May 29, 2012
I just had to post this because this young woman said what I’ve been wanting to say to my family, this in particular:
“To my family, to my friends, to you, to those I cherish, those who were there when I could not love myself, I thank you for loving me anyway. Your love kept me alive when I couldn’t survive on my own. But your love wasn’t enough. I thought love would heal me, I thought faith would restore me. I thought hope would find me, and maybe it did. Maybe it kept me alive. But fifteen years worth of internal contortions, intense pain and battles that raged on in the privacy of my own head were no match for the virtues I tried so desperately to cultivate…And you ask yourself over and over again, when love seems to fail, where is the answer?” ~Amanda Wang is the lead organizer of RethinkBPD, a peer-led advocacy and support group for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
This Rethink BPD Series video also reminds me of how I’d ironically said I thought L had BPD even before I’d found out about my diagnosis. This video in particular moved me. As Elaine point out, it IS strange to say that “Love isn’t enough” because our intuition tells us otherwise. And then I have to wonder, why? I think maybe it isn’t that love isn’t good enough, it’s just that the love we think we give isn’t enough for the nature of the beast. Yes, “all you need is love” as the Beatles song goes. I love that song and I hold the words as truth.
But why would a borderline say, “your love wasn’t enough?”
Allow me to attempt toexplain. Love is an undefinable thing first of all: I can love a lover, I can love myself and I can love life and I can love to love. And well, shit if she couldn’t love herself as we–all of us, but in particular borderlines often do at the depths of depression–can’t “love ourselves” then all other forms of love are out of the question.
Our various expressions of love are different. For my dad, it is to say, “I love you, to cook dinner for me, to give me a big hug and a kiss and to say I love you again,” why isn’t that enough? Well, the nature of my beast denies it. That’s not the same as being ungrateful. No, it’s far more twisted than that. Then there’s the need for validation again–of pain, the need for understanding. That’s the love I have not gotten in many instances.
So when this young woman says, “your love wasn’t enough” she’s not saying that the fact that they loved her wasn’t enough. She’s sayin (and I’m only interpreting here from my own experience) that the nature of the beast wasn’t being cared for in that expression of love. It’s not so much the love, but the expressions people make of that love and the “borderline’s” interpretation of that love. It’s expression of love in simple kisses and hugs for me was SEEMINGLY not enough. It’s the expressed contradiction of that love in little things with all the small passive aggressive words for example. It’s the love and the trauma. It’s all the black and white! And I say seemingly because I think to an extent it is only what it seems and it isn’t anything at all unless you recognize it, unless you bring it out of nothing. It’s like the elephant in the room.
This statement she made was obviously an oxymoron and a paradox because although, their support (an expression of love) or vise versa her love for them and not wanting to hurt them deterred her from suicide, it was still not enough. Not enough for what? For recovery? Define recovery. And what is this “not enough” if she’s still here like I am still here? She’s survived thus far!
UGggh. I’m running in circles with this. It’d be so much easier if I were just a puppy running in circles and chasing my tail instead of running in circles with this.
I went swimming today again, but more on that later. I think it’s just about time for another one of my Good Lists.
May is Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month.
May 22, 2012
*minor trigger warning. mention of the death of sometimes-lover/mostly best friend aka Monkey Man L, other general depressive shit and brief mention of self-harm*
Dear Dotty’s Words of Wisdom: Grieving for the Mentals Can Be Worse
Dear Dotty was right. There’s something I knew but hadn’t been giving much attention to, not enough attention to at least. A trigger. A trigger beyond triggers, a stressor beyond stressors has set all of me bouncing more and more off the walls, down the corridor, down he street, like a rubber ball down a seemingly endless cobbled stone road. It’s the loss of Monkey Man L.
Yes Dear Dotty, thank you dear. Much of what I’m going through is grief. But how much of it adds to the mental mix dear lovely lady? That’s what I wanna know.
Today marks the second month of his death. JUST TWO MONTHS AGO! ONLY two months ago! Actually, we don’t even know if he died that day or two days before. It doesn’t fuckin’ matter. All I know is that on March 22, I got the horrible call. What is up with people dying at twenty-seven? Fuck, I’m about to be twenty-seven.
Sigh. I don’t even know if he died by his own hands or if his body just gave out from the combination of his past self-abuses and his present condition as well as the Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI). His spine was compressing his chest, he’d become a chain smoker, etc.
