The Experiment

My Community Psychiatric Nurse is a good person. How do I know? Truth is, I don’t but I just have the BPD gut feeling I get with people. It’s the worst yardstick in the world, but it’s the only one I’ve got at the moment. She listens, she takes things in, and she remembers details – minor, crappy details – that I’ve told her from months before. She knows I write – she’s read some  of it online somewhere – and she knows I hate modern Conservative politics, but not enough to go out and make a difference.

She knows the important things too, like the fact I still think about dying. The fact I hurt myself sometimes. And that the music is still there in times of stress; along with the things, the awful things, that I sometimes see. She knows my neighbour is not an Agent for the Police, or the Government; my house is not being spied on; I have not done something so awful that I refuse to remember it and the net is closing in. I am the ugliest, worst, most monstrous human on the planet and yet she still comes to my house and sits on my sofa and looks me in the eyes.

She knows much. I trust her.

Yesterday she gave me a piece of homework – first time she’s done that, though I get enough homework from my DBT group. Here is that Homework:

‘Think of an issue you have that tends to make you feel bad about yourself – a mistake, your appearance, etc.

Imagine a friend who is unconditionally wise, loving, and compassionate. Imagine that this friend can see all your weaknesses and strengths, including what you don’t like about yourself.

Write a letter to yourself from the perspective of this imaginary friend, focusing on your perceived inadequacy. What would this friend say to you from a compassionate perspective? How might her/his suggestions embody care, encouragement, and support?

Now Wait. Put the letter down for a little while. Then come back to it and read it again, really letting the words sink in. Feel the compassion as it pours into you, soothing and comforting you.’


Here’s my attempt at that letter (No editing, etc) –

I can’t do it. I can’t bring myself to even pretend I mean the words I guess she’s wanting me to type out. I’m not worth it. I can’t think of a single thing that has its nose above the shit for long enough for me to see it, let alone recognise.

Try again. You CAN do this.

You are a good guy…. Wait..

Aw, shit.


Today is sunny, the birds are outside feeding their young. .. …. Nature has reclaimed my garden. My clothes are wet heaps of thread-dragging old rags drying on the radiator in front of my desk. The carpet needs cleaning. I haven’t bought an item of clothing for over five years. I just got rid of the only friends I’ve had for years for absolutely no reason. The world is too big and I’m too small. Faceless terrors still make me wake up screaming at night. There is nothing positive about me.

I can’t make a difference to anything. I look like a sack of shit – probably smell like one, too. Fuck compassion. Fuck letters. Fuck you.





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