Tag Archive | mythomania

The Day My Heart Broke

As you will have realised by now, this is the place where I share my darkest and innermost secrets and memories and experiences.  I have written of my virginity, my mental health illnesses, and the demise of my family and the dashing of the majority of my dreams.  So now I am going to share a very poignant and traumatic memory as I have currently gone off my pills in a social experiment to prove – somewhat self-destructively – to my mother that every time she takes away my tablets or chides me for taking them or the like, she is more or less instructing me or relegating me to suicidal tendencies and periods of severe and excruciatingly painful depression.  This memory came to mind particularly as I am getting a tattoo on the day after my birthday which has the date when my heart was broken irreparably.  29th May 2013.

Basic Hand of Fatima with Heart design by Ellie Hall

Basic Hand of Fatima with Heart tattoo design by Ellie Hall

So, as you can see from that date I survived it and have resigned myself to an unhealed heart and a life without the love of a partner.  People have called me weak, lazy, sensitive, crazy and a plethora of other negative and hurtful things over the years, but I may be all of those things (from time-to-time!) but my one redeeming aspect is that I am still here, I’m still fighting and I try every day to convince myself that driving a knife through my ugly body (seriously, I could be a study on physiognomy!) is a bad idea.

Many people with depression and other mental health difficulties fall when conversations like the one I’m about to share with all of you – and I hope you’ll read it with an open mind, as usual – occur, but I put myself out there and opened my breast to the dagger that was thrust into it.  I asked for it and though before I was dealt an almost fatal blow (I won’t lie, my emotions in the aftermath of the final part were all over the place and in the time directly after I read it all, my death was not far off) I am now glad I was told the truth so candidly.  For, although the 29th was one of the worst days of my life, in the beginning of June ’13 I had no false hope where the love of my life was concerned.  Yes, I still call him the love of my life because he is and will always be but now I do not live in the expectation of my feelings being mutual or reciprocated in any way.  I am content just still to be as much a part of his life as he’ll permit me to be.  So, when in films and television shows and books, some hero or heroine professes that they’ll be content just to be friends or a part of each other’s lives (Angel and Cordelia spring to mind initially…), most of them end up giving in to their feelings or someone inevitably will come round, the reality is that sometimes that just doesn’t happen and the heroine is left on her own and the hero finds his true love.  David Copperfield in this way is a fairytale, for in real life, Agnes would never get her David and the family she has with him.

Now, I guess I should stop stalling and writing about age-old books and Cordelia again and actually speak about Pippa.  This blog, after all, is called LaBellaBorgia Speaks and that’s me.  So please dig in to the following online conversation (so don’t worry about me recalling it all accurately or with exaggeration).


