Friday, November 4, 2011

Judith Marie and the meaning of life.

An ambitious title indeed! Especially given that the time right now is 1.30am, I don't feel particularly coherent and I've been doing a strange (but productive) combination of crying and researching for the past few hours. In those hours I have learnt quite a few things and now a whole lot of things that have been floating around have all slid into place and things make a lot of sense to me.

Waaaaaaaay back near the start of this blog I wrote an entry called "attachment disorder". I've always thought that I must have some sort of attachment disorder and this is something that has become increasingly of concern to me. Well, not to me per se, but I have friends who are starting to issue me with warnings about my relationship with the professor. I'm not about to change the status quo, but it did make me think. After some digging, and some info from mum, I think I am fairly confident in saying that I have reactive attachment disorder.

It's rare and hard to diagnose, especially as I am now nearly 22 years old and this is normally picked up in young kids and then they undergo treatment. But there is no such thing as mental health care in China (which is where I was born) and my family have no understanding whatsoever of mental illness and their view is so archaic in that they think mental people should be locked up and hidden from society.

Mum had a hard pregnancy with me. And we were both very sick. And health care in China is freaking awful. So I was born by C-section at 36weeks gestation because my heart had started to fail. As soon as my umbilical cord was cut, I was taken to the theatre next to the C-section theatre and I had a 5 hour operation that included a total blood transfusion and some catheter heart thing that mum can't quite explain to me. Then I was moved to the neonatal intensive care unit which is where I stayed for the first 2 weeks of my life. During this time, no one in my family was allowed to have any contact with me. And my dad was only allowed to see my briefly, once, when I was 5 days old and they thought I was going to die.

So I spent the first 2 weeks of my life alone, not seeing my mother once, not having been touched by any of my family at all. Then I was raised in a strange way. My parents almost alternated with my grandparents in my care because of work. They were away on business trips a lot and so my grandma (who I later found out isn't my biological grandma because my dad was adopted) was my primary caregiver. The first sign of problems appeared when I was 6 months old. When both my parents went away for a week's holiday and left me at home with her. When they got back, I essentially rejected them both. I refused to look at them, I refused to be held by them and I didn't want anything to do with them for a few days.

Both my parents thought I was being spiteful, but apparently this behaviour is rather indicative of attachment disorders. Then as I got a bit older I started exhibiting another symptom, which is getting comfort from adults, any adult, often complete strangers. I remember mum would take me out shopping, and for some reason I would always, always lose her in the supermarket or mall or wherever we were. And when I had lost her, I would grab hold the hand of the nearest adult and just walk around with them. Most of the time they would look for her and return me, but one time mum had to chase down a man who had walked me out of the store and was basically kidnapping me.

Up until 6 years old I had my grandma as a caregiver. But at 6 years old, we emigrated and left her in China and so I was separated from her. I didn't see her for a few years, during this time my parents were busy working multiple jobs to make ends meet in this new country, in this brave new world, they couldn't speak English, they didn't know anybody and sometimes I went without lunch and dinner because we couldn't afford the food. I distinctly remember that mum would go and buy those bones that they sell for next to nothing in the supermarket as dog food and boil those up and that would be dinner.

So I didn't see much of them, we lived with this family, and I didn't speak English and I remember being very scared at home, when their children would try to talk to me and I couldn't understand what they were saying to me. But I was young, I picked up English fast, and by the time my grandparents arrived here a few years later, I didn't speak enough Chinese to communicate with them. It's like I can't win!

By this time my parents were relatively stable, but I wasn't allowed to go out after school to play, I had to come home immediately and study. I was never allowed to go to birthday parties, or any party, and when I was a teenager I was never allowed to just go hang out with friends. And a boyfriend? Out of the question! When I was 12 I had basically finished the entire high school curriculum for maths, biology, chemistry and physics and had a private English tutor and had started on calculus.

Is it any wonder I have an attachment disorder? Then I go and get depression and an eating disorder on top of that. Great. No wonder I'm suicidal.

I've learnt from the second I popped out of the womb that there wasn't a single soul on this earth that I could depend on, there was nobody to protect me from anything and there was nobody that I could trust. And my dad did always say to me, for as long as I can remember, he would get me to repeat after him "trust no one, trust no one." Well dad, it worked a treat, better than you could have hoped for.

When I needed people, on the odd occasions that I wanted my parents, they were never there. And so now I think no one will ever be there. I learned to depend on me. I have total control over my own life and that is the only way I know how to do it. But with everyone around me happy and in love, I'm seeing that I'm missing something. Yet at the same time I know that I can't possibly function in any relationship because I don't know how to function in one. It's always been me against the world, what does the word ally even mean? I want to be in a relationship, but I know I can't be in one...but the sheer fact that I got this far in life without anyone being remotely interested in me makes me think that I'm severely defective in some way.

I've seen some awful girls get guys. What exactly is so unacceptably repugnant about me?

I've told you all that I've been tagged. I'm not taking it very well. I'm crying an awful lot about it. One of my biggest fears was TS and J and the professor finding out and rejecting me about it. I still don't know if the professor knows, but today I found out that TS and J knew about it before I did and have been trying to get it reversed since then. I was so touched that I almost broke down in tears in front of them. Never did it occur to me that they would be angry at the medical school for doing that to me and even go as far as to try and reverse it. I was so scared they would think less of me because of it.

When I told a friend about this she said to me, sometimes it sounds like you don't really know these people or understand what they're like. And I guess it's true. Because I would never expect anyone to try and do anything for me, or to hold an unshakable good opinion of me. I'm just not worth that. And yet, despite what TS and J are doing, despite them being incredibly angry at the medical school (I've never seen J so angry, ever), I am still terrified of the professor finding out and what he will think. Funny thing is, he probably already knows, seeing as he's married to J and all.

This depressing, ED, suicidal thing is getting harder and harder to hide. I've hidden it very well so far, but with my depression spiralling a bit and the added stress of the evil tag, I'm finding it hard to cope. It's starting to show. Not much, only ever in little gaps, little gaps of a few seconds at work. If this keeps going, someone will see. Chances are, they will all see it, but he will do something. If he sees it, he will do something.

And all I can envisage nowadays is me, being thin, very thin indeed, with a lovely gap between my thighs, a happy concave abdomen and arms that aren't so fat that they flap about, a small me, a better, prettier me, sitting on the professor's lap, and him rocking me back and forth. No wonder my friends are issuing me warnings. They're worried I like him too much, that I'm going to get very hurt. And I'm worried too. Because if he hurts me again, it will be the end of my days and I will have to bid goodbye to you lovely ladies and go and catch my train.

Wow, I've typed for over an hour and this is faaaar too long a post for any of you to read.

I commend and deeply thank anybody who actually reads the whole thing. Love you all, I don't think I could carry on without you girls.

1 comment:

  1. As sucky as that situation is, and I'm so sorry, but I'm also glad that you are able to put 2 and 2 together and give a name to what's bothered you forever instead of thinking you're "wrong" or something like that. Attachment disorder is real, as are other disorders, and this is not in your head. I'm glad you saw that.