17 September 2009

define crazy?

Once upon a time I was a young girl of 8-10 years old. I was a strong willed child and had discovered that when I spoke my parents actually listened to what I said and found value in it. So at times that I was in trouble, I began to refute my case every single time I possibly could. Every attempt at disciplining me became a battle of wits with me trying desperately to disprove my parent’s evidence of my wrong doings. As you can imagine, this began to wear down my parents and my dad finally said something once to try to stop the constant debate that I insisted on, something that has stayed with me to this day. I’m sure he was just an exasperated parent that wanted to smack some sense into my head, but it stuck.

Before I tell you what he said, I first have to give you the history. I have a crazy Aunt. Not just a little funny, we’re talking about major mental illness, hears voices, wants to shoot people for walking in front of her house, collects feral cats, and has inappropriate nakedness. Even as children we knew that Aunt P was different, we loved her anyway. She always had tons of Avon make-up that we played with (the really bright, loud colors) and her room was like a little girls treasure chest of dress up stuff (hats, feathers, & costume jewelry). We got some good laughs when she flirted shamelessly at a restaurant with the whole family sitting around her, we loved that she named her cats all kinds of silly things (e.g. fluffy butt because his butt was fluffy) and when she told us she wouldn’t wear bras because it could give her cancer. Our parents used to tell us what she was like before and it was like they were talking about someone else, they showed us pictures of a beautiful young woman that was a cheerleader surrounded by friends, a college graduate looking on to her future and also a bride ready to start her life with her husband. I couldn’t imagine sliding so far from the perceived normal to what she has become.

So, my worn down Dad threw his hands up one day and yelled at me. He said, “You have to accept responsibility for your actions, you’re acting just like Aunt P did, I don’t want you to end up like her.”

He got my attention. I may still have debated with him every now and then, but that statement was in the back of my mind. I began to really examine myself and wonder if what my perceived view of my actions and myself was accurate. I began to accept criticism to a fault, taking ownership of someone’s statement and replaying their assessments over and over in my mind. I second guessed myself in disagreements because I wondered sometimes if what I perceive to be right and true is really just twisted around in my mind. I think about what it’s like to be mentally ill. Does she know that she’s different from everyone else? I’ve grown out of some of these insecurities but still to this day I wonder if my moodiness is a sign of something to come. If someday I’ll just wake up and not be in touch with everyone else’s reality.


  1. Angie I fear the same thing!!!! But I have always looked at you as the one person that has so much reason. The one person that gives the best advice and always has the right thing to say. Don't ever question that.
    Love you-Laura

  2. O M G !! what a great blog story.!!! I remember that Aunt P!!! he hehee.... scary thought, thanks for making me have something else to worry about!!! he hehe.