I know I’ve been distant lately and I feel I owe you an explanation, one which I am ashamed to admit I am too much of a coward to give you in person.  Please do read this in its entirety though I fear it will be lengthy because I do, more than anything and with no melodrama, wish you to know everything I have been feeling for years, which I have kept hidden, but I can’t anymore because to put it quite simply, it’s killing me.
I have always had few friends and God knows I can’t keep a new friend to save my life and understand me fully when I tell you that I seldom leave my house or flat if it is not with family or you.  To me you are my family and that fact has plagued me more than it has consoled me, for it has been apparent to me for some time (and I do not intend to be harsh, I merely say what is true) that I see you as vital to my existence, whereas I am not as important to you, which is the result of either you simply having more friends or it is because I am not the kind of person who can be needed to carry on each day, as you are to me.
I know my shortcomings.  I am difficult to know, needy, intolerant, deceitful and a whole host of other things and I know I exasperate you, but know that I could and would give anything for you and some of the most frightening night terrors I have are ones in which you leave me and I can do nothing to stop it.  That is the thing that frightens me most and so I hope you can grasp how hard it is for me to make this confession.
Recently I had lost my faith in the God who has kept me alive so far, yet when it seemed that something supplanted that faith I was confused.  It was the realisation that I believe in something much more powerful and much more personal than God and that is the power of you, me & x.  The belief I had that our friendship would be the strength of my life and the love that I clung to above all others was misguided, I see that now, because I expected too much.  I hoped you would be as devoted to me as I am to you two, but I overlooked a few things:  I am a woman and my nature is to be devoted (I did not get Materfamilias tattooed on my right arm for my own enjoyment); you two have so much more to live for than do I; as a woman, I am inclined to see others’ feelings and you two have never truly been privy to my own.
What I am about to say here has the potential to shake our friendship to its core and possibly to tear it down, but I am willing at this point to risk all (yes, I have been watching The Borgias too much!).  It pertains particularly to you.  I have never been particularly discreet about the fact that I love you and as more than a friend, but I don’t believe I’ve ever actually said that to you.  I do not confess this with any spirit of hope that my feeling are returned or may ever be, in fact it would please me greatly if you never loved me ever.  I would never want to ruin your kind, trusting and lovely soul, which is what I would do to it were you ever to allow me to and that would break my heart and spirit.  I feel so much for you that when you hurt and your nature doesn’t permit you to hold a grudge or bear ill will then I hate for the breaking of my own heart and then for yours.  The months after you and Lily hurt me in a way more than the months when you wanted her and that – believe me – is saying something.  The only and I mean the only reason I tell you this now is so that you understand the very heart of me and why I have done what I have.  When I couldn’t have you, I went after someone else and now I have terrifying flashbacks that have on occasion led to sedation and I’m not pinning blame, it was above all my own fault, but I settled and in doing so I made sure I would never be able to love anyone else but you.  I have spent years of my life learning you: what you eat, what you drink, how you feel and think, so that I can feel as though I am the one person who knows you above all even though I know that’s not true.  When you tell me that we can’t hang out, the thought that immediately falls into my paranoid mind is that I have done something wrong and I am hurt much like a girlfriend would be.  I know I’ll never be that to you, but I would ask that you don’t shut me out because of what I’ve just told you and know that every time you do my heart sort of breaks.


Well that certainly is a lot to go through, and I’m not going to lie, it takes a lot of guts to say all of that, it really does, and I respect that very much honestly. I don’t think I could do the same.

I guess I don’t really know exactly how to respond, I’m no expert at this stuff, but here goes. First off, I must admit I’ve known that you liked me as more than a friend for some time, and I do think, through nobody’s fault, it has caused something of a wedge between the two of us. This is not your fault, I know that when you like someone, no matter who they are or how ridiculous it seems, you can’t help it. You just do. And that’s totally fine. And I am only sorry that I don’t feel the same way. In a way, I do partially blame myself for this, perhaps it would have been the mature thing to tell you I didn’t feel the same way years ago, but for whatever reason, I didn’t, and I’m sorry for that. I love you like a sister, and that is God’s honest truth.
I also feel partially responsible for how, and it does feel this way, that we’ve drifted apart in recent times. I can’t make excuses, I think it is just, unlike both you and x, I am not someone to who emotion comes easily. I’m not good at expressing emotions, in fact I’m rather embarrassed by it, and so it is true that I sometimes choose to hang out with people who, like me, do not deal with things emotionally. Call it a cheap move, it’s just the way I feel sometimes, I’d rather avoid issues than solve them, and that isn’t fair. I feel I owe you an apology for several years of that.
But there’s one other thing you need to know, and that is that none of this will force us apart. I think this stream of confessions, bearing the soul and all that, will help bring us back to a kind of harmony that seems to have gone missing. We’ll all know where we stand, as such. Pippa, you are the older sister I never had, and though I’m afraid I do not see you in a different light, and that isn’t going to change, I would not want to be without you. I would say to you, and I accept how empty the words can sound, that you shouldn’t shut yourself off from people. You can make friends, I have seen it, even if you do find it hard, and you deserve to find someone special more than anyone I know. I accept it’s hard, and I do not expect you to change that overnight, but there’s a whole world for you out there, you just need to explore it, and I only wish you could. And now we’ve all laid our cards on the table, I have every faith that it’ll clear things up. There’ll be no more need to feel awkward or smoke and mirrors. We know how all three of us feels, in all honestly, and we can accept that as the way things are. I have every faith it’ll only make the three of us better friends.
So uh, I guess, that is me, doing my best at talking about stuff. I hope everything made sense. And hope to see you both soon


I’m now crying so hard I can barely see through my glasses, but it’s so worth me reading all that again.  It’s so cathartic for me.  I will just say that I know most of you readers will have no clue who this is, but I fear, that despite my preventative efforts, some of my acquaintances will surmise to whom I was talking, so please – for ME – keep the confidence of LaBellaBorgia Speaks, as he doesn’t read it and I doubt he ever will, but it’s where my soul and heart lies now.  It’s a broken heart but it beats here and thrives in the honesty and true life I can’t find away from the blogosphere.

