Sunday, April 6, 2008

Katrijn - running away again

After seeing the tree of life interview for Paul I finally came to understand somewhat better what it is I have to look at myself, but that I have been omitting, even after it had been rather specificly suggested to me that I should. The similarities with my own "situation" were too obvious and in my face to ignore. So, time to write some about my childhood dreams and the expectations I had of myself - who I wanted to be.

I feel like "telling" the story backwards, like I so often do. So, when I had decided to leave Kortenberg this meant I had to take on my "old life" again. This was the hardest period of my life. I was re-inserted in the schoolsystem and family-life. It was pure horror - unbearable misery, this caused me to lose hope completely. I couldn't believe this was my life. I cannot even describe it anymore. I started to feel dead inside, my arms would often feel heavy and I would feel like crying. I realize now that Kortenberg - a psychiatric hospital - had been my very last hope for freedom. Yes. I was amongst people of my own age there and the adults (nurses, "doctors" and psychiatrists) were of a whole different kind than my parents. They were "kind" and "understanding". While being there I didn't have any classes - there was nothing of the obligations I had in Real life. Therefore, I perceived this to be freedom - away from my parents and society's enslaving and suffocating hold on me. This place was like a dreamworld to me - an island within reality - it was amazing it even existed. Also the adults were actually interested in us (because they were paid for this). So - I could experience myself in a position of relative freedom - I was more free there than at home. This was a place where I could breathe. I started to hope and believe this "solution" to my life could in some way or another be extended into infinity. To never - EVER - have to "go back". Thats the reason why I kept on playing the part - although it was not so strategically planned, but rather perpetuated by fear in the moment - of being depressed to the point of considering suicide. I literally had to "convince myself" of my lie - otherwise I could not do the job. Furthermore - I was no expert, so I could always give the excuse that I actually just didn't understand myself. (I used this excuse towards myself). But anyway, somehow I had become CONVINCED it would be possible in the future to find a permanent solution - somewhat like the one I was in now - to the problem of me not wanting to be in the world like I knew it - my life. Yes, i was literally waiting for a miracle!!! To be honest this was also related to my sisters. When I was in kortenberg it was like they "disappeared" together with my parents. They all became non-existant. It was just me again - in an enviroment that saw me as just that. I was not associated with anyone - it didn't matter I had sisters. My life was now (in my head) moved to Kortenberg and I wanted it to stay there. I could care about myself again - me alone. Unfortunatley, the only way to remain in this arrangement was through deception on my account - I had to deceive myself completely and totally.

Ok, this was not the "plan" but let's talk some about katrijn, otherwise I'm fucking NEVER gonna do it. After more than a month time - I had been placed in the youth-department of the hospital, and there in a specific group aswell, a new girl joined our group. This was K. She was very troubled and very closed, quiet most of the time. Inside she was a raging vulcano. Because I myself seemed to be rather stable in comparison with the other youngsters that occupied the place - I develloped this "stability" attitude/facade. Like: you can allways talk to me - I'll be there for you. When K. entered the stage was after N.A. had left Kortenberg - she dissapeared out of my life forever. I didn't talk much yo her initially - but she drew my attention, because - actually because I saw myself in her - to me she WAS me, but then a girl. Thet fact she behaved in a rather boy-like fashion probably triggered this inside me as well. Or to put it differently: she wasn't "girlish". She had the seriousness of a boy. Also she had the same type of family situation at home: being the oldest of three kids and fearing her father extensively - he was apparently a real jerk. The few stories she told about him reminded me heavily of my own father - we shared the same hell.

So, one day we went on a forest-trip with the whole youth-department. this was one of the special activities that were organized once in a month or several weeks. I had exchanged a few words with her that day. Mostly she would walk completely on her own, talking to nobody. Already then I sarted to feel the need to keep an eye on her - I started to fear she might get in trouble. When we were back at our department, later in the evening I found her sitting all by herself in the livingroom of our group. She was sitting on the floor with her back against the wall. She was all miserable - she barely had the strength to speak. She was silent, but at the same time it was as if she was screaming. I sat myself down in one of the chairs and it was silent in the room - I took a chair not so close to where she was sitting, there was much space between us. I sensed there was a crisis going on - this was real. It is then that within the silence I said, out of the blue: "I want to run away." (I spoke the words as if I was speaking to myself - as if I was the one in deep trouble - but clearly with the intention that she would hear me.) I sensed that if I did nothing something was gonna happen. So I presented a "solution" myself. I was amazed at her answer. She said: "Really? Me too..." How did I even know this? But anyway, the evening ended up with me asking if a guardian/nurse would open the door/window of the garden for us so we could go for a walk in the secluded garden. Katrijn knew there was a hole made in the fence somewhere. So that evening we "ran away" together. I was aware this would cause me trouble - but for some reason that didn't matter. I ask myself this question now. Why did I do this? Really? What was I after? It seems in my perception she counted more than me. I remember when realizing how much trouble this would get me in - I just pushed through it. I could not, in any way, let her alone tonight. I was more in fear of what might happen to her - what she might do, than what would happen to me. Apparently I placed all my vulnerability and fear of death inside her, that evening. So in a twisted way - I was looking after myself - to not lose me forever. (this is the "hero-seperation syndrome" I explained earlier, with regards to vulnerability).

