As part of my therapy, I was asked by my group therapy leader, a nurse and my therapist to write this letter to a friend. It is copied below.
I am writing to you from a crisis stabilization unit while on what might be called “suicide watch”. As I write, I’ve been here about 30 hours. It is very disciplined here and we have group therapy about four times each day. Things are slowly improving but many here have acknowledged to me that there will not be real improvement until I get on medication. I have been praying the special rosary Sr. John Mary sent to me with the Jesus Prayer, Devotion to the Holy Cross, Our Lord’s Wounds and the Prayer to the Holy Angels. I have included you in my prayers.
Through now five group sessions I have learned a lot about myself and my limitations; things I didn’t really fully know before. One of the people here used the term “tunnel vision.” I have “tunnel vision” in my mind in that when I am focused on something, I don’t really see anything else. Fortunately, the One I am most focused on is Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, because of this focus, I miss a lot of information about other people, events, etc., in the process of being so focused on Him. It is also very clear that I lose even the ability to reason out very basic things sometimes when I am so focused. In a perfect world, I would see a bigger picture, but I am quite imperfect, and with little ability to focus, and so it is good that since I have this tunnel vision that it is focused on the right thing — Our Lord.
The tunnel vision is due to both the Asperger Syndrome and the Bipolar Disorder. The intensity depends upon the intensity of the Bipolar symptoms. If I were focused on something destructive instead of on Jesus Christ, this would be very hellish. As it stands, since my main focus is on Him, I am where I need to be.
My being unable to see anything else has caused these problems with you and with others, including my saying some very hurtful things while not in my right mind. It is clear to me that it is no longer within my power to repair these relationships, and I accept that, however I do believe it is still my duty to apologize for any pain that I have caused, even though it was unintentional and even if there is no hope for reparation.
I have spent many hours on my knees in prayer about this over the last several weeks and it remains clear to me that everything that I have done in this, regardless of how it may have looked, was done from a heart on fire with love for Christ, in which my love for you and others is built. If I were not always doing what I believe God is calling me to do, I would feel that I were living a lie. Objectively, I believe that would fall under the definition of living a lie. I cannot live a lie. He is all. If there is anything that I have said or done that has caused pain, then I am truly sorry for the pain, but I also know that God is using me, a very weak and flawed vessel, for His holy purposes, whatever they may be. Even when I am not in my right mind, saying ugly things, my hearts is on fire with love for Him, so I have to trust that He is somehow using it, and it is easier to trust in that hope given the teaching of the Church on such matters.
Because you want nothing at all to do with me, I have to accept that this is who and where you are, and I have to let go for it is clear to me that any attempt to reconcile is vain and fruitless. At the same time, I cannot possibly judge your heart as this is within God’s capacity alone. I can only consider you as being neither here nor there as I have no way of knowing otherwise. Wherever your heart is on this is between you and God. I have no way of knowing.
Our Blessed Mother assures me that I must now find rest under her mantle as I have become overwhelmed with sorrows and uncertainty. The Holy Angels are defending me against one of the fiercest attacks of my life. Though I have experienced a crisis of faith and a dark night, I can say that even in the darkest moments of the last several months, even when I said that “I am not a Christian”, there has never been a moment when I did not know that Jesus is the Son of God and that He is present in the Eucharist. He has never left me.
I cannot accept anything from a fellow Catholic that is not in keeping with our duty to plead God’s case in the world. Further, I can never accept anything that essentially spits on my identity in Christ. To bend a knee to you on this would have been to stop bending a knee to Christ, on Whom is my focus. Having said that, there was never a moment when Christ did not love you and there has never been a moment since I have known you that I was not acting out of my love for Christ and for you in Him.
I am sorry that our friendship has ended, particularly if it is for something that is less than the perfection He ultimately wills for me but that is not currently within my grasp. It makes no sense to me that this has happened but I understand that there is no more that you are willing to give and I fully accept that.
With Love in Christ, Your Sister in Christ,