"Supernova" by Ivan Torrent
This is the outline of new book she was intending to write before she was overtaken by her condition.
I selected the music piece "Super Nova", because it reflects her spirit, to make her departure in a curruscating blaze of brilliant light - rather than timid surrender.
File Date... 10 March 2017 > 9:20PM
Outline for a book Donna was planning to write. Initial Structure > Un-edited. Un-redacted.
Runline...Even as she was leaving this world - she still had a Story to Tell.
Donna ALWAYS Stood Firm - Bravery and Grace - Under Fire.
Supernova: (/ˌsuːpərnoʊvə/ abbreviation: SN) an Extiction Level Event that occurs upon the death of certain types of stars. Donna was one of those stars.
There has never been a more opportune moment to embrace and express myself
in terms of my experience, insight and personal reflections. Look where
the modern western world is? Look at the horrifying statistics of suicides,
mental illness. Put into the bigger socio-economic, I see myself as a voice
for ‘ordinary’ people (boots on the ground).
As a published author (which is really not a big deal you know), I have been asked to write more about the field I was once interested in, but more often than not I have been asked to write about my life, something I have not wanted to because I too am an ‘ordinary’ person and am not sure what it is that I can offer. But inspiration has seized me, I believe they call it the visitation of a ‘muse’. The time is right and the soil is fertile to plant the seeds.
In order to do this, I will have to make myself totally vulnerable to
the process. I know I have to be brutally honest in my writing and play
open cards about my life, the high lights and the low lights. I will have
to deal with the shame as well as the complexities of my behaviour and
thought processes which I have kept hidden.
If I had any grandiose ideas about dying with dignity and being remembered favourably and fondly by many, it has to be relinquished in the interest of truthful information – the hope that I can make a difference to any reader open to their own honesty, hope, acknowledgement and self-acceptance. Any reputation (good or bad) I may have built up over the years, real or perceived, has to be stripped down.
If there is anything left after that it is irrelevant to me. I approach this book by laying bare the phases of my spiritual, romantic, sexual and psychiatric intervention that has sculpted and painted my years on this planet in the interest of the ‘greater good’.
I am fully aware of my detractors and for the most, their ignorance. I
doubt that what I write will make much difference to them. But I do know
that what I write may be helpful to others who have struggled and are struggling
to make sense of their world through spirito-psyche eyes that all too often
judge them, and often control their lives. I also hope to offer hope from
some spirito-psyche eyes that do not.
I wish to offer the reader a bridge that carries you safely to those who have your best interest at heart and inspire you to find the courage to burn that same bridge before the naysayers pillage it.
Mental health issues are still a taboo subject in modern societies. Anyone
labelled with a ‘mental illness’ is almost always banished into the hinterland
of most people’s minds. It is the absurd and irrational fear that they
might be ‘contaminated’, infected’.
The unprecedented rise in mental illness demands that attention be given to it. Some progressive countries have as a part of their ‘Life Skills’ programs or equivalent ‘mental health’ as a part of its curricula.
I am here to ask why (not) and to challenge certain assumptions, presuppositions and misperceptions, for those who don’t have a mental illness (and want no part of it whatsoever), patients themselves, and of course the esteemed psychiatric fraternity. I am horrified that virtually anything ‘bad’ is associated with mental illness, and these days particularly associated with ‘bipolar disorder’, closely followed up with ‘borderline personality disorder’. If I am ill formed, look at the array of newsworthy articles on this.
We do not hear of creativity (most often associated with bipolar disorder), kindness (associated with the human condition and nothing to do with mental illness), healing (which most are capable of irrespective of mental illnesses). We are told how bad this illness is, we are medicated, sedated, locked up. Civil socty says so. Psychiatrists do not.
If I were still in the dating/club scene this would be my pick up line:
‘Hello my names bipolar what’s yours’. I am hoping to start an honest conversion
with open minded and honest people. To combat fear by inspiring readers
to take a closer look and at their own internal journey. It is vital you
ask the right questions.
These come from deep within. Only when you are empowered with the right questions can you get the right answers. Whether this is from self-help books (although I might add I am not a fan of them), life coaching, your pastor, balanced parents (never underestimate the wisdom of one’s parents, or grandparents), a psychologist, a social worker, extraordinary insightful ‘suicide’ forums with life line facilities and so much more. There are so many options available for so many of us.
What follows is a short explanation of how I use words. So much gets lost
in translation. When I refer to ‘psychiatry’ I am also referring to clinical
psychologists. I have only had experience in terms of ‘therapy’ with specialist
psychiatrists, psychiatrists, dual diagnostic psychiatrists, or clinical
psychologists. I will also use the word ‘exit’ on occasion for successful
For the most I use the terms ’spiritual’ interchangeably with ‘religion’ although when there is a clear difference between the two I will state so. I will also refer to ‘god’, meaning not only the God of your understanding, but the God you may not believe in.
