Perspectives from the Mentalist's Best Friend

Good afternoon, loveliest readers. Following the success of A’s series of guest posts for Confessions on daily life with a mental, my best friend Daniel asked if he could add some thoughts of his own. Clearly I jumped at the chance to have these insights, so I fired him off a couple of questions, which, along with his answers, now follow. Enjoy ūüôā ~ Pan

What was it like growing up with a mental friend? Did you know how mental she was? Did you ‘get’ some of her weird behaviour? What, if anything, did you feel you could do about it?

An interesting question, because as a teenager, rather than consider my friend to be mental, I considered her to be interesting; as such, I chose to emulate her behaviour.

I remember running up and down streets carrying a curtain pole. I recall parading around people’s living rooms with a cushion on my head, making stupid noises. I was there when we walked home, unable to afford our bus fares [Pan – having spent our money on alcopops, if I recall], from the near-ish-but-far-to-walk-from large town (approximately eight miles, if my memory serves me correctly) – all the while pretending to be German, talking to every person we met in broken English. They were helpful in offering us directions and admitted that they had forgiven us for “the war” when we insisted on apologising for it (and yes, I’m still laughing about it now, perhaps 15 years later). [Almost literally pissing myself at that one. Ah, memories…].

Oh, almost forgot: we phoned teachers in the middle of the night pretending to aroused horses, cats and vampire bats. Good times.

This seemed to me to be completely normal, acceptable behaviour – and if I am brutally honest, it still does [agreed]. This is how we chose to spend our time and was what made us laugh as children. Of course, society may judge young people behaving like this as being weird, unbalanced and perhaps even dangerous – but this is certainly not how it seemed to be at the time.

But, in saying all that…I was also there the night Pan took her first overdose (I think we were 16). I recall watching her take the pills and I helped her mum force her to spit them out. I was still there that night in the hospital, when Pan informed the staff that if she were allowed to go home, she would kill herself. A sanctimonious A&E doctor curtly replied, “no, you won’t. Manics don’t want to kill themselves”, to which Pan calmly (bearing in mind she’d been hysterical only moments before) explained, “oh that’s interesting, because I do”. [I don’t remember this bit; I hadn’t realised I’d talked back to the supercilious bitch. Good.]

And in a moment of what should have been horror for any young person, that wry smile – infectious when around Pan – spread across my lips; here we had this suicidal teenager who, despite her suffering, still had the audacity and quick-thinking to look a doctor in the eye and calmly tell her that she didn’t understand a word of what she was talking about (though Pan’s mum was naturally mortified).

Who doesn’t love a bit of black humour?

But in all seriousness. I just went with it. When Pan got out of the hospital, we did talk through the issue that had upset her. But we never psychoanalysed her decision to overdose (on ibuprofen? [yes. That makes me cringe now.]). It wasn’t the sort of friendship we had then – again, because it was just normal for me.

If you knew me, you’d know I judge everybody. I can’t help it. It’s a cold part of an unashamedly bitchy streak of mine. I judge people on their clothes, their hair, their reading habits, what music they like, their accents, and the things they say.

With that in mind, the following may be surprising. I think Pandora’s the only person in the world other than my partner that I love unconditionally. As such, she’s one of the few who’s been immune to this cult of judgement – back in school, throughout university, and still today. For her part, she has never formed an judgemental opinion of me, despite supporting/counselling my countless foolish decisions. Perhaps these acts have been made because of some undiagnosed mentally interesting characteristic in my head, I don’t know; as such, either way, I have never formed any judgement on the way she thinks and what she does. Ever. And I never will. I can’t understand the exact thoughts in her head – and again, I probably never will – but I ‘get’ why she has them.

So – growing up with a mental friend? Every day was an adventure. Most days were fabulous. On a daily basis, Pandora painted my dull life with beautiful colours. No one has ever made me laugh as much as her. She knows me inside out – in ways that, almost terrifyingly, I do not know her [you do, my dear. Believe me, you do].

Did I know how mental she was? Yes. Definitely yes.

What could I do about it? Not a lot. But I hope I was one of the things in her life that at least didn’t exacerbate the problem. Although thinking about it…curtain pole/teacher stalking/rollerblading late at night/”Shinobi”-wise – I totally did, didn’t I? [Indubitably. But in the most hilarious and uplifting way possible ūüôā]

To what extent has a physical separation impacted upon your friendship with the mental, if at all?

