Tired.

I am tired. This 23 year old body is exhausted, like a racehorse out of its prime. I fight against the contents of my head permanently. The dark passenger lives to kill me, and I’m running out of strength to say no.

I relapsed again with all the harsh desperation of a junkie. I want to press the blade to my skin so so much each waking moment. I keep thinking about the time I ended up in A and E and I want to inflict worse damage on myself this time. I want to live and I want to die and it is that dichotomy that is tearing my head into messy shreds.

I am beginning to agree with the dark passenger. He knows (yup, we’re back to he tonight) that I am stupid and weak, and he is ‘watching to see that I get it done’- his words.

I’m so tired. Please let me sleep. Please.

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a more positive day?

Ironically enough, considering all the tags, today was a better day.

Yesterday was quite the reverse.

I was so upset and twitchy yesterday after what I remembered the night before. I was at my volunteer work, in a homeless soup kitchen, and the predominant gender there is male. I know these people, but the paranoia I was experiencing was telling me to watch my back. In fact, I was so frightened I went as long as I could without looking any of the clients in the eye properly. I kept thinking that they were going to get behind me, and I had to have my back to the counters. There’s one lad there who always stares at you, but it was getting to me so much I couldn’t look him in the face at all.

And, all the while, the voice of the dark passenger was yelling at me.

Like I say, its now got three voices. Male, Female, and Neuter.

They were united in poisonous cacophony. All three were telling me to burn myself on the pans, to use the super-sharp knives they have to ‘do some real damage’, and ‘stop being suck a fucking coward’ (their words, not mine).

I was so so upset and desperate to be with my mum. I spent the rest of the day filling in self help books and trying to down the voices out.

Today, thank gods, I woke up with a good mood.

I put it straight to action. I made sure that I wrote to people I hadn’t talked to in a long while. I caught up with old friends. I even did a couple of bits of admin that I needed to do, and I finally worked up the courage to tell my mum about the voices in my head.

She doesn’t want to accept it at the minute I think. She believes me when I say I hear the sorry bastards, but she says that it isn’t real, which my more together side knows. It is getting frightening. I hear these goddamn voices telling me to kill myself. When I was very small, I used to hear my own voice laughing at me- but if it was my evil twin, my distorted reflection, laughing at my pathetic attempts to get things right. I had ignored that and blocked it out- til now.

When at the height of my religious mania, I even thought I’d seen God, or Jesus, and heard their voices. I was convinced I had a divine connection, and my ex-boyfriend preyed upon this to convince me I was an angel. That delusion has only just worn off. I still partially believed in it for years, and have only really been free of it for the past three or four years.

Mum also said she thinks I have clinical depression alone, because I have never acted weirdly.

Oh gods, where do I even begin…

So, I know she is trying to help, and I love her so so much it is untrue, but I am very good at hiding my symptoms and I can hoodwink those I love, too. I have thought I could fly. I have believed I had supernatural powers. I had imaginary friends, like many other children, but I saw the pet wolf I had curling happily up at the foot of my bed as if he was real.

What about the shadows I see and have seen all my life? I have attracted people’s attention to them several times and I have always been told that others didn’t see what I saw. I used to say, and still do, ‘Ooh, what was that?! It moved very fast!’

The answer is always ‘Sorry, I didn’t see it.’

The other things I have seen was when I saw demons.The shadows aren’t too bad- they remind me of a cat, or a bird maybe. The demons are frightening.

They are tall black person-shaped shadows, moving slightly too slow and fluidly to be a normal person walking, and when they stand still they are utterly horrifying. They just stand too still, and they watch me! I have never seen their faces and never want to.

I believe these are all my hallucinations, but I don’t think the ghosts are- and that’s because other people have been with me when I’ve seen them and experienced the same thing as I have. The people I’ve been with are actually mentally stable and not like me, rest assured!

