Rather, the point I want to focus on here is the experience of living with mental health issues that are “ugly” or social undesirable — disorders like violent psychopathy or paranoid schizophrenia that are generally considered unlikeable, freaky, disgusting, dangerous, or monstrous, even in social circles that consider themselves “progressive” on mental health issues.In the same vein as the research I have been doing on child sexual abuse, homosexuality, and social dysfunction:
My whole life, I had struggled with patterns of behavior and emotion that I knew were “bad,” but couldn’t seem to control.I lied compulsively about things that didn’t make sense. I was terrified of being abandoned, to the point that I became furiously, sometimes abusively, upset if I thought that my friends were hanging out without me. I was full of self-loathing and anger that I bottled up, and then released by self-injuring.I was charming and made friends easily, but friendships never lasted longer than a year or two — and each time one ended, I hated myself so much that I wanted to die.I did nearly die, twice, of suicide.And, of course, I had grown up as a closeted trans girl of color in a cis, white supremacist society. Ever since I could remember, I had been filled with rage and fear and self-loathing as a result of the constant messages that society, friends, and family sent me that said I was deviant, bad, wrong to the core....Was there something broken inside me? Could it be fixed?I found my answer in that textbook — in a sub-chapter labeled, “Personality Disorders, Cluster B.” My “symptoms” fit the profile of a mental disorder called Borderline Personality Disorder, a condition closely associated with psychopathy. It was, the textbook said, historically considered untreatable.In other words, there was something broken inside me — and no, it couldn’t be fixed.