The person I’m sleeping with is convinced that my mother is a monster. He’s never met her. All he knows is that at the age of twelve, I was taking paxil, lamictal, Ritalin and 200 mg of trazodone to sleep.
All of those drugs were prescribed by a psychiatrist and I don’t believe my mother wanted to hurt me, but I’m starting to think my boyfriend has a point when he says she “poisoned” me to make me easier to deal with.
He’s convinced that this “abuse,” which lasted for years, has permanently altered my brain. I have been mostly unhappy since I was 12, so I wonder if he’s right: I have a lot of trouble with my emotions and relationships; although I’ve never done anything intentionally cruel, I am not an easy person to know. I’m sure I meet the criteria for being a toxic person.
He thinks I should find a doctor that will help me detox and deal with underlying problems. I agree. I had been thinking about that exact thing for years before I met him. But I actually don’t know how to live without drugs. When I’ve tried coming off them before, I was overcome with despair and self hatred. I have been hospitalized twice, both times after coming off the meds. (Mental hospitals, by the way, are incredibly dehumanizing and abusive, as you probably know)
So I’m not sure what to do. On some level I’m choosing between my loyalty to my mother and my trust in this man, right?
I’ve got a bad feeling about this guy. He sounds awfully controlling, especially for someone who rises to the level of “the person I’m sleeping with.” As a general rule, I don’t let dudes I’m regularly fucking have any kind of opinion about my mental health. Who is this guy you hesitate to call your boyfriend? Where the hell does he get off telling you jack shit about your medication or your mother? Seriously, if he’s making you feel like you have to choose loyalties between him and a family member (particularly one he’s never even met) then stop sleeping with him and run.
Also, we need to talk about how you use the word toxic. Stop referring to yourself like that. You have a mental disorder that causes emotional dysregulation, and yeah, it’s probably wreaked havoc on your past relationships, but that doesn’t mean you’re toxic. It means you’ve got some problems with your neurochemistry, some of which might best be solved with medication. That’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with being on mood stabilizers. It doesn’t mean you’ve been poisoned. It doesn’t mean you need to detox. (Again with the idea that you’re somehow toxic.) Clearly, you’re someone who benefits from the meds, and again, you shouldn’t be made to feel bad about that. Quite frankly, this guy is kind of an asshole for thinking he knows better than your treatment team.
I understand the desire to live life without the drugs, but you have to consider what that has meant for you in the past and what that might mean in the future. If you spent the next couple months slowly coming off your medication under the strict supervision of your doctor while concurrently starting some kind of behavioral therapy, that might prove to be a worthy endeavor. At the same time, you might have another episode and have to go right back on the medication, perhaps even involuntarily. You have to be in the mindset where that isn’t failure, where it’s okay to need a little medicine to live your best life.
Oh, and one final note. Your mother was not an abusive monster for taking you to a psychiatrist at age twelve. That was her taking care of you. That was her loving you. That was her dealing with a difficult situation as best she knew how. I’m not hearing that she whacked you upside the head with a bunch of chemicals just to make you docile. I’m hearing that you have a genuine disorder that bears significant consequences if left untreated, one that has continued into adulthood. Again, that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’re broken or toxic or somehow less worthy of leading a normal life. It just means you were dealt a shitty hand, and you have to take care of yourself thoughtfully, responsibly, and without the input of douchebags who think that sharing your bed somehow grants them a medical license.