Emotional Orbit


I don’t want to. I just feel incoherent. It’s like all the pieces of me are swirling around a black hole. Like all the aspects of my personality are in orbit, sometimes colliding, speeding up and exploding into one another creating frustrating moments of hyper-emotionality, or zooming past, just missing each other and leaving a void. This is how I feel when I lose my purpose, even for a moment. For a long time I was alright without a purpose, content to spend days in and out of stupor and reverie, not really craving anything more than just existing. But now with a taste of what I want, I feel very lost when I have a break. Or maybe I feel lost because my purpose feels so far away.

I was reading an interview with Glenn Close and Patrick Kennedy about mental health, addiction, and stigma. Glenn said, “We’re all very good at survival. But many times, we sacrifice important parts of what it is to be human just to endure.” I know that my stints in the hospital were challenging because I was always running interference between my humanity and my treatment. There is something we sacrifice in an environment like that. I am not a good patient in an institution, no one would contradict me. I am too argumentative, I disagree with my Drs. and nurses, I act out, and I roar with conviction. Sometimes I’m right and sometimes they are. The difference is that sometimes I had to give up a little piece of myself just to get through the day. Like once I was arguing with a Dr. who wasn’t my regular Dr. and he decided that I was becoming “too aggressive” since I was knocking on a window to get his attention as he was walking away from me (because we “were done” in his mind since I refused to sit at a table with him, being frustrated to the point of only standing). What followed was staff cornering me in my room and telling me that I was either going to be physically escorted to the quiet room or I could walk there willingly, even though at that point all I was doing was standing with my back against the window, afraid of what was about to happen. I wasn’t aggressive, I wasn’t loud, I simply asked if we could stop this and discuss things, but it was “too late.” So rather than be manhandled, I walked, tightly escorted, to the quiet room, where they then forced me to lie down and gave me a sedative injected into my glutes. There are very few situations where I have felt so dehumanized as being forcibly sedated. Thank goodness.

I think we sacrifice a little of ourselves every day just to get through. I bite my tongue all the time. Less so lately because for some reason I’ve decided that verbosity is the best solution. But I often regret it. Maybe this is not surprising, but the place I feel the least human is online. I play Overwatch, a 6v6 player vs player online FPS (first-person shooter). I never hear so much hatred, ignorance, racism, and misogyny as when I play this game. I had to listen to a tirade from a teammate the other day that blew my mind because he kept talking in racial slurs against another teammate who may or may not have been black. Eventually he just resorted to calling me fat because I was a woman. And a c*nt. A word I will not use because I find it truly offensive. But I don’t actually find this person offensive: I find him ignorant. He was a purported Trump supporter who didn’t want to take any advice from his teammates and thought that we all lived off of welfare. Maybe I’m sheltered, but I just don’t hear that kind of vitriol on a regular basis, except in this game. It truly blows my mind. So just to play, I have to sit there and accept that this is an American man, somewhere in the same country, who gets to walk around and treat people this way. It is deeply saddening and infuriating.

Mostly I feel like I sacrifice a part of myself every day because I rein in the “me” that isn’t very helpful. Either I’m too depressed, I’m too manic, I’m too lazy, I’m too wrapped up in my head, I’m too angry, or I’m simply too “much.” There are a lot of things I don’t say. There are a lot of facets to my personality that I won’t share, yet. Who’s to say what I will share later but for now much is left to myself and my therapists. There are things I won’t say to Husband because I don’t want to upset the balance. There are things I don’t say to my friends because they have their own shit going on and sometimes I can’t trust myself to say the right thing. I get aggressive, and then I feel bad.

Mostly right now I am stuck in this void, with emotions orbiting me, fragments of my personality swirling past and a nameless anxiety charging the black hole at my center. I am not surprised by this feeling. I actually get it quite a lot. It reduces me to tears because it is so uncomfortable, and it can last for days or longer if I’m unlucky, but it is not foreign. I think a great deal of it comes from Borderline Personality. A fragile sense of self is one of the diagnostic criteria. To switch from having so much work to do to having a break seems to have triggered an episode of being “self-less.” I tend to forget who I am, what I want, what everything means to me. It’s almost like being dissociated but not quite. I feel terribly present with these feelings but none of them are comfortable.

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