TW: contains mild reference to self harm.
Just to let you know, I’m feeling quite low today so the proverbial ‘poisoned parrot’ on my shoulder may influence this post quite significantly.
As noted in An Appointment With The Main Man, my psychiatrist left me with two niggling little questions at our last meeting around 10 days ago. Actually that’s a lie. He left me with two pretty major issues, to be explored by my already laden brain. The one I want to address here is whether or not my living at home with my parents is, ultimately, exacerbating my illness. Having subsequently raised it with my therapist, I have been advised to park the matter for now and concentrate on more short-term goals (leaving home obviously being more of a long-term objective). But it’s been needling me today for several reasons.
Firstly, my sister has invited us all (my parents, brother and I) to her house for a meal this evening. Typically, I have decided not to go, preferring to stay home after certain points of the day, retire to my ‘safe place’ and look forward to a (prescription) drug-induced sleep that will mark the end of yet another day. But, having explained this to my mum (as best I could), I then had to further justify my decision, answer questions about what I would eat, hear that my brother-in-law would be at work and so it would ‘just be us’…
Secondly, I have an appointment with my CPN tomorrow morning, which involves her coming to the house. With this being a holiday period, I am unlikely to be the only person home, so my privacy is at stake. Not only this, but I think my cousin may also be attending the session which is something else I’ve had to disclose and justify to my parents. My mum has ‘accepted’ this (in that she knows its happening and is powerless to prevent it) and I think, deep down, she knows my cousin is dealing with things which she herself might struggle with. But that didn’t stop the jibes about my cousin being busy enough with her own family, not needing additional stress…none of which made me feel very good about myself.
Finally, despite trying hard to curtail my SH behaviours, I am going to have the inevitable lapse. I don’t want my parents finding out about these, but it’s difficult to explain an appointment with the practice nurse or a trip to A&E without them putting two and two together. They no longer confront me on this matter, but there is an elephant in the room a lot of the time.
So, yes, my illness would be easier to manage were I not constantly under the watch of my parents. I could attend appointments and still retain my privacy, I wouldn’t have the constant stress of me feeling unwell, them knowing I am feeling unwell but there being no communication around it. But these are my closest family members, the people I love most in the world, the people, without whom, I would even be alive right now. My ‘safe place’ is my bedroom at home, everything I need is here. If I do need company for a short while, it is always available within seconds. Admittedly, the current situation is not ideal, there could be more acknowledgement of certain things, I could be more honest and they more willing to employ compassion. But I have a family, people who (in their own, convoluted way) care, and for that I should be grateful, right?
Goodness, almost 600 words of rambling and still no obvious solution! Just a tiny glimpse into the cacophony of my never-ending thoughts. I must take a moment, too, to thank that poisoned parrot for his major contribution to my
life existence right now.