I’m spoiled. We go to a nice restaurant, the first one a man has ever taken me to without my asking, simple, but yummy. He tells me how nice I look, how he likes my hair, even as I’m snarfing mucus and making it clear without saying that se is the last thing on my mind. He tells me illness does wonders for my completion.
He puts a goofy, silly grin on my face. My heart, literally, feels like dancing, and I struggle to remember when I was ever this happy or simply content. He uses the we word while we talk about my backyard and plans for the summer.
So why am I so afraid to tell him all of my truth?
He’s driving me home while describing someone in one of his classes. She’s crazy-“she talks about how she tried to kill herself, twice, how she’s been on the psych ward-and she’s not embarressed! Not one bit!”
I mutter something about how it’s just an illness, and nothing to be ashamed of. I find myself tongue tied, scared. I say nothing about how I could be her, and her I. I think about how lonely it was on the ward, so isolating to be *just* sane enough to know how crazy I wasn’t. How scared I was then, how fucking awful it was to sit on a gurney, wondering if I had indeed done myself in.
I think about how I wonder how much a shitty relationship made me crazy, now that I’m med free over 3 months, and feeling fine.
I wonder if it matters. I wonder if I need to tell him-I feel that I should, if we keep seeing each other much longer. I feel like it’s a truth I need to share. I feel like I’m lying by not just sitting down and having the discussion.
But how do I? “Dear person I really dig-hey! I used to be crazy and tried to kill myself and stuff but it’s ok! I’m all better now!”
yeah, no. Somehow, no.
I know that likely what’s at play is the bias society has against mental illness, the stigma I’ve spent time arguing and fighting against-as I said in the car the other night-it’s no different than having cancer-no one would fault the girl for talking about that. I know that what’s said isn’t even meant maliciously.
But goddamn, I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t say it hurt like hell to hear him say what he said the other night. Because I know the people on that ward are no different than anyone else. They’re just sick. Or sicker.
I know I should level with him and just let it out. But I’m terrified. I became so tired of being looked at like I was defective before. And now, having someone look at me and just see goofy, geeky, bacon loving me-I’m frightened that this could change all that. And I don’t want to run that risk.
I’m scared of my truth this time.