All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…

Hearing Voices Support Group: Week 04

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PREVIOUS ‘HEARING VOICES SUPPORT GROUP’ ENTRIES
| WEEK 01 | WEEK 02 | WEEK 03 |

monsterhunter

“Well, personally, I kind of want to slay the dragon.” ~Angel (Image from the cover of Monster Hunter Tri)

However frustrated I am to admit it, my people and anxiety got the better of me last Friday and convinced me not to attend the HVSG. Which isn’t altogether surprising given it was the week of the 26 February 2013.

Thus, this week’s update will not be about the group, but my people…who have been driving me completely insane over the last several days!

How have my people been this week?

~ Audrey

After her obsession with Lego Batman last Tuesday, Audrey disappeared for a few days before returning on Saturday dressed as Harley Quinn. This came as somewhat of a surprise, especially as I was in the supermarket at the time! As it was late in the evening and I’d walked rather than cycled to the supermarket, Audrey decided to walk home with me so we could talk.

She wanted to know how I’d been since Tuesday and, although suspicious of her intent, I shared my heightened anxiety, flakiness, lack of concentration and overall ‘tired of life’ feelings that had been overwhelming me. Eventually we stopped at a park bench and began talking about other things:

◊ The literature of George MacDonald, Irvine Welsh and Wally Lamb.
◊ Which Bronte was best (Audrey is adamant it’s Anne, I’m steadfast in my love of Charlotte)
◊ A rather lengthy conversation about my assault in 2007 (not a happy part of the converstion, truth be told!)
◊ Audrey requesting I give her thirteen reasons why I should kill myself (she was challenging me as she didn’t think I could); I gave her twenty-two before she stopped me from continuing!
◊ Audrey’s love of Fifty Shades of Grey; and there was me thinking she had good taste! :p
◊ Kathy. Somehow it always comes back to her. Grrr!

When we got home, five hours after the supermarket, I stayed up with her to play Lego Batman. Although I was tired, I was also nervous about going to bed. Plus, it was nice to have a conversation with her that didn’t descend into insult and criticism; although she did occasionally do the latter.

~ Shay

In my last HVSG update I mentioned that I hadn’t heard from Shay for several days; I still haven’t.

Given one of the last things he said to me (over two weeks ago) was a death threat, I’m a little on edge about how he’s going to be when he does reappear!

~ Vanessa

Ever since Audrey scolded her and sent her to the corner, Vanessa has been somewhat shitty with Audrey. Normally the two of them are BFFs who defend each other without a second thought, but over the last couple of weeks they’ve barely said two words to each other and seem to have entered into a competition over my attention, with Vanessa annoyed that she seems to be losing; especially after the conversation Audrey and I had on Saturday.

As a result, on both Sunday and Monday, Vanessa was pissed off and abusive in her actions and behaviour. Especially as during another session with my worker I was defiant to Vanessa’s wishes by describing her actions and behaviour. Vanessa doesn’t like being talked about so her retribution was swift, vicious and lasted well into the early hours of the morning.

However, in a rare moment, I was able to reach a ‘bargain’ with her. Over the last week or so, both Vanessa and Meadhbh have been annoyed with Audrey monopolizing my attention with the Wii and wanted to “get in on the action”. In a rather public conversation between the three of us, I struck a deal; I would let them each choose a video game and then I’d set aside a few hours of ‘personal time’ to play that game with them (and them alone) if they accepted that I needed to go to the HVSG this Friday. Any attempt to talk me out of going would instantly negate the deal and our ‘date’ was off.

Meadhbh agreed without argument; Vanessa took much more convincing but, given her current jealously over Audrey, eventually agreed.

In the store, I told them to choose only from the ‘3 for $15’ bin. Immediately they both chose games that weren’t part of the offer and were pissed off when I put the games back and told them I couldn’t afford those titles. If they wanted me to buy them a game, it had to be part of the offer, otherwise I wouldn’t buy them anything and the deal was off. Several tantrums later they eventually decided any game would be better than no game at all and made their choices, with Vanessa annoyingly choosing a game she knows will trigger me (but, as she pointed out, “you did say any game from the ‘3 for $15’ bin”).

Thus, tomorrow night, Vanessa and I have a date to play Lego Harry Potter…and I swear to God, if she starts trying to out-filth Audrey with sexual fantasies involving Lego Harry, I may just throw up! :p

~ Jessica

Jessica has been more vocal than usual over the last seven days, with her cryptic comments including:

  • The spirit of the Gruntesk lies in the belly of the tulip (Saturday afternoon)
  • Panhandle the wallaby nostril (Monday evening)
  • Overload the milking station with the remnants of the river (Wednesday lunchtime)

As per usual I have no idea what she’s talking about, although I did notice that the ‘milking station’ comment was said shortly after milk had been spilled.

