For the first 29 years of my life, I never envisioned any kind of future. I spent every day wanting to die, because I believed that death was the only chance to escape the hell I was living in.
Then I managed to get away, and I didn’t have to die.
I finally started to envision a future. I was going to be someone. I was going to make a difference. I was finally going to have the life I wasn’t able to have for 29 years.
And then reality hit, and that future started to dwindle away.
The reality that my mental illness will never be accepted. The reality that no matter what good things I do, no matter what I accomplish, my DID and PTSD will put everything into question.
The reality that, even though I’ve escaped physically, my mind has not escaped the terror. I still live in fear every day. I still carry 29 years of hell inside my mind.
The reality that my physical illness will shorten my life considerably. I’ll never have a family. I’ll never enjoy retirement. I’m going to die a lot sooner than I deserve to.
And that makes me angry. It makes me angry that I spent what will be the majority of my life in a prison.
It makes me angry that my mother may very well outlive me. Actually, I think that angers me more than the diagnosis itself. I can accept that I am sick, but I can’t accept the idea that my mother, of all people, could outlive me.
My therapist and I have talked about it a few times. She doesn’t sugarcoat anything for me, which I appreciate (most times). But I’m not so sure she understands the degree of anger and disgust I have over this.
My therapist tells me that yes, it’s possible that my mother will live longer than me, but it won’t be a good life, that my mother doesn’t experience joy and happiness, that her life is and will be empty. Even in a shorter life, I can still experience those things, things that my mother can’t.
But damnit, she still gets to live. I’m not even sure she deserves to be living now, and she sure as hell doesn’t deserve to live longer than me. How did this happen? For all the wrongs she has done, she is rewarded with a life longer than the one I will see. What did I do wrong?
It doesn’t matter that she can’t feel those good things. She can still experience life. She can still wake up every day and not stress about anything. And I get to spend the rest of my life struggling. I get to spend the rest of my life in fear of her, because I will never be not afraid until she is dead. I just want to know what it’s like to not live in fear. What if I never get that chance? What if I die before I know happiness? Then I really will be just like my mother.
My therapist envisions a future for me that I don’t see. To her, these existential circumstances don’t matter. She still believes I can do great things. She believes I can have a better life, and that I can heal.
But all I see is loss. I lost everything before, and now I’ve lost my future.