Sometimes I feel as if I am nothing but a disorder. I have an eating disorder. My ways of coping are disordered. My thought processes are disordered. I am depressed…another disorder. I struggle with an anxiety disorder. I have post traumatic stress disorder. Disordered eating. Disordered thinking. Disordered beliefs. Disordered way of seeing the world. Disordered to the core. In fact, I am and do just about everything “dis” there is to do or be. I disassociate. I disconnect. I distance. I disbelieve. I disavow. I am discouraged. Discordant. Dissonant. Distasteful. Disturbed. Distraught. Discontent. Disappointed. I distrust, displace and live in disarray. I am a disaster. A disenchanted, diseased, disgraceful disappointment. I wear a disguise (because I’m so disgusting). I’m disillusioned. Disjointed. In major disrepair. Dispensable. Dispirited. I live a dismal life. I’m both displeased and displeasing. And because I lack worth, I’m disposable. I have a distorted view. I’m distressed. One big dis after another. A disorder of major proportions.
As a child, I was disbelieved when I tried to tell an adult about the sexual abuse I was suffering; my father was my abuser and he was a respected teacher. Those I confided in disciplined me as they dismissed my disclosure. I discovered it was not worth it to try to tell. To try to get help. I was discredited and disengaged even further from those around me to protect myself. I was disillusioned and disemboweled by this discovery (that I wasn’t believed) as it had taken a great deal of determination to build up enough courage to disclose what was happening to me. I realized I would have to somehow survive the dysfunctional abusive home in which I lived because the experience of being dismissed and discounted was disastrous, painful and unproductive. I became dispirited and even more depressed, disappearing within myself as I attempted to become invisible.
All these dis’s make me a major disappointment. To others. And to myself. The shame this creates drives me to distraction. I’m dismayed. Disgusted.
My soul has been disfigured and dismembered, resulting in disability. I wear a disguise, a mask, attempting to appear more normal. But inside, I’m in a state of disarray and discombobulation. Distressed and disturbed. I am unable to set myself free of my destructive distortions because I can’t gain perspective. Nor can I pull myself out of the deep, dark pit of disillusionment or realign dissonant thoughts. I remain distant, distrustful and disjointed. Discouraged.
The disorders, the dis’s, have come to define me. No longer am I a person. I am a disease. I am disabled, at least per the legal definition, though I have not pursued the benefits of being in this category. It is not a category to which I wish to belong. I prefer to join the group that is healthy and whole. Those who don’t understand what it means to have disorders that disable you. If only I knew how to gain membership to the “whole” group and could revoke my membership to the “broken” group. If only, if only, if only. If only I wasn’t the person that I am. Covered with shame. Dark. Discouraging. Disarrayed. Demolished. Destructive. Dishonored. Distraught. Distasteful. Disgraced.
Depression, anxiety, fear and terror, self-hate and distrust taint my world. Pain, brokenness, disbelief, disillusionment and worry taint my thoughts. My soul is tormented by a past I barely remember except in tortured fragments. By negative experience upon negative experience, sandwiched between rejection and disgust. I have been judged and found unworthy. Unwanted.
I am a survivor. And though surviving (as opposed to living) is overrated, there is something to be said for having come out alive. Dented, cut, gashed, slashed. Bashed, battered, wounded, demolished. But alive. Still trying. Still putting one foot in front of the other. Still trying to leave the dis’s behind.
I have survived being sexually abused by my father. Physically abused by my mother and father. Emotionally abused, verbally abused, rejected and neglected by my mother and father and grandfather. As well as two husbands who were dismissive and disgusted with me. Who didn’t love me, who looked down their nose at me, having found me to be so much less than what they expected, wanted, felt they deserved. They were unfaithful. They were also emotionally and verbally abusive. And rejecting of me. I have gone through bouts of unemployment. Alone. Without resources. Had medical issues. Alone. Without resources. I have battled eating disorders at different times in my life and continue to struggle with bulimia to date, disgorging multiple times daily. I have been overlooked, determined to be without worth (a judgment I believed to be true and factual and that I have totally bought into). I am continually discarded, rejected, isolated. I have been bullied. Beaten. Used. Discriminated against. Dumped. And I have kept walking. One step. Another step. Even when I wanted to die.
And I have wanted to die. Still do. Yet I’m still walking. Because in spite of all the disorders, in spite of my disordered thinking and disordered life, I continue to do the only thing I know to do . Try to get back up every time I get knocked down. Try to take another step. Try to get through the next second. Then the next minute. Try to breathe. Try. I don’t know how to stop trying. I may still wear a disguise. I may be disgusting, undeserving, disquieting, disturbed. And distressed. But I don’t know how to die. I don’t know how to quit. I am a survivor. A disordered survivor. Who will keep walking until I can’t walk any more. And even then, I’ll probably take just…one…more…step…