and i don’t want my first to be hers.
Terrified of breathing, in case of collapse.
Terrified of existing, in case of relapse.
Fearing the voice clawing this brain,
but craving hunger to flood these veins.
Desperate for relief, for a bite or two,
all this hard work I’ll eventually rue.
Still she screams, oh, how she screams,
this parasitic illness destroying my dreams.
Seeking a way out of one’s own mind,
is successful, sure, but leaves memories behind.
A black pit of time marks the sickest years,
leaving a dissociative gap from a time full of fear.
How impossible it is to escape oneself,
envious of the lives mine might have paralleled.
Instead I exist in an ocean of darkness,
a voice for company tainted by harshness.
There’s no light for me here:
and the bones we hold dear.
Does it ever achieve anything, really?
Will filing a complaint, spending so much time regurgitating the last few months that I rely on my journal to remember, since I dissociate so much, actually change anything for anyone?
It certainly won’t change what’s happened to me. It certainly won’t change the string of emergency department presentations and immediate discharge that have occurred over the past two months. People say that when you feel suicidal, you go to the hospital.
They never told me the hospital wouldn’t help.
In the past two weeks, I have attempted suicide three times, presented to hospital five times, and been admitted only once. Even after absconding from police schedule, I was discharged a few hours later. Even after being stitched up, and confessing I probably would do it again, and I probably wasn’t safe by myself, I was discharged again. Again and again and again I am seeking help, the most proactive and the most compliant I have ever been, and still that help is denied to me?
Does that shock you? It shocks me, as the person saying they were unsafe. It shocks my friends, as the people who take me to hospital, and as the people concerned when I am discharged repeatedly, and proceed to hurt myself some more, repeatedly.
Something is failing here.
It could be the three letters that emblazon my file, those three unfortunately stigmatised letters: bee pee dee. I wonder, without that diagnosis, would the same thing have occurred. If it was depression, and only depression, driving my suicidal acts, would that change things? Are clinicians really so misunderstanding of Borderlines? Still?
I am not seeking attention. I am seeking help. I am asking for a safe space, when I can’t find one anywhere else. I am asking for a safe place because I make every other place dangerous. Because my head is trying to kill me.
I’m seeking justice not for me, but for the people like me: the person who is discharged proceeds to kill themselves successfully, because they’ve been given another opportunity. There is the very, very real possibility that I could have been that person. Somehow, that just doesn’t seem to stick with those charged with keeping me safe.
a few of the regular readers of my blog (you know who you are, though I’m going to call you out anyway – much love to you S, A and Caity May) wanted me to check back in here.
last week, i survived my fifth suicide attempt.
i also survived my 72 hour hold in an unfamiliar hospital in the middle of fucking nowhere, because there were no beds available at the hospital that is actually in my health district. somehow, i also survived the ANGER that kept trying to trap me. the spite that was driving me to self harm. the hatred that was driving my sarcasm and lashing out at people who didn’t deserve it.
i also wrote a song while i was in hospital – my first song!
i can’t really sing, but I’ll post the lyrics here… the beat is super weird by the way, so maybe just read it like a poem with an overarching chorus?
i was high when i wrote this (another first, maybe needing another post – turns out smuggling in contraband to a mental health unit is pretty easy, according to the person i got high with). don’t worry; i edited it while i was sober.
this song is for steff, who doesn’t read this blog, and will probably never have these words sung to her. but, just as poetry is cathartic, it was a big relief to finally say what i wanted to say… unlike her, i guess… you’ll see.
I miss stroking your shaven head.
And tattoos that distract in bed.
Perfume that smells like loving me
But eyes that say we’ll never be.
Your sm-ile said you wanted to be here
But beneath that grin I sensed your fear.
I just don’t know how I’m s’posed to feel,
while my thoughts are with you still.
I’m des-pe-rate darl to hold you once more,
But flirting with you only makes me a whore.
Cause you / have / a girlfriend.
Yeah you / have / commitments.
I see you in all the windows,
While I’m tryna let go.
