Dark Places

The physical manifestation of darkness begins about a centimeter behind the skin where the top of ones nose meets the forehead. It’s a dizzy empty feeling that’s concentrated in one spot, but that has a speckled aura. It’s as though electrons are circling the atom. A tiny spot of energy that could erupt into something curious and dangerous spontaneously.

I spent the week as ‘Up Girl’ and ‘Down Girl’ resulting in my father asking me on my ‘up’ day if I had changed my medication because suddenly I was productive, up early and in a good mood. Unfortunately that was only for one day and since then I’ve been a mope whose been outrageously productive, but miserable.

My obsessive thoughts are crawling their way back into my waking life. It’s been a while since I’ve lived in terror of something. Currently I’ve got an intense fear that house centipedes or spiders are crawling into my food and drink while I’m not looking or sitting in the dark or another room. I split a salad with my dad the other day, who works from home, and got a call just as I was fixing his plate. Instead of leaving it when I was finished I stood there for about five minutes watching it to make sure nothing crawled in from the counter. I got aggravated and wrapped the plate with plastic wrap like a mummy and went about the rest of my day. Gotta love OCD.

Story time – In the beginning: Unease

Yesterday I went to see the movie Gone Girl. It’s based off the novel by Gillian Flynn which I’ve read and what really made the movie so well done was that she wrote the screenplay. I had to fight my inner impulsive twelve-year-old girl who wanted to excuse myself and leave without any explanation. Everything I said and giggled at was forced. I was a world-class actress.

During: Situation

Chris,  his sister and her husband and his mom and step-dad all attended the movie with me. It was planned earlier in the week and I was looking forward to it. Then Chris’ attitude took a drastic dip a few days ago. We haven’t spoken more than a few words electronically in three days now. As we met up at the movie, he didn’t look at me once. It feels like something isn’t right. Something so big it would spin me out of control and make me yearn for the comfort of the hospital. I can smell the excitement of another woman on him, the faint scent of the burning that will char my soul if it’s true. Something new and exciting to distract him from his miserable mundane life. It just reeks of something he’s feeling guilty about. Something he knows that if I know, will hurt me. Maybe he’s putting it off, maybe he’s figuring out a way to say it. Maybe it’s nothing at all.

In the end: Instability

I was so emotionally withdrawn and physically distressed because of the tension in the air (I had my arms folded and squeezed myself so tight I lost feeling in my fingers by the end) that after I peeled away in the parking lot and got into my car I was able to breathe again. I wasn’t feeling myself though. I was more withdrawn than I have been in ages. The ride home was like a lucid dream. As I pulled up to my quiet street I felt a surge. It’s something I’ve felt before, the physical manifestation of darkness. It fed on my emotions and before I knew it I punched the gas and glided down the side of the street with no parked cars, it was inviting. I took a left turn down another street without knowing for sure if another car was coming (which was grossly exciting and something risky I wanted to try), then another left, and another, letting go of the gas entirely and feeling the car slow. After my little fit of idiocy was over I parked and went inside, feeling that my impulses had been fulfilled.

Today I’ve been lethargic and mild mannered.

Semi-Spoilers of Gone Girl psyche:

I wondered on the way home last night if Amy Elliot Dunne of Gone Girl was just manipulative and selfish or if she was mentally ill. If so, what? Could I see myself in a manic state doing what she did? Would I even need to be in a manic state if I was that devoted to my own cause?  I surely can see myself having the thoughts. Everyone I know with bipolar or obsessive compulsive disorder (of which I myself have both) have had what I will casually call ‘insane’ thoughts whether or not they want them or would truly go through with them (at some point or another of their mentally ill career). Have you? If I were to be able to psychoanalyze Amy as a professional would I have empathy? I think in any case she’s brilliant and a survivor. Dangerous though? Any insight is welcome via comment (marked spoiler) or e-mail. You are some very intelligent and insightful bloggers, and I’d love to hear your opinions.

12 thoughts on “Dark Places

  1. It’s so weird reading this because I went to see Gone Girl this afternoon and I totally agree that it was well done. I found myself asking similar questions as you described while watching. Mine were more — Am I crazy like Amy or rather AS crazy as she was? Did the relationship and the dynamic between her and Nick as well as their vastly different temperaments trigger something in her genetic make-up and cause her to snap? Could that happen to me? I remember reading this book and recognizing so many similarities with myself and Amy AND with my husband and Nick, even the part in the beginning of their relationship where she talks about molding herself into the girl that Nick and lots of other men want — easy-going & drama-free and then almost watching herself transform into the nagging wife who husbands just want to be away from and hating it but doing it anyway. I see so much of that in my own marriage which makes me ask — are we just completely wrong for each other and is reaching a point of resentment, borderline hatred inevitable, mostly because we’re a faulty match?

