Sunday, November 09, 2008


My sister has a master's degree in pedagogy, which involves learning a lot of psychology, so you would expect her to have a lot of psychological insight and the understanding and diplomacy that comes with it.

She invited me for coffee this afternoon and the first thing she said to me, when she saw me, was that I did not look good. She said I looked all bent over and turned into myself. I tell you, that's not a great way to be greeted and not a very diplomatic way.

I explained to her what had happened to me yesterday and how I had coped with it and she agreed with me that I had a wire loose. She said that things had not been going well with me since she had gone to Greece. Now, that is her perception. She sees me so little that she does not see me on the days that everything is fine and when I am happy and I am functioning well.

She also said that the way my eyes looked, the expression in them, would discourage people to approach me, because they would wonder what was wrong with me. I assume that at that moment my eyes looked downcast and tired and I told her so and that they usually didn't look that way and that as a rule I am easily approachable and that I have good contact with people that is generally very upbeat.

I think my sister doesn't really see me, she only sees my disorder and looks for signs and proof of it everywhere. I don't want to be in a position where I constantly have to waylay her preconceived ideas about me and I have decided to put the relationship way far away on the back burner. I am constantly being hurt and disappointed by her attitude towards me, when I am being so extremely supportive of her when she needs me. When she sees me, she sees a worst case scenario, she doesn't see all the victories. In order to protect myself from her, I have to produce a large gap between us and it doesn't matter, because our relationship was one of one way traffic going from me to her and it was draining me.

Anyway, I had known this all along, but I am writing her off as someone who can be a member of my support team, which for now only includes all of you and the Exfactor and my SPN and the people and therapist in my ergo therapy group. So, I suppose the ergo therapy group continues to be important for now. I talked to the Exfactor this afternoon and he confirmed my conclusions about my sister and reinforced my choice on what to do about her.

I know I am a little bit screwed up right now, but my common sense hasn't left me completely and there are areas in my life about which I can make good decisions. My screwed upness is selective. Right now it involves my life with the computer and my identity with my blog. I do have to separate those two. I am not my blog, even though it feels like it is such a large part of me and my lifeline to the world. Yesterday I was mad with exhaustion. The lack of sleep and the awful many hours spent behind the computer made me get lost in an unreal world. I lost touch with reality and threatened to loose my identity.

Today I am just in awe of that happening and me being that vulnerable and knowing that I have to watch out for that. I must sleep when other people sleep and I must limit my time behind the computer when I am tired. I wish I had someone to watch over me, but I don't, so I have to do it myself and not go make unproductive phone calls. I must not panic and start to loose track of the big picture by getting lost in the details. I must have the wherewithal to survive a bad day, knowing that a good night's sleep clarifies a lot of the problems.

I will have a good talk with my SPN tomorrow and explain to her exactly what happened. How scared I was of losing my identity. I'm not scared anymore now. I realize the difference between me and my blog, we are two different entities, although the line is still very fine.

All, I can say is, thank goodness for my medication, where would I be without it?



aims said...

It will be interesting to see what the SPN sees when she looks at you. Ask her. Get the comparison between what she sees and what your sister sees.

Our eyes are the windows - they say so much without our knowing it. And our body does often reflect how we feel inside.

Perhaps you were projecting your confusion of the past couple of days and didn't know it. Perhaps your sister picked up on that.

It's too bad she doesn't see you when you are doing really well so that she can see the difference and see your progression.

I shouldn't preach though. I have nothing to do with my sisters - but for different reasons. I haven't spoken to them in 5 years. And I don't miss them at all.

Hang in there until tomorrow. You're not falling down the rabbit hole - you're only looking into it.

Bev said...

I can be offputting for people sometimes,in fact a lot of the time, if that helps, because I say really funny things and this often makes people go 'what?', which often makes me want to give up totally on the social front.

I do think the answer is getting out of the house and getting really busy. This is what I am going to do this week - write up a very busy schedule of getting up early, dog walking, volunteering, maybe little cleaning jobs, and adult education classes so that I am totally done in at the end of the day and have no time to think about myself. These are all things which I have done in the past.

As my kids are now well-socialised so I don't have to worry too much about spooking their parents so now I can really just go out and try things. As my husband says, 'If it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out'.

I really think the answer to is stop thinking about yourself (which I do all the time lol), get active and really busy. You have a university near you and you are an intellectual. Are there any courses you can take?

Lane said...

If you give a lot of yourself on the blog I can see how the line can become fuzzy. Blogs are a representation of ourselves (an honest representation)but they aren't the sum of the whole.

What I'm really impressed with Irene, is how you can spot the dangers and take action. I hope the talk with your SNP tomorrow brings some clarity.

And I would agree about keeping positive company around you. Keep a good team - and you've got us:-)

Maggie May said...

