Little People

29 Aug

There’s a person in my head that whispers the compulsions I deny.

do it

It tells me that I want to jump in front of that speeding truck, doing 70k down the road. I remind it it’s not real, and no, I don’t want to.

But I feel myself steeling for the blow, and I have to shake the moment off my head. I stumble, carry on.

This tiny person mocks me then

no one loves you. no one wants you or can bear to look at you. you’re nothing. you’re worthless. ad nauseum.

Fuck you. I tell it. It’s lies. I may not be happy, but dead won’t solve it. Dead won’t fix it, or change anything for the better. No one is better off. Not even me.

I carry this little story in my head the entire way to work. Into blends the fear of losing my job, the worries about the recurring pain in my breast, the ache in my feet, the bloating in my belly that doesn’t match the weight I haven’t gained. The worry. I blend that small voice into my hatred for my weak parenting, my disgust at how I cannot handle my children. The little person becomes buried under all of this, and yet, I feel them there holding the strings. Pushing the worry and the fear to the forefront.

I do not know where the paranoia starts and where it stops. I do not know how to just set my worries free any longer. All I can feel is an ache, and a worry. Between states of smile smile smile I hit a bottom that isn’t as spongy as it looked.

All I can do is tell the little person over and over and over again that they aren’t real, that they might be part of me, but they don’t define me. They can be defeated.

They laugh.

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8 Responses to “Little People”

  1. kate1976 August 29, 2007 at 1:34 pm #

    Don’t stop telling them – ignore the laughter.

  2. radicalmama August 29, 2007 at 2:18 pm #

    I’m thinking about you.

  3. Bon August 29, 2007 at 9:11 pm #

    thinking about you too.

    we just listened to an interesting – if a little weird and conflicted in its discourse – CBC “Ideas” program on bipolar and the concept of mental hygiene. D has his own struggles with bipolar so i think he felt a little exposed and we talked through part of it…but you can check the CBC archives if you think you might find it worthwhile. apparently 3/4 of people prescribed drugs for chemical imbalance find they don’t work. apparently this has been known – at least in parts of the psychiatry community – since the late 90s. apparently, what they’re now suggesting works best is a kind of “mood management”…which i assume is trying to figure out what kind of life would make the little people shut up more often. we weren’t sure, D & i, if that was really possible…he’s certainly been trying that for years but the focus required leads to its own type of mania. we did have a very interesting conversation on what kind of supports would actually promote mental health in people’s real lives. we decided volunteer nannies would help. 🙂

    anyhoo…just wanted to tell ya, because i remembered that you’ve been so frustrated and let down by the drugs not helping…apparently, you’re far from alone.

    big fat help, i know.

  4. sweetsalty kate August 29, 2007 at 10:23 pm #

    Bon, that’s awesome. I wish I had have heard that, just because it sounds so interesting having been here with Thor. Hopeful, maybe? More clarity and dialog can only be a good thing.

    Thor, the way you write about these voices… they remind me so much of my own, but from a different vantage point. The ones I have are the ones that threaten – ‘you could trip right now and he would be thrown from your arms and into the water and he would drown..’. or ‘if you were hit by that truck he wouldn’t survive because you’re driving at highway speed…’ or ‘that might be the last time I’ll see them…’ and imagining the scene in slow-motion, the people finding us, finding me wailing or worse.

    It sucks, this constant mortality, so fucking heavy all the time. I can’t get it out of my head, all the scariness of what could happen. So from a strange flip-side I can relate, from having been through loss and now being scared shitless of being hit by lightening again.

    It sucks, being under this cloud. But thank you for diffusing the voices by writing about them – it helps me, and I hope it helps you too.

  5. Bon August 30, 2007 at 8:26 am #

    the piece of the conversation that the CBC program didn’t quite get to…almost, but not quite…was the presentation of manic-depression as a spectrum disorder rather than a discrete state of separate being, differerent from “normal.” they did discuss how the “chemical imbalance” discourse that started with the introduction of pharmatherapy in the 70s minimized the stigma of mental illness, and went so far as to say that while the idea of a chemical imbalance suggests that there is some kind of chemical normal that makes for perfect people, that isn’t true (we all have varying balances, apparently, and our responses to them are in part shaped by life and history, so after numerous episodes of mania even a small imbalance or a behavioural trigger can start another episode), but they didn’t get into the idea that maybe, at various points in our lives, a lot of us suffer with aspects of the disorder and we could ALL benefit from more open discussion of coping mechanisms.

    like Kate was saying, she has voices. i have voices. mine aren’t so powerful anymore. but at various points in my life – particularly during the heighth of my grief, but also in my younger years – they were compelling and crazy-making.

    so you writing, it helps me too. just so you know.

  6. thordora August 30, 2007 at 9:12 am #

    This is why I like the idea of kindling.

    I still believe in genetic predisposition, but I also believe that someone will few “triggers” in their life are less likely to be triggered. I had numerous events that likely kickstarted my problems, the biggest being the hormonal imbalance that went along with getting pregnant 10 months after having my first.

    I do believe that there is a normal however. Even if normal is having more subtle hallmarks of this disease, there is a normal where you don’t think 45, 000 times a day, casually that you might like to die. I remember life when I didn’t think of death as a constant reminder. It was rather nice.

    I’m also beginning to believe I’m one of those people the drugs don’t help. That scares me, since I have absolutely no idea how to manage the disease, and there is little to no help. I will be sick forever. I hate that sentence, but there’s no way out. I have a cancer of the brain, of sorts, but it kills so very slowly. And regardless of how I manage myself and my moods, it’s usually annoying and counterproductive in some way to someone.

    I just don’t know anymore.

    I understand about those other voices though. I get those too.

  7. dodi August 30, 2007 at 9:38 am #

    You are far from alone. I found your site awhile back and found that you have the ability to write what I am thinking and feeling and going thru but don’t have the nerve to admit to anyone other than my husband, doctor and a few friends. I found that most don’t want to hear it. I think because they don’t know what to do and can’t help. I’ve been on damn near every medicine they’ve got and am sitting here with this stupid patch on my arm that doesn’t do shit and throwing back lamictal. The lamictal helps. It keeps me from going ballistic and screaming at my children when they’ve not done anything even worthy of my wrath but can’t stop.
    I talked with a therapist about the fear that one day the voice that says “that tree/truck would be good to drive into” or “going over that hill would do it”. What if I snapped? I know I really don’t want to. I want this stupid disease/illness whatever you want to call it to go away not me. His response was that I wasn’t going to “snap”. Thanks, just what I needed. We’ll argue the semantics of the damn word, real helpful. I don’t see him anymore. I’m all for debating things but that was not the time for it. So the little voice is still there and somedays is louder than others but I somehow manage to ignore it and hopefully will continue to do so.

  8. marcelarhodus August 31, 2007 at 6:21 am #

    I think we all hear those voices, some louder and more annoying than others, but I think we all have them.
    Do keep ignoring them, and telling them they are wrong. We need to do that each and every time they tell us a weird idea or something to put us down. Whether we’re officially on medication for it or not, I do believe we all have those voices in our lives.

    when I read your posts, you touch me in a deep level and move me. and leave me thinking for days, and some dark moments you’ve given me inspiration to push foward. thank you for sharing your thoughts…you make my day a bit better each time I read you, you really do.

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