A happy hello to you and I hope that your day has been kind to you. I am still up and down with where I am, and cannot quite find my footing. I am happy to take each day as it comes and hope that I will eventually get a person I can be happy with. My writing today is a shortened edition of my past, my doctor has asked me to do this up for her so she can get a better idea of what she is dealing with.
I was first diagnosed with manic depression when I was seven. I was the eldest in a family of four. My other siblings had either mental, physical or a combination of both. I was the get everything child of the house. The injuries for my brother and middle sister was from a car accident the family was involved in. I had been thrown clear and presented without any marks or injuries so I was released into an Aunties care without any formal medical checkup.
I always knew there was something wrong from very early childhood as I could never feel safe. I started school at four and again encountered problems as I was left handed and at a Catholic school this was devilish (it was the 1960s), so the canings were frequent until I could write with my right hand. Of course, this simply added to the impression that I was an evil child who no one could care about. By the time I started high school I had a very well earned reputation, it was only the establishment I rebelled against, any of the students who were targetted were under my protection. I spent many an afternoon in detention, cleaning the church or helping the Sisters of Mercy with whatever task was deemed to save my soul.
Not once in all those years did a single adult ask me if I had a problem, or if there was anything I would like to talk about. the sad part of this was if just one adult had my problems identified, I could have been supported. My final year ten report card was mainly 6 and 7 (top end) with a 4 being my lowest mark. However my class teacher felt it her duty to place as her teacher’s comment ‘Adrienne is STUPID’. It is a comment I have never recovered from.
To this day anyone questions something I have done I automatically assume that it is incorrect and become stressed and anxious, I will look for ways to fix the problem even though it is not my error. I know that I will need much help to overcome this. It was the reason I always focused on the good traits of my students and ignored the negative. From my viewpoint it is far easier to say “wow that is really good…now how can we make this bit…”, and oddly enough a young person praised they will put that extra effort in to find that brilliant response.
I had an incident occur when I was seven where my mother should have taken me to both the doctor and the police but decided that I had mental problems, and an outstanding Catholic family could not have this sort of incident made public. It was dealt with by medication. I have ignored the entire five-year incident since but again it is now something that I really do need to review as I now know that I was a victim and I should not have to carry all this baggage. I have helped young people who have experienced the same and I know how much difference it makes by being supported to understand exactly how to resolve those nightmares and reclaim you.
I spent much of the 70/80s hiding behind Jim Beam or Mary Jane, I completed my apprenticeship (first female in that trade) and in general had a wonderful time. It was so easy to ignore the horror of my past then my best mate who also happened to be my kid brother died (natural causes). He was 26 and went to bed on the 14th of December and never woke again. I tried to get drunk but all those years of drinking made this impossible. I have never experienced pain to rival this before or after. There was less than twelve months between us and he knew everything about me so I lost the one person I could trust. It was at that point I decided to become like he was for me…help those who have problems by listening to them and if possible get them a way out.
Until my turn in June that is what I have happily been doing, but now I have to look in the mirror and go back through all those hidden and nightmarish memories to find my problems then go on to create an Adrienne that I want.