Reflections from Behind the Safety of a Keyboard Part 2

How can I possibly sum up the last month or so? A soap opera, only I was the star. I can retain a certain amount of humour with the whole situation, yet I’m uncomfortably aware it is every screen writer’s dream. If it amuses, then let my sorry tale become part of the many situations I understand people have to deal with every day.

When I left you in the last post, I was quite resentful and angry at the sudden upheaval my life had become, and the stress was beginning to show. I was living with my partner whom I had seriously overestimated, and he was in a psychotic state, which I later found out was due to my state of mind and the terse way I had adopted when speaking to him. I don’t deny it, I resented him for not living up for who I had imagined him to be. In the end, the relationship ended with a fizzle not a bang, and I had to pack up the house and all my worldly possessions and made the decision to stay with my mother and nurse my wounds for a bit. It was difficult to be in the same house with someone I really didn’t want to be around, but in his condition I was quite concerned about his reception if his parents agreed to take him back home, as I with my knowledge of psychology, limited as it is, judged myself guardian while he was in such an acute state of mind. I hadn’t realised the effect my emotional withdrawal from Rodney would have upon him; indeed, he was to go on and have two more episodes altogether. Up until this time it has been a matter of constant contact with his psychiatrist; I will admit too that in the five years I’ve known Rodney, I have never liked his psychiatrist, in fact I think she’s been completely ineffectual, or worse. I found out that she’d dropped off his anti-depressants, and the result saw him weeping in my arms about not wanting to live any more; after that I became angry with her too being so lacking in judgement.

This post is in danger of becoming a story about psychosis, but the behaviour of someone in that frame of mind can change dramatically when medications are being altered, sometimes from day to day, and I can see how it might be a scary premise to the uninitiated. As the onlooker, you’re required to make a lot of judgement in regards to their frame of mind, what to expect next, whether you’re going to hide the knives and car keys in a safe place, whether they’re going to bounce into the house on an antipsychotic fuelled high or slink through the house in an endless fascination with morbidity. Perhaps I’m being a tad melodramatic, but then again perhaps not as the day where Rod wept in my arms was followed immediately the next day by the whole bouncing-around-the-house-no -one’s-going-to-kill-my-buzz high. These medications work fast, and the mental adjustments on a daily basis was exhausting to say the least. I feared for Rod’s lack of control and judgement in these situations; the combination of uppers and downers was quite dazzling and I blessed my knowledge of medications for not the first time in my life. I quailed at the antipsychotics, the Valium, then a drug that acts on the nervous system called Lyrica, and on top of that sleeping tablets which are pretty much the same as Valium. For the moment, Rod’s reasonably stable but he’ll be dealing with these kind of episodes for the rest of his life, and the hunt for the right dose of medication continues.

The stress did take it’s toll, so that I became quite ill on the day I was to go to Mum’s and had to be hospitalised, while my sainted mother saw all my furniture and possessions save for personal, loaded into a large crate and safely stored away. I don’t imagine she ever thought she’d be doing that again at her age, but life will throw stuff like that at you from time to time. I also lost my computer  for nearly four weeks to a bad bout of malware and an I.T. guy who was extremely time poor, and in that time I found out just how addicted to the Internet I really am. I might write a post about that and call it ‘Tales from Behind a Hard Drive’, but then I also might come to my senses and have a whinge about something else instead. Not having a computer, I had to admit defeat when it came to starting university this year, but for the moment I’ve signed up for Open 2 Study, just some Statistics and Psychology, just so that when i go back to uni in May I’m in the right frame of mind.

I know I’ve learnt a lot from what’s happened, and that above all I’d like to keep the promises zI made to myself where I would place a greater emphasis on my own happiness and it’s academics that does that. We each have our own way of going, where we’re going to take the easy option and stay with the familiar, or we can choose ourselves and what really matters to us. I’m just the kind of person who tends to thrive in conflict and mayhem, and eventually I come out the better for it. Change doesn’t come without a price, but the rewards are wondrous to behold.





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