Falling Through The Cracks! Don't Know Where I Belong??
OK sure yes , from the moment I came into this world I entered an environment of fear, extreme violence, humiliation and belittlement. So yeah, in a sense I guess most would say I never had a fair chance to begin with. Never had a chance to know what its like to see and feel a dads unconditional love. Never had that time as a child when the world is your oyster, that childhood innocence which is yet to be tainted by humanities cruelties, lusts and sin. I grew up quick. There was no choice about it, I saw, heard, and felt things way before I had the cognitive or emotional coping skills to process any of it. But the human body and particularly the mind is an amazing thing, that drive to survive ingrained within all seems to just make things up as it goes along , and hence you cope the BEST you can, given your circumstances and stage of development. Now there are more then enough credible studies and research that shows the first five years of our lives to be the most formative, and despite my tendency to delve into terminal uniqueness, naturally I'm not immune. I went to the opposite extreme of the spectrum. Some people are very in tune and have come to terms with the devastating consequences of the abuse they've suffered. I on the other hand forced myself to act and believe that it had not impacted me, it didn't matter. I felt and still do to this day that I deserved it. My dad was just frustrated trying to teach me to be a man. He was always saying I had to learn, had to he tough, that its a hard world out there. I would hear and see him beat my mom and I would think maybe if I hadn't been born my dad wouldn't have been so angry and beat my mom. So over the years I shunned the notion that any of my challenges and difficulties where from the abuse. And so life went on and I learned at a really young age living in an unstable environment and yet have to keep the facade of normalcy up for the outside world, so I learned young how to wear different masks so to speak and hide what was going on inside extremely well. My survival depended on it. Not only did it allow me to fit in, be a part of, it also facilitated me believing that I wasn't scarred, I refused to be damaged goods. In some ways I suppose this is good, unfortunately I took it to the extreme of never coping with any of it , especially in a healthy manner. I was the type of kid who played on select soccer teams, was voted class prime minister in elementary school, made honour roll during the bit of high school I did.. But in the meantime I was selling marijuana and I hung out with a lot of people older then myself , even the ones that were my age they all where wards of the state, came from broken homes. Why I gravitated towards these people, well you see this wasn't a conscious decision, however from a young age living in a house where we were in constant fear. Never knowing when the next blow would come, what the reason would be for me to have to feel the sharp sting of my dads belt on my naked skin, seeing and hearing him beat my mom, most times knowing I was next, but there was nothing I could do but wait and see. To this day when I feel stress and fear I have a physical reaction to it, in the form of deep pain in my stomach. I decided at a young age never would I be a victim again, and well these people I was associating with they were tough and popular, so if you can't beat them you join them. And so I was the softy of the group. But I little by little became jaded, immune to all the drugs, crime, violence and un safe sex, it was normal to me. I mean everybody went to the youth correctional centre, what was the big deal? I started and became physically addicted to heroin and I was mentally addicted to crack cocaine at 14 years old. It just grabbed me, sure I had heard drugs where bad however I did them and the world didn't stop turning so I thought what was the big deal? At this age I was unable to grasp that I was just adding fuel to the fire. I already had unhealthy coping skills, the first time I tried to kill myself and self cut which I then learned was a release for me was at 13 years old. I didn't have the proper razor , all I had were scissors and so I cut and dug in to ly wrists trying to snip a vein of mine. At 17 I was kicked out on the streets. I was homeless, the first few months I slept on cardboard in alleys, eventually I graduated to sleeping under a bridge. I was a drug addict and homeless. This first time on the streets was for about 1 year and a half. I have been homeless off and on ever since. During the past 2 years or so I JUST crashed. I gave up. I managed at one point to get clean and got a job helping people who were just like me, it felt good to use the misery I have lived through to try and help others. But once an addict, always an addict and I made a poor choice and relapsed, I lost everything I had worked for, my apartment, my occupation and my drive to live. I went back to the heroin and crack full tilt and the depression, anxiety, and the cutting. I eventually became suicidal, taking action on plans only to have my plans not work and eventually my freedom was taken in a sense. I was certified/committed under the mental health act 3 times and was an involuntary inpatient at a few hospital psych wards. The good that came out of all those visits, one of which was for 2 months was I received a official diagnoses, borderline personality disorder, psychosis, depression. I was placed on an assortment of medications to try and stabilize my mind. Today I am still on 3 psychiatric medications and methadone, which I've been on since I was 19. I am 30 now. Over the last while I have managed thanks to a lot of professional help and support managed as of Feb. 2012 to get a year clean from all illegal drugs and alcohol. I've re-established my connection with my higher power God and Jesus Christ. Although I am clean I still am suffering from extreme lows of depression, suicidal plans and thoughts, self cutting. But I'm trying to change. Most days I still suffer in silence. I am afraid to be vulnerable and I feel shame and embarrassment about my delusions, paranoid irrational beliefs and thoughts, I hear sometimes warnings about certain people being out to get me, but I'm not always like this. My mental health workers tell me this is the psychosis speaking. That its not real , but at the time it sure feels real. So as they say here I stand at the crossroads. I'm on waiting lists for safe , low income housing which there is a shortage of and most of the low income housing is in my war zone. The poorest area where I live, a neighborhood where crack, heroin and pretty much all the mainstream illegal drugs and commonly abused prescription medications are openly sold and consumed on the streets, herds of people suffering in silence like me living in crisis, addiction and abject poverty with no foreseeable way out. Even with the work I've done I'm on the brink of homelessness again, in fact technicaly I am homeless because I have no place to go to yet from the residential treatment centre I've resided in for the past year. If you passed me on the street today you would have no way of telling what my story is. I'm not the man with an over grown beard in dirty clothes , sitting on the street with a tin cup out stretched asking for change, like I illustrated from my earliest days I never seemed to fit the stereotype, I JUST floated through life, I don't want to be noticed, wanted or needed. I had an interesting psychiatrist appointment where I was asked what my wishes would be, so I told her and she said I want to point out to you that I find it important that no where in your wishes do you mention a relationship with another person. She said you have been abandoned numerous times in various ways by the people who most look to for safety, stability and unconditional love, it was as if my mind couldn't even fathom a meaningful and lasting relationship so I wouldn't even let myself go there, it is safer this way for me. As a result though I suffer in silence and fall ever more between the cracks. I don't write this for sympathizers or shock value , as I've stated before I dont expect anything from writing this , I have no delusions for I've been the person lying on cardboard just waking up freezing cold, wishing I wasn't waking up as the city comes alive and pedestrians on there way to work step over me or around me without a moments thought as they sip theyre 5 dollars Starbucks chai tea lattes, oblivious listening to their ipod. No you cant tell by looking at me but this is my story.