BY POPULAR DEMAND, AND FOR ONE POST ONLY…
CONFESSIONS OF A SERIAL INSOMNIAC BRINGS YOU...
CUE LA MUSICA DRAMATICA:
(Anyone that gets the aural reference gets a gold star. I think I’m looking at you, Karita… )
This post follows on from the extraordinarily thrilling events detailed here . The following may make no sense if you have not read them. It may also may no sense if you have. Then again, they were so tremendously exciting that if you read or have read them, you might die of a hedonism-induced heart attack, so proceed with caution. Alternatively you might die of a boredom-induced heart attack so, again, proceed with caution. If you really must read this pointless wank, be prepared to be blown away in amazement by my inspirational transcriptional crafting and the thrilling nature of the fabulous material contained herein. Either that or expect to find a cure for chronic insomnia.
[The Scene: C has just admitted to Pandora that it is inevitable that, as he has worked with her for some time, he cares for her in some way].
This should have set a fire of joy off in my heart; he was effectively telling me that he cared, in whatever way his profession allows, about me. But I was too depressed, suicidal and fixated with his abandonment of me that I didn’t care.
Eyes firmly ensconced towards the floor, I made some noise of response suggesting that any response on his part was purely professional.
“Have these things been on your mind recently?” C queried. I suppressed a laugh. What a stupid fucking question to ask. As if there’s ever anything else (other than suicide, I suppose) on my mind!
I shifted uncomfortably in the seat, and sat silently. Eventually, whilst still avoiding his gaze completely, I nodded subtly.
“You’re frightened about how I’ll respond to what you want to say,” he said, proving once again his innate and remarkable aptitude for Stating the Fucking Obvious.
You know, at the time I didn’t make the connection. Now, as I write this, the question seems slightly out of place with my refusal to admit to my suicidal ideation, and much more connected with my perceptions of what he felt about me. Therefore, it seems he thought that the thing I wanted to say was that I am obsessed with him and want him to like and take care of me. He’s bound to know that, is he not? Why do I have to go through the affront of being forced to admit that verbally? In this particular instance he was wrong. I was considering telling him that I’m stockpiling medication. Of course, whilst this is true, was my game-playing of telling/not telling him an avoidance technique to avoid telling him the rest? Or was it, as I later denied, a “cry for help”? Who knows.
Anyway, I told him that I didn’t want to discuss the matter with him, but he tried to point out that there were bound to have been things in the past that I had not wanted to address, but when I had, they were not as bad as I might have supposed. Even though I couldn’t think of an example, I admitted that this had probably been the case at some point or another.
I listened intently to the progressively annoying rhythmic ticking of the clock throughout the ensuing silence. At least the arseholes from the corridor had apparently been diffused (hopefully literally).
“It must be tricky to be in this position,” said C eventually, but I chose not to respond. After a few minutes he went on a bit again about how I felt about him and what he thought about me, so he clearly thought – or, as he later proved, merely appeared to think – that everything I was hiding was related to this issue.
“So what if it’s tricky?” I asked mournfully, resenting the fact that he was making me more and more miserable – and, what’s more, visibly and verbally so – than I had been.
“I’m just putting that out there,” he replied. I hate this fucking phrase of his. Just say what the sodding hell it is that you want to say, C, please! You’re the one that gets paid to have these fucking conversations, you need to do some of the fucking work here!
I ignored him, but was stunned – utterly stunned - when he said, “this goes back to what you said earlier about being homicidal or suicidal, doesn’t it? Maybe you feel that you’re the cunt and that you may as well kill yourself.”
I looked up in a flash and gawked at him. ”My God, you’re good,” I said, laughing in surprise. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: he doesn’t just look (a little bit) like Derren Brown. He’s a fucking mindreader too. Just when I thought he was felt that my thoughts were related to something completely different, he jumps in and works the dirty little enigma right out.
He appeared to be surprised that he had read my mind, and asked in what way. I admitted, finally – and before I could change my mind – that I was stockpiling pills. He asked which ones, and I said anything on which I could get my hands that I knew could be lethal in overdose.
