This morning I saw the psychiatrist again.  I explained to him that I feel like I spend my life drifting in confusion.  When I think things, I become convinced they really happened. When I learn they didn’t, I have double memories of them happening and them just being imagined, and they each hold equal validity in my mind; I can’t decide which to believe.  I think I’m sometimes accidentally dishonest, simply because I really believe I’m relating something truthfully at the time.  Then later, when I’m on my own, I think, ‘Was that true?  Did that really happen?’ and I find I have no idea.  I also hear noises sometimes, and occasionally people speaking to me.   It’s not really anything scary, just confusing, again. I’ve grown used to it, I guess.[br][br]I’ve also got a lot of terrible paranoia issues, where I’m convinced everyone’s thinking awful things about me, talking behind my back, and often I catch myself convinced friends aren’t really friends, that actually they’re only pretending to like me so they can get information to use against me, or take advantage of me.  I’ve got in my mind that a lot of people have it in for me.  Sometimes I dream up quite elaborate plots people must have in mind for me…and they’re so believable (to me), sometimes I’ve found myself drawing away from people, distrustful of them, sabotaging my chances at potential friendships.[br][br]I know this really started when I was around 16.  This also was the time when I was hyped up on super-high mind-altering doses of Zoloft.  I wondered if there was a connection. My doctor said he’s not aware of permanent damage caused by Zoloft.  He also said the symptoms I’m describing are not uncommon in people with personality disorders, like me.[br][br]It’s funny…I’m so used to ‘borderline personality disorder’.  Hearing him omit ‘borderline’ this time…it seemed to make all the difference in the world.  It’s a scary thing, thinking to yourself, ‘I have a personality disorder.  There is something abnormal about my whole personality.’ I’m not depressed or even upset about it, mind you.  It’s just…it was overwhelming. It was like finding out for the first time, all over again.  I came away in a sort of haze, feeling like I just wanted to fall into bed and pass out for a while.  I needed a break from the world.[br][br]He gave me a prescription for a tricyclic anti-depressant, just in case I choose to take it.  When I read up on it, I realised I think it’s one of the ones I took 10 years ago, the one that gave me crazy violent nightmares and left me terrified to go to sleep.  I’m going to check with my mother. I’ve always remembered it was something that began with ‘cl’ and this one is clomiprimine, so it’s highly possible it’s the same drug – in which case, I’m not taking it.  [br][br]The only reason I even considered it was because the doctor seemed so encouraging of the idea, and kept telling me he only wanted to try a low dose, to help relieve me of some of my terrible anxiety.  The trouble is, I read the list of side effects online and it has warnings like ‘use with caution on patients who suffer from confusion’ and I read on and it sounds like what I go through, so I’m thinking, how is this going to help me?  And it even says it has been known to induce schizophrenia.  Well, all I can say to that is: been there, done that, not doing it again.  So…I guess I’m not checking with my mom first; I’m just not taking this drug.[br][br]Then I came in to work late (I had a half-day’s holiday for the appointment) and I immediately got dragged into a meeting with the director and office manager of the company.  The main office manager is now on maternity leave, so now it’s all been taken over by this woman I have had issues with since I first started here.  And that’s not just me – she’s probably made half this office end up in tears.[br][br]Anyway, I got this really ambiguous speech from them, suggesting I might be taking advantage of the company because I said I was looking for another job, and yet I haven’t left yet.  Then some rubbish about how this year all staff really need to be pulling their weight.  And then finally: ‘when do you think you’ll be leaving?’[br][br]I’m not good at disguising my emotions.  I just looked at them like, what the hell are you talking about?  Then, with dignity, I told them I am in no way taking advantage of the company, and I’ve been doing my job the same way and to the same standard since the day I first arrived here, I still get thank yous from people for doing the work so well, etc.  Honestly, the trouble is that two of the worst communicators in the world happen to run the company, so who knows what’s going on in their heads or what they even meant.[br][br]And I told them: I’ve been applying for jobs since JANUARY.  When I took this job two years ago, I was given two job offers within three weeks.  This time around, it’s been nine months and I can’t even get one. Not only that, but every recruitment agent tells me it’s next to impossible to get work at the moment, and my step-sister IS a recruitment agent and is in danger of losing her job because the market is so slow, her office can’t get enough commission to pay for the staff.  