Just stepping in to say I'm still here, still holding on, still working at all of this. I'm surprised sometimes at what a long, drawn out process this all is. How it cycles, and ebbs, and flows. How nothing about it is linear.
I've had a good summer. Very little contact with any of the narcs. What I have had has been pretty minimal. I haven't seen my MIL and FIL in months. Actually, I've seen them rarely in the past year or so. It's been a welcome retreat. I'm gearing up for fall, in which they usually visit every other weekend or so. But I'm not anxious and stressed and dreading it like I usually am. Part of me feels like "bring it on, bitch!". I am feeling stronger. I am feeling more united with DH. I don't feel so all alone in this fight.
NM comes and goes with her attacks. Like a hornet that swarms in from time to time. Little guilt bombs over and over. She's mostly keeping her distance. I can feel her anger and bitterness from 600 miles away. It's amazing how they do that. It bothers me less and less, but still is exhausting, time consuming, and depressing.
I've been quite sad about NSIS, as of late. As we approach almost two years since we had the fallout that led to NC, I haven't seen one ounce of change. Every once and awhile she "touches base" and "reaches out" offering me some compliment or kind words on FB. But it means little to me. She's never made any effort to understand me, truly work through things, or change things. I'm beginning to wonder if this will ever change. If, by the time I ever do see her again, things will be so broken and distant that they can never change.
The latest news of Robin Williams suicide hit me hard. As almost everyone has said, it was a shock in some profound way that was really hard to comprehend. It wasn't just that he was so funny or "happy" (Kara pointed out to me how the man rarely smiled in photos. It reminds me of my father, in some way.) It seems to me that this man touched, reached out, and was kind to many, many people.
I thought of my sister, how she also has bipolar. How she also has tried to commit suicide more times than I can count. I wondered why I could have such empathy for RW but none for my sister. I'm still sorting through this. I think partially, I used to associate her bipolar with the reason she's mean and abusive. But I'm beginning to realize that maybe she just IS abusive. And toxic. Robin strikes me as relatively "untoxic". Sure, his alcohol, drugs, and depression must have been no picnic to deal with. But I don't feel he took those things OUT on other people. I don't think he blamed, shamed, and attacked anyone that brought it to his attention.
From all accounts I've read, he was one of the most kind, sympathetic, empathetic people you could people. Many people described him as being TOO sensitive. Feeling too much for others. Sucking in other's pain and doing whatever he could to alleviate it. He tried to reach out, tried to give of himself, tried to be of use.
But in the end it was not enough for him. I've read many people claim he was selfish. This angers me. I wonder if these people would also find it selfish if someone, ravaged by cancer, with no hope of help, writhing in pain every day, if they would find that person selfish for taking their life. It seems that mental pain, mental anguish is never "valid" enough. I tend to disagree. Tortures use psychological torture over physical torture for a reason: it is much, much worse.
I'm also a bit annoyed at the many people to who say "reach out", "ask for help". I know, they are trying to help. Actually trying to help the problem and find a solution. But the thing is, how many people DO reach out and are told "it's OK, you'll get through this"? Or "I've been there, there's hope"? These are wonderful sentiments but in times of great despair, pats on the back and "there, there" are not enough. Love and admiration from strangers or acquaintances mean nothing if we are not loved and understood by someone who knows our soul. I wonder how many people have reached out to someone who was wholly inept to deal with this level of depression, and so, therefore, made it worse. I know when I've reached out before, I've been told "it's OK. You're not that bad. You can make it." I know these people I spoke to were scared. They had no ability to deal with what I was telling them, no skills to help me. And that often made it worse, in the state of depression I was in. I only felt more misunderstood and guilty.
Many, many people knew RW was depressed. Many, many people knew he was sad. Many, many people loved him for what he did for them, how he lifted them up. I wonder how many of those people took the time to reach back and make sure he was OK. How many people assumed he seemed "ok, enough" and didn't take the time to look behind the mask? How many people just didn't know what to do, so they ignored it? I wonder how many times people never took the time to really look at that man, to see into his soul, and take a moment to really listen to him. To really hear him. And really validate him. I'm not blaming the survivors. But I wonder if it isn't time to look at mental illness, our approaches to suicide, and our treatments for these issues differently.
I read an article last night about how Robin sort of "latched" onto his son's nanny (whom later became his wife). She pushed him back, time and time again. Told him he had "issues" and was "messed up". But this man, who from what I can find, had a lonely, lonely childhood, kept holding onto her. He said that she was one of the only people that looked at him and told him he was ok, that he was "a good person". Certainly, no wife can be someone's "mother" forever, and they divorced. But this man, who talked of isolation, loneliness and despair, he often just seemed to need to be SEEN. To be HEARD (beyond the humor). To be validated.