I don’t like it very much. But I know “the mental”, as she so eloquently puts it, very well in different ways. Her blog outlines in detail what she is up to, so on a very cosmetic level I know how she’s getting on [or did, until I took an unannounced hiatus. Explanations and more for that next week]. And I understand a lot better now what she’s thinking. So that’s nice.

Fundamentally Pandora has always behaved exactly the same with me, so when I see her, we click back in. Since I have been away she has developed her relationship with A, who is now also a good friend, so it’s been great to get to know them as a couple and have – to an extent – a more traditionally ‘civilised’ friendship.

Mental wise? Her condition certainly seems to be to be more complicated now – but then, I read about it on a screen. If she were to talk to me about it face to face – and we have done so, on some issues – it is/would be no different to how she communicated things to me when we were children/teenagers. Still, this blog certainly allows us to have a ‘conversation’ (about mental health) that is often made more difficult in person. But I imagine that’s because of the context, therapy, drugs, triggers etc etc – inevitably, analysis of such difficult issues is more easily tackled in the written word, no matter how close the relationship.

How do you reconcile the teenager you knew with the depths of the person you now do?

Right – I have touched on this a little bit. But she’s very, very similar. Pan has always been deep, though perhaps she is much more considered now in how she speaks. I don’t witness her highs or lows, since I see her maybe only three times a year, usually in a public setting – so she comes across to me as the same girl. And often we will reminisce, so we talk a lot about us as children.

But now, what’s interesting to me is how rather than reacting angrily to her mental health difficulties in the way she might have perhaps done as a teenager – she actually uses them for something constructive. It’s quite inspiring actually.

Perhaps some of the people who read this blog have a certain schadenfreude about the terrifying thoughts that go through Pan’s head and how she reacts to them…But she’s really not a dramatic person. She’s calm, caring, thoughtful, considerate and although she does like the occasional bit of recognition for a job well done, this blog doesn’t exist to win awards or amass some sort of international recognition, or whatever. Rather, it’s to help three groups of people.

  1. Pan – to keep a diary of her progression and an archive of how she is feeling after certain therapy session and/or drug cocktails
  2. To help people like me who are ignorant about mental ill health understand that sufferers are ordinary people leading extraordinary lives
  3. To provide information and a forum for people who are suffering – so they know they are not alone.

She wouldn’t have had the balls to do this as a teenager – no one I knew would have, and most wouldn’t now. To take something like mental illness – something that can be so powerful and destructive – and harness it into something that has been described by influential types in the mental health sector as “beautiful” is, in my mind, the mark of an exceptionally gifted woman.

This side to her, although I knew it was there in ways…well. I don’t think I could have ever imagined from knowing her as a teenager that she had all the facets and experiences that led to the persona we all now know as Pan…Does that make sense? [very much so. I didn’t know this…entity, I suppose, of Pandora existed until relatively recently either]. The Ang Sang Su Chi/Eva Peron/Catherine the Great of the Madosphere? We’ll see [don’t be so melodramatic!!!].

The mental is, of course, mental. As a writing professional yourself – knowing that the mental narcissictally proclaims herself a writer – do you that think she has any realistic occupational prospects in this arena (be honest)?

Ok – she has won more awards than most well-known or full-time writers, and turns in copy that is tidier and requring less editing that the majority of journalists I work with.

But writing is a big job description.

The issue here is in confidence. I can only speak for myself in my own job. I have to attend networking events in rooms with dozens of suits I don’t know, attend dinners and sit at tables with people I’ve never met – and talk to them. I have to interview executives in their offices, over the phone, speak to PRs and have hideous corporate lunches – daily.

Pan would hate all of this shit. [I would…most assuredly, I would].

I had to write a 3,000 word feature once on bio-degradable microwavable packing (I can send you it to read if you want [I cracked up at this. Please send it. It sounds incredible!]) as a freelance piece when I was looking for a job – and I can’t imagine her ever doing this.

But, and I really don’t want to sound patronising here, she has a hell of a lot of raw talent and will dedicate herself to something – but only if she’s passionate about it.

I would LOVE to see her have a regular column in a paper or magazine, edit a serious mental health journal, or – dare I say it – write a book.

This is probably where the future lies – but I know she’s already talking to editors, making strides and breaking into the wider arena. I think there is a lot to be hopeful about. It’s just about planning a strategy and working to it, and I’m learning that Pan doesn’t necessarily tend to let things she’s terrified of stop her from doing what she wants, if she really wants something (although she doubted herself…MIND awards anyone? She was petrified of attending the ceremony, yet she threw caution to the wind and just went). [Very true – I was genuinely terrified of attending the event (fucking anxiety), but knew it would be a travesty, both personally and professionally, not to. I’m so glad now that i forced myself to go, of course – but I managed to get through my agitation and enjoy the night, in part, with Daniel’s help ūüôā].

