christine~ (eppylover) wrote,

Reply to everybody's comments on June 22rd's Bipolar/BPD/HPD post

After two days, we might as well make this another post, right? ;)

I finally got into reading your comments, and WOW. Fascinating.

For good or for bad, Brian was Brian ~ but considering all this, how could anyone possibly play him to any realistic extent in a movie? As Rex Makin said, nobody ever came close to portraying him, and nobody ever, ever could. He was that unique a person.

So I do worry about the movie. But it must be made.

Anyway, just to get the gripe out of the way, one thing that sometimes annoys me about the medical/psychological profession is their tendency to compile a list of symptoms and slap a label on it. Some of them want to hurry to that conclusion, just to get you finished and out of there. Especially if you don't have money. In my experience, those are the only ones I've ever run into. Damn. You can't do that. And most especially, not with a Brian Epstein.

This is precisely why Brian was such an enigma. He didn't fit any "diagnosis" of any one particular "disorder." He cut across the boards. He was a "one-off" in every way. For the world, and his Beatles, he was a staggering miracle. For himself, he bounced between euphoria and pure misery and everything in between, confusing everyone, confusing himself, always striving for higher and more intense peaks ~ and then the scales naturally and unfortunately were forced to balance and he plummeted as low as a person could go. I'm sure there are things that happened that would still shock us today if we ever found out.

Perhaps the most astonishing thing about him is that in spite of this he was able to accomplish what he did, considering the many factors that were working against him, inside and outside his own brain and body ~ besides the rampant antisemitism and homophobia of his era, he was still silently suffering from a back injury incurred when he missed a set of plane steps and fell about 16 feet down, August 19, 1965 while on tour in the U.S. ~ refused to stay in the hospital ~ betcha didn't know about that one ~ and the chronic mononucleosis ("glandular fever" in the UK) he contracted during the June 1966 Philippines disaster which kept recurring the rest of his life. God knows what STD's he was living with, as unbelievably promiscuous as he was. I would still consider his bipolar/BPD/HPD or whatever it was! to be the worst of it all.

After reading all of your wonderful input, of course this is just guessing, but I have come to feel that he was born bipolar, but when on drugs his personality was affected: he dropped into exhibiting Borderline, or even more likely, Histrionic traits ~ or both, IMO. It's very interesting, that, to me, he seems to fit Histrionic even more (see later on in this post for my take on the mother abandonment issue).

It's such a coincidence that just a little while ago today I was reading a bit of Coleman's The Man Who Made The Beatles, and came across the comment that Brian was familiar with alcohol at a much younger age than your usual kid. And then, I read in the comments to this entry (unless my interpretation is off-base) that drug abuse (including alcohol) can pop a Bipolar over into sporadic BPD or HPD behaviors.

Did Brian exhibit these behaviors as a child? Read Joe Flannery's story of the time Queenie tried to convince little Brian to let Joe borrow his priceless model of the Coronation Coach. Rather than let Joe take it home for a short period, little Brian stomped it to pieces.

That's a bit MORE than your usual spoiled child tantrum, IMO.
Another thing was that Brian never seemed to have BEEN a child; it's like he was born a little adult. It was so charming to his relatives and friends of his parents to be greeted with a solemn handshake and commence adult-like small talk...with a toddler. How adorable. *Red flag?*

The people actually employed by him (his PA's, his office staffs and household staffs, etc.) DID have to walk on eggshells around him ~ these people, and his roughest boyfriends, experienced him at his worst ~ shrieking, crying, throwing things, even the occasional fistfight with a boyfriend. Once after one of these spells, a friend found him sitting amongst piles of newspaper, having meticulously torn each page into tiny shreds for no reason.

Most seemed to resign if they weren't fired (several times, some of them) ~ but there existed the loyal Eppy lovers who were almost "addicted" to his charm, to the extent that they could deal with the eggshells if it meant they could bask in the shadow/glow of this god.

That may have been true of his employees ~ but, from all I've read, the musicians, his artistes and other youngsters who looked up to him as a mentor rarely, if EVER, saw him act out ~ to them, he was a wise and worldly big brother, always under control ~ and always fun, glowing with good cheer.

The man was a chameleon. It's amazing how much of a different person he was to each person who knew him "well" ~ it's almost amusing that they don't realize that they ALL give conflicting descriptions of his personality, yet are all totally convinced that THEIR Brian is who the REAL Brian was! He was that good at subterfuge. Whether consciously he changed his colors for each person, whether he did it on purpose, is anybody's guess.

The closest to reality seems to be Vera Brown, on page 41 of The Brian Epstein Story ~
..."It's hard for me to believe Brian was gay. ... I think he was all man. I just can't accept that he was gay. In the shop Brian seemed like a man, like your dad shouting at you and superior. He had an attitude of superiority. But later on I discovered he was just like any other man. I thought he was a very passionate, loving person. He was like two different people. So if there's a third person involved — this gay person — I just say he's one hell of a man to be able to please everybody. You know, he was just unique. That's all I can say."
Every individual on this earth is just that ~ individual. It's one of mankind's biggest mistakes to force a mandatory compartmentalization on human brains and behaviors. I realize that you must do that to a certain extent, but mental conditions do not follow arbitrary rules. You will think they are one thing then they will trip you up every time with exceptions. How complex we are.

The maternal abandonment issue: As for Queenie, she tried her best to do what she thought was best with Brian, and he realized it fully, and it seems like he never consciously faulted her for anything ~ but when I consider that the worst example of his abandonment derived from his being thrown away into one boarding school after another, and it wasn't just his father doing that to him, well, he and Queenie may have always been on the best of terms personally but the needy, sensitive little Brian still could have felt abused, abandoned and deprived in that way.

I'm reminded of the description given by his then-steady girlfriend and fellow RADA student Joanna Dunham, of Brian's much-too-realistic portrayal of Constantin in The Seagull (as recounted on page 41 of Ray Coleman's superior and first-person researched The Man Who Made The Beatles, and in a less informative and more tabloidy manner in Philip Norman's derivative book of secondhand compilation, Shout!) ~ the extent to which he exploded in rage at his "mother" horrified onlookers ~ Joanna believes it was the best performance he ever gave at RADA, because she doesn't think he was really acting ~ and it tends to point toward some deeply repressed resentment or perhaps as much as a subconscious feeling of motherly betrayal in real life ~ because, when the chips were down, Queenie went with what Harry wanted rather than fighting for what she felt instinctively was best for Brian. My guess would be that she was always convinced to make certain decisions in Harry's favor over Brian's because, of course, Harry was the husband ~ examples being the boarding school and the nixing of the career in dress designing. I'm sure there were many, many other decisions that we'll never know about, that were made in Harry's favor "in Brian's best interest."

For better or for worse, I have tried make all my most important decisions with Stephy in mind rather than Og. My own mother would have a fit over that, but it's what my intuition dictates is the right thing to do.

Tags: bipolar, brian epstein

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