All I know is that I’d seen him a week before. And a few days after, when I saw the Rapper K, I talked to him on the phone. And that was the last conversation we had. He didn’t pick up my other calls that weekend. I only got a measly text message in reply, saying, “I just want to be left alone right now sweety”. So that’s what I did. I left him alone. And that was the last time I talked to him. The day I’d seen him that week before, he looked terrible.
In the post I wrote about him after the funeral, I mentioned doing my best not to let myself fall into guilt. Well, sometimes that guilt tries to come up and take over.
He was found in his apartment sitting on the couch as if he were watching T.V. That’s all I know. And I keep thinking I could’ve been there; I SHOULD’VE been there. And I know this has me bouncing more that I would have been.
Then there’s the added factor that I was ALREADY falling, spiraling into a deep depression–I don’t even like using that word, “depression”–but that’s what we’ll call it and that’s how I was before his death. Depressed. And now what?
February was hell, then March came with the news. “He’s gone”.
This. THIS is one reason why I’ve been so much more mental than my usual mental. That, and in terms of this week, it could be the hormones added to the mix. I think this week I’m having the PMSS. That extra S was put there on purpose. It’s what I call the Premenstrual Suicidal Syndrome. It’s when my suicidals get more intense just before the cycle. I know the APA has a name for it, it’s premenstrual dysphoric disorder but fuck their labels and their making everything a disorder.
I’m just bouncing too much. Off the charts…
Looking back on that trigger my brother’s girlfriend set off when she innocently mentioned Vicodin, I realize it was actually a double trigger, no a triple trigger. One, it reminded me of what I’d done to myself the Sunday before last–or was it Monday?–anyhow, it reminded me of the incident. Two, it reminded me of my own problems with painkillers in the past. Three, it reminded me of Monkey Man L and his addiction. And that, THAT was the ultimate trigger because I was fucked for the rest of the night (it wasn’t the good fucked, nope).
No one prepares you for what you’ll feel when you loose someone you cared for so much. No one. We were co-dependent. We had an intense, tumultuous relationship. No one prepares you for grief just like no one prepares you for the feeling you’ll get when you become a parent. Sure there are books out there on parenting and on grief (what a lovely combo no?) but they don’t actually TEACH you how to FEEL about being a parent or how to FEEL about a LOVED ONE when that loved one is no longer there to say anything back.
This was not my idea of “(mis)adventures of a mentally unstable” mouse. When I started this blog, I had meant to write about my past misadventures not my present ones. But life has a funny way of throwing more at you. They say things come in threes and they did. First, my face and the Bell’s Palsy; then, my arm, and lastly, my L.
Threes. One. Two. THREE. I wonder if there’s some sort of cosmic thing in that or if we’re just trying to make sense of what seems so incomprehensible.
Then after Dear Dotty reminded me, I began to think about mental illness and grief–there’s another set of words I don’t like to use “mental illness”. I think my dislike for the term has something to do with my Christian Science upbringing, though I suspect it’s much more complex than that.
But is it really much more difficult for a mental? This grief thing. I mean, can it send an already distraught person over the edge? Of course it can! If it can send a non-mental over the edge, then fuck… Then again, I think what makes the most difference in grief is the nature of the loss. I had such a turbulent relationship with him and I know this will make my grief more complicated. Also, the the fact that he died so tragically at such a young age complicates the grieving process further. The nature of this grief is inherently complicated.
After the incident last week or the week before last or god knows when (I forget), I talked to the New Male Therapist-Who-Is-Really-a-She and told her what had happened, the freaky dream about him, the thoughts, the pills, more or less descriptively than here. I find it easier to write feelings out than to talk about them. My writing is stronger than my verbal communication. Maybe that’s what makes me a “poet”, ha, then again, maybe that’s just what makes me become more mental. Anyway, I told her, strangely enough, that the week before last, I’d began obssessing about my hearing loss again–something I hadn’t done in months.
“Could it be I’m combining my griefs?” I asked her.
“Yeah, possibly,” she replied.
Stages of Grief
According to the Kübler-Ross model, there are five stages to grief . They are:
- Denial (a funny one that denial)
- Anger (my best friend who’s no good for me… Actually, that’s not entirely true. In small doses, anger is motivating. Anger is part of our innate autonomic response to danger. It tells us a lot about our experience.)
- Depression (oh look another friend)
- Acceptance (when? six months from now? a year? years? a lifetime?)
I was there crying, “Dear god, I’ll take his place. No, wait, I’ll take the six fractures he had after that accident last year. I’ll take more. Fuck, fractures are nothing, I’ll take as many as it takes. Just bring him back!”
These stages aren’t quite lined out in chronological order. I mean, mainly they are, but you can experience them simultenously or even switch from one to another and then back again. I found I’ve just gone all over the place. It’s my style of doing things.