And that, boys and girls, is a rap.

Can I just add here that I am touched and flattered and have a warm fuzzy feeling inside after reading all that Dan has written here. I know he loves me, but it’s always nice to be reminded of it. I love him too ūüôā With a friend like Dan, and a partner like A (whom, obviously, I also love very much), I really have much to be thankful for. You two rock. ~ Pan

Ragdoll

It’s a cliche, I know, but almost every child seems to have some form of ‘comfort blanket’. For some, it is literally that – a blanket, to which the kid snuggles up. For others, it may instead be a cuddly toy, piece of clothing, or whatever. You may know that in academic circles such comforts are known as ‘transitional objects‘, their purpose being to reassure the child whilst its mother is absent from its vision and to psychologically comfort it. The object in question effectively steps in and takes the mother’s place; it confirms to the child that she will return, but in the meantime, it has this source on which to rely.

As regular readers of this journal will appreciate, I was not a particularly typical child. Obviously I don’t remember being a baby, but I do remember that when other kids my age would have been expressing interest in cuddly and other types of toys, I regarded the whole thing with derision. The hilarious irony is that I love cuddly toys now. I suspect that I am unconsciously searching for a way to relive my ‘lost childhood’ (what a trite, nauseating phrase), but I do wonder why I would ever have considered such things with such an aversion. That I felt disgust then disgusts me now. Poor cuddly toys ūüė¶ They never did anything to wrong me.

However, all rules are proven by their exceptions (though does the rule that rules are proven by exceptions include an exception? If so, does it not render itself a contradiction that cannot be trusted?). The exception to my general antipathy towards fluffy, cuddly things was a 1977 Fisher Price Cholly Ragdoll, whom I had named Mr Friendly (obviously I hadn’t really named him that. That’s the idiot choice of my so-called adult ((!)) mind. But I need to call him something here, and his actual name isn’t an option as it was fairly distinctive; I don’t want some familial prick Googling it on an off-chance and ending up here. So Mr Friendly it is). This is him (well, it’s not. It’s a picture of another doll from the same line; it isn’t the doll I had. But for now it’s the best I can do):

Mr Friendly

My version of the doll was such a permanent part of my physical being that by the time I stopped taking him everywhere, he was full of holes, his stuffing was long gone and he could dubiously boast a number of wear-and-tear style stains. The smile you see in the above picture was no longer there; someone had had to stitch him a new one at some point. The eyes were the originals, but had to be re-sewn every six months or so. The poor sod probably even smelt like a wet dog.

Mr Friendly’s over-worn status, though, proved my overwhelming and at the time unparalleled love for him. I remember the adults being both amused and bemused by the fact that I was, at best, ambivalent about other toys, but that this one had to be by my side wherever I went. I remember returning their perplexity with cynical sneers. They didn’t know how awesome, if I may use such a gruesome word, Mr Friendly actually was, because if Mr Friendly could speak, then he wouldn’t have wanted to give them the time of day.

I remember that he eventually disappeared from my life; this is one of the many parts of my childhood that is a total blank in my memory, so I don’t know how, or why. I think it must have been a gradual transition from having him there all the time to not doing so, because I don’t remember the biting sting of his loss the way I do when someone tried – however gently – to take him out of my hands. Whatever the case, a few years later, I was looking for something in one of the bedrooms, opened an ottoman, and saw his tatty but still-smiling face staring back at me.

My first reaction was one of being taken utterly aback. I should have been delighted, and most of me was – but it also felt even then that perhaps he peripherally marked something deeper about which I did not want to think. I hate saying and thinking that about him, but I have to: it’s the truth. Nevertheless, I was able to quickly push this befuddled surprise to the back of my mind, and regard him with the enduring and still hugely significant affection and love that he deserved.

He was a fixture – albeit a much more subtle one – of my life again for a while. I would say that he was within my easy reach (for example, on my bed, on the dressing table, or in an easily-accessible cupboard in my room) probably well into my teenage years, and it’s not impossible that this was the case even into my very early 20s. I don’t know what happened after this; part of me has a very vague memory of my mother asking if she could put him into the roofspace, but this could very well be phantom. Either way, I’m pretty sure he must indeed be in the roofspace (or other storage at Mum’s house), because there is almost certainly no way in hell that my mother would have binned him.

