Archive | February 2014

Words of Wisdom

Just wake up put your head to think what you are at university for and knuckle down with your studies. Do not waste all this time on Facebook. Socialise in person to relax with your favourite friends and try to be happy.Do your best. Life will always have ups and downs so learn to face them and overcome them but do not publish your FEELINGS on Facebook.

This comment was written to me on Facebook on a message to a group of friends that just frankly and unemotionally excused myself from a social engagement that I did not feel I could participate in.  It was written by a member of my family.  

I can put into words precisely how it made me feel just reading those words from someone who I used to trust as part of my family and it epitomises just the reason why I hesitate and refrain from trusting my family members.  Most of them are nice to me, or at least civil, yet there are always going to be those who refuse to see that messages and offhand comments like the one above have the power to break me.

Part of the reason my mythomania, social anxiety and depression remained undiagnosed and untreated for so long, resulting in countless times when I tried to kill myself and/or self-harm, is because a lot of people still believe that mental illnesses exist only in people’s head and by simply willing them away they will dissolve into nothing.  My mother believes this along with the majority of her family.  On numerous occasions, she has taken away my medication or instructed me to stop taking it and she claims to be a holistic therapist…well, if I did and I would be a danger to myself without the SSRI’s to keep me as level-headed as I am ever likely to be and if I topped myself during that time, that would make my mother a therapist who kills people.  That’s good for business!

I am not well at the moment.  I haven’t left my flat in a week.  I have lied about going out but the shame and guilt that I feel when I just can’t stomach the feeling of being among other people and just when I feel sure I will tomorrow, I read that message and everything comes crashing down. I have tried to tell myself that the person who sent that message has no power over me and therefore neither do his words, but we all know it’s not that simple (if it were, I’d probably be going clubbing tonight).  I wish I could reply and just tell the sender to stick it where the sun don’t shine but I still respect the majority of my elders (like a good Indian girl…) even if I get no respect in return.  I just wish that someone else who saw that message would stick up for me and say what I cannot: that words like those help no one and people who say those kinds of things to people like me are guilty of cyberbullying and victimisation.  I know it’s passing the buck, but when things like that are ignored by those who could and would lose nothing to speak up, the kindness of the human race dies just a little bit more.  With wars in the Middle East and religious extremism I know it is a small thing, but it is the small things in life that matter most…that make us human.

I have been watching the reimagined 2003 series of Battlestar Galactica and the issue of what separates humans from others is a central theme.  It has made me think a lot about what humans endure from themselves and things of their creation.  On that subject, Facebook as a social site is fantastic for so many things, but as a means to inflict your opinions and derision on others, it works unfortunately well too.  I do think that feelings, particularly those of a personal nature, should be kept off Facebook.  I used to expose myself awfully on Facebook and the knowledge that I was vulnerable and baring my soul to that world was part of the reason I began this blog, to put one more button between myself and the rest of the world.  It works.  I did not expose any feeling on Facebook which is what my relative accuses me of so their words were not only hurtful and resultant in me questioning my family’s love and my value to them if they continue to treat me with such disparagement.

Some people think that giving people who suffer from depression and the like goals and targets to achieve is the best thing to do for them.  I agree for the most part.  Aims and goals are good, they give life meaning and purpose, but ordering people with imperatives is undue pressure and makes aims and goals seem impossible and negative.  Capital letters don’t help either.

LaBellaBorgia Speaks,

P. Mistry-Norman

20-02-2014

Hurt and Headaches

One thing that can be noted from my disorders is that none of them come with inherent pain.  I do not suffer from PTSD or have tumours falling out my brain, so the level of physical pain that I deal with is relatively and usually light.  Unfortunately, it has its moments…

Recently, especially as I have been disappearing more constantly into my delusions, I have found myself going to sleep and waking up and existing with really painful headaches.  They are brought on by the delusions but they come and go so fast that it barely seems worth troubling my doctor on account of them.  I do, however, feel my temples becoming taut and squeezing on my poor, little brain.  I am drinking enough and unless I’ve turned into a gigantic whale, I am not dehydrated, but as it wanes and waxes with my delusions and sometimes when I sink too far into depression.

