Tag Archives: suicide

The last 2-ish weeks (the catch-up post) or, how I learned to stop worrying and embrace being in a psych ward.

This is a follow on from where I explained Friday Sept 28th; you know, where I got dumped, sectioned, evicted and had the police called on me twice all in one day.

That weekend, I stayed with my friend from work and that was not great, but it meant I was safe from roomie Gilbo for a day or so and that was a big relief.

Later on Saturday afternoon, I got a call from a GF at work, Bel, asking if I was up to going with her to visit a mutual work friend for drinks and cheese, and I jumped at it. She drove to get me and she and I both took our dogs and went to visit our lovely friend Will.

Will had purchased a massive bottle of JD which he and I jumped into (Bel was driving) and the 3 of us spent the evening dressing up in Will’s drag queen costumes and catching up as I had not seen either of them in weeks. Bel left around 2am but I stayed and Will and I took some Ritalin and Xanax and finished the bottle of Jack Daniels and had one of those nights where you really talk about stuff that ‘matters’ (you know, when you are really drunk and high and say stuff you probably shouldn’t and then it’s awkward in the morning?).

The worst part was that Will lives a long way from where I was staying and I had my dog and needed to catch 2 trains to get home and it was stinking hot and I was worn out from lack of sleep and starting to sober up by the time I left.

When I eventually got back to where I was staying, Gilbo had sent a text:

I have put all of your belongings on the front porch. If not collected by tomorrow I will have them collected.

Definitely evicted.

(For anybody wondering, no it is not legal for him to do that, I was only 1 working day late with the rent, he violated laws by entering my room and touching my things, he should have given me notice irrespective of rent and he had possession of my bond but, it isn’t a police matter and I was not up to the arguing/horrible stuff that was going to happen if I tried to get back into the house).

On Monday morning, friend-from-work told me I couldn’t stay there any longer – and I knew that – but he was good enough to drop my dog at the neighbour’s house and then me at the hospital for my outpatient (mental health) appointment.

The appointment led to the psychiatrist telling me that he was not happy to let me go and that the events of the weekend were too much and that he wanted me in hospital. A nurse drove me to the neighbour’s house and they agreed to take care of my dog for what was going to be a 3-day hospital visit at that point, but there was 2 of them and they went to my house and loaded up all of my belongings into the car for me. Sometimes, people are incredibly generous and the 2 nurses put up with Gilbo’s rudeness (he just stood there, drinking and staring at them apparently and didn’t life a finger to help).

Not long after, I was in the emergency psych ward (PECC) with every belonging I had in the world locked up in a storeroom.

The worst thing about hospital stay is the boredom and the worst thing about psych hospital stay is the being locked in so you can’t even go and buy a coffee or have a cigarette or anything like that. At least for the first 24 hours. It was tough and I cried a lot and I ate and slept.

Day 3/72 hours came and the psych decided that I needed to be transferred to the general psych ward for an indeterminate stay and so, all of my belongings were transferred, as was I.

I actually made a good friend in the ward, a young bi-polar guy, and we had far too good a time discussing the absurdity of life in a psych ward and managed to get alcohol inside a couple of times and got terribly drunk while trying to pretend that we weren’t so we wouldn’t be caught by the staff and we snuck cigarettes in the girls bathroom (3 women in ward as opposed to around 12 men) and generally behaved like we were on a high school camp only, we couldn’t leave and, the rest of the class was bat-shit crazy and the staff had control issues and were there only to ensure we behaved ourselves and didn’t have any fun at all– definitely, exactly like school camp.

Psych wards are a tedium of waiting – to see doctors, for food (helps structure the day and reassure one that time is indeed passing) – I ate so much food that I am actually on the cusp of fat right now, yuck – and for meds. There is no therapy or anything of that nature, it is a containment model only and it is slow and frustrating. There is no internet access and you don’t have your phone. There is a TV room (they did let me bring in my hard drive with a bunch of TV shows and films to watch) a kitchen, a courtyard (still no smoking) and after a day or so you get a couple of short, 30 minute breaks outside whereby you can smoke and go to the local store.

All up, I spent 13 days in hospital. Because I had no internet, I couldn’t look into housing and the looming reality that every item I owned in the world together with myself was going to be placed on the street and left to my own devices was looming.