So, anyway, gods I’m off topic… before I go back to what I was saying, I don’t know at all whether this is relevant, but I firmly believe in a pantheon of gods that mess you about, support you, cheat you, favour you or love you. They like to claim humans for themselves. There are gods of order and gods of chaos, but good and evil/benign and mischievous gods can belong to both categories. Yes, I did read that in a story when I was much younger, but the idea made such sense to me that I have kept the ideology. Anyway…

My acting weird? I literally have been called weird all my life. Mum has unfortunately not been around me from being 16-21/22 very much, due to me being away, so she hasn’t seen me doing things like trying to fly by jumping off the highest step I could, believing I would glide. She hasn’t seen me stay awake for three nights on a trot and having to be soothed to sleep by a best friend with a bottle of vodka. I was cut off by my abusive ex at this time, so even if I’d been round the corner from her physically, she wouldn’t have seen me, because he would have been there. Now we are properly reunited, and I have my fantastic family back in my life, she will begin to see that this is how I am and have always been. She is already understanding she can push me on my good days and on my bad ones she is just supportive and loving and caring. I am lucky.

The minute I told her about my voices, she told me to ring the psychologist and ask where my referral was. I did so with alacrity.

The receptionist was very friendly, and I checked where my referral was… but then the worry about the voices came spilling out, and she got the psychologist on duty to ring me back.

I brain-vomited all my fears and confusions and worries about the voices, my inability to trust my own thoughts or believe that I was violated by my ex, because he put so many lies into my head that I don’t know what to believe. (I think that because there are events that I was part of that I can’t remember during this period of time – for example, I wrote a horrible letter to my mum influenced by my ex – and that makes me think if I forgot something so small, I could easily block out something big, too.) The psychologist agreed with me, and was concerned that I was, by my own admission, experiencing psychotic symptoms, and she calmed me right down and got me talking about my holiday before I hung up. She also said she was writing an email about what I had told her, and she was going to try and speed the process up.

I hope I get a call on Thursday, because, like I said to both my mum and the psychologist, I am so so frightened that I will end up agreeing with the dark passenger and making another attempt on my life.

Relapse

I did it. I relapsed. The new blades are really sharp and so pretty. I feel like a failure again, ashamed and dirty. Maybe this is what I am forever, all I ever am. I’m nicely anaesthetised, though. All emotion is fading, and soon this shame will vanish too.

Maybe there is no end to this, and I will always be a screwed up failure, addicted to the blade and to death. One day I might finally succeed and get there and die and finally alleviate the world of my presence, because I am worthless, just like the dark passenger tells me I am.

What is the point of asking for help when everything just gets worse? What is the point of living when all I do is die every day in my own head and the dark passenger wins?

I’m sorry. All I do is fail everyone. I should just man up, get on with life and stop complaining, or finish the job I tried to start when I ended up in A and E.

The dark passenger, sluggish and sated, yawns and agrees with me. “The quicker the better. Hurry up.”

The voice in my head.

A friend of mine and I were having a discussion about the dark passenger. He said to me he thinks that it is part of my brain warring with another part of my brain- the right side versus the left, perhaps. He thought that most people have these two sides of their brain in order, but my problem comes when the two sides become two people- me, and him. The dark passenger.

I told my friend that I thought he was right about the dark passenger, and that I hadn’t been able to tell the doctors about this- and some of my other problems- because I was waiting for an appointment with a consultant psychologist so I’m currently out of the loop. This, my friends, is what happened after my appointment with the normal psychologist: she knew I needed to go to someone else higher up the ladder. At least my case is being taken seriously.

Another friend of mine told me about the name I’ve given to the suicidal voice in my head. He’d taken the name from a programme called Dexter- have you heard of it? He’s a serial killer who kills serial killers, and when the urge to kill comes over him, he describes it as the dark passenger.

I thought the name worked for me too, because it sums up how disconnected I feel when I want to kill myself. I always feel like I’m in a glass box shouting at myself when I feel suicidal. I’m locked away in my head, the fragile me that wants help and wants out of this hell, and I’m watching my body cut myself, or place a ligature round my neck. I am screaming and pounding the glass, and the dark passenger has control of my body. I’m calm, controlled and alert on the outside, but behind the glass, I’m a screaming wreck. I break the glass, but it takes longer and longer each time.

I know I have always been self destructive and I always want to try and ignore it, but I end up wanting to kill myself anyway- purely because the dark passenger tells me to.

What really sucks is that sometimes, when I’m locked away inside my head, I’m helping the dark passenger because I want to die too. We work in tandem. Like today.

