Ghosts floating through the mansion of my mind. It may sound like a great thing to own a mansion as a mind.I can tell you. It is a place that never sees sunshine, there is dust everywhere, the piano remains out of tune. Every room has something magnificent to find.
Dresses in one, jewels in the other, mothers little helpers pills scattered everywhere.There is always a ghost on standby ready to haunt me.
It’s like an old familiar melody.
I find no pleasure in any of these rooms.
There are too many rooms, not enough signs and I am always losing myself in it.Instead of running from my mind. I sit in the creaking rocking chair.
Legs splayed,opening myself up to become possessed by anything .They sit down on my favourite grey chaise longue and puff cigars that smell of lavender and twirl full bodied wine glasses filled with a deep maroon Beaujolais or a chateux neuf de pap.I seem unable to move
. I can’t move. If I could just ask them to leave .One places a daisy chain on my head and tops up my glass of southern comfort. I’m sure I have stopped drinking.
They know this as well as I do.The irony is they are trying to make me live again. Drink if you must- anything to live, they urge….This is their home. How can I cast them out?They drain me, yes it is true, but they have been a part of my life, guarding me when I was still growing in my mothers womb.I let them stay,”SIT DOWN”., I say.
Foreplay remnants stain the sheets on the various four poster beds. There is a new guy in town.Has a bit of a opium habit. He hides away from everyone ,including me.I have become desperate in my misery,I seek him out .He won’t show himself.I beg him to show me how. He can write the directions on a paper……I think he cares. He doesn’t want me to go that far down. I think if I am so far down the dragon’s pit;chasing ,what is a few more inches to the bottom?
Isn’t the bottom or top better than half way neither up or down?I think he hid the ouija board too. He doesn’t want to be summoned because my will will break his……In all honesty I think they all want the best for me.
Oh of course they have their own agenda’s too.They know how down I am but they need to go on outings too. They get bored so I get to be their cruise liner- my eyes are their oval windows ,to peer outof, their mode of transport, that shows them life still carries on even if they can’t be an active part of it.. ..They called me a party pooper today.
Sounds a bit lame.They held a special party pooper party for me.My least favourite party of all times- they all congregated in my drawing room whistling and pulling crackers and the incessant chatter nearly drove me out of the house.Usually, the louder they are the quicker I try to escape – This time they lucked out. They will not help me find Opium boy.I only want to escape with him.I will continue to follow his musky scent until another scent sends my pulse quickening.Another ghost starts to ask:”Why do you want to be dead when your heart still beats?”
“Oh fuck off and cross over – you can live in my mansion of a mind but I will not be questioned – my mind my rules.” I replyIf I had gone would I have lost the scent of Opium boy?Would I have cared?Usually when I chase a boy that needs saving , I get into trouble….
Ghosts floating through the mansion of my mind. It may sound like a great thing to own a mansion as a mind.
I can tell you. It is a place that never sees sunshine, there is dust everywhere, the piano remains out of tune. Every room has something magnificent to find
Dresses in one, jewels in the other, mothers little helpers pills scattered everywhere.
There is always a ghost on standby ready to haunt me.. It’s like an old familiar melody.
I find no pleasure in any of these rooms. There are too many rooms, not enough signs and I am always losing myself in it.
Instead of running from my mind. I sit in the creaking rocking chair. Legs splayed,opening myself up to become possessed by anything .
They sit down on my favourite grey chaise longue and puff cigars that smell of lavender and twirl full bodied wine glasses filled with a deep maroon Beaujolais or a chateux neuf de pap.
I seem unable to move. I can’t move. If I could just ask them to leave .
One places a daisy chain on my head and tops up my glass of southern comfort. I’m sure I have stopped drinking. They know this as well as I do.
The irony is they are trying to make me live again. Drink if you must- anything to live, they urge….
This is their home. How can I cast them out?
They drain me, yes it is true, but they have been a part of my life, guarding me when I was still growing in my mothers womb.