Whatever you feed, that shit grows
So tell me, hun, what will you sow?
Why don’t we talk this friendship through?
Maybe over a beer or two
As I slowly learn to stop loving you.
I just don’t know what I’m s’posed to do,
now I don’t spend time with you.
I’m des-per-ate darl to hold you once more,
But flirting with you only makes me a whore.
Cause you / have / a girlfriend.
Yeah, you / have / commitments.
Why’d you mess with my head to waste some time?
Instead of growing yourself a fucking spine.
To say all those things you were wanting to say.
I guess it shouldn’t matter anyway.
I don’t even know who I’m s’posed to be,
Now you’re parting ways with me.
I’m so damn desp ’rate to love you some more,
I’ve stopped caring if that makes me a whore.
But what / of / your girlfriend.
And all / those / commitments.
Well good thing I’m persistent.
been in and out of hospital more in the past month than i have in the rest of my life. my doctor and psych decided together that an extended admission was inappropriate for me at this time. when will it be appropriate? when i’m dead? the borderline rage is building and its going to bubble over soon and then i will start hurting myself out of spite to make them see, to force them to see, that i am not okay.
my anatomy exam is tomorrow. i care about that, so i’m going to sit that, and then i’m going to kms.
i have 24 hours to come up with a plan. but it has to be something that will work. stab stab stab, fall fall fall? but i can’t do it at home, because then my housemate will find me. so back to the beach? i dont know. i dont know what to do anymore.
i hate being alive. i hate existing in this space. i take up so much space, too much space.
i can’t do this anymore.
This is going to be a messy post. I’m struggling tonight. So I’m trying to cope with words. Trying to vent out the pain.
i’m giving up on capitals, and most of the required punctuation too – who needs capital letters anyway? not me.
i have been in and out of hospital more in the past three weeks than i have in the other twenty years of my life. in and out of the ambulance. in and out of the arms of paramedics. in and out of restraints and the comatose state of sedation that i find myself in, as i crawl across the floor searching for knives and bang my body into the ground repeatedly, as if that will stop them grabbing me.
why does it always end up like this. why am i always seeking death when i should be celebrating my twenties, celebrating life, enjoying my studies and my friendships and all the dumb shit that twenty year olds do, like party and drink and act recklessly.
all i want to do is jump off my balcony. but i dont think it’s high enough to cause serious damage. it would probably just hurt. three floors to fall doesn’t seem like enough.
fuck. i am one useless, worthless, hopeless piece of shit. i’m pathetic. i can’t even kill myself properly. not with codeine, not with alcohol – not with the poisons that are supposed to do the job. and why do people keep insisting on saving me. I DONT WANT TO BE SAVED/
I NEED A PERMANENT SOLUTION.
if i had a gun, i would have been dead years ago. what can i use that will be more permanent? swing off my ceiling fan? stab myself repeatedly? slice an artery? drink ethanol? or turps? or methylated spirits? or down a bottle of bleach? i have the sickest fantasies – of being so non-compliant that i find myself restrained face down for just a little too long, just long enough for my body to stop working. or of walking into the traffic of the busy highway in the dark, and being crushed beneath the wheels. or maybe i need to jump from the top of the wall at the rock climbing centre, head first so i compress my spine, except the mats might save me, and we wouldn’t want that (i don’t deserve saving)
what. will. work.
you expected something pleasant and hopeful didn’t you? you came to this blog expecting my usual eloquence, the normal banter. well no. fuck that rosie. tonight’s rosie wants to die. tonight’s rosie sees death as her only option and she is so ready to be dragged away in a body bag.
poison, knife, balcony. the trifecta. drink drink drink. stab stab stab. and then fall, down down down all three storeys. cross my fingers and hope for the best.
but i’m a useless piece of shit, so all i’ll be left with is a dissociative mess to clean up. i’m all words, no action, so no wonder nobody ever takes me seriously. just kill me. ffs, just fucking kill me.
Turns out I look my most radiant after two suicide attempts in two weeks.
