Minds And Families Alike

Our minds are like our families in that we have to deal with them for our entire lives, whether or not we want to. We have to put up with their crazy antics, breath through the moments in which they are intensely annoying, and suffer as prisoners to their outward expression of emotion. We have to do all this continually, knowing that they probably won’t change a whole, whole lot. And we usually choose to do this, however hard, while choosing to still love them at the end of the day.

I struggle with my mind. I often do feel as though I am a prisoner to my mind. That is one of the reasons that I consider suicide—how else can I be free? Do I think I can change the way I think? Of course I can change the way I think, but only to a certain degree. Am I ever going to have a mind that doesn’t overthink at all, doesn’t get self-conscious at all, and doesn’t overact at all? No. Does that mean that putting up with my mind is a useless effort? No.

I have an aunt who, according to her diagnosis of herself, has borderline personality disorder. The traits of this disorder that my aunt carries, and some of her general traits (diagnosable or not) can make relationships with her extremely difficult. She is quick to speak, sometimes without thinking. She is very opinioned, very anxious, easily depressed. You never know which side of her you are going to see on any given day. One day she is sitting next to me, picking at the imperfections on my skin and buying my mom a girdle (she doesn’t always understand boundaries or know what is offensive to others). Another day, she is getting angry at me for asking about something she told me, then running down the hall and calling my sister a “bitch!” And yet another day, she is dancing around with me and my little sister, being creative and silly and not worrying at all.

Clearly my aunt can be a difficult person to be around. Would I like to have her out of my life completely so I don’t have to deal with the moments when her worse sides show? No, of course not. I love my aunt. And I don’t just love my aunt, I like my aunt. She is wonderfully creative; when my sisters and I were little, she would make us skirts, books, posters, and headdresses. She would make special mermaid-themed baths for us, take us on adventures, and play with us. Now that we are all older, she is still wonderfully creative. She is still fun to adventure with outside. She can be enjoyable to talk to, because she can be insightful. She can be caring, even though she doesn’t show it like I would.

My aunt is a beautiful person. She has done, does, and will do many things that make me angry and annoyed and bitter and tired of her. But the many wonderful qualities she carries, and the good parts of our relationship developed over my entire life, will keep me from ever writing her off. I would be sad, and I would be at a loss to not have her in my life .

Although my mind is not characteristically alike to my aunt herself, I realize that I need to approach my mind in the same sort of manner: to realize it is difficult at many times, but dear and precious. I would be at such a loss if I took my life. I would be at such a loss if I got a lobotomy. My mind is a beautiful, unique gift that I will continue to protect and treasure, whatever it does.

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