I can’t be around people I know right now.
Or, more to the point, people who know me, know about me and profess to love me.
I can’t contain the anger see, no matter how I try.
Even if I keep schtum, it twists my mouth, bleeds from my narrowed accusing eyes, and emanates from my core, surrounding me in such a huge miasma of unvented vitriol, I wonder how my hair doesn’t crackle and stand on end.
And whether they know it or not, they sense it.
You see, I may mock these Schema sessions, but it’s only taken three for them to bust through my ‘accepting’ Zen like veneer, and release the Kracken, and since the last meet, I can’t stop the fury. My lying, weasel of an estate agent, the patronising sexist caretaker, a faux Facebook friend, Oscar Pistorius, and subsequently ‘alternative’ comedian Jimmy Carr have all felt the rough of my tongue, and I don’t quite know what to do with myself.
Even before I got to the session, I was bubbling and roiling with resentment, and when I remembered that (a) we were being filmed, (b) I’d consented to this and (c) the fucking camera was pointing in my direction, (ironic given that in different circumstances I’m perfectly happy with being filmed), I was absolutely determined to give not an inch.
They prompt me, you see.
Gently and with apparent concern (retch), but I’m not having it.
‘How are people feeling today? Sista, would you like to start?’
And everyone shifts uncomfortably in their seats. It’s quite funny really. They’re so grateful to be there and desperate to be ‘cured’, but I’ve been here so many times before, that a ball of wool, bits of felt and sympathetic tones cut no ice with me.
They don’t care about us. We’re just lab rats and something else to put on their illustrious CV’s.
Then they start discussing the ‘Punitive/Demanding Parent’ (close relative to Aunty C’s ‘Bad Parent’ I believe) and that, whilst our parents damaged us, they probably did their best at that time, and when everyone seemed keen to embrace that theory, that is when I cracked.
‘Sorry, I don’t buy that at all.’
Shrink No’s 1 and 2 whip their heads my way and frown.
‘They had a choice. Even if they had a bad childhood, they could have decided to transcend that experience and give their child that which they missed out on. But they didn’t. They decided that if they were hurt, why should things be any easier for us?’
One of my fellow inmates pipes up.
‘Yeah, but that was back in the day and they didn’t know about all, erm, all this then?’
I know what she means and I know she means well. But she’s talking arse.
‘I was dragged up in the North West in the ’60’s and believe me, I know that there was no psychological awareness there when I was a kid. You were either a looney and to be jeered at, or normal and accepted. No one knew about this “Good Parent, Bad Parent” malarky that’s for sure…’
And I mime inverted commas with slightly excessive force and more than a touch of sarcasm.
‘…but my cousin took his shitty childhood and did the opposite to what his father did and became the best parent he could, and all his kids absolutely adore him. See? He had a choice and decided his kids deserved better. Our parents chose the other path.’
‘That’s a fair point actually, and yes, this is sometimes the case’ agreed Shrink No. 1, and the others mumble in acquiescence.
Then I notice another girl is crying.
No. 2 is on it.
‘Bella*, what’s that bringing up for you right now?’
‘I don’t know, I’m…’ then she lets out a shaky sigh and meets my eyes.
‘….I….just don’t like anger’ and she shrugs apologetically.
I feel a bolt of shame lance straight through me, and I am silenced.
I know that I scare people sometimes, without even trying. That said, she should see me when I really flip out. But to be fair, us BPD’s are hypersensitive and I’m sure she senses the molten fury bubbling under my relatively composed facade.
As if reading my mind, No. 1 pipes up with ‘Please remember that this is a safe place people. We are here to take care of you and Bella, I know Sista isn’t angry with you or anyone else in the group.’
I should say something.
‘Yeah, honestly? I think you must be stronger than me if you can forgive and still love your parents. I’m actually the weak one here. And I’m sorry if I made you cry.’
Bella rewards me with a watery smile.
No. 1 then decides to chime in with ‘Believe me Bella, I don’t think Sista is that angry right now. Believe me. I’ve seen her when she’s angry!’
Whaaat? Thanks Doc. I’m now the groups very own Incredible Hulk and everyone will flinch if even my top button strains.
I reward him with a mock scathing sneer, everyone giggles and we move on.
But the shame stays with me. Because the Jolly Green Giant is a mere tantruming toddler when compared to me at large, as I can destroy with my tongue as well as my fists. And I clearly remind Bella of someone who hurt her very much.
