Day 2

The question that has been running through my mind all day is: When did I break?
You see I am well aware that I am different and dysfunctional. I know that I am unwell or ill. The thing is I can’t figure out is if I was born this way or became this way. I know that this could become like the chicken and egg argument, as in which came first the chicken or the egg. If I were to change this to how I am thinking then it would be: Did Tony or the mental illness come first in my life?
For me, it would be easier if I were created this way.
It is probably more difficult to think that I was broken because of others. If I were broken later then that would mean that I was born normal. That would mean that I was once a happy, giggling, and full of promise baby. But if I were broken when did it happen? Would the brokenness have happened quickly like the snapping of a twig or slowly like rust?
Ok, let’s take this a step at a time. I don’t want to get ahead of myself or jump to any conclusions.
If I were broken could it have happened with the violence that I saw? That women were cooks, cleaners, baby makers and property. The violence towards women and in particular one woman that I witnessed was despicable. The sound of someone bruising another person is horrific. The sound of someone struggling to remain independent under the onslaught is appallingly unforgettable. Was it here that I broke? Was it being frightened that broke me? Surely, I wasn’t old enough to break then?
Could I have been broken when I was made the object of desire by someone older when I was 6 years old? Surely, the voices in my head couldn’t have started from my screaming in my own head. That couldn’t have broken me because time heals all wounds not that I was left beaten and bloody.
Could I have been broken by the constant moving? I lived in house after house and went to school after school. In fact, I went to three schools by the time I was in Yr 2 or back in the day what was called 2nd Class. There will be three more schools to come and dozens of houses. Light switches are the thing that unnerves me. With the constant moves and if I ever woke at night or came home late remembering where the light switches were and what light they turned on caused high anxiety. If I visit someone’s home or go to an office I cannot relax even a little until I locate the light switches, I don’t have to touch them just know where they are.
Could I have been broken by never feeling like I fit in? I guess it is like the old saying about the square peg in a round hole. I was never “boy” enough. I have never been into riding motorbikes. I was never into fixing motors or gadgets. I wasn’t sporty. I have never been boy enough. I didn’t want to drink, get drunk and fall down. I never wanted to be in fights. Yes, I do like a good verbal stoush but detest violence. I never wanted to marry and actually said from the age of 5 or 6 that I would never get married. If what I saw was love I didn’t want to love. So I wasn’t even boy enough to marry. I would rather do arts and craft than get grease under my fingernails. I definitely fail at being male.
It couldn’t have been any of that so I must have been born this way. That would explain why I wasn’t worthy of love. Being born this way would explain why things of life affect me so much. If you ask some members of my family you’ll find out that I was never normal.
To tell you the truth, I don’t know if I were born this way or if I was broken because all I know is that I have to deal with all of the shattered pieces. My mind is a tad like Humpty Dumpty because like him all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put me back together again.
Just some thoughts in a long stream of consciousness.

Just a moment

What is a moment?

Life is made up of moments be they good or bad moments. What is it about these brief parcels of time that we store them in our memory to be recalled and reflect on these moments. It sometimes feels like we can take them out and look at them like a diamond or precious gem.

Life’s moments can be good or bad memories. I can clearly recall the moment that I heard of John Lennon being gunned down outside his Dakota apartment building in New York by Mark David Chapman. I can tell you where I was and the shock that gripped me along with grief. I had never been to New York nor had I met John Lennon but it affected me. It was a moment just a moment in time. It is like this for people when it comes to events like when Lady Dianna Spencer died in a car accident or how the 9th of September is forever connected to the terrorist attacks on the United States of America. If I bring it to the more personal level I know the moment that my mother passed away with me by her side.

Moments don’t have to moments of bad news because I still remember holding hands with a girl for the first time when I was in Yr 7 at school. I swear that I could feel electricity surge through me as our fingers entwined. There is the memory of that moment when I know that I am in love. Moments of laughter. Moments with friends. Moments with the sun on my shoulders. Good moments that become great memories.

Sometimes special moments can happen with people you just meet and probably won’t ever see again. One such moment happened a couple of days ago when I went for coffee with a friend of mine. We were at Café Mondeo in Blacktown. As part of my paranoia I try to be aware of everyone and everything around me. I noticed that several people from another table got up to leave, one person went to the counter to pay and this woman in a wheelchair came wheeling towards me. She stopped and we talked. The conversation started because as always my psychiatric assistance dog Buddy was with me and she told me about her assistance dog which is a golden retriever. We didn’t need to ask each other what the dogs do for us or why we had them. It was a moment of two people who had a bond of common understanding because of our dogs. It wasn’t about the dogs it was about that we were equals. It didn’t matter about our disabilities because for a moment it was just two people talking. There wasn’t that awkward question of “why do you need a service dog?” we just talked. It wasn’t a romantic thing but what it was was a moment where I felt normal.

It was an amazing moment. I don’t think that I connected with someone like this for a long time. A moment of understanding. A moment of equals. A moment that I treasure.

In a crowded city and in the crush of depression I was treated as a person. I was treated as normal. I was me.