Thus, I find myself currently battling with a lot of mental pain and an increasing amount of physical pain that sleep and pain relief medication can’t cure.  When it is a hardship to get out of bed on the best of days to contend with the outside world because your mind convinces you that everyone and everything in it is thinking badly of you and waiting for you to fail and have a breakdown, that amount of physical pain is enough to convince you that it is not worth leaving the comfort of your bed.

I can cope with a good amount of physical discomfort.  I am no stranger to it.  For, as much as my mind has had a tough life, so has the rest of my body.  If I’m not being raked over the coals because I’ve let myself fall into the category of obesity, there is always something else.  One of the more serious problems associated with my anxiety is that I cannot always eat.  I was thought to have an eating disorder for a while, but that was too basic a diagnosis, and ever since I was prescribed Citalopram (an SSRI medication), it’s got better, but sometimes now and a lot more often before I started on my drugs, as I got anxious eating, my throat would seize up and I would choke on my food.  As time went on, I got more anxious as I contemplated eating in company and so the cycle was begun and has yet to end.  On rare occasions, I could vomit up to ten times before I was done and have been taken to A&E on more than one occasion because my throat refused to cooperate and would not open up again.  The worst times are when I have thrown up so much that I pull muscles in my abdomen or when I regurgitate so much that all I bring up is stomach acid, which aggravates my tonsils and then I get secondary tonsilitis as a result.  The depression that starts because my body refuses to do what it is supposed to do is often enough to convince the best and the sanest of people that their lives are not worth living, but for someone already in the “depths of despair” (Anne of Green Gables) and anxious and scared of what comes out of their mouth and what goes in, it’s enough to drive you to get a knife or something else that can just end all the pain and suffering and hardship.

That was a bit of a tangent that went off into my background, so I’ll return to the subject of my headaches.  If I begin to develop one while I am somewhere in fantasy land, which is down the Avenue of Lost Chances and the 2nd exit off the Roundabout of Abandoned Dreams, it becomes part of my character.  I have a thing where I start pulling my hair out during a headache and I’m not quite sure why or how until after it has passed and I wake up the next morning/evening and look at my pillow.  That is how what happens in my head has ramifications body-wide and how I – with bad, torn hair and no desire to see the outside world – am in my room on the days when I simply cannot bring myself to set foot outside it’s four walls.

LaBellaBorgia Speaks,

P. Mistry-Norman

18-02-2014

Valentine’s Day Virgins

Firstly, I just want to wish everyone a happy Valentine’s Day, whether you have someone to share it with or not, have a happy day.  Though you might be spending the day and the night alone, as I am and always have and always will, just remember that it is only 24 hours out of a whole year.  Secondly, the point of this post is to share the T-rated version of my virginity story and tell you how it’s affected me in the long term and just to caution people who might read this blog on the day before – I suspect – a lot of girls nationwide and planetwide will wake up with their virginity remembered only as a thing of the past.

Some therapists – ineffective therapists… –  I have seen over the past couple of years of my life have put my social anxiety and my depression down to the night I lost my virginity, but they were barking up the wrong tree entirely.  It all started a long time before that.  That night was just the start of the delusions and panic attacks whenever I even contemplate being intimate with another human being again.  I have wondered occasionally after I have had a series of panic attacks if I have some remnant symptoms of PTSD, but that’s unlikely and my life is hard enough without listing PTSD as part of my cocktail of mental disorders.  There was a time, however, when I couldn’t even watch even the most basic and non-explicit of sex scenes without shaking…

It has to be said right now and with complete sincerity and with no blame held that my boyfriend at the time was not and is not to blame for anything that happened on that night.  If anything, he was the victim and I was the culprit.  It was – after all – my body that once again could not do what it naturally should have had the capacity to do.  He was just as – if not more so – scared and saddened by the unfortunate turn of events of that night as me.  It did spell the end of our relationship for two reasons: I could never contemplate being so vulnerable and hurt during intimacy again and what is a teenage relationship that is sexless?  Doomed, that’s what!

