Yesterday I was talking to my mom about envy and family curses.
As devoted Catholics we use to share prayers, ideas, experiences, feelings or even revelations when God is merciful to show us something we need to know or to do. And yesterday I was exhaust and annoyed about the chronically hardships of not having stable work. People act different with you when they suspect you won’t leave "your comfortable situation". And she told that we need to take care about envy.
I agreed with her, adding the finding that envy not only harms the victim, but make the latter another envious, if one’s not personally and spiritually prepared to bypass the difficulties that it brings. Affirming our need of prayers, I remembered an occasion when a priest told that every family uses to be known by a stigma on their members: “liars”, “cancerous”, “thieves”, “snobs”, “crazy”, “horns”, "alcoholics", etc. If a family has one or more cases of symptoms or situations rounding their name, they shall be alert. Praying, dedicating masses and confessing are the remedies for cures of generations.
And I remembered that years ago my dad told that depression and other mental disorders had made many members of our family spend life doing nothing and leaving no step behind from their lives. Many of my relatives are affected by different kinds of mental illness, and some of them have no expectations of having a profiting life someday.
Then, going back to the importance of praying for the cure our past generations, I thought of my many years of unsuccessful therapies and use and abuse of medications, and could remember a day when my heart felt really tainted by envy. I was in a terrible moment in life. Unemployed, unable to pay my bills, unloved, sick and doped by huge doses of medication, and seen in a bad sight by familiars and neighbors. I was a cat-hoarder, and lost almost completely the control of my house and my life. At that time I was in therapy with a good friend who treated me in a clinic some years before, and she always tried to stimulate me to overcome my own way. The work went slower because I couldn’t afford to pay the treatment, and as I shouldn’t stop with medications, the cut of budgets was on “conversations”.
She was an open person and one day she told her daughter went to Boston, as soon as she got her graduation. The girl was younger than me and had the courage to use her self-confidence and brilliance to pursue what could be hers, and it seemed that her way would be large and brilliant, and afforded by a stable family with all the guarantees… In spite of the impact of landing in Boston so young and not completely conscious of her possibilities there, she was going ahead and up and growing strong!
That was my moment of a personal fall. I started to feel bad about the news of the girl. Then one day I told the therapist I was envious. I was envious of what I could have been, what I could have done, what I once was and became a broken promise. And I somehow mentioned that if I had the same support as her daughter…
She told me, in a strange change of sight, “it’s not so easy, Margot” – not about easy for her family to help the daughter, but easy for me to be as successful and brilliant as her daughter was.
She must have noticed my bad feelings, but didn’t know how to find a way to help me out of my failure. Instead of it, she seemed to show me my place was lower. I felt devastated and couldn’t reply to myself a consolation or a word of hope. “You are being envious”, she and I told me in silent words. And no, the therapy seemed not to be working in the essential point of feeling myself protected to go on with my ant steps. Besides it all, her defensive and immature professional posture for the first time made me thought that she was not so sure about talents and capabilities that I needed to recognize in myself and make blossom. Somehow anybody was ready to grow in the therapy – nor I, who remained like a seed under a heavy rock and seemed not to be someone someday, nor she, who didn’t know how to deal with my hard finding about myself.
That was the last therapist I had, a long time ago. I gave up of it. At the same time I decided I wouldn’t go on with that, I stopped radically with all the medications and decided to live life in raw flesh. It pained and cost lots of prolonged tears.
When I told this to my mom for the first time yesterday, tears came to our eyes. She knows the sufferings that caused me to need therapy, and after, to give up of treatments. I just don’t take treating for serious anymore and pay the consequences, but many times I was not taken for serious either. I was a teenager when I told a doctor that I would go for Jesus, and he discouraged me for good reasons. He did well at that time, and did give pills. Sometimes a little fluoxetin helps to go on better with my tasks, but I always let the blister end and don't run for the drugstore for it anymore. Praying for Jesus and Mary Mom and reading my dear Bible to find words of wisdom are the only real difference!
(Picture by David Ho - "Looking Inward" at 'It's Art Magazine" site)