Things are fucking shit. This is the first time I have even opened my laptop since some time last week (Sunday night’s post was written, very intermittently, via the WordPress application on my iPhone, which is the reason for the poor formatting that I can’t be arsed to correct). I’m going to London at the weekend and I don’t know how I’m even going to get my flight never mind interact with people, lovely as the people in question are. I don’t care about suicide. I can’t be bothered. I just want to lie in my bed from here to eternity and never see or speak to anyone. Paradoxically, after literally just sitting here for hours this afternoon doing nothing – not reading, not playing a game, not listening to the radio; just sitting here staring into space – I turned the TV on just for company. I made the mistake of ringing my mother tonight to ask her advice on hair. Because I’ve been so depressed these last few weeks, self-care has taken even more of a backseat than normal, and that’s fuck all in itself. But basically through not combing my hair for weeks, and leaving it constantly tied in a bun, it was as matted as fuck and looked like mishmash of dreadlocks gone wrong. It has taken me three days to detangle it, but I’ve lost about half of it in the process. I have bald patches. Maybe in ten years I’ll find it funny. Right now I feel like slitting my wrists (assurances that I won’t notwithstanding, etc). My mother advised me to go to the hairdresser, and I asked was it the same woman. She told me that it wasn’t; a new woman works there now. I concluded that I would have to cut it myself, then, because I can’t face new people. She told me “[not to be] so silly”, which I should have predicted. Then she announced that she and my mother-in-law are coming here tomorrow to clean and tidy. I protested against this and told her I would go insane with anxiety (I seem to have a form of ablutophobia, as this post details. For some reason, ‘spring cleaning’ sends me around the bend. It’s a serious, damaging trigger.). She said, “it’s OK, we’ll help you.” “I don’t want you to help me,” I told her, “I don’t want you to do this. I will go batshit and be high on Diazepam.” You guessed it! ”Augh, don’t be so silly!” I fucking lost it. ”Would you stop that!!! I’m sick of you being so fucking dismissive of everything I fucking say to you,” I seethed at her. She paused for a moment, then said, “there’s no need to get worked up over this…” “Yes, mother, I’m well aware of that,” I replied. ”If this were rational – if anything about being mental was rational – then I wouldn’t fucking be mental in the first place, would I?!” She started cross-examining me on why I’d taken a nose-dive, mood-wise. I asked, bitterly, why she felt there had to be some sort of reason. “You’re normally OK,” she glibly told me. I could have punched her in the face had she been in the room. No, I fucking not normally OK. I’m normally a fucking mess. I just have the ability to act a little better than I presently am. I told her so. She, of course known internationally as a well-read expert in psychiatry and psychology, started to decree that I needed a medication review. I laughed down the phone and hung up. As you may imagine, she has come up in session with Paul quite a bit since I first started seeing him, though unfortunately for my narrative, it was not particularly the case in the session to which this post refers. I’m a fortnight behind with the therapy reviews because of my depressed, cantankerous and at times psychotic state of being recently. Paul wants to know what ‘ They ‘ think of him. ’They’ have been responding to my queries about this with characteristic scorn, but no actual answers. Having said that, they’ve said that they were wrong about C; they like him now, apparently, because he fucked me over. Proof, if ever it were needed, that he is worthy of little more than my derision. Fuck you, ‘They’! (I’ll pay for that comment). Anyhow, given as this session took place back on 15 November, as you may imagine my memories of it aren’t that wonderful, though the few notes I took afterwards guide me a little. I’d just written this post about Hideous Ex and his Münchausen-by-Internet ‘syndrome’. In doing so I’d read the Wikipedia article on ‘standard’ Münchausen – I have always been aware of the phenomenon (due to an interest in criminality – a large proportion of female serial murderers and abusers are diagnosable with the rather convenient Münchausen by Proxy), but had never taken much interest in what exactly could be faked. Well, Wikipedia knows most:
Illnesses and Conditions Commonly Feigned by Münchausen PatientsSound familiar? Yeah, I thought so too. I went in and sat in front of Paul and said, “it’s all rubbish. I have Münchausen Syndrome. I’ve faked everything.” He did not concur. When I make these kind of claims, or when I discuss False Memory Syndrome, Paul almost without fail brings out the phrase, “last line of defence”. He also thinks the hallucinations are an example of that; the anger of ‘They’ and my tendencies towards self-blame are, he opines, preferable for my mind to deal with than to deal with the reality. That would mean accepting some horrible shit. The thing is, in real terms I mostly do accept that “horrible shit” – so, if I am mistaken in berating myself, why do I do it? I asked him this, and he responded by saying that it was OK for me to “intellectualise this, rationalise that”, but I hadn’t really felt the raw hurt and horror of some aspects of my childhood, and facing that was a cross I have been notably unable to bear thus far. I sighed and admitted that, for the six weeks I’d been seeing him, it felt like I was fighting him every step of the way. ”Not consciously,” I said, desperate to reassure him that my opinion of him was a positive one, and that I wasn’t deliberately being a wanker. ”But it’s like some part of my mind constantly feels like your digging around in it is threatening, and it needs to block you at every juncture.” He agreed with me, but defended me nevertheless. His view was that I was bound to feel what he was doing was threatening after so many years of living in relative denial and ignoring one of the main catalysts for my years of psychological torture. He told me of a client who was a professional photographer. He said that she, like me, had been intelligent, articulate and well-read [blush] on the issues she was dealing with, but found that as she progressed through her rape counselling, that she dealt with memories almost like she was taking photos of what happened to her, rather than feeling the pain as something fluid and changeable within her. His point was that he wanted me to try to just think of random images of me and him. Anything that came to mind. “It’s