I have this repeating question in my mind.
Do you know who you are?
“Yea, of course,” you might think to yourself.
” Yea,” I tell myself, “I’m just me,” but who is that, really?
I have been telling myself that I am on a journey of self-discovery, but if I’m honest, I don’t really know what that looks like or how to even begin.
It’s something that has always bothered me from a very early age.
The whole “lack of self” thing. It feels like I have been going through an Identity crisis like a mid-life crisis since about age four. At that time, it was like I was being pressured to just “be better.”
Like nothing I did was ever right.
Me, being myself wasn’t good enough, and I needed to be changed.
That is a lot of pressure for a child.
Mind you, I was just diagnosed as Bipolar-Depressive (bipolar type 2) and Autistic (Autistic spectrum disorder) at age three, before being adopted.
I was just told all of this a few years ago — that it was for “my own good” to not know, that nobody knew I was adopted or was born with a lot of “problems.”
But joke’s on me, right? Because how is ignoring what I need going to be for my betterment?
Especially since it came around full circle, and I was re-diagnosed with all of this and then some as an adult.
I feel as if I am in mourning all the time– utterly depressed, a dark cloud overhead always looming. This overwhelming sadness and suffocating self-questioning never seem to leave my mind.
I am feeling like I am just kind of coasting through life, not going anywhere, nothing ever changing, not being taken seriously, oftentimes ignored, locked away in my room silently spiraling into a sort of madness.
Who am I? Where do I come from? What am I good at? Why do I never feel truly loved?
How do I really answer these questions? Where do I begin?
I laugh to myself while I write this.
I must really be losing it!?
Yet my depressive nature, annoying as it is, is funny to me somewhere in my mind.
But that’s how I always feel, like I’m just on the edge, the verge.
Nothing ever truly making sense.
Life has never been an easy one. It takes its toll on me daily.
My multiple diagnoses, the fact that I am autistic, losing my hearing, or being disabled has always seemed to be such a problem for everyone else but me. They are ashamed or refuse to believe what’s happening to me. This is why I often feel I’m not Autistic, Deaf, or disabled enough for society, that people think Im faking, like I am not doing myself correctly, as if there is such a thing.
With always being forced to act like everything is fine, or to not do what is best for me, (i.e stimming, or using sign language), how could I ever know myself? Be comfortable with being me, or asking for help when needed?
I am LOST.
How can I be on a journey of self-discovery or self-acceptance when everything is such a hindrance or question? I guess I am writing this out of frustration, but also as a way to get started. To draw attention to the madness.
This is a reminder of sorts of my resilience and to also be kinder to myself, and for you all to do the same.
I write this with a lump in my throat, choking on my words as I struggle to be heard. I let my frustration do the talking through the keys. Life is hard, and no one knows all the answers. Let’s be there for each other and remember not to give up on the journey.
_Stay Lovely, my friends._
- Identity: Being denied access to my diagnosis has taken its toll - February 17, 2023
- On the Impossibility of Getting Medical and Mental Health Care as an Autistic, Deaf, Black Woman with Chronic Illness - February 1, 2022
- On Representation and Communication: On the intersections of being Black, Deaf, and Autistic - February 11, 2021