[skit-soh] Informal.
noun, plural schizos.
1. a schizophrenic or schizoid person.
2. schizophrenic or schizoid.
3. crazy; wildly eccentric; lunatic.

Expand (or not)
Also, schitzo, schitz, schiz (for defs 1, 2)

combining form
indicating a cleavage, split, or division: schizocarp, schizophrenia
Word Origin
from Greek skhizein to split


When I was much younger, but old enough to see myself in relation to other people rather than mostly animals as was my life up to the age of 12 and something, I sometimes defined myself and how I felt that way. Then I learnt about schizophrenia and what a devastating mental disorder it is, both from a wonderful book called “Tell me I’m here” by Anne Deveson and from the brother of a very dear friend of mine (an incredible, beautiful person), so I stopped using that term, as I felt (as I believe it is) it was taking away form those who suffered form real schizophrenia. I am, incidentally, so happy to read this:

For the first time, scientists have pinned down a molecular process in the brain that helps to trigger schizophrenia. The researchers involved in the landmark study, which was published Wednesday in the journal Nature, say the discovery of this new genetic pathway probably reveals what goes wrong neurologically in a young person diagnosed with the devastating disorder.

I used that word because I felt a schism, a split between the people I was, so deep and disturbing that I didn’t know how else to define it. The more I talked to people and got to know them, and the more I saw their sense of identity, nice or not, steady or not, the more I saw the distinct lack of one of my own, and the more I felt I ought to have one! I desired, more than anything else, to know how I felt, how I truly felt about stuff, about anything: people, situations, my circumstances. Telling one person how I felt and what i wanted and then telling another the next day or a few hours later something completely different and feeling both extremely sincerely at both times, was confusing, and a bloody pain in the arse, and it has been my whole life.

Yesterday a lovely person, who is an ex-lover’s steady girlfriend, told me she met my sister for Christmas. This ex-lover is somewhat a relative of mine. my brother in law’s cousin, so they often do go over there for Christmas. Which, was, incidentally, where I met him, many years after I’d met him the first time: at my sister’s wedding, where I attended, 17, with my then boyfriend, an ex-heroin addict who escorted her with his (our!) milk-and-mint coloured chopper. At the time when I met him he was also 17, so in my eyes he was a child, I promptly dismissed him from my attention. He was beautiful, even then, but I was into baaaad boys and rough looking guys, he was not my type.

When I met him again, that Christmas a long time ago, I already had two small children and was separated from the nth baaad boy, because he turned out to be a little “too” bad. I told my sister in law, his cousin: “Boy, your cousin is like good wine, he sure ages well!”. Let’s face it, he was sensitive to women liking him, within a few weeks of emailing he was dumping his girlfriend of ten years and staying with me. A couple of months after that, the beast in me reared its head through a telephone, from Dublin, and though I didn’t know it at that time exactly, it was over (he was one of those guys who hopes you just “go away” rather than face you when he tells you you’re no longer wanted).

The rest is sad history, combined with a glorious moment in which my friend saved my life. A life that felt like everything good that had ever been and would ever be given to me would inevitably corrode and become shit, through no fault of anybody else but my own.

Of course that’s not true, some people ARE at fault when  we go as far as wishing ourselves over and done.

They are the people who abused us, over and over again, taking the form of many different people. If there is just one abuser in our life, they hop in and out of other bodies where you would least expect them to be, and scorn us with their ability to catch you by surprise, and devastate you, over and over again. One such body was this man’s mother. Oh he defended me, he says, he got very mad at her for the things she said about me. She said them to my sister too, and though I love her to the very smallest bits of her, I don’t actually know how much she defended me, when she was, as she often was, a guest at her house.

This man and his steady new girlfriend are adorable people, so none of this is their fault, but the fact that they were at my sister’s house for Christmas meant that, as often happens, his mother and father would be there too. When his lovely woman said to me “Your sister is lovely, here’s looking forward to some time spent together”, I ignored that last bit, because what I really wanted to ask her was: “Over my dead body, Christmas with them. Did his mother call YOU a whore too?”.

I am so glad I didn’t, it was just a thought that came up, and I was glad I didn’t write before I thought as I often did.

As always I thought I would be ok, but I wasn’t. I had to stop myself from crying on my way back from dropping off my daughter to school. In the fields, with my dog running up to me and checking me out, seeing me different, me reassuring him so he’d go off, then again check on me. I stopped all the thoughts, I stopped the train, the fast train to sinking into depression and anguish. I got through the day, I distracted myself, worked hard, didn’t allow thoughts to materialise for too long.

I woke up at dawn, my husband’s snoring after I let my dog out kept me awake. And now this moment of clarity: how irrational is my rage? When one of my best friends was remarkably offensive and rude to other friends of mine, I have yet to see him again, he went too far, I feel like I should, because I do love him, but I also feel it’s enabling the offensive remarks he made in the presence of people who did not deserve it. How does my sister justify not defending me when others, and there have been a few, have laid dirt on me she knew was deeply unfair to me? Regarding this,  a beautiful friend of mine shared this article yesterday, a wonderful read it is. An extract:

It is not unusual for us to feel that life is too much for us. And it is not unusual to feel that we really should be up to it; that there may be too much to cope with — too many demands — but that we should have the wherewithal to deal with it. Faced with the stresses and strains of everyday life it is easy now for people to feel that they are failing; and what they are failing at, one way or another, is managing the ordinary excesses that we are all beset by: too much frustration, too much bad feeling, too little love, too little success, and so on. One of the things people most frequently say in psychoanalysis is, ‘Perhaps I am overreacting, but . . .’; and one of the commonest complaints today is about feeling too much or feeling too little. I want to suggest that we are simply too much for ourselves, but that this too-muchness is telling us something important… My proposition is that it is impossible to overreact. That when we call our reactions overreactions what we mean is just that they are stronger than we would like them to be. In other words, we sometimes call ourselves and other people excessive as a way of invalidating or tempering the truths we tell ourselves or that other people tell us. It is impossible to overreact.

I know I will feel less “schizo” as time goes by, as I have been feeling less and less as I mature and stop turning a different face to whomever I meet. I guess that’s partly why I avoid meeting people as much as possible: if I don’t see you, I don’t wonder whether I’ll be real , or real in another way, or a different real still. But one of the feelings I hold onto to keep me “sane” is that I am entitled. Entitled to some rage, some anger, some feeling of injustice being done. It has been called “feeling sorry for yourself” by so many people that the first person I get angry with is me. But there you go.

Aaanyway, this wasn’t meant to be a sad post, I am happy! Because I came through the sucking in currents that drag me to the vortex and got out of it, and now feel revitalised and strong. I still have two twitter accounts, two blogs (thankfully, we’re down to just two) I still haven’t completely brought together all the MEs into one single whole, but I’m getting there. Starting that new thing I know will help, if I stick to it (I probably wrote about it in the other blog). The new, whole me, I think, believes that you should stick up for your friends and loved ones. Many people have troubles that might lead them to be a git, but there is only so far you ought to go in justifying their being a git to others because of their own troubles. A git’s a git, and I’m being nice not to use a dear friend’s favourite and more appropriate word.

I will defend another person’s right to their dignity to my dying breath, I don’t see why I shouldn’t expect others to do the same for me. So there.



2 thoughts on “Schizo

    1. Yep… this is the one supposedly for the “professional” side, though it too morphs according to how I feel about my profession… or what it should be! Or how much of “me” I want to show. It’s all very confusing 🙂


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