No one really cares about child abuse. Especially when you’ve grown up.

No one really cares about child abuse. Especially when you’ve grown up.

 

That’s how it feels sometimes. I mean, everyone wants to prevent it, wants to stop it, and wishes it didn’t happen in the world, but after, then what? Does it just go away? Does the kid just get over it and it’s done with.

If you follow me on either of my blogs, then you know I journal daily. I have done so for a few years now, and today, somehow, I wrote the immortal words, I was abused. It took me by surprise that these worse existed on my page. Not that I had forgotten, but it’s like a dirty sentence, a thing still to be ashamed of even now. Even after five books documenting it, it feels so strange to say.

Sometimes I feel like a shadow walking through the world amongst all the other people who can’t really see me—the real me. No one ever really sees shadows, they’re just there. They exist as the darkness following people around.

I remember someone saying to me, oh sorry, I didn’t mean to remind you about the abuse. It took me aback to hear that. To realise people were afraid to bring it up with me because hey, I’d forgotten all about it and might suddenly remember and fall apart.

It’s very hard for me to comprehend this, because I don’t forget. That’s the problem. It’s here, in my head, always. I walk up the stairs at night when I am alone in my house … a house where nothing ever happened, and around the corner I might possibly walk into the shadow of my childhood. I stand in the shower and a momentary lapse of judgement; I realise I have turned my back to the door and suddenly that fear is there. Someone is behind me. I wake in the middle of the night, gasping, realising I feel into such a deep sleep.

There isn’t a day goes by where I don’t think about something … some part of such a giant slice of my life. And I don’t think anyone understand that.  I type this and bite my lip to keep it from trembling, just so I can go on and get out of my whatever random babble it is I want to say. Of course, I’ll wipe my eyes, and take a deep breath and switch the screen over when my other half comes down the stairs. I’ll plaster on that smile that people understand, because what’s underneath is too hard for them to see, not for me.

I’ll go back to being that person who forgot what happened.

I still haven’t told people my dad is dead. None of the people who know me in life, know he is gone. I mean, of course anyone close to me, my family do, but friends, people I stop and chat with, have a coffee with, have the odd meal with. They don’t know. Every time I see them, I think to say it. But the more time goes on, the harder it is because how do you tell someone, yeah, my father died over two years ago, and I never told you.

I still have his name programmed in my phone and when his mother calls me from the house, my phone announces, Dad is calling. For that split second, my mind jolts and my heart skips.

I think my dad’s death goes in the same box with everything else labelled, things I can’t talk about. Not that I can’t. More it is people can’t listen to. It’s such a terrible situation. I must listen to endless days of the same conversations. What shoes someone has, what they had for dinner, what’s on the television, what the government is doing now, it goes on and on, but if I were to mention my thing more than once, I see that awkwardness in their expression. I see them not knowing what to say, but worse, I feel that I am complaining, that I am going on and on and eventually I know, they’ll be sick of hearing it and tune off. On their breaths are the whisperings of just get over it.

You know what I realise about any kind of child abuse? The times they happened weren’t so bad. Each event, they came, they went. It’s living with it that’s the problem. Because even now, even after all this time, I’m still as silent as I was as a child. The only difference now is people know.

 

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The Bully in my Brain

The Bully in my Brain

When I was a child, I experienced bullying at school. It didn’t last for too long. I wasn’t the type of kid who stood for it, mostly because there was nothing anyone could do to me that was worse than what was going on at home. Bullies tried, though. I mean, I was the outsider, the quiet one. The one with the dirty clothes and greasy hair. I was the kid who everyone knew was poor. Whose mother couldn’t handle him (Her lies).

I was that problem child who’d burst into a rage, hit another child, rip up someone’s school work for no reason at all. But I was also an easy target. One of the worst things of bullying, I think, is the silence, the shame, those moments alone when you can’t find a way out of what’s going on, and you know, tomorrow, when you’re walking down the road, that bully is there. He’s waiting. He’s got every god damn tool, and he’s been waiting for you.

Forty-two years old, and I’m still the victim of a vicious bully, except, just like when I was a child, I can’t report this bully to anyone. I can’t get them to stop. I can try and say it, try and fight, but how do you fight a bully that’s your own head?

I feel like I’m sitting in this never-ending pit of darkness and silence. It’s got me locked in a closet, far away from everyone. I try to open my mouth, open messages, start replies to my friends. My bully keeps catching me, keeps putting the gag over my mouth, over my thoughts, over every piece of me. So I close messages, I put down the phone. I utter the lies that I’m fine. Just tired.

Do you know how many just tiredsI am recently?

The problem with bullies is that they isolate you. They cut you off from the world for so long that people give up on you.

I can’t tell anyone that part of me wants to die. To just close my eyes, fall back and let go. I can’t say it because no one understand. People hear die, and then they go into panic and stop listening. Tell me what I have to live for. Maybe they think I don’t know, like I can’t see my kids, my grandkids, my life and know that it’s all so great, all so worth taking each breath.

Don’t they think I know that? If I didn’t have those, I’d not feel this way because I’d not be here. That’s the difference. I’d fight this bully by taking us both down. We’d fall off the building, and I’d be holding onto his hand and making sure we go together. But I can’t jump. I can’t fall, and I can’t tell anyone, because no one understands.

No one can make it stop.

I feel like a person trapt in the body of someone else. I feel like cutting today. Like taking something sharp and taking it down my arm from the inside of my elbow to the edge of my wrist. Every see Terminator Two? Where Arnie cuts off his skin to show what he is … that’s how it feels. Like I could dig right in and pull something out of me, maybe the bully, maybe the monster inside my head who keeps weighing me down.

I feel like I’m drowning. I feel like I could put my hands on either side of my head and scream until I can’t speak, but instead I sit silently. I put on a false smile and tell everyone okay.