I actually had a meltdown about a week in when the doctors were pushing me to come up with a solution to my housing crisis and refusing to listen when I tried to explain that I couldn’t actually do anything while I was locked down but leaving meant going out into the reality of being homeless. After yelling at the social worker, they locked me in a room with the social worker and a doctor and drilled me on what I was going to do and I lost it completely … I spent the day in a corner of my room crying and they medicated me with valium and left me alone for 2 days.

The most inaccurate perception that psychiatrists seem to have (as I see it) is that if you are seen smiling, happy or laughing, then that means that you are ‘better’.

There seem to be 2 types of psych patients; those who have ongoing issues that affect their ability to deal with the very basics of life and which often leave them delusional and sometimes dangerous, and those who have ongoing issues but who can ‘manage’ for the most part. With the former, they medicate heavily and lock up/down for long periods of time and often and with the latter they medicate and wait for the crisis to pass and then release. The ward I was in had an adjacent ‘acute’ ward (we were ‘sub’ acute, a singularly stupid term if ever there was one) where the serious cases go, often being transferred to the regular ward when they are feeling ‘better’.

The other patients are what makes rehab and psych stays bearable. This place was no exception. But I saw some things this time around that were disturbing and frightening.

The first was a woman, around my age, who was in the acute ward but who was allowed out for smoke breaks. She is in a wheelchair and has only one arm and no legs. She has one prosthetic leg and I assume they are working on the other. She has zero bladder control and whenever I passed through the acute ward the smell of urine was overpowering.

This woman’s physical handicaps are not the issue per se, I mention them only because of how they came to be: she jumped in front of a train and lived. My worst nightmare: surviving a jump and being disabled/brain-damaged forever, it’s why I don’t jump. I felt horrified and being faced with my own worst nightmare and horrified at myself for reducing this woman to being a representation of my worst nightmare. I struggled with this every time I saw her.

There were also some entertaining personalities, like the boy who thought his computer is god and who has made an entire religion around it, he was very, very sweet and harmless but comes under the umbrella of un-fixable and spends more time in the ward than out of it.

On around day 5, a gorgeous young blonde girl was brought in and within 45 minutes, she realised that she was not going to be allowed outside to smoke or allowed to use her phone or allowed to do anything really and she had a complete and total meltdown. She kept screaming “I am not a dog, you can’t do this”. It was obviously her first time at experiencing the loss of power that is incarceration and it tends to hit hard. I tried to talk to her but she was too upset and the staff eventually turned up and medicated her and put her into acute for 3 days where I could see her through the window wandering around in a daze. She came back to use for one night and then was released. Funny thing is I saw her yesterday at the train station and she was all dressed and made up and looked absolutely stunning – we hugged, it was weird. I doubt she will ever be back in a ward but I also doubt that she will get over that feeling of being at the mercy of somebody else’s whim.

Victims of violent crime (I am using this word loosely and I apologise to anybody who has survived a violent crime and prefers a different term, I mean it in the literal sense rather than the descriptive) have said that one of the worst aspects of being a victim is the knowledge that comes with understanding that somebody else can take away your personal power and hurt/impose/destroy you if they wish. There is an unspoken link between this loss and being incarcerated, it is one of the scars that doesn’t leave.

Which nearly brings us up to date

The day before I was being released. I still had nowhere to go. I was talking about it with a fellow patient when his visitor asked about my situation and offered, very kindly to let me stay with him for a week or so. Sometimes, people just blow me away with their kindness.

A is schizophrenic and a drug user and pretty much a broken man. He has this tiny unit which is filthy and disgusting and disorganised and there is barely room for him but he has made room for me in order to help out. Not only that, but when I was released, he drove to collect me and put all of my stuff in his car and gave me at least a base to think from.

As I have posted, this place has proven to be problematic and I desperately need to get out but I am entirely grateful to A.

I am looking for new digs, trying to shake off the humiliation from the Pup both during our BU and last night when he didn’t take my call. Trying to shake of the humiliation from the ex who sent those dreadful emails a couple of weeks back. Trying to shake off the humiliation of not having a home for the first time in my life and trying to shake off the humiliation that comes with losing your own power in an institution.

I tend to laugh a lot. I am a giggler. My sense of shame does not disappear just because I laugh. It is written all over my body through my scars.

The best thing that has come from all of this, besides having the chance to connect with some people in quite a special way, is that I called both of my sons and told them what had happened. Neither of my boys has ever really known about the seriousness of my issues. They lived through it once when I destroyed a previous life (much like what is happening now) and they got dragged into it because they were only teenagers at the time but even then, they had no idea the real extent (although what they saw and experienced was bad enough). They are both men now and I made the decision to tell them about the past two weeks because they need to stop thinking of their mother as ‘quirky’ for their sake as well as mine. I will write some more about this another time as I think it is important.

