Friday, October 21, 2005

This post was written in one go without stopping and is therefore rubbish so please don't read it.

What the hell is wrong with me. That is a statement, not a question. I write it as a question by putting the word 'what' at the beginning of the sentence, and yet refuse to round it off nicely with a question mark. It isn't even a rhetorical question. It's a statement that is implying that there is something wrong with me, but also allowing room for there to be nothing wrong with me.

"But" you may insist "that is bollocks! Léonie you are a massive idiot."
A ha. Yes. Maybe THAT is what is wrong with me. I am a massive idiot. That would certainly explain a thing or two.

You may have noticed that this post is meandering gently along on a little path just over on the wrong side of sense.

This is because what I really want to do is to write about myself in that self-indulgent manner that I have. I want to ask questions and expell my demons into this old PC sitting in front of me. I want to tell it that I'm feeling bad, that I'm feeling lonely and hurt and upset. I want to expound on my pain. I want to tell people how much I need warmth, affection and comfort but how scared I am that, if I ask for it I might get it and then I'd feel guilty and humiliated and sick. I am scared because I can see the contradictions in my instincts but I can't help them. I am confusing strength with coldness, confusing self-assertion with hard control.


Is how I'm feeling. I want to tell everyone to fuck off and leave me alone, but I want them to know that what I really mean is please, please. Help me.

I think I'm feeling this today because I have have seen the results of my pride and refusal to deal with my pain and I have seen the ease with which some other people admit they are hurting and accept it. They aren't ashamed of it, they cope and deal and then it can run its course and go away. I want this. I want to know this: why does it make me guilty and angry and riddled with the bullet holes of my own inner battles?

In the past when I have felt depressed and angry and hurt I have cut my own arms with a razor. When I went to the doctors the first time I stumbled in there as a result of a promise made to my boyfriend at the time. I didn't care about it myself but I DID care about how much it upset him so I went. I sat sullenly in the office of the local GP and stared out of the window, at the crayon drawings on the walls, at my knees. Anywhere but the face of the man sitting opposite me. He asked what the matter was, the standard question. I think perhaps I'm depressed, I replied, a question mark in my voice. I sometimes cut myself on my arms. I turned over my left arm and showed him the lines, these fine red slices which were, on closer inspection, ragged and raw. Oh, he said. I see. Well. Why are you doing that?
I thought about it.
I don't know, I replied. I suppose, well. Why not?
Are you unhappy?
I don't know. I suppose, no? I don't know.
Hmm, came the response. He paused, staring at my face.
Timewaster, I could feel him thinking. Stupid, melodramatic idiot.
God, I was thinking. I hate this. I hate the doctor's. I'm only here because of Dan. I'll go soon.

Finally he said something. Triumphant.
It's summer soon. He pronounced the words slowly as I tried to work out where he was going with this. You won't like it.
I looked at him. Just, looked.
I know what you girls are like, he continued. Oh, ok, I thought. I know where he's going.
Pretty girl like you, you'll be wanting to wear short sleeved tops and the like, because of summer, and then you won't like that. He gestured at my torn arm with a vague sweep of his large, doctorly hand.
I smiled. I won't care, I said. I don't care.
You will, he intoned, gravely. You will.
No. I won't. I don't. And I won't. I stared at him. Amused and let down all at once. And kind of relieved.

I am a self-destructive person. I hated the person that told me repeatedly that they didn't like my unhappy side, that I should just put it all aside. I think, though, what I really hate was the implication that it was possible to change, because if it is then I should but I feel like I can't. I cling fiercely to my own capacity for furious pride and self-loathing, as if it makes me different and strong. I know that's a contradiction. I am capable of such fury, anger and passion, but it is mainly directed inwards and I am fucking bored of it but I can't help it.

I don't know what is wrong with me. I see a stark contrast every day between myself and the people that see things how I want to see them. Those who don't put more pressure on themselves than they would put on other people. I am my own pushy mother, playing down things I achieve as soon as I achieve them, setting each goal a bit further away as I draw nearer to the last one. Even my sense of humour seems bitter and cold now, and that is all I have.