But I’m too lazy to go all out and write about these stages. Besides, this post is getting long and I’m opting for non-monumentally long posts at the moment.
So here’s a great little post by Sailor Carrie titled “The Five Stages of Grief”.
Emotional Instability, Repression and Acceptance in the “Borderline” Mind
Another dear fellow blogger’s recent comment brought something else to mind. Well, two things: 1. I have no close friends or FEEL like I have no close friends and, 2. I don’t know how to open up to people which is why I feel like I don’t have close friends.
Isn’t it funny that I find it easier to run a knife down my thigh than to tell my dad “I’m upset”? Or that I find it easier to pop a dozen pills than to call a friend and say, “I need someone to talk to”?
Yeah, quite funny P.
The support network we mentals generally need but often neglect or just plain don’t have, that’s what came to mind. We often lack support strategies or non-destructive exit-strategies, coping mechanisms, distress tolerance, or call it what you will.
If I didn’t have maladaptive coping mechanisms and maladaptive friendship patterns, I wouldn’t have been in therapy in the first place. That’s what the therapist was for–for DBT, CBT and retraining on how I can reach out to people more effectively.
In responce to said fellow blogger’s comment, I said, ” I have trouble with communication”. I was a communications major; another funny thing P. But that’s what’s at the core here. Fellow blogger suggested friends, which is great, but I have trouble with friends. Aren’t people too busy to talk to nowadays anyway?
Getting myself to actually TALK to friends was something I was working out in therapy before Young Therapist had to leave. See, I said in my comment, “a ‘healthy’ coping mechanism someone without a dysfunction might have is to run to a friend in time of deep distress. I do the opposite. I run into a hole and throw on a cover and don’t let anyone in, which only makes it worse in the end. Despite knowing this, I find it EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to just reach out and say ‘I’m desperate…'”
A therapist can do something a friend can’t but a friend can do something a therapist can never do–be a fountain of mutual support. That is, if you have a good friend and therapist to begin with.
Why do I have such a terrible difficulty reaching out to people? Why can’t I express negative emotions besides anger?
Here I am, deeply in need, needing to confide in a friend all the while feeling completely unable to. Sadly, I can’t think of but one friend I’m comfortable talking about this “suicidal” stuff with and she’s pretty mental, so I can only let her have so much. She’s the BPD friend I mentioned in earlier posts, the one who I keep at close distance. Besides her, there was L and well, fuck, he’s gone! ha. He’s the reason I started this post.
Not being able to talk to people about my emotions, or just not reaching out and having enough social interaction to begin with is what the Young Therapist was trying to get me through; it’s what we were working on, finding solutions for. Sure, I can talk to people at parties or in social situations. I seem “normal” (whatever that’s supposed to mean) but really, I’m not. I’m constantly thinking, “Oh my god, I wanna get out of here, I wanna get out of here,” and if I’m not thinking that, I’m thinking something else that’s pretty similar to that.
I just can’t think of a friend I can confide in and that just made me very sad to think about, realizing how lonely I’ve let myself become. I’m glad I live with my parents and little Luna is the best, but I’m becoming uh oh, here it goes, “empty”?
B., a friend from college came by last week. I wasn’t able to make it to his graduation so he stopped by. How nice of him, right? And I wasn’t able to tell him about L because he came by with his mother who just came in from AUSTRALIA(!) and well, I was being a good host. I was meeting his mother for the first time so telling him was out of the question.
Eloise, who lives in Florida, was the only person I’d told but well, she lives in Florida. She called me last week and I haven’t been able to muster the courage to call her back. Yes, it actually takes some courage from me to call people! Even the close friends like Eloise (oh wait, I do have a close friend)! Because calling people gives me anxiety!
Maribel also knows. I told her only because she’d called me to tell me her mom died and she needed someone to talk to. Funny, I can be the support but not reach out and ask for it.
It would be nice if L and I had mutual friends because then I’d be able to call them up and say, “Hey man, yeah, you miss him too?” But we didn’t have any mutual friends. Not one.
Only A.F., his stepsister, but she lives all the way up in New York City and even so, she hasn’t called me again after I called her and we had our last talk a month ago. She’s probably really busy with her little three-year-old and the baby.
I can’t even talk to my brother about most of this. I mean, sure my brother’s been kinder to me. He’s a sweetheart. But we are just beginning to rebuild the bridge I’d burned between us last year. See, six months ago, my brother and I were not in speaking terms.
