Gee, thanks for the fucking warning. You’ve been away for a year, you don’t call, you don’t write, I thought you were dead for Christ’s sake, or met someone else at the very least.
In all seriousness Borderline, why did you come back? Things were going so well. MD has popped in here and there, but that has been circumstantial. Anxiety Disorder is ever faithful of course, but he brings treats – valium, ativan, whatever I want. Complex PTSD and I worked out an agreement in your absence, and Rejection and Abandonment will find someone else to haunt if I just ignore them or go to sleep.
But you! I can’t say I missed you – I’d hoped you were happy and perhaps somewhere tropical, after all, you’ve been a part of my life since I was 10. Not the best part, but you were reliable in your own way, and somehow you didn’t get in the way until we were older. Probably you have arthritis or something – you’ve never been one to reveal much – and you just started to trip in front of me, making me slip on the ice, tear my jeans, whack my head hard enough that I didn’t know who I was when I got up, teeth and blood streaming from my mouth, riding with me in the ambulance.
The thing is, Borderline, and I’m trying my best to be gentle, it’s got to be every bit as hard on you as it is on me, but I really don’t want you back. I can’t take the emotional collapses when my human support system goes to bed at a reasonable hour and isn’t available to text me back until morning, or the pangs of my own irrelevance when my Facebook posts go lonely, uncommented on, un-“like”d, or the fury that instantly arises when one of my teens knocks on the door while I’m trying to take 10 minutes to myself in the shower for something as innocent as a few bucks to grab iced tea with their friends. Even the absence of a simple look when my husband brushes past me, after I’ve worked out for an hour and then preened following my shower. Yeah, I know, I should be used to that one, but compounded…well, I don’t have to tell YOU.
The fact is, when you were new to me after that failed hanging in 2010, I was interested, I learned everything about you, I realized how intimate we were and might always be, and perhaps you were pissed when I fumbled through DBT. The team seemed to know I was immune to DBT, or maybe that you were immune, at first they rejected me as a patient. That must have made you happy, you had me all to yourself. And the truth was my reaction was “well fuck them, then.” But, being the tag-team that we were, I just had to have that one last phone call, to shove their hypocrisy up their asses. I called the program’s Director and asked her whether she was bound by the Hippocratic Oath. And she said she was. And I asked, how then, when faced with a patient who tried to hang herself weeks ago, could she come back and tell that patient that the program wasn’t right for her. As you know, we were abruptly invited to participate.
But they were right. Perhaps being the most stable person in the group was my disadvantage and they saw it. Perhaps it was the existential nature of my problem. Probably it was the fact that I still wished I was dead. But we tried. And tried. And ultimately failed. DBT was not for us. You must have gloated.
But then I made you go away. Somehow, I climbed up and out of the hole and left you and MD in there. Sorry for that, but I knew you’d escape and land on your feet. Like I thought I did.
And now, out of nowhere, everything seems wrong, feels wrong, I can’t interact with my own family, I’m afraid to leave the house, I can’t sleep the night before the one day a week I have to be in the office. To be honest I didn’t even recognize you at first. Leaden paralysis started to set in and I thought it was The Major again, but he had no reason to be here, nothing’s happened, a little bit of my existential material floats past my consciousness here and there, but I think he’s controlled, stationed someplace where he’s needed (Afghanistan). And then suddenly Worthlessness is sprawled out on the couch, Hopelessness has pinned itself to the ruched Pottery Barn duvet I have artfully pinned above my bed like a cloud, Self-Loathing stationed itself in the shower, Disorder has affixed itself prominently to the bulletin board above my desk here in my home office.
Meditation ran first, then Lao Tzu climbed on his donkey and bolted with his Tao. I’ve been working out to keep you at bay but you just sit at the end of my yoga mat giggling. Fear has set in. I don’t want you here. I would rather not be here at all if you can’t find it within yourself to GET THE FUCK OUT. I warn you, I can banish you. I have to banish myself first, but that’s really the easy part. You see, all these years spent on the FDA website keeping a log of the lethal doses of every failed medication I’ve ever been given – always with liberal refills – I missed one thing. I missed a med that I take for migraines. It’s off label. And it’s more potent than anything I’ve been prescribed by psych clinicians – it’s class makes Antipsychotics, Antidepressents, Mood Stabilizers, Stimulants and Hypnotics look like Sweet Tarts.
So here’s the deal. We go back into hospital sometime next week – don’t want to leave the boss high and dry during the most chaotic month of the year – and we try to exorcise you. Not sure what they can do that they haven’t already tried – you and all of our co-morbid friends are as resistant as James Cameron’s Terminators are to, say, heavy artillery fire – but we can give it a shot. You have the option to go, anywhere – you know you’re not wanted and the polite thing to do is to leave quietly and without fuss – you were, after all, raised Boston-Irish. If you don’t go quietly I may just take you out. It’s not my first choice, but your return has made it attractive enough.
Just give it some thought. Please.