In/coherence: a layered account of a Kuwaiti woman’s post-psychotic self-in-progress
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This is a thesis on madness and moments and what happens in between. I invite the reader into the world of a post-psychotic woman living within and without a Kuwaiti culture. As a fragmented and traumatised researcher I use my chaotic and dismembered writing as a narrative quilt creating a layered account of conversations and stories, in other words, “moments of meeting”. Moments that make us, define us and continue to create knowledge. In those moments, I dialogue with myself, with other people representing different cultures as well as the different “messy” theorists I draw on in my work. The messy theorists include writers such as Alec Grant, Sophie Tamas, Helene Cixous and Susanne Gannon. Through the creative freedom afforded me by their theories I begin to explore my chaotic psychic landscape. Those explorations are, what I call in this thesis, process inputs as they are also reflections of my personal process in writing this autoethnography. They exist alongside the moments of meeting to create snapshots of my experiences from different perspectives at different times. In this work, as a bipolar Kuwaiti woman, I have a dual purpose, where I give voice to my lived experience of a severe mental illness highlighting my struggle with narrative coherence as well as to provide a Kuwaiti I-account detailing my experience of being “othered” as a result of my “mad episodes”. I hope to, in the process, provide people with severe mental illnesses, Kuwaiti women and members of marginilised communities who have been forced out of the cultural scripts or master narratives of their country with constitutive narrative resources and alternative story lines that they can draw on in their journey towards “a more functional state” in the case of severe mental illness and the creation of a dialogue with people who are unable to, for cultural reasons communicate about their experiences.