You know how things are in this life; it muddles on, you psychologically compartmentalise, think about Thing A and not Thing B, all the time letting existence distance you from certain things and/or certain people. Such have the last years been vis a vis Mr Friendly; I really haven’t thought about him much in a long time, and I feel tremendously guilty about that, because he – like other important figures in my life, be they technically alive or otherwise – deserves my steadfast remembrance. I now know how much comfort he must have provided me through some very troubling times. Even if I had not suffered any form of abuse, he was still of incredible importance to me. It’s not until you separate yourself from the compartmentalisation and look inside from the outside that you truly realise just how much you miss the thing/person/whatever. But I do. I do miss him.

On Sunday, Bippidee alluded to her oldest and most cherished protective/security toy, a teddy bear. I read her post and a passing memory of Mr Friendly fondly popped into my head. I wondered briefly where exactly he’d ended up, and recalled in smiling nostalgia my having found him in the ottoman that time. However, the reminiscence was brief, and rather than fixate upon it, I simply got on with the day (such as it was, sitting about on the sofa stuffing my face, but anyway).

Later that day, though, I got into a bizarre but interesting conversation on Facebook. The person with whom I was corresponding enquired as to whether or not I had any stuffed/cuddly toys, and of course I responded in the affirmative. I cautiously wondered if she was seeking cheap/free goods from me for her young son, but alas cynicism does not always prove necessary. Instead, her intention was to direct me to ToyVoyagers, a rather niche (to say the least) but nonetheless brilliant website that chronicles the travels of toys on holiday. Being the sap that I apparently am these days, I was instantly transfixed.

But there was something in it that once again reminded me acutely, and this time more dramatically, of Mr Friendly. Perhaps it was the description of one particular stuffed animal that noted that he was “rescued” from the charity of a window shop that set me off; this made me feel sorry for him, and reminded me that I felt sorry that Mr Friendly was and is no longer in my life. Maybe it was just the general importance in the site users’ lives of their stuffed animals and toys. Who knows.

I thought of Mr Friendly, and I felt a lump rise in my throat. Of course, I actively tried to suppress it, even though the only person here other than me was A, who is well aware of my idiosyncrasies in this regard. I remember that he was in the kitchen washing dishes or something; I went in, and mentioned this to him, trying to retain a light tone of voice. My mind did not want to co-operate, of course, and I felt my eyes fill with salty, stingy tears. I wiped them away and tried to do whatever it was that I’d gone into the kitchen to do, but it was a futile effort. I broke down slightly, initially saying to A that it was “ridiculous” that “I [had] tears in my eyes over this.”

‘Slightly’ soon turned to ‘ridiculously’, however. I returned to the living room, sat down, and absolutely cried my eyes out. You might even say that I wept, with long, hollow, presumably piteous sobs and moans of sorrow accompanying my unwelcome tears. (I think the last time I cried on something approximating this level was on this post-therapy, pre-NHS-discharge occasion, but it might even have been worse than that). Yet even as all this took place, the rational part of my mind urged me to analyse the situation; write about it now, it demanded, reasonably enough I felt – but of course my upset prevented me from doing so. OK, then; at least try to articulate what you’re feeling. I tried.

It’s not something I can easily respond to. I can only say that I was overcome with a visceral, profound sorrow. Perhaps grief? Whatever it was, it was deep and overwhelming, but rather than just experience that, of course I became incensed with myself for feeling whatever it was I was feeling over something so ostensibly silly (leading to this mini-rant on Twitter – thank you for all your replies, lovely people. You do mean a lot to me). The anger though, perhaps mercifully, didn’t trump the great sadness and longing that I felt. I just wanted my little blue and white ragdoll. I wanted to love him again, to protect and attend to him, to rescue him from whatever dark consignment he’s been relegated to. I wanted to make up for the years of neglect that he’s suffered and never let him go again.

I don’t know how long I cried for – maybe 10 or 15 minutes? A and I then had an analytical conversation in which we tried to ascertain what exactly what this fuss had been about. Was it about the doll per se? Probably not, we reckoned, though in my mind it certainly feels like it is. Was the memory of him a trigger? Perhaps indirectly; he himself bears absolutely no negative connotations whatsoever, but clearly he was ‘there for me’ during many great trials.

