My Self, The Enemy


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100 in stock


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 Melanie’s 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 won’t they leave me alone? There’s always something. Always someone. The postman, the neighbours, the colleagues, don’t they understand? I don’t 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. I’d grow my own vegetables, have a couple of cows to milk and I’d never need to see people ever again. What do they want from me anyway? It’s not like I have anything to give. Because that’s the thing, isn’t it? No one asks how you are, what you’re doing, if you had a nice weekend, out of kindness. They expect you to ask them the same. Attention seekers! But I’m not like them. I don’t go around begging ‘Love me!’ No wonder she has no friends, you probably think. Maybe I don’t, but that’s my choice. And I’m not completely alone, I have Naomi. We went to school together. Sometimes I think we only became friends because she didn’t have anyone else to talk to either. Things haven’t changed much since then. She used to be a complete nerd, and she still is. She’s 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 couldn’t 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 I’d finished my A Levels, when I was still living at my parents’ in Kent. It said they were looking for people with ‘No previous experience necessary’, which came in handy since I’d 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! I’m quite good on the telephone; I don’t have to see anyone I speak to, so I’m much more confident. Obviously, there are people around me in the office, but I don’t talk to them. It’s not the best wage in the world, but at least I’m doing something. Right? I don’t know for how long I’ll be in this job, but to be honest, I’m not sure what else I could do. I’m not good at much.

Naomi, my friend, says I should try to set up my own Internet company; apparently she’s ‘never seen anyone so IT literate’ as me. I don’t think so. I love computers, but I’m not better than anyone else. My Dad wanted me to take on his business, but I don’t really fancy being an undertaker. I’m even more scared of death than I am of life. That’s technically why I’m still alive. I don’t 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. She’s always out, has a million friends and, no doubt, changes boyfriends every five minutes. She’s very pretty and wears a ton of makeup, which I’ve always found stupid since she has such a lovely face. I can imagine her talking to her friends: “Yeah, I have a sister, but she’s so weird. There’s nothing interesting about her; she has no life, no friends, and she’s ugly and fat.” It’s probably what most people think, too. But see if I care! I decided a long time ago that I’d never let anyone upset me. I used to be walked over, trod on, made fun of. And why? You tell me. I’ve 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 – my favourite), and these boys were taking it off. But I didn’t move. I was too scared. One of the boys then reappeared, shouting, “Look! I have a Care Bear sticker too!” And they laughed. I spent the whole afternoon crying, but no one noticed. I didn’t tell anyone, not even my Mother. What would have been the point? She’d probably have told me off for being a wimp. I’ve always thought I should deal with my problems by myself. Getting others involved would drag them into my suffering and possibly make things worse. That’s why I’ve 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 nineteen… but I made the mistake of being myself, telling him of my fears, my anger and bitterness. “It’s too much for me”, he said.

1 review for My Self, The Enemy

  1. R.L Johnson (verified owner)

    My Self, the Enemy is a very moving novel. It’s a sort of cross between Bridget Jones’s Diary and Girl, Interrupted. I highly recommend it.

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