Tag Archive: Intimacy


This Is Madness

I’ve read a bit more of this book and I’m finding it very interesting.  For me one of the most important things it says is that with physical illnesses diagnosis starts with something happening in the body and ends up with the diagnostic concept, but with ‘so-called’ mental illness it is the other way round, that it starts with a concept and mental conglomeration in the minds of physicians and they then go looking for people who fit the concept, like crusaders.  The concept is fleshed out in committee and applied to individuals, rather than subjective symptoms first being recognised in the individual and a remedy sought.  That is my memory of what was said in the chapter called ‘Diagnosis’.

I’ve just ordered another book as well called ‘Untrain Your Parrot’ by Elizabeth Hamilton.  It is a well grounded and often humorous approach to Zen.  The book is in the Multi-Faith room at the hospital but we are not allowed to take them out, and sometimes no one is there who can unlock the cabinet where the books are kept.  It makes sense that the books shouldn’t leave the room, it keeps them available and in good condition.  I have found that when I have spent time reading it in there I approach things in a better and lighter mood.  I’m looking forward to having my own copy because I think it is something that I will read and dip into more than once

I’m a lot more open and self-controlled on the ward these days, but I still feel angry, hurt and frustrated at what I see happening with other people.

I’ve got a bad cold at the moment.

We have started making approaches to accommodation.  It seems to me it could move either very quickly or more slowly than I would like.  I would like it to move quickly.

I’ve been reading a few ‘Freshly Pressed’ selections and really enjoying them.  They are so interesting.  I just read one called ‘There was no escaping his father’s words’ which made quite an impact on me.  It’s about a man who meets up in later life with his father who had told him that he was going from fad to fad and I felt those words from his father had partly shaped the man’s life.

I don’t feel able to write much more today.  I am generally feeling quite upset and that I need to cry.  That is what I usually feel inside.  I’ve had no intimacy for a very long time now, and I feel very much that I am getting old.  I am nearer death than birth.  For a wonderful period in my 30s I was unafraid, but now I feel a bit wobbly.  I’m not sure if I’m a real Christian, and I have been taught and believe that only Christians go to heaven.  I have not been taught to be a liberal, and my emotional attachments don’t really allow it.  I have been taught, and believe, that there is a hell for people who are not Christians.  I know to some people that will make me sound really archaic.  I have found myself praying that love and mercy will be my judge in the end, that love (God is love) will save me at death.  There is also the teaching that not everyone will die but Jesus will come back and some people who are living will be caught up to Heaven.  I suppose many people want to believe they will be among those who do not die.  I would like to live beyond 80, even to 100.  I’m afraid I will die much sooner.  I’m really afraid that I might go to hell, and I’m afraid that there will be no one who cares for me intimately when I die.  I have no children and no partner, and the only member of my family I am in contact with is my mother.  I would like not to feel so tired and worn out, and upset and vulnerable, and as if my time now is not worth anything and won’t be, that I have passed a point where there was a point.

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John 14

I’ve just read John Chapter 14.  It is full of ‘I am in the Father and the Father is in Me’, ‘I am in you and you are in Me’, and John 15, which I haven’t got to again yet, starts off with  ‘I am the true vine and My Father is the Gardener’.  It will go on to say that the disciples are the branches.  What struck me the most was the intimacy, like Jesus saying, ‘Don’t worry about a thing, ‘cos every little thing is gonna be alright’.  It makes me pine for the days I had not heard of boundaries, for the simplicity of full surrender, total security in Jesus.  I can’t remember if I’ve ever been taught that forgiveness from the heart is not a contract or a transaction.  The Bible says that from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks, yet we speak in terms of deliberate forgiveness of others for our own sake and not for theirs, as if the person being forgiven should not also be in our minds as someone who needs our act of forgiveness and who stands to benefit from it.

At the time of year that Jesus was crucified it was customary for a prisoner to be released.  The crowd was offered a choice between Jesus and Barabbas.  Barabbas was an insurrectionist, a revolutionary, it is said that he had killed people, but the crowd. in its manipulated and whipped up determination to be rid of Jesus, chose for Barabbas to be released instead of the Teacher and Healer and Forgiver of sins.  So supposedly Barabbas went free without penalty or any regard to boundaries.  Granted this was Pilate’s decision and not based in good theology.  So maybe this example falls down.

Part of the massive guilt I’ve felt about the way I tried to establish my personal boundaries in Church relationships when I had newly come across the concept has been that I felt at the beginning of that that in spiritual relationships it was different.  The Bible says act justly and love mercy (and walk humbly with your God), but we talk about forgive, but justice still has to be done.  Sometimes I want mercy without someone pursuing justice as they say they forgive, or talking about the consequences being distance and separation.  Certainly in Church relationships I have been afraid of making the wrong approaches in the wrong ways to people who are going to call me proud for seeking them out.  I want this inner crying to stop.  I don’t want to have to live with it for the rest of my life.

Love one another deeply, with a pure heart, fervently, it also says.  Does language like deeply and pure heart really allow for the insistence that love is first of all an action?  It could do, I suppose.  Maybe the action primes the pump.  But what if love, in sincerity, is first of all a feeling expressed in action?  You can tell I’m not a theologian, can’t you?  Or much of anything else.

