Thoughts: Dysphoria

So it turns out I am so fundamentally fucked up that I may have to be hospitalized.

Well, probably not. It was mentioned in the emergency therapy session I had today. When my father made the wholly reasonable request that he’d only provide me with more money when I could present receipts of all my expenses, I threatened to kill myself. I asked him, when you want to hang yourself with a belt, what do you do with the end that’s not noosed around your neck. He responded by calling my psychologist and scheduling an impromptu meeting. I have no idea how he remained as calm as he did.

I’ve always thought that the reason it hurt to live was that I was a useless, lazy piece of shit. In my head I disparaged myself for being so stupid, for being the architect of my own demise. Sure, the kids who made my life hell five days a week from the ages of 7 through 13 might have had something to do with it. When they drove me to tears while I was cowering behind my bag so that they could take videos on their cellphones of me crying like a little bitch, when they tried to kick rugby balls into my head at full force from a few feet away, when kids a year or two younger than I would come looking for me on the playground to terrorize the fuck out of me because their parents didn’t love them.

But, all that ‘woe is me’ bullshit has always been my own fault, I thought. I’m a feckless burden, a stain on all that is happy and bright. If I could just snap out of it, stop being such a relentless loser, then things would be alright. If I became the pinnacle of human achievement then people would like me; no one could be disgusted with me if I didn’t do anything wrong. I tried and I tried and I tried for years to achieve what I thought might be satisfactory, but of course it never worked.

I have no resilience, no perseverance, no ability to last through difficulty; the part of me that could withstand pain and stress and hardship was crushed and burned and blown away when I was young. I’m mentally ill because for years I lived under constant fear and perpetual attack and came home to a house every afternoon that was either empty or occupied with a petty, insecure second wife. She decided that the best outlet for her frustration of having nothing to show for her 35 years on this earth and her moronic, delinquent children was treating a defenseless stepchild like dog shit.

So now I’m twenty-one and if I wasn’t marginally attractive and witty then I’d probably already have been dead, either after chugging a bottle of pills or a school shooting. Sex and intimacy kept the overwhelming darkness at bay. I thought, if these girls let me fuck them, and if this one girl lost in the throes of first love told me that she loved me, then I must be worth something.

Somehow, though, things have just been getting worse. It feels like my ability to persist, to persevere is slowly being eroded. I’ve come to realize it’s not my fault: I’m sick. Because I was bullied as a kid. That shit causes real fucking damage. Some people never recover. When I read about school shootings or killing sprees enacted by guys who were bullied and tortured and rejected I feel nothing but sympathy. I wish they could’ve killed more, returning all the pain and grief that they were just expected to ‘deal with’ for years. That’s how fucked up I am, that’s how fucked up bullying makes people.

Anyone who tells me to quit adopting a victim complex can go fuck themselves with a rake. I’ve been fighting for years to fix things but I’ve lost battle after battle and I’m fucking scared that the war will end with me hanging in my closet.

What is perhaps most frightening is the fact that I don’t have control over this. If I don’t keep my head above water, if I don’t get enough sleep one night and then the next day enough bad shit happens all at once, there’s a very real chance I would slip into an uncontrollable downward spiral, which would end with suicide. Today was the second time it happened, the third or fourth or fifth time I may not have someone present or available to stop me. Once that threshold is crossed, the brain goes into this self-reinforcing cycle where the will to live is progressively snuffed out.

I even know exactly what’s wrong with me, neurologically speaking. By virtue of childhood abuse, the release of corticotropin-releasing factor is not suppressed by the end-product of the HPA stress cascade, cortisol. CRF, released from the inhibitory negative feedback of control, then continually builds up. This, in turn, leads to a flood of dynorphin, amongst other things. Dynorphin elicits feelings of hopelessness and despair, as well as killing any ability of the brain to adapt and pull itself together. This is one of dozens of factors which have all been severely disrupted and dysregulated when my brain was still being calibrated.

So, tomorrow a psychiatrist will decide whether or not my inability to not be indifferent towards suicidal ideation in times of stress will qualify me for psychiatric hospitalization. When I first heard of the possibility of me being committed, it scared the shit out of me, but if that’s what it takes, then so be it.

I just want it to not hurt to live.


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