Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Unease (Chapter 2)

The following is a true-life account.  The names of the people mentioned have been changed, as has the name of the educational institution involved.  My real name is not Trevor Lenox.

Trigger Warning:  The contents of the piece, as a whole, make references to self-harm (cutting), rape, incest, and molestation. Reader discretion is advised.

Also please be aware that not all cases of untreated Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) are like this; there is variation in cases.  Some cases are more severe than others.  If you experience any of the symptoms described herein and are disturbed by them, please seek out or return to regular mental health treatment; your well-being is paramount and you deserve to be happy and well.

The following has previously been read aloud by the YouTuber Be.Busta.  The following written work has been revised slightly from the version that he read; some of the words have been changed.  The posting of this blog was conducted by the original author who submitted the story to Be.Busta.

This is the continuation.

If you have missed the previous chapter, go to Chapter 1:  Innocent Beginnings.

If you have already read Chapter 2, go to Chapter 3:  Her Murder Threat for Her Mother, Still on the Web As This Is Posted, or the concluding chapter, Chapter 4:  The Danger Remains.

To skip to the start of Chapter 2 in the video, go here.

Chapter 2: The Unease

 As the spring of 2010 went on, Inger Johansen periodically bored me with overeager and nauseating reminiscences about her ex-boyfriends back in Tromsø, such as Franz from Austria. She cooed, “You’re really kind and sweet and care about me . . . just like [Franz]!” She then turned from me and stared into nothing, wistfully. She weirdly put the tip of her pinky between the outermost edges of her lips. In spite of her usually carrying herself with grownup deportment, she often took on the body language of a four-year-old girl, such as in this instance. She giggled and said girlishly, “[Franz] always joked he was a pedophile.” I wanted to snap, “That’s sleazy, and I don’t appreciate being compared to someone like that,” but I didn’t say anything; I just gaped, confused as to why Inger would want me to hear any of this.

On another night, as we were about to leave her apartment for our date together, she blurted, out of nowhere, “Why do people always get hysterical when they learn they have a child molester in the neighborhood?”

My eyes bulged out and I stammered, “Whah? . . . Wh-wh-what do you mean?”

She elaborated, “Society is so bigoted against child molesters. If an eight-year-old girl has sex with an adult, the community should give consideration to the possibility that she consented to it.” Inger maintained that a prepubescent child should be deemed legally competent to agree to sexual relations with a grownup caregiver. No protestation could sway her on this.

On yet another one of my visits to her apartment, she elucidated on her general fear of men. When she was thirteen years old, her best friend—also thirteen—forced himself on her, reaching into her shirt through her collar and groping her breasts. Then, on about six occasions, he begged her for much more intimate contact. She did not want to relent to his entreaties, but she only had one other friend—also a boy—besides him, and she despaired that if she declined the boy’s pleadings, he would revile her and tell their other friend of this disappointment, casting Inger out of their priorities and leaving her friendless altogether.

On the seventh occasion where the boy begged that she let him fondle her, Inger cried out, “NO! I HATE YOU AND NEVER WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN!” The boy burst into tears and fled. In the years that followed, they would silently catch sight of one another in the halls of their school. She would gawk at his new girlfriend and fume jealously, wishing he would concede, “[Inger], it is you whom I love.” One day she and he crossed paths at an outdoor shopping center. On impulse, she threw him a hug, and they stood in that embrace for several minutes. Afterward, they stopped and resumed their diverging paths. In that entire duration, not a single word traveled between them. She told me that that was the last interaction she had with him. She attributed her fear of men and rape to these events, but, to me, this didn’t explain the fixation on child molesters in particular. Furthermore, Inger soon admitted that when she was small, years prior to the incident with the boy, she had already come to loath her own femininity. She was not yet a ‘tween when she concluded that female anatomy is sickening, rendering her weak and vulnerable to predation by males.