When I lived in Paris when I was 18 I was so miserable. I had no friends apart from this strange flatmate who was nocturnal, who occasionally took me to the theatre to see Kafka plays in french. He sometimes organised my drawers when I wasn't there, which was a little disconcerting. I had a boyfriend back at home who I missed furiously but who was ill and making my life hell. Some of the things he said to me and about me during that time still ring in my ears. The things he made me feel are still in me, filed away and ready to be plucked out for inspection at any given moment of self-torment. I should have gone home. I should have walked away, when the pain in my stomach became screaming agony, when I had endured weeks on end with no contact with anybody apart from a far away, abusive voice, accusing me of things I'd never heard of with people I'd never met, and telling me it wished I'd just die.
Just fucking die.
I wish now that I had gone home, accepted that I wasn't happy and that I could make the decision to escape. I wish I hadn't tortured myself the idea that escape was running away, and that running away was giving up, and giving up was weak. I felt weak anyway, for not making the most of it. I felt disgusted at myself.

I should have just cut my losses.

There are many things I feel I could've done differently had I cut my losses. Cut myself some slack. But I never do either of those things. What I do, instead, is wait until the pain of pressure gets too great and then just cut myself. Perhaps to compensate for all the losses and slack I should have been cutting before. I cut my arms and it releases something, it validates something else and there is a moment when I feel like I'm alright. Just, alright. Not failing, not striving, not justifying desperately to myself or anyone else what I'm doing with my life and why I'm doing it, but just being.

Again, a contradiction. Endearing, isn't it?

I really feel like I need someone to help me. I can't do this on my own. I can't but I have to. I want help but when someone sits and watches me cry and tries to help me I want to push them and tell them to stop. I don't want help. I don't want to be told it's all going to be alright, I don't want someone to tell me they love me and that I'm not a fucking stupid fucking idiot bitch because I find it too humiliating that they see me so vulnerable. This, I am beginning to suspect, may not add up.

I dread the nights I wake up every hour on the hour shaking and soaked, and panicked because there is nothing to panic about and yet, and YET I am panicking. I see people I love and want them to hold me, to hug me, and yet I don't know why and can't ask. I don't want them to touch me. I am relieved when I can be on my own again because then maybe people will stop expecting things from me. Maybe I can stop expecting to be able to figure everything out myself.

Oh I don't fucking know.

Please disregard. The funny will be rejoining us shortly, it just popped out for a breather.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

x x x

1:39 pm

Blogger Adrian said...

Cutting yourself does two things. It makes the pain real. It translates something emotional and something we don't quite understand something that's just this swirl of unhappiness we don't quite know how to deal with, into something obvious. Something with cause.

It's easy to know where physical pain comes from. We hurt because there is this bleeding slash on our arm. It's obvious. It makes us feel that it's easier to deal with as we hurt but we know why. The bleeding makes the why obvious. Unlike that nasty crappy emotionally depression, which we don't really know why, and we don't know how to stop it and we don't know that it will heal. Cuts always heal.

The other thing cutting yourself does, is it releases endorphins into your system. Your body chemistry is deigned that way, so that it hurts less. Endorphins are the happy chemical, so you actually feel better when cutting yourself because of all those happy little endorphins are now roaming around your brain. The problem with this (or at least the problem for me was) that those endorphins are addictive. The same as any other drug.

This is the same reason some people get addicted to piercings or tattoos. And it's dangerous territory. Because it becomes really easy to cut yourself to solve every problem. Or deal with everything. And you get into dangerous territory of going too far. I almost lost mobility in two fingers by cutting too deep with a knife that was sharper than I thought once.

I can't offer any advice on how to work through the reasons behind this. I stopped cutting myself when a friend died of cancer, and I recalled a conversation where he was complaining about "shin splints" and I was saying "But Neil, your pain is real, you know what it is and how to deal with it. My pain is emotional, and not real and harder to deal with". Neil's shin splints turned out to be cancer that killed him 4 years later. I realised that I didn't need to cut myself to make my pain real, I just needed to try deal with it better. Haven't cut myself since.

