What are the ways your Family helps you cope with your Diagnosis? Share to Show your Support!
I’ve always been told I should blog, but have been hesitant to go for it. What the hell, we’ll see what happens! I plan to write about mental health. I’ll see if I can’t squash some stereotypes and replace them with some compassion. The world needs more of that.
I guess the best way to start is to bore… I mean, share the story of me… I’m just shy of turning 39. I’m a stay at home dad of 2 awesome boys who are 5 and 7. My wife and I recently celebrated our 10th anniversary. Why am I sitting at home, watching soaps and eating bonbons? Because she’s smart enough to have an Aerospace Engineering undergrad degree and a software engineering graduate degree. I have a crappy business administration degree. Why? Because I didn’t have the self-esteem to pursue anything cool. I’d be designing roads and bridges if I did. So, I’m Mr. Mom.
Read more: Why am I here?
Bored yet? No? Ok, let’s dig into childhood. Everyone loves that. I was the oldest of three in a typical family. I was diagnosed with a condition called Hydrocephalus at age 2. Some call it “water on the brain”. Basically, spinal fluid isn’t pumped away from my brain naturally, so they put in a shunt (valve/tube) to send the fluid to my abdomen to be absorbed. Otherwise, my brain would drown in the fluid. So, I’m already a special case! That led me to some things that were small, but out of my control. I was picked on all through school, preschool through Senior year.
Once you’re on the bully’s radar, they harass you for every single thing that you do. I’m sure a lot of you have been there. That in and of itself left me quiet, low self-esteem, afraid of people. Friends would get tired of me and dump all the time. It was lonely. At home, being the oldest, I was responsible for my younger siblings’ behavior a lot. I had to be the example. So, if things went wrong, it was my butt – literally, because corporal punishment was alive and well.
Read more: 9 years of battling with depression
Mind you, I was and still am devastated just being told I did wrong. Really, any punishment was overkill. My parents didn’t know how to handle things. In the heat of the angry moments with all the weapons of ass destruction you can think of. Basically, I was punished way more than needed. The one size fits all approach to discipline doesn’t work. That’s a whole other topic.
Where did that leave me? I always assume that I screwed up, scared of authority figures, assume everyone is mad at me, I always think negatively, crappy self-image, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and the list could go on. I’m a hot mess trying to figure things out. I have lots of topics in mind that I can talk about. I want to see if anyone out there is interested in reading my writing first. If you survived this and want more, let me know. Thank you!