Attack, Defend, Submit – The Behaviour of a Lunatic
I have noticed a pattern of behaviour in myself of late that follows the rules of attacking someone (verbally), defending myself for said attack and/or against their perceived attack on me and then becoming submissive to said person in the form of apology or begging them not to desert me. This was evident to some extent in my session last week with C, but it became increasingly evident over the weekend with A.
Indeed, although I would not have considered it especially indicative of my mentalism in the past, I do have a history of doing this with him. Not with tremendous frequency, I hope, but probably enough to be unsettling. Sometimes an argument is justified, but oftentimes I am just enacting my viciousness.
The weekend’s example of it was the first time that I’ve wondered was this a manifestation of being mad, because (a) it is consistent with my transferential behaviour last week towards C and (b) it seems to be quite typical stylistically of a borderline individual, which as you know was a recent diagnosis applied to me.
I’d be lying if I told you I could remember what happened. The fight took place after a heavy night in the pub, so I’m hoping that’s the reason for my forgetting it, but the next morning when A told me what had happened I worked myself into a frenzied panic and really don’t remember that either, and that can’t have been alcohol induced.
So apparently, on Saturday night, I launched into a vituperation against A on the way back from the pub to our hotel (we were in Dublin for a gig on Sunday night) because it is my perception that he hates C. I have tried to defend C to A in the past as A feels he has not done anything useful at all in four months of being my therapist. I have tried to explain that in psychotherapeutic terms this really isn’t a long time, but A responds by saying that C doesn’t even really have a clear plan. The thing is, I think in some ways C actually does (insofar as my rambling will let him implement it), but I think he won’t share it with me in case I try and analyse it, which is exactly what would happen. This is just conjecture though; I may be completely wrong.
Whatever the case, the issues in my head are so long-term and deep-seated that I cannot imagine therapy in the short-term (which hitherto this is) would work. C needs to dig deep, and has to fight my defences, because it’s not as simple as just telling your mind you need to start talking about a, b or c. I don’t want to think about what he wants me to think about, so he will have to press me over time.
So anyway, I have tried to explain this to A, but he seems dubious. This must’ve been in the back of my mind somewhere as it all came out in this rant. A doesn’t remember the specifics either, but basically I started slagging him for his apparent misunderstanding of psychotherapy, then went on to bitterly defend both C and myself. Apparently then I suggested going to the hotel bar but A had enough sense to make me go to bed. Epic fail.
Sunday was a really weird day. I woke up and joked to A about not being able to remember coming home. He seemed slightly uncomfortable so I probed him on what had happened and he told me. I don’t remember much about the next hour or so, but I did apologise over and over again, accuse myself of being a failure, I blubbed and blubbed and blubbed, apologised some more, wept some more, panicked, paced and had the usual breathing issues. A kept telling me it was OK, that he accepted my apologies and that I should forget it (well, I had forgotten it – but you know what I mean). He kept trying to hug me and tried to calm down but there was no consoling me.
The only thing of which I have a clear memory was eventually taking two Valium before leaving the hotel. Walking down the road, I felt some of the really unpleasant and hardcore-extreme depersonalisation and derealisation that many people have reported with Valium, but which has never been the case for me when I have taken it in the past (my depersonalisation and derealisation are not caused by Valium ((I take it very rarely, yet they are fairly frequent)) and while certainly ‘unpleasant’ in their own way they are normally not of the malevolent nature that this was). I felt so far out of my own body and out of this world that wasn’t in any control of my physical or mental self, and as such could quite easily have fallen under a tram or a car. Frankly I would have welcomed that outcome at the time.
Anyhow, in this weird daze I still somehow managed to make it to the pub – yes, more booze, but in fairness it was a rock bar and we were going to a rock gig. It’s dark and underground, and was fairly quiet at the time with good music by AC/DC (the band of that evening), and my mood instantly improved. In fact, for the rest of the afternoon I would say I was in a state of mild mania. At this point A banned me from using the word ‘fail’ for the rest of the day, as he believes my constant use of the word in relation to myself perpetuates my negative self-image. I was surprised by how difficult this proved to be. Even in a good mood, at every turn I wanted to self-deprecate, and that is my current term of choice to do so. This proved his point, I think.
We then got the bus to the concert which was at a venue about 25 miles south of Dublin. Initially the bus journey was fine, but it became increasingly evident that the vehicle was full of knobs. Being a veteran of rock gigs in Dublin (and elsewhere), this came as a surprise to me. You don’t normally get spidey types going to them, but there was a high proportion of them evidently going to this one. This was annoying, but the expected journey time was only 45 minutes, so it could be lived with.
But then we hit traffic – a massive, impenetrable backlog, caused by the gig – and without bothering to get into unnecessarily details, after an hour we had maybe moved 40 feet or so. Gradually, people got more and more concerned that we’d miss the gig and eventually there was a mass exodus of gig-goers from all the buses in front, so we too ended up following them on foot up the hard shoulder of the motorway, onto the relevant slip road, and onwards. It was approximated by our bus driver that the journey would take about an hour (ha!). Better than waiting on the bus, we thought.
At first there was a real air of camaraderie. The spides were less evident and I was beginning to think that maybe our bus had just been anomalous in that regard. People were all in good humour, and it was kind of infectious. The sheer absurdity of the situation gave it a novel atmosphere.