But for now, it is today.

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The Wild One

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My last post was brief but indicated the way my weekend/week was headed: triggered to hell and a hospital visit.

There were a bunch of drugs, a shitload of alcohol, and visits back and forth from the pup. And by Sunday I was not in a good space, abandonment shit had kicked into overdrive and I ended up getting drunk and being in contact with my ex .. who suggested I go and see him to get some benzos to calm down with.

This was possibly one of the worst ideas I have followed through with in .. well .. ever, but I went took the pills, became even more fucked up and then walked out of the ex’s place pre-emptively.

The next day or so are a blur of more alcohol, some very shitty decisions and a binge on crystal meth .. it’s been years since I touched that stuff and now I remember why.

That was on Tuesday and I spent the day with the pup on and off, he was coming and going and  triggering the hell out of me in doing so. His final departure was when his (female) roomie called and he quite literally jumped out of bed and left me here. I finished off the bottle of bourbon we had bought and cut open my wrist … I was too out of it to get to a hospital or anything until Thursday and I spent the whole day/night there as I had severed a tendon that was too deep for local and had to go under a general for surgery. I had a few hours of psych evals and lied to assure them that it had not been a suicide attempt and that I am under the care of a private psychiatrist, she is just away right at this minute.

The pup called while I was waiting for theatre, but didn’t seem too concerned that I was and he was completely out of it — he turned up yesterday for a few minutes and proceeded to fill me in on the previous 2 days since I had seen him: he has not slept in 3 days, he had managed to piss off yet another person who drew a knife at some point (!!) and he was wired and out of control. I loaded him up with some Valium I had managed to get from a GP before I hit the hospital (no chance of getting them there without admittance) .. in fact, I am pretty sure that was the only reason he came over.

He asked me about my arm (nicely stitched and bandaged by that time) and then when I began to make excuses, he said something along the lines of it being my business …

It couldn’t be clearer that he just cannot take on board anything that is not directly feeding his completely out of control addictions. He is fired from jobs every week but is lucky enough to find work as his industry is in high demand .. he starts a new job, gets fired again, usually for either turning up drunk or drinking on the job.

On Tuesday, we sat for a few hours and had a really good talk about life and what he hopes to do and this is a person who has been so incredibly loving and sweet for all of this time .. until he pulls back and just .. isn’t anymore.

On Tuesday, I asked him to stay. I didn’t beg or plead or make a scene, I just needed him to stay. And fact is, he couldn’t even give me that. His path is even more self-destructive than mine and all I can do is stand aside and let him live it. I have seen and been involved with some very self-destructive men in my time but this boy is above and beyond anything I have experienced because it is every single day, non-stop. I don’t really understand how he isn’t dead or in hospital to be honest, he pisses people off wherever he goes and he fills his body with whatever is handy all day every day.

When he was going yesterday, he was talking about self-harm and said that he didn’t get it. Then he said he hurt other people rather than himself although, he ‘cuts himself on the inside every single day’.

I wonder where the boy who wanted to lie for hours and tell me how much he liked me has gone .. I wonder why even though this ‘thing’ of ours is more-than doomed, it feels like the end of the world that he doesn’t love me. Most of all, I wonder what it is about me that excites men in the short-term but doesn’t last … the very second i start to feel attached, even though they have usually dragged me to that point, they pull away.

Like my ex, the pup isn’t capable of loving anything but his own preoccupations, I just wish that I could take that on board and that it wasn’t so important to me.

I have a brand new scar now, my second for the year. I don’t know how many stitches and it doesn’t matter other than when the bandage comes off and everyone will see, will be able to count the exact amount of just deep my attachment tendencies are killing me.


What I learned from RW’s suicide

When somebody famous commits suicide, a gazillion articles quickly flood the popular mediasphere. It may be morbid of me but I am finding it both interesting and comforting to read details about how he successfully (not the best word given the topic but .. I am sure y’all get my drift) managed to actually do it because it’s not that easy to actually kill yourself, take it from me.

The other aspect in the media coverage I am a bit fascinated with comes from the mental health professionals who are weighing in on the need for open and useful dialogue about suicide.

Ha!

