Thursday, July 05, 2007

Psychosis & your loved ones PART 3

This post is about my third psychotic episode and the effect it had on those around me. For the 1st episode go here, and the second here.

One of the reasons this post has been delayed is that it very directly concerns Miss L, and I couldn't get myself to write it while she was here on holiday.

Psychosis 1 was triggered by weed, 2 by stress, and this one by a combination of medication deviance & stress.

I was living in London at the time, and met a girl when I came back to South Africa for a holiday. It was lust-at-first-sight and a whirlwind romance infatuation ensued. Yeah, I was ****struck. The upshoot of it all was that said lover (J from hereon outwards) came back to London with me 2 weeks later and moved right in.

Problem 1: Since my last psychosis I had been put on the anti-psychotic pill, Fluanxol, on a kinda life-long basis. J, was vehemently opposed to any psychiatric medication and convinced me to come off them.

Problem 2: Back in London I had started my own import biz, importing fruit juice from South Africa. I had to do this business as it was a work-around to get British citizenship. I had every intention of staying in the UK, and had been living there illegally for over a year already. On my trip to South Africa I had set up the bizplan, and roped in a wealthy Johannesburg financier to fund it over the next year. Long-story short - the biz never made it. First, the "relationship" with J was becoming fireier and fireier. We fought and fought, the nextdoor neighbor even asking us to tone-down at one point. Not a good atmosphere for a business launch. The crunch came though when my financier, getting (unreasonably) impatient for a quick profit, decided to renage on his loan.

Technically I was bankrupt. We booked a ticket back to SA, and absconded, leaving a trial of debt. = BIG STRESS (sans meds).

The relationship with J just got worse and worse, and finally one weekend I reached my conclusive decision that we must part ways. But first, there was one outstanding bit of business to attend to - J's period hadn't arrived on time, so we had to pop into town for a pregancy test. She'd previously told me the doc had said she was very infertile and unlikely to fall pregnant, so that morning heading off into town, I was not worried at all.

Picture the scene. An hour later. I'm double parked in the car, and J returns from the building. She climbs in and tosses me a slip of folded paper. I open it: "POSITIVE".

That did it for me. Within hours I thought that the extreme nazi-style right wingers of South African politics were stalking me. The pivotal referendum was due in about a week. Every white voter had to say YES or NO, to the question: "Should SA hold fully democratic elections". Times were tense. A few bombs even went off. I didn't sleep for nights rather keeping watch over the shadows of the garden and being sure to crawl on the carpet so that my silhoutte wasn't visible to any prowling snipers .

Within a day, I had concoted an elaborate stock market bid to knock my debt out. I would sell a whole lot of offshore shares short, anticipating never to shell out the cash for them, but to just cancel out the position in 7 days time, and collect the killing. The more I thought about it, the more convinced I was that I couldn't lose. I started phoning the stock broker every few hours and increasing the bid. I lost count of how many tens of thousands I had bid, but my Dad, having caught wind of my plan, eventually phoned the stockbroker instructing him not to carry out any further sales or purchases from me, as I was no longer of sound mind.

But by that stage I had moved on from mere financial fiddlings. I had rediscovered my prophetic status, and my true self had re-arrisen on the morning of Easter Sunday. By Monday I was in the local psychiatric ward. No shock treatment this time, but the PDOC gave me a concoction that first night with such a kick that I couldn't walk straight for 3 days.

J (who I can see genuinely had great reason to be stressed with baby in tummy and father in psycho-ward) came to visit me all the time. To fight. To fight so bad that at one time she threw a vase at me, and the sisters nearly barred her from visiting me.

In a week or two the psychosis gradually subsided and 8 months later Miss L was born. J and I eventually ended our relationship (we'd stayed together for sake of baby but never married)

When L was 7, J (her mother) died of a sudden stroke. StepDad and BPG head to court over custody of L.

That was 7 years ago. The court case was never ever a clean cut affair, and Step-Dad's expensive legal team basically got the upper hand because of an illegitimate father with an "unstable and dangerous" mental history. That little legal fight still goes on, and was what caused the traumatic events at the beginning of this year.

I could go on and on with this post, but it's getting pretty long now. I'm thinking that I should write a book about these experiences.

The moral of the story - no, J did not stand by me in my psychosis. Everything but. Which has spawned a nightmare that continues to haunt me to this day.

In all honesty, my psychotic episodes did not end at 3, there was a semi-version 2 years ago, whilst I was with Mrs M - which I'll call "Epsiode 3 and a half" and write about some time soon, depending on the strength of the encore :)

But first I will be addressing Lee's telling question the other day: Why do you feel guilt.


  1. Anonymous05 July, 2007

    "trial of debt"... was that a guilty subconscious statement as opposed to trail?

    Seems so far that only 2 girlfriends became X's not because of your mania but because you realised on reflection that these relationships had run their course. Your father's relationships grew stronger. Did any of your relationships with your friends end?

    It is my strong independent (stubborn) streak that mixed with mania that is incredibly destructive.

  2. This is fascinating. Thank you for posting all three of these. I'm learning alot reading them. Stress of any kind triggers me also.

  3. Once more, I can only repeat how much I appreciate you posting about this. Looking forward to your answer to the question. Feel lotsa guilt about everything too.

  4. you need someone to LOVE you and hold your hand every step of the way thru psychosis, then you can manifest "a beautifool mind" teh movie.

  5. Bipolar and money: a deadly combo. I have a "supervisor" who controls all my money. This was not by choice. For a long time, I would go psychotic and rant over money, because I wanted to buy pot and waste as much money I could. I stopped complaining, because I realized I wasn't going to get my way. I used to squander money then throw away everything I owned. In short, I hear you. Bipolar psychosis is deadly, and there is nothing I can do about it but be controlled by others.

  6. Anonymous06 July, 2007

    Hey Boet, this 3 part series was good. It may sound strange but there were parts that I had a good laugh. I could so identify with what you experienced.

    I once took out a call option on Amplats, it bounced the right way and went through the roof. I bought a second hand Land Rover with the proceeds. Next thing I find myself driving that deserted triangle between Sutherland, Calvinia and Ceres. All dirt road. For some reason, I felt it was best to drive naked, only putting on clothes as I hit a town.

    Sorry about Miss L.

    You take care,



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