For the last 14 years, I’ve been slowly breaking down inside, until in the last few months where I’ve hit the point of desperately wanting to be wiped from existence. Past and future, to never have existed in the first place.
Look up metaphysical nihilism on Wikipedia, that’s the sort of thing I suddenly started contemplating recently. I didn’t think about whether anyone else had ever contemplated the concept that existence cannot be proven. That, combined with major depressive disorder, has led me to existential nihilism. The concepts of nihilism are fascinating, unless you’re suicidal before you learn about them. I was.
I first had suicidal ideations at 15 years old. I was diagnosed as depressed with some anxiety, due to a chemical imbalance in my brain, part of puberty. It was also possible that I had mild ADHD – not worth medicating to avoid the Ritalin popularity fad. However, until a few months later I was a gifted student, both in music and academics. The more depressed I became, the more my academic grades fell, but my musical talent never left me (THANK GOD).
And then there was the small, unpleasant chance I had Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD from here on).
My personality began to fracture around 15, something I was vaguely aware of but didn’t quite understand or worry about. I became a psychosocial and mental chameleon, comfortably shifting roles between social settings.
A brief detour that I must mention here. From the age of 7 I’d been involved with the family farming business at our home, so the aspects of hospitality are close to my heart; on the other hand my actions, cognition and other parts of my psyche are very limited in the ways they can function. Living on a business farm means even children are on call for work from 4am until… well. Depending on what type of farm, potentially 24/7, just like our parents. Clients would visit on a daily basis, meaning the property had to be extremely well-presented.
With a former Australian Army serving(family service history for miles), Catholic, child of nine father – and an emotionally manipulative, cruel, deceitful, obsessive compulsive mother, I was always being told either a) that I was basically a crybaby, or b) depends where I am at that point on mum’s constant emotional rollercoaster. My manners and poise had to be flawless, to the point where she actually threatened me with etiquette boarding school.
So at 15 I was put on an antidepressant along the same vein as prozac for 2 1/2 years and I hated every day of it. It took away ALL feelings, not just the negatives. Eventually I lost myself entirely in a greyish haze, every day blended together, and I suddenly didn’t know who I was inside. I had too many chameleon patterns and forgot who I was.
I had weekly psychologist appointments which I hated, even though I liked my psychologist. Just before my 18th birthday, I was in a positive enough state to start weaning myself off the meds, with rapid and easy success.
I suppose it was only six months later when I actually began to experience depression and anxiety again, much more subtly at first. I had moved into an apartment with a boyfriend, but our neighbour had (quite literally) CONSTANT violently raging psychotic episodes. He would walk the hallway of our building, screaming and cursing gibberish, then bang on our door and roar at us not to slam the door. We hadn’t closed a door in hours. I absorbed a lot of the energy he gave off, and he genuinely scared the hell out of me too.
To make a saga a long story, just over a year ago I received a confirmed diagnosis: ADHD (since birth, subtype 2 or 6), Major Depressive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder with Agoraphobia, and let’s not forget everybody’s favourite: Borderline Personality Disorder. In January this year it was also decided that I was quite probably born with a high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Or, in total, ADHD-2/6, MDD, PTSD, SAD, BPD, HF ASD.
My recent despair is too fresh and deep to say much about right now. I have wanted to annihilate myself for more than 3 years, I’ll say that much. Total self loathing, and being shown love and kindness causes me great distress.
Until today I couldn’t understand what anyone could possibly see in me that balances out how sick I am, and then it hit me. Agonizingly, like a horrific nightmare. BPD is what gives me my chameleon superpower, an ability to tune into somebody’s mental and emotional wavelength to establish harmony, empathy and understanding. People tell me that it’s really scary how I understand them so well, but that’s why they specifically love ME. I understand better than anyone because I subconsciously become like them.
The very thing that makes me so unwell and causes me so much pain is also the source of my gift. It’s just the other side of the coin. I always liked Harvey Dent, funnily enough.