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

It’s like a divorce I guess, when the worldly goods a couple has accumulated through their years together must be contemplated and divvied up. Every object has a memory attached. Memories of the hope and excitement of the early days. Memories of a life shared instead of a lonely/ ‘independent’ road trod. Such is the condition of M and me today as we go to the car wash to get the car prinked up and ready for the buyer this morning.

I say that, but M completely lacks my sentimentality. It’s part of my sadness to realise that he doesn’t have the happy memories, because he’s never really happy. The reason for picking up cannabis again was because he ‘didn’t enjoy anything’. Doesn’t say much for my role in his life, does it? All that sex I had to endure, to please and pacify him rather than me, and he never really enjoyed it, just was compelled to do it, like he’s compelled to spend money, both his own and other people’s, compelled to eat food, compelled to shout in the street and smoke cannabis…by his ‘demons’. No free will.

I guess when I really get to feeling sorry for myself I can just remember him and think ‘it could be worse’. But the plus side of the sociopathic personality is that they never feel anything deeply, so they are pretty much immune to grief, the ache of loneliness, deep hurt, and so on.

I’ve got to say I now wonder who I’m annoying and upsetting by writing this. R texted me last night (a rare event for him). He was ‘upset’ about what I wrote here about the last person who prompted me to use the word ‘sociopath’ : my son, who’s only 16. R has always been fond of him.

OK, I’m sorry.  I probably shouldn’t have said those things on a public blog. They look too bald and very harsh in print. I was venting my feelings. It’s too damning for a mother to talk in such terms about her son, who at the end of the day is still a minor, and has certainly got the potential to change and get his life together. Who am I to judge him? It’s not like I’m Ms Together…that’s why he ended up in care. What I said was too extreme, but I was angry with him, really angry. I had to watch my Mum get bullied and walked all over by him for a year, when all she had were good intentions and loyal, familial love. Nor did I appreciate being repeatedly told to kill myself.

Maybe I’m the sociopath. When I’m psychotic, come to think of it, I certainly demonstrate many of the traits. Lack of consideration and scorn of others’ needs. Thinking the normal rules don’t apply to me. Narcissism. Compulsive behaviour with a need  for instant gratification, often aided and abetted by whichever n’er do well I manage to pick up along the way. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

I recently picked up an old diary of mine, written in the early days of my illness. We’re talking fifteen to twenty years ago. My God. It was an eye-opener. I was repelled by the writer, as she was then. I was semi-psychotic or full-blown for much of those five years, it seems. The diary predated the hard and often harsh years of hard-won, growing self-awareness and learning to self-manage the illness equipped with much help from others.

I was grandiose, dear reader. Misanthropic. Contemptuous of others. Bitter. Blamed ‘the system’ for my shortcomings. Saw myself as an innocent victim. Had nothing nice to say about anyone. Thought I was the business (psychotic narcissism). Felt I had a special mission in life and was some sort of highly spiritual personality/celebrity, as yet unrecognised. Embarrassing or what?

I wanted to ritually burn this diary, and actually attempted to using the gas cooker, but it wouldn’t burn so I had to content myself with ripping it up in small pieces and binning it. If only it were possible to burn or destroy that side of my personality. I am deeply ashamed of who I was. If I’m ever at all likeable and decent now (which I often have cause to doubt) it is as a result of hard-won wisdom and growing maturity over the years.

Admittedly the bar wasn’t set too high back then. I am STILL emotionally very immature for my age, as you, dear reader can probably glean from observing the moodswings and frequent regressions to ‘spoilt teenager’ mode right here on this blog.

I’m complex and multilayered. Sometimes quite likeable. Often not. I’ve hurt others, yet also sometimes helped them. Grey areas. No black and white. One of the hardest lessons I’ve ever had to learn. But at least I can rejoice in being a fully paid-up member of this wondrous human race. Such potential for good. Such potential for bad.

What occurs to me right now is that M was my bad karma for my sociopathic madness, over these many years. I’ve been close and intimate with the perfect male counterpart to my psychotic self. He is all of the things I mentioned above. Without the self-awareness and periods of relative sanity. When psychotic, I really am NOT a nice person (as one or two people actually commented on this blog, whom I dismissed as ‘haters’ at the time.) I’m obnoxious dear reader. Which is not the case with all manic depressives, and I’ve known quite a few. Some are contagiously funny, lively, creative but still show kindness, gentleness and likeability.

So I have to face the fact that it may be inherent in my personality,  rather than a symptom of the illness that I can hide behind. I can’t continue to excuse myself for all the hurt I’ve caused people over the years. It is NOT the illness. It’s me.

Which, I guess, is probably the reason why, when depressed, I really don’t like myself. Karma, gentle reader. Karma. Which I only sporadically believe in but nonetheless.

It’s sobering stuff. But something of a revelation for me, and certainly explains a lot.

Zoe x

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Comments on: "Still Ill? Or just Obnoxious?" (2)

  1. Bristol Michael said:

    I don’t believe you’re a sociopath, which as I’ve said before isn’t really a mental health term, nor do I believe you have a narcisstic personality disorder. The psychosis is quite enough to be going on with and, moreover, explains the feelings you describe – it’s characteristic of depression for you to see yourself as evil, that you are responsible for everything going wrong, and that you don’t deserve love. To live with someone who can’t love you, himself or anybody else (maybe a psychopath) is simply to act that out. But it isn’t true. Any human being is of infinite worth though I’m afraid there’s nothing you can do to help M achieve understanding of this.

    • Gosh, I couldn’t agree with you more Michael, when you say ‘Every human being is of infinite worth’. I should probably stop over-using the term sociopath! There are also the ‘professional victims’ who end up hurting others quite a bit too…I just posted a link to Jen Daisybee’s list of ‘things i wish I could tell my mother – and other negative people’.

      I guess I just can’t help my urge to categorise and label people, putting them in neat boxes as it were. In my defence, I think it’s a coping strategy I evolved as a child growing up with two warring parents, trying to make sense of their relationship and the pall it cast over my childhood.

      What you say about my underlying depression possibly making me seek out someone who can’t love me, because I don’t think I’m worthy of love, rings true. I bonded with M very strongly while I was psychotic: I thought he was my soulmate. I then spent the next 16 months in a deep dark hole, when I was far too scared of my own shadow to peep out from behind our ‘coupledom’. I had many, many doubts during this time though, and often wondered if he wasn’t actually making my depression worse.

      I’m a pickle, but it’s time to ease up on the self-obsession and navel-gazing, and look outside myself for inspiration. Read and comment and link to other people’s blogs for a change. That’s actually one of the best ways to gain new readers. I feel less inclined to spend much time on the Suicide Project. Surely a good thing.

      Zoe x

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