* 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.
I want to stop stuffing my mouth with food
To allow the words I swallow tumble out my own truth .
I want my voice not to sound happy
I want it to be happy.
I want to eat meals without guilt.
I don’t want to be over weight.
I want anorexia to stop carving every single slice of edible part until there is nothing but my skeletal soul
Nothing but the debris of littered thoughts
Discarded remnants of self love.
Pleading for just one match to light up my black holed life
The abyss that taunts
I want to publish a book of my words
One solarity book to place on my bookshelf
I want to feel sexy without thinking that being curvy is criminal.
I want to feel pretty
Confident that I can eat sushi tonight when my daughter has a McDonald’s happy meal.
I’ve scoured the Just Eat.com menu
The thoughts become lairy loud
It becomes easier to take a valium or a drink
Awash myself clean against the accusations
My thighs touch
My breasts are disproportionately imperfect
I don’t want to blame it on Some tasteless comment some child made when I was 12 years old.
My collar bones are disappearing
My butt is bigger
Im not disappearing
I’m not smaller
I want a worthwhile exsistance
I want to claim my happiness
Perhaps my words are my winning ticket to recovery .
Perhaps I need to buy enough ink and paper to print off 6 years of documented writings, poems, plays, stories and musings
I want my body to understand what it needs
I need my mind
What it wants.
Time stands still
Waiting for my child
To pick her up from her school.
I’m no fool
Schools not meant to be cool.
Just another institution
Similar to a prison.
My constitution was made to rebel
For a cause
Waiting around on top.
Never thought I’d glimpse a shadow of my former self -over the hill.
Curse these minutes.
Frozen into a state of blissful ignorance.
Wrapped up into a stationary kit.
Sudden bowel movements
I feel ill.
lost to a
Simmer into another ghetto outfit
Sparse Sunshine shimmer flecks
Until my skin unravels into motion.
For this moment
I’m not a suicide kid.
Instead, I’m knocked out
By a dead dong ringer
Them there eyes
Catch sight of her eyes.
How they glimmer!
So, I’ve been doing a few courses to keep me going with the pandemic and to keep my mental health in check. I’ve just completed a 6 week drama course and for the final week we had to perform a monologue that started out as a few questions about our favourite scripts, actors, the masks we wear in real life. The course is an online one and its free to enrol – it is called ‘Being Different Together. Last week we had to read out our drafted monologues. I was so inspired by my fellow peers work that I decided to push myself -creatively and have my character speak more colloquial. I found my character from my initial draft spoke too eloquent. This monologue is based on true events. It has helped me come to terms with an experience I had in May 2020.
Thanks for reading, take care.
CAST MO – Maya’s husband and daughter to MIA
MAYA – mid 30/40’s mother and wife to Mo
MIA -young child-daughter
(MO lying on what could be a sunbed /hospital bed. Spotlight -Bright lights -glaring down on her. Darkness all around her)
MO: There’re so many ways I could start what happened that day, so many ways… Sometimes, I think the best way to start is at the end -the tubes down my throat, the experiments, the torture (beat) or at the middle: You’re mad in the head, you are. Summit wrong ya. We filmed it. Caught ya red-handed, silly bint. (beat)
What happened? She didn’t! I’m calling the coppers. Then I think to start at the beginning but my mind -it struggles- it’s addled -it struggles to find an entry point that can start linearly if ya know what I mean. … A beginning that will justify, lend a decorum of (hesitates) credibility for all those who was involved in a moment that changed me Mo and Mia’s lives for… at least a few weeks.
I’ve never claimed I was perfect or do I wanna be. Always say..Well- not always, Its not summit I say. Its a motto -like something I’ve adopted as my own. Who doesn’t know the lyrics to Bob Marley’s Tune? (sings) I shot the sheriff but I didn’t shoot no deputy -ooooh ooooh ooooh. To get back to what I was on about. I’m not perfect, yeah. Mo mask ever is. I stick my hand up whenever I (have gone) wrong in my life. And I sure as hell will say when I’m not.
Them lot. Them next door- Neighbours supposed to friendly like – not mine. They refused to take responsibility for the barrage of abuse on their part. Harassing me like I was the only one in the estate doing cuckoo shit, man.
