When faced with my demons I clothe them and feed them…

Archive for September, 2012

Triggered

I had a good day on the whole. Had a really good last session with my dual diagnosis worker. Met a good friend in the afternoon. But when I came home, there was some news awaiting me in my email inbox that saddened me. It was the end of the Polar Bear Community…an organisation started up by a local ex-teacher with bipolar disorder. His reasons for ending it were really positive ones…a reunion with his teenage daughter who he hadn’t seen since she was three.

Why do I feel so sad? Well, at least part of it is because his closeness to his daughter and the depth of his love for her which he had kept alive over so many years, forms a stark contrast with the terrible state of my own relationship with my son.

My meeting with my friend also raised some difficult feelings for me. She, also a bipolar sufferer, is extremely close to her daughter who is now 21. They are in constant contact. She sees her all the time. The daughter has a four year relationship with her boyfriend and is holding down a job.

My friend is basically a positive, upbeat person. I doubt that she would ever dream of posting or commenting on a suicide website. She has a long-standing relationship with a partner who is far from perfect, but is very sociable and well-liked, unlike my poor M. He does drink and do drugs and she does give him money, but not to the extent that I’ve given M money.

Poor M. He is currently out seeing a doctor about his toe, not the first visit that he’s made regarding said body part. I just can’t help thinking there is some other motive other than this troublesome toe that is causing him to go to all the trouble of visiting the doctor (not to mention – taking up the doctor’s valuable time). Does he just feel so uncomfortable in his own skin that he is going to our modern-day priest for some sort of reassurance/absolution?

Is he maybe troubled by his apparently long-dormant conscience, after taking me to Primark, choosing clothes and then revealing while standing in the queue that he had no cash to pay for his purchases?

Yesterday I had another blow to my peace of mind. I met an old friend for a coffee, and he told me that the reason I hadn’t seen him or heard from him for the last two years was because he was ‘very angry’ with me over the way I ‘treated’ my ex-friend A (of Equals fame).

I was flabbergasted, in disbelief over this…some of you may remember the Equals saga which I posted about very extensively here, having few other outlets. I was ignored, betrayed and dropped like a hot potato by my close friend of 11 years, after being forced to leave a course that her organisation was running. They were (are?) a social firm promoting social inclusion for those with disabilities whether mental or physical.

I’d thought I was pretty much over all of that. But my friend announcing that he basically saw me as the villain of the piece (based on almost total ignorance of the situation I might add) and had (also) ostracised me for two years because of it was REALLY hard to take. I pushed it aside and had a very pleasant chat with my friend, but my God. Talk about triggering.

Yet when I look back, my relationship with this friend who is also an ex-partner, going back 14 years, has been marked by long periods of no contact owing to some grievance on his part. I guess this is just what he does? Or at least does, in relation to me? Is he STILL aggrieved because I left him for R all those years ago? What’s it actually about?

So basically, the last two days would have been easier if I’d spent it lying down in a darkened room. People, so necessary a part of my life, can unwittingly and often quite innocently trigger all kinds of emotional reactions.

Envy. Grief. Post-traumatic stress. Anger. Betrayal. Frustration. Bewilderment. Disbelief. Plain old sadness. To name but a few…

Thanks for listening to my vent. If you did that is.

Zoe x

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Moving Swiftly On…

Hi folks.

Well, I suppose I’ve been ‘high’. Not psychotic, but a bit irritating and full of myself. I was losing a fair bit of sleep. My partner kept me safe. However he also encouraged me to spend more money than I could afford. Not so good. But I’m sorta lucky with money. I tend to recover quickly from financial setbacks.

I posted on Suicide Project yesterday. I was depressed first thing, but in the course of the day I met people and did things which uplifted me. My partner and I also made it up after a prolonged row over money and general wastage…which I hate.

Things have been difficult regarding my son. He has been moved on by Social Services from my Mum’s to a foster placement in a coastal town near her. He had not really progressed at all in the year he had been with her, and the conclusion was, that we his family tend to enable him to pursue a life-rejecting lifestyle, and lack the authority over him to force him out of his room and into some version of the world. It hasn’t been for the want of trying in any case.

I’m not without misgivings about this current foster placement, despite meeting the carer and liking her. The comforting illusions I had about my son are almost extinguished altogether. He may be ‘mad’, unbeknownst to us (and he always refuses appointments for assessments by CAMHs etc). But his behaviour is also pretty ‘bad’.

He surpassed himself while staying at my house for three days recently, by telling me repeatedly to kill myself. He thinks nothing of staying in the same clothes, unwashed and smelling, for days on end. He refuses healthy meals and prefers to eat junk. He busies himself mainly watching hip hop videos online. He is an arrogant know-it-all who is, underneath the man-of-the-world veneer,  pig-ignorant. I have wondered whether he may be a sociopath. His emotions are very flattened, and he laughs and smiles as he is abusing me verbally. If he HAS a conscience, he keeps it well hid.

I know a lady with a son of 23 living at home with her. He sleeps all day and is up all night on the Internet, and does nothing else, no education, no training, no socialising, exercise, never leaves the house, nothing. He doesn’t even ‘sign on’ for welfare benefits but lives off her disability money, so she can’t even afford to buy clothes for herself etc, and he’s basically unknown to the system completely. He is also hugely overweight. She has bipolar pretty bad, like me (probably worse actually), and is a single parent.

I feel so sad for him, and her. But hearing about her heart-rending struggles, I just vow to myself that I will NEVER, EVER, no matter how guilty or responsible I may feel for my son’s plight, allow him to live like a parasite on me. However many mistakes I’ve made in my life, I never asked to have a mental illness, and I don’t deserve to be treated like s**t by anyone, let alone my own flesh and blood..

This lady told me that her son had a couple of drinks and found some Dutch courage to go out, catching the bus across London. He came back basically saying he’d had a panic attack of some sort, shaking with anxiety just being out in the world for that short time.  I think his and his mother’s lives are as bad as it probably gets, tho’ I am probably wrong about that. They aren’t homeless at least.

What kind of world are we living in, that becomes such an object of fear that people cannot bear to go out?

I really hate this world sometimes.  I won’t take on board all the responsibility for my son’s situation any more. Society can take some blame, as can life itself, that hands out such a cruel fate to so many…this is the same life that ordains that children receive all kinds of abuse growing up and struggle all of their lives to get over it.

You may notice I don’t say God. I am pusillanimous enough not to want to alienate God (however you do or don’t understand God as we say in the Fellowships) in case sometime soon I need to beg and cry to him for help again. With all my manic bluster, I am a coward underneath. I’m pretty sure I will never have the courage to commit suicide, even tho’ I have more than enough reasons to want to.

But still. Best foot forward Zoe. You can make this work. Even tho’ you don’t truly belong anywhere. You’re not really and never have been addicted to anything more than coffee and ciggies, even tho’ you access drug services. And you don’t even do ciggies anymore. You aren’t suicidal most of the time so have really no right to post on the Suicide Project. Yet somehow you manage to fit in in these places, like the chameleon you are.

Going out to meet a friend I haven’t seen in a while, for coffee. This afternoon, therapy group. Because life must go on.

Zoe x