“I’m not talking to your fuckin’ crazy ass again! Don’t contact me, just don’t!” he’d said.
Yeah. I’d pushed him away again.
I know telling him some of this might even make our rekindling stronger, but then I get discouraged. Every time I try to bring up the BPD diagnosis, he seems a bit aloof like he’s not really listening (of course, that could just be my misinterpretation). I haven’t even been able to muster the guts to show him that Five Faces of Borderline video I posted, which I think he’d find funny. I just, ugggh. I mean, I listened to him rant about his OCD. Why is it so difficult for me to simply do this?
I started looking up information about BPD and the inability to express certain emotions. I found these really good, really simple and straightforward links:
How Accepting Emotions Can Improve Your Emotional Health (from about.com)
Post Traumatic Stress, BPD and Suppressing Emotions (from about.com)
A common string I’ve found connecting a lot of this BPD literature is the notion of invalidation. Invalidating environments is a hallmark for BPD.
See, I always assumed invalidation equated to neglect. But “I WAS NEVER NEGLECTED” I’d say to myself. Yet I realize invalidation can come in so many flavors. For L, it WAS CLASSICAL neglect. His mother would get high and leave him on the toilet for hours. She’d forget to feed him. Yeah. My parents ALWAYS made sure to feed me. When my mother couldn’t, my grandmother would. Even at our hardest times, when my dad was getting bread baskets from a local church, I WAS ALWAYS fed. Well fed!
So what flavors did my invalidation come in then? I wonder. My parents never outright said, “Don’t express yourself P! Don’t talk about your emotions P! We don’t wanna hear you crying P! None of that in this house P.” No, not at all.
Then I begin to think, of course! My invalidation is definitely there. I can see it. I can see it in my Christian Science years. I can see it in my mom running away when I screamed in agony in the hospital beds. I can see it before then. I can see it in a very subtle way. Invalidation for me was not overt.
I’ll give you an example. By the time I became a toddler, I stopped crying when I’d break a bone. I mean shit, after you’ve had your fiftieth fracture well before your fifth birthday, you just don’t cry about that shit anymore–unless it’s a femur, because femur fractures FUCKIN HURT LIKE HELL!
So my parents interpreted my not crying about fractures as: “This here is a brave one! Much braver than her wimpy brother! She doesn’t cry about ANYTHING.”
And I interpreted that as: “I have to be the brave one. Be BRAVE P! BEING BRAVE IS ALL YOU CAN BE. Braver than my cry-baby hermanito! I cannot let people discover that I DO cry. I cannot let people see me cry or else they’ll see I’m a faker! And no one likes a faker! I’m a mean challenger!” I think that’s more or less how I started to develop my calloused sense of self.
Then there was my mom’s bullying. “And blah blah blah smack, blah blah, BLAH BLAH BLAH, smack smack SMACK, SMAAAACK.” You just can’t let a bully see you cry. That would only give them power over you and you wouldn’t want that.
Just yesterday my dad asked me, “Have you been crying?”
“Yes, but sometimes I cry you know,” I replied trying to be assertive of my discovery.
And he replied with something about him not being able to withstand my crying because it tore him up inside.He didn’t say this in a way to hurt me. He said this as his way of expressing his OWN hurt, sure and his love. It was a bit selfish though. It’s maladaptive but he doesn’t know better. It works for him. He was hurting when he saw my swollen eyes.
I realize that now. He just doesn’t know how or understand how someone like me can twist those words up; how someone like me can distort them so. He doesn’t know how to effectively express his hurt while acknowledging and validating my hurt and my need to let it out.
That’s my flavor of invalidation. The child me, years back, would’ve seen this as, “Oh no! I must NEVER ever let him see me upset again or cry in front of him because it will DESTROY him! TEAR HIM UP INSIDE! And I don’t want to destroy dear daddy. No, I cannot kill my papi.”
I’ve been thinking about texting Warrior D. She’s a friend who also just graduated. Just got her masters in Social Work. She’s someone I’ve been getting kinda close to in the last year or so. Oh yeah, she’s the other person I told. She’s great at listening. Trouble is, I tried to get her to meet up with me after L’s death and she got back to me but didn’t follow through with plans. I understand she was in the middle of her end of semester mayhem but it hurt me to wait, expecting to talk and go for tea and then not. So now I’m hesitant. This is why I feel I do need therapy still. Young Therapist would help me find ways to deal with this situation and call Warrior D. Truth is, I said in my last post that I’ve gotten along all these years before without a therapist. But come to think of it, I JUST BARELY got by.
