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life lessons

The Sting of Stigma

Always feeling different, in a room full of schoolmates. Outcast, in my mind, just knowing that the kids could see inside me. It began in kindergarten, even then, when the little boy I was in love with ran away from me. Mom had asked me to get the recipe for his Mom’s Syrian Bread, but he must have thought I wanted to kiss him, because he ran away from me, all the way down the road to his house.

He’s a successful doctor all these years later. And me? I’m still painted green. You see, that is the best way I can explain what being Bipolar feels like, in a crowd. Like you are chartreuse in a room full of normal people. I explained to my therapist that all my life (before diagnosis and psych meds) I felt as if I were in a movie, an endlessly rolling recording of every move I made. That would make a person feel conspicuous, wouldn’t it?

I certainly am better now, 21 years after diagnosis, med regimen, and therapy. But I still feel green sometimes..,

By Susan T. Martin

I am an Artist, Poet and Author. A Survivor of Violent Sexual Abuse and Rape, I have lived thru Severe Domestic Violence, Twenty Three years of Addiction and Alcoholism, Family Dysfunction, Chronic Pain, Dependence on Opioids, and 2 Venomous Snake Bites...I have Been Stabbed, Shot at, Tied to a Tree and Choked Unconscious. A Quarter Horse Rolled on Me, as did a Lawn Tractor. I also Wrecked a Harley into a Tree! I also have PTSD and Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder, and spent my 18th birthday in a Locked Psychiatric Ward. I am so much more than this: I feel like a tiny seed that sprouted in a desert, and now has grown into a Passion Vine. My Art is my Voice, Screaming, Crying, Praying, Loving, Laughing, Healing- all in Riotous Color...