Friday, July 10, 2015

"Sometimes I Think I'm Crazy"

I've heard that statement from survivors several times, and I assume it's fairly common. They don't usually mean they think they're insane, but rather that their lives don't make sense. They're confused about values and behavior.

That doesn't make them crazy, even though it feels that way. They speak of conflicting emotions and often of not trusting their perceptions.

Why wouldn't we feel strange or odd? When we tried to tell the truth, we weren't believed. Or we were told we were wrong when we spoke up. I remember quite clearly that before the old man molested me, I said to my mother, "You like Mel more than you like me." Mel was two years younger.

"I love all of you the same," she said.

As young as I was, that statement didn't make sense to me, and I knew Mel was the favorite. Years later, my other siblings and I talked about Mel, and they all agreed he was the favorite.

Because I wasn't believed when I made a simple observation, why would I expect my parents to believe me on something like sexual assault?

We're not crazy; we're hurting or confused, but if we persist, life will make sense.


Mark Cooper said...

I feel craziest when I start to listen to my perceptions about my family. Perceptions that I was told, during my childhood were either wrong, or needed to be explained away.

Yesterday I was talking to my best friend about a man I idolized when I was a little boy. A man whose memory still has a control on me. As I described the way he treated me when I was a boy, my friend showed perplexity. I finally "got" it and was able to say "He (the man) was cruel in the way he treated me."

Until yesterday, calling that man's treatment of me cruel would have been crazy to me. Today, calling his actions cruel is truth. And freedom.

Roger Mann said...

One of the comforting passages in the Bible and there are many for me, is the one in Romans chapter 7 I believe it is where Paul says things I want to do I don't do and things I don't want to do I do. That made sense to me. Paul was kind of crazy too.

As I entered my early 20s and left behind my teens I began a huge struggle. Things I wanted to do with my life appeared totally beyond my capacity. I felt lost and was doing things I really did not want to do. I felt at times like I was going crazy inside and still trying to keep it together outside. This went on far longer than I ever thought it would and there were times I almost lost it completely.

Like you said it did get better but I still wonder if I am as sane as I could be.

Cec Murphey said...

When I've had those feelings of craziness, I've learned to say one thing to myself:

Those are my feelings; they are not reality.

As simple as that sounds, it has worked for me. And it gives me peace.

John Bixler said...

This blog post really resonates with me. Roger, thank you for the passage you quoted, " Romans chapter 7 - where Paul says things I want to do I don't do and things I don't want to do I do. "

That really hits the nail on the head.

To say the least, I am confused about my values and my behavior.

Thank you Cec, for your last sentence - something to cling to: If we persist, life will make sense.