Written by Wemimo.
As a child I was not typical. I had learning difficulties, I day dreamed, I didn’t connect with others, my moods shifted periodically from being overly excited to gloom and my Mom like most Yoruba Moms or well Black Moms didn’t spare therod. I was her first child and it was hard to admit she had a less than perfect child. It is still difficult for her and my siblings to accept that I am “MENTALLY ILL” ( I will discuss the role of a Support System in another write up). Anyway, I didn’t realise till I was mid way into my teen years that I was different and I had to learn to accept it. It wouldmean I ensured I curbed my need to react as much as I could and that I avoided social interactions when I didn’t feel up to it. Yes I got named and teased for being moody, antisocial etc, but I learnt my place of peace is all I need.
I am a daughter of an alcoholic father and an overly victimised mother. I saw abuse with my earliest recollection being age 6. My existence has been plagued for no fault of mine by sexual abuse, assault and unbelievable levels of family drama that I can write a bestseller on. What I see now when I look in the mirror is a survivor. I, Wemimo survived;the abuse, the emotional and verbal attacks and being told from age 8 that I was an unwanted child, whose existence would not account for much. I have daily battled the need to not end my life from age 8; it’s a constant ideation on my mind.
After my dad passed, contrary to how I’d been raised. My “Daddy issues” rose to the top like cream. Hooking up with strangers became fun. I do not know about others but I can be a different woman depending on the man I am with. My dependence on alcohol for sleep became my reality. I was tired to a point I wanted not to wake. I was in a dark hole.
I didn’t ask for this, by this I mean the Emotional mess that I am. However I responsible for the triggers that the “Emotional Unavailable” men I kept chasing because of my issues caused on my mental health and the drama and stress it causes mestill. I have had a few mental breakdowns two years into my diagnosis. I just lost my potential soul mate to a friend who was considered Typical. Do you know why he blocked me for her?. I asked if he liked her and asserted that he had to tell me where we stood?. He called it dramatic and so ended one year of me acting normal and taking his BS because I felt privileged to have his attention, I know subconsciously I am used to been starved for love since that was Dad’s style. And quite often these “Emotional Withdrawn/Unavailable Men”set me on edge. They trigger me when I am not validated etc. Then I get called dramatic. It is so hard and difficult to feel how I do and not get hurt. I feel so strongly. I love intensely or dislike. I am ride or die.
However when I am not going through the throes of Mania,Hypomania or a Mixed Episode, I can function as anyone can. I am empathic!. What I have also learnt is that it’s ok to have a reaction, to be angry if I need to be and to feel free to express myself, however I am not one to bring others down despite the impulse. I have felt rejection and its awful, I understand sometimes I spew out hurtful words not because I want to but because I feel so helpless that I am mad at those closest to me not for any fault of theirs (And I wish they knew this ). In that moment I am just angry, irritable, filled with despair and I don’t want to be that way but I can’t help it…
I admit I can be overly sensitive, irritable at other times, I can be happy for a stretch and quite moody for quite a long time too. I can be quite angry when provoked and yes sometimes I will give you a piece of my mind to ensure we are clear on things. Now all I’ve listed seem to be the problem when women are described as dramatic by men and what other women call being “too extra”. However I will not argue with what anyone feels or how my reactions are interpreted, F*** everyone has issues yea, I just think like cream, my issues and lack of tolerance for BS rise to the top once excited, sometimes my brain simply takes over and shuts me out. I know for a fact that I can be nurturing, kind and empathic given how sensitive my mental health diagnosis makes me. I am intuitive too since that’s how I have learnt to survive.
Dad was from a dysfunctional home, Mom was from same too so how do I blame them. I remember being unable to tell Mom when I was abused at age 6, I’d seen her get beaten too many times and so knew she had issues. I had seen a violent reaction to simple issues too by her and though it hurt I kept it to myself to avoid drama or being blamed. The abuse continued for years. I try to understand why Dad couldn’t love me too, why he showed love outside and would frown once he got home.
In conclusion, I can narrate these experiences time and time again but it won’t change what has happened. I can choose to be better and stop feeling like the victim. Now, I choose to love me and it’s a struggle. However with zeal, faith and a sense of self I am certain I’ll be fine.
Did my parents give me mental health issues?- NO. They are victims of life as I am too. It’s time to pack up the past and make better choices and happier memories.
In this Moment, I am golden and before the Sun sets I can still rewrite my story. I can and am able to make a difference, to rewrite my stars and to ensure a safer and more stable environment and life for others. It gives me great joy to consider the prospect of helping others. This Moment I’m sore but it will get better. Think on these things and be inspired dear Reader. We cannot change the past but to fail to start over means we have given up on the chance life offers every morning when we wake. I am on a journey to achieving my potential and today I know for a fact that I am closer to my potential than I am to feeling sorry for myself.
We will be fine.
Lots of Hugs from me to you.