I have a confession.
Back in early 2013, shortly after I had moved to Fargo, I had such a terrible breakdown that I should have been put in a hospital. I was self-destructive and borderline suicidal. The only reason I didn’t get admitted was because of my brother. No, he didn’t rise up to save me or come to my aid. In fact, he didn’t even know how low I was.
I didn’t let myself get admitted because he was helpless back then. He didn’t drive. Didn’t wash dishes. Nothing. All he did was sit in front of his computer all day like he had done since I could remember. I had to take care of him before I could take care of myself.
Which is also why I went hungry.
I was out of work and on food stamps, and most of that income went to buying my brother pizza because it was the only thing he’d eat. And he’d load up, which meant I’d have very little for myself (no, he never shared his pizza). Of course, he was oblivious to all of this. In fact, he blames me for everything that went wrong while we lived in Fargo. Try as I might, I was either laid off or fired at every job I had taken while I lived there.
So why am I telling you all of this?
Well, part of it is because I’ve been really low these past few days. I’m not sure what brought it about, but it reminded me of this whole ordeal. And you know what? I envy my brother. Really, I do.
He’s one of those people that just seem to have everything go right. And others fawn over him and let him get away with stuff because he’s “special needs.”
So am I.
I’m autistic, I suffer from ADHD, anxiety, and PTSD, I have a learning disability when it comes to math, and—as if all that wasn’t enough—I’m schizotypal to boot. And, no, I’m not making any of this up for attention. I have copies of my test results right here in my filing cabinet that I can show you at a moment’s notice. The only thing I pretend is to be normal when, in fact, I’m somebody completely different. Nobody has ever seen the real me, and that is someone you never want to meet.
But I’m not broken enough to get the same help my brother got.