I was only in my one and only relationship for a matter of months but this relationship spanned the rites of passage such as leaving school, passing my A-levels, going on my first holiday abroad with my friends.  In short, it was supposed to be the time in which I truly became an adult, but just as my luck would have it, it was the time in which I reverted most and lost most of the independence I pride myself on.  Stupidly, I had convinced myself that it was my happiest time, but in retrospect, that was childish and the trappings of being in a relationship. Though I was under the misguided delusion that I was truly happy for the first time in my life, I was not.  I have something to confess here and now that no one knows about and perhaps will make people truly think I am a foul person, but nevertheless, it needs to be said.  I went into the relationship with only one goal, one stupid, selfish, sinful, despicable goal in mind: to lose my virginity before I went to university.  What did not occur to me at the time of planning was that not only was I divesting myself of my virginity in an abhorrent manner, but that – unbeknownst to me – I was taking my boyfriend’s virginity in awful circumstances and with terrible motivations and I did not foresee the consequences of my actions: in short, I deserve all that happened to me on that night but I regret so terribly what I inflicted on a man who was my friend and at one point my best friend and someone I respected.

When you lose what little you treasure and respect of yourself, of course, bad things will befall you and it is your lot to take them and accept them as your dues.  I have done that.  I know that I deserve all the bad things that happen to me in life.  Though I have never possessed much self-respect, I lost the minute amount that I ever had in the moment that I decided to act on my plan and I lost everything else including my innocence the moment I knew that plan was going to succeed on that night.

Discussion and reflection aside, I am now going to tell you what actually happened in České Budějovice.  At least, my story has a somewhat exotic location…  I was in the Czech Republic on holiday with my friends and my boyfriend after Year 13 was over and before we all had to receive our A-level results.  It was about midway through the vacation and we both decided to do it having done just about everything else.  Everyone knows that your first time is not as romantic and effortless as some films and TV shows make it out to be, but it’s also not supposed to be the polar opposite!  Carrie comes to mind…

It was a bloody mess.  That is the frank and succinct way to describe the night.  It was going quite well, but in the end, I had to bring everything to a halt because it all hurt too much.  Naturally, I knew I should expect some discomfort, even severe pain, but nothing and nobody prepared me for the agony that it was.  I do blame girls and women of my acquaintance and even society in general for that slightly because there are so few people with whom you can discuss the issue of virginity and what happens when you are going to lose it.  You cannot talk to your mother (and certainly not my mother!) about it, it’s hard to talk about it with other members of your family and if your only female best friend had an easy ‘transition’, you’ve got very little to go on…

Once the motions had stopped, I went away and locked myself in the bathroom and was sick for about 10 minutes straight.  There was also so much blood.  It took me more than half an hour to clean myself up and feel steady enough to leave, in which time he did knock on the door and ask if I was still alive.  When I went back out, red-eyed and already dying inside, it was clear that I was not the only one who had been weeping.  He thought he had killed me there was so much blood and after a confused and awkward couple of minutes, all we did was cuddle for the rest of the night, though I’m pretty sure neither of us got a restful night’s sleep that night.

That is all the detail I am going to go into – it’s enough, don’t you think?  But, the problem with the topic of virginity is that so few people speak about it openly and honestly and if people did that more, I might not hate the thought of relationships for myself and I wouldn’t be looking at a future of single motherhood and be constantly trying to repress my sexuality and become asexual.  It was in the weeks before that I could have benefited from a wider circle of female friends and better relationships with the female members of my family.  To give you a better picture of what I was like in the aftermath, I direct you to the BBC miniseries The Crimson Petal and the White based on the Michel Faber novel of the same name.  The character of Mrs Rackham, played by the talented Amanda Hale, is a mentally ill woman who keeps to her bed after it is implied that her introduction into the conjugal bed was less than gentle and the delivery of her only child was traumatic enough to render her childlike and fragile, was basically how I felt for so long and in some ways, the sexual and adult side of me still feels like Mrs Rackham.  I do encourage you to give the miniseries a chance and watch it if you haven’t already done so as a beautifully produced piece of costume drama that was my life for a month or so and really helped to get me back to the land of the sane and living as far as I ever would return to it.  I still can’t listen to The Four Seasons’ song “December 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” without cringing, which is a shame because it’s a really catchy song but its subject is approached from such a male perspective and with that ilk of male flippancy.

I still cannot watch love scenes without recollecting what happened to me and what I did. I know I’ve said too much but it’s something that I should have told a lot of people much sooner. The only people I have told are my closest circle of friends and a girl, who just wanted to lose her virginity in a nightclub in an against-the-wall arrangement with a stranger, and I wanted to stop her from making the same mistake I did of treating my virginity callously and underestimating its power over me and my life.  I would not wish my existence on my worst enemy and though I have acted selfishly in the past, I do everything in my power now to help people and stop them from making the same mistakes I have made.