Today is a bad day. I went to town to get some food for the ballet examiner who is examining my mother’s students. People stared at me, judgementally, and men stared at the dress I wore. Hell, I’d go around in baggy clothes all the time if it were cool enough. Damn this heat wave.

I completed my shopping whilst fighting the urge to run, and flinching when people got too close. I hated the feeling of being paranoid, of being stared at, of being a circus freak. I hated feeling like I was going to burst into tears at any minute, and most of all I hated the constant dialogue from the dark passenger.

“Just go and buy a blade. You know where they are. You know how much they are. You know where to cut. DO IT.”

“But I can’t. I’ve promised to give therapy a go before dying. I will let everyone down. I can’t go and get the blade because I’m already terrified to be in town alone-”

I finished off the shopping and stood, in the square, feeling terrified of all the people and terrified of the contents of my own head. I wanted to get out of there- but I wanted a blade…

The war in my brain reached fever pitch, and I snapped. I took what was left of my shattered nerves and went to the first place i knew that might sell my blades.

The blade i wanted wasn’t there, so I bought some random stuff and went to the next place. They had them, but there were too few people there for me to not look like another one of the crowd. I left with the dark passenger’s insults ringing in my ears: ” You’re a fucking coward, all you ever do is talk about the damage you can do to yourself, you are such a fucking liar…”

The third place I went to was the one. There were more people there and I picked up a couple of other things that I’d been meaning to get, so I could say if questioned why I’d been out so long.
I paid, shaking with nerves, ran outside and hid them immediately in my bag. Finally, the dark passenger was content.

“You’ve finally done what you keep saying you’ll do… Don’t screw it up.”

I went back with the contraband burning a hole in my bag.

The dark passenger is quiet now. I have the blades, and ebbing willpower.

The worst part of all this is that I keep thinking that somehow, I’m inventing all this. That this can’t be happening to me. Maybe it’s just a phase.

Then I think to myself that this isn’t something you can fake, this isn’t made up- this has been my life for a long while, and it will only continue. Of course, the dark passenger has to have his say.

“You’re a crazy fucking bitch. Always have been, always will be. And who knows it better than us two? Now, find an opportunity to use those blades you have. I’m here to watch that you get it done.”

I feel like I don’t have a choice any more.

Dark passenger

I’ve talked about the dark passenger before, and I’m going to explore it a bit tonight. It has it’s claws well and truly buried in my back, and I don’t know what’s happening next with my appointment with the consultant psychologist.

The dark passenger is persuasive. It sits in my head, quietly waiting for a moment where I have a dip in mood. It sneaks into my thoughts like a wisp of noxious smoke. I don’t particularly notice it’s there til I realise just how much the knife is a comfort, and that something is telling me to cut deeper. Perhaps it makes itself even better known when I catch myself browsing the internet for ways to snap my neck with a clean knot, or exactly where to cut to lose the most blood. I find myself wondering what it would be like to stop all this stupid shit and finally leave this planet in peace. I know then that the dark passenger is there, and it is talking in my ear like a strain of disturbingly familiar music.

It is awake, its tendrils lashed around my brain so tightly I can’t escape. I feel its clammy touch in everything I think. Even the gleam of a butter knife is a trigger, making me think of the fantastic gleam of the blade and its tantalisingly horrific kiss.

Worse still, it is like a voice in my head. I don’t hear it as if it was speaking next to me, but thoughts appear in my head from it that I haven’t formulated myself. It can scare the hell out of me. I actually sat there once and I shut my eyes, breathing deeply, and taking myself in my mind to meet it. It spoke at me. I have the scribbled words in my journal that it made me write.

It is me, that I’m sure of. I think it’s my subconscious because it wrote in my writing. What i do know, however, is that it never gets tired, and it is always waiting. It may sleep, but when it wakes, it is always there, and it wants my attention.

butterflies and moths

Ok, so I thought tonight I might try and write a bit more about what happened to me in that awful year. My other big secret will probably be revealed, if I can talk about it without wanting to cut. I’ve done very well since the awful A&E incident and I don’t want to relapse and kill the butterfly my beautiful, amazing sis drew me. That girl is a legend.

