Online Dating… My Illness Obscures Me

The notion of online dating is less sickening to me these days, which is a good thing. I am positive-minded, and confident in my capacity to have the kind of relationship I want, with a person that I find suitable. I know that I do not want children, and that I do not want to move in with anyone. I want, above all, a meaningful friendship with a person that is kind, funny and of substance.
 
But as I peruse through profiles, looking at pictures and reading what people have written… I start to evaluate my own past experiences, and I realize that I have a big, gaping hole in my past. A past that was overwhelmed with mental illness. Since age three, or for as long as I can remember, I recall that cloud following me everywhere I went. I used to think that this cloud was just “me,” but indeed, Clozapine eliminated it.
 
For the first time, EVER, I have claimed my life as my own. It is now MINE, and not the illness’s. Truly, I feel at times that my illness is some personified entity, that revels in torturing me. It has confused me, tricked me, laughed at me, demeaned me, and threatened me with even death… I once received commands to throw myself into traffic.
 
I suppose I’ve had an adventuresome life, if in a dysfunctional way. But I feel that I fall terribly short, when I read the profiles of various men. I see photographs of exotic locales, or perhaps a glass of beer with smiling friends… interests, such as books and movies enjoyed, and an overall contentment with life.
 
I too am content with my life now. But… my past is such, that I cannot possibly relate to these men. I virtually feel like I have no past. Mental illness has robbed me of it. Only three years ago, when I started Clozapine, did my life start to shed its grim cloud and emerge as something from the ashes. I am only three years old, as far as I am concerned!
 
This is why I do not want to be in a relationship. This is why I do not want children. Because my life is now MINE, for the first time in my life. I want to enjoy it, and nurture myself and forge memories for myself that are not just experiences of torture. Sure, I’ve got enough life experiences to write a million words worth of memoir material (literally, I’ve already got 103,000 and that’s not really much yet)… but not much of it is positive and “relatable.” Sure, it’s cool that I peed in the street because I thought I was a dog. It’s really exciting, that I’ve displayed stalker-like behavior towards two men at separate times in my life…
 
Certainly, I do not need to tell potential suitors this crap. But when I have nothing positive with which I can balance this crap… the situation becomes difficult. Right now, I want to create positive experiences for myself. I want to nurture myself, and learn about who I am and what my dreams are. Because I was unable to do this before. My mind… it obscured my understanding of who I was, and I felt as if I had a personality thrust upon me, which I didn’t want. Perhaps crazy… but intuition trumped in the end. I DID have a personality thrust on me, not my own.
 
Now that I am me, and I have the mental freedom to learn about who I am… I’m not going to let a relationship take that away from me.
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