Raise your hand if you have ever tried to discuss suicide in any way with any medical professional ever and ever had any response other than them immediately directing the conversation to demanding that you reassure them that you, in fact, are definitely not suicidal and are definitely not going to try to hurt yourself and that you feel ‘safe’ (whatever-the-fuck that means) — anybody? … anybody out there with their hand up?

My favourite part is when they make it crystal clear that failure to give them reassurances that you are not suicidal will result in them commiting you to a mental health facility, like, immediately, as in — you don’t even get to go home and feed the dog. This crazy logic deems that suicidal people cannot be trusted not to kill themselves, but they can be trusted to tell the truth about not having designs on killing themselves — or something like that.

Fact is, there are no spaces for discussions about suicide that help the suicidal. Speaking for myself, I would like to be able to talk through my thoughts, feelings and options in a rational manner but as long as medical professionals threaten to lock up anybody who tries to bring up the subject then suicidal people will remain silent.

So, what have we learned from RW’s suicide?

Nothing of course. How arrogant of us to think we would.

RIP.

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Rivers are red …

It has been about 8 months since my ex decided he didn’t want me.

It has been about 6 months since I last saw him.

It has been about 0,4 seconds since the thought of this utterly destroyed me.

I have never suffered from suicidal ideation; I either did or I didn’t feel suicidal, I am unused to struggling with it on a daily or weekly basis.

It’s hard to write about because it feel like crying wolf. I have read repeated posts in forums that claim it is emotional manipulation and that is the very last thing I want to do … but I am really struggling to find a way through today. I haven’t just lost my love, I have lost everything, my books, my clothes, my pictures of my children, my past .. all gone. I have nothing. And I am not growing and learning from this, I am stuck and grasping/gasping. I have lost everything and it is all my own fault. How does one reconcile that? Truth is, one doesn’t.

I have only tried to kill myself 3 or 4 times in the past, and each of those times had an inevitability that I am unconvinced is here today — perhaps that says something — perhaps I am only at the wishing stage and won’t move past it?

But I feel like I am drowning right now and I am unsure how to stem the tide — something has to give, and all I have to offer is me.


Triggered

I had an appointment with the psychiatrist today.

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I was hoping we could have some sort of discussion about meds – even antidepressants. I am barely functioning out there in the real world, yesterday I had to leave work early (after arriving late) … I am a ticking bomb waiting to go off and I was scared yesterday.

I have met with this psych a couple of times before and I had a good vibe from him. He did my initial pre-diagnosis and was supportive during that time.

So, I went to the appointment with some enthusiasm and hope that he might offer some words of wisdom regarding my DBT debacle and that meds could be discussed.

What a silly, silly girl I am.

Firstly, here in NSW, there is a protocol for having your case worker sit in on any psychiatric sessions. I have seen 3 shrinks over 5-6 sessions and every time my case worker has been there nodding away and taking notes. It’s intrusive and demeaning not to be considered worthy of the privacy offered regular people.

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Secondly … all the psych really wanted to do was to insist that DBT was going to be my cure-all irrespective of how I felt about or why I felt that way.

I have been upfront and honest about my alcohol consumption from the get-go and this morning it became incredibly obvious, yet again, that honesty is not the best policy where mental health is concerned. The whole session was about him lecturing me on drinking and telling me that if I didn’t do DBT, then really, there was nothing else t/he/y could do for me.

They both sat across from me in silence for much of the session and I felt judged. I felt worthless, I felt stupid and childish. I tried to explain that I am drinking because I am not able to deal with my emotions and he kept responding that drinking was going to become a very serious problem very soon and that DBT would ‘teach’ me to deal with the emotions. Although, he admitted that DBT takes time, a lot of time – and when I ask what I am meant to do in the meantime to be able to function/get to work … he looked at me like I was a petulant child. I could feel his distaste and impatience … I spent the whole session crying and feeling like I had been ambushed …

I walked out of there more triggered than I have been in months. Basically, he offered no medication, not even SSRI’s and he even mis-heard me when I used the word ‘intentions’ and thought I said ‘medications’ and jumped all over me.

I have never once asked for or discussed medication since I started going there in January and today was no exception. And yet, I was made to feel awful.

He had become yet another man looking at me with distaste, contempt, indifference … and so, I sat there, quietly pretending to listen to the ‘advice’ being shoved down my throat given and I completely split my psychiatrist. He stopped being a warm, friendly man (I can’t believe I ever fell for it) and became a self-involved, judgemental person who has no interest in my well-being at all.