~ Meadhbh

After disappearing for the period around the 26th, Meadhbh returned to go for a walk with me last Sunday night. We ended up roaming the back streets of my suburb talking about my niece, my nephew, the Isle of Skye, whether I should return to Scotland (Meadhbh wants me to as she misses her home) and girls.

Meadhbh and I haven’t had a conversation about girls since I was a teenager, when she would give me advice on how best to talk to the one’s I fancied. She thinks I need a girlfriend and has decided it’s up to her to find me one. I’m fairly sure she won’t succeed in this self-imposed task, but hey, I kinda want a girlfriend as well so if she wants to try find me one, I’m not gonna stop her! :p

However, she was back in bitchy negative form yesterday during a focus group with some academics from Melbourne asking some of the HVSG members questions about the group and what we get out of it. In true Addy fashion, I said three sentences in the ninety minute session. Go me! :p

As my anxiety and self-hate grew, Vanessa and Meadhbh appeared to offer their opinions of my behaviour and uselessness.

Vanessa used my silence and anxiety to prove my worthlessness. Listing dozens of reasons as to why I didn’t deserve to live.

Meadhbh was also using my silence and anxiety against me, not to prove my worthlessness, but to inform me I was a “pathetic cock” who was sabotaging her attempt to find me a girlfriend. Eventually deciding that she’d be better off-putting her energy into more meaningful, achievable goals, such as proving I was a waste of space.

After this onslaught I ended up self-harming to alleviate the pain and frustration growing inside me, something that upset rather than amused, Meadhbh. When she reappeared for our ‘video game’ date last night she was silent, sullen and guilty. I explained to her that when she talks to me like that it does nothing but amplify all the negative self-hate I feel all the time – and I don’t deserve to think like that as I’m, on the whole, a half-decent guy.

So she apologised. Perhaps the apology was genuine, perhaps it was merely manipulation because she didn’t want me to cancel our ‘date’, either way it is something my people very rarely do, so that’s something! :p

Anyway, once we started off on our video game adventure, Meadhbh returned to the more playful friend she had been on Sunday night. The game she had chosen was Monster Hunter Tri, because her favourite Angel line is “Well, personally, I kinda want to slay the dragon.”

Thus, for a few hours I did exactly what she wanted me to do. I designed our character based on what she wanted, I went to the places she wanted, I fought the creatures she wanted me to fight. Even after we kept dying repeatedly because of our lack of armour, Meadhbh steadfastly refused to allow me to dress our avatar in anything as she thought it made her look like a wanker!

So far, Meadhbh has stuck by her word and not in any way tried to talk me out of going to the group this Friday. She even asked for my permission to go with me (another first, considering she normally just tags along regardless of what I feel!)

How have I been this week?

Tired, flaky, unfocused, shitty, cranky, angry (at myself) and not at all (in any way, shape or form) with it. In fact, I’ve felt that the last week and a half has been pulling me back toward the depressive state I was in throughout December/January, a place I do not want to return to!

Predominantly, I’m becoming increasingly upset that I can’t talk to people outside of the safety of ‘therapy’ settings. This has manifested in a multitude of ways; not being able to write on my blog (what am I supposed to write about when nothing worthwhile ever happens?), drinking two bottles of wine (still better than during that depressive episode), turning down an invitation to have coffee with a couple of people from the HVSG after the meeting (even though I really wanted to, I didn’t want to make a bigger fool of myself) and my first self-harming incident in four weeks (nothing serious, just annoying).

So, yeah, not all that spectacular right now!

Sorry.

~|~

Things I learned from NOT attending the group this week:

  • If you try to slay the Great Jaggi in Monster Hunter Tri wearing only skimpy underwear, you will die. Frequently!
  • If I’m going to bargain with my voices I need to be more careful and strategic with my wording (especially given Vanessa is a manipulative bitch!)
  • My voices still don’t like being talked about to other people and react with anger and viciousness.
  • Visually hallucinating a woman wearing an exceedingly skin-tight costume is incredibly distracting, especially in public.
  • I really (really) need to find a way to talk to people as my inability to do this is seriously getting on my tits.
  • I didn’t die as a result of not attending the group.
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3 thoughts on “Hearing Voices Support Group: Week 04

  1. I’m sorry you’ve had such a rough week. I hope it gets better from here. I missed you!

    Like

    • I’m hoping it gets better too as I really don’t want to go back to that depressed state just yet!

      I’ve got the HVSG in a few hours and then…no appointments, no groups, no therapy…just a plan for a chilled out weekend of writing, blogging, gaming and walking. As long as my voices behave themselves, that is! ;)

      Like

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