I let them stay,
“SIT DOWN”., I say
Foreplay remnants stain the sheets on the various four poster beds. There is a new guy in town.
Has a bit of a opium habit. He hides away from everyone ,including me.
I have become desperate in my misery,
I seek him out .He won’t show himself.
I beg him to show me how. He can write the directions on a paper……
I think he cares. He doesn’t want me to go that far down.
I think if I am so far down the dragon’s pit;chasing ,what is a few more inches to the bottom?
Isn’t the bottom or top better than half way neither up or down?
I think he hid the ouija board too. He doesn’t want to be summoned because my will will break his……
In all honesty I think they all want the best for me. Oh of course they have their own agenda’s too.
They know how down I am but they need to go on outings too. They get bored so I get to be their cruise liner- my eyes are their oval windows ,to peer outof, their mode of transport, that shows them life still carries on even if they can’t be an active part of it.. ..
They called me a party pooper today. Sounds a bit lame.
They held a special party pooper party for me.
My least favourite party of all times- they all congregated in my drawing room whistling and pulling crackers and the incessant chatter nearly drove me out of the house.
Usually, the louder they are the quicker I try to escape – This time they lucked out. They will not help me find Opium boy.
I only want to escape with him.
I will continue to follow his musky scent until another scent sends my pulse quickening.
Another ghost starts to ask:
“Why do you want to be dead when your heart still beats?”
“Oh fuck off and cross over – you can live in my mansion of a mind but I will not be questioned – my mind my rules.” I reply
If I had gone would I have lost the scent of Opium boy?
Would I have cared?
Usually when I chase a boy that needs saving , I get into trouble….
What makes you anxious? – the cocoon asked .
Immediate response ?
I want to run away .
The cotton wool opportunity of turning into some thing I’ve never been fills me a desire to run.
I’ve always wanted to fly!
Darwinite if it means i can feel fire
In my belly
Leave behind the sycophants of past.
Presented with the discomfort before the freedom installs a stony face
I finally replied: I want to run from your question because the master of my own fate made me question why I didn’t say I’m the master of my destiny
I sat on the toilet waiting for an answer
A brainwave to collide with my why.
* This Borderline poem was written a week before I attempted to take my life (again).I ended up in Critical Care in a coma for 5 days & in ICU for a further 6 days. I was discharged from hospital on the 21st of May 2020 *
Please, make sense of reality.
Use a stream of consciousness
words to vent,
A discovery in recovery
Fathom out sense because words are only as good as the interpreter.
Could add literary success to a Gravatar profile in an ebook
Add few drafts poured into that fulminate crunched up chaos.
This doesn’t invoke a feeling of literary success.
Struggling to convey all words .
Reciprocated words are often misinterpreted
Another attempt to convey these words
Perhaps one person will see this array of affray spread its torment defecating the inner spiral case of the
It swirls descends these steps in every way.
The moment to call it a day
This draws an outline forever have to have the last say.
Hear me proclaim
Don’t want to carry on living this way
It overstays — the bailiff texts for rent arrears
What is laid down?
I’m not done yet.
Hanging by a thread it’s tethered
Seen many days to identify as weathered
Hanging by a thread
This is my life purpose!
Final chance to meet my fate
Waited for this all my life
A mystery date with a severed soul mate.
Taught & tethered & weathered is this rope
I’m no tight rope walker.
I’ve become my own word stalker
Shoulda, coulda, woulda arrested these rants before my digress
Wait in this hidden corner.
Evidently I’ve learned that survival is innate.
It ain’t easy to digest the days I’m not blessed to eat from a plate.
keep rising up despite a life times worth of trip-ups.
Until I die
One fine day
I’ll face the final exit of my mortality
I’ll know the truth
Either way it’s gonna end up with a body
Subconsciously know why I feel
It’s called humanity
What do I know about that damp dark corner entertaining souls I’ve yet to meEt?
Going to have to wait for a future promising chance we haven’t dreamt of taking yet.