I might’ve/might end up like L if I would’ve kept getting by the way I was.
addendum: I went swimming yesterday evening at my mom’s friend’s gym and it was awesome! Took pictures of the cold, cold water.
May 19, 2012
…so I can’t stop changing all the time” ~ Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine
I’ll try and make this one a quicky because the one below this is a bit long. It was my first attempt at “scheduling a post” heheh. I had forgotten all about it until I saw a “like”.
Anyway, I’ve been feeling ambivalent about blogging lately. VERY ambivalent. And the last few days I became painfully aware of how much of myself I’ve put out there. If it weren’t for my semi-anonymous voice, I don’t think I could’ve ever expressed some of this. And even so, I’m holding back on what I call some of the “darker stuff,” most of what the Pretty Little Demons feed me. A fellow blogger, well two actually, recently wrote about such conflicts when it comes to writing a personal or somewhat personal blog.
I submitted the photo and felt ecstatic at the reply I got from Broken Light , but I also felt very self critical.
“What are you doing? You only set up the first shot, even then it was a mutual take. You’re not even a photographer. You’re an amateur, a whanabe. What are you anyway? What are you doing exposing yourself like this? Do you want pity?”
No, I’ve always hated the pity people have showered down on me! This is fucking expression of art; it’s NOT a pity party! Besides, it’s cathartic, therapeutic even and what if I inspire someone? Quit being so overcritical P!
“Ok, ok. I’ll stop being so critical, so harsh. But really, are you this narcissistic? You need to tone it down! What if you embarrass your family!? hmmm? They don’t even know about your little drug adventures anyway, not most of them at least.”
Ugh. If embarrassment is the case, I’ve done that already and the only one I’ll really be embarrassing is myself. That’s been done too. I’m used to being uncomfortable, remember?
Here’s where I realize that the other voice is just my punitive parent trying to punish me for expressing myself (and hell even indulging myself), much like the guy in the video I shared in my Five Faces of Borderline post.
Then today, something odd happened. I was feeling alright, well, let me go back a little…
Last night I hung out with my brother, my brother’s girlfriend, his girlfriend’s little daughter and a new co-worker he’s been showing around (he just got here from Britain and is originally from Iran). We went to a park in downtown called Discovery Green. They play movies on certain weekends. We packed up fruits, pita chips and other snacks. It was a beautiful starless night. The weather was gorgeous, slightly windy, slightly cool and NOT HUMID–so unlike Houston. And despite my worry about the Bell’s Palsy returning (yeah, my lips ain’t right) I had a great time.
Oh, we watched ET on a big projector they set up on the park hill!
On the way home, I sat in his girlfriend’s car while my brother rode with his Iranian/British co-worker in his co-workers rental. And for the first time, I warmed up to her. We ended up having a great chat on the way to my house. She seemed to have warmed up to me too, telling me about her difficulty with trying to stay in nursing school while having C, her little girl, and having to drop out in the end. We talked about our mothers and all sorts of fun nonsense.
Then this afternoon, my brother stopped by again with his girlfriend and her little girl. He’d brought fish tacos for me and some other food for us to eat.
Well, we were having a good ole time, a good ole talk when all of a sudden, they started joking about drugs. I don’t know what prompted this. But it made me very anxious. See, my brother has never been a drug user or abuser like me. He’s very nervous about putting things in his body for fear of contamination. The only thing I think he’s done is weed and alcohol and alcohol is probably one of the worst drugs ever in my opinion, but anyway… weed, eh, I don’t really see it as much of a drug, though it is a substance and here I go contradicting myself. So yeah, I’m kind of the black sheep of the family in that aspect.
Then, out of nowhere, my brother’s girlfriend started saying, “I just don’t like to be out of control. I don’t like not being in control of my thoughts or my body. I even freaked out when I had to take a Vicodin after I had C. [her little girl].” She started to giggle but I didn’t. I couldn’t even FAKE a smile. It was a trigger.
Holy shit, it was a HUGE trigger. I began to panic. The mere words, “I took Vicodin…freaked…took Vicodin…freaked…took Vicodin,” sent my head spinning.
After what happened when I wrote the “Voluntary Hospitalization Post” I’ve been so wary of talking about anything related to painkillers, especially VICODIN. Of all things, why did she… of all things? (Vicodin is the same thing as Hydrocodone by the way)
So I quietly removed myself. I pretended I was too busy clearing the dishes to hear her. And once they were in the living room watching TV, I was washing the dishes, bawling my eyes out. I ended up having flashes of L and I downing painkillers. And after I was done with the dishes I went to my room to cry some more. I hope they didn’t notice but then again, I feel like running and telling my brother, “I don’t know what to do anymore”.
