For anyone who knows me, I’m pretty sure you can guess what my first greatest fear is, but no one talks about the second greatest fear; becoming crazy. My mother is diagnosed bipolar, but I’m pretty sure she might be schizophrenic or at least have the attributes of one with schizophrenia. I remember a time in my childhood, before my sister was born that she wasn’t so bad. Then slowly she began to become a stranger to me to the point where I honestly, to this day can tell you I don’t know her and I don’t want to know her. At the time the switch seemed rabid and fast, but now looking back it didn’t start off like a dog attack, but rather small mean little things she would do. It wasn’t quick. She didn’t change over night, but rather in the beginning she would have days where she would go back and forth. Sometimes I wonder if she was ever really there. Was the mother before all of the nightmare even real? I write this because bipolar usually hits in your early twenties, and I’m there. Well, mid-twenties now. It is genetic. It is my nightmare. My other nightmare. I wonder if along with losing my son if I’m going to completely lose myself. Am I going to be a stranger to my loved ones? Do I imagine things? Am I really crazy?
Sometimes I get really angry, and I can’t think. Sometimes I fall down the deafening slopes of sadness over and over again, and can’t pull myself out. Sometimes I yell. Sometimes I’m quiet. Sometimes my memory runs away from me. Am I crazy? I think to myself, and then people say the dreaded words, “You’re just like your mother.” Am I? Am I really? Am I the shadow of her? Sometimes I’m not sure if what made her evil was the disease or if she was born that way, but now I wonder if I’m evil too. Could I do the things she’s done? Am I crazy? If I am will it take me away? Am I going to be stuck in my body with someone else’s brain? Will I remember Callan? Will I dishonor him? Will I lose my family? Am I crazy?
I’m terrified. I hate being told I’m like her because what if it’s true? When people say that, I don’t think they truly understand the weight of their words. I hear a ticking time bomb waiting to make me someone who I dread I’ll become. They say have you taken your medicine, but I haven’t because I want to make it without it. I can’t stand the thought of having to be chemically dependent on a pill to make me someone I used to be. I hate having it thrown in my face that I’m weak because I can’t be myself without chemically altering my brain to make me “happy”. They say have you taken your medicine, and I used to say it to my mother. It hurts. I’m petrified Its going to be me. I’m petrified that at thirty I’ll have lost all semblance of who I was. I’m terrified I’m going to be remembered by the word crazy instead of the word warrior. I am terrified to die alone with mountains of enemies instead of people who adore me.
My second greatest fear is, waking up one day divorced from the husband I love so dearly who now hates me. Living alone in a place I can barely afford because I can’t hold down a job let alone make my career take flight. Seeing my teenage daughter look at me with hatred and pity as she tries everything she can to stay away from me. I terrified of her becoming me and me becoming my mother.