a piece of cheese

So this time, my absence is a by-product of too much happening and not the reverse, as so many times before. I’m not even sure where to begin, so if I go off track a little, excuse me. It’s been a while.

The relationship ultimatum that I mentioned Ross and I were testing out in my last blog came to a halt at the end of Week 2 when we were set to change over from being a family unit to the custody trial period. Lying in bed on the last night of staying with me, I asked Ross what the plan was for the next day.
“Let’s just keep it like this,” he said, and that was that; we’ve been a couple for almost 5 weeks now, and things are going well. To keep things going smoothly on the rails, we have plans to see a relationship therapist, we even have a safety word for when we start yelling too much and need to calm down. I’m not putting all my eggs in one basket just yet, but I have a good feeling that we’re on the right track.
The other news that isn’t as chipper came not long after this, I had a (for lack of a better word) ‘unstable’ episode and went to the Emergency Room after an overdose. After the standard procedures – drinking charcoal to save my liver, getting my vitals checked, being rigged to an ECG to monitor my heart, I was sent home feeling fairly stupid and embarrassed. More episodes followed in the same week, I did the “responsible” thing and instead of injuring myself, rang crisis phone lines and felt I wasn’t being taken seriously, so took the stupid adolescent approach and threw all my furniture in a big pile in my bedroom and stormed out of the house in my pyjamas and bare feet in the rain. When I got back I realised; nobody even knew I was gone! I was so busy being dramatic that I had noticed that my family was just getting on with their shit and they had been outside smoking the entire time. The next 6 hours of the AM were survived by sorting thousands of Hama (Perler) beads into order of colour while listening to upbeat house music by the light of a crappy lamp, until I felt safe enough to go to bed without pacing the house or doing something ridiculous.
The morning after the room trashing, I went to see my GP, and he organised a psychiatrist and a psychologist, and took me off my anti-depressants and put me on mood stabilisers, deciding that after what the Crisis Assessment Team had said over the phone and what had transpired that I was probably a very likely candidate for BPD; Borderline Personality Disorder. My social/relationship pattern fit the symptoms perfectly, my self-worth, my crazed almost bipolar mood swings, and the fact that my mother has it is also a strong factor – yes, it’s hereditary.
To save me giving the wrong end of the stick, here’s some literature that you may (or may not) find interesting.

…While a person with depression or bipolar disorder typically endures the same mood for weeks, a person with BPD may experience intense bouts of anger, depression, and anxiety that may last only hours, or at most a day. These may be associated with episodes of impulsive aggression, self-injury, and drug or alcohol abuse. Distortions in cognition and sense of self can lead to frequent changes in long-term goals, career plans, jobs, friendships, gender identity, and values. Sometimes people with BPD view themselves as fundamentally bad, or unworthy. They may feel unfairly misunderstood or mistreated, bored, empty, and have little idea who they are. Such symptoms are most acute when people with BPD feel isolated and lacking in social support, and may result in frantic efforts to avoid being alone.
People with BPD often have highly unstable patterns of social relationships. While they can develop intense but stormy attachments, their attitudes towards family, friends, and loved ones may suddenly shift from idealization (great admiration and love) to devaluation (intense anger and dislike). Thus, they may form an immediate attachment and idealize the other person, but when a slight separation or conflict occurs, they switch unexpectedly to the other extreme and angrily accuse the other person of not caring for them at all. Even with family members, individuals with BPD are highly sensitive to rejection, reacting with anger and distress to such mild separations as a vacation, a business trip, or a sudden change in plans. These fears of abandonment seem to be related to difficulties feeling emotionally connected to important persons when they are physically absent, leaving the individual with BPD feeling lost and perhaps worthless. There is a high rate of self-injury without suicide intent, although suicide threats and attempts may occur along with anger at perceived abandonment and disappointments.
People with BPD exhibit other impulsive behaviors, such as excessive spending, binge eating and risky sex. BPD often occurs together with other psychiatric problems, particularly bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and other personality disorders.

Aside from the binge eating and risky sex, that’s pretty much me down to a T. Which is somewhat disappointing, but I feel a little better knowing that a disorder is making my brain act in these irrational ways, rather than me just being an arsehole all on my own.

So while at my tattooist getting my Miss Van tattoo shaded and finished off, I got another tattoo to commemorate my lovely trip to the hospital and to remind me to keep my shit together – a drawing from 1935 that somehow, bizarrely, was originally for a toothpaste company. I feel it works much better for my purposes, however;

Miss Van; shading completed Remember.

And on top of all these lovely dramas, my dear old boy has been suffering along, spending a week in hospital with chronically inflamed tonsils that needed to be drained. I was living up to my “wifely” duties and visiting him every second day, bringing underwear and issues of Juxtapoz when needed, although when he was released, he failed to tell me that it was in fact contagious, and now I have a most horrible bout of tonsilitis to deal with, on top of hayfever, what seems to be an impeding chest cold, a revolting fever, my god damned period and just generally not coping hugely well with living in my own skin due to aforementioned hospital visits. I did however eat a piece of cheese today, that was exciting! I swear my throat is so closed over and raw, it hurts to drink water. I sneezed last night and cried for 10 minutes afterwards. Oh, woe. But I’m alright. I’ll be fiiiine.

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