A student, a mentally ill person, and a cat

Stories and poems from a Dutch student in Belgium who has five mental disorders, but isn’t that crazy.

Right before my last hospitalization in a mental hospital 1,5 years ago, someone told me that “I would probably be the most normal person there”. I didn’t really know what to respond to that, so I didn’t. Someone I know from group therapy freaked out during a telephone conversation once, and the person on the other end told her that “there wasn’t anything she could do about that, you know, she was just mentally ill”. She didn’t really know what to respond to that, so she didn’t. When I told my housemate that I have Borderline personality disorder, he responded that, right, he had heard of that, Borderline means that you are always angry (I’d known him for some six months, he’d never seen me angry). I didn’t really know what to respond to that, so I didn’t. A therapist once told me that she hoped that everyone with Borderline would just kill themselves, because all we did was ruin other people’s lives. I didn’t really know what to respond to that, so I didn’t.
Some examples from our dichotomy between “ill” and “normal” that is still very much alive. But what if you combine both? When I am “normal” people tend to forget I was ever “ill”, and when I fall ill people tend to forget that I am still also normal. Yet, I, and all my mentally ill friends; we are very, very much both. Here, I’ll try to convey both crazy and normal, both ill and healthy, and perhaps make the stigmas a little tiny less smaller.

In a world that doesn’t seem to get any less complex and chaotic, I feel increasingly uncomfortable keeping silent. In my (again increasingly, lately) chaotic and complex self, too, I feel how I need to do another attempt to speak up. So here’s my two cents; one for you, one for me. 🙂 I’ve always very much admired people who manage to not abandon their blogs because, as of yet, I’m not one of those people. But you’ll never know until you try, perhaps this one will be my little victory.

PS. To round up the title, I also have a cat (who is not mine, actually, but she has made it her life mission to stalk my room, so there you are).



and dreaming
about dying
what keeps me
holds me
as if
my greatest
i dream
of nothing
fade out
all i
was and
will not
no less
no more
with eyes closed
am alive
and dreaming
about dying

At the psychiatrist

Tell me I am better, Doctor,
Tell me I am, for my longing
is but a towering wave
in winter – frozen – suspended,
Step in – behold my crystal self
above threatening depth,
Listen – cracking – cold

Me, a glass doll, I sink, sink
I am below air – Take a breath,
Oh, Doctor, I do not despair,
I merely dream – of nothing – still
Tell me I will heal

Tell me – you – believe I am
almost there, tonight, tomorrow,
For my disease is but an ocean –
For I am only nowhere –
Tell me, but –

Touch us, and we shatter
Thaw me –
And I drown.

In words I’d long to be lost forever

In words I’d long to be lost forever,
or found within a story to tell
A string of sound, to swirl up,
up, away from here, solid ground,

Then, if I were not I, but told,
from now until the end
I would lay down in silence,
until I am told again.

Dream of I, in words, to create, erase
in bodiless ease forget, relieve
Oh, mother, chase the silence from behind
my weary brittle eyes,

If you would let me be – –
Words, then, after I am told, to tiptoe
to the end of sadness, leaving
in words to take the blame.

Winter’s fading breath

Winter sighs, one final breath,
before it turns its back,
let the sky drop her last, thin blanket
upon still sleeping earth
I move out among no one
but naked trees, if I imagine the sound
of cars as waves, I can pretend,
seeing the world’s end

Seeing, feeling, falling slightly apart,
and how I long now to detach,
sever my slight existence, then
float away, perhaps to return, some day,
not knowing, bodiless like the breeze,
so that even I
can’t touch me, like now;

Cold arms move me, solidly,
in wide eyed longing, now only
the sound of my feet in my ears,
breathing vapor, breathless
to diminish, diminish, until
I am insignificant enough
not to feel me anymore
all the time

Wishing upon home (poem)

If sadness were
my home
to hold me
to shrink back
and be safe
this time

If sadness were
would it maybe
not hurt so much
to lose?

I breathe clouds
of silence
No sun or moon
I can’t
dream the stars
in the sky

If sadness

If I could
go home

From sadness, to you (poem)

I meant to write about my quiet mind,
mere existence, sheltered against the rain
falling only around me, but sadness came
and wrapped its drops inside of me,
all-over through me; you know
I cannot resist to softly drown inside

Sadness and me, we live like one, then,
inside my upside-down world
Fill my mind with flooded deserts, before
we swim into oceans long since dried
And sadness, tell me I need you
Cover me in your soft blue shell
I shrink like Alice, fade me out, then
wear my body like a vacancy sign

Sadness, we, together; I am all alone
So for now, consume me
In tender absence cool my blood
and free me from life’s longing –

But I need you now, in spite of me;
Miles away, I can almost touch –
But mute, I cannot tell you –

I wrap myself up, away from me,
and I know you cannot reach me here
Still, the sharpest sting:
In my pouring silence –
you do not try