The room is crowded. It’s full of elephants.
My aunt has a ridiculously large collection of elephants, and ironically bipolar. Actually in hindsight, those two things are probably linked…
Anyway. What was my point here again?
Oh yes, elephants. 🐘
My last visit to my psychiatrist was a month ago and it left me somewhat perplexed/ confused. At this moment in time I struggle enormously to remember our whole conversation or for that matter, more than the very last part of it. I do remember that one statement though, it was one made by M and one that has been spiralling through my mind ever since on repeat, attaching itself like a leech to different meanings and different emotions depending on which part of me is thinking about it at the time leaving me bleeding disproportionately.
The statement was, or words to this effect:
“There is so much going around in your brain right now it’s making you work too hard, but maybe you don’t have to. Maybe if you just acknowledge the elephant in the room (your mind) then you won’t have to work so hard avoiding it.”
Wrote about it in detail here whist annoyed, mildly dissociating and a tad hypomanic, read at your own risk. (You were warned.)
Ok, but what bloody elephant?!
She didn’t, wouldn’t, clarify. Apparently it’s one of those questions I had to figure out for myself in order for it to be useful. Instead it opened a Costco sized can of worms.
At first I was a bit pissed off. Like, I’m paying you $385 an hour to pretend to be my friend, just fucking tell me what the damn elephant is and why it’s here!
So I left the building un-enlightened, walked towards my car and stewed some more about other things she’d said, “acknowledging it doesn’t mean you have to do anything about it, just noticing it and accepting its presence will help”.
How do you acknowledge something you don’t understand?
So, naturally I started overanalysing it, then all the voices in my head joined in and threw their unsolicited opinions into the mix making me ‘work’ far harder than I had been previously.
Paranoid me considered possibilities of various psychotic delusions and eventually decided that the elephant in the room was that my psych feels like I am just a hypochondriac with absolutely nothing wrong and is just waiting for me to figure it out while letting me slowly pay for her kids private school tuition. Nothing I have felt or experienced is real.
What if I’m not really bipolar after all? What if I’m just a moody pain in the ass and a fraud who needs to suck up my stupid anxieties and get on with it?
This train of thought left the station for the moon for awhile resulting in Katie writing this lengthy ‘thank you so much for everything, but I can’t see you anymore because I’m wasting your time and the communities resources by going to see you for an imagined problem” letter.*
🎶 Three E-le-phants ba-lan-cing… 🎶 **
There was that other part of me who is desperate for ‘freedom’, she doesn’t believe that our relationship with Hubby is healthy, she doesn’t feel attached to the children or home and keeps threatening to bigger off, and oh yeah, she apparently likes girls.
To make things even less complicated, she is attracted to our psychiatrist*** and wonders if the elephant in the room is M somehow being aware of that fact.
🎶Step by step on a piece of string…🎶
There is the part that is questioning the very fabric of reality, wondering if our psychiatrist knows far more than we thought about what’s really going on, the fake world, fake universe all illusions, but to what end?
🎶They thought it was such a wonderful stunt…🎶
Maybe M believes I really am psychic after all (not just psycho) and the people in my head are spirits. God knows I’ve believed it at various points. Even though she hasn’t come right out and said it, I know M quite likes the spiritual stuffs, I can tell by her reactions and level of topic comprehension when I’m euphorically hypomanic and getting preachy about such things, and there was that ‘crystal meanings chart’ that fell out of her notebook one time…
She also knows I have been dealing with an exceptional quantity of ‘synchronicities’ and trying my hardest to deny them. Maybe she thinks I need to roll with those elephants after one of The Others somehow picked up on something personal to her by throwing a random vision at me constantly while I was talking to her****
🎶That they called for an-oth-er… ele-phant.🎶
What about my life, how can I live with all these other versions of myself inside my head with all their conflicting opinions and emotions and feelings? I love my children and husband more than anything, how can I stop the others from exisiting, from ruining everything for me? What if they act on one of their silly impulses? Technically, somehow deep down these also be my own impulses, and that’s even scarier still.
🎶 Four elephants balancing…🎶
Step by step on a piece of fucking trauma inducing wobbly string…
Damn it, Im triggering the shit out of myself right now. There’s already enough shit in my head, do you know how much elephants poop?! You see this song I’ve been non-chalantly weaving through this post is actually a trauma related trigger song. A song that sent me running to hide under my blankets as a small child quivering with fear. I loved watching Playschool but God I hated this song.
Im amazed I got this far, God knows what possessed me to go down this track. I can feel myself starting to dissociate just writing those incomplete lyrics. This is probably the most fictionally literal elephant in my fucking head of all and I don’t want to understand it. And somehow I didn’t realise it was still lurking around the corner when I started writing this post and that singing started playing in my head and…
Fuck You Bonita.******
I don’t want to acknowledge it, or notice it, because when I start thinking about it, or writing about it, I get that uncomfortable awful anxious overwhelm seemingly reserved for specific bad memories, my throat starts closing up and I get that awful feeling I can’t understand creeping up into my stomach. That particular elephant that shall not be named, it needs to stay hidden away under its invisibility cloak. I’m not ready yet.
[Continued weeks later…]
Inevitably, my elephants could balance no more and all suddenly fell to the ground into a disheveled sobbing heap of their own shit show, broken limbed and begging for mercy. But as I started to re-read this post realise that it was less a question of what elephant? And more a question of “which elephant?”
All of these topics, feelings, no matter how real or imagined or mine or perceived as those of an arguably imaginary alter ego, are all valid to some degree; because they all occupy a painfully large chunk of my brain space.
Apologies for being quiet around here for a while, I guess my head was absolutely overrun by the stampeding elephants of my childhood nightmares. Now I realise that I just have to find a way to process them and live with them or at least despite them. Growth takes time. I see M tomorrow, in the meantime I’ll find another childhood song to sing.
🎶nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I’ll go eat worms… 🎶
Do you have your own elephants to conquer?
*Didn’t send it. Phew.
**Non Australians or those Aussies not born in the 80s playing along at home likely won’t understand the elephant song reference – it’s from the popular children’s tv show called Playschool. Most people find it adorable.
***I’m not up for explaining it, at some point I will add a link to a short excerpt from my book here to catch you up…
**** Transference. 100% transference. As discussed by the offending self HERE.
***** This image was ironically actually linked to bloody Playschool! Another synchronicity?
******Sorry Bonita. It’s nothing personal.