So I had an appointment with a shrink today.
Naturally I was a little trepidatious given that this man does not know me, and I’m used to being under the comfortable, familiar clutches of Aunty C (my counsellor of 12 years) who knows me inside out, but to be honest, I wasn’t too scared.
My GP, Dr B (https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/wont-you-help-me-doctor-b/) said she was sending me to see him about changing my meds because I’m so ‘flat’, so I expected a rudimentary National Health ‘tick the box’ paper to complete, a bit of generalising and a new prescription to replace my beloved Sertraline, not something I was keen on, but I owed it to her to go along and consider it.
At least she had given up on my having any more CBT sessions.
But as it turns out, I got a whole lot more for my taxes than I had anticipated.
I arrived at the surgery and sat down amongst a variety of vulnerable, twitchy, erratically behaving oddly dressed individuals and my heart went out to them. And as one man chatted with himself beratingly, a girl stared at her feet fixedly, and a lady came over to me, smiling shyly at me as she lifted her jumper to flash me a generous smooth skinned belly, I though to myself ‘I really have nothing to complain about. My problems are infinitesimal when compared to some of these poor, lost souls’ and I smiled, nodding approvingly at her as my name was called and I got up and headed for Treatment Room 2.
My drug dealer’s name was something along the lines of Liberace Archibald Splink, which made me smile as it brought to mind some batty, flamboyant, aristocratic gent, a cross perhaps of Tom Baker’s ‘Doctor Who’, Lord Bath and Uncle Monty from ‘Withnail & I’, so when I was confronted with a rather serious looking silver fox of a chap in a pinstripe suit it took me by surprise.
He smiled politely, shook my hand, asked me to sit and asked why I was there and what I wanted from him.
I shifted rather uncomfortably and told him what I thought he knew, that I had been sent to him to review my meds.
He nodded vigorously and jotted something down, then asked if I minded if he asked me a few questions.
I nodded my assent.
Cue an hour of being expertly and forensically grilled about all the hideous, painful, shaming things that happened in my life that got me to where I am today.
Twice I choked back tears, and twice he offered me tissues. I took one, and dabbed my eyes furiously, holding everything in with grim determination, refusing to fall apart in this manky office, feeling ridiculously caught out and ambushed.
Turns out I was the fox and he was the hunter.
God I’m stupid; as if a hugely qualified psychiatrist/therapist would be doling out medicines for a GP. Had I bothered to do some research I might have been better prepared.
He then gave me the thing that Aunty C has always disapproved of, and that I’ve always feared.
Emotionally unstable personality disorder.
He told me to look it up, let it ‘sink in’ then he’d organise some therapy for me in the new year.
I staggered out of that surgery dazed, chock full of unshed tears, (probably looking a little more at home in that waiting room than I did an hour previous), and fled home, where I lit the fire and crouched there, bathing in the warmth of the flames, the name going round and round in my head like a hamster on a wheel.
I then googled it.
Bit of a euphemism it turns out. It’s the politically correct term for Borderline Personality Disorder.
And as I read about it on Wikipedia, I realised that it fitted.
It all fitted, all 9 diagnostic criteria associated with the disorder.
My favourite part however is how TV and the film industry have portrayed it, via characters such as:
The mad stalker woman in ‘Play Misty for Me’
Kaysen in ‘Girl, Interrupted’
The bonkers flatmate in ‘Single White Female’
Alex in ‘Fatal Attraction’
Tony Soprano’s evil mother, Livia
Darth fucking Vadar.
Jesus Christ. No wonder men were afraid of me.
Right now, I feel like an overfilled jar of boiling hot jam that might burst at any given moment.
And I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but I am so ashamed.
I know I won’t be telling anyone about this. Some things are too damning to share, even with your loved ones.
And I was judging my psycho friend! Oh she would laugh her ass off at this one….
I don’t know how I’m going to get rid of this feeling.
So very, very shocked.
Looks like I have my work cut out for 2014.