They didn’t see me get abducted by them aliens -Truth: Illegal aliens. They weren’t imprisoned by our laws. These lot they didn’t want me to come to this world even when I begged them. Well, I could only blink. They could hear my thoughts. They knew I had been tossing a coin over the worth of my own life for many a year. The day it all kicked I was trying to be on my best behaviour- not screw things like I usually do. It was a proper sunny day, I had my bikini on, Mo blew up the pool. We sitting in the garden. I had a few drinks and summit snapped in my head. I thought right I’m gonna get on the phone to my regular geezer and score me a hit. Mo comes into the kitchen knowing full well summin was up, so I just said my usual spiel and before he could answer I flew out the door and ran over to his car. I turned around to go back to my house and there she was. Number 1 -Miss neighbourhood watch or should I say miss curtain twitcher filming me. Things had been building up in my head for a while, the pressure, my mind felt full of cottonwool most days.
I wasn’t happy. I didn’t think about it and before I knew it: boom, the glass window -her glass window shattered and…I was holding this great big hunk of Yorkshire stone in my hand. It took both hands to hold it. Shit hit the fan and police sirens were whirring, Mo said summit about getting Mia up to my mom’s house. They arrest me in front of her. She was crying. I was begging them to give Mo a chance to take her around the corner. Cos of Corona like we had to wait for 5 hours to get me booked in. My brain snapped in that cell. The police thought I had ADHD. I screamed for 4 hours. I was restrained by 5 police officers. I screamed until blood was coming out of my mouth.
The crisis team was called and they said it wasn’t there are. I’m well known to them -my social worker said -Well, I can’t remember but everyone was passing the buck from one Flippin pole to the next. I got cautioned and was told by the copper to come back in a week. The next day Mo went to work on the day shift, Mia well. she was staying with my mom and I knew I had enough to do it. Do it properly. I had read the manual, it might as well have been titled ‘How to escapy Plent Earth’. It was informative. I bought it online.
I bought myself a one-way ticket to another realm. that was it for me. I followed t every step of the manual and then I blacked. Found myself strapped to a bed with aliens looking down on me wearing spacesuits. It didn’t stop. The torture didn’t stop. I even started to pray to a God I don’t even believe in. It was hell.
I thought to myself. This is it. I screwed up again. Its never going to end. The strangest thing was I kept on seeing this image of my mom. I tried hard to keep the image of Mia and Mo in view but it was my Mom’s face that I could focus on.
One minute I was trapped in this spaceship and the next I opened my eyes and I saw all white, even the people and no they weren’t aliens with big eyes and scary faces, they were smiling and perfectly human just like you and me. I tried to move my head to the left and there on a table, I saw a picture of Mo, Mia and.. my mom. 11 days later Mo was allowed to check me back into a familiar place: Earth.
He was mad at me for disappearing like I did but soon after he hugged me and we had a right giggle about me trying to convince him I’d been abducted by Aliens. Cos of Corona it turns out that the aliens with their headgear and silver suits on were people. They weren’t aliens, I mean they were strangers to me but… they weren’t trying to suck out my brain: my thoughts, my feelings, you know? They weren’t trying to take my life
They were trying to save me.
It’s a funny life, innit?
My word but moving house is super stressful.
I’m happy because I’m moving to new pastures.
Life has been a mind haunting experience over the past 2months.
My anorexia nervosa reared its ugly head because I needed some form of self medicating after stopping toxic self medicating.
I lost over 2-3 stone!
I love food.. I have recently been bingeing on food. My husband can’t stop me. After a binge,I’m verbally abusive to him, because I feel so ashamed and disgusted with myself.
I chew the foos and spit it out.
My weight has gone up to 8stone 10 from 8stone.
I’m angry because I rely on government money for my illnesses.
I’m trying to get better.
I have an assessment award review in 3weeks time and, well… I feel like I need to lose the wight I’ve gained to justify I’m ill.
I attempted a serious suicide overdose in , May 2020.
I was in a coma for 5days on life support and a further 5 days in critical ICU care.
I’ve done 4 serious suicide attempts in 2 years and 2months.
I tried to jump off a well known bridge.
I had 5 people hold me down so I couldn’t jump.
Now my gut instinct says try and kill myself.
I’m tired of my illnesses.
I wish I could have a job that covers my bills.
My daughter who is 9 years old has never been on holiday-not even in the U.K. because I can’t afford it.
I’m bricking it. I have a lot of paperwork to prove I’m ‘seriously* ill as my family and husband states.
I can’t move time ahead nor make the assessor re approve my extra income.
Not having control over my world is debilitating but i have to focus on my new life and have a plan B if I am not awarded PIP.