Trust me, I know how self-aggrandising that sounds but I do care, probably too much, about others to watch and let them suffer as I have and do.  Since I enjoy myself and take pleasure from life vicariously primarily by watching others both in reality and onscreen and by letting characters live in my head and revel in life through the vessel that is my body and mind, I have to care so deeply about what other people do and think and feel.  I just wish others did the same enough to speak more openly so that other people might learn from their mistakes and avoid such unnecessary and excruciating pain and suffering.

I apologise if this post has offended you or made you wary of what you do tonight but I hope it helps just one person somewhere and if it does, it’s worth it.

LaBellaBorgia Speaks,

P. Mistry-Norman

14-02-2014

The Worst Side of Me

I have written ad nauseam about my delusions, my social anxiety, my depression and everything else I face on a daily basis at the same time as having to face my lecturers and tutors at university, but the one thing that I have only alluded to and claimed to suffer from is my mythomania.  This I will remedy today.

Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”  Though he was arguably one of the smartest men of the 19th century, I can guarantee he knew no one who had to live with mythomania…  It is one of the mental disorders I have lived with for longest, outliving even the depression.

Lying and bending the truth is such a commonplace thing in today’s society (don’t worry I’m not turning this into a treatise on deception!) and most of you will have heard at some time or another, the terms ‘pathological lying’ and ‘compulsive lying’.  I have looked into both of these things and what I have comprehended from my gander on the Internet is that compulsive liars need lies to protect their egos and regret the deceit, but pathological liars lie to obtain their goals and have no qualms about doing so.

Now, I can tell you that I fit into neither category and thus can only be defined as a mythomaniac because I do feel guilt – of the most painful and devastating ilk – and it is not always a conscious decision to tell a lie.  Don’t get me wrong: a lot of the time I am responsible for the utter crap that comes out of my mouth and I openly and willingly acknowledge that, but at other times, I most certainly am not!

I had a very memorable and humbling experience when I was seven years old during my first year at the school that was my home until I was eighteen which I believe I can hold responsible for the conception of mythomania in my young, virgin head.  I won’t describe it in too much detail, even though I recall it as though it was yesterday, because I am currently on a bit of a roll mentally and I don’t want to have a nightmare about it tonight and relapse, but I’ll give you the cliff notes!

One of my friends, whom I knew because she lived in the same village as me, told me after a (what turned out to be fake!) phone call to her mother that her brother had died in tragic circumstances.  I believed her – seven year old that she was then too – and commiserated with her and went with her to the Head’s office and all that jazz.  Before I knew what was going on, I was being called in to all sorts of offices myself and being asked where I was at the time of the telephone call and what I had said.  I had no clue what was happening, but the teachers seemed to think I had informed ‘my friend’ that her brother had copped it.  That was not all, for when I claimed innocence, still no one believed me, not even my own parents.  Eventually, the true perpetrator confessed all and then I was apologised to profusely, but that couldn’t undo what had already been done.  In those couple of days, the days when I was known throughout the lower school as the very worst kind of person: a liar and a loner, I had been shown that deceit and an honest look could achieve things and bear fruit.  I know I did not consciously decide to start lying but I do truly think that this incident forced that concept into my brain and before I could eradicate it, off I went lying and bending truths.  Needless to say, that was the end of little, innocent me…

All through my formative years I lied.  I didn’t always get caught.  I didn’t always know I had told a lie until after I had spoken the words.  Sometimes – if I was answering a question or just filling in a silence – there would be nothing to prevent me from being honest, but instinctively a lie would fall from my lips and then I couldn’t go back.  Have you ever seen a web of lies?  No, course you haven’t, because they’re metaphorical!  But, I have been trapped in them for so long that the spiders have invited friends over to partake in the delight is me because there was no escape for me.  Certain doom was in my future and I couldn’t flee from it no matter what I did.

At school, you would have thought someone would have noticed and called me on it, but this did not happen.  Of course, people noticed that I lied most of the time but sadly, I was enabled by their infinite understanding.  My school was both the best and the worst place for me.  It was great because it furnished me with the home-from-home that I needed and craved because I loathed and suffered in my familial home but all the extra consideration and leniency I merited because of my dire domestic situation worked against me in terms of my mythomania because instead of punishing me for its presentations, I was let off the hook.