Then I said, “have you ever seen a film called The Bridge ?” [I have become obsessed with watching this disturbing but very human masterpiece in the last fortnight or so, and would heartily recommend it to everyone].
“No, but it’s on my to-see list. That’s the one where people jump off the Golden Gate Bridge, right?”
“Yes. Watch it. It’s good.”
“You saw it recently?”
“Yes. I was actually on the Golden Gate Bridge a few years ago,” I went on, sighing. ”Unfortunately I was moderately sane at the time and didn’t consider jumping from it. That was a mistake.”
He asked how long I’d been stockpiling for. I wasn’t sure exactly but reckoned it was months. I told him I’d become fixated with the film as I was fixated with suicide and that when I finally watched it, it was ‘beautiful’ (even if a jumper’s death itself is not the most pleasant).
Only 2% of jumpers have survived the leap from the Bridge. C asked if any of them had been interviewed in the film, and as fortune would have it, one man with a severe form of bipolar disorder actually had been. C was obviously hoping that this bloke would say he was glad that he was not killed. As it happens, that’s exactly what he said, though I was cursory in my admissions of this to C.
In a later but related rant, I pointed out that stability in my life has been found on some occasions. However, it’s only ever for a few months…maybe a few years if I’m exceptionally lucky. The guy who lived to tell the tale of plunging into San Francisco Bay regretted jumping as soon as his hands left the railings, apparently, and was subsequently glad to have lived. But…will he always be thus glad? What happens if and when he’s back in the throes of the deepest, darkest, cruellest recesses of the human mind? What happens if, for instance, his voices return, and order him to kill himself? What happens, in general, if and when his stability is once again lost?
I wish him well, and hope that he doesn’t experience any suicidal ideation ever again, and I also hope he never has any reason to. But in my own case, I don’t believe I can ever be cured, and indeed the whole ‘retraumatise-abandon’ issues of therapy’s closing weeks have led me to believe that I am going to be so badly traumatised all over again that a state where I can adequately manage my mentalism can never be attained. Why bother, I philosophised to C, when it always comes back to this? It’s a pointless, fruitless little dance of abject, round-the-fucking-mulberry-bush misery. Why bother?
I went on to tell him about an interview in the film with the parents of a ‘successful’ jumper, the content of which mesmerised me. The father said, his wife nodding quietly in agreement, that although they obviously missed their son very much and regretted that his life had been so marred by misery, they had a “who are we to challenge this?” attitude to his suicide. They honestly felt that if his life was so unbearable, that it would have been selfish for them to have tried to keep him alive. The father said, “some people talk of their body as a temple. [Their son's] was a prison.” Their mature selflessness, their humanity, brought me to silent tears.
“That’s an attitude that I think could be wisely fostered by many people,” I said.
“So, regarding you stockpiling these pills, you think I should just say, ‘OK, fair enough, kill yourself if you want to’, is that it?” he asked me.
“Maybe, but it wasn’t really you that came to mind when I regaled you with that story. I’m more thinking about my mother.” I exemplified by telling him about the third conversation detailed herein .
“Have you thoughts of actually taking these pills?” he questioned.
“Yes. I am planning to do so, but not imminently.”
“You’ll be here next week?”
“Yes, unless something dramatic happens.”
“Where has this come from, Pandora?”
I considered the question briefly. ”That fucking poison Venlafaxine doesn’t work, this [therapy, a relevant gesture denoting his room] hasn’t work, isn’t being allowed time to work – I’m at least in the same mental position I was two years ago, and indeed it’s probably worse.” At this juncture I went into the aforereferenced “what’s the point? It always comes back to this” rant.
“This isn’t a life, this is an existence,” I declared (one of my favourite phrases, it seems ). ”That’s always been the case, but I had some tiny semblance of hope, quantum as it may often have been. I don’t even feel that anymore. Only a handful of people would miss me anyway, and what they don’t even realise is that they’d be better off without me.”
He asked how long my suicidal ideation had been building for, and I concluded it was since about April, which is when I started collecting prescriptions.
“If you take a massive overdose, you do realise you’ll be given your medication weekly,” he said.
“Of course, but that assumes that I awake from said overdose, which I have no intention of doing,” I responded in the blink of an eye.
