in this mode and the prey response becomes pathological. Minor issues become totalistic problems. Fight, flight or freeze are the only options. I’m a fighter and a runner by nature. I never learned how to freeze apparently.  This sort of damage also explains why my life skills are…lacking. Academically I’ll happily challenge just about anyone but when it comes to dealing with people I’m more prepared to just shut down and walk away. The brains fast track system brought on by constant exposure to stress skips past the parts of the brain that problem solving and learning from experience occur in.  Abused children are socially stunted. Even if they were exposed to situations where other children learned social skills their brains would not allow the absorption of such material.  There was too much cortisol in the system to allow the transfer of information; too much danger in the world to let the guard down.

Ive always maintained, with a zealots fury, that people can choose to be a victim of their circumstances or they can choose to overcome them.  What if that’s not true. What if we’re all destined to be beaten by our demons. Then what? What if my demons finally caught up now that Ive finally stopped running?

Im finding myself at a bit of a crossroads lately. Many of the people Ive valued in the past few years have turned out to be less than stellar human beings. It makes me question myself more than them. They are just doing what a parasite does. I allowed that behaviour. I enabled it. I thought it was a representation of a decent person. What does that say about me?

What if those people are actually representations of decent people and my own views are so skewed that Im unable to differentiate what is good and what is bad anymore? What does that say about my own moral compass? Am I just waking up to the reality of it all? Then why did I accept ‘sleeping’ through any of it?

How does someone who sees the world in black and white learn to process gray? Or to even accept that gray is ok and an acceptable way to be?
Is it an acceptable way to be? What if that whole notion is wrong?

What if my own damaged perception of the world around me is so far from the reality of it that there is no recourse?
What if the demons really have won?
Then what?

 

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