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Open Your Closet

Monday, March 24, 2014

When I read of the tragedy, I wish I could say I was shocked, but I wasn't. The demons he fought were the same as I fight.

I sat in the overflowing room, where his friends and family had gathered to say their goodbyes, tell stories of his life, and the way he had impacted their lives, and I felt, I knew, how he had felt that day. For me, it's a way of life.

My heart was with him, I know the struggle, I know how people think you're "playing games," and should "just snap out of it." Truth is, you can't. His enemy is my enemy. To those that are afflicted like my friend was, and I am, our struggle is not a game, it's not "attention seeking," it's all too real.

For those that don't have a clue as to how we can struggle, as we do so often, bluntly, get educated. Even though our fight seems invisible to you, it's in glaring technicolor to us.

There are triggers that draw us into a vortex that seeks to destroy our lives. That doesn't mean we're weak. I don't know what my friend's triggers were, but I know mine all too well. A trigger is not a weakness, it's reality, a land mine.

My trigger, well, it's abandonment. Abandonment by people I have given my heart and soul to. There's strength in those sentences, I know what my trigger is, there's nothing weak about knowing your enemy.

The weakness, or cruelty, lies within those that refuse to acknowledge there's a definite demon we fight. Luckily, for me, there have only been a handful of people that, knowingly, or unknowingly, triggered my falls.

This last year has, without a doubt, been the most difficult year of my life, and my fight to carry on, and there's a very steep mountain to come, that is scaring the hell out of me. At least this mountain wasn't thrown at me out of the blue. I still don't know if I can climb it or not, time will tell.

That night, at my friend's memorial service, I sat, intensely watching, and listening to, his stepson speak, almost shout out, his pain. Shamefully, I have to admit, it was the first time I had really heard, understood, the impact on someone else, seen from the outside to the inside. His son, gave me a gift, another point of view.

People like to think what I fight, since it cannot be seen, is manipulative, they make themselves the focus, and get angry, or, as some people, roll their eyes, and scream in their feeble minds, "DRAMA."

Stop and think, do you really think, for a moment, that anyone would want to be afflicted with this disorder? One of the wisest things I've heard anyone say was from the mouth of a woman I despise, not because she's a lesbian, but because I just don't like the woman. In an interview she was asked if she wanted her adopted children to be gay. Her answer was, "No. It's a hard life, a continual fight."

I have to say she gained some respect from me that day. I guess my point is that, wake up, look around, We all have battles, I may not totally understand yours, and you may not totally understand mine, but we need to understand we all fight demons, only some can't be seen. Be more kind, more gentle, you never know what someone else  may be fighting.

So before you cast stones, get angry, and make assumptions, open your closet. What are you fighting?


middle child March 25, 2014 at 1:15 AM  

Please accept my condolences.
Anyone who would condemn you for your illness is cruel. A person doesn't have to fully understand it. But just knowing you are struggling should be enough for someone to care.

Unknown March 25, 2014 at 7:02 AM  

PREECH that.. I would so show this to my sister if I could.. all of them.. we are always here if ya need us sweetie.. bout time you did a road trip our way I do believe.. I see fire pits and cold beer and probably my son serenading us lol..

cj Schlottman March 25, 2014 at 7:28 AM  

I wish everyone could read this post, Teri. I'm sharing the link on Facebook. My son, who, as you know, is schizoaffective, said it rang true to him. Thanks for this one, Pal.

Rob-bear March 25, 2014 at 10:01 AM  

I'm so sorry for your loss, Diva. I have my own demons too, and I have to confront them every morning. Just like you, and your departed friend.

Blessings and Bear hugs every day, Teri!

The Bipolar Diva March 25, 2014 at 10:10 AM  

Thanks everyone. I do pretty well most of the time. I don't think my friend had the tools I have to work with, nor the support. I have family that thinks it's bullshit, and they have been relieved from duty as family members. I've only had two people in my life that have brought me to that unthinkable brink, one more than the other, and with this other situation, I'm not quite sure how I'll get through it. At least I have time to digest it some. But your support and understanding, and sometimes talking me down, is amazing. I have wonderful friends. I love you all so very much.

Karen Mortensen March 25, 2014 at 3:57 PM  

Sorry for the loss of your friend. I hope you are doing well. Thanks for your wise words.

Karyn March 25, 2014 at 5:35 PM  

Teri- I hate you lost someone- but this I promise from the bottom of my being- I will NEVER abandon you my friend- I am always here- and you always have a place in my home- you may have to pay homage to a corgi or two- but you always will be a part of me!
I <3 you!

The Bipolar Diva March 25, 2014 at 11:53 PM  

Karen and Karyn, thank you! and Karyn.....I'm thinking next year.......Fantasy Fest!

Unknown April 8, 2014 at 11:22 PM  

it sucks, everyfuckingtime. And the bad part is that the longer you one lives the more they will have to deal with it. Sorry.

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