I am so afraid. Please help me. I am not to be depended upon. It can only get worse. It hurts so much. Pain in my heart. I am shredding my child wrists. cold hisses in head. I find i difficult to believe that some people in the madosphere are really ill cos they function so well. i can’t function at all. maybe they can give me some tips just jealous.
Archive for February, 2010
Even life on the periphery can be complicated. I am still living in Nobby’s flat. I had a disturbed night’s sleep. I awoke, suddenly afraid but unable to identify the source of the fear. Upon fully waking up I felt empty. The world seemed cloudless, desolate. A watercolour in the drabbest colours you can find.
A voice in my head whispers, ‘Some thing’s going to happen today.’ A sense of vague dread had metamorphosed into stomach churning terror. And later that day his daughter died.
I turned to Nobby. ‘Will you stay with me? I mean, forever. Even when you know….’
‘Vacate my body? I’ll always be beside you. Even if its not in this form.’
I was sobbing. I felt like my heart was being squeezed by some giant fist. I needed to keep telling myself that it would subside and,finally, it did but a tiny shred of fear remained.
I went to the doctor’s to collect my prescription. When I returned to Nobby’s flat I was confronted by an entanglement of aunts, sisters, brothers, granddaughters and great granddaughters.
‘Granddad,’ the oldest grandchild said. ‘We’ve some really bad news for you.’ Then they all turned to me. I mentally slap my forehead : it’s a family conference and I am not ‘family’.
I gathered up my belongings said a brief goodbye and walked out the door. I walked across the green to my own flat. It was so cold and unfamiliar. Dust motes danced in a sunlit window. I didn’t feel at home. I hugged the walls, wondering what could be happening to Nobby., head in hands, saying ‘Don’t leave me, don’t leave me. Then I scolded myself ‘You stupid, stupid, stupid girl.’
I am so afraid
I am not to be depended upon
I am an untermensch
Someone of no consequence
They warned me repeatedly: that the euphoric effects of zopiclone would not last forever. No matter how much I take the drug does nothing for me any more. Where has that feeling of being swept away by a benevolent tide gone? Is there a combination of drugs that would mimic the effects of zopiclone? Or maybe I should just stop altogether. Am I destroying myself? Do I want to destroy myself? Should I just accept that the effortless creativity produced within me by zopiclone had gone and will never return?
In the restaurant
The jazz band plays
wealthy patrons waltz
Meantime I reside outside
Out on the cobbles
Devoid of sanctuary
Hands held up, cupped
The coins fall
And fall and fall
Do not truly see me
I am an icicle
In human form
A wishing well
My coffers swell
But I still dwell
On this street
Exposed to the elements
Deserted by sense
Bereft of reason
Where is the angel
To leap to my defence?
Seaneen over at mentallyinteresting.org.uk. launches a ferocious and passionate and eloquent attack on this article in The Daily Mail. And every missile hits its target. I see parallels between the treatment of the underclass and the treatment of the mentally ill.
They do not follow the rules. They do not obey instructions. They are weak, they are feckless, they are helpless. Their very presence corrupts society. The industrious middle class readers of The Daily Mail are the most hostile towards them. It is not that they lack imagination. It is not that they are devoid of empathy. Far from it. They possess those qualities in abundance. They understand more than they want to.
The underclass and the mentally ill represent devastation. Lives laid to waste by some invisible force over which they have no control. Those Daily Mail commenters are afraid because one day they know it could happen to them. Like aerial bombardment. No one knows who the missiles will hit next. But they will never acknowledge that. Not in a million years.
I have never self-injured, not in the conventional sense anyway. I have never dragged a razor across my skin. I have never burnt myself with cigarettes. I have, however, harmed myself in ways not recognised medically as self harm. Ways that do not require tools. I have starved myself to the brink of passing out. I deprived my body of the nutrients it required to stay alive. I would psychologically self harm in every way possible. I remember sitting in front of the mirror hurling obscenities at myself. I’ll never get those lost hours back. I should have appreciated what I had while I had it. That’s one of my biggest regrets: that I had been given a gift and I have wasted it.
She composed odes to this newly acquired and unfamiliar euphoria. She was a whirlwind rushing from one task to another. Her senses were heightened, her wit quickened. But the nights were endless. In the darkest hours anxiety gripped her in its beak. There was a bright light shining into her eyes. It dazzled her like the headlights of a car on a dark country lane. It would not permit her to sleep. She could not escape from its clutches.
I cannot sleep even though my limbs are heavy with exhaustion. I am taking thirty zopiclone a day and I’m still here. My tolerance must be sky high. Maybe I should haver have left hospital. Maybe I should stay there forever. The world is a monstrous place.
I went up onto the roof of the flats. I climbed out onto the ledge. I could feel the cold roughness of the bricks beneath my feet. But I couldn’t do it. I saw myself falling, falling, falling. Then I imagined my neck breaking and my spine snapping and I stepped back, berating myself for my cowardice. I just want to get out of this body. I want to be incorporeal. But there must be easier ways that don’t entail the risk of being permanently confined to a wheelchair.