Now that I am at university and am receiving a king’s ransom’s worth of help from various campus medical, academic and administrative services, I still find that I lie to people about various things and I get away with it, just because so few people are aware of it and even less aware that I suffer from it.  Just as a sidenote, isn’t it an interesting thing to say: I suffer from it?  It implies I’m the one who truly suffers from mythomania, and in some ways, I guess I really do, but with that particular ingredient in my cocktail of mental problems, it’s probably everyone I lie to who suffers the most.  That realisation is making my heart heavier even as I write but it is true.  How despicable I must be that I’m only realising that now!  Of course, I knew I was hurting people with every word but I always thought of myself as the one and only victim.  You can all call me stupid now if you like because that is precisely how I’m feeling now.  To quote Sherlock: “Off piste a bit, back now, phew!”, and in doing so I return to the topic of awareness of mythomania because I truly believe that if someone during my pubescent years at school would have called me out on it or just realised that it was present, I might have been able to get some help sooner and possibly, just maybe I might have been able to hit it on its proverbial head.  As it is now, now that I’m as much of an adult as I am ever likely to be, it feels distinctly like I’ve missed the opportunity.  So the moral of this particular paragraph is: don’t enable people who lie because there maybe something more behind it than just artless fibbing.

As I said earlier, this blog is my only completely and entirely point blank honest mode of communicating.  That does not mean that everything else I say is false, but I lie in my personal journal, I lie in life, I will most likely discover a rather witty way to lie in death, but I do not lie in blog!  Just thought I’d reaffirm that now…seemed like the most prudent thing to do.

On the subject of coming clean and confessing to lies, which is something I have done in the past in order to wipe the slate clean, though it did turn out that all the slate needed was a clean so there was more space to fill with new lies, I would just like to tell you about a bit of a harrowing mini-episode in my life that happened during my sixth form years (I forget which one).

I spent a week truly loathing myself and wallowing in self-pity and pondering my sorry lot and bewailing my existence but at its conclusion I decided that I would come clean and disclose all the untruths I had told in the past ten or so years to all my friends and acquaintances via a Facebook status.  Don’t I just wish that somebody, anybody had been aware of my plan so that they could have convinced me not to do such a tomfool thing.  Sadly, I don’t have the luxury of a guardian angel – I don’t deserve one – and I let myself in for a world of hurt.

Most people just crucified me on Facebook and let it be online but not bring it up in person, which I was able to cope with as I find trolling and Facebook and/or Youtube and/or Fanfiction.net insults and negative comments fine to cope with as there is no tangible person associated in my mind with the words.  There were, however, as there always are in these types of situation, a select few who thought I needed to suffer a bit more.  That was a bit more gruelling but the odd, offhand comment calling me a liar walking to and from classes and at breaks wasn’t unbearable – I just hid from people but as a socially anxious person, that was quite agreeable to me.  The worst moment which has stuck in my memory and will permanently be plastered there occurred during one of my French lessons while the teacher was absent.  Our French AS level (I’ve remembered!) class was only small, consisting of approximately 7-8 people.  A guy who was in my house and whom I knew relatively well decided to reference my mythomania and my revelation just in a dull and unrelated conversation and I swear – slightly hyperbolically – that the shock nearly killed me.  At the very least, I was seconds away from a conniption fit when it happened.  I froze.  I ceased to exist.  I went to my happy place, if you will.  I would have completely lost control of my nervous system had one of my best friends at the time not just stood up for me and rebutted that I was actually quite brave in my actions and caused my attacker to shut the hell up quickly.  I will never forget the gratitude and shock and relief at that precise moment.  It remains one of the few occasions in my life where a man – or anyone else – has stood up for me and not left me out to dry by myself.  The funny thing is: when I thanked him for his chivalry later, he had completely forgotten that he had done it.  Just goes to show…

The best thing about university is that although classes can – in select modules – be that size, people respect each other.  For, I do my best to appear unapproachable in lecture halls and classrooms because I cannot even contemplate speaking to a stranger without feeling physically sick but everyone is mature enough, respectful enough and more crucially, insightful enough to see and understand that, and then give me a wide berth.  That is the great thing about university.  People are different, can be different and can be allowed to be different.

Hope today’s post proved insightful and hopefully, educational, for you.