“Are there times when you haven’t felt this way? These thoughts seem especially strong of late.”
“I can honestly say that, in – oh? – the last 20 years, I think, there hasn’t been a single day that I haven’t thought about suicide to one extent or another. I remember telling that to A once, and he said he couldn’t conceive of it. I said that I couldn’t conceive of it not being the case.”
C annoyed me again by telling me that I am, he thinks, an expert in Not Killing Myself.
Right on, C. What you don’t seem to realise, mate, despite my having already intimated the relevant information to you, is that I’m also an expert on not not killing myself. There’s at least one newsgroup out there in the ether that details exact ways to do it (peacefully), and I am now intimately acquainted with the methods described therein. In fact, there’s also at least three published books on the same issue – two get away with it by pretending they’re about euthanasia in the cases of terminal physical illness, but one is really open about having a pro-choice attitude towards topping yourself. I have a copy of the latter.
(Actually, it’s a very interesting book to read even if you’re not intent on doing yourself in ((assuming you have some sort of interest in psychology, sociology, anthropology or any other -ology that takes an interest in the comings and goings of human beings)). The first part of it, before the ‘methods’ section, includes quite a comprehensive consideration of suicide and suicidality as a societal phenomenon. Much better than Emile Durkheim’s unbearable dirge on the same subject, though to be fair the whole approach is rather different and about 100 years more relevant).
Anyway, my feelings on suicide are meant to be for another post – one that is in the making, I promise.
I said, “it’s not through want of trying,” but the smug git instantaneously batted back with, “well, you don’t try to kill yourself every day.”
He cocked his head at me and said, “look, I take what you’re saying, I get that you feel this way. I just think you must be fairly resilient as well.”
I laughed bitterly at him and proclaimed ‘resilient’ to be “not a word I would use to describe myself.”
Tick, tock…tick, tock….tick, tock.
I wanted to turn round, pull the offensive object off the wall and throw it out the window with a brute force seen only during absolute, unquantifiable rage. Or maybe I could have considered throwing it at C’s face; that could have been an attractive option at points. With the clock’s infuriating bloody tick tock mantra, I could hear my time with C ending, those few precious weeks disappearing down some cruel wormhole of time. C rubs that finity in my face, NewVCB rubs it in my face, Mr fucking Director-Person rubs it in my face, and now even the bastarding clock thinks it is funny to rub it in my face (or, more specifically, eardrums). Thanks, world. Thanks so much, you fucking cunts!
After 17 super-eons (OK, there’s a considerable surfeit of casual cosmological terms in this post, what the fuck is that about?) he eventually said that perhaps I felt I was being left alone to deal with all this stuff. I smiled cynically in response.
Wow, look at Einstein over there. How insightful, C, that’s brilliant. Well done. Get out the champagne, my friend, because you have just come out with the psychological equivalent of the general theory of rela-fucking-tivity. Or perhaps it’s something akin to the very first tentative bold but wise suggestions that the Earth was not, in fact, flat. WELL. DONE. C.
“I’m used to that,” I whined.
I paused, then whinged for a few minutes more about how contemplating suicide was very comforting and liberating. ”You know,” I said. ”To know that you don’t have to put up with it any longer, to know that at any point you can just go, ‘fuck it, cheerio existence’.”
“Hmm, hmm,” he responded.
For some reason the ‘hmms’ enraged me, and I said, challengingly, “you don’t think I’m going to do it, do you?”
“That sounds like a dangerous mindset to get into,” he replied, furrowing his brow. ”It’s like you think that for me to take how you feel seriously, you have to do something, such as taking an overdose, to make me believe…”
(Well, actually, asking for your help hasn’t fucking worked, so yeah, I could see how I might think this, as it happens. STFU).
“I’m not trying to make a point to you,” I interrupted, shaking my head vigourously. ”I just don’t think you think that I’m going to do it, and I am.”
He went off into a monologue in which he opined that he doesn’t think I have sat down and said, “right, let me make a point to C here…ha ha, I told you so,” but that I have, barely consciously, concluded that this is “the only way [I] can communicate how [I] feel”, and that the only way in which he will “actually understand” me is by my “showing it”.
