These are mostly just ramblings after my psychiatric assessment, because I haven’t shared this with anyone yet, and there have been many thoughts.
I’m going to call the psychiatric nurse who assessed me JS.
For a while now, my life will be split in Pre and Post-JS. eras.
“My word, that is momentous! Did just the one meeting have such a profound effect on you?”
You would wonder that if you hadn’t been following this blog religiously since its inception, back in who knows when, through its many transitions, transformations, since when it was a livejournal. You would wonder that if you didn’t know me.
You would also wonder that if you were unaware of the kind mental anguish and pain that clenches your soul, that you can live with every day, because you don’t know why you are the way you are.
JS went beyond the allotted time, bless his heart.
His conclusion was that I didn’t suffer from Bipolar Disorder, nor from Borderline Personality Disorder. He confirmed the Anxiety by all means and the Depression (although I am certainly not depressed at the moment), and could see how so much of my behaviour would easily be considered symptoms of BPD (though he ruled out the Bipolar completely, apparently the periods did not last long enough and my apathy is not enough etc.).
He also said that the stuff that has happened to me could easily be conducive to trauma and therefore be a basis for triggering those disorders, but he does not believe that they did. Some of the examples sounded odd to me: “So, if you had BPD, you wouldn’t be saying “Ok, bye!” to me right now, you would be desperately asking me not to let you go.”
From what I have read there are people diagnosed with BPD who are not as extreme as that, in fact they seem to be less emotionally clingy than I have been in some friendships. I mean, my suicide attempt was triggered by a friend not wanting to be phoned at 3 am in the morning from London when she lived in Geneva and had exams the next day and basically just getting on with her life. Talk about unreasonable.
But I think the difference is consequence.
Looking at your life, he said, your responses and your emotional state are perfectly understandable. Your childhood will understandably bring out in you this and that. But you have also had a lot of fun!
The implication was that such an unusual upbringing gave me new better tools, as well as greater challenges. I think this was the crux, the revelation, the shift in my own understanding of myself.
He was a little rushed by now, we had exceeded the allotted time, and I realised on my way out there was someone there who was probably waiting to see him.
He said he would consult with the referrer, he said I should look into DBT because I am clearly capable of making all the conclusions that CBT or other methods of counselling can help you come to myself, he finally said “Please do that counselling course you were considering, it would be helpful for you to keep stepping out and looking at yourself from the outside and you’d clearly good do it well“, but as far as he was concerned I was “quite normal” (I may use that as my tag phrase now). He confirmed what others have said to me before: you’re the best counsellor you could get.
There are so many thoughts and implications in the things we talked about that I will be going through them in time.
He also said something else that was important.
When talking about my ex husband and saying that is why I started looking into mental illness more and then Bipolar Disorder specifically he asked me “has he been diagnosed now?“. I told him actually his mother said he had been diagnosed and was receiving meds and treatment but as I had made a rule of wanting to hear about him as little as possible or preferably not at all I wasn’t, come to think of it, 100% sure with what. JS took off his glasses to look at me very seriously and said “Bipolar Disorder does NOT make you violent and abusive. He may also be bipolar and by all means it can in some cases make you feel like you might want to be violent but his being violent and abusive was a CHOICE“. He took me aback, the way he said it. I said “Oh“. My brain works fast, I told him: “I did use to think that he used alcohol as an excuse to then be entitled to do whatever he wanted and then justify it with that“. He said “Yes.” So I said “So I don’t need to feel sorry for him“. And he put his specs back on and went back to his papers.
Summing it up, in my post-JS era, a lot hasn’t changed, and everything has changed.
What I believe that has happened to me is that a lot of situations that would have traumatised someone else more severely were handled better, were assimilated by me, because my outlook on life was so much “larger”. I remember the shock of my classmates when I would tell them how I grew up in big, empty flats and houses. They were Italian classmates and for them this absence of the mother was inconceivable. I didn’t even think of that as an issue at the time. I used to think wow, what would you say if I told you about all sorts of other stuff!
Having nobody to teach me how to love and relate made it a little more difficult for me to manage my own emotions and knowing what the limits are. My self-assurance and self-confidence in the face of rejection were nil. On the other hand, I did not have the cultural and societal bias that would make me feel that I didn’t have something other children had, that I was missing out. I really was happy when I got to Peru and had a dog and we would go out roaming alone together, in the fields and in the city. I really did feel that that was my element. As an adult, I really don’t need other people. But if I find one I can relate to and really like, I really really like them and hate if they stop liking me.
So now, I have to regain all those bits of me I used to feel ok with, and just because of a lifetime of being told they were not ok, have been trying to change, understand, come to terms with. Actually, it turns out that it was fine the way it was. It is society that dictated that any of my behaviours were excessive, abnormal, shocking, reprehensible, what have you.
In conclusion, for now, my basic and core belief towers now even more strongly than ever. It is ok to be different, in fact, it can be an asset if you don’t let other people make you feel wrong about it. AND everybody deserves love. Love is either way. It can be mutual, it can be coming out of you, or it could be coming to you. You don’t always have a choice, unfortunately, on whether you share mutual love with someone, and sometimes it may feel like nobody loves you. Sometimes it is truly the case, but that is only temporary: there will always be someone capable of loving you, you have to be out there to receive it, open to receive it. But, if all else fails, what will never fail you is your ability to love. As long as love is flowing somewhere, even if it’s from you to others, love is flowing and will keep you going.
I think that is why I was so loving in the midst of so much isolation and social battering for so long: you do need love, it just doesn’t need to be towards you. It is just as valid if it’s going from me to you. The more aware of it you are, the more it works, methinks. It sets things right. If you love a few others, it will be easier to learn to love yourself, and that is just as valid.
Well this has officially become a confused ramble and there is much to do in the house so I will leave it here to decompress.
I do feel this is yet another new beginning for me, and I look forward to seeing where it will take me.