My existential crises continue to pile on top of one another and still, still, my eating disorder is somehow not a valid thing to kill myself over?
What about when I sob into the carpet over the calories in the two carrots I ate today? What about when I force the hunger out of my body with more and more exercise, until I am beyond empty, and so tired that I stop feeling it? What about the low blood pressure that gets ruled off as inconsequential, and the sudden arrhythmias that strike at my most stressed, but don’t dissipate for days? What about the scars on my body, traversing my forearms and thighs and calves, scars that say I deserve to be punished. I must do better? What about when I would literally rather die than exist?
I can’t exist in this body. I can’t exist in this fleshy form that takes up too much space. I can’t exist alongside Ana anymore – I’ve given up fighting. I tried drowning her out with cough syrup (much, much more cough syrup) and a shit ton of alcohol and the best thing to come out of it is that it made me throw up a lot. Which is nice as a bulimic with an intolerable gag reflex ordinarily unable to purge.
(Yes, I’m still bulimic. No, I do not vomit. Yes, there is more than one way to have an eating disorder. No, I will not be taking questions… but, yes, I have written about that elsewhere on the blog.)
I’m so done with this. I don’t want to be here anymore. My exams in anatomy and neurophysiology (two subjects I adore) are next week and I feel about as prepared as a teabag thrown in cold water still expected to brew a strong cuppa. Not much, in other words.
I’m so done with being eloquent. I’m saving it for my book. Which, UPDATE, I have completed the first draft of and sent off to a bunch of niche Australian publishers in the hope someone picks it up. Would anyone appreciate a sneak peek?
Whatever, I’m out of words. Seeya never.
I don’t recommend drinking cough syrup with suicidal intent. Not because it tastes bad, but because respiratory depression is a rarer side effect than they make out.
Things have been hard again lately. For the first time maybe ever, I thought I might actually been happy – that’s why the blog posts dropped off for a bit there: things were going quite well for me.
But then Ana got loud again. So loud in fact, that I was coerced into suicide attempt number three, which I (obviously) survived. The trigger? I ate some chips, and I’m not allowed to do that, so I had to be punished for breaking the rules, and Ana decided that enough is enough, fat stupid bitch, time to be punished for good. So off we went to the pharmacy, a lie slipping slyly from my lips that my housemate had requested I buy her cough syrup containing a codeine-derivative for her persistent dry cough which she has had for many weeks. Lol, no. I downed it all along with a few beers.
I found myself in the emergency department once again. This time, my therapist had called, and sensing something was off, told me I could either walk the short distance from my university campus to the local hospital, or the police could find me and drag me there. I choose the former: I will never forget the utter violation of being restrained. The chorus I repeated over and over fell on ears that refused to listen: I’d like to leave please. (While Ana whispers, yes, so we can try again, and better. Let’s go home to do it again, and better, because you deserve to be dead). Suffice to say, they were practically the only five words I uttered to the emergency psychiatric team who first interviewed me. Apparently, that was enough for me to be scheduled for admission, and detained involuntarily.
What a fucking mess I’ve made.
Considering my determination to self-harm in this small emergency psychiatric unit, I’m surprised I wasn’t sent somewhere worse, or at the very least subject to seclusion briefly. Three times I reopened recently sutured self-harm wounds with a plastic knife. Countless times I threw my body against the wall, in an attempt to relieve some of the pain generated by the thoughts in my head. I wanted to turn my head into a watermelon – the smashed kind, where grey and white matter dribbled down the sterile walls like the fruit dropped on the floor.
I’ve been released now – not discharged, released. I don’t know what I’m supposed to think or feel or do. Am I supposed to be sad? Or is it the opposite – am I meant to be glad that I woke to face another day?
This admission, I learned that when involuntarily detained, the doctor still retains the right to speak to my parents, even though I always always specifically nominate they be excluded from my care. After all, they do live on the opposite side of the country. And, after all, BPD doesn’t exist to them. I guess them finding out I still struggle is a good enough reason to stay out of hospital from now on – or at least, if there is a next time, which there no doubt will be, I need to lie my way to a voluntary admission.
