I just did a shit ton of proactive…action, for this upcoming semester. Mostly, I should have done it like 2 weeks ago but instead, I’m doing it Lucy-style: 3 days before the semester starts. I’m kind of an idiot sometimes. But, but! I did think through buying textbooks and plan on purchasing them for super cheap on Amazon. I fully promote this idea! Can I get paid for it though, that would be great? Oh! Speaking of being paid, I got a job! I need to review my nicknames for people on here, cause everyone has a Batman/Bruce Wayne identity. For now, we shall call them…The Sitters. They have a 6-week-old that will need a part-time nanny while Mother and Father cart off to work. And I was chosen! They were very thorough in their “investigation” of me but I got the job! I saw them yesterday and did a bit of training: knowing what soothes her, changing diapers (though I didn’t much need that one, I totes know how to do that), and finding things around the house. It’s still going to be a learning process but it’s exciting to know what’s ahead of me. Wow. I never thought an adventure into the unknown would be…exciting. That’s like a normal-people word, not one used by…us. It feels weird on my tongue and honestly, it’s going to take some getting used to. School is the same way. I’m looking forward to it because summer always tends to feel a bit too long around this time. Like, you just want to get the year over with but it refuses to die, keeps taking these straggling breaths. I made it through, though. Without muddling, because that was what I was about to type. No, I made it through. There were challenges, like my vacation, but it was still fun. Anyway, back to school. The only thing I’m dreading is my schedule. I think the course load will be refreshing and interesting, as these are classes I’ve never even heard about. I’m hoping it will refresh the subject some because hearing the same thing about Freud is exhausting sometimes. And then I get all implosive and apply unnecessary theories to my life. I know, I know, that’s just what undergraduate psychology students do, but it doesn’t mean it’s fun…or helpful. Though last night, Freud and I came to a certain conclusion. I wrote in my pen-and-paper journal, something I haven’t done since like 2013, because I’ve posted here instead. I wasn’t sure I was ready to share what I wrote but I needed it out. I had to draw from the source and disperse the confusion and potential undoing onto something else. And it helped. I even used the word “healthy coping skills” in the entry. But I was talking about my body image issues. Freud believed that patients with mental illness could never be cured, we (as in psychologists and the psychological community) could only help them manage the symptoms. The bend in their rod would never straighten, and would only continue to warp as time continued, especially if they did not receive help. Well, I don’t agree with Freud on many things, mostly because, as he was an intelligent and innovative man, he based a lot of his theories on absolutely nothing. This theory though…I enjoy this one. I think it makes perfect sense. Mental illness as a whole is an intelligent and cunning creature. It takes on the presence of bipolar or depression, anxiety or PTSD, and ravages your brain, your body, your life. Then, after you’ve bravely faced every battle, every bout, and came out the other side just a bit dingy, worse for wear but alive all the same, it does something unexpected. It changes it’s identity. Like a good spy, it disappears into the folds of your brain tissue to recuperate and find another source of insecurity, doubt or fear. And then? Then, it attacks, revitalized and just as destructive, if not more so. See, this new manifestation has a special talent of raising things from the dead. Particularly, it’s former identity. So once you’ve battled and beaten the initial illness, taken afternoon tea, and slept, you turn around and are facing a new but oddly familiar enemy. Eating disorders, panic disorder, agoraphobia; they serve as a new mask for the same villain, the one you just FRACKING beat into submission. I hope that tea was good, because now you have to worry about a whole new army, one that you are not trained and too weary to fight against. That’s what’s happening to me. I was diagnosed first with depression: check, battle won. I was then diagnosed with bipolar: check, forever ongoing but for now, managed. I was diagnosed with CRPS (I know, not mental but has a strong mental component): check, acceptance is key. But now, my symptoms manifest around food. I can’t eat without feeling extremely guilty. I keep track of my bowel movements and know if I eat more than i should use my super-laxative to make sure the calories are removed. And intellectually, I know that isn’t how it works. Weight loss is a struggle, as everything is in life, but it takes discipline, not psychosis. Then, after worrying and worrying, I have visions of a near future as an inpatient…again. That cannot happen. I’m not saying I will stop fighting, at least at this particular moment, but like Napoleon leaving Russia, I’m tired. I need to learn to control my brain, and to stop this nonsense once and for all. But then I think of good, ol’ Sig. What if Siggy was right and there is no way to undo the damage that has been caused? Like some kind of psychological storm, the very infrastructure of my psyche is too worn to be salvaged, and must be left as a bent pile of rebar, exquisitely ugly. I mean, part of the interest in all of this is trying to decide where this stuff