We didn't get very far that night. We took a lift to the nearest town/city and walked in the streets there. It was very very cold that night. At one point she said she felt regret about how her mother would react etc. She also said she was bored. People who are deeply depressed are bored all the time. So, I then asked her if she wanted to return and she said yes. So, we took a ride back. At 4 am we were back in the hospital. The next morning she received a phonecall from her mother. I was standing nearby as she took the phone. After a while she screamed "GODDAMMIT !!!!" and this sound came all from the back of her throat - it was like a lion grawling at his max volume. She smacked down the phone and ran - she was running - possesed by anger towards her room - hysteric - I had never in my life seen a person getting this angry. I felt all shaky inside, as i had seen this happen. To me, this was all my fault. The situation with K was so extreme several personel went running after her, because they feared she was gonna beat it, or even worse, kill herself. I then went to my room and started crying hysterically myself. Instead of caring after her, I had completely destroyed her. And I blamed myself accordingly. I felt regret and wish I had never undertaken this thing. From my perspective I had screwed her up completely - through lack of real thinking. This had been my "boyish" solution, completely stupid and with no consideration for reality again.

A few days later, I saw katrijn talking with some people in the kitchen. She mentionned how it was the opinion of one of the nurses that I had "come with K. to protect her." She said this to me and found this completely hilarious and absurd - I felt forced to laugh somewhat along with her, so as to not look like a complete fool. The way she said it, meant: how could someone even think I would be capable of protecting her? (Rather, this is how I understood it).

That very same day - or the next - very unexpectedly my mother stood in the hospital. She came walking up to me all in tears, her face completely broken. Then she hugged me very - how to say this, desperately. She deplored me to come back home this weekend and she said: "papa won't be mad!" (I had never seen my mother in so much grief.) In that moment, i felt very confused. But mostly I felt embarrased because she "hugged me desperately" right in front of a lot of people from my department - I felt very awkward. Also I had a twisted relation towars my mothers body, as I explained previously. She never hugged me - we never gave eachother physical affection. I didn't want to be seen like this together with my mother. I felt she was making a pathetic scene - it was not even about her, or about my parents why I had "run away again". I cannot say the state she was in didn't shock me - but I mostly hated her for intruding, for putting her foot in my world like this, as if she had the right to do this - to come and CLAIM me, here, in front of everyone. It was her trying to get controll over me again - to get a hold on me again - manipulative (from a minds perspective) - she just would not let me go, let me have a life on my own. (a life on my own in a psych hospital, yes). Her tears did not shock me however. This was just how I perceived her, as who she was: emotional. In watching romatic films she would ALLWAYS cry, therefore her tears meant nothing to me. To me they were not real.

Now I think of it there is no person I have so often seen in tears as my mother... This was especially the case in watching films. But anyway, the weekend I came home, I stood downstairs and my father was upstairs. So he had to come down to meet with me. I was very very (shit)scared to face him. because I didn't understand him - how he worked - so to me his reactions were completely unpredictable. But what he did was walk up to me and he said in a normal and gentel way: "No running away anymore." And then he hugged me. I was very much taken by surprise - me being held suddenly against the body of my father, which felt somewhat alien to me, because of the weight he had gained in the years. (I never physicly touched my father in any way whatsoever.) Because I knew of nothing else to do, I responded to his hugging and tried to hug him back - this was again very awkward to me - and then I burst out in tears on him. I just let myself go. This never happened before - Id didn't understand what his "move" was. What was he trying? Did mom ask him to do this? Was he forcing himself? This was the very first time my father showed me any tenderness - and frankly I didn't care if he was honest in this or not, I just used the opportunity to cry - my tears were real.

I was surprised he had this "inside him" however. I had expected him to still be angry in some way. But instead of showing his anger and hate, this is what he did.

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