Losing Myself and Finding Myself (Reena’s Exploration Challenge #96)

I remember when and where I lost myself. My old self, that is. It was November 2, 2007 at 8:01PM when I stepped onto the bus at Balustrade bus stop in Apeldoorn. I had decided this was it.

I phoned my old support coordinator at the training home. I’d just been told to leave the home’s premises, because according to the on duty staff, I was making them take unwarranted responsibility for me. I had come there in distress and a housemate had offered for me to spend the night with her, so that we had time to find me a new place to stay in the morning.

I wasn’t homeless. That is, I had a roof over my head. In the Netherlands, the word that translates to “homeless” also refers to people who are wasting away in their residence. And I was.

At 8:01PM November 2, I phoned my old support coordinator to tell her I was going to kill myself. I was on the bus and the bus driver and fellow passengers heard me. They called the police and, after a long wait at the police station, I was admitted to the psychiatric hospital in the middle of the night.

At that point, my old self went away. I lost the self that went to college, had plans for working and lived independently.

I’m still not 100% sure who will replace her. When and where I’ll find myself. My new self, that is. I know my old self is gone. Even though I live semi-independently now, I do not have anything close to a “normal” life, whatever that may be. But that’s okay. I know I will ultimately find a new eqwuilibrium, when I’m in a living facility that suits me.

In September of 2006, I wrote a post in my online diary about the two different images I had of myself. One was “white”. This image represented a “normal” life. Living independently, going to university, finding a job, marrying, getting children and whatnot. The other image, the “black” one, represented my need for support. It wasn’t that I needed 24-hour care, but that I needed more than just the once-a-week visit from a support worker to read me my mail that’s normal for people who are just blind.

By April of 2007, I knew the “black” image was coming true, but I was seeing the colors in it. I eventually did live independently and go to college, but I would get sixteen hours of home support a week.

And then that image too died, on November 2. It was hard. I grieved. But I didn’t give up. Gradually, I started to see how colorful a life I can have if I accept care.

The care facilities I’m looking at moving into, couldn’t be closer to the “black” image of myself. They are 24-hour intensive support facilities. Yet I don’t see that life as bad. I see it was exactly as colorful and rich as, or even more so than the “normal” life I envisioned for myself.

I am joining in with Reena’s Exploration Challenge #96.

7 thoughts on “Losing Myself and Finding Myself (Reena’s Exploration Challenge #96)

  1. Yes, Astrid [and Brian],

    so much of what makes people’s life colourful is the support they need and get.

    And that Dutch word for homelessness is so evocative – the whole concept of “wasting away” and the practice.

    Glad your housemate was able to help out that day and the training home at which you were then based.

    My 2 November 2007 was similar to and different from yours.

    I was working on National Novel Writing Month – my dream book [Monsieur Carver’s Yellow Girl. Early in the morning I wrote Blood on the backs – the backs being the Backs of the River Cam and more metaphorically trauma and the International Baccalaureate. It is about Hamlet and the ghost.

    1707 words long – this exceeds the standard – 1666/1667.

    “A chapter a day”.

    Reena’s exploration challenge is so cool.

    I am hoping this post will help people find and accept their colours.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Reena:

      White reflects all colour or is a reflection of the colour spectrum it is given. White is good for highlights and blocking things.

      Black seems to absorb the colours that are in it and it makes a good background or relief.

      Some artistic and opthamological and literary perspective/perceptions here.

      And I agree about strength and acceptance here – thinking too of “the cult of moral grayness” in the work of Ayn Rand and Nathaniel Branden. They say to know what it grey you must have a strong black and a strong white; and they say that grey is already halfway to black – but of course there are infinite greys as there are infinite colours outside of human perception and rationality.

      There’s also the whole “protagonist/CEO of your life” perspective and moving through it as a tiny; minor; insignificant character on and in the black cosmos.

      Liked by 2 people

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