If you want to talk to some random stranger, feel free to mail me, and I would be glad to just chat. Otherwise, just grin and bear it, and know that the emotional pain will end. All bad things do (it's a bi like constipation that way, eventually you get passed it)

Sorry, don't know what else to say, but life can be shit sometimes. Get through the shit and life can be great.

1:48 pm

Blogger Doug said...

While I have never cut myself, I was going through some MAJOR depression not very long ago. A friend of mine recommended a cognative therapist because they don't analyze your problems, they let you talk and steer your speech in different directions by asking questions. Then they ask you questions and basically help you find your own answers rather than trying to give them to you.

Seeing this therapist helped put my problems out in the open so I didn't bottle them up all the time (which I did a few years ago and I think that is some of the reason why my ex-wife felt unloved and looked outside the marriage for a lover). I found my blog helped a little and talking to people I din't know helped alot. So as adrian said, if you need some random unknown person to talk to, drop me an email.

While I am not a fan of medicine in general, I have seen anti-depressants work for a very close friend. She is more poised and relaxed while taking them. When she isn't, she can be exactly as you described yourself.

There is plenty more for me to say, but then the comments section will be twice the size of the post. I'll keep you in my thoughts.

2:00 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

mr Léonie head,

I love you so much, don't know what else to say, is good to be able to read how you're feeling though. Ring me or text if you want to..

Good luck with all the gigs this weekend- have lots of fun, love you xxxxxxxx

2:33 pm

Blogger WhoKnows said...

I know you asked us not to read it, but did anyway, and - so impressed. That you said it. I think that's really courageous and shows how much you do want to connect with others and yourself in an honest way; to post it even though a massive part of you probably regrets it and is ashamed of it. That some part overrode that and posted it anyway... maybe its the contradictions that will save you!

It sounds really fucking awful too - and I don't mean that lightly - and I wish like others who read it that there was something to say that would help, but (there's not and) I know in your position I would find it off the mark and patronising for someone to feel like they could give me some advice and all the chaos and confusion would disappear.

You sound like an incredible person, intelligent and inspiringly articulate and engaging even from such a painful and uncontained place, and the capability of being deeply honest with yourself, which I don't think many can claim. I felt hope reading your piece - the fact that you wrote it. Please never give up, and I hope the people who love you can see through to what you need, and that you can too.

3:51 pm

Anonymous Chris said...

love you
Chris xxx

5:34 pm

Blogger Bug said...

I don't know what to say, honey, except that you're my friend (an internet one, but no less important) so you hurting is not a good thing

For now I'll just send kisses and hugs and a wish that things get better soon


10:04 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I admire you enormously - not because of this post, but because of all the others in your blog seen in combination with this one. You are a truly amazing person, to have these dark feelings that should be able to destroy you, and yet also have the beauty, sensitivity, sense of humour, depth of thought and love for life that shines through everything else you write. You are a winner, whatever you might sometimes think. You ARE winning. You manage to live with these feelings and yet to be everything you are. I just wanted to say that I think you are fantastic.

Thank you and well done for writing this.

1:44 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...


7:02 pm

Blogger Dancinfairy said...

I read this post yesterday and it was too big a deal for me to write a quick comment on, I wanted to think about it. Now I have all I can say is:

*Cyer-hug* Honey - You constantly amaze me with your funny and your very endearing yet slightly mentalness and to find out you have all this inside you too. Wow. Stay strong sweetie.

4:41 pm

Blogger anna said...


5:49 pm

Blogger C said...

There's nothing really that I can say to make you feel better except that I wish you get through feeling like this. And hope that everyone who’s commented has made it known to you that you’re a special person who’s made a lasting impression on us all.


11:09 am

Blogger lady miss marquise said...

Wow. Thank you for this. Don't know what else to say... but thank you.


11:38 am


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