If I lose all memory
Forget those words
soggy, wet, lost to another realm of the bereft
Lest I forget.
I write to recover.
Be happy or die trying.
Simultaneously a resilient species & inconveniently inept
- a unique take on world suicide prevention day *
Who is this lady? She is elderly, yes.
A grandma,a mother a sister, an aunt, a great grandmother.
I don’t know. I have forgotten. Hang on a minute…
Aaah yes there was this one time that I was sat in her house -plush, ‘propre’ , stylish and I couldn’t sleep.
I kept on getting up to go to the cupboard on the far right of la cuisine that housed all the gigantic Cadbury’s chocolate.
I ate and I ate and I ate some more. I always seemed to be able to eat more.
I didn’t it like it when she bought the dark kind. So bitter. So classy, so not me.
But back to la cuisine.
Footsteps pander lightly behind me. I turn and look around and I look into the eyes of a lady with pure class-sans maquillage. This seems to counter my non- class evolved youthfulness. The lady asks me a question ‘Ca Va?
I’m expected to answer with the same ‘ca va.’ but it is something like 3 am in the morning. Obviously ‘ca va’ is not appropriate for this setting.
I don’t know why I can’t sleep, I confess. I’ve shoved a load of pills down my throat in an effort to be like the one whom I shall refer to as the Manic depressive. The lady sits me down and makes me a Sleepytime tisane – . Good herbal shit. We sit at the kitchen table with our ‘Sleepytime’ tea, I can’t remember what we talked about.
I have a habit of forgetting things, you see. It is so frustrating. I go back to bed feeling cared about. Why didn’t I feel grateful then?
No regrets. Have no regrets. Okay. I try not too. I wish I had paid more attention, then maybe I wouldn’t forget so much.
I can hear her laughter in that loud roomy part of my brain, it’s threatened me it will become a real auditory sound that knocks me sideways with fright turning me into a paranoid wreck.
I have to remember that laugh. She used to laugh at my jokes. She loved me. She told me she loved me all the time.
She also loved another – another woman-my mom. Angelic looking, graceful, naive and I don’t know – wonderful?
This lady helped me out with the angelic-looking lady. Yes, I remember, one poignant night, the angelic-looking manic depressive and I had a vicious fight. I took a braai fork to her neck.
I was fucking going out to drink and get strung out on drugs and Miss Manic Depressive could mope in her stupid illness and fuck right off.
Well, she took that big FU literally. We had this stock of prescription pills that could take our local pharmacy out of business – bad joke- that’s why I rely on comedians for such amusements (Omid Djalili and Gabriel Iglesias being two of my favourites ). Nothing like a next-day hangover and a shrill ringing phone to make me grab a handful of downers.
I’m not ready for the sunshine just yet- maybe not ever. The lady on the other end of the phone wants to know if the manic depressive is okay. Of course, she is ok……
I turn over
…but she isn’t.
She is one tunnel turn away from death. I need some Rohypnol and valium and I need t
hat lady on the end of the phone.
She says she is going to get the next one hour flight from JHB airport to Durban and I need to get the manic depressive to a hospital. I don’t have health insurance. I’m 15 years old.
A cocky shit who obviously knows it all but nevertheless in my narked upstate I somehow manage to get the angelic Manic Depressive a space in a run-down public hospital in Africa – in a- I kid you not – broom closet. Sick people were lying on the floors, covered in congealed blood, in the corridors of this hospital. So I count my blessings that we had some type of room and a bed.
The lady meets me at the hospital. It’s touch and go. We are rooting for survival on this one. Black tar leaks down out through a tube from some part of the manic depressive’s body.
She is okay- stable.
She is in a coma.
The Lady transfers her to a more upmarket private hospital. She has the master card. We spend the night next few days at the Oyster Box hotel – in a chalet. She takes on me and my two cats. Lilac and Mocha- and we all sleep in the same bed united by our love for the angelic manic depressive one.