Good thing is I managed to cry just enough and re-enter the living room looking calm and collected. To a certain extent I was. I was being mindful of my thoughts and feelings–of everything around me. I was changing.
“I’m used to being uncomfortable so I can’t stop changing all the time”
This, my friends, is what it’s like to live with BPD. Any little thing can trigger you.
Oh and I know I haven’t been coming up with anything funny as of late. Sorry. I think the recent overdosing/relapsing incident drained all the funny juice, well not all, MOST of the funny juice out of me, but I know I’ll refill soon and be a little funnier and less depressing with these posts.
p.s. FREE HUGS FROM COPYRIGHT BOUNCER BEAR Y’ALL! COME AND GET’EM! SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY ONLY!
HEY HEY! NO SHOVIN’ NOW. EVERYONE WILL GET THEIR TURN!
May 17, 2012
More SHAMELESS self promotion in which I make more typing errors!
Ok. That’s enough for the week. I think I’ve been whoring myself on WordPress a tad too much these days. But please do check out the Broken Light Collective. They’re awesome!
By the way, my Copyright Bouncer Bear Sends his hugs and is asking me to remind you that every Sunday they’re free (today was just a special freebie from him).
Photos taken by Paz, who was initially diagnosed with bipolar II, but recently got a new diagnosis of major depressive disorder comorbid with borderline personality disorder. She was also born with a brittle bone condition, hence the wheelchair.
About these photos: This is a two-part piece taken in 2009. It was during a time when I was messing with a lot of drugs. I was on the way to Austin, Texas for the South by Southwest Music and Film Fesitval (SXSW), on a highway that is covered in blue bonnets and other flowers. Although the scene is tranquil and almost spiritual, I could not find any peace of mind. I was feeling very frantic and empty. I was genuinely trying to enjoy the scenery and the trip there but it was difficult.
The first one is called “Empty”. It’s just my empty wheelchair. The second is “Paradox Road”. This one was…
View original post 45 more words
May 9, 2012
Life is beautiful, it’s precious, it’s [insert other euphemism]. It is the only one we know we’ll get. So why waste it? Why throw it away?
Sure, there are tsunamis that claw over, killing hundreds of people and hurricanes and tornadoes and earthquakes all leaving ravage in their wake; there’s disease and famine, and worst of all, the man-made stuff–if you don’t count some of the natural disaster stuff being partially an effect of some of the man made stuff.
But still, why throw it away?
I have often wondered “How does one get to that point?” of taking your own life, of constantly being bombarded by thoughts of suicide. I wonder about this, even when I myself have been there countless times. So I can only imagine how incomprehensible it maybe for someone who’s never dealt with chronic depression and chronic thoughts of suicide like I have.
I say take this as a trigger warning, please: I will refer to suicide a lot in this post. Read the rest of this entry »
My Avengers Review, part two will not be completed (I know big disappointment right–a little sarcasm). Wasn’t a popular post anyway, maybe offensive to some of y’all, but additions to the initial review will be made since I’d already written some of it. Apologies. So in case you did, for some reason, want to finish reading whatever will be left of the second part, you can go back and look at that post.
I and mouse are not going along so well at the moment. We may have played Russian Roulette and relapsed. Please listen to the bear while I’m out–a few days, weeks or who who knows how long. He’s a bit tough, grungy and grumpy so he’s not to be taken lightly, and neither is Miss Monkey-bee. Though they do both have kind hearts and are very sweet when treated with care.
edit: The post above this one is one I don’t feel comfortable having public yet (if ever) but feel free to email me and ask for a password, since I do want to share it with some of you if you would like to read (my pet bloggers). I may still make use of the “like” button from time to time. Also, I have gotten THE FUNNIEST search terms this week. I’ll have to share them when I’m back from the dead. Here’s a sneak preview of one I got yesterday: “simpsons old man shaking crutches”. And today someone actually searched for borderline personality disorder on an Avengers character! See I’m not too far fetched diagnosing the Hulk as borderline. Search term: “personality disorder of avengers characters”
Thanks for reading and for the kind advice some of y’all have given me when I wrote my last desperate post..
You know you’re borderline when you can not only relate to a comic book character that has of-the-charts anger management issues, but you suddenly feel deeply connected to this character as though he may be your long lost soul mate.
You wish he were real even, because then you wouldn’t feel so damn lonely. You imagine that the two of you would make the best of friends, so long as you’re a good dozen kilometers distance from each other when one of you ill perceives, imagines or exaggerates a slight and transforms in a fit of rage.
