The ultimate blog post; the 40-year procrastination list resolved. Numerous 40 year trajectories coming together as one all at once.
I have posted numerous times in the last few days and it has led to a real watershed and the denouement of the most important struggle of my life.
In a nutshell, I was stranded at the Berks county, PA state hospital in the mid 80s after a terrible suicide attempt. I was down; I literally couldnt get up; and I didnt know why; I have written about this.
So, they put me at the Lodge Program, for high functioning patients.
I suffered what I deemed an “attack” by another patient that took me apart. Over the years, I came back to this again and again.
In California, in 1990, I said to my new husband that I couldnt let go of that until it was resolved. It felt like folly but I said it anyway. It had already taken me apart in my mind and there was no going back. I had the vague intimation that if there was a time and a place for this “coming apart” it would be exactly the help I needed–“a close look at myself.” Just as the psychoanalyst in Cambridge where I had left off had said he was really only offering a band-aid treatment as I wasnt really integrated in society there.
At the Lodge, I was so pleased to be maintaining a low weight and regular sleep and meeting the expectations of the program; which included morning meetings, factory workshop, hot dog sales, trips to town. It really was rather a lovely time.
But, when I got out, it was like I was looking at society from upside down. I felt completely alienated from normal society.
That has remained the case for all of these years.
But, I just connected the moment in New Jersey in my last post (“Drugs”) when I took rhe first dose of the antipsychotic med, Mellaril, with the terrible image that I had in the midst of that thrall in Berks County in 1987 when I was upset about the attack on the Lodge Program ward. I was driving with my mother in Wyomissing and the car ahead of us hit a squirrel and it flipped up off the tire as she drive off and it was like it was half killed. And that represented to me in my mind with horror what I was feeling about patient P at the Lodge Program and her “attack.”
(She wrote a disciplinary “Note” on me that I didnt like.)
So, that dogged me all my years until today– RIGHT NOW!!!, where I see that the dose of Mellaril in Summit, New Jersey, and how that felt, the despair and how I was stuck on it constituted a hold on me until I could get to a better time and place to work things out, which came in force at the Lodge program, with the perspective I got from being called out there; For instance, I began to come to terms with being British in Anerican society. I was doing it all my years in so many ways–workingbrhings out–starting with the “band-aid treatment ” psychoanalysis in Cambridge, Mass. In the 1980s which was a spearhead.
I see that I havent explained it well about patient P and the Note and the squirrel. I have written about tbis stuff so many times already. Never about the squirrel, its hard to describe what I saw and how I felt that day.
I’m hoping to wake up tomorrow morning in a good place through this. Its an incredible moment.