Whatever the case, it has become my desire and indeed this week’s project to get him back. I’m pretty sure he’s in Mum’s roofspace, as I said, but the difficulty is that it is not easily accesible; it would be all too easy to go up there, then fall through the floorboards and die. Well, as someone who knows how to do herself in, I can testify that you almost certainly would not die in such circumstances, but it would mostly likely lead to pain and injury. The darkly amusing irony of all this is that it was almost certainly Paedo that put Mr Friendly in the roofspace in the first place, as he is one of the very few people that my mother will/has allow(ed) up there. Her reasoning is that he is light and nimble (or, rather, he was) and knew where to stand to avoid injury.

The long and the short of that is that I’m scared to go into the roofspace, even though I will eventually attempt it come hell or high water; Mr Friendly is worth it. In the meantime, whilst I work out how to do it without breaking my back, I have been perusing the internet to get a stand-in: an exact replica of Mr friendly (or, more accurately, a precise reproduction of what he looked like before he incurred so much wear and tear). These dolls are not easy to come by: after all, their manufacture was in the ’70s, and they are long since out of production. Nevertheless, occasionally one does seem to come up – and on this occasion, I would for once appear to be in luck. To that end, I am happy to report that I am currently bidding for a Mr Friendly replica stand-in on eBay ūüôā

I discussed this with Paul today (or yesterday, or whatever it actually was), and as you may imagine, he opined that my reaction yesterday/on Sunday was not really about the doll. Intellectually, of course, I know this to be true. In terms of pure feeling, though, I still completely see it as being about Mr Friendly. Either way, I’m going to get him back, I’m also going to get a second him, and I’m going to take damn good care of them both.

Mr Friendly helped me endure the macabre quagmire that was my childhood. It is now time to return the favour.

Hallucinations Still Terrify Me

You’d think I’d be used to it by now, but I’m really not. ¬†I mean, I’ve sort of grown¬†accustomed¬†to ‘They‘, simply because they’ve been hovering about at various intervals for over a year now. ¬†I do hate them. ¬†I hate them so very, very much – but meh. ¬†Old housewives tell it best: as the eons-old adage goes, better the devil you know.

I was lying in bed about 4am this morning, awake but not as hopelessly frustrated with my insomnia as I usually am, mainly because I had at least got a little sleep. ¬†A was breathing deeply but quietly beside me, given my irresponsible donation of half a Zopiclone to him (he’s exhausted and stressed at work at the minute, dear love him). ¬†As I listened to the gentle, rhythmic sounds of his breaths, I began to hear something additional. ¬†A gnawing sound? ¬†Or chewing? ¬†Then…swallowing? ¬†What the fuck?

PeccaryI turned round, and on the other side of the bed – near the corner beside A’s head was a thing. ¬†Initially¬†it reminded me of a peccary; it had that general look about it, and it had the brownish, wiry hair that that species boasts.¬†¬†But it was thinner, and it stood upright rather than on all fours. ¬†Perhaps it was actually more of a large squirrel, but its facial features were distinctly porcine.

It was gobbling away at something in its non-trottery trotters (which, on reflection, were probably more like claws), accounting for the bizarre audible accompaniment to its presence (or, rather, lack thereof).  Chew chew, gobble gobble, guh.  Chew chew, gobble gobble, guh.  Repeat ad nauseum.

I stared at it in wide-eyed horror. ¬†I knew that I had to be hallucinating; it has been an ‘advantage’ of my hallucinatory psychoses that I still mainly know that my mind is creating them, unlike – say – a schizophrenic who actually believes that the hallucination is an example of reality. ¬†(Delusions are usually a different thing – I do, when in the midst of them, firmly consider them to be factual, though there have been a few exceptions to that).¬†¬†Nevertheless, my mind was, in an instant, filled with horror-filled streams of aghast thoughts.

  • What is that?!
  • How the hell did it get in here? ¬†Yeah, I know it didn’t really, but still – how did it get in?! ¬†[You gotta love self-contradictory sentences!]
  • Is it going to harm us?
  • How can I get rid of it?

And so on. ¬†It must have heard me thinking because, within a few seconds, it turned its bizarre little face towards me and regarded me with, at first, apparent bemusement. ¬†In another life, it could have been quite a likeable creature. ¬†Peccaries delight me in the main, and I love rodents and other types of pigs too. ¬†This thing certainly carried¬†an aura of evil malevolence about its self, but I wonder was that really innate, or was it simply a case of ‘good guy gone wrong’?

Either way, unlike the gnome, it seemingly came to the conclusion that it had some not-entirely-positive message to convey to me that was not passing ambivalence.

