A Journal entry from 2009, from my memoir ’39’ CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON
THIS CONTAINS SOME OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE BEING AN UNEDITED JOURNAL. DO NOT BE PUT OFF! THE BOOK CONTAINS FAR LESS, AS IT IS MOSTLY NARRATIVE, BUT IT DOES CONTAIN SOME SEXUAL SCENES
Lying on my single bed in my cold, damp room, I’m awash with anger. I hate the room. I hate the house. I hate my parents, and I hate Chris. All I can hear are the lorries and buses turning the corner on which our house is built – my family home of 34 years – and children playing in the background from the school ground just up the road. That’s the school I went to, in fact; the school in which that terrible event happened. Memories flood my mind.
“It’s about that thing you do in class… It has to stop.”
I remember it so well. Then Chris.
His wife, family, friends etc – he must pay!
A motorbike accelerates past the house – fucking noisy thing. I hate him, whoever that person is – that driver, that man! It must be a man! Invading my space and my ears, like that. Why couldn’t Dad have put double glazing in? He’s had plenty of money. Stupid man. He doesn’t care about me.
I look around the room. Thin, beige curtains with holes in them hang at the window, whilst a draft blows against those disgusting net curtains. How on earth did I get back to this after escaping so many times? Why am I back at my parents? I lost all my money, I’m bankrupt. Stupid cow!
Chris; it’s all his fault. If it wasn’t for his selfishness, those children, his wife, I could be living with him. I could be happy. Bastard!
I reach for my mobile and punch out more texts. More obscenities. More abuse.
‘You sick bastard, I hate you, I hope you die’ … on and on, ten, twelve texts..
‘Just calm down. I love you. Would you like to go to dinner tonight?’ he replies.
Calm down! How dare he tell me to calm down! No, I won’t calm down. And dinner! I will not go to dinner.
‘Fuck u’ I text ‘I hope I die!’
In reality I do hope to die. I feel like that most days at some point or another.
If I just calmed down and went to dinner, I would have a lovely time. The sensible section of my mind tries to reason with the other, more destructive part of me, and vice versa – they are always vying for the outcome to be theirs. I don’t exactly know why, but it happens that way.
I want to see Chris really. All this started because I had gone home from his in the first place. That house immediately makes me depressed; it’s an automatic state of mind. I want to be with Chris. He looks after me, feeds me. But, I push away those nice thoughts and allow the bad ones to take over. Nasty, out of control Amanda returns.
I pour another can of Fosters into my pint glass – my fourth already and it’s only 3pm. Who cares! Nobody.
I phone Chris. All calls have the same result. I phone ten times at his work, say what I have to say or say nothing at all. They all result the same way – me ending the call before he has a chance to speak. Just so long as I blurt out my opinion. I don’t care who picks the phone up either; him, his staff, anyone. I don’t care at the time. I can embarrass him at work. I’ve been doing it for years now. His punishment has more impact.
“You will pay for this!” I scream and put the phone down on him for this tenth time. Why does he keep answering me in the first place? Does he really care? Is he just lonely?
I look up. Those fucking curtains! I rip them down, I punch the wall. My hand hurts.
I want to die. If I could just take some pills, drive over the edge of that cliff at ‘Beachy Head’ or just die in my sleep, this would all be gone. I’d be out of this nightmare; off the rollercoaster of hell. It soothes me a little to contemplate the ways in which I could be gone from this life; from myself, for a while or forever. How lovely it would be to eradicate myself from this planet and away from this shit life. I daydream for a few minutes about this, until I come to an unsatisfactory and sad conclusion; it’s the same one every time. Thing is, I can’t kill myself. I’m too much a coward. It should be easy. I will die at some point anyway, so why let fate take me when I can take myself? I can’t. For starters, the fear of it going wrong and surviving an attempt could make things so much worse, plus I have a huge capacity for guilt, and I’d feel bad for everyone if I killed myself.