came from. Was my brain warped in womb, or was it because of a series of unfortunate events? (I love that series; so excited for the Netflix version!) The theories and backstories of these individuals is beautiful and mysterious and it sucks me in every single time. But, is it all for naught? Knowing yourself, knowing who you truly are has not served anyone but Buddha well. I mean, to even survive in this world, I truly believe people are forced to kill off a part of themselves. It’s like some weird ritual, some weird sacrifice made to the gods that comes from within you. I want to hold onto my whole being though. I don’t want to enter the adult world if it means I have to lose the child I was/am. That seems to be my problem. Like, Freud thought his patients could never be cured. What if it’s because they were born different from the start, and in combination with a series of misfortunes, their inability to cope…oh my God, patients with mental illness are mutants. That’s it. Works for me. I’ve always wanted to be a part of X-Men. And make out with Hugh Jackman. Yea, that’s pretty much the only reason actually. I’ve shared theories like this before, where being “ill” and more enlightened than the majority of the population is frowned upon and shameful, but those like me refuse to let go, and that’s what makes us fucking awesome. I just feel like with the constant manifestations of symptoms, despite my knowledge and slowly, weakly built internal structure and system, is not because I’m causing them, not because somehow I want any of this. I think something is wrong with me. Something that can’t be fixed, cured, or completely abated. I think, like CRPS, it’s just a part of me, my cross to bear, and shall always be.
Hola amigos. It has been quite a long time since I have clicked away at my keyboard, much to the annoyance of the dog, and discussed my personal affairs with you. But, here I am, back again, for another go around. There is something indescribably therapeutic about not having a face to express all of my emotions, problems, and innermost thoughts to. Don’t get me wrong, Allister is the best therapist on the planet (and will remain so until I finish school to claim my rightful place atop the pyramid! :P), but the anonymity of posting here, explaining things that I’m not quite brave enough to say aloud is perfect. It’s exactly what I need as I am draped across my armchair, typing this by the light of the antique lamp that has returned home to my grandmother’s house. My mom is here; the powerwashing company and the landscapers are coming tomorrow and I have class so she agreed to babysit them. It’s a bit of a funny thought: my mom, this tiny woman, ordering husky, buff men around as they rip up the plants and trees we simply refused to. Most of the work that needs to be done around here…wait, did I even explain this to you all? I moved into my grandmother’s house in March, as the tenant found a new place of residence (oddly enough, just up the road). The Trust (with a capital T as it contains 3 people of extreme importance) thought having someone remain in the house until it was sold was the best idea, so things don’t go to rot and ruin. So here I sit, eerily reminiscent of when I was a small child, curled up underneath my grandmother’s needlepoint. She would send the needle down, and I would send it back through. That is one of my most favorite memories. I enjoy living here. The independence and solitude is exactly what I wanted. I have the dog, a faithful companion through all of the scary trips to the basement, and Brendan visits only when I ask him. The situation is nice…but. Always hanging over my head is the thought that I am not doing enough. I don’t have a job, and am forced to return home almost every weekend for money. I feel shamed and worthless when I do so, like I was somehow irresponsible in my spending. I usually buy groceries and gas, sometimes paying for the finer things in life, like Starbucks, but only on occasion. It’s just that when I have to bring up money, I feel like Marley from A Christmas Carol, saddled with the chains of my spending habits past. I don’t steal money, I don’t lie about what I buy, but the guilt is still there. Some of it lies in the fact that I am not pulling in my own income. I don’t have a job and have been completely and utterly unsuccessful at being hired either here, or in my hometown. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, but it has been consistent throughout my applications. And I am active, in applying. It’s not like I only do it once a year, and then complain the rest of the time that I’m not being hired. I apply to many places and many positions, with no luck. And it ends up reflecting back on me. People think I’m lazy, spoiled and usually, rather pretentious. I try not to care what people think, but in the end, I always do. I see how my classmates look at me with confusion and mild disgust. I know what I look like when I walk in with food, or coffee, and appear to be stuffing my face. I can feel all of that and it hurts. It cuts really deep. There’s a girl in my class, for example, and because we sit in opposite corners of the room, our eyes lock pretty often. And the rays of contempt coming off of her are almost palpable. I haven’t ever spoken to her, or attended previous classes with her, but her disdain for me grows with each eye-lock. For some reason, I want nothing more than to be her friend. I want her to like me, to want to be around me, and it has masterfully backfired. That’s always what it comes down to with people. I want to be liked. I want to be that person in someone’s life that truly, and utterly makes a difference. I want to have profound and provocative thoughts that shake people to their core, but instead, I say “like” and “whatever” a lot like I’m some idiot from the Valley. I complain, criticize and am overall judgmental, rather than kind and compassionate. I am a bully. And it hurts me, but I can’t, or rather don’t know how, to change it. I have hurt many people that I love, but am praised for my harsh critiques at the same time. This conversation took a turn that I didn’t think would happen. I was thinking about it almost all day, but didn’t know it shook me this deeply until now. I guess Allister and I need to have a talk. And I won’t be claiming that title from him as soon as I had hoped…
