Today I feel ashamed. It was my group therapy session and I’ve been feeling slightly off all week, though nothing I could put my finger on. I said I had the feeling of being cold and alone on a beach at night (the sea always scares me at night). My group all piped up and said they would come so I wasn’t alone. One said she’d bring cocktails. Another said she’d bring the sun. It was rather lovely.
Then, as I was waiting to leave in the hospital reception, a man with severe schizophrenia started talking to me and at first I felt uncomfortable, and then I felt afraid. And then I felt like an awful hypocrite. He wasn’t saying anything aggressive, just sideways fantastical ideas. He was going to take me to Germany. I was going to buy him some pants. The social services had killed his family. I was his friend. Did I know that the Prime Minister was onto us? But we’d go to Germany. Could I touch his hand?
His hand had smears on it and I didn’t want to, when I should have been reaching out. What made it worse was the staff members there, sensing my discomfort, trying to pull him away from me and telling him to “leave the young lady alone”, but he kept coming back to me. I tried to talk back but sometimes I found it hard too. The whole thing made me want to cry, for him and for my shame. Hear I am preaching about mental illness and giving everyone a chance when it still scares me. Is there really such a wide gap between BPD and Schizophrenia?
Seems I still have a lot to learn myself.