I will say this final thing…I took some of his advice that day.  I have travelled and will carry on travelling the world searching for something to fill the void that is in my heart.  To name but the most memorable: I have seen the ruins of Carthage, inhaled the tanneries of Fes, glimpsed the Misty Mountains, felt Apollo’s sun beating down on me in Delphi, drunk Jack Daniel’s in Piazza San Pietro and watched the sunrise where the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea meet.  That was good advice and when I spend the summer in the USA and January ’16 in Tuscany, I’ll be following orders, but one thing I would say now again is that to wish me on someone else and to want me to spend my life unhappy trying to love someone else with a heart that is not mine to give away is worse than what my mother does when she tells me to stop taking the tablets that keep knives in the kitchen and out of my bedroom.  What my mother does is condemn me to a painful, self-inflicted death, but what the love of my life does – unwittingly, as ever – is condemn me to a painful, living death that would be drawn out and have not one…but two victims.

That is something I’m not strong enough or malicious enough to survive or inflict on someone else and I’m so glad of that.  It means that tomorrow will be better and that I’m keeping someone else’s heart safe even when mine has been so amicably crucified.

LaBellaBorgia Speaks,

P. Mistry-Norman

25-02-2015

Time to Change & Time to Talk Day

For those of you who do not know, Time to Talk Day was four days ago and I missed it!  However, as someone who keeps a blog on mental health and is extremely open about her own problems in that area, I feel I have given more than a year’s worth of five minutes talking about my depression, anxiety disorder and mythomania.  So, it gives me great pleasure – and I thank him very much for opting to give his five minutes to LaBellaBorgia Speaks – to introduce you to the writing of Jack again, who has written very well and to great effect here previously.

P. Mistry-Norman


You may remember me, I wrote here previously about my experiences with Borderline Personality Disorder (https://labellaborgia.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/living-with-borderline-personality-disorder/). For those, however, who do not, my name is Jack Jeffreys. I am twenty three. I live with Borderline Personality Disorder and Rapid Cycling Mood Disorder (Bipolar).

Today I want to talk about Time To Change, a charity aiming to reduce and eradicate mental health stigma. Today, 5th February, is Time To Talk Day. The idea is that you take five minutes to discuss mental health – so get a cup of tea because I’m taking my five minutes with you all now. However, I do not really want to talk about my mental health. I want to talk about the work Time To Change do, and why I think it is vital. Vital in the present, and vital in the future. In our generation and for generations to come.

time-to-talk-290x169

I work with Time To Change through the Advocacy Project based in St. Charles Square, Ladbroke Grove. I do not get to spend a huge amount of time with them because of work, but I give them as many days off as I can afford. We go to public areas, and set up cafes. People can never turn down free tea and cake, and in return we discuss mental health with them. This always starts very one sided, but by the end it completely flips and I am left listening to the random member of the public. This is because so many people have a lived experience of mental health.

One in four people in the UK suffer from mental health “issues”. You have to remember mental health is a sliding scale from suffering from stress, through anxiety and depression, up to addiction, personality, obsessive, psychiatric, neurotic, eating, or mood disorders. When you think of it like this one in four does not sound so extreme.

At Time To Change we aim to challenge people’s views on mental health, and bring them into the twenty first century. We discuss statistics: one in six people in work in the UK have a mental health condition, and roughly 11% of the population is on anti-depressants. We discuss people like Stephen Fry and Winston Churchill, who suffer/suffered with Bipolar; Jim Carrey, who suffers with depression; Heath Ledger, who suffered with drug abuse; and John Prescott, who suffered with Bulimia. We aim to make mental health something that everyone can relate to. We aim to make mental health less scary.