And you then imagine that the two of you, best mental friends forever (BMFF), would be able to stroll down Central Park sit down on a park bench and laugh and laugh and then SUDDENLY cry together, a long, hard cry.
As you sit there crying with Bruce, Bruce crying with you, Dr. Bruce Banner-Hulk suddenly hugs you and you hug him back, gripping tighter. And between sobs and drools, you cradle Bruce’s head, begin to stroke his hair and spit out, “I know man, I know what it’s like. I know exactly how it feels to wake up naked after a rage and feel confused and lost, not really remembering what happened, not knowing where the hell your clothes went or where the hell you are or if you’re still you or that dreaded other. I know Brucito querido. I know, oh dear god I do… And when you tell them not to push you there, not to take you back to that place you’d left because you fear you’ll loose control again if you go, fear what can happen if you abandon your new-found zen, you say, ‘DON’T, PLEASE‘. But you’re shoved inside a room, shoved between the wall and the Black Widow and her gun. Her tantalizing eyes intoxicate you and pierce your soul. Funny, because NOTHING can pierce you! Not even bullets! Not even the fire of bombs or radiation or torpedos! You say, ‘Please don’t. I’m done with that shit. Fuck off! I’m not going back there. I’m not allowing myself to go back to that level of rage. I’ve left all of that behind.’ You plead so much because you fear the other too, more than they do. See you’ve even tried to KILL the other, too keep him back at bay but he is YOU and he will NOT let YOU kill HIM because your’re always angry anyway you say; you’ve merely learned to teeter on the edge of anger, learned to deal with that, to let the currents of anger swish you like seaweed swishes in the crystal blue. And then, SUDDENLY, it’s too late. You think you had it in your palm but the anger grows too big to hold: it takes control. POP POP–your muscles tighten; your veins flood; your fingers curl, only they’re more like claws than fingers now, and your bones pop. Everything swells! And you find yourself naked again, shaking your head in dismay, shivering body, fearing what you’ve done, hating yourself! Hating what you’d become even if only for a moment! So when everything around you begins to come back into focus, you grab the nearest person and demand, ‘Did I SMASH anything? What did I SMASH? Was it WORTH SMASHING? What happened? Answer me! Please!’ I know. Yo lo se querido Brucito… yo lo entiendo…”
This is exactly what comes to mind when I think of the Hulk as seen in the latest film adaptation of The Avengers, released this weekend but long overdue, anticipated for over five years.
A Brief Review and a Character Study
(minor spoiler alert)
Joss Whedon, screenwriter/director, did it right! Whedon pulled off a REAL believable non-cartoon, no bullshit Hulk in The Avengers (2012), what director Ang Lee’s disproportional body-to-head, Eric Bana-faced Hulk (2003) failed to do while flying across the Rockies and being shot by jet missles; what Edward Norton was left hiding in shame from in Louis Leterrier’s 2008 Hulk–ugh, and his overuse of the clichéd one liner, “Hulk SMASH!”
Yes, WE KNOW the Hulk SMASHES. It’s what the Hulk fuckin’ does! We get it! Thank you Joss Whedon for not having Mark Ruffalo or his animated counterpart speak such ugly words, not even once throughout the film. Thank you for handing that down to Captain America, who towards the beginning of the last, epic fighting scene turns to Hulk and says, “Hulk, you can smash now!” That’s how you slip those words in, by handing them over to another character: it builds irony.
In fact, thank you for not having Hulk speak at all with the exception of growls, screaming and that one time when he finds Loki in Tony Stark/Iron Man’s mansion and Loki’s mocks him by calling him a brute and claiming, “I am a GOD”. Only then does Hulk reply with a quick smashing and a, “Yeah, a puny god” remark. This should be taken as a serious lesson: DO NOT INVALIDATE or UNDERVALUE HULK FOR HE IS BORDERLINE.
So thank you once again Joss Whedon for keeping Hulk’s angry vocabulary nearly absent while maintaining a complex character. Bruce Banner’s “I am calm” and “I am ok” vocabulary is layered and intelligent. Ruffalo does an excellent job of charming the audience almost as much as the charismatic Robert Downey Jr.
This is the thing, Whedon aims to excite and entertain us with bombs and explosions à la Michael Bay style–and that’s what summer blockbusters do, that’s how they still manage to cash in–BUT unlike Bay’s sole eye-candy (think Transformers), Whedon does so with thoughtful, well-crafted artistic flavor. He does so while tending to character development. And if there’s anything I learned from my own film obsession and my film studies classes is that a good film need not have an amazing plot, or a sensible plot even (look at Easy Riders, 1969) if it has good character development.