I pick up one of my teddy bears and hold it for a moment close to my heart. The warmth of its soft fur is a little comforting. I like my teddy bears. I feel silly at my age for still cuddling them tight when I go to sleep, but I need something to soothe me still, and they don’t answer back.
So, I open my laptop and start to write instead, fingers pounding the keyboard furiously, as thoughts fill my head. I can touch type as fast as my brain can conjure them, and I watch the screen as they flow into words…
How I feel today – for me
I feel sick, I really do. I feel sick of myself, sick of Chris, sick of everyone, sick of this house, my work, my laptop, my bedroom, sick of arguments, sick of feeling sick and sick of the problems inside my head. I am also sick of the way I feel incapable of doing anything about any of it. I want to help myself, but I destroy everything instead. It’s like someone else is doing these things; it’s not me, but it is me. The bitch does it. She loves pressing all the wrong buttons of destruction. The real me is much nicer than her!
I wish I could go to sleep and not wake up – or go into hibernation for as long as it takes for my brain to calm down and to feel brighter and more optimistic when I wake up, as I always do at some point. This is not going to happen. I decided to write it down – maybe it will help.
Then I make the mistake of having more contact with Chris and he wants one final chance to talk about it all. This makes me really angry – I have nothing left to say. I am fucked, I am lying on my bed with my laptop and my mobile, either texting frantically or shouting and screaming and abusing Chris down the phone. I don’t have it in me to think straight, I am running on autopilot, so how the fuck could I talk about things with him? I have talked about things so many times, with hope, only to be let down, to be lied to. I have no trust left in this man, I hate him, I hate his lies, I hate everything about him and just about everything else in my life too. How can I know all this and do it anyway? Why am I so out of control?
My Dad goes out to do the food shopping and I keep a happy tone in my voice while I talk about the weather and the time of day for going shopping.
‘Will it be quieter at this time?’ I ask him.
What do I care? I don’t. I do a little bit, but not much. It’s just making conversation to keep up my normal persona – ‘the performing monkey’ I like to call it now. I am sure he has heard me on the phone this morning, shouting at and abusing Chris, but he doesn’t say anything – he is probably trying to ignore it now, as it happens so often. He knows I am out of control and has tried to curb my outbursts before and he told me once to ‘pack it in!’ but I cannot help it. I get so angry – and get drunk more than he knows, in secret. Once he has gone, I start crying, really hard, on my bed. I feel desperate.
Chris keeps phoning, wanting me to come out for lunch now, saying that the anger gets me nowhere. I scream at him! I wish I had finished it a long time ago but I was too weak, and now I just hate him. I like him a little bit, but inside, I hate what he has done and I cannot forgive or forget it all. It seems petty to me sometimes, but it is the way I feel and the way I am. Liking him a bit is my worst nightmare as that is why I keep going back for more. Am I just lonely, do I just want the escape, do I love him, am I using him or am I just so fucked up I am not making the decisions? I think the latter is the right answer – I think that I don’t think, therefore I just do these things and continue my life in a daze.
He tries to placate me. I am fuming, I scream at him, I hit the wall beside me and hurt my hand, I throw the phone, I run to the bathroom, and then I see my face and neck in the mirror. My face is distorted – evil looking, not like I do in my many happy/smiley photos – like a monster; an alien. I don’t like that person looking back at me, that person who is out of control and whose neck looks like the protruding, twisted roots of an old oak tree. I stop still. I stop the face. I stop the neck. Then I screw up my face and neck again, just to show myself, once more, what a monster I can portray. Oh my god. I am disgusted with myself now, and I calm down, and go back to my laptop on my single bed in my tiny room, to continue writing all of this down.
I think about this week and some of it has been good. I think about my stomach and my wrists and how much they hurt – how I don’t look after myself. If I don’t look after myself, how the hell can I look after anyone else? I keep telling Chris this, but he doesn’t take it in. He must be thick. He cannot understand anything I say. Either that or he is so selfish, he couldn’t give a shit. He says I am deluded and make fantasies up in my head half the time.