Okay, I’ll start with my diagnosis. It’s been changed from Major Depression Disorder to Bipolar Disorder, Type II. Why? Well, because I have these uncontrollable rages I go into that last for extended periods of time. They aren’t caused by anything, and make no sense really, but they happen. I thought perhaps it had something to do with my period but it doesn’t. I map all that stuff, record it diligently, and now I’m on birth control, but it doesn’t make a difference. They still happen. And they are exhausting. I think I’m entering one right now. I used to hate the thought of being Bipolar, not because I have anything against those with it, but because I felt like it was too much a “go-to” for doctors. Any time someone experienced any sort of happiness when they were depressed, or coming out of a depressive episode, doctors wanted to automatically say they were Bipolar. No…that’s not really how it works, people. But, the more I learn about this stuff in school, and accept my illness, I understand that I am, in fact, Bipolar. But that’s okay. I would rather be correctly diagnosed and treated, than misdiagnosed and mistreated. Now, for the Borderline, I’m still uncertain sometimes. There are times when I wonder if it all belonged to Mara. Was my soul simply reflecting hers, and I’m not really that bad? Or is it truly and purely me, developed and twisted from the time spent with certain people and having survived certain circumstances? I don’t know. And there’s no way to tell. My mom is certain it fits, and sometimes, I am too. But not always, and that makes me question things.
Brendan (formerly known as Vlad here) and I are still together. Through this whole revelation, he’s endured mistreatment like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve come close to ending it several times but been talked back from the ledge several times by Jackie and Allister. Even right now, I have an extremely strong urge to punch him in the face but 1) he isn’t here and 2) it isn’t fair. That’s the problem I have. My vision gets so narrow with anger that all I can think about is the rage. I can’t see reason or understand anything that’s happening with the external situation. I just want to satisfy the rage beast. And it is usually thirsty for blood. I even started going to Group again last week because I felt like spending extra time in “therapy” would help. And it would be a good refresher to remember ways to handle the anger. Because usually, I can’t. It doesn’t help either that my friends are nonexistent. I hang out with Brendan, and Brendan only.
The class I’m taking right now seems like it’s going to be interesting but a lot of intensive work. It’s a sex differences class, so we talk about the inequality between men and women, straight and gay, that sort of thing. It’s an upper level and that’s not a problem, but she’s expecting much more work than I was for a summer class. And a group project. The loathing of my student existence. I hate group projects with every bit of my soul. There’s only ten of us in the class so I don’t even understand how that’s going to work but that’s her problem, not mine. My latest problem is that she requires a lot of submissions online after each class and my Internet at Sparks is currently down so I have to travel elsewhere to do such things. It’s a pain in the ass and makes me quite inclined to do no such thing, and stay home and watch Pitch Perfect.
I can’t explain what I’m feeling right now. Part of me is excited and ready to go. I’m focused on all the stuff I have to do at Sparks, with the cleaning and the yardwork. But the other part of me is stressed to the max with just how much work needs to be done, and then me. I can’t quite describe that part of it. Like, people comment on my weight when I post pictures but to me, I’m not skinny enough. Then, when I post pictures, people want to hang out but I don’t have money so it’s facing the fact that I have no job and am totally broke. Or finding something to do with no Internet, no money, being completely alone, and it’s raining outside. How am I supposed to deal with that? It’s the 21st century, not 1753! I’ve watched every movie I’ve owned twice over since I’ve been there. Sometimes I think about moving back home, but whenever I am home, the problems with my dad arise and amount so quickly that I can’t stand being there for just a weekend. I feel stranded. Like, I’m stuck on some desert island where I won’t be able to be rescued for at least another year. And I know that, but I’m already running out of supplies and such. It’s annoying and confusing. This is one of those times when I question the Borderline. Borderline= easily bored. Right now, I’m bored out of my fucking mind. Nothing is satisfying. Nothing. I don’t know what to do. About any of it.