We don’t know if she is ever going to walk again. I mean it was an overdose with powerful intent. No, pithy cry for help as some believes a suicide attempt is. The angelic manic depressive has a new name angelic, rapid cycler Bipolar.lady in The other lady is my grandma- as you probably have figured out. We go and see her every week. She broke her hip back in Feb 2015 and can’t walk anymore.
Okay… so that happens with a lot of old people. Yeah, but this lady, my grandma has been stripped of her dignity, identity, memories, and she can’t remember she can’t walk. She is stuck on a loop – every few moments she tries to get up and screams in frustration when she can’t. This lady sitting in the middle is my relationship with someone I love who has Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
I know I’m not writing something fucking profound but she means something to me and her family. She is living a world with no faces, no colour and the world speaks another language to her. How is she meant to interpret all this shit?! People talking.
Other elderly people not moving- crying, shouting, fondling themselves to remember that they too can feel.
My Chronic Anorexia 10 stone self could envy my grandma’s current weight. 5 stone if that. She forgets how to eat. Imagine that?
What type of existence is this?
This is where I get political. Let people die with dignity.
I signed up for the campaign years ago. Who is this lady? She is so much more than she looks. She has had a life people probably can’t even dream up and a life where people would also be horrified how she survived such heartache, ( love is the answer here, folks) but for today we can’t go back into the past too much without forgetting. I don’t want to forget, not today. Those two memories I can hang and frame in the gallery of my mind.
They are mine. No one can take them away from me but Alzheimer’s can. Dementia too.
You know what really makes me sick about all this? When a person with these illnesses die, Alzheimer’s and Dementia don’t take the credit. The diagnosis of death is usually a secondary symptom. How twisted and messed up is that?
Does she remember her husband? Where does she go?
I should have been a Neuroscientist or something. I want to know what is going on in her head and fix it. All clichés but they are my clichés for today. Can you believe people are being diagnosed with these maladies at as young as 25 years of age?
I would rather choose to die than have everything taken from me. Would my Grandma say the same? I wish I had asked her.
Me: ‘So Gran, let’s talk about something so morbid as to how you would like to die.. ‘
I’m putting it out there. Me? I don’t want to suffer and I don’t want to feel pain and I don’t want to not be understood. That is not living that is stuck between two perverse worlds. I want my family to pay the ferryman and for him to take the money and take me along the river Styx to E
lysium and let me die with dignity.
Information on the dying dignity campaign http://www.dignityindying.org.uk
There are many types of Child Abuse
Emotional Abuse can be hard to spot and is easy to miss the signs.
- humiliating or constantly criticising a child-
When my Mom was in a Domestic Violent Relationship with my ex step father he would constantly tell me I was chubby, too clingy.
- threatening, shouting at a child or calling them names
- making the child the subject of jokes, or using sarcasm to hurt a child
- blaming and scapegoating
My ex -step father would shout at me for wanting to be close to my mom. He would drag me into my bedroom -my mom would stick up for me and she would get the brunt of my tantrums, clinginess, my eating issues.
- making a child perform degrading acts
- not recognising a child’s own individuality or trying to control their lives
- pushing a child too hard or not recognising their limitations
My ex step father’s idea of teaching me how to swim was to grab hold go me, jump into the swimming pool and stay under the water until I thought I would pas out. He would do this as a joke in front of his friends and laugh at me for being so scared. I was 5 years old
- exposing a child to upsetting events or situations, like domestic abuse or drug taking
My ex step father used to beat my mom up regularly because she dared to challenge him for cheating on her constantly ,for getting a 15 year old pregnant. He was always high and there were always parties going on with strange men and women around. I used to try and defend my mom until I became too afraid. I used to barricade myself in my bedroom. I would wait until he came home from work and hide under the bed.
