Practically every drinking-age adult has, at one time or another, usually while extremely drunk, publicly pronounced their ideas, sentiments, questions, ultimatums, proposals, tantrums or a million different things which, under normal circumstances, i.e. sober, would never eek past their lips. These are gargantuan declarations! These are reasons for avoidance, distance, even termination.
And usually forgiven and forgotten. And rarely, if ever, does the persecution of both the drunk and the debacle continue on for years.
Why is being out of my mind different than drunk out of my skull? How are the senseless rantings of a brain gone haywire different than the senseless expletives and threats of harm screamed during labor? Is it easier to forgive mistreatment when you understand the cause and empathize with the sufferer?
Our society (by-and-large) is hell-bent on maintaining a safe distance, a polite disinterest, and muted intolerance of mental illness by refusing to educate itself. Does the defense I most often hear, “It’s because they don’t understand what you’re going through,” justify bullying, abuse, denial, exclusion or acrimony? What is it about mental illness that the majority of American’s find impossible stand? It’s ignorance; civil ignorance. If you’re ignorant you’re not required to empathize. So educated people can mistreat me due to their ignorance of my disease.
Maybe that’s why there are people (who used to be close friends) that remain angry about what I said four years ago while I was losing my mind. Because they have a right to be as ignorant about my mental illness as they like, but I’ve got to watch my P’s and Q’s so I don’t piss anyone off while I’m in a manic phase.
Why is forgiveness conditional?