I can’t do this. Clearly. I’ve failed again this week to secure employment. The reason given for why – because I haven’t done enough publishing. But that’s because I have sent my writing to the interviewer and badgered and badgered him for it back – but it’s still not returned, for me to publish. He’ll get to it, he says. I can’t play these games. I’m not cut out for academia.
I’m not cut out for life, either. I spent over ten years with someone who emotionally abused me, had a dark, secret life and is now awaiting a sentence that could be custodial. I became a bubbling cauldron of worry because my father visited for the weekend. I am panicking about my mother’s suggestion I see her next weekend. I should be grateful to see them, as they are, not concerned with the forgetfulness, the smothering, the extremes of being. My father: so when will you start the medical 18-month thing? How will it improve your walking? I have explained to him, many times. I promise.
I am failing therapy. The next time I self-harm, I’m suspended. I want to tear myself apart for being so selfish and anxious and rubbish. I am waiting with bated breath for the next time I cross the line, break down. Maybe this time, it’ll make me irrevocably unemployable. I am still going into schools; hearing from children – bullying, friends. Social milieu. I am unsteady; unsure how to respond to them; pass the conch to their teacher. Never touch a child in love or anger. I never have. I want to tear myself apart. I can only say that so many times. I think the therapy group are tired of hearing it. I should just suck it up. Carry on. People do feel that way. They get on with life anyway.
The suicidal thoughts chant through the academic writing – chant over the Taizé music. I rebutt them like recalcitrant children. The more stressed I am, the louder the thoughts sound. Three months I’ve been there now; they haven’t subsided. How much longer?
If I’m no longer an academic, if I’m no good at speaking up, and no good in work with schools, I’m not sure who I am keeping alive anymore. I feel dead and empty inside. I have failed.