Once we get into a discussion with people, they often start asking questions about mental health. There are some very common mental health myths.

Myth: If you suffer from a mental health condition you can be violent and unpredictable.

Fact: Suffering from a mental health condition makes you no more violent than anyone else. Only 3-5% of violent attacks are attributed to mental health, and when you consider that 25% of people suffer with some form of mental health, the myth does not really add up. In fact, it actually works the other way. In the US, you are ten times more likely to be a victim of violent crime if you suffer from mental health.

Myth: If you suffer from mental health problem you can snap out of it if you try hard enough.

Fact: Suffering from a mental health conditions has very little to do with being a weak person, it often requires help, in some form, to get better. Different forms of therapy help different conditions, generally. Mindfulness is the real mental health buzz word/therapy at the moment. Many factors attribute to mental health problems, such as biological factors (genetics or injury) or life experience (trauma and abuse). Many people recover from mental health conditions, but you cannot put time on this. There is no rule for how long it takes to get better; it is not the same as a broken leg.

Myth: YOU cannot help someone with a mental health condition.

Fact: I know a lot of people with mental health conditions. The little things mean the most. Friends telling them they are there to help or helping them access mental health services. Treating them with respect, just like anyone else. Generally being a friend or family member, just how you were, before mental health became an issue. Refusing to allow someone to be defined by diagnosis – I am bipolar but I do not have to act that way. And making it a ‘normal’ thing.

Myth: All you need to do is take tablets.

Fact: This works for some people. But for lots of people this is not the whole answer. A combination of therapy and medication is important. In some cases medication is not even required. I believe anti-depressants are drastically over prescribed by the NHS. This is because of an ever reducing mental health budget.

Myth: Children do not experience mental health problems.

Fact: Half of all mental health disorders show first signs by the age of fourteen, and three quarters of mental health disorders begin before the age of twenty four.

There are many more than this, but these are the most common myths we hear.

The important thing about Time To Change is the attempt to normalize mental health. Mental health is not going to disappear. In the high stress world that many people live in, it will only become more prevalent. And without wanting to make this political, under the current government, treatment is becoming less available. Therefore it is vital we are in a position to help each other.

I guess I am urging you to avoid awkward conversations, and to be that person who talks openly about mental health. Go and do research. Find out the truth. Do not shy away from it. If you have a friend or a family member who suffers with any form of mental health, break down the invisible barriers that exist in society, and talk about it. Mental health is not something to be scared or threatened by.

To conclude, I make no apology for not talking about my mental health. If you know me, or have read what I written previously, you will know I am very open and will discuss anything you want to know about me. Today is not about my mental health. It is about building a foundation for our generation, and generations to come. A foundation that allows our friends and family to feel comfortable speaking out and seeking help. Start talking about mental health. Go and have another cup of tea. Go and talk about it over dinner. I’ve taken my five minutes today. Now go and take yours.

LaBellaBorgia Speaks,

J. Jeffreys

09-02-2015

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

Hello

This is just a brief post to welcome people to my blog and to say thank you for checking it out!

Firstly, I just want to give people a bit of background info on myself.  I am a twenty year old second year student at the University of Exeter reading Classical and Theological Studies as part of the university’s Flexible Combined Honours programme which I switched to this year after taking a year off for medical reasons and doing straight Classics in my first year.

On a more personal note, I suffer from severe depression along with social anxiety and mythomania.   I hope this doesn’t turn you off the blog, but rather peaks your curiosity and makes you want to learn more about what happens when those three disorders enter into a menage-a-trois in my head and what happens in my life due to that particular margarita (I hate tequila!) of mental disorders.

The purpose of this blog is not only to augment my support system but also to provide others with a true (something that I find extremely hard to do normally) and utterly honest account of what I experience and feel in my life.  A secondary aim is to provide a forum for others to see if/that they are alone or what symptoms people might share with me.

Anyway, enough expounding for today, I feel (since my groceries are due to arrive any minute – thanks Asda delivery!) but I will post again soon and I hope this blog is helpful/of interest to at least some of you.

Welcome to LaBellaBorgia Speaks,

P. Mistry-Norman

25-01-2014