I wish to point out at this stage that I am passionately pro euthanasia,
assisted suicide and physician assisted suicide. It is this that now dominates
the last few years of my life and distinguishes me from most in civil society.
I take a strong stand on the concept of ‘rational suicide’, which is frowned
upon by mainstream psychiatry as well as most doctors in general. Should
I be talking to the average shrink about this view it could be basis for
being ‘locked up’. A certain member from one of the many Right to Die Societies
had this to say: ‘Suicide is a gamble.
You know you have lost if you wake up in a psyche ward’. I am pleased to say that not all doctors are as narrow minded and as rigid in their thinking on this matter. In South Africa their hands are tied. However, things are changing with regard to the controversial topic of euthanasia and the law.
I am aware that I might distress ‘sensitive’, biased, and narrow minded
readers on the processes of the desire and the need to die peacefully.
I am equally aware and inspired by the fact that some might find this inspiring
if not at the least thought provoking. I am doing this because I want it
to be understood how very difficult it is to die/exit peacefully. I treat
with contempt people who call this decision the ‘coward’s way out’ or ‘selfish’
or ‘suicide is not an option’.
The latter sentiment is correct. Suicide is not an option. It is a choice and an educated one at that. I am doing it because of the discrimination that ‘sick’ people are often faced by religious and spiritual bigots, who may measure health and wealth as a sign of ‘God’s’ blessing.
This dangerous view puts excessive pressure on sick, vulnerable and impressionable people to measure up to this distorted view of ‘God’s” blessing. Should they not be ‘blessed ‘in a manner and outcome determined by a certain point of view, it is in my view tantamount to social media bullying which causes many a suicide.
I am doing this because I want to share this with readers who may have thought along these views but have been too afraid to voice it.
This is not an incitement to suicide. It draws clear distinctions between rational and irrational suicide. I detail my own (irrational) experiences and offer my insights as well as drawing on the experiences of people who have given me permission to discuss their cases. I also do this out of respect for my parents, whose decisions and choices have been sullied by psychiatrists. I intend to correct that with this book.
I am hoping to start an honest conversion with open and honest minded
people. To combat fear by inspiring readers to take a closer look and at
their own internal journey.
It is vital you ask the right questions. These come from deep within. Only when you are empowered with the right questions can you get the right answers.
Whether this is from self-help books (although I might add I am not a fan of them), life coaching, your pastor, balanced parents (never underestimate the wisdom of one’s parents, or grandparents), a psychologist, a social worker, extraordinary insightful ‘suicide’ forums with life line facilities and so much more. There are so many options available for so many of us.
I want to demystify mental illness and challenge the stigma head on. I have never shied away from my mental illness. In fact, I wore it as a sort of a girl guide noddy badge when I was first diagnosed 22 years ago. That is maybe not always recommended depending on the situation. What is recommended is that you understand yourself and get comfortable with your ‘illness’ just as those with physical disabilities have to get comfortable with theirs. It may take some time do this.
I wish to offer hope to anyone having suicidal thoughts and to try tell
you I have been there and that you are not alone. I am not different because
I am choosing to exit now. Is my reason more legitimate than yours? Are
my reasons more valid and deserving of a suicide? I don’t know. Hopefully
when you read you can maturely make up your own mind.
The biggest reason for wanting to suicide is existential pain – emotional, spiritual and mental. However, this book is limited to my journey and it is simply an offering to make sense of the clues that lie in it for you to decipher and to empower yourself for your own sanity.
I share anecdotes with readers based on my experiences. This book will
be a testimony of my love affair with psychiatrists interwoven with spiritual
intervention. Or perhaps it is the other way around – my love affair with
all things spiritual interwoven psychiatric intervention. It also explores
my sexuality, the shackles that bound me at Bible College and the trauma
that came with emancipating myself from those shackles. It was my intense
involvement with religion that kick started my psychiatric journey. A dear
friend once asked me: ’what exactly have all these decades with psychiatrists
and therapists done for you?’.
It was a very good question, and in retrospect I actually had to think hard. Very hard. Did they save me from myself? Was it their belief in me that I could do better with myself, my gifts and talents when I doubted myself? That at times they were actually there to make me see more clearly than I could?
I intend to approach my journey/this book in a chronological fashion as best I can. These are all very distinct phases marred by tragedy and sadness but starred by wonder and beauty.
Dancing queen, only 17 - It all began for me as a young child.
Age eight till 17. Dealing with my mother’s constant suicide impulses and
the role I played in my innocent naive and instinctive protection of myself
The volatile home life that comes with a severely dysfunctional family; my dad so desperate to understand what the wife he adored was going through, and my escape into religion. Being treated equal as a young woman in the church of a particular persuasion.
