One issue that I never really tackled with R.A.D. is happiness. Those that suffer (or at least) never understood the basic idea of happiness. While I knew the definition of happiness, it was for me, just another word. I was more content hurting someone or something as opposed to being "happy". Sure, I had poignant moments, but the base emotion was totally devoid in my life.
I never understood why people hugged each other and I never really understood why families got together and did things together. I never really completely understood the concept of closeness and unity within a family unit. Joy for me wasn't in the context of healthy, natural things. It was of wanton destruction and depression.
My parents when I was younger talked about how I felt like a "Board" when I was younger. There was simply no connection to anything. I didn't understand why people laughed and had friends. It just made no sense to me.
Even today, it's still very hard to maintain friendships. I still question why ANYONE would want to befriend me, lest love me. It's an emotional disconnection that started 32 years ago. To live in a world without the need to connect was paramount for me.
It's extremely hard to describe. Marythemom asked me what it was like. I told her, it's not like I missed it, because I never understood the need to connect to anyone or anything. In this sense, the motel syndrome took over. (Once again email me about this) I was able to operate as a robot. Alone is what I understood and ironically I was as happy as one with R.A.D. could be.
To accent this point here is an example:
When I was younger I was buy some smokes and a group of guys asked me to come over and hang out. We sat around and talked for a while. It was kind of cool. We talked of course about women, beer and more women. You know, guy stuff. After about 25 minutes of talking, I ended up at home. However, for the next few hours I was bawling. Why? My case manager asked me why I cried about the event? I said "Because I have never really had someone just come up and talk to me like a regular person." This was partly my design.
Even to this day, I have a hard time connecting with other people simply because they don't share the same experiences that I have had. How could they? We meet others and have friendships based on common experiences. For me it is still very odd and uncomfortable to hug other people or have friendships. I don't have that switch in my body that says "Hey! This person is a friend, they aren't going to hurt you.". I have of course learned how not to self sabotage but I still maintain a big distance from other people.
For a R.A.D. person, (Instead of using the ubiquitous RAD CHILD), they live in a sea of people, totally alone, floating along waiting for rescue ship to come by that never does. It's living in a world on your own, even though those around you try to understand your situation but can't. It's a terrible place to be in.
There are still days where I have to remind myself I am trying to do good. I am trying to improve. And then there are days like today where nothing really matters and the depression takes over, full tide. These are days where I and every other R.A.D. survivor has to remind themselves they are beautiful people no matter what they have done or had done to them. It's day's today that RAD sufferer's have to reach out and begin to talk, even though it's the hardest thing for me/them to do.
Reaching out isn't another word in our vocabulary.