This piece by Mercy Survivor Chelsea was originally published on her personal blog, The Pink Propaganda, and can be viewed here.
Have you ever seen this eraser hanging around in stores around you?
While I was at Mercy Ministries my mom sent me a care package among some other silly things was this eraser. On one side I wrote “I NEED THIS TOO MUCH”. I found it shoved in the back of my desk drawer last night and it made me sigh.
I was at Mercy in 2008. Today in 2013 my mom would never dare send me something like this. She understands that my mental illness is not a cause of my “mistakes”.
But isn’t that what were led to believe at Mercy Ministries? That you somehow flawed yourself. That you did something wrong to deserve the torture that you go through. But in fact my only mistake at all in treating my mental illness was packing up my bags and putting my trust in Mercy Ministries. Which I don’t even blame myself for. They promised me therapy and dietitians and social working. I really had no idea what I was getting myself into.
In fact up until now I have done everything right in order to handle my mental illness. I have advocated for myself. Continued my medication regime. Surrounded myself with support systems and educated them on what actual mental illnesses are. I have taken on my insurance company for correct treatment, used therapy to my advantage to cease an eating disorder, kept myself safe when I otherwise would not have been. I take responsibility for myself, my medications, the world around me and how I react to it. Up unto this very point I have done everything right.
And back then I wasn’t any different.
I had come into Mercy with an eating disorder, PTSD and a dissociative disorder. What mistakes had I made? I question that constantly. How Mercy made me feel so guilty for my past. That it had to be so separate from who I was now. But I couldn’t help but wonder what was so wrong with me then?
I was artistic, intelligent, creative, imaginative, hard working, compassionate, and a million other things, but somehow that wasn’t enough. I was still manipulative and untrustful. I was torn down to nothing , into somebody that became so unsure of herself.
I think that telling someone that they had made mistakes to partake in the formation of their PTSD or eating disorder is like telling someone that they made mistakes to partake in the formation of their Lupus. They are mental illnesses. And I don’t care if you did drugs, had a baby, was a prostitute or are a raging alcoholic. Any of that stuff does not mean you deserve to have your entire self being taken away and replaced with a new person. You have qualities that are wonderful and you deserve to work those up and not have them annihilated. You deserve real treatment.