No, I didn’t say people WITH borderline personality disorder are shit – I save that label for the condition itself.
You can read here what others say it’s like to live with a ‘Borderline’ – I’m still astonished at the language some professionals and academics use…
Weird, isn’t it? You wouldn’t call someone with a virus ‘a flu’ or someone with a broken leg ‘a fracture’, would you?
Anyway – I’ve already digressed.
A few days ago I dipped into dissociation, something I do from time to time – where my experience of the world changes radically from ‘happily engaged’ to ‘removed’.
At these times I feel nothing – the world is distant – the world isn’t real – I’m not real. Stairs become a weird challenge. I have difficulty finding the right…at times, any words.
Fine – we’ve seen this before, it’s time to apply pills, a darkened room and loud American cop shows – not necessarily in that order.
Only this time I was supposed to be getting on and doing something. As many of you will know, walkamile has become closely involved with the lovely people at See Me Scotland. This particular task was purely administrative. Something that I can ordinarily do standing on one…
The way our enthusiastic, skilled and imaginative team of folk has evolved means that the slack can be picked up instantly. In this case it was the, ‘whatever did we do without her in the past?’ Eleanor who picked it up and ran with it – to be perfectly honest it’s likely she’s done a much better job of it than I would have…
But that’s great – to work with a team that has that fluidity – that ability to ebb and flow as required – is fabulous.
None judgemental support…no, scratch that…POSITIVELY judgemental support.
It made me think a bit about disability legislation and what ‘reasonable adjustments’ can be made in the workplace that goes beyond the ‘you’re well/ you’re unwell – you work/ you don’t work’ approach that many employers subscribe to.
Perhaps there’s hope to be had there.
The other day, while I was dissociated and drugged, the lovely Ella was involved in a car accident.
Back at Ella’s, the phone rang a couple of times – but I followed our usual protocol of not answering it…Ella would deal with it when she got back.
The phone rang a lot – Ella’s son answered it – it was Ella’s sister – affectionately known as Auntie Debba – who’d been trying to get through.
She told me about the accident – how some holiday makers from Canada had mistakingly thought they’d had the right of way when turning right across a main road.
Ella was fine, but there were concerns that she’d broken her sternum – paramedics were giving her morphine at the scene – they were going to take her to hospital – it would be good for her to see someone she knew.
I had no words – the woman I love – I adore and cherish had been beaten up in a car accident and I had the same emotional response as if someone had told me they’d bought some cheese.
Auntie Debba quickly mobilised our lovely friend, Cecilia, who snuggled up with Ella on the side of the road with a blanket…her delightful husband Mark smiling in the background saying, ‘Ella, I know you said we should meet up soon…but….’
Auntie Debba talked Ella’s boys through what happened.
In short, she was fabulous.
With all this going on, I blindly bobbed around in my surreal world.
With all this going on there was a universal acceptance that I wouldn’t have a great deal to offer…anyone at this point.
I was blandly off my face on pills when Ella arrived home late that night.
An X-ray of her sternum had proved inconclusive – that said, apparently the treatment for a bruised or a cracked breastbone (as long as it hadn’t punctured a lung) is the same.
Lots of painkillers.
She got a taxi home from Warwick – £50, thanks very much – apparently there were no ambulances available. He raced across the nocturnal countryside like Carlos Fandango, with little attention paid to the precious and fragile cargo he had bouncing about in the back.
Weirdly there was no acknowledgement of her injuries or that she’d just been traumatised in a car accident.
I wasn’t aware of her until the following morning.
Over the next few days I returned to reality as (as predicted) Ella’s pain increased.
The lovely thing for me was that I could be the carer I’d would have liked to have been right from the start.
Yes, I appreciate it’s all been dazzlingly shit for the lovely Ella – her pain has been so invasive and relentless- but I’ve been delighted at the care and love I’ve been able to throw her way.
If I give it the air time, guilt has been, and can be, a crawling pernicious cancer that can stop me in my tracks. If only I could have been…if only I was…
WHY CAN’T I JUST BE FUCKING NORMAL??
For me, this is about self acceptance and forgiveness – which can be a bit of a wrestling match.
It’s funny – now I’m firing on all cylinders – it’s a privilege to be supporting the lovely Ella with everything I can…
I smile as she apologises yet again….’I’m sorry Chris, but could you…?’
Even with all my guilt nonsenses, it’s my hope she can get to the point of asking me to do something for her without a hint of an apology.
Yes, I know, I’m positively oozing hipocrisy there, but I know you’ll find it in your heart to forgive me…
And once you have forgiven me, any hot tips on how to do exactly that would be gratefully accepted.
My lovely Ella’s on the mend – her GP has tweaked her pain control to make it all a bit more bearable.
Shame really, I love looking after her.
Borderline personality disorder IS shit – but, as I’ve said before, for me, like many folk with this mental malady, it doesn’t define me.
Walk a Mile
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