I had a ‘vision’, years ago, that something nasty was going to develop in my stomach, and kill me. Although I took this as a warning at the time, to look after myself, to prevent it, it scared the shit out of me, but I still do nothing.
This fear could certainly take me over the top, like George in the book I am reading ‘A spot of bother’ by the wonderful Mark Haddon (George thinks he has cancer and is turning himself a bit mad with his own fears). It’s a wonder I have the ability to concentrate to read, as I rarely can. I am virtually at the top of the hill of despair already, I think, what with these out of control tantrums, the dissociation, the violence, the thoughts, the knives… I’m nearly ready to tumble down the other side.
My thoughts are worrying me too, and my dreams – they are becoming violent and scary. So much so, that I don’t even want to write them down – I don’t want to accept that they are coming from me; my distorted mind. I am scared of them. And then I am scared of going into Hinton Hall, like my mum.
If I went into hospital, I would lose control even more, and that could kill my mind anyway. I might never come out, if I went in. I can see the circle of drugs, the Electroconvulsive Therapy and the fear and claustrophobia that would send me completely mad. I wouldn’t be able to work, to help the Orangutan in Asia, to tell my story, to get better. I wouldn’t be able to taste happiness again. I remember that hospital when I was six, and I will never forget it. My poor mother.
Suddenly, I get the feeling that the best option to take would be to persevere and not give into the bad thoughts and the mood swings – to take control, to try to think positively. If I don’t, then I would have failed, and that would be the end. I cannot fail. I have that very strong fear inside me of hospitals and prisons, since I’ve experienced both, and those memories might just keep me going. I cannot fail – I cannot be a failure, I cannot be trapped, I’ve been both of those too many times.
I brighten myself up immediately at this thought, and my head feels lighter as the pressure calms down. I seek more positive thoughts.
Like my planned trip to see Orangutan.
I always turned to animals when I sought comfort.
The next day, I am back in love with Chris and wake up at his place feeling much better. He is no longer the enemy, but the greatest thing in my life and I send him off to work with the softest of kisses and kindest of words, which he is more than happy to return. I feel guilty again. Poor Chris; I feel sorry for him that I am so mean to him. We both have a good heart; it just seems that I cannot let mine shine through to others sometimes, even if I want to.
Reading my journal back through the eyes of a more normal Amanda, I realised there was something wrong with me – something not normal, not acceptable in society and not acceptable to me. I decided, for myself, that the problem was not Chris, not my parents, not everyone else.
The problem was me.
I had spent years blaming everyone else for my misfortunes. I was a good person and everyone else was out to get me. Blame, blame, blame. That had felt good; to hide and make out that everyone else was at fault. It had aided me on my path of self destruction. But the truth was, it wasn’t anyone else’s fault, it was how I perceived or dealt with things, and I had not always been like this. I was a pretty nice person – I knew I was inside. I was fun, bubbly and daring, but was this just a façade? Who am I now? What is the reality?
Does anyone make me turn angry at the slightest thing? Has anyone forced me to self harm, to drink myself into a stupor, to deprive myself of happiness? No, they haven’t.
I listened to the truth unfold from my own mouth as I described my life in short to the psychiatrist that day; promiscuity, drugs, sexual abuse…
I realised some shocking truths about myself and I guess that’s when I saw my alien-self. When I really finally looked her in the eye and knew enough was enough. It was time to find the real me again.
What I’ve discovered about myself and the truths of my past, reading all about it, in the last year has been surreal; like investigating the life of a stranger, almost. But my diaries don’t lie and nor does my book – every event in it is the truth as far as I can remember. I have not included the above journal in the memoir as the writing in a book is much more succinct, and I can assure you it is not a slow ride reading it, as there is something different happening all the way through and it is rocky at times.
See ‘My Alien Self: My Journey Back to Me’ on Amazon by CLICKING HERE