Still chewing the nebulous coloured air that it held in its paws  (or whatever one would call them), it drew back its lips (do you call the edges of the mouth lips in such animals?  Do you even do so outside of humans, or at least primates more generally?), bared its ridiculously-sized fangs, and began to snarl and hiss at me.  In a masterful feat of laws-of-physics defiance, the chew chew, gobble gobble, guh continued amok as it conducted itself in this fashion, which led up to a crescendo of abject screeching.

I think that maybe peccaries (in common with their cousins, the domestic pig) do screech, after a fashion anyway, though their trademark noise is clicking.  Funny to think such trivial and pointless thoughts as this as you sat like a deer in the headlights that was this pig-rodent mutation of malevolence, but think it I did.

I just looked at the peccary-thing. ¬†I simply lay there and looked at it. ¬†As noted in the foregoing paragraph, it’s akin to a deer in headlights. ¬†Car crash psychosis. ¬†I should make it into a reality (or, perhaps more accurately, non-reality?) TV show.

Here is the most confusing thing.  It stood there and it snarled and it squealed and it swallowed and it chewed and it generally made a nuisance of itself.  Despite its disruptive behaviour, however, I never actually felt that it would attack me.  I was not scared of that eventuality.

But there was fear. ¬†Very, very much fear. ¬†That fear is about something deeper; more profound, but also more nebulous. ¬†It is a horror so deep within myself that it makes my nerves stand on end with such dramatic force that they feel like daggers piercing my skin from the inside out. ¬†It didn’t matter if the peccary threatened to attack or not – its very ‘existence’ carried all the amorphous utter¬†terror that was needed, thank you very much.

Why? ¬†I could say, “well, it just does; I don’t know why. ¬†I actually quite like peccaries to be honest, but this thing that vaguely resembled one was just petrifying,” but you could very reasonably call me up on that. ¬†The ‘why’, when you look at the matter from an outsider’s perspective, is quite obvious. ¬†The peccary was frightening not because it could or would harm me, but because of what it represented. ¬†The gnome, that day when it so¬†nonchalantly¬†walked past me, didn’t even acknowledge me – and yet it too carried the vivid smell of unspeakable fear and loathing.

Paul is always banging on that psychosis is a preferable option to facing the truth. ¬†He thinks that is easier for me to interact with fake ‘monsters’ than it is for me to face the real ones, and so here we have ‘They’, gnomes, fake Paedo and peccaries all competing for a place in my consciousness. ¬†The point is that the peccary-thing rendering me so paralysingly petrified scares even my now-(hopefully)rational mind.

Sex abuse. ¬†Is it really that bad? ¬†Can it do that to someone? ¬†Why should the fear be so profound and so buried? ¬†Why should it be terror of an unquantifiable, indescribable and unspeakable nature? ¬†It’s horrible, but is it really that bad? ¬†What did they/he do that was so bad that I carry this with me somewhere, no matter how cloaked and deceptive it may be?

Seriously. ¬†My life feels like something out of a bloody Lovecraft novella. ¬† The terror about which the man wrote so vividly, and the atmosphere of dread, revulsion and malice that he so adroitly created¬†– that’s the kind of thing I’m talking about here. ¬†That’s the sheer level of fear I have in relation to these things.

And what, alas, of the peccary-thing? ¬†I eventually managed to un-paralyse myself enough to blink a few times, but the peccary remained in its place, at the edge of the bed on the other side of A. ¬†It continued to snarl, chew, screech, etc. ¬†I blinked a third or fourth time – for longer on this occasion, and when I re-opened my eyes, the peccary-thing had gone. ¬†Vanished. ¬†Disappeared into thin air. ¬†So, I noted shortly afterwards with a sort of confused interest, had the various noises the thing had created – but they just didn’t disappear in an instant like the vision. ¬†Well, they probably did, but it felt like they were old news – not just something frustratingly loud and daunting from a mere few seconds ago. ¬†It felt that it wasn’t that they had stopped – but that they had never happened. ¬†It was as if someone had gone back in my life’s timeline and simply erased them; but – and here is why I’m not a temporal physicist – they had still happened, because I could remember them. ¬†Even though they hadn’t. ¬†Even though they had. ¬†Etc etc etc, ad infinitum. ¬†I know that makes no sense and is impossible to fully appreciate when you haven’t experienced it, but it’s the best I can do. ¬†Steven Moffat is better at this kind of thing than me: it was a bit like, in 2010’s Doctor Who Shitmas special,¬†how the character of Kazran developed memories he hadn’t previously had after the Doctor went back in time and put them there. ¬†Except kind of in reverse. ¬†Or something. ¬†Hmm. ¬†Not sure I can work this one out adequately. Sorry.