Family are noted for saying this kind of stuff. Let the SPN be the judge. She has seen you regularly.
I'm sure you have the know how to distinguish when you need a break from your blogging & when you need to blog.
I keep going away for a breather & then just check my blog now & then
Can you get interested in a book or something equally absorbing as your blog?
Have a peaceful night, Irene.X

Grit said...

kiss the computer nite nite and get some sleep xx

CC said...

Irene I too would be interested to know what your SPN sees in you. I think that most everyone at times had or has a wire loose. You are so aware of what you need to do to stay ahead of your dangers, keep taking your medication and talking outloud to all of us and we can be your number one support group. A BIG hug to you.

Bev said...

I have been thinking about possible activities you could try (not being bossy or anything), all of which I have managed myself and enjoyed:

1. Typing or computer courses. A few years ago I got a New Clait qualification at Hull College. When I first met Mark I learnt how to type at an adult education course, and also went on courses at a place called Beverley Work Bridge (no longer there) for people who are unemployed. I did make a few friends here, people who had just left Hull University, and I enjoyed the conversations in between the computer classes. I got all my computer and typing qualifications here.

2. Adult education classes. I don't know what things are like in Holland but here these things are free for people on benefits. I did a Health and Beauty course once, mainly because I liked the free creche for Eleanor. I also did a course at a school near here on teaching your children maths, and a course at a leisure centre near here about making books to help children read.

3. I did a degree at a University near here and actually enjoyed it. Again I quite enjoyed the conversations before and after the classes and made a few friends there, whom I invited back to our house. Thinking back, yes, I was odd, but so were a lot of the other people there, and I did good work, and made good contributions to the classes.

4. Helping school children with their reading. I have done things like this a few times, and schools everywhere are crying out for people who will help with reading.

I think you, as have I, have GOT to get out into the world and mixing. I bet you are mulling things over and over in your mind, which is enough to make anyones eyes go funny :)

Wisewebwoman said...

Too much introspection does my head in, Irene. I felt this happening two days ago, like my grip on reality was so fragile my fingers were slipping. I got in my car and drove for a long time and stopped and then the dog and I walked it out of me. I still feel very ethereal, tho I did go to a birthday party today which was packed and laughy. But I'm always glad to leave too and scurry back to my safe place, my den/inner sanctum, like here I am now, reading you and not feeling so alone.
I can so relate to your last posts. You're never alone Irene.

Bev said...

Another thought because I have been thinking about you this evening.

When my kids were little the activities the local churches put on were a lifeline. I remember going to all sorts of tea and coffee mornings, and quite enjoying them. They didn't just do events for mothers and children, they did coffee mornings for adults too. That's what they are there for, helping people who might be lonely. Actually I might try some of these myself during the day. I don't know the provision for things like this are in the Netherlands, but it might be worth trying.

Frances said...

Good that you went out and good that your sister was brutal and said what she thought, even if it isn't really true or helpful, because her honesty about her opinions helps you to see that she isn't the person you can turn to in certain of your your moments of madness. She can't cope with that. She doesn't give you what you want. As Aims says, though, your sister may be right on one level.
For your wellbeing, it is irrelevant what she thinks and whether she is right that you are scary at some times. You scared yourself after all.
What is relevant is that when you need support - you know who can provide it and who can't. You need people who are not scared when you are going off the deep end. You need your support network to accept you in all your different glories and to be able to take you as you are and not fear some of your moods. Those moods and states are part of your true self at certain times. When you want help to control them you need calm people who are not judgemental or critical, just straight and supportive.
You sound much much clearer now and much more on the balance. You have lost the panic in your writing, so tomorrow must be better.
Keep well and huge strong hugs from here.

Frances said...

BTW - maybe remember that your sister will say exactly what she thinks sometimes when other people may just try to be kind.
So when you are low and need a boost and support, don't go to her for that. When you need a kick in the butt and a reality shot, she may be the person to do that. Just a thought.
love and hugs

Stinking Billy said...

irene, your blog is your alter-ego and, in that respect, none of us can match it. You confide so many of your private thoughts and fears in there and, on reading it back to yourself you are able to put them into perspective and live to fight another day. Don't ever change your style, pet, you are onto a winner.

Bev said...

Blogging is great, but you have got to get out into the real world, as I do! It's crisis point with me too.

I don't think the analysis side of blogging helps people like you and me. You have got to get out and DO things. If you analise every single thing that happens to you (as I have a tendency to do) it is not good at all.

Anonymous said...

I guess your sister finds it hard to see you at the moment. She needs to look beyond the diagnosis and realise that she is a lucky lady to have a beautiful and caring sister as you are.

Take care, we are here for you.

CJ xx

John said...

You are admirable.