I do not regret things I do. I do my best to learn from my mistakes. I do not make excuses for my actions based on my "disabilities." I'm bipolar and OCD, ADD, etc. I only mention these things when absolutely when necessary, like when I have to explain, in detail, why I HAVE to have 8 hours sleep to a professor. I control my bipolar with a combination of pot, sleep, diet, and breathing exercises. Honestly, the best control for it I have is I've trained myself to analyze my emotions, i.e. why am I feeling this emotion? Is it chemically induced or a reasonable response to an event? I control my OCD barely. I just keep myself from my baser impulses (such as repeatedly washing my hands) and have divulged into probably worse ones (smoking!). I was so obsessed with obsessing as a child, I would never wash my hands, unless in the bath, in fear of washing my hands raw. I also trained myself to focus because I attended an open concept elementary school (no walls) and had to do something to learn, and I wanted to learn.
Now to the real reason for this post. My father is in prison. I say father because I call my step-dad dad also, this will keep things simple. My father is there for child molestation. He got 20 years. I was a victim, but he was never charged for that. We lived in a really small town in Parker County Texas. Mom went to the Parker County Courthouse, but they said a 3 year old was lying. He finally assaulted the wrong child in the wrong town and was arrested. I saw my dad rarely after that. He got probation originally and wasn't supposed to be around anyone under 18. He met a woman with 2 kids and proceeded to go to prison for violating his probation. He's been in prison since around 1996.
But my father wasn't the only one to abuse me in this fashion, and I will not go into all of the details, however I will share that one was an uncle and the other a family friend who later said I shouldn't have been hiding in the shed during hide and seek. Needless to say, I was called a liar a lot. Then when I was 10 (and my family had been in Arlington for a couple years), I was stalked by some pervert who would call and make lewd comments and suggestions. This man continued to call until I was almost 16! I eventually ran into him in person at my first place. I knew it was him simply by his voice! That was one of the scariest days of my life!
You add these experiences to a child who had emotional outbursts (to the point of being tested for epilepsy) and you can imagine the drama when I was 10 and what my mother had to go through (and she's crazy too!). However, I rarely shared these experiences until I was in high school.
I didn't even start telling what I went through until I had to endure the "problems" of the freshmen that were suddenly put in my high school my junior year. Prior to that year freshmen were in the junior highs in Arlington, TX. I started hearing kids whine about how their parents were still together and they were so mean because they grounded them for swearing. They would even say these types of behavior would lead to them cutting themselves. Then there were the kids who whined about their parents spanked them. Damn, my mom sent my sister and me to school with black eyes! I didn't tell anyone, I thought it was obvious where they were coming from, until a counselor told me if I stopped fighting with my sister we would stop coming to school with black eyes. Yeah, you read that right. Finally I got tired of the whines of people that didn't know what pain was and began telling people my story. This was soon followed by a long line of people telling me "You are so strong" and eventually lead to "Stop lying, you're just trying to one-up her."
Gradually, the "You're so strong" comments did grow on me and I began to play up these events of my life. I even used them to get out of the Army (not my best moment in my life, but a good blog entry for another day). Over time, I did get on the "pity me" bandwagon, but quickly got off of it when I realized I had become exactly what I hated.
The irony of this tale is that the abuses of my childhood did move into my adult life. I ended up in a very abusive relationship after Gary was murdered (see my blog on him). I think that relationship is what spurred my eating up the attention from the "You're so strong" crowd. Combine this with getting my first car at 21 and the fact my mom wouldn't let me go anywhere even as an adult (until I got the car), you get a girl who just wanted some "positive" attention.
However, I can not regret anything I have done. All my actions have made me into the individual I am today. It gets me so mad to see people depending on pills (my experience has never been good) and blame the bad experiences in their lives for every mistake they have ever made and why they live lives of lies. If a bipolar, OCD, ADD, epileptic girl can live a practically normal life (normal is so relative) than anyone can, especially without the mental health issues! All you have to do is realize that you control your reactions and you control yourself. You can not control others, you can not control the world, but you can control yourself. If you know something triggers a "disability" than stay away from it (my triggers are whiskey and malt liquor). If you know a particular activity is very calming for you and is not bad for your health, do that. Meds are not the cure all and making excuses for your behavior is worse than thinking that "lucky rabbits foot" is the reason you win or lose. Chance is up to fate and fate is not determined by us, but by God, and His will will be done!