- failing to promote a child’s social development
- not allowing them to have friends
- persistently ignoring them
I felt like my life was irrelevant. I wasn’t worth anything. I remember having an argument with my mom. She was struggling with her Mental health and the abuse. She came home from work when I was 5/6 years old. I was dressed up in her wedding dress and having fun. She screamed at me to get out her room .She was crying, I didn’t want to be away from her. She locked me out of the room because I started to have a tantrum. I went to the kitchen and got a knife out of the drawer and went to her bedroom door and yelled I was going to stab myself if she didn’t open the door. No reply. I heard her crying. I felt alone and that I couldn’t help her.
- being absent
When I felt helpless and angry. I would act out. I would binge on food, wet the bed conrantly and go and sleep with the dogs in the kitchen. I recall one day feeling so worthless and useless that I couldn’t make my mom better or please my ex step father that I packed a suitcase falloff toys and clothes. I needed to get away. I walked down the driveway (to my child self -it looked like I was walking a long way from home), When I reached the end of the driveway I looked left, right, I looked across the road and I thought to myself: What do I do now? I prayed that a car with two nice people would stop and pick me up and take me away from where I was. That didn’t happen. I had to accept my defeat and I walked back up the drive way angry. No body knew I had disappeared and I didn’t get the attention I wanted.
- manipulating a child
Manipulation can be so subtle. I recall a time when my mom had found out about another affair that my ex stepfather had. He turned up from work with a puppy for me. I was over the moon.
- never saying anything kind, expressing positive feelings or congratulating a child on successes
- never showing any emotions in interactions with a child, also known as emotional neglect.
SIGNS OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE IN OLDER CHILDREN
- use language you wouldn’t expect them to know for their age
- act in a way or know about things you wouldn’t expect them to know for their age
- struggle to control their emotions
- have extreme outbursts
- seem isolated from their parents
- lack social skills
- have few or no friends.
EFFECTS OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE
- wanting attention or becoming clingy
I never wanted to leave my moms side. I refused to go to school. I would have tantrums and do anything to be heard.
- not caring how they act or what happens to them
I became a child who started walking home from school on my own from 5/6 years old. I remember a group of older boys pushing me about and touching my breasts and vagina.
- trying to make people dislike them
I didn’t feel very likeable or good about myself so I pushed people away from me. I didn’t feel Could trust people and even today I will show people the worst parts of me to protect myself.
- developing risky behaviour, like stealing, bullying or running away.
The first time I stole anything was a 5 rand note from my mom so I could buy myself and people in my class sweets at the tuck shop. My ex step father refused to allow me to eat sweets because I was too ‘chubby’. I ran away from home many times as a teenager to get away from my mom when I was a teenager and my Nan and my Dad who refused to acknowledge me. I didn’t want my family to dictate to me. I didn’t want them to tell me they knew what was best for me. I wanted to escape and drugs and being around strange men seemed like the right answer.
EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROBLEMS
- feeling, expressing and controlling emotions
- lacking confidence or causing anger problems
- finding it difficult to make and maintain healthy relationships later in life
- higher levels of depression and health problems as adults compared to those who experienced other types of child abuse.
MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS
- mental health problems, including depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts
I went on to develop serious mental health issues. I developed social anxiety from a young age. My first suicide attempt was at 12 years old
- eating disorders
I became obsessed with my weight. I couldn’t deal with my weight issues and I started taking diet tablets at the age of 15 years old. I abused cocaine and mandrax and ecstasy -any drug to stop me from thinking about food. I used to demand my mother take me to doctors to prescribe diet pills for me even though I was thin. I had huge problems and I eventually developed Chromic anorexia. I was sectioned twice in the U.K. In 2007 I develop Bradycardia. My BMI was 14. My weight was 39 kilograms. I wanted to die.
I don’t know why I felt the need to cut my legs in my Nan’s kitchen when I was 12/13. I didn’t know how else to express myself. When I lost my virginity to a guy who had left his ex and promised to date me and be with me. The next night his ex, myself and him herein his car and he chose his ex over me. I flipped. I couldn’t deal with the pain, the headache and I cut myself with a bottle neck and became uncontrollable.
- language development
- problems forming healthy relationships.
If you want to help some one who is being abused in all its forms or to help some one who is self harming.