“To say ‘I love you, but….’ is to say, ‘I did not love you at all.'”
– Coco J. Ginger
Watching Hamilton was a heartbreaking experience. Not because of the plot. Not because of the characters. Not because of the music. Because my boyfriend (now ex) was texting me.
After researching schizophrenia, Rudolph came to me with a concern. Now I have nothing against my friends, family, and partners researching my mental illness. Sure, it’s best to ask me for my personal experience in addition to any research one might have done online, but learning about schizophrenia is great. In fact, that was one of my goals in creating Socially Unacceptable—teaching about schizophrenia, since it has such a harmful stigma and stereotypes attached to it.
But this was different. Rudolph said, “I am worried about our future.” I glanced at my phone for a moment before replying, “why?” He said, “because I have read that schizophrenia gets worse with age.”
I can’t deny that. For many schizophrenics, age contributes to worsening mental illness. This is especially true of schizophrenics who do not seek treatment.
He said, “I just wanted to say, if you get worse, I don’t know if I could handle you.”
I set down the phone. This was the man who swore he loved me despite my schizophrenia. While I had admitted to him that I am schizophrenic, I had purposely hid all my symptoms. I rarely talked to him about schizophrenia or myself, partially because his conversations were almost all one-sided.
So he looked at me masked, me hiding all my problems between “I’m fine” and “It doesn’t matter,” and still thought that I was almost too much to handle? What would happen if I was truly, genuinely me, without hiding how much I was struggling?
I didn’t answer for a long time. It was stupid, really. I had thought someone could love me, but Rudolph loved the mask, Little Miss Perfect, the girl who would become the demure Catholic housewife. He was accepting of my schizophrenia in theory, but now I knew that if I ever opened up, admitted how much I was struggling, I would be discarded.
That did wonders for my abandonment issues, let me tell you. I answered: “No worries, I fully understand your concern and I appreciate that you worry about me. I have been doing much better lately anyway.”
I was never in love with Rudolph, and yet he still managed to break my heart.
Post 51 in Socially Unacceptable: The Daily Life of a Queer Schizophrenic Wreck (2022)
This is an autobiographical series about my life, something I have wanted to do for a long time. I intend to add new content daily.
For the whole series, follow this link.