While I’m on this anti-social bender, I hear people outside my bedroom and I’m so scared they will knock to ask me something. Please don’t touch me, don’t touch my door, I don’t dislike you but I want you all to vanish now. Don’t you have work today? Leave so I can feel safe exiting my room.
Guess I was more moved/shaken by a play my girlfriend was just in on mental illness, because I just saw some photos and now I’m sort of messy.
Particularly that one story where one person hears voices while in their car and my girlfriend plays the part of their partner, who they call for support. I don’t hear voices. Though I did once (not due to mental illness but a stupid drug interaction) and they told me I’d attacked a family member with a razor and that the cops were coming to arrest me for assault–I then proceeded to slash my wrists. Passed out, but re-awoke when I started drowning in the bathtub. Stumbled back to my room and passed out again, only to barely recall my roommate driving me to a hospital.
I was in some kind of ICU for a couple days, but I don’t remember most of it. Then came about 10 days in the psych ward, with huge bandages on my hand/wrist so I rarely got the usual question of “what brings you here.”
I don’t hear other voices, but some times I’m haunted by my own. The internal voice. Stemming from nowhere but my own thoughts and memories. It can often be just as cruel. There was one scene in the play where a “voice” suggests that the character would be doing everyone a favor if they just killed their self. That’s the worst voice, and it comes on nights like this. I usually hope to counter it by thinking of all the reasons why I’m worth being alive for others, but the hard thing of BPD is that you often can’t hold on to even a small reason for the importance of living. Thinking can’t remain in contradiction to feeling. So instead I just lie down hoping to fall asleep as a substitute for a suicide.
In a way, it also makes you a little fearless. Poverty, disease, suffering… they don’t scare me anymore. I thought about studying to work in hospice care. Some people think I’m crazy, wondering why I’d want to surround myself with the dying. Because it’s necessary and important, and I’ve felt my own heart stop beating and woken up choking on water and my own blood, think I can’t handle someone’s cancer?
Maybe I am that brave, maybe I’m not. Right now it’s late, dark and raining. I’m rereading text messages from my girlfriend and trying to stave off that feeling of being alone in the universe, to put it melodramatically. Herein lies the great problem of having BPD: separating the temporary feeling of being alone from belief that loneliness is an eternal fact.
Maybe I should write a play?
I’m not sure what happens when everything here ends
But I hope it’s like they say and I hope it never ends…
Feel bad for bailing on good friends and a good cause tonight. But what else can I do? I can’t go into group gatherings without a committed support anymore. Even then, it’s hard. One of the last group events I recall was a movie in a crowded theater, and how after it was over I had to rush out and collapsed in front of some bar, in a ball, hyperventilating. Thank God Jen knows me well enough that she called a cab and held my hand as we left.
The problem with crowds is over-stimulation. I can’t manage all the talk, noise and people. I love people, but not 20 of them all talking at once. People don’t pause in conversations. All dead space has to be filled NOW. Then inevitably someone will point out how I haven’t talked. It’s because you never shut up, FYI. Every once in a while I putter out a syllable, but I’m already drowned out. Then I get the “you never talk” speech and I want to say “you kept cutting me off!”
Social events with strangers is the absolute worst. I never know what to say and nothing ever comes up that feels worth talking about. People talk about their friends and their inner circle. I just sit there spinning my empty glass of Coke and ice cubes just hoping the topic will change so I don’t feel like such a third wheel.
Truth is I can talk up a storm. I am not quiet, I am anxious. Once you fall into the envelope of my comfort I can talk to you for hours. But it’s very hard to get there. Very hard. And there’s nothing I can say on how to get there, you either do or you don’t. Escapism in music or books has always been my thing, those things are predictable; people are wild and dangerous. They hurt you.
I think you have thoughts of dying
I’m eclipsing them now
Calling all allies down
I’m consumed by your eyes
Keep them open and full
Went to the co-op by my house today because I was in the area and wanted a few fresh things. While I was bagging I pulled out my copy of “An Emergent Manifesto” so it wouldn’t get wet from the water-y vegetables I was putting into my bag. The cashier asked me, “is that a good book?” I said that it was, but as the transaction was ending I didn’t get the chance to tell him it’s about a radical movement in Christianity.
I wonder what the conversation might’ve been like if I’d had more time to tell him what the book was about. I mean the word “manifesto” is certainly eye-catching. Suggests ideas that are a radical break from the norm. Christianity, however, tends to suggest the very opposite: conservative tradition, strict beliefs and a strong status quo. But in truth the two are not opposites, and if you ask me, Jesus and radicalism go very hand-in-hand.
Can a Christian use the term “manifesto” in earnest? I think we can. I think we should. I think those who might be inclined toward Christianity, but feel disgusted by the actions of the conservative right need to see there is a legitimate, orthodox and vital way to be involved. Also against the more “Liberal” who just love everyone and everything and just perpetuate shit-as-it-is. Those who have no interest or liking of the many churches/Church of Christianity ought to at least hear our side that is generous, tolerant, peaceful and when need arises radical. There are even anarchists in our pews.
I don’t know what may come or what to expect of living as a Christian among people who find it intolerable. I want to make it at least tolerable. I don’t want to “win souls.” God does that work. My best is to live as Christ-like as I can, flaws and all. I want others to see on TV the pundits who say “hurricanes are caused by homosexuals!” and think, “my Christian friend, ______, would never say such crazy bullshit.” Or in the words of St. Francis, “Preach the Gospel always, and when necessary use words.” My aspiration to never cut out, cast out, rally against, demean or persecute anyone, that’s my Gospel. That’s how Jesus lived.
I have a small handful of friends and family who are roughly my age and openly Christian. I have a large number who are bitterly against it. The latter is the fault of the Church. We haven’t been loud enough, or open enough, persistent enough, or caring enough. The Glory and Beauty of Christianity has been over-whelmed by the question of sexuality and questions of exclusion.
I don’t agree with all of what comes out of the Emerging Church, but that’s the beauty of it. No more factions, no more political sychophants or denominations (as necessary divisions) and no more useless hugging tradition. The eschatology of Christianity should forbid us from digging into traditions and nostalgia. God does not work in conservative ways; He constantly challenges us to new frontiers and deeper ways of living in the Word.