I regularly mourn the fact that I am childless, but right now I thank God that I never reproduced, because who knows whether I would have lived up to my own exacting standards or gone classic ‘Mommie Dearest’.
But the anger’s still there. If anything it’s worse.
I tried to do the best for myself and kept a pre arranged trip to the cinema with a ‘close’ friend, I haven’t seen for three weeks just to get me out of the flat.
How hard could it be?
1. Buy tickets
2. Small talk till the ads start
3. Watch the movie
4. Drive him to the station
5. Go home
Quite hard as it happens, as after three weeks silence, as went enter the cinema, he mentions that he’d deducted that I’d had a hard time of late from my posts on Facebook.
<yes, but you still kept your distance hey? funny that….>
I fought to keep control.
‘Honestly Dean? I really don’t want to talk about it, it’s too depressing. Let’s focus on what you’ve been up to?’
Great parry. He filled up the minutes with tales of his full, fulfilling social life until mercifully the trailers started, then the movie commenced.
But oddly my underlying mood clearly seeped into his personal space as unbeknownst to him, his body language clearly communicated his discomfort as throughout the film, he shrank away from me, turned his form in the opposite direction, and even whilst the movie itself was riveting, checked his watch on a regular basis.
When we got out it was late, the pubs were shut so the only option was for us to go to our respective homes.
<not that you’d linger anyway, hey Dean? skint friends are such a bore and you have much more amusing things to do with your time I’ll bet>
‘Wanna lift to the station?’
Then it went horribly wrong.
‘So what’s actually going on with your flat?’
‘Oh you know estate agents! Full of shit until you sign with them! To cut a long story things ain’t looking good re my great escape and I’m very worried about my future. How are things at work?’
‘But can’t you rent out?’
<fucking drop it will you? drop it, drop it, drop it>
‘Nooo, because I won’t make a profit and won’t get my rent paid.’
‘So, there’s nothing on the job front either? Odd because Steve says there’s load of temp work out there right now?’
<shut up, shut up, shut up….>
And then it all comes tumbling out.
‘I can’t move because there are no interested buyer plus it’s unlikely to sell for enough to get me out of this hell hole. I can’t rent out. I can’t get a job because I’m over 50, bonkers, can’t do full time because i have to work around my Schema Therapy, and everyone I’ve ever worked with, including my FRIENDS have pretty much distanced themselves from me so would not recommend or help me get something. If I stay I’m fucked, if I move I lose my therapy. My bills are bigger than my bank account and I could get repossessed and of course everyone who said I could stay with them is shitting themselves because let’s face it, who wants a depressive and two cats on their sofa?!’
I wink at him mockingly and before he can interject I continue.
‘No one that’s who. It’s like the Budda says, you can never rely on others only yourself. I can’t afford to go out and I can’t afford to stay in. My family like my FRIENDS are lying low just in case I ask anything from them and I’m essentially on my own in all this. There! Think that covers everything. Questions?’
And as I take in his shocked little face by the light of the station lamps, I realise I’ve killed off yet another friendship, or at the very least, drop kicked it into intensive care.
‘I erm, well, I didn’t know things were that bad.’
I smile with faux jollity.
‘Well ya do now!’
We stare at each other.
He doesn’t move.
<get OUT of the fucking car Dean>
‘Erm, I didn’t know given you’ve just been a bit distance the last few weeks…’
I feel my mad Joker grin widen even more.
‘I haven’t been distant Dean! You’re the one who said you’d be too busy to do anything for two weeks! I just didn’t want to crowd you!’
His mouth is kind of moving but the words don’t make it out.
<get. out. of. my. car.>
‘You’re going to miss your train?’
‘OK, yeah, well I’ll….we’ll…’
We air kiss and he opens the door.
And I drive away with a feeling of palpable relief, a furious grief and a howl of pain that never seems to end.
Another one bites the dust.
But still the anger roils and boils. I need to find a way to vent this shit before I take down entire cities.
I need to forgive the people who’ve let me down so badly. Or have they? It’s hard to tell when you’re certifiable.
I could be wrong. I could be right.
This anger is the only energy that ever motivates me to do anything. Such a shame it’s a force for evil.
If I ever get to harvest it for the good, that’s when I know I can Rise.
But I ain’t holding my breath.
Ciao for now x
* FYI all names are changed to ensure anonymity, even though I blog under a pseudonom.