So yeah, this 2012 Avengers Hulk is the REAL DEAL HULK. This is what I like to call, the BORDERLINE HULK, the way Hulk should be! This is the Hulk that will live up to his true comic book origins.
Hulk is and always will be about the loss of rational thought our primal, basal reaction to stress can leave us with; it’s about human anger. Hulk, however, is the epitome of human anger response gone to extreme proportions–gone wrong, gone dare I say “disordered”.
And to portray him in a whimsical somewhat childlike but not one-dimensional manner (with few exceptions) says something about the quality of this film.
There was just the right amount of sarcastic wit in this film, a bit of cheese but not over-the-top cheese. Yeah, there was cheese of all flavors. Enough cheese to fill up a school bus full of melancholically manic mouses, but not so much cheese to make them all throw up out the windows. And for good measure, there is a pinch of darkness in the film. Mouse likes darkness more than cheese flavor and variety even, but not more than coffee.
We first see Bruce, played by actor Mark Ruffalo in Calcutta, India working as a doctor. He’s in this small, crowded shanty home caring for two sick boys when an impovershed girl runs in begging for him to help her dying father.
Of course this is all a lure, a lie the Black Widow also known as Agent Natasha Romanoff played by the sexy Scarlett Johansson, has created. The Black Widow has sent out and paid the little girl to deliver this deceiving message in order to trick him into joining the Avengers crew.
As fans may know already, Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson is the man in charge of getting all of these amazing superheroes (and demigod Thor) in a round table for round-house kickassery; they must save Earth from Loki, Thor’s adopted brother who’s filled with jealousy and has completely lost it, oh, and those evil creatures from Thor’s neighboring planet who are aiding him.
But the Hulk is reluctant at first, more so than pompadour sporting Captain America who also doesn’t want part in it and feels confused in the twenty-first century (with good reason). See, Bruce Banner/Hulk has taken a lot of shit from people, even more shit that Captain America has. That’s why he’s run off to India before they have to drag him back in to re-enlist as an agent (or a weapon of mass destruction depending on how you view it).
In the first half of the film Agent Romanoff/Black Widow tells Banner he must help because, “This is the Tesseract. It has the potential energy to wipe out the planet.”
Of course Bruce Banner is so self-doubting, so impulsive and quick to judge that he automatically assumes they only want the HULK side of him and completely disregards the fact that they need his scientific knowledge too. Black and white thinking ya’ll.
That is not the case, however, not yet, not until things have gotten really bad, not until that gigantic metal-covered slug teleports in from Thor’s neighboring planet and starts flying over New York City, killing hundreds and causing mayhem. (Why is it that every time something comes from another planet, it just so happens to land in New York City? Except for in Distric 9, good movie by the way–great social and political commentary.)
So when things get real bad, they will ask for the Hulk. But before then, when Black Widow is begging him to join because Loki has gotten the Tesseract–the energy thingy that could kill all living things–Banner replies to Black widdow, “What does Fury want me to do, swallow it?”
No Bruce, Fury merely wants your scientific genius for now! Jeez, they’re not all out to get you!
Remember what Captain America says, “We’re not your enemies Bruce!”
You sabotage yourself querido Brucito!
But you will help save people too querido Bruce, you will.
Part II: Why Bruce Banner/Hulk is suicidal and how the Mouse’s agressive vs. quiet borderline personality disorder (BPD) type and criteria matches up with his.
Why Hulk is indestructible but mentally vulnerable.
Movie was great but why the hell aren’t they more like this second photo? Seriously, Scarlett is lovely and all, but she isn’t the only one with an ass.
DISCLAIMER: By poking fun of mental health issues, I am not trivializing mental disorders. I’ve lived with a number of them most of my life, so I have no wish to trivialize and further stigmatize my own mental struggles as well as those of others. I am making fun of how others trivialize and misinterpret them. I’m merely a mental humorist and a poet (aw sheeeit, note what I just did there?). Besides, I just have to laugh a hearty laugh before I finally put the barrel in and pull the trigger. Also, this is more of a character study than a full film review.
Oh, one more thing: the “you know you’re borderline when…” meme was taken from Jaen Wirefly, LMSW & Nut Job’s blog. She has a great blog about borderline personality disorder, loads of humor too. Check it out, it’s a no bullshit, good information blog. If you don’t click, just remember I can go She-Hulk on you any moment.
“May is Mental Health/Borderline Personality Disorder awareness month. 😉