“You see,” I sighed, again shaking my head at him, “you’re fixated on the idea that I want to communicate something. I don’t want to communicate something. I don’t want to exist. That’s what I want.” (Or rather don’t, I suppose).
Thinking that he was probably wondering why, then, I had bothered to communicate this information to him, I said that I was only telling him about it because he had already worked it out with his Derren Brown/Mysterion-like powers of mental deduction. Which, although the matter had been floating around in my mind throughout the session, was sort of true. Intellectually, I always knew I should tell him, but as already discussed, I really didn’t want to.
“What’s that like for you? That you feel I’m not taking you seriously?” he asked.
“It doesn’t particularly surprise me,” I responded, in what might have been a slightly pompous, dismissive tone. Just maybe and just slightly…hmm. Then, “everybody thinks it’s a ‘cry wolf’ issue.”
He said, “so what did you think I was going to say? Sort of brush it off and say, ‘oh never mind, she won’t do it’, or what..”
I smiled cruelly and said, ”I expected you to say, ‘maybe you should phone the Samaritans’.” I laughed slightly at the idea, of which he had previously been a proponent.
This remark, to my considerable surprise, seemed to cut him to the bone, to the extent that, despite my palpable wryness at this juncture, I actually felt guilty.
C sighed and said, apparently very earnestly, “I hope I take you seriously – well, I do take you seriously…I hope you feel I take you seriously.”
“Is that a question?” I checked, and he nodded uncertainly.
Overcome with my own guilt, I said, “I do, yeah.” Which is mostly the truth; I just get so frustrated at the difficult circumstances under which we presently find ourselves, and end up remembering every little thing he has done to piss me off. In general, it is not my held position in the least that he patronises or dismisses me, and it was indeed cruel, by dent of my underhand Samaritans comment, to suggest otherwise.
“Look, I just wonder if the fact that I’ve actually bothered to tell you this means that you think it’s indicative of it being some silly cry for help, which it isn’t,” I told him, trying to be as nice as I could about it.
“That suggests that wanting help is silly, which I don’t think,” he told me.
“Let me rephrase, then. What do they call people like me in general…manipulative? Attention seeking? Some other pejorative nasty referencing how annoying I am?”
He ignored the latter part of my statement and replied, with enraging reasonableness, that “I see it as that someone who is in distress quite justly wants or needs to be attended to”.
I looked away, unable to think of a clever comeback, and listened to the sodding, cunting, fucking, bastarding clock ticking away the last few seconds of my time with him that morning.
“We’re going to have to finish for today,” he predictably told me in due course. ”But this is something for us to be looking at [oh, really?] and for me to be taking seriously with you. I’ll be bringing this back up next week [oh really? x II].”
“OK,” I nodded, and I went to leave.
He stopped me from going however, which – as noted on the only other occasion that I remember him doing it, not that I can be arsed looking for the link right now – suggests that he is actually worried about my state of mind. I suppose having had me just confess that I have a lethal amount of pills that I fully intend to ingest might just create such worry, to be fair. Though it is only professional concern, I remain convinced.
“The most important thing for now,” he started, “is that that you’re saying that you don’t have any plans to enact this lethal act today, or in the immediate future. You’re not going to do this now. You will be here next week?”
“I have a date in mind which is not in the next week,” I confirmed.
He looked visibly relieved, though I suspect that is only in relative terms. I tried to smile reassuringly, but I’m not sure I succeeded.
I was still alive for the next session, about which I hope to write soon, and during which I apologised for the laughable histrionics about which you have just read. It sounds so pathetically childish and self-absorbed as I read it back, but then in thinking that I am betraying my own position on suicide, which is that it is not a per se selfish act.
For those of you convinced that I’ll be dead shortly, please don’t worry. I told A on Friday night that I’ll try my best to remain alive until such times as a natural or accidental death is forthcoming, and that’s about as big a reassurance as I can give.
There’s very little of amusement on which I can end this. So I’ll just take the finality of this post out of my hands [Warning: do not view the embedded video if you are overly PC, offended easily, have a sense of humour that is not sick or twisted, yadda, blah, meh, gah, la, da, de, wah, etc]