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Know it's long sorry (trigger warning)

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Know it's long sorry (trigger warning)

Postby caballoloco » Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:25 pm

Here goes a long story... Don't comment just because you feel you have to, but if you have anything to share by all means do so. I'm mostly just looking for a fellow human being to share my pain for a moment.

I come from a Latin American country which will remain unnamed in this post. I have been diagnosed with BPD and bipolar disorder type I. My bipolar disorder I would say is very much under control, but my BPD is acting up...

I used to live alone but went bankrupt and had to move back in with my mother. This is kind of standard in my country, people live with their parents until they get married. Living with my mother is sort of like a long sequence of "if only's" ... If only we moved to another apartment; then we move and nothing happens... If only your sister had another child; she does, nothing happens... If only we would inheret that money from your great-grandfather; we do, and nothing happens except realizing money is not the issue (to then completely forget once the money runs out). If only you would stop smoking. And, man, she had a point, I smoked more than two packs a day. Forty cigarettes plus plus. And they are really expensive here, as in most places. After undergoing Electroshock Therapy about a year ago I came back from it without the urge to smoke. I'm currently living what a former therapist calls the smoker's dream, which is to have a loose cig about once every two months. So I'm saving a lot of money which my mother explicitly said was pretty much all we needed to be happy, i.e. for her to stop complaining every single hour of the day... No surprise nothing happens...

Obviously my mom is depressed... But she hates doctors. She keeps giving me hints that she's going to collapse. I do have a bachelor's degree in psychology, but that doesn't make me a psychologist... I originally studied psychology so I could become a Paris-styled psychoanalyst, and gave up that dream when I was diagnosed and told you can't be a psychoanalyst if you have psychotic tendencies (as bipolars and BPDs do). So for the last seven years I've been pursuing a career in literature. But I don't think she's asking for my help as a psychologist... From where I'm standing she just wants excuses to be miserable.

It doesn't seem like there's anything I can do, because no one listens to me in my family. My sister is the one who has her act together. And if I call her to tell her something's wrong with our mother she'll just find a way to blame it on me. I don't see how it is my fault, I don't see how I'm not helping enough... When I was a teenager, doing drugs, with undiagnosed mental illness I was sort of an asshole. But ever since I started getting treatment I've turned it into a conscious effort and life goal to be a genuinely nice guy. To the point where one of the reasons why I try to do well is to dispel this notion that nice guys finish last. So you mean to tell me that I am unconsciously responsable for all that is bad in my family?

I used to get treatment for my BPD. My family is sort of new poor but we have close relatives who are old money. One of these relatives said I had to get treatment from the best: a doctor from my country trained as a psychiatrist in a VIP Ivy League American school. Here they had sort of a team effort philosophy. The VIP would see me half an hour and tell me what meds to take. Then I'd go see someone else for therapy. These guys helped me a lot... They were hippie-ish. For them the key to all my problems was love. "All You Need is Love". Coming from a nihilistic background this was a big deal to me. After a few years it kind of seemed like it was going to happen. I fancied this painter who all my friends thought was the ugliest creature on the face of the earth, but I thought she was a real bad ass Frida Kahlo type of character. So everyone was really happy for me.

I haven't mentioned how I was previously obsessed with drugs and all the years it took for me to realize I was grounded for life regarding drugs... So one of the therapists in the VIP's team suggested an experiment for me. Since I was doing pretty great in every aspect of my life, why not give me the green light to drink a few glasses of wine with my new g/f. Bad idea. I lost the girl and all the stability it had taken me years to build. Madness had me tripping and staring straight into the Sun for fifteen minutes thinking the solar disc could not be a hole in the vault of heaven...

So my family fired that mental health unit. And it is the first example of what an American friend of mine who is also a psychologist calls the insane irrational urge local shrinks have for turning me into a guinea pig... This other dude who called himself a psychoanalyst but wasn't really, not in the sense of being recognized as such by anyone qualified. He was really a psychologist with a Freudian orientation. Apparently he found our conversations so engrossing that one night he had an urge. I was living alone back then and he calls me "Bro, I'm outside your house! Tonight you are going to understand Sigmund Freud!" And that is, thank God, my only cocaine story.

So finally they get this new lady shrink. My mother loves her because she's the first shrink of mine to actually seem to like her. All the others thought she was übertoxic. I went from opposite extremes. A snobbish doctor to a more humble type. Things were cool for a while again. Except when I found out this new shrink had no training in BPD. I'm like, no prob, she can manage my meds and I'll look for a therapist who works my personality disorder. This lady shrink finds out I'm looking for someone else and loses it. I have to go see her and she has a temper tantrum.

So I can't get help for my BPD. My family thinks that if I'm taking meds I should be functional already. Here comes in the American psychologist friend I mentioned. She is like an absolute genius psychologist, who also suffered from BPD and survived it and lives a beautiful life. She lived a long time in my country, speaks the language perfectly, knows the people. She only sees one way out for me... She thinks I need to be hospitalized in a first-world quality hospital for about a year. But I don't have that kind of money...

Although I did mention old money close relatives. Thing is there are three black sheep in my family. Me, my mother, and my grandmother. My grandma's sister is the one who is loaded. She hates my grandmother. And according to my mother the only reason she helps my side of the family is to make my proud grandmother be miserable. My sister, my cousins, everyone can ask the rich aunt for big money. But not me. Being a pariah in my own family there's little practical way for me to even reach this lady. And even if I made it happen behind my mother's and my grandmother's back, she has never even seemed to like me personally. And even though she's rich we're talking about a lot of money here. I'm sure she wastes more than that on skin lotion, but it seems like another defeat waiting to happen.

It gets even better... Because my grandmother was able to help me. She said she wanted me to have this sculpture/painting of hers by a *legendary* Spanish artist. As a poet I dabble in the art world and if I had to sell this painting tonight before midnight I could easily get US$20K. If I had an option other than being consummed to death by BPD, I would not sell this. It is such a miracle of nature... But my mother's siblings said I couldn't have the painting. Nevermind they've stolen millions from my grandparents in land, jewelry, etc.

Finally I think to myself, Marsha Linehan created the golden standard treatment of BPD being herself a victim of this condition. Let me give it a shot. After years of stealing poetic inspiration from horrible, horrible suffering... after years of cursing both life and death, not being able to hold a job anymore, I bumped into a beautiful piece of wisdom... from no other than Stephen Fry... I heard him talk all about the horrors of self-pity and I decided I would give it a try to fight self-pity. It had an amazing outcome.

After years of sorrow where the only thing that was going for me as a grown up was my literary career, I got a job! I'm making money... Like, a decent amount of money... And the job itself is pretty cool. And now my mother is doing everything she can to sabotage me... She keeps all the money I make. My psychologists say that's not a good idea at all... If I make money and spend it it's sort of like Pavlov's dogs. My brain associates work with joy. That would be a smart idea, but my family doesn't care about smart ideas...

So I let her keep the money... Now she has no reason to complain. So then she turns into one of these athletes who is looking for any reason to call out foul. My new job is basically tutoring people, mostly kids, at different subjects.. All of my students are basically gigs to me. Help them out so they pass a test and then good-bye. But there's this one student who is year-round. And he is by far my coolest gig... I'm teaching him how to play the far eastern game of Go. For those of you not familiar, Go is sort of like super-chess. And the dude who got me the job told me these people were insanely strict. Last class, with a mix of temper tantrums and bad ideas, my mother made sure I would arrive an hour late.

In the end I can't even be mad at them. These people survived one of the most brutal Latin American dictatorships... It's like being mad at holocaust survivors... I'll tell you this, though...: death is starting to feel like cutting my losses.
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