“My unwillingness,” Inger sobbed, “to get my friend to back off much sooner hurt my self-image. I didn’t respect myself.” She grew numb and, to feel anything again, she resorted to slashing her wrists with a blade several times a day. This was her routine back in Tromsø. Inger kept making the wounds more and more obvious, and, for a long period, those around the neighborhood conducted themselves as if they did not notice. She was of two minds in this predicament. On the one hand, she imparted, she was disturbed that people didn’t speak up to help her. On the other hand, she continued, it was good that people around her were like this because it made it convenient for her to continue the self-cutting and to escalate the damage.

Around this same phase in her life, Inger frequented anonymous internet message boards and announced her plans to kill herself; it took strangers on the forums to talk her out of it. For more than ten years, she desired to be dead literally. Unequivocally, she did not covet some afterlife where she ascended to some heavenly plane. On the contrary, she hoped that her death would amount to the extinguishing of her consciousness—that she would return to the same absolute nothingness that there was for her prior to her embryonic conception. She wanted to lose every memory of her experiences and to undergo no more sensations, to cease to be.

Ultimately, though, a schoolmate caught her as she was self-cutting and, unlike the others, this one notified the principal. Officials had her consult a mental health professional but it was mostly for the self-cutting, not as much for her other personal issues. And once the self-cutting stopped, the adults were satisfied and let Inger terminate mental health treatment around 2007.

Inger gazed musingly into space and acknowledged to me that she could not have braved through any of this strife had it not been for the mental health professionals. Following hours of these reminiscences, I shuffled to her bathroom. Upon my rejoining her minutes later in the middle of her apartment, Inger put on a weird smile and shouted with her eyes bizarrely stretched wide open, “I am now fully recovered. And I did it ALL . . . BY . . . MYSELF!!!!!!!!!” She then avowed that everything would have turned out for the best if the schoolmate had not snitched on her, if her mother never learned the truth, and especially if she never received psychiatric counseling. I wanted to remind her that she was contradicting what she had been articulating throughout the evening. But I apprehended that she was already exhausted from reflecting upon her past, and therefore I didn’t point out the inconsistency.

Then on still another night in April, Inger and I were telling each other about the sort of day we had. Very casually, Inger giggled and smiled and said, “Oh, [Sao] came around me.” My relaxed posture instantly gave way to alarm. My slouch disappeared as my back straightened, tense everywhere. “What happened?,” I pressed. She chuckled and answered that she was in the school library studying for Professor Rothbard’s upcoming exam, and Sao strolled by. She got into a conversation with him, she recalled, and she smiled to me and remarked that Sao was such a nice, fun, friendly flirt. She seemingly held no memory of her prior accusation about him. Finally, Inger stared into space, giggled, and said, “Hee-hee; I . . . like [Sao]!”

My jaw dropped open and hung ajar. I stared at her in that fashion for what must have been at least a minute; it felt an eternity. Inger elicited no comment on the sudden silence; she simply began talking about a different subject.

The next day I marched into Professor Rothbard’s office and said, “Do you remember when [Inger] told us about [Sao] threatening her?” “Oh, yes,” Professor Rothbard replied. “How could I forget?” I recounted to him Inger going over the conspicuously carefree conversation with Sao. As I spoke, Professor Rothbard elected to look at some papers related to his SIFE chapter. When I finished, he disinterestedly rasped, “Oh, yeah, that’s weird.” As he said that, he didn’t even look at me; his eyes were on the SIFE sheets.

Hey-hey-hey!” I raised my voice. “It’s not ‘weird.’ It’s disturbing.”

Professor Rothbard shrugged it off. This greatly harmed my trust in him.

Almost every day in the first two weeks of May, Inger changed what she said about Sao, back and forth. First she went back to saying that Sao did proposition her and threaten her. A day later, she talked about Sao being such a good friend. Two days after that, she went back to talking about him being a would-be rapist. Every time Inger switched what she said about Sao, she sounded as if she bore no recollection of what she expounded concerning Sao the previous time, even if it was the day before.

End of Chapter 2.

Go to Chapter 3:  Her Murder Threat for Her Mother, Still on the Web As This Is Posted, or the concluding chapter, Chapter 4:  The Danger Remains.

If you have missed the previous chapter, go to Chapter 1:  Innocent Beginnings.