LaBellaBorgia Speaks,

P. Mistry-Norman

11-02-2014

Fictional Families

I’ve been watching clips of Parade’s End today and I do not know whether I ought to commit myself to watching the first episode.  I know it shouldn’t be a war in the Middle East type of decision but for me and knowing the way my mind might take to the series, particularly because a certain Mr. Cumberbatch is starring in it, it is a question of whether I am willing to replace my current obsession with Sherlock with Parade’s End.

Believe me, I know how ridiculous and melodramatic it sounds when I say that the decisions I take to watch a new series or movie have the potential to run my life for the next few weeks, months or years, but it is the genuine truth.  The characters I allow to place roots in my mind never leave.  They may take a backseat or go on holiday but they never leave.  It is painful and at the moment, my mind is running at 110% with all the people that are trying to gain control of it.

Winning at the moment are Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes.  They’re even managing to keep the indomitable Lucrezia Borgia at bay and she has had dominion for about six months.  It was a bit of a coup d’etat on the part of the Holmes brothers as it took a lot out of me to be Lucrezia Borgia.  Feeling as her was too hard, too much heartache and unrequited love for me to manage.  It was almost as if I was longing for someone to take over and then I was introduced to Sherlock which did the job adequately enough.

Even now as I am writing, I can see them sitting across from me in my mind’s eye and they’re watching me with worried, unquiet expressions and my chest is becoming constricted and my heart is trying to escape from my body.  Now, Sherlock is holding my hand and telling me it’s all going to be just fine and to calm down because people love me.  Of course, none of the people he means – he means Tyrion Lannister, Sansa Stark, Cesare Borgia etc. – are real but they are still my family and I need them just as much, if not more, than my blood-family.

I know it must be hard to take me seriously after reading all of this but it helps that I can just say this stuff honestly and without fear of judgment on this blog and it was John Watson who convinced me to start this blog in the first place.

Sleeping alone never helps.  That is the ultimate cause and if my social anxiety and mythomania would let me stomach and keep another person in my life, I might not have such a problem with imagined, delusional families of fictional characters that I need in order to survive.

LaBellaBorgia Speaks,

P. Mistry-Norman

08-02-2014

Unhappy Marriages Make Unhappy Children

Weddings and getting married are things that I have been thinking about recently, and when I say recently, what I really mean is since about 4am as I’ve been up all night.  People who have managed to get me to speak honestly about the subject of marriage and its role and importance in my life will be well aware of what I believe it is and how I approach it, but I’m going to lay it out for them more clearly and all the rest of you lovely lot.

To begin with, I have to remind you that I told you a few posts ago that I do not see myself ever entering into another romantic, adult relationship ever again in my life.  This might prompt you to ask why marriage matters at all then, but let me assure you that it does, especially as I intend to have children later in life and I come (at least half of me does anyway!) from a traditional Indian family, so with children in mind, the concept of marriage will be present in my future.  In this post, not only do I wish to expound on my opinions on marriage as a real notion but I am also going to explore how I feel and what happens in my mind when I watch acted weddings and fictional weddings onscreen and in literature.

I have long since abandoned all belief that I am a romantic at heart, which I do think I used to be when I was a lot younger and still thought that Disney princesses could be real women and that happy endings were possible in life.  That part of me was decimated violently while I was in my first and only proper, somewhat steady relationship and I have no desire to return to that incarnation of myself who felt she had to jump through countless hoops and give away pieces of myself and sacrifice who I was and what I believed in and thought right to be in a relationship and not to be laughed at for a few months.  That will never happen to me again, I am resolved on that!  From that educational experience, I have learned my limits and I now know that if I ever got some poor bugger to tie the knot with me, I would destroy that person’s soul because in some ways, I am the most mature person I know, but I am also the first to admit that where relationships are concerned, I am one of the most immature people I know.

I have watched my parents’ marriage from just outside the heart of it and I know what an unhappy marriage is, an unhappy marriage is my old friend and longtime companion…  I know what it is to go to bed listening to my parents arguing and not knowing when they would stop, I know what it is to wake up and have the first thing I hear be a domestic and I know what it is to see the looks on other adults’ face when you happen to mention in polite conversation that your parents have slept apart since before you can remember.  Needless to say, my parents’ unhappy married life has affected me and while I can say that I know maybe a handful of married couple, it is not a majority, not in the least.