After the first couple of miles, though, the comicality began to dwindle a little. More drunken spides and millbags were beginning to surface, openly pissing on the streets but even worse than that throwing their litter (booze cans, mostly) into peoples’ gardens or into hedges. Even worse again, from my selfish perspective, was that they were behind me, in front of me, and closing in on me – and making a fuck of a lot of noise.
I began to lose it after about an hour and a half, and the racing thoughts and disjointed comments of an agitated depression and panic set in. I remember begging A to make the people go away or at least to protect me from them. But there was nothing he could do, so on we struggled.
After about two hours of walking, it started to rain. At that point, I was grateful for it, as I was so warm and dirty from the long walk. Eventually we were picked up by another bus (our own never passed us, so must have still been well behind us) and got, eventually, to the venue, two and a half hours after leaving our bus and well over three since leaving Dublin.
But it was now very cold and very wet, and I was suicidally depressed. I went to the first stall I saw selling water, bought some and downed another two Valium. A insisted on finding the bar, though all I wanted to do was go home. I’d have happily paid a fortune for a taxi, but I was conscious that A had spent a lot of money on taking me to the gig so I held back and went in search of the bar with him (he is partially sighted – completely blind in one eye, in fact – so wouldn’t have easily found it alone, and in any case I could not have been left alone or I would probably have either panicked or killed myself somehow).
Anyhow, the bar – fuck me. I have never seen a crowd like it. I was hemmed in on all sides and movement was impossible. It was horrible. I turned round (insofar as was possible) and asked A if this was really necessary, but he didn’t hear me. The odd thing was, though, I didn’t have a complete panic attack, I was “just” extremely disconcerted. That might partly have been a (paradoxical) self-preservation thing, because if I’d panicked there and then I might well have died as there would have been no way for first aiders to even know what was going on, never mind get access to me. But in reality, it was probably simply the lovely Valium, which in this case hadn’t caused any significant depersonalisation or derealisation.
To cut a long story short (or as short as my verbosity allows), we eventually got to the bar and after much trouble got a place to stand near a random steel wall which was used as a make-shift pisser by a row of men. I observed the wall with interest (not in the pissing blokes, honest!), asking – aloud at one point – if I banged my head off it enough times, would I be able to kill myself. A said that I probably would, but wouldn’t let me try. Eventually I suggested we go and look at band T-shirts. I was so wet and utterly fucking freezing that I could hardly hold anything, so I was hoping to buy something to warm myself up and protect my body from further rain and cold.
And at that point, my mood suddenly changed from one of suicidal desolation to a return of the good humour, hypomanic state of earlier. For no reason that I could discern. None at all. The most bizarre thing of all was that A’s pretty poor mood changed simultaneously with mine.
He blamed beer. I blamed Diazepam. Who cares? Whatever it was, it meant we at least enjoyed it when AC/DC came on.
Back on the attack-defend-submit theme, on Thursday after C my ma made me visit Aunt of Boredom with her (MMcC, not GA ((Aunt of Evil)) or MMcF ((Aunt of Oppression))). MMcC was oh-so reassuring and helpful about my being insane by openly asking me what traumatic events had occurred to make me the way I am? How was I meant to reply to that? “Well, aside from the fact that your brother-in-law raped me, which I’ve been trying to hide, there was the hardcore effects of how V treated your sister, the effects of which I’ve been trying to hide, but even though she’s sitting right here, that’s OK, I’ll just tell you.”
Needless to say, I eventually responded by saying, “I don’t feel at liberty to say.” She then effectively denied the very existence of BPD and bipolar II.
Are all my extended family complete cunts?
Anyhow, that’s all an aside. As we were driving home, the sun was shining in front of the car and I suddenly became convinced that it was watching me and wanting me to die and was out to get me. Hmm. Rational. Not psychotic or anything, SI.
Anyhow, I was telling A about this over the weekend, and although at first he didn’t believe me, when he realised I was serious, he kept trying to rationalise the situation by explaining how this was scientifically impossible etc. Yet again, I don’t remember arguing him with him over this, but apparently I did. I argued that it was, in fact, entirely possible that the sun could see me and why couldn’t he just understand that? Why not?! It was a perfectly rational belief, so where did he get off trying to convince me otherwise?! Attack-defend.
When he told me what I had said later, I did of course apologise and submit.
My latest irrational belief, less irrational than the sun thing admittedly but still not based on any evidence, is that C will tell me in the morning that he is resigning from his present position and will be leaving me in a few weeks. If that proves to be the case no doubt I’ll attack him, defend myself for attacking him, then submit to him and beg him not to leave me. If the irrational belief that C is leaving is in fact realised I will have to kill myself. I cannot see any other viable another option of not collapsing into permanent madness. I so hope I am wrong.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, 1 July, 2009 at 3:44 pm and is filed under Everyday Life, Moods, Triggers with tags anxiety, bipolar 2, bipolar 2 disorder, bipolar disorder, bipolar II, bipolar II disorder, borderline personality disorder, bpd, clinical depression, delusions, depersonalisation, depersonalization, depression, derealisation, derealization, hallucinating, hallucinations, hypomania, insanity, insomnia, madness, major depressive disorder, mania, manic depression, mental health, mentalhealth, panic, panic attack, psychiatry, psychology, psychosis, Psychotherapy, self harm, social anxiety, suicidal thoughts, suicide, suicide ideation, therapy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.