Coming home is a bit fuzzy .. I remember crying the whole way on the train and I remember that creeping sense of inevitability that I was going to come home and try, for the 5th time, to finish this.

triggered

I climbed into bed and slept .. and drank and slept.

Now I am writing and drinking … writing and drinking … during my planning stage today, I yet again came up against the question of what to do with my darling dog. If I am not here to look after her .. what becomes of her? She is the only anchor I have and today it felt like a chain around my neck.

I am ashamed to admit it but I thought about killing her first so she wouldn’t be left at the mercy of strangers … but there is no way I could do that, not ever but death has become mixed up with release in my head.

It’s not Friday anymore … the day has become sentient; a dragon, and it hates me.


Masturbation/Execution

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Rough night.

A long shift at work and too much to drink.

Too many responsibilities and too many memories, all colliding.

My head is like a kaleidoscope – the same thoughts, but shake them, and they appear to be different …

I am torn between slicing my skin open and dissolving into erotic memories that aren’t true – are they the same thing? Each one holds a truth and a deception entwined.

I fear that I am never going to get past this. I have fetishised the monster who showed his face, and I love him for letting me see.

I am beyond saving, beyond redemption, beyond any pedestrian truths to be found in a so-called therapy.

Maybe I truly am ….

 


Really?

I have been doing a lot of thinking about PD’s, the effects of PD’s and what it actually feels like to have a ( seemingly) limitless emotional spectrum.

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My psych told me in our original chat that for someone like me, a break up, or other traumatic event, is more significant because, unlike most people, the emotional pain truly is unbearable; akin to life or death – and I have to agree. But, nobody seems to be able to tell me why.

I know that there are well researched and documented theories about failed/faulty primary (parental) bonding and the consequences of that, but, after reading through much of this, I am still no better informed as to ‘why’ I cannot deal with extreme emotions and/or ‘why’ I have them in the first place.

To be honest, I am not sure that there is an explanation that accounts for the fact that I cannot see the world as whole place within which I should find purpose and meaning. Nor can explanations account for why I would rather end it all than face living with the emptiness I feel or the pain that comes from losing somebody I love.

Everybody goes through loss. Most people feel acute pain with that loss. But not ‘everyone’ feels it to the extent that some of us do – and I want to know why.

I have been re-reading some literature by Slavok Zizek – a cultural theorist with a psychoanalytical bent. Zizek comes via way of Freud and Lacan and has much to say about psychoanalysis and the contemporary, often popular landscape that we inhabit.

I don’t really want to get into the background of this stuff too much; it’s not necessary or relevant to my little diatribe here. But, I think that Zizek (and therefore Lacan) is onto something with his delimitations and descriptions of the human psyche, and this is where he comes both useful and interesting.

Lacan (20th Century psychoanalyst/theorist who came after Freud and re-worked some of Freud’s ideas) suggested that our psychological landscape is made up of 3 divisions: The Imaginary, The Symbolic and The Real.

I’m going to keep discussion/s of what these are (or are not) to a minimum because the purpose of this post is not to discuss these, but to highlight some of the idea/s about them that pertains to PD’s. And, in particular, BPD. So, I will be very brief with my descriptions and then, I will tell you all how I think some of the ideas raised seem to me to have relevance for BPD.  My definitions below are lacking (bit of a psychoanalytical joke there … geddit?) but hopefully will give a reference point to anybody who is unfamiliar with the terms.

Lacan’s divisions of the psyche:

The Imaginary:

When a child realises that it is separate to its mother (previous to this, the child knows the world only through its own self/perception – there is no recognition that there is an external world), there is a sense of fragmentation – the child must re-orientate its sense of self to accommodate being both itself and part of a larger world, This is a traumatic experience and one that is never fully resolved.

The Symbolic:

The world of language. When we ‘enter’ the world of words and signs, we do not ‘simply’ learn to communicate with neutral signs that adequately convey what we think/mean. Language is a shared system that was created, it is not natural.

Entering the symbolic teaches us how to relate to each other, how our social and cultural world functions, how it describes itself and how we are expected to know, understand and describe it as well.

However, language is system for communication, it is the process whereby we enter into community.  It does not and cannot come from within (express our thoughts/ideas) fully because it is a system that comes from outside ourselves.

Further, language does not neutrally ‘describe’ our internal experiences, thoughts or feelings, it helps create them because we take abstract ‘sensations’ and turn them into language that can be used to communicate with others – language actually ‘creates’ us, and our experience of the world because we are bound within a finite set of signs (words, phrases) within which to express or know it. Language creates the rules, social order and  understanding of what ‘the world’ is – and once we enter the symbolic, we cannot un-enter, we are enmeshed within.

