27 September 2010

Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for

Met a friend for coffee downtown. 
My uncle Jonathon came into the coffee shop while we were sitting at a table, wearing two pairs of cargo shorts, hiking boots with no socks, several shirts, and a fishing hat.
I made eye contact with him, and he's my uncle, he's my mom's brother, so of course I said hi.
He stood by my table for what was probably only five minutes, but felt like 500.  He asked me three times if I was wearing makeup.
Through gritted teeth, "This is my uncle Jonathon."
It's not his fault.
Completely untreated, obvious, raging bipolar, obsessive-compulsive, hoarding, ET CETERA.

It's not his fault and I don't think it's his fault, and whatever, that's fine.
This is not the only case of mental illness in my family.
I understand mental illness and I don't blame the person and I don't need to forgive anyone for that.
What I can't seem to stop are my own feelings of embarrassment at their appearance or behavior.
Intellectually, I recognize that their behavior is not my own, that I don't need to feel shamed by that.
But I am.
It makes me angry.
It puts even more strain on an already taut, thin relationship with someone who really, just needs help, even as they refuse it.
I need to forgive them for my own embarrassment, as silly or shallow as that may sound.
30 Days of Truth

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