For years—nay decades, I have had this strange issue of my mental health imploding on a 3 year cycle. Little things become big. Everything becomes too much. I feel like I’m losing it.

2001: Suicidal depression, regular self injury

2004: Same, plus Adderall induced psychosis

2007: Same, plus trauma of being kicked out of my major

2010: Same, without the Adderall but with the joy of having an autoimmune disease that I associated with my grandmother’s death

2013: Actually didn’t have anything happen this year besides Shingles

2016: Genuinely considered self-destructive behaviors over the election results

2019: Dad’s dementia led to a physical assault that resulted in a call to the police. I cut myself repeatedly after that.

2022: Cycling between self-injurious impulses, severe depression, hypersexual impulses, severe body image issues, and normalcy.

I just have to make it a few more months and things will probably be better. But I fucking hate this cycle.

On the way to celebrate Thanksgiving at my aunt’s house on Thursday, my mom told me that she and my dad had had a conversation recently about me. She told me that she told him that I would be happier and easier to get along with if I was on mood stabilizers. I was horrified.

My first response was, “what?” That was followed by my pointing out that I had tried every mood stabilizer and that I had adverse reactions to a large chunk of them (lithium, antipsychotics, and several anticonvulsants) and a zombie on most of them. My mom told me that I hadn’t. (I have taken all but two FDA-approved and off-label mood stabilizers.)

I’m actually much happier and feel relatively stable off of them. Being happier is why I’m not at home as much. In fact, the goal of my mental health care over the last decade or so has been to increase my ability to leave the house with the hope that one day I could actually live separately from my parents. And my treatment plans have had to accommodate my inability to use mood stabilizers.

When I told him what she’d said, Chris said it sounded like she wanted me to be compliant and stay home all the time. Unfortunately that was what I thought too. I haven’t told him all of the times she has said she wants to be my representative payee or have me placed in a program through Social Security that would eliminate my access to a bank account & remove my ability to run my shop. It would keep me without true resources.

It makes all of her talk through the years about my lack of control & my inability to live without continued assistance of my parents seem all the more sinister. Not to mention how it colors my view on her wanting access to my accident settlement (she wants it in her bank account) and how she wants to raid my cash box for the festivals I’ve sold art & jewelry at. I’m fairly certain she’s been repaid most of the change she thinks I owe her on that. Then again, this is a woman who has threatened to sell or throw out my belongings before, so who knows what she thinks about that money?

It makes me want to make sure I definitely get a studio out of this house so that I can definitely gain independence. It also makes me want to stay out of my house all the time. I don’t feel like she views me as a person.