Daughter in an Institution
Hundreds of miles away this daughter is still trouble
Hundreds of miles apart we psychically connect
Hundreds of miles away you had me committed
Hundreds of miles apart, Mother, I should be with you
Last term I danced through days
In manic whirls and psychotic twirls
I was happy then. Walking up the hill
From the college to the church
Became a sublime experience.
But the thought of returning to you, Mother
Paralysed my psyche and a certain deadness
Crept into my bones and I got the sleep
I’d missed for so long. I ran from myself
And spent dilapidated days decomposing poems
And swallowing razor blades, bemoaning
The deviousness of the world. You only intervened,
Mother, as I silently, slowly started to strangle myself.
So you sent the doctors in – those unreal death squads
Who shoot me half dead with tranquillizing darts
As I show them my upturned arms, maps of criss-cross scars
Staring, with eyes like street lamps, illuminating my face
Hold me so I can no longer feel the hot throb of the wounds
On my wrists but instead I am cloaked in cold competence
The danger of death is held at bay by this hospital ward-
One gloomily dark, the other gleaming and white.
You visited me, Mother, in this sanitized place
You were outwardly sympathetic, inwardly disdainful
The Queen of Cheerfulness, then your mask cracked and melted
As I assumed the arms crossed, shoulders hunched aspect
Of the mental patient. You departed, taking with you
A photograph of me to stick pins in. Leaving me with roses,
Red roses, dead roses, once beautiful. Now wilting
Corpses in a vase. Symbols of a dilapidated life.
You left me wondering what the doctors would do
If I said that I was determined to kill you
I tell them I’ve rehearsed your death in my mind-
A thousand times. They decide to sweep my hearth clean
Of the delusions that engulf me. These injections are insults
Trying to kill the illusions that my macabre imagination conjures up
Devastated by catatonia, I scream through these nightmare days
How do I scream without making a sound?
I defy the sedative with dreams of concentration camps
Stark against the night. Watchtowers with machine guns
Emanate from me amidst my howls. I watch the doctors approach
Detached and supercilious. They think they know so much
White-coats, duped by psychotics in striped pyjamas
I run hearing them, close behind as they pursue me
Through the undergrowth of my psychosis. They capture me
Like battle-field generals they order psychological execution.
I am forced to my knees to say my prayers to the Doctor
‘To you he is God,’ the nurses say. No one sees me as a martyr
Lying pale and statuesque on my bed, feeling as though
I am being erased. My mind vacated. The sedatives have done their work
I am now as peaceful as a grazing cow, head filled with popular songs
Psychologically naked as a latter-day Lady Godiva
I have crossed to the other side- to the non-psychotics
My life is a wasteland filled with other people’s debris.
I am ready to be returned to you, Mother
My admission is unremembered. I only know
That three months later I am emerging
Having whispered through without an impact,
Unrecognised as a servant of an unexpressed revolution
At home with you, Mother. I lie prostrate
In my bed of death and hell
Dead or alive
We are enervated by sadness
You in me, me in hell.
Siamese Mother and Daughter
‘Girl, go get your head read,’
My mother cries
Ripping the redness
From my eyes
Scouring the deadness
From my face
For they were imposed on me
By that place.
My mother searches throughout the night
For an antidote
To the tranquillisers
They gave me there
There is nothing to do
But sleep in her presence
Her hand rests on my cheek
While I doze.
‘I want you back the way you were,’
I hear her scream
As I dream
In my wakefulness
‘You should be pleased,’
I reply silently
‘For I am yours now
As much as I was in the womb.’
I am wrapped in her,
Trapped in her
Weakened by her whims
‘Is this not what you wanted
A daughter in disguise
A daughter who’s you
With only a few
Needs of her own?’
‘No, no,’ she replies,
‘A twin’s what I wanted
A bin full of my sighs
An echo of me
With pupils like sultanas
And limbs of pastry
Something I could eat
But not keep inside’ .
‘Something I could reject
At any time.
Now here you are
Heavy as a scone
Or maybe a fruitcake
I need you like me
Yet forceful and free’.
Beneath her I collapse,
Like a deflating soufflé
She turns to an authority,
Turns to the doctors she says
Have abandoned me
Fury illuminates her eyes
‘My daughter died
Because of you,’ she cries.
A new magazine for the mentally ill or should that be ‘service user’? It’s bright, it’s vibrant, it’s ‘upbeat’; but I can’t see what they bring to the party. I see nothing in there that I haven’t seen before. They still focus on the elite. Almost all of my mentally ill friends are ‘burnt out’.* I watch them deteriorate more and more each year. I do not see their experiences reflected in the pages of ‘One in Four’. I do not see myself reflected in there either. I wish I did.
*Many mentally ill people – acquaintances and friends – don’t even have access to a computer. I guess I know a different class of mentally ill people
There is something elegant
about overhanging trees
Arched over the millpond
with its stone statue at the centre
A great grey lion in a predatory pose,
hunched forward, A mute witness
to a multitude of courtships. Captured
in a camera flash are those who venture out
For those who surged through the water,
heading towards the centre
To that monument on the miniature island
It is an irresistible attraction
For the occasional
sweethearts who make love beneath
the unseeing eye of the beast
But they are a part of this flawed garden.
In dreams they conjured up this landscape
The air is thick with morning fog
And lovers lie side by side
There is no time for compromise