Sorry that this is such a crap post, but I’m exhausted, in a lot of physical pain and feeling generally listless and can’t-be-bothered-ish. ¬†But I felt it important to record this fuckery for posterity if nothing else.

Advocacy woman tomorrow, unfortunately. ¬†If she turns up this time, that is. ¬† Wish me luck…

Oral Rape Flashback From a Seemingly Innocuous Trigger

***Possible triggers, as if you hadn’t guessed***

I’m so tired and miserable. ¬†I want to sleep – forever. ¬†Accept that any way you will. ¬†I don’t like this consciousness. ¬†I don’t like this life. ¬†In some of my brighter moments, I delude myself into thinking it might get better through a combination of therapy and medication. ¬†In my darker moments, I find that suggestion laughable – well, I would, if I were able to laugh. ¬†Either way, it always come back to this. ¬†The darkness always comes, even if it’s occasionally interspersed with mere clouds (or, very rarely, actual sunshine).

If the simple act of brushing your teeth can, in an instant,¬†¬†send a person knock a person back in time by over 20 years, what hope is there for that person? ¬†I was just brushing my teeth. ¬†All that happened was that I swallowed the foam creating by the toothpaste – unfortunately it caught somewhere in my throat, I couldn’t clear it instantly, and I ended up choking humiliatingly for several minutes.

As this went on for a few seconds, I was in my bathroom. ¬†Without warning, though, I was no longer in my bathroom. ¬†In one fraction of a nanosecond I was a child again – a child in the midst of a terrifying, perplexing and seemingly life-threatening horror. ¬†I was in that lane at the side of their garage, aged maybe five or six, being fucked in the mouth by him. ¬†Choking. ¬†Gasping for breath. I’m trying to move…that thing…out of my mouth,¬†but he pushes it further in, and pushes me even harder against that sort of spikey wall. ¬†I can’t get away. ¬†Please help me. ¬†Spluttering. ¬†Spit and stuff is dribbling down my chin. ¬†It goes deeper again. ¬†I’m still choking, even worse now. ¬†Sweating, gasping, whimpering, dying…please let it stop. ¬†Please, God, I’m sorry. Whatever I did I’m sorry. ¬†Please let it stop, please. ¬†Just let me die if that’s what it takes for it to stop, if you want me to die than that’s OK. ¬†Cough, splutter, cough cough. ¬†Gurgle choke…I can’t breathe. ¬†I’m choking. ¬†I think I’m dying. ¬†Please let me be. ¬†Please let it stop…

I don’t know how long it lasted. ¬†Too long, whatever the case. ¬†Half a second is too long to go through that. ¬†Whatever the case, I was rendered a mute, shaking wreck in its aftermath anyway. ¬†The sheer degradation of the imagery is some of the worst of it all, though the sensations of being choked half to death are hardly¬†exhilarating and drenched in fun either.

I sat down in bed for a while and just…I don’t know. ¬†Existed? ¬†I then¬†lay in bed and started cuddling my teddy bear like the pathetic little child that I apparently am. ¬†I eventually ‘came round’ enough to read a little and, surprisingly sensibly, take a hefty dose of Zopiclone.

And so to today. ¬†I was crudely awoken by an alarm I’d forgotten I’d set on my iPhone. ¬†For a few moments, I pondered where I was – the room initially¬†seemed unfamiliar. ¬†I sleep in a single bed in Mum’s house. ¬†My Little Pony on the wallpaper. ¬†Or else…well, sometimes I sleep there. ¬†But not here, I don’t know this place.¬†¬†Where is it?! ¬†Where have they taken me?! Oh, wait Pan (Aurora?) – that was then, this is now. ¬†You’re actually nearly 30 now and you’re in your partner’s house, in his bedroom and in his bed. ¬†Oh. ¬†Oh good. ¬†I will be safe here, then? Well…yes. ¬†I think so, yes. ¬†But I wasn’t safe last night, was I? *whimpering* Um…well. ¬†No. ¬†No. ¬†I suppose you weren’t. ¬†[Long pause]. ¬†But don’t worry, you’re OK now. ¬†Really? ¬†Do you mean it? Yes, I mean it. ¬†I mean it absolutely. ¬†OK then – if you say so. ¬†Thanks.