OK to go doolally,” he said, grinning slightly. He loves that word – it seems he never heard it before he met me, which seems strange. It’s not that uncommon, surely? Anyway, I tried to relax and do as I was told. I found myself amused by the fact that I ‘saw’ Carrickfergus Castle . Not only was it notable by its childhood connotations (it was somewhere I went and enjoyed as a kid), the fact that it was, at its (not-really-)majestic height, meant to be something of a fortress for its dwellers was telling, if unsurprising, indeed. I relayed the information to Paul, and he asked where I saw myself in the castle, and where I saw him. Paul and I were at the gates, before the portcullis, which was closed fast to the ground. Aurora stood melodramatically on the other side of the gate, trying to look mournful and pathetic. I wasn’t terribly surprised when she started verbally bleating at me internally, though I have to admit that the content of her misery-laden complaining is now lost to history. I told Paul of her presence, and we discussed her for a bit. He reminded me of the conversation the previous week where I’d recoiled in horror even thinking about her, and indeed about children in general. He said he’d been surprised by just how visceral and palpable my physical disgust had been. He said, in an admission that I found to be surprisingly forthright given the nature of the therapeutic relationship, “I enjoy children. I enjoy my children.” He paused, perhaps seeing the inevitable run through my mind, and added, “…and I feel it’s necessary in this kind of discussion to point out that I enjoy them in entirely healthy ways.” This made me laugh a lot. I had found the phrase a little odd given the context, but I had nevertheless never thought for even a fraction of a milli-second that Paul was fucking his children! I was a little surprised, though, when he didn’t reciprocate my amusement. Perhaps I will have to get a taste transplant. He then talked for a while about Aurora, and how lost and desperate she must feel, located alone in this figurative castle, with only her psychic demons for (rather dubious) company. He hadn’t been guiding me at any point, other than to ask me to use my imagination in the first place, but now asked me to reach out to her. I took it literally, but I suppose it was used in a metaphorical capacity too. I couldn’t do it, though. My disdain for Aurora pulsated through me, and I turned from her, and from the portcullis. Paul, however, asked if he could advance. She agreed. Fucking bitch. It’s my body and my imaginary castle. Why does she get to play the top dog? Don’t ask me how the rest of it happened. I have no idea. I just know that Paul, somehow, moved forward. It was not a simple process. He battled at all sides, even joking at one point that he’d just been caught in the castle’s defensive boiling oil . I remember how I was sitting throughout this entire exercise. I rested my head on the thumb and index finger of my left hand, the other three fingers tucked away. I stared pointedly, not-deviating for a second, at a non-descript point on the carpet. I refused to look up at Paul. I saw my adult self in the third person, as if I were observing her from her right-hand side. He was clearly monitoring me, and seeing something that probably shouldn’t have been obvious to him. My discomfort was evident and palpable, apparently. He pressed onward past the difficulty of the murder-hole – closer to Aurora…closer to the truth. I must have said something dramatic; I don’t remember. All I know is that he asked was I finding the whole thing unbearable, and I confirmed that I was. He asked if I wanted to stop, and I said yes. He gave me a few minutes to settle myself, then asked how I felt/had felt, aside from just “bad” or “uncomfortable” or other negative, but vague, sensations. I thought about this for some time, but I could not conjure up any appropriate language. “I don’t know what to say,” I finally admitted. Paul, to my surprise, thought this was excellent. Perplexed by this reaction, I asked him why. “One thing you are not is someone who doesn’t know what to say,” he replied. ”You have words for this, phrases for that, considerations of the other. You are full of intellect and analysis, ordinarily. Here, though, you don’t even have the most basic words. Like it or not, that’s progress – a start, I think, towards connecting with that little girl.” I wish he’d stop calling her that little girl. I winced at his use of the term in this instance, catalysing the following: “There’s this perception on your part that the girl is somehow evil, that she was a seductress. Look at what she’s done. [I feel that] She ‘seduced’ a married man – a relative, no less. She held her physical and psychological pain deriving from what went on with this man in stasis – causing you significant mental health problems in your teenage and adult life. You think you have achieved nothing and that being mentally ill has ruined your life. That’s her fault.” “Yes,” I agreed, wistfully perhaps. ”Plus she never spoke out – not properly anyway – so Christ knows who else he got to.” “Ah,” Paul nodded. ”So, furthermore, she’s evil because she single-handedly put others at risk.” “Yes.” “They were only at risk because of her? She didn’t put all her pain in stasis just to survive? She wasn’t forced to do all those horrible things this man did to her – and that is to her, not with her? Being alive is not an achievement, not to mention being alive with this superlative brain of yours?” I blushed again, but said, “to be honest, being dead on the back of a suicide is more of an achievement than remaining in existence – at least you’ve actually done something.” I flashed him a smile; it wasn’t funny, but it wasn’t said with 100% seriousness. I went on, in one of my rambling phases, that I knew rationally that Aurora/Child Me was not responsible for (a) being fucked by her uncle, (b) screwing up my entire life and (c) endangering others. Paedo, obviously, is the one with whom the culpability lies. But, as he is always noting with me, rationality is a curious and apparently at times dangerous concept. It masks and disguises things, misleading one up the proverbial garden path. What I am – perhaps stupidly cryptically – saying is that if guilt is what I feel, then perhaps it is important that I connect with that feeling, rather than try to look at my guiltlessness. To do the latter is to further invalidate how I feel. Perhaps I need to feel the guilt – really feel it – in order to come out the other side of it stronger. It is clear that Paul feels I need to move into this ridiculous fantasy castle, and go through the horror, fear and agony that Aurora did. 20 sessions, from this one, to see if I can do that.