So… Where was I…

 

I was excited at the prospect of that summer- a long one, with lots of opportunity to see old friends, have my boyfriend round, spend time with my sister and family…

However, I wasn’t thinking about how it went when I was home at the same time as him. I spent a lot of time at his, and I went on holiday with him… it was a good one, as far as our relationship went. He had a lot of time by himself with me to just do as he liked, and I enjoyed being the centre of his attention and not simultaneously torn apart by guilt.

This, however, so was not about to last. I moved back into my flat and it all started again.

The girl I was sharing with had her own issues. I think she may have been a secret bulimic. She ate more than I’ve ever thought possible in one sitting, and she started to do very odd things like trying to lock me out, waking me up ridiculously early in the morning when she left for ‘The Gym’… she’d never come back looking as if she’d worked out, though. On top of that, she had been my boyfriend’s friend and she wasn’t the world’s nicest person, so when they fell out, I was treated with the same spite, and a whole lot of jealousy.

That was so not the worst part.

I tried applying for auditions everywhere. I literally sent my CV off to over sixty different companies, and barely any even bothered to reply, to say nothing of actually offering me an audition. The auditions I went on were fun, and I saw a lot of the people I’d already danced with at several of them.

The boyfriend hated me going for auditions. He hated me leaving the country. He hated the expense. He hated the fact that I was ‘still tied to my mother’s purse strings’, and that she ‘held my flat over my head’ as a warning to do well. Moreover, he was always telling me that I couldn’t keep doing this and not getting through. He said he was more than willing to let me go, but I had an earful of guilt-tripping each time I came home.

The worst time was in February. I went to Denmark- a place I’ve always wanted to go, a place that houses (to my mind) some of the most beautiful dancing I’ve ever seen, and a rich historical culture that still thrills me. I was really really excited- I wrapped up super warm, because it was February and icy cold, and off I went.

He barely spoke to me all the time I was there. I sent texts, I tried to get him on facebook, I even rang… I had no answer when I arrived, and several of my texts went completely unanswered. The eggshell feeling was back.

I visited a couple of friends that evening, ones I hadn’t seen since leaving dance school, and he rang whilst I was there. I talked for a while to him, and then I didn’t want to be rude, so I asked if it was ok for me to hang up. He said he didn’t mind.

Idiot, girl. Idiot.

Dancing-wise, the trip was a huge, fantastic success. I was so so thrilled to be taking company class with my favourite ballet company, and I was glowing with happiness- I had a boyfriend who loved me, my dancing was going well…

Only, I got worried when i sent a massive long Valentine’s Day text and never got a reply.

I decided to head for the airport for two reasons: one, because I was so so cold, and two, because I hadn’t heard a word from him.

I rang, and was greeted with no response. I tried calling again, then texted asking if he was all right.

I had a barrage of stomach-churning hate back.

“You should have been more ready to talk, you always get so damn selfish when you’re abroad, you have this stupid dancer-brain on that gets you all concerned with how you look and what you wear, you can’t think of me for a minute when you’re like that, you permanently think about yourself with dancer-brain on, I hate how selfish and inconsiderate you are when you get like this, how do you think I felt when you blew me off last night on the phone…”

I’m not writing any more of that.

I had a nervous breakdown in the airport, after a massive long phonecall where I cried, apologised a million and one times, and he shouted at me, then hung up. I bit my nails to the quick, ate and drank nothing, and I was so distressed I couldn’t remember the plane home. I remember ringing him at the airport on the other side and telling him I couldn’t stand to see him so upset, and I was going to quit dancing, and I’d never really wanted it in the first place. I told him I was a selfish bitch who hated herself, and I wished I’d never left England.

Of course, exactly what he wanted.

So I went home and locked myself in. He was still away back home visiting relatives, and I was on my own in London. Depressed, at rock bottom again, and with no other options than trying to get a proper job.

I was too frightened to leave the house. I slept all the time and cried even more, faking happiness on the phone when my parents called and then crying when they were gone. I got my job, and I worked all the hours god sent, and I was exhausted.

Ballet class went by the wayside. I just worked, saw him, and slept. He used to come back after uni to my flat, where we’d cook, he’d get me to help with his essay, and we’d usually sleep really late at night.

That was when the lines got blurred.

I was his little wifey. I kept house, money-wise. I worked so so hard, and I was a prisoner in my flat.

I felt sorry for the couple next door- he’d row with her, and she’d lose it at him, and they’d fight really frighteningly. I was convinced I’d never have to deal with that from him.