I even cracked some jokes today. Isn’t that a great cover story? He’s not sad today, he’s laughing. Look. Everything is just fine.

I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine.

I’m so ready for this bully to go home.

The more I try to fight him, the more he tells me what’s the point.

And I pause here, because even this seems useless.. I feel half dead, but I’m still breathing.

A misunderstanding.

Wow. I think judging by the responses to yesterday’s blog post, you all got it wrong, well, I put it out there wrong. Because the common thing was that post and how it probably seemed.

I was getting out my anger. I have a lot of that at the moment. I think it gets stirred up sometimes when things occur. It was my father’s birthday just recently and that sure as hell fires up my brain with all the thoughts.

I know some of you mentioned me being down. I’m not. I am a happy person. Ironic, I know. I have depression, but I consider myself a happy person. Or at least, a positive person. I have depression. It’s a little chemical torturous bastard inside my head that tries to lie to me. Tries to steal my happiness, and in those best times when I am achieving things I want, it will whisper at me, “well what’s the point in doing that?” I think that is not the same as being a sad person, or a miserable person, or in some deep dark hole. I refuse that part. Of course, I have down days, and sad days and days where I have to fight to get myself out of bed, but I am not negative.

Yesterday’s post was just an expression of some things—an outlet for me. It was about a few things really. About anger, about when my brain tries to make me fall apart. About friendship … mostly about friendship.

I struggle to have friends. Not because of them, but because of me. I think it can be even worse if you know my story, because there’s this sort of pity there, and that’s fine. You’d not be human if you didn’t feel some pity to the things in my books. People who know my story think the things that are wrong with me, can be fixed, but they can’t. No. I am me.

As I have got older, I have reached a place where it is more, this is me, accept me or don’t. I have problems. I have mental health issues. Aside from Depression, I also have OCD and borderline personality disorder. I was also diagnosed with a touch of DIDNOS. If you don’t know what that is, it stands for dissociative identity disorder not otherwise specified. Basically, it is like having an identify disorder, but not quite. I am sure you’ve seen split … not that it is like that for me, but that is full blown DID. It’s like having different personalities for different tasks. It makes for an interesting thing with me, and quite scary to share here because the movie world has made that illness into something of a scary aspect of mental health.

I do also suffer from derealisation, which is as it sounds, I quite often don’t feel realty. Literally, I don’t feel like I exist. It is one heck of a weird feeling when it happens, and probably the one thing I hate the most. I was about nine when that developed. I guess it was a coping mechanism at the time.

You can imagine, being in my head is not always fun. Being my friend is even harder. And I’m not being all low self-esteem like when I say it is hard to be friends with me. It is. I have meltdowns. I go from calm to manic in a few seconds. Especially if my abandonment issues get triggered.

I say the wrong things.

I jump in and out of versions of myself. People who talk to me, may or may not notice the DIDNOS part of me and how I can switch into different (I’d say personalities, but it isn’t quit that.) more like versions of myself.

The problem I was having is that sometimes people get mad with me. I frustrate them, because what seems normal to someone else, isn’t for me. I remember upsetting a friend because her son was sick, and I didn’t ask if she was okay. I didn’t ask, because her son was sick, I knew she wasn’t okay. To my head, it was a pointless question, but my lack of question meant she thought I didn’t care. I did. I just didn’t know what to do or say.

If someone cancels plans on me, it’s like they’ve told me they’re going to die. It is that serious to me. That little child version of myself hops on out and throws out the emotions of the kid who was left on the side of the road by his parents at age 7. I can’t help it. It’s like a cancellation touches that wound, and out he comes, fears and tears and everything else. And there is nothing you can do to calm me down. Let me ride it out, let me shout, accuse, whatever it is. That issue for me is like a chain reaction.

Cancelled plans = child meltdown = other person not understanding and trying to reason like an adult … it isn’t an adult they’re really dealing with = self-harm, panic attacks and suicidal thoughts because right then, that little boy inside is seeing how hated he must be and wanting to end the pain.

I am a quiet person, but I am also a chatter box. Depends which part of me you get. Sometimes I will talk your ear off, laugh, joke and all other things. Other times, I won’t speak to you for days. I can imagine how hard that is for someone else … someone who doesn’t understand and thinks it’s personal. It isn’t. I promise you.

I very rarely start conversations, in my personal life or on Facebook. Not because I don’t want to, but because I get afraid the other person won’t reply. It’s easier for me to say nothing, than to risk even the slightest bit of rejection.

The more you get to know me, the more I start to think you won’t like me. If I talk about something, I can guarantee the next day, I am thinking to myself, god, you must hate me and wish I’d shut up. And this comes from the child part too. If my own parents couldn’t like me, how will anyone else?

This leads to my self-harm tendencies too. Usually I get mad at myself for saying something dumb. Out comes the little blade and the swearing at myself.

It’s fucking nuts living in my head. I tell you.

It’s very misleading being my friend too. Because you’ll know me first as a normal person. That part of me comes out, and chats to you like the next person and the next, but the more I get to know you, the comfier I get, and the more the other parts of me will come out. And this person trying to be my friend, comes down the road with me.

I don’t know if I explain it well enough.

Imagine there is version #1. That’s the version everyone sees first. He’s friendly, happy, no problems. Strong, whatever. Just a normal guy.

Under that is version #2. He’s got a little problem, but not much. It’s manageable. Sometimes he just can’t get out of bed. And that’s okay.

Version #3 is a little worse than #2

Then there are, #4, and 5 and 6 and so on, until you get to #9. This is the one that is broken in so many ways. The child I guess.

The more of my friend you get, the closer you get to peeling it all back and finding #9.

You know the song, Unwell by Matchbox Twenty. The part

 

But I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell
I know right now you can