Something that has affected my life probably more is the fact that I believe my parents should have applied for divorce while I was still young.  It is likely that I will never forgive either my mother or my father for being too stubborn and too incapable of living without the other (only on a practical level!) to leave, as my father could not keep house without my mother and my mother would not ever be/remain solvent for long enough to live without The Bank of Dad.  My perception of their marriage is that neither are made better by it and both are made significantly worse.  Another result of the marriage is that it (sort of…more on this later) produced me and I am a mess, a problem and if the world was right and just, I would not be here to suck the life and destroy the souls of anyone who gets close to me.

Ironically, maybe it could be said that I am the personification of my parents’ marriage: I am silent, I am unhappy, I should never have been, I sleep alone and I cannot live without my father and I am a liar.  That has just occurred me, so forgive me if it’s a little overly English Literature A-levelesque!

I only found this out while I was applying for my first adult passport – if you can believe it – that I was born out of wedlock and that my parents were wed only after I was born.  Words cannot adequately describe how deceived and wrong it made me feel at a time in my life when I was constantly walking on the edge of the cliff of life and death.  Whilst I do not believe that people have to be married to have children, the relationship between the parents-to-be has to be firm and steady enough to bring a child into its folds and discovering that my parents most likely only married because I was born and so they would not have to lie to their families and me, turned me into a lie in turn. Finding out the way I did also changed my life into something out of a bad soap plot and when your life appears comical to you, there’s nothing more worthless in the world…

Having a child for me is going to be (I just know it is because it simply has to be) my breath of fresh air and my reason for living through all of this crap.  It is what I am due from the world and the universe and the cosmos and I am well aware that life is not fair and God acts in mysterious ways but it is that fragment of my dreams that I cling to in order to get through the nights of tears and the days of grief.  One of my greatest fears is that I will turn into my mother and most of my friends know that that usual compliment, “you look like your mother”, is like a punch to the abdomen for me and results in me asking firmly with tears in my eyes for its giver to take their words back.  If I subjected a child of mine to an unhappy marriage that turned them into me, I would never, ever forgive myself.  It would be a crime against motherhood and life and God to make another human being like me just through bad parenting and I am still convinced that my life experiences and knowledge will help me become a good mother.  I’ll have to be as I am going to be walking the path of parenthood alone.

The Ancient Greek word for soul-destroyer is ψυχολέτησ – something I found while I was looking for something to use in a new tattoo, but I thought better of it as both of my tattoos represent hope and what I am aiming for in life, not what I am going to try to leave behind me once I have my family.  As I have proffered the opinion that I am the personification of my parents’ marriage, maybe it is truly marriage that I see that has destroyed my parents’ and my souls.  I know (to paraphrase one of the most annoyingly coined phrases of the 21st century) institutions don’t destroy souls, people do, so I cannot truly find marriage ultimately culpable, but the human part of me rather than the logical and sensible part of me does.

Now, enough said about that I think, so on to how I see it in media…but first please, let me know what your opinions are on TV weddings in this little poll I’ve set up.

I cry during weddings on TV.  I cry a lot!  It really is obscene and one occasion where I really wept and wept and wept was the “Sherlock” season 3 wedding of John and Mary.  It wasn’t even the fact that this danger-loving war veteran managed to get his fiancee to say “I do”, it was the title character’s reaction because nine times out of ten, that is precisely my reaction.  I do apologise now if I give anything from the episode away, but it really did span the gap between reality and delusion for me on how I am during weddings on TV and in life.  It was eerie actually because I was feeling completely in sync with Sherlock Holmes and while I was in the emotions, I was watching him be in his (if that makes any sense?) and react on television.  Of course, I’m not a “high-functioning sociopath” but there were elements of Sherlock’s best man speech that made me think, “yeah, I’m like that too”.

Particularly the part where he insults everyone and says some truly awful things but then admits that he is the worst and most awful man alive but he adores John and would do anything for him through his marriage along with his wife.  That – to me – is what a marriage is: it’s doing anything for the one you love.  Sherlock is a great example as he would not really change anything about himself.  Along the way, he makes sacrifices for and compromises with John and Mary but he never concedes any part of his essence.  Marriage should make people better and then people can be better in pairs, not worse together.

And on that cheery and slightly pedagogic note, I’ll say goodbye for today.

LaBellaBorgia Speaks,

P. Mistry-Norman

07-02-2014