So I was saying: how can I tell you when I’ll be gone, when it’s not up to me, it’s up to the global economy?  THEY’RE the financial services company. Surely they should know this already.[br][br]Not just that, but the director said he didn’t want it to seem like he was driving me out of the company, because he could get into legal trouble with that.  I just thought…is that the only reason?? Sure, that’s true, but how about: ‘I don’t want to make you feel like we don’t want you here.’ How can it be that, after all these meetings about these problems, they STILL don’t understand the simple heart of the matter: I’m leaving because no one has EVER listened to me or made me feel wanted or welcome here, and they’ve actually outright refused to do anything to rectify the problems here.  I’m leaving because I work in a place where my managers don’t manage.[br][br]So anyway.  I want to go home. I wish I’d had the whole day off.  I need to save my holiday time, though, for around the wedding.  Oh yes, this whole meeting was inspired by me e-mailing the manager on maternity leave to inform her that I’d had a think about things and decided, it’s already October tomorrow, I’m having no luck, I’ve got enough going on in my personal life at the moment, I don’t have time to be thinking about changing jobs as well, I’m just going to leave it for the time being and start looking again in January.  I would have thought that was a very good thing of me, to let them know that much, to give them the progressive update.  But instead they took it as: ‘she might be here forever’.  And THAT’S not paranoia, I know it, because they told me that’s how they took it.  They suggested I might be here the next two years. My God, I hope not! is what I wanted to say. If these people could step inside my head for just a minute, they’d understand the dilemma. [br][br]We have this incredibly perceptive postman who comes to pick up the mail in the afternoons, and he always asks how I am and I can’t get away with saying I’m fine, he always instantly notices and says, ‘No you’re not.’ So today he said I seemed stressed.  And I said well yes I am actually, not with the job but with some people.  He told me to keep reminding myself that, when I go home, it’ll all be gone today.  I can listen to some good music and just forget about it.  While he’s right, and that’s been my coping method all along, I can’t help but cynically think, ‘There’s just so much more to it than that, you just don’t understand.’ Then again, I guess I don’t know his life either.  I’m sure he has his own troubles.  After all, he wasn’t telling me ‘cheer up’, he was saying ignore it, it’ll go away, it’s not the end of the world.  And yes, that’s very true. And…how did I end up getting into such a heavy topic with our office postman??[br][br]I asked for an MRI today.  My doctor said the hospital won’t give me that without serious justification, like seizures or something.  He did get me on the waiting list for a CT scan, though, which he told me is basically a brain x-ray that looks for lesions or tumours.  I quite honestly told him I just really want to SEE my brain.  Think about it: it’s the thing that controls everything about you, everything you do, and yet you never see it.  I want to look at it, to ask questions, to find out about any abnormalities.  I’m not expecting tumours or anything. It’s just about curiosity. I think we all should have the right to see our brains.  [br][br]My next step, now, is to find out if there’s any way to keep a copy of the pictures.  How fabulous would that be? Imagine having images of your brain in your family photo album.  I’d love that. I had images of my son’s ultrasound scans reprinted as normal photos and put in our book; why not my brain x-ray?[br][br]Actually, that really is such an exciting idea, it’s cheered my whole mood up now.

3 Comments
  1. bump 14 years ago

    i feel terrible for you, mate. as you know i\’m in the same boat. it sucks to be in the uk right now,eh?

    also, with regards to your comments about false memories and paranoia, do you know what causes it? i haven\’t mentioned it to my therapist yet, but i\’ve been experiencing that a lot……

    good luck with the job search, love!

    xxxxx

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  2. rq5738 14 years ago

     Just out of curiousity… what is a seriously high mind-altering dose of zoloft??

    No- REALLY!  I"m wondering!!

    🙂

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  3. thymeoperator 14 years ago

    i was on 250mg a day for over a year, and when i moved to england the doctors were shocked at this and told me that\’s illegal over here without serious serious serious evidence of its necessity.  they were hesitant even to give me the prescription.  i also was doing a psychology class at the time and read a whole section on how drs have been able to induce schizophrenia in tourettic patients through these kinds of \’treatments\’.

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