In Personality, the class that makes me want to delve ever deeper into myself, and rip my eyeballs out a the same time, we’re talking about child development. Child development of the personality. Most people don’t think kids have personality. Well, Miss Margaret Mahler thought even infants had a subconscious personality brooding in that tiny, cherubic little head. She outlined stages, which is what we talked about today. And I, of course, left feeling like I was going to cry enough to solve the drought problem in Brazil. One of the last things we covered was “emotional refueling.” Everyone knows what this is, she just gave it a name. It’s when kids that just learned to walk are exploring the world, running all over the place to check things out, fall down, get back up and shriek their way somewhere else. They come back to their caregivers for some love, some recognition that they’re still there, still tethered to existence, to Earth, and the caregiver responds with a pat on the head, a smile, a nod, anything, and off they go again. For some reason, my fritzy, spritzy brain doesn’t like to remember things before Thomas was born. I don’t know if it’s because that was a “trauma” in my life and so it’s repressed or what. Hell, maybe I’m analyzing too deep and none of that stuff is just that important that’s worth remembering. But a lot of people, in fact, almost everyone, I talk to seems to remember little insignificant things about life prior to the age of 5 or 6. I can’t remember most things before the age of 8. I know most people remember things because it’s implanted or built around pictures they’ve seen and accounts they’ve heard from other people but still, I’m pretty foggy on most of the details. There isn’t much of it there. It’s kind of freaky. But Thomas’s life, I can remember with glaring detail. Which is my roundabout point with Mahler’s “emotional refueling.” When we were younger, Thomas and I had this game. He would speed off, shrieking and teetering like any little kid. I would run off behind him, eventually getting in front of him and yell “Stop! In the name of the law!” He thought it was the funniest thing in the universe. He would giggle and shriek uncontrollably, dare to run around me and speed off again, teetering past me. I would huff and roll my shoulders dramatically as I chased after him, only to do it again a few feet down the sidewalk. This was how we walked…everywhere. Our parents could be yards down the sidewalk. If I knew our final destination, this is how I walked with Thomas. I would “steer” him by playing this game with him. Now, with everything that’s going on at home at this current time (oh my God, I think I am going to cry), hearing all of this stuff about development and how a child is affected by the relationships they form, even at this age (Mahler talked about people from 1 month-14 months. Dude.), I’m not thinking about myself, for once in my fucking life. Let me back up and explain the steps that led to this…
I had to run to Jackie’s house unexpectedly on Sunday morning because I was so overwhelmed with news Thomas had told me nonchalantly in the car just a few minutes beforehand. I dropped him at home (he was here for the weekend) and raced over there. He had confessed to me that he had hit himself last weekend after a tense social situation at school. He’s really feeling the pressure that my parents, society, just, everyone puts on him all the time, and when a friend didn’t come through to study with him, he cracked. He started punching himself to the point that he had bruises that were still there this past weekend. My parents knew about this. Last weekend. I was the last to know, and I’m not quite sure he was going to tell me in the first place. But, what really concerns me is that fact that my little brother is self-harming. Jackie pointed out that he would probably get help much faster than I did because he’s paid attention to, and not taken for granted as badly as I am in my house (she has no problem pointing that out, though it usually pains me to do so.) She also pointed out that even though I seemingly raised Thomas, it’s a normal reaction to college and that sort of pressure. He didn’t cut. He didn’t do drugs or binge-drink or try to jump off a bridge. And he doesn’t let out his frustrations any other way so really it was almost, sorta, kinda to be expected. I feel though, like that little boy that used to run and shriek and giggle when I would run in front of him, is gone, and I’ve failed him. I have massively and utterly failed Thomas as a parent, a sister, a mentor, any other word you could possibly use to describe an older sibling. He’s not supposed to become me. I’m not supposed to become my parents. I’m not supposed to respond with cold analysis, and no answers. I’m supposed to be able to have support and unconditional love for him. And I do, oh, I fucking do. That boy is so perfect. But, I can’t change the world. He knows that. I know that. The world knows that. And still, I can’t help. When I was in this same situation, and my parents reacted this way, I turned further inward. I got worse, so, so much. And even though I know what’s going on, I can’t help. I can’t do anything. He’s slipping into that same, tarry, darkness and all I can do is watch and cover my ears as he cries for help.