I’m clutching on tight to my laptop, a good book, and two journals as I attempt to return to my mockery of a life. Three weeks until exams. Three weeks until I can try again.
I’m a what?
Rosie, you are a poet.
I’m a what!?
A poet, Rosie.
I’m a poet!
Yes, Rosie, you are a poet.
Me, a poet? But I’m just Rosie!
Well, “just Rosie”, you, are a poet.
No, I’m just Rosie!
Listen here Rosie, yer gonna get yerself a fountain pen, yer gonna go in a magazine, and yer gonna write poems and shit!
BuT i’M jUsT rOsIe
Hopefully, you too have been blessed with this wonderful video and understand my cute little parody of it. But, even better than being cute and hilarious – it’s my dream come true.
I have had some poems accepted by a literary magazine, to be published in September!
On top of that, I also scored the job I have wanted for a very long time as a science entertainer.
AND ALSO I have found a home amongst some spoken word poets who made once a month to share what they’re currently working on.
So apparently good things can happen to me?
There’s that little voice in my head that’s waiting for the slump, because after the rise, I always seem to crash harder than before. For now, I’m lapping it up. And hopefully this happiness will hang around. Until the next suspicious look someone casts me, or the tone of voice I misunderstand, and I fall into the abyss sideways of the emotional rollercoaster.
M, yeah, not much I can do with this, sorry.
Aren’t discriminatory doctors the absolute worst?
They see me as three letters, as my abbreviation; they see me as the negative adjectives in my notes, in the words “aggressive” and “sedated” and “self-inflicted”.
They don’t see me for what I am: hurting, and in need of help.
This is not true of all doctors, but sadly, it is very true to some. I had a rough night yesterday (Thursday). I contemplated whether or not I needed to go to hospital for my cuts, because I didn’t want to wait and wait and wait only to be turned away and told there was nothing the doctor could do about them. I spoke to a friend who is studying medicine. I spoke to a friend’s mum who is a doctor. I used my own very limited knowledge of wound care and The Internet to figure out that yeah, it was pretty deep, and yeah, it probably wouldn’t heal nicely without stitches.
That’ll heal on it’s own.
Look, I get that I put these wounds on my body, I get that I did this to myself, but do you think I like the scars? Do you honestly believe that in one, two, five or ten years, that ragged wound that you left hanging open will have healed nicely?
I don’t think so.
I think that you’ve been caught in stigma without even realising. I think I’ve been unlucky this night. I think you, the doctor delegated to me, doesn’t understand my condition very well – if at all – and I think your punishing me for punishing myself. You just poked and prodded me, turned my wrist over, checked both arms just in case, then dropped it back at my side. You didn’t even clean it. You didn’t even dress it. You just sent me away again.
This is one of the reasons, the strongest reason, why I wanted to study medicine. Because what happened to me in the emergency department is not okay. It is not okay to treat me as a diagnosis, and not as a patient. It is not okay to fail to offer me adequate care just because my wounds are self-inflicted.
I don’t care what you say; what you did was not okay.
And every time a doctor like you succumbs to the stigma, it makes going to the hospital that much harder. It makes seeking help that much harder. It makes the lives of people like me, of us borderlines, but also of everybody else suffering from a mental illness who needs medical attention, that much harder.
We don’t need that. We don’t need to be rejected more than we have been by our friends, family and colleagues. We don’t need our traumas regurgitated by your invalidation and stigmatisation. We don’t need to be afraid of going to hospital, when the hospital is supposed to be there to care for us, no matter what condition has brought us there. We don’t need any more difficulties piled on top of all the other ones we face, every single fucking day. We don’t need you.
We need your compassion. Your care. Your empathy.
We need to be treated like people, not like letters. We need to be treated like any other patient. And maybe if you got talking to me, like other doctors and nurses sometimes have, then maybe, just maybe, you’ll see we aren’t the Big Bad Borderlines you’ve let yourself believe we are.