I am not sure if you are familiar with the title I have chosen for this post. In fact they are a quote from the author and poet Iara Gassen. The reason I have chosen them as the title of this post is because they so readily capture the thing that is on my heart and mind so much at the moment.
See one of the things that I have noticed with some folk who suffer mental health and indeed with myself for that matter is that very often the things that we are thinking simply just unintentionally come out of our mouths.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am more than aware that this sometimes happens to folk who don’t have or are not diagnosed with any mental health problems but it does seem that can be a commonality in this regard with mental health.
I can’t help thinking of some computer programs and especially windows vista at this time where whenever you go to do something a new window automatically appears that basically says, “do you really mean to do that?”.
I think for many of us who suffer from mental health issues it is as if that automatic warning or clarification or filtration window has been deactivated. And when we think something instead of a warning screen automatically appearing in our mind saying “Whatever you do don’t say that out loud!” no such warning message appears and so we just blurt out what we have thought.
I am reminded of someone I know who when listening to someone speak will often make a critical or derogatory comment and then suddenly realize he has done so and so will look all embarrassed at the person and say, ” Oh I am so sorry, I said that out loud didn’t I?”
Like wise I know someone else who will often say the most inappropriate things to people because it seems that the automatic filtration system that many of us have in our heads and that stop us saying the wrong things to the wrong people or at the wrong time simply doesn’t work in his head.
I thank the Lord that my problem is neither of those last two examples although I must admit that there probably has been at least one occasion when I have slipped up in those ways but then again I think most of us probably have once or twice.
No the problem that I am experiencing at the moment, well one of the problems that I am experiencing at the moment and have been for some time now is that I am just not sure that the words and statements that I formulate in my mind actually come out of my mouth the way I intend them to!
Again please don’t get me wrong here. I am not saying that the words get all jumbled up somewhere between my mind and my mouth, although yes that has happened too, no what I mean is that it seems that sometimes, (quite a bit actually) I make statements or say things that aren’t rude or disrespectful or nasty or inappropriate in any way and yet are taken to be harsh or disrespectful but some people I talk to.
Most of the time, or so it seems, it happens when I am talking to my family. Not my biological family, for we are not that close and hardly ever seem to talk, but with the family that I fully believe that God gave me.
I will say something and it will be taken completely differently to how I intended it or thought I was saying it. Sometimes it is a misunderstanding about what I am saying and sometimes it is a misunderstanding about how I am saying it. Additionally, very often, I will be asked if I am ‘in a bad mood’ when I am not and I can’t understand why I am even being asked if I am.
And this all causes great problems for me both i my relationships with others but also within my own mind. I struggle so very much with this. I sit there questioning if my own perception or understanding of myself and my statements and my communication, indeed my interaction with people is somehow all screwed up?
I can’t help it. I just plunge into this whole quagmire of self-doubt and self-question. I get washed away in a flood of reanalyzing every last little disagreement I have ever had. “Was it me? Did I get it all wrong?” I ask myself uncontrollably. “When I was upset with so and so for what they had done, did I screw up in my understanding of what it was they did?” “Have I totally messed up, corrupted, twisted and perverted what actually happened to me in my childhood?” “Did I deserve all the beatings and rejection and ridicule that I suffered as a boy?” “HECK did I create or cause my being treated that way?”
The flood of questioning and self-doubt it endless and relentless and I end up drowning and going under until something in my brain pulls the plug out and I get sucked into the darkness and the world of self-hatred, self-loathing, self-blame and self-harming.