Friday, September 26, 2014

My Sister Gives Me Hope

My therapist has correctly identified one of the many barriers I have to functionality: my operating belief that society is shit and people are inherently awful. It's hard to want to do better when you're constantly looking at the world and thinking, jeez, why bother. The world is terrible. (This is also key in my agoraphobia, obviously.)

She thinks I should blog more about little things in life, things I see online, that give me actual hope about the world. Those things are hard to identify, but it's supposed to be a way to combat the negativity that holds me back.

The truth is, I haven't been very functional this year. I was doing much better last year, and this year I just haven't been able to get back to that level of functionality. It's been much harder for me to motivate myself to keep up with cleaning, with cooking, with my exercise. I don't have a routine and I've been going through a very long depression that has been hitting me to various degrees, but which hasn't really gone away since July.

So, as part of this positive reminders thing, I thought I'd mention my baby sister, Audrie.

She's 19 and she's just started her second year at college--where she's joined a sorority now--and to my surprise she spent two hours talking to me on the phone last night. She just wanted to catch up, visit, whatever. That's the kind of thing that challenges my self-perception--if you remember, I don't reach out to anybody because I feel like my presence is bothersome--and it was nice that she challenged me that way.

It's a little strained between me and my siblings. Ever since Ellen passed away in 2006, I've carried some sort of guilt with me which I'm just beginning to process. Jayne and I don't really talk much; we've never been close and frankly I just don't think she likes me that much. Audrie was born in 1995, when I was 19, and I wasn't around very often; eventually, my disorders just made me pull away from everyone, and, as I said, I don't reach out.

I feel like Audrie and I have been sort of getting to know each other just now, over the past year, as we occasionally talk. We've had serious discussions about my disorders, and I feel like she understands me and appreciates the insight. Partly, I appreciate being able to speak frankly about them with her, because it makes it easier for her to understand why I've never been around much.

But she's also a psychology major, and she wants to be some kind of clinical therapist or social worker. So when I talk to her about Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or clinical depression, she understands what I'm talking about and what I'm dealing with, and that makes it so much easier to talk to her and not feel judged. With my Dad and my Mom, I'm very tentative, because I'm... well, I'm afraid that they won't understand, but I also realize I'm not necessarily giving them the benefit of the doubt, either. But with as many problems as I've had with them that ended up becoming bad habits and negative behaviors in my adulthood, there's a bit of a barrier there. With Audrie being younger and knowing some of the science, I feel like there's no stigma to overcome.

I admire that my sister's chosen to do something that helps people. That means a lot to me. I wish I could help people myself. When I'm more able to interact, I'd like to find a way to.

She made me feel like a worthy person last night, which is a hurdle for me, and I'm grateful for her. I look at my cousins on Facebook and see how close they are and sometimes I wonder what it's like to have a sibling who really wants to just hang out and connect with you. Last night, I didn't have to. I felt better.

Hell, I even baked a cake today for the first time since my birthday. That must mean something.

Better than doing nothing, anyway.

No comments: