My Self, The Enemy


By Deborah Espect


ISBN: 978-1-904697-89-3
Published: 2005
Pages: 137
Key Themes: borderline personality disorder, autobiographical fiction, female experience, relationships, strength


'My Self, The Enemy' follows the story of Melanie, an isolated young woman struggling to cope with a world she does not understand and people she cannot relate to. As we experience life through Melanieís eyes, we feel first hand the power of her insecurities.

This book provides a valuable insight into the various difficulties associated with mental illness in general and borderline personality disorder in particular, and the subsequent problems associated with coping with diagnosis. If you are able to relate to her emotional plight, then you are not alone.

About the Author

Deborah Espect is a London-based playwright. Her work has been performed at 'The Old Red Lion Theatre' in Angel and 'The Soho Theatre'. She is currently preparing a critically acclaimed full-length play called 'Calling', which follows the tale of three institutionalised young people, to be performed at The Old Red Lion Theatre from 10th to 30th July 2007. She also had a short film commissioned and a short story published in American magazine 'Suspect Thoughts.'

Book Extract

Why wonít they leave me alone? Thereís always something. Always someone. The postman, the neighbours, the colleagues, donít they understand? I donít need anyone! Leave me in peace! Maybe I should move away. Find myself a nice house with a big, inaccessible field, or a forest, in the middle of nowhere. Iíd grow my own vegetables, have a couple of cows to milk and Iíd never need to see people ever again. What do they want from me anyway? Itís not like I have anything to give. Because thatís the thing, isnít it? No one asks how you are, what youíre doing, if you had a nice weekend, out of kindness. They expect you to ask them the same. Attention seekers! But Iím not like them. I donít go around begging ĎLove me!í No wonder she has no friends, you probably think. Maybe I donít, but thatís my choice. And Iím not completely alone, I have Naomi. We went to school together. Sometimes I think we only became friends because she didnít have anyone else to talk to either. Things havenít changed much since then. She used to be a complete nerd, and she still is. Sheís been at university for three years, doing a masters or something; I never went. I was planning to be a vet, but the thought of killing anything, by duty or accident, terrified me. So did the idea of having to deal with the owners of the animals.

Sometimes I wish I had gone to university. Now I could be something more interesting than working in a crappy telephone survey company. But I couldnít handle more years of reading, researching and exams, not knowing whether there would even be a job at the end of it. I got this one out of luck, really. I saw an advert in the papers three years ago, just after Iíd finished my A Levels, when I was still living at my parentsí in Kent. It said they were looking for people with ĎNo previous experience necessaryí, which came in handy since Iíd never worked before; so I called them, and all I had to do was go on a training course, and then I get the job! Iím quite good on the telephone; I donít have to see anyone I speak to, so Iím much more confident. Obviously, there are people around me in the office, but I donít talk to them. Itís not the best wage in the world, but at least Iím doing something. Right? I donít know for how long Iíll be in this job, but to be honest, Iím not sure what else I could do. Iím not good at much.

Naomi, my friend, says I should try to set up my own Internet company; apparently sheís Ďnever seen anyone so IT literateí as me. I donít think so. I love computers, but Iím not better than anyone else. My Dad wanted me to take on his business, but I donít really fancy being an undertaker. Iím even more scared of death than I am of life. Thatís technically why Iím still alive. I donít think anyone would care if I died.

My parents have always preferred my sister. When I think of what I was like at her age, I wonder if we come from the same family. Sheís always out, has a million friends and, no doubt, changes boyfriends every five minutes. Sheís very pretty and wears a ton of makeup, which Iíve always found stupid since she has such a lovely face. I can imagine her talking to her friends: ďYeah, I have a sister, but sheís so weird. Thereís nothing interesting about her; she has no life, no friends, and sheís ugly and fat.Ē Itís probably what most people think, too. But see if I care! I decided a long time ago that Iíd never let anyone upset me. I used to be walked over, trod on, made fun of. And why? You tell me. Iíve always minded my own business. I never had many friends, and never tried to cause trouble. But somehow, it would always hit me in the face. At my very first day at school, when I was six, I was sitting on the pavement eating my lunch, and these two boys stood in front of me, whispering and giggling. I thought they were going to steal my food or beat me up, but after a moment, they disappeared behind me. Not long after, I could feel a hand on my rucksack. I knew exactly what was going on: my Mother had put on it a big Care Bear sticker (the one with a rainbow on it Ė my favourite), and these boys were taking it off. But I didnít move. I was too scared. One of the boys then reappeared, shouting, ďLook! I have a Care Bear sticker too!Ē And they laughed. I spent the whole afternoon crying, but no one noticed. I didnít tell anyone, not even my Mother. What would have been the point? Sheíd probably have told me off for being a wimp. Iíve always thought I should deal with my problems by myself. Getting others involved would drag them into my suffering and possibly make things worse. Thatís why Iíve never had a proper boyfriend. I refuse to dump my load on somebody else. I was very fond of a boy once, when I was nineteenÖ but I made the mistake of being myself, telling him of my fears, my anger and bitterness. ďItís too much for meĒ, he said.

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This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 01 November, 2006.