Sunday, 20 March 2011


I always used to be considered a strong person. People thought of me as emotionally tough, and independent. I think I was considered by most as closed off, or maybe they just didn't know me. I don't think until the age of eighteen that anyone really knew me, and I don't think I let anyone in until then.

My Mum said to me that she only realised that I wasn't infallible upon my panic attack and prozac induced flakey episode which left me emotionally shattered for months. (I'm being brutally up front here and it's hard. It's hard not to go back and delete that word). Until the point that my Mum and the rest of my world realised I wasn't so strong, I don't think I did too. That is to say I had built a wall.

I don't trust people, and yet I feel an overwhelming pressure from the world that I should. There have been very few occasions in my life when I have let someone new in and not found myself hypothetically drop kicked and winded, gasping on the ground and groping around still unsure of what even occurred. The older I get the more I feel as though I can't trust anyone new, but I trust my judgement enough now to know that that's okay.

As for me and my Mum, she was right. She didn't know me. And I didn't know me, because I was constantly building a facade and altering my behaviour and being someone for someone else. People say you can't know someone until they know themself, and in my case I know it to be true. When my Mum said that to me it was several months later and most wounds were healed and we had become so close. Not that we weren't close before, but it was a teenage-to-mother relationship and of course that's never fully exposed. She says often to me that she isn't clever compared to /me/jamie/dad/ but that's a lie, and I think she knows it. There's nothing clever about learning something by doing it, and there is nothing stupid in not having learned it. My Mum is so socially aware and able to pick up on the subtlties that 99% of the rest of the population miss. We can sit in the cafe of that odd barn type building at Garrion Bridge with the stenna stairlifts and bad art and know who every other person there is and what they're about at a look. It's like a social sixth sense I think I have picked up a little off her.

For a long time I felt that I would never get back to feeling strong and healthy and at ease but I did. And with those feelings of weakness and fragility I latched onto the few people I could trust. People who know me well know that I take after my Dad and people who know my Dad know that he never does things by halves. So it is understandable that when I felt I needed people to depend on I clung like a clam to my family, and my boyfriend. That's the way it's meant to be though? That's why things got better.

I remember going to see a man through Bupa health insurance my Dad had via his work. Someone to talk to I thought, someone who would help sort out all going on in my head and validate the fact that I had been royally fucked up by some incompetent doctor with too little time and a prescription pad near his right hand. My Mum and Dad drove me there in the car and I went up into the big - and likely extortionate to buy - west end townhouse on Great Western Road. I went in alone. They said they'd come in with me but I must have pulled out the very last of my mirage of toughness and walked in there alone to sit in a waiting room more akin to the palatial mansion of a rich sugar lord than a doctor's office. I remember the carpet reminded me of Seamill Hydro in it's royal deep hues and gold crested patterns, and the ceiling was so highly patterned it looked like Italian depictions of heaven with clouds and angels and gods. I went in to this new doctor and told him my tale. I cried. He looked. Once it was all out I expected him to reassure and reiterate and discuss, to plan and to instill me with quiet positivism and a foundation. He sat back in his big swivelly chair and sighed then looked at me. He was just like the kind of doctor you would meet in Madmen. "I'm going to prescribe you a new kind of antidepressant. And beta blockers for your panic attacks." I must have looked confused. "Your raised heart rate and anxiety is a panic attack." I told him I did not want any anti-depressants. Anti-depressants where was caused this whole mess, had he not just listened to me talk for half an hour about it at large? I must have delivered this timidly. "You will not get better without anti-depressants." He stated. Something inside me changed then I think. For one I don't like to be told what to do by someone I believe to be less competent than myself. He bullied me into the prescription for the Beta Blockers and an answer next week, at our next 'session' - i.e. intimidation 101 - about the anti-depressants. I booked at date with him I knew I couldn't make and stumbled out of the room and down the stairs and into the back seat of the car. Mum was on the right and Dad on the left infront of me. They looked at me with hope, assuming this was a godsend and everything would be okay now. I can't remember what I said to them exactly but I told them it wasn't going to work out. They took my hands and my Dad told me not to worry. "Your not going to go back. Your not going to get that prescription. We'll work this out together, you, us, your brother and Stuart". I think it was that parental care and vicious determination and anger at a wrong done to their own that changed something for me again that day. We did sort it out, and all it took was us.

I think that explains my dependence on these people specifically. These are the only people I would trust everything with. But I can't help and worry. I worry about being so dependant on this handful of people that I won't function without them. What if I don't have them anymore? And what if I can't manage without? I had an argument with Stuart last year and decided I was being too clingy to him and too needy and that I should be more independent and stop needing him so damn much. I am trying to do it but it's really hard when basically your whole world is but a few people and two cats. Maybe it's the same for everyone, all these people with their friends and extended networks, surely they only really depend on the few as well? I've travelled a full circle - ka is a wheel - from stolid indepedence to complete reliance and I don't feel any safer at either end. I'm sure you are realising this with me that safety of this sort is non-existent. If that's so then may it be, and if that is the case then I will hold on tight for the moment, for otherwise it would be just me.

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