Giving a Voice to the Silence offers positive angles to the issue that faces those with mental illness. Living with Schizo-Affective Disorder and being able to share my experiences with others, is the best way I know how to pay it forward. Life can be difficult, my goal is to bring a bit of hope to a place where many feel there is none.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Conversations Overheard

Image representing Barnes & Noble as depicted ...Image via CrunchBase

There are many days when I take a trip to our local Barnes & Noble, the idea of being surrounded by all those books is so peaceful for me. I also like to take my laptop and do some writing, now that they have complimentary Wi-Fi, it's even better.

Late last week I took one of my morning trips to B & N, picked out a few books and sat down in the cafe with my Strawberries & Cream smoothie. What I didn't count on was the conversation I was to overhear.

A couple sat down at the table behind me, it was obvious that the guy was doing his best to set up a date, or rather an affair. The beginning of his "pitch?" "Do you know what Manic Depression is? Bipolar Disorder?" Well, my wife has that and I have to get away from her. The woman he was with chimed in, "Oh yeah, my step-son is getting rid of one of those also."

OK, I have to say I have amazing control over my temper. Every part of me wanted to go over to the table and give them both a piece of my mind. How dare they speak of someone with an illness as, "one of those."

The guy continued that he had been in a relationship for 10 years with a woman, that ended, so now he's looking for someone else. Note, all the while he is still married. I guess I should give him credit for not the hiding the fact while he was trying to pick up another woman.

I lasted about 10 minutes into the conversation before I just had to leave, I couldn't take much more. I was angry, pissed and ready to tear them a new .....! It's no wonder those of us with mental illness keep it to ourselves, with reactions like this why would we be crazy enough to tell anyone, make it public knowledge or live an open life.

I guess there is part of me that feels sorry for those who do not understand, those who love someone with a mental illness are often just as isolated. How do they explain the mood swings, strange conversations and behavior? We are a challenge, but anyone can see through our tough exterior if the look close enough.

So, to that lovely couple at Barnes & Noble, "throw us aside if you wish, find someone to replace us, but beware that what you are looking for may actually be in the exact place you are leaving."

Did that make sense?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

1 comment:

  1. I think your reaction is totally normal, every one who hear a conversation that hardly rejects something in which he identifies, may get " a little " angry.
    May be it would have been better, to recognize their littleness and difficulty to cope, and have compassion for them, but after all, who's perfect?