I’m reading an introductory work to Foucault which has introduced me to the concept, in the chapter on madness, of knowledge as error.   Among other things Foucault was a hero to the antipsychiatry movement.   The writer, Gary Gutting, puts the word ‘creative’ in brackets before error.  It reminded me of the verse that says knowledge puffs up but love builds up.  1 Corinthians 13 says love never fails, although everything else will.

My Neighbours

They shout and bang all day, in teams and relays, I woke up relaxed out of a good dream early the other morning, before 6am, and coughed easily as I came round, and she immediately roused her sleeping partner and suddenly they were tapping at me.  I think it was, anyway, repetitive tapping, that seems to be the torture of choice at the moment, but it might have been a violent thud, but I can’t remember this time.  The couple of times I have tried to sleep in the silent period in the afternoon, between 2 and 4 pm, they have tapped over my bedroom every time sleep has come anywhere near me.  The first time he came running across my ceiling, about 3.30 pm, and shouted out violently, terrifyingly, outside,  leaving me feeling as if I had been clubbed about the head, and where before I was gaining clarity of thought, thoughts were coming and going and not going anywhere, not being resolved, thoughts were not thinkable.  It is the level of anger and hatred, as well as contempt for the law, from a man to a woman, that really does for me.  They are playing door opening and closing games as I go in and out, which I have interpreted as symbolically closing the door on me. They follow me around, cracking and banging over my space wherever I am in the apartment.  Today I thought, if these are shepherds and sheepdogs, they are the devils shepherds and sheepdogs.  She keeps saying hallelujah, so I’m really confused.  Is this how Orthodox Christianity works, or some other form of Christianity, or is she just using hallelujah to make the experience more torturous and disorientating?

I started writing this to say, in spite of all this, if and when I lose it, I still end up feeling as if I am the one who is supposed to say I am sorry.  When I write like this I believe that isn’t right, but it doesn’t stop me ending up feeling as if it is.  And every night I’m afraid to go to bed, because they wake me up tapping, every night.  Or stop me as I am going into sleep in the first place, in exactly the same way.  It is deliberate tapping.  I’m a sleep-deprived and frightened and furious wreck.  I know they are going to do it, because they always do.  Sleep is not allowed for me.  I’m so upset, and so tired, but I daren’t go to bed.  I’m so desperate.  They did it this afternoon as well.  And if I say anything they get worse and take worse advantage.

I called the police on Thursday, the afternoon he shouted violently, and the person on the other end said ‘I beg your pardon’ twice, in a way which felt pointed (my browser crashed here), and three male officers turned up at my door, one of whom spoke English, and while I was talking to him, every time I relaxed and my voice took on strength, one of the other two went running away with it, gabbling loudly over the top of me.  When I looked through my eyehole, before I opened the door, I saw they were standing there laughing, but as soon as they realised I was taking a good look, they stopped.  I felt humiliated on my own door step.  I said something about the gabbling over the top of me and how I was used to it here, but that from the police it was inappropriate, and the English speaker tried to reassure me it was nothing, but in the end I mimicked him back when he did it again, but obviously timidly and I wish I hadn’t, but he stopped.  If I had been confrontational and strong in my annoyance and anger, would they have made it an excuse to arrest me, as has happened or been threatened sometimes in England?

Anyway, they said I had to go to the station and make a report, which at the time was something I was willing to do, but I’ve decided to approach a solicitor instead with the whole situation and ask what a couple of clauses in my contract mean in terms of being able to expect support from my landlord.  I’ve already emailed my landlord, and they have said there is nothing they can do.  If that is true I need to try and help myself, but if it isn’t, I can do without the hassle.

PS I think I am also being mobbed on the Christianity tag in particular, by people writing ‘relevant’ things and taking some aspect of my bolg’s presentation and title.  When I last looked this post was flanked by two others, one saying ‘no man is an island’, and the other talking about taking every thought captive (right next to mine, ‘thoughts and observations of a certified nut!’?), talking about the ‘queen of science’, and I went out angrily this evening, to do some essential food shopping, saying I was going out ‘like the royalty I am’.  Coincidence?  The other day there was something by someone whose blog is something like ‘thoughts and observations of a dependent workman’, and I constantly feel as if people are calling me the lone ranger or something.  It is really undermining.  While I have been writing this PS the woman upstairs has started talking, and I have had a battery of browser crashes, especially right at the beginning.  I’m still wondering if they are hacking my computer upstairs.

PPS 1.47pm Bulgarian time. I was just thinking and feeling about Jason.  At least I think I was, because her voice intruded on it, that godawful voice, or is it just my godawful embarrassment about my godawful contribution to the situation?  But it is since she imposed her voice over mine, several times, and in the context of them banging into the most intimate sounds of my voice and places of my rest and sleep that this kind of thing happens over and over, my most intimate thoughts and feelings and deepest places of my being, open to or because of the things or people I am thinking about, are invaded by this voice.  This actual voice, not a memory or imagination or hallucination.  I have raged in the past when this kind of thing has happened.  Today I held back and decided not to.  It has taken me half an hour to decide that putting this fact on my blog is OK and not inappropriate.  As soon as I hit the ‘update’ button on this my computer crashed.

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