The Side(s) of Every Story

Hopefully this will be a short post, because I don’t intend to rant and rave, and truthfully that’s not something I ever want to do on this blog. I even try to avoid simply venting too much in this space, since I know how easily that can be interpreted into something more negative. But most importantly, this isn’t something I want to allow myself to dwell on. A large part of my anxieties are created by mentally fixating on a situation or memory and letting myself worry and perseverate over it, and I suppose today I am in a decent enough head space that my initial instinct isn’t to spiral into a dark and depressing place hidden in my brain.

Recently I received a comment on one of my posts, from somebody who is a close personal friend of a few of my family members. They decided to stand up to me and claim that I am “delusional” and proceeded to make a large list of everything that I and my mother had done wrong in the situation we had been dealt over the past 2 years.

I’m not writing today in any sense of anger or vengeance, because that’s honestly the farthest thing from my mind. Also (and I am only pointing this out from the lingering insecurity that this person had stirred up inside of me), I am not writing about this so random strangers can feel sorry for me. It honestly doesn’t matter to me whether anyone reads these posts or not – if I really wanted these posts to be seen, I wouldn’t have any trouble advertising them, but that’s not something I practice with my writing here on LiS.

The only thing I really wanted to write in this post, as a sort of cautionary reminder, but mostly as a reminder for my future self when something similar or worse might happen to me in the future, is this: most stories have multiple sides & perspectives. It’s not always a case of “two sides to every story” like many of us believe (or like many of us decide to ignore). A quote from HBO’s Newsroom sums it up simply: “Some stories have five sides, some only have one.”

When I write about my life, in a way that helps to prevent myself from fixating on the things that are bothering me and helps me to attempt letting my worries go, obviously you are only getting my perspective. I am a first-person narrator who is unable to suddenly transform into a third-person omniscient in order to delve into the minds of others to cover every angle. I can’t read the minds of the people that say or do hateful or harmful things to me or to my loved ones. Sometimes the things I write hurt people’s feelings. Sometimes these people feel the need to lash out. It’s never my intention, but it’s also not something I can always control. Sometimes I can, and I want to do my best to avoid offending anyone I might know in the future, but I can’t control other people’s thoughts, feelings, or actions.

I know a common thought might be that if I really didn’t want anybody to read and post mean comments that I could simply vent in a personal journal or diary, away from prying eyes and far from the internet at large. I could even simply find a method of typing out my thoughts and feelings that isn’t published online, either in a Word Document tucked safely away on my hard drive or on a blog with air-tight privacy settings.

The main reason I decided to make this a public blog (albeit one in a far corner of the internet that I don’t actively share, with minor exceptions) was because I felt that there was a chance, a slight chance, that what I write here regarding my mental health might strike a chord with somebody. Working to destroy the stigma regarding mental health is no small feet, and I know that I am not even making a dent with a small personal blog that I don’t advertise, but I still want to make my contribution. One person talking openly about their struggles might help someone else feel empowered to do the same. Big changes start from small ones, right?

If the day comes where I ever feel mentally sound and self-confident enough, I intend to fully throw myself into contributing even more to fighting this stigma. But for now I am doing what I know I can handle. It’s certainly not helpful to be called “delusional” in a space where I write openly about my mental health issues and my various diagnoses, but I can’t let one comment destroy something that I started over a year ago. Just the fact that I can write about this without breaking down or wanting to hide in a cave for the rest of my life is a sign of just how much progress I’ve made, and I know that I should be proud of myself.

Apologies for this post being slightly lengthy, and I hope nobody feels obligated to read this simply because it involves me stepping out of my usual format to address something directly. Even though I was already able to avoid most negative thoughts or feelings when this post began, I do feel better than I felt when I started, and that makes the writing worth it.

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