    I definitely think Amy was mentally ill. I almost want to go back and watch it with that in mind. It’s hard for me to speak of being in a manic state. I haven’t been diagnosed with bipolar (though I often wonder if I have a mild case) but I have OCD, ADHD, and had anorexia and when I’m under a lot of stress, I lash out and am horribly moody — mostly at those I love most. I think (and I’m saying this to myself as well as hopefully giving you insight into yourself) people like us have a hard time handling stress in relationships. The quality I loved most about my husband when we met was that he had a calming effect on me — I really felt more layed back when I was with him. However, he also had some motivation issues. I think he liked that I motivated him. Our relationship ran pretty smoothly…and then we had kids…and the unexpected death of his dad…and job and money issues and the stress made me more wound up but he was more depressed and avoidant (very similar to Nick.) It was awful. We were the absolute most horrible versions of ourselves. Now…all that said, I have not (that I know of) experienced infidelity in our relationship. That was another thing that drew me to him — he didn’t seem like a cheater. I knew that wouldn’t work for me. I can’t honestly say what I would do if I caught him with another woman, but I can see that I might snap (this would have definitely been the case early on in our relationship.) I like to hope that I’ve learned to manage my emotions and reactions better with therapy, education, and medication.

    Okay, forgive me for working out my own stuff in your comment section. And thank you for promoting this bolt of insight. As for you, I’m sorry you’re sensing this stuff with Chris. Can you talk to him directly about your feelings? And forgive me — haven’t been reading blogs much lately so I’m not aware of the status of your relationship and details and all that. I went to cognitive therapy for a while and it helped tremendously with faulty thinking — or rather gathering facts and getting accurate information before allowing my imaginative brain to let loose and assume the worst. It’s hard I know. I’m nearing 40, and I’ve gotten so much less emotionally reactive as I’ve gotten older, thank goodness! I hope you feel better and I truly send good vibes your way.

    • Your insight is totally amazing. I thought more about Gone Girl since I posted and read your comment (when you actually posted, I just mentally respond to stuff like this or texts and then take forever to actually physically respond…so forgive me). I’d rather e-mail you about my relationship with Chris because it’s a looooooong story, but right now we’re not in a relationship, but we’re a complicated duo and maybe always will be. I can’t see myself with anyone else but him, and we’ve spent so much time blundering around with feelings and actions that I don’t even think labels with him exist anymore. I’m glad to hear you’ve been less reactive while aging, that gives me a little hope, I hope that my anxiety will chill out as well. And maybe my memory with luck will improve too. I’ll come check on your blog shortly 🙂 I’m step by step catching up first with comments then with reading. I suck at keeping up 🙂

  2. I didn’t read the book, but I did see the movie the other day. I think Amy was mentally ill, but I wouldn’t peg her with bipolar or OCD. Without spoiling the movie, I will just say that all the things she did—and she did several things to several people—were very cold and very calculated. People with BP do not calculate like that. We act on emotion, and we feel sorry for it later. She did not regret anything she did. She was too calculating for OCD or bipolar. I’d say she was mentally ill, but in a sociopath or malignant narcissist type of way.

    • One of these days I’m going to like that word narcissist — maybe not. I find that it categorizes people in such a negative way. Perhaps if the person is so anxiety ridden or has been analyzed to death, narcissism is the logical conclusion, it is just not a very forgiving one. This is me rambling, too… not just a “reaction” to your well-written comment. Perhaps I should be quiet until I see the movie OR read the book. 🙂

      • It is a bad word, and it describes a distinct set of characteristics such as lack of empathy, manipulation, etc. Yes, watch the movie. You may conclude that Amy is a narc after you see what she did and how she handled it. Maybe not. You will love the movie regardless. It was very good. I don’t have the attention span for books. Need pics and sounds.

  3. Pingback: Gone Girl Reflections | Grief Happens

  4. What do you do when medication isn’t enough? Sometimes it is a battle just to do basic things like get up, shower, tidy up the house, etc… I sometimes get the impression that some people blame me for not “getting it together”. It makes me sad sometimes.

    The thing is, what alternative do you have? We keep fighting and be content with knowing you are giving it your best shot.

    Another thing I have found that is counter productive is needing others to give me a sense of my self worth. I fight it daily.

    It takes a great deal of strength to persevere. Again, we can only do our best. Remember the many positive qualities you have

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