When I was in 3rd grade, I wished for glasses.
My best friend had just gotten some, my mom wore them, my older brother had them…
I wanted some of my very own.
So, I deliberately flunked the eye exam at school.
Oh, yes. I could read the letters perfectly, but I said just enough of them wrong so the school nurse would write a note to my parents. I figured that was enough. Surely, Mom would take her little blind darling out to the glasses store & find me the perfect pair that afternoon, right?
Well, let’s forgive naive little me, shall we? A third grader doesn’t really get the concept of “retesting by a professional “.
Anyway, I was retested, and in my panic at being found out in a lie, I was honest at the Dr’s. office.
And I failed.
I got my much coveted glasses, and lived to regret it, now that my eyesight is going topsy-turvy. Always near-sighted, I now have to wear reading glasses to read or see things close. Sucks. But, here I am, playing trombone without the little squinters.
Did I self-fulfill myself into glasses? Or was I headed there anyway, and decided to get ahead of the curve? *shrug* whothehellknows?
Now, here’s the kicker…
I’ve also been fascinated with mental disorders my whole life.
I read Sybil at about the age of 11, The Bell Jar when I was, oh, 14? Depression, Multiple Personality Disorder, now known more accurately as Dissociative Identity Disorder. Schizophrenia. I read a lot of material about these, fact and fiction alike, it all drew me in like a moth to a flame.
I used to wonder what it would be like, to live with such radically different mindsets such as those.
I honestly – used to fantasize about just…one day… letting myself go bugnut crazy, & see if I could end up with a stay at the hotel with the padded rooms.
I didn’t, in the end.
But I did end up, many years down the road with GAD. Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Not one of the disorders I’d read about. Not one I’d ever even given a passing thought.
In 2008, I was in an extremely stressful job situation. Constantly under pressure from customers, over situations I couldn’t control, without a decent boss there to deal with the anger, the recriminations & once, a man screaming in my face… while my boss stood not 5 feet away & let him tear me a new hole.
A few weeks of that was enough to send my nerves around the bend. I dreaded getting up in the morning, because that meant I had to go to work. Work was stress, it was anger, and resentment. And it took its toll.
At night, at home, I would find myself tensing up into, what I call, the Human Fist. Every muscle clenched, from my teeth to my toes.
My chest hurt all day long at work, I had panic attacks, & couldn’t breathe. I would break into tears incontrollably.
So, I went to the doctor & he prescribed anxiety meds, and told me I had GAD.
Was I researching mental disorders in my youth because I somehow knew, down the road, I’d be sharing in one?
Like deliberately flunking an eye exam, had I brought this on myself?