The Real:

The Real is where we were before language, it is the state whereby we know nothing but need – when we are babies (before we enter the Imaginary or the Symbolic). The Real is both pleasure and pain based in need – the child yearns for the mother’s breast to quell the need for hunger, it does so without thought to what its needs ‘mean’ or what the mother’s own needs may be, the baby is complete in its desire, without thought or regard for others (it has not learned to consider itself as part of a wider community or others with need, but rather its entire existence is based only around the sensation of the self).

Most importantly (for me), The Real is pre-language – The Real is known/experienced without the filter of language to construct it, The Real is where things that defy language reside – and these are traumatic or pleasurable in the extreme.

For example, natural disasters, high school shootings, 9/11. When these occur, we can see that there is no language to adequately describe or convey what we experience or feel upon hearing about or witnessing these events – they demonstrate cracks in the symbolic order – a trauma that we cannot describe – and we are reminded of The Real, reminded that language (and therefore our entire existence, and how we make sense of ‘the world’) is not ‘true’, but rather a system overlays The Real.

OK.

What has all this to do with BPD/PD’s?

Well, traditionally/ideally/whatever, an infant is ushered from The Real into the Symbolic (although there remains the problematic Imaginary by a primary and ever-present caregiver who is able to allow the infant to experience the shift/trauma in a relatively safe and consistent environment. The infant adapts to the loss of self (The Real) and adapts to the dominant, symbolic order of society.

 

For those of us with primary caregivers who were abusive, absent or neglectful … well, this doesn’t happen, or, it happens in a dysfunctional way. We are never fully enculturated into the Symbolic order and hence, never truly leave the Real and/or are trapped more fundamentally in the Imaginary.

I think that those who have a PD don’t fully come through from The Real, through The Imaginary and into The Symbolic effectively – we are moored in The Real, and The Symbolic is never fully integrated or accepted. Over time, what others come to accept as ‘real’ or ‘true’ about ‘the world’ remains outside of our grasp. We can see, process and understand the socio-cultural norms – we can understand law, community, sexuality, but we were not completely immersed into them by a primary caregiver and so, they remain foreign, confusing and often absurd, left as outsiders looking in.

We ‘know’ the rules, legislations and expectations of our respective cultures, but we see them at a meta level – we see the structure and artifice that underpins them precisely because we have been left behind – we are like infants.

Being moored in the Real or the Imaginary keeps us forever on the axis of pleasure/pain – we only feel alive, real and whole when we are experiencing extreme emotions – to be anything else, to live in the Symbolic is tantamount to a death sentence because it feels fake, constructed an unreal in the very literal sense of that term.

I think this is why people with PD’s are so sexual – because sex is one of the few playing fields within which language is not the primary mode of communication. It is also a space/place where intense emotive responses are not only acceptable, but celebrated. It is home.

I also think that suicidal ideation is linked in here. The Real is about the absolute of pleasure/pain. We seek pleasure (sex) knowing it will bring pain, and we seek pain (cutting, slicing) knowing it will bring pleasure. The two are intertwined in some fundamental, albeit disturbing ways.

For me, sex allows the merging/enmeshment that I crave, for someone like my ex, it allows for pleasure and the expression of intensity without the necessity of relational tropes. We have different pathologies/PD’s, but our weapon of choice was/is sex. And this makes perfect sense really.

It also explains why I lack an adequate vocabulary about my ‘feelings’. If I am extremely upset, angry or otherwise emotionally engaged in a situation, I am all-but mute. I know that I feel ‘bad’ or ‘mad’ or ‘upset’ but quite often, I cannot find the words to express WHY I am feeling that way or what has caused it. So many lovers have expressed frustration at my inability to describe WHAT is wrong with me … because I cannot describe adequately what I am feeling, all I know is that I am feeling it.

Doesn’t this mirror the Real? A time where (as infants) we didn’t ‘know’ we were hungry or tired, we just knew that we felt ‘bad’. We hadn’t as-yet ‘learned’ what hungry or tired meant, we just knew it made us feel bad.

For me, I think of death as unemotively as I do life. Words such as personality disorder, depression, suicide … these are products of the Symbolic – I struggle with them because they have negative connotations – but perhaps the possibility that they are more neutral can be explained here.