Not even going to degrade you with apologies about how long it has been. I’m waiting for Behavioral Statistics to start…in another hour and a half. But that’s fine with me. This has become my routine and I like it that way. I’m left alone in this classroom for stretches at a time, and I can do what I please, for the most part. But that’s not what has drawn me back to these digital pages. That isn’t what has brought me back to the gentle clicking of the keys as I bang out what I’m dying to say. Nay, what has brought me back is a bit darker. I’m taking a personality class for my major in the 8 o’clock hour (yes, if you are paying attention, that’s the hour just before this one) and as it is supposed to do, it is getting to me. We’re analyzing Freud but, before you misjudge, Freud was given a very bad reputation by school systems at large. He is not some weird pervert who just likes to talk about sex all day. There was a point to it all that seems to always be glossed over when you cover him in Psych 101, or go through history books. Anyway, today we discussed Dr. Sigmund’s Structural Model of the Mind. For those of you not familiar, that’s the id/ego/superego version of human psychology. Brief rundown: id is the instinctual, pleasure-seeker in all of us that simply wants to do, ego is the rational, logical one that follows the rules and drones on like a good, little human being, and superego is the conscientious, guilt-ridden, devout one that never slips from their moral path. Alright, so as this conversation is going in class, we’re rolling through these, and I’m getting a bit freaked. We get to the superego (the pious one) and my teacher breaks out this continuum. Down at one end is the id, that’s where all the pleasure-seekers are. Think Sherlock, the Benedict Cumberbatch version, he says. At the other end, is the superego, patients who are so locked into what is right and wrong that even ending their own lives becomes an issue of morality instead of what they want to do. My classmates are all scrambling to write this down, as I am, but in the back of my mind, I can see myself, casually riding one of those little red tricycles up and down this continuum like it’s meant just for me. Perfectionism at an extreme, he interrupts my thoughts for a moment and locks eyes with me. Superego is regulated by the ego, reasoning and logic, but if that sort of reality base is skewed, this can effect both the regulation of the id and the superego. A shiver literally went down my spine. And like I was being pulled backwards through open doors, I was running through all of my stays in the hospital, every therapy appointment, every failed psychiatrist appointment. My teacher told us this was what the class was meant to do. It was meant to stimulate our brains (duh, that’s what the whole purpose of college is) and make us take a good, long look in the mirror. But that’s all I ever seem to do. The image staring back at me is forever changing. It’s like instead of a mirror, I’m staring in a pool of water that is being stampeded through by a herd of rhinos. It doesn’t matter what I do to see myself, the image isn’t clear. For a while I was managing my symptoms, things were going okay. But after that last class? I feel like my skull has been cracked open, and someone is staring at me naked, while I cower in a corner of my own brain. Hold on, I don’t feel like I’m being clear in what the problem is. Imagine 2 children standing on either side of a parent. The child on the left is id, the child on the right is superego and the parent in the middle is ego. That is how a normalized model would be. That is what Dr. Freud would call a “healthy” individual. Now, my issue, my reasoning for freaking the fuck out right now is that when my teacher started opening this can o’ worms is that instead of having everything nice and even like that, and taking my id and superego to the park to kick each other in the sand like normal kids, I’m not doing that. My model is more like: id is the child on the left, ego is the child on the right and superego is the parent in the middle. And they are constantly shuffling. When I was friends with Mara, the single parent was the id, and most of the time, her two kids were trailing far behind. I know with things like this, nothing is set in stone, and people are forever changing and adapting. But with superego in charge of two rambunctious kids, well one that is more closely related to a sociopath (id) and one that is probably closer to an actual human being (ego), how am I supposed to function? Superego cannot please everyone, and even that goes against its every principles. Principality cannot run a kingdom, or rule a nation. It cannot govern a state, or much less, a person’s life. I’ve tried it this way and it got me nowhere so why would it work now? I’m confused and I’m scared. And I felt like my professor knew that. Like a shark, he could smell blood in the water. Maybe he’s just that good at what he does. I don’t know. His eyes locked on mine and I felt like he was piercing through me, reading my thoughts. I endured the class, stayed the length of the hour, but regardless, I feel as though my superego has been exposed. Does that mean I should find a phone booth and change, tell the world who I really am? Or should I just run up and ice him because he knows too much? Comic books run on id/superego logic and well, we all know that works out in real life. Because it doesn’t.