The reality was that, of course, I was dealing with the same shit on a more subtle level.

That’s when IT happened.

I used to escape from being exhausted, and then him initiating sex and me going on with it, by visiting a lush rainforest in my head. That wasn’t too bad, I used to think. That was compromise between couples, and I started faking it so that he wouldn’t get angry and call me selfish.

Two things, however, have scarred me.

He had a joke that he was some ‘big horrible scary man’ and he was trying to rape me. I used to find it funny when he was really joking, and when he was sticking his tongue in my ear to gross me out. That was a joke. What started to happen was that it changed, subtly, to a lead in to sex.

The first couple of times it was still kind of a joke, and we laughed about it. The time that I broke in two so I didn’t have to deal with it was the time where he decided to carry on despite the fact that I wasn’t up for sex, I was starting to feel really uncomfortable with it, and the fact that he kept saying that word. And then it actually hurt, and I was lying there, silent, pretending I wasn’t there, and it just happened despite me saying that I was in pain, despite me saying he had too firm a grip on my arm, despite me saying I wasn’t comfortable with it…

I just lay there afterwards, blank. Void. He went off to the loo, and I just lay there, violated. I put my clothes back on, and I went off and did something like ask him if he wanted a brew. I can remember feeling relieved it was done, that time, and I never really equated it to rape. To me, that was more compromise. There had to be some times where he didn’t want it too.

Fucking lies, that. I know for a fact when I initiated sex he humiliated me.

The second thing was that this event made me remember the time when I was 18, and we were messing around, and he started to humiliate me again. I was crying so hard. I was choking, my throat was sore, and he only noticed when I tried to gasp for air but came up with a sob instead.

I shoved those awful, sordid things to the back of my mind, and I did a good job because they stayed put til now.

The rest of the year was hell. Arguments, a slap to the face over some trivial thing, degradation, separation from my parents… and then I lost my flat because the landlady decided to sell it and conveniently forgot I had a contract that informed her to tell me she had sold it. I packed up and left London, and he waved goodbye with a twisted smile on his face, as if he knew what was coming next.

I slotted back in at home pretty well. I started taking private dancing lessons for keen children, I taught, I danced, I started going to more classes… gone were the worries about ‘do I eat or do I dance?’ It was all gone.

Or was it? Don’t be daft.

I was in the middle of telling him how well it was all going, on the phone a while after I’d left. It was June, he was coming home soon, life was great… and then he exploded.

It was my fault I was not getting work as a dancer. I wasn’t actually that good. I wasn’t really trying to get a dance job. I was getting sucked into my manipulative, controlling family, and the purse strings were tighter than ever: a noose around my neck. He was sick of my promising to change and then not doing so. We weren’t going to talk until I came to see him in a week, and then we were going to be talking as friends, and we were going to try and sort this mess out.

I was in meltdown. I was scooped hollow and raw once again. I braved through the week, dashed to London, and we talked.

I had an audition that week, so that was the reason I was coming. I went to see him, and it was horrible: he so angry and cold, I so willing to please. I asked him outright whether we were breaking up, and he agreed.

I was destroyed. I was torn in two. I didn’t get the job, we spent that last four days as a couple… and then I left and I was plunged into the depression that had been lurking there all year. I was permanently upset, and all that kept me from self-harm was the prospect of getting him back.

This is difficult to write, so far, but the other secret still kills me like the first does.

I must have skipped a contraceptive pill, or they just weren’t working well, because I was so choked up and upset one evening, that through my tears, I suddenly noticed that I was in a huge amount of pain. I’d been ignoring it for a couple of hours, but now it was building over my hipbones and lower back. I just made it to the bathroom when a hot gush of blood stained my legs. It was agony. The waves of pain went on and on, and I bit into my hand to stop myself from crying out. I literally heard my bones crunch against my teeth.

I only realised what it was that had happened to me a week or so later, when it hadn’t quite gone and there were far more clots than usual.

I was so broken by it. He hadn’t just left one person. He’d left two.

Wherever you are, sweetheart, I miss you, and I wish I had you in my arms right now. I am so so sorry I didn’t see you. I wish I had.

I’m sorry. Two traumatic things in one post is a little too much right now. Write more later.