During my time training and then practising as a psychotherapist, I have studiously avoided engaging with the chaotic world of those diagnosed with a serious mental health problem, especially those who are prone to psychosis.
To tell the truth I am alarmed and unsettled by the personality that has become so fragmented that it tends towards pathology. I think this stems from the fact that my own brother was diagnosed as schizophrenic and we had no choice but to have him sectioned. Unfortunately he died at the age of 20 something after having thrown himself in front of an oncoming train. Thank god our mother had died by then, or that would surely have killed her.
The event was so disturbing, even the thought was traumatising, that I was simply unable to go to the morgue to identify his body. I remember the Sunday morning when two policemen knocked at the front door to tell me that Zan had commited suicide and how it had happened. I stood staring at them for a good few minutes, said thank you for letting me know and then closed the door.
A few minutes later my partner asked who was at the door. When I told him, he rushed to reopen the door, to find the two policemen still standing there. God only knows what happened next and who did what because I was simply out of it. I left the planet for a time. I don’t believe I have really dealt with that experience, but life has a way of settling unfinished business.
A few weeks ago a young man I have known all his life, I’ll call him Dean, asked for my help to resolve some issues he is having with the mental health service, during and after his own sectioning.
Oh Life, you cannot really be doing this to me again. What the hell is it with you? Life chuckles….so yesterday I found myself spending the entire day at the psychiatric hospital with Dean and to my horror I wanted to laugh sometimes, but then that’s the Clown in my personality, he loves the absurd.
I need to write about this experience, but need to digest it first…so wait for the next episode.