But wait. ¬†Fuck! ¬†I recalled with horror as I lay there that I had agreed to go to my mother’s house today. Nothing unduly awful about that, you might say. ¬†However, the conversation I had had last night with her on the heinous device that is the telephone had revealed to me that the McFauls would be at her house when I arrived.

For the record, Paedo was not going to be one of those in attendance. ¬†It was due to be my aunt Maisie, cousin Sarah, cousin-once-removed Suzanne, and cousins-twice-removed Marcus (almost three) and Sean (almost one). ¬†Fine? ¬†Hmm. ¬†Not really. ¬†You can’t avoid at least hearing of Paedo, and with a hideous flashback so forefront in my mind, and Aurora’s co-conscious uncertainty underpinning much of my thinking, I knew that merely seeing those who had intimate acquaintance with him would be deeply triggering.

I picked up my iPhone, intending to call my mother and tell her I wasn’t coming. ¬†The idea of facing Paedo’s family seemed like a cross too huge to bear. ¬†Instead I quite typically failed: I just stared at the thing, before whinging about my unfortunate circumstances on Twitter.

Anyhow, it’s not my mother’s fault – nor the fault of the McFauls who were visiting – that I was, and am, a mess. ¬†So I got up, got dressed and left.

I tried to avoid a lot of conversation with those assembled, but it was of course impossible. ¬†They enjoy talking. ¬†Why? ¬†Why?! ¬†What is there to say that is even remotely worthwhile in this sickening universe of shite? ¬†Besides, ‘They’ and Aurora were keeping a running commentary up in my head, as they have been doing for about 24 hours now, and not blurting the whole sorry story out to the fuckers was a frustratingly difficult undertaking.

Yet I managed to keep my gob shut on that point, hard as it was.  In fact, at one point when I got a second to myself, I was acutely

Sorry, I just had another major choking fit right now. ¬†The memories invaded my head, though it didn’t become an out-an-out flashback. ¬†It lacked the ‘realness’, the sense of it being ‘now’, the physical sensations – but the images still drilled themselves deeply into my psyche in the few minutes that the choking fit went on for. ¬†My mother dashed from her position on the other sofa to help me; she was (and is) on the phone. ¬†When I recovered and she returned to her call, she said to the individual with whom she is conversing, “Pan often takes these terrifying choking fits, usually for no obvious reason.”

Really? ¬†Do I? ¬†My mother has been known to be guilty of embellishment on occasion, but let’s give her the benefit of the doubt on this occasion. ¬†If this really happens a lot, and happens randomly at that, then that is very odd. ¬†Potentially telling.

‘Telling’ of something I’m sure I don’t like.

Anyway, where was I? ¬†Oh yes, I was acutely aware of how well I was acting my fit-in-with-the-world part in front of the McFauls. ¬†I’ve written about my ability to mask my illnesses, trauma and symptoms a lot on this blog; I am very, very good at it. ¬†But it is¬†fallacious, utterly fallacious. ¬†It is such a ridiculously huge construct. ¬†It isn’t real. ¬†Am I even real when I do it? ¬†Am I even real at any point? ¬†What is ‘real’ anyway?

One of the things that bothered me most today was seeing Marcus and, especially, Sean. ¬†Sean is so small and innocent and sweet (that I think him ‘sweet’ nauseates me, but it is not his fault). ¬†I had these utterly repugnant images of Paedo doing that to him and I flew into a panicked rage – though a panicked rage I hid well from the others, as usual.

I should re-iterate that I think the likelihood of Paedo being ‘active’ towards either of these children – or any others – these days is¬†infinitesimal¬†to non-existent. ¬†It is¬†my mind that is the trouble here, rather than any nefarious intentions from him. ¬†I see these grotesque images. ¬†I am even sicker than I thought. ¬†How can my mind even begin to think of that tiny little baby being raped by that cunt? ¬†IT IS VILE. ¬†I AM VILE.

Paul will tell me on Monday that I am not vile, but Paul will be wrong. ¬†Paul and I may try to utilise our therapy sessions to make me ‘realise’ that I am ‘not at fault’ for what happened in my childhood, but in the (in my current mindset unlikely) event that that does happen, that doesn’t – it can’t – stop the images or, indeed, the actual returns to being there. ¬†I will always see it. ¬†I will probably always feel it. ¬†Paul is skilled, and perhaps he can make things better – but he can’t make it not have happened. ¬†It will always have happened. I will always be stained.

I can’t be arsed to proof-read this. ¬†Sorry.