Woman – Second-Class citizen -Life from 18 saw me leaving home
and set out on my own adventures. An adventure that would lead me into
the greatest crisis of faith I would ever experience as well as a romantic
breakup which compounded the situation that would cause me to seriously
contemplate suicide (known as suicidal ideation – which can be as dangerous
as any attempt because it can serve as the catalyst for suicidal action).The
essence of myself as a woman - my burgeoning sexuality would be crucified
and I was banished out of Eden .
The ‘Eve’ complex was thrust upon me and I had to submit to being a second class citizen at the patriarchal misogynistic Bible College I was in. These compounded life challenges would serve as the basis for my first voluntary admission into a mental institution. It was a quick business as I ran away after I saw really ‘mad’ people. (Shrinks get upset when you say that. The correct reference is ‘sick’ people, sometimes ‘very sick people’.)
From here on in I would be dealt many emotional heart breaks from bizarre love affairs that revolved around sociopaths and psychopaths (I am not qualified to use those terms but those were certainly the terms my shrinks have used over the years).
My destructive choices in men would often drive me into the arms of shrinks. Try as they could they were not able to get to the bottom of my choices but I have, in the last three years of intense reflection of my life choices.
Chapter 3 Woman Transitioning - Life from 24 to 31 was a liberating experience. Psychiatry free. I embraced a healthy spirituality – based on my own cobbling together of a religion and spiritual system that was shared with others. A time when the ‘New Age’ movement had just begun and the opportunities this afforded independent thinkers to break from religious shackles and empower themselves.
Woman Forging Her Identity - Life from 32 to 45 was the most
tumultuous roller coaster ride I have ever been on, and sadly many people
who knew and loved me felt obliged or compelled to do this ride with me.
It would result in my first suicide attempt and the beginnings of forced
psychiatric intervention, one that I often thoroughly enjoyed. It was during
this time period that my mother finally exited. My dad followed suit three
My bitter public divorce and the spiral into alcohol addiction. Meeting the kindest man who will be my partner until I die, the second man who loved me unconditionally, a ‘wholesome’, balanced and stable man. A kind and gentle and compassionate man.
A true and fearless soldier.
Soldier: A Type of Character who is generally defined by a Mission that Needs to Be Accomplished.
The Soldier is, essentially, a single component of a Mission. ALL there is, is Mission Fulfilment. Nothing else matters.
A ‘gentleman’ in the old-fashioned type. He has never been exposed to ‘mental illness’, yet is never in any state of confusion - ever-prepared My Ever Ready! in the words of my trusty "Minion", my Alert Pilot, and my ever-present Mark 1 Flight Lieutenant Franco.
"I am not on a Mission.. I AM The Mission. I am not IN the Business. I AM The Business" >
Woman Losing Herself 46 to 50 A period that could be defined
by chronic and crippling depression;
Chapter 6 Woman in Meltdown 50 – 52 that saw me once again involved in suicidal ideation, but this time I was not so ‘lucky’ as to be able to run away again. However, I admitted myself voluntarily, was ‘observed’ for 72 hours and released back into ‘the wild’.
Unravelling the Ball of Identity 52 till present A period that
has seen an active and purposeful process of de-identification with everything
defined me –as a woman who enjoyed all things feminine, a priestess, propagation
of any sort of ‘god’, magick or spirituality. as a person many knew me
by – a long time ago.
A period where financial and emotional health issues have taken their toll. A period where the full onslaught of my family’s genetic vulnerabilities have finally visited me – and it is this that is the final prompt for me to exit.
A period where well-meaning shrinks (or maybe not such well-meaning shrinks) would like to sweep this all under the carpet of ‘mental illness or instability’. A period that marks first hand and for the first time experience of psychiatric abuse and bullying. A period in which I have intensely doubted myself as a result of this but have gathered the strength to have the courage of my convictions to speak out.
Where this will lead me other than into lock up I do not know. Sadly, after 18 years of feeling ‘safe’ with shrinks and therapists in a space of trust that is no more. I am now focused on what I have to do, which is to exit with the least amount of attention or drama, or pain to those that love me, of whom some say is my ‘destiny’.
This will mean co-operating with the system. Something I don’t easily do if it is an affront to my dignity or acts as an injustice to myself or anyone else.
Chapter 6 Woman who surrenders and has no fear - Conclusion - discussing my penultimate thoughts and plans, fears, possibilities, probabilities, not delaying the inevitable. A message of hope and blessing.
The title of my book ‘The Seeds of Madness’ will become apparent in due course. It was this ‘prophetic’ statement that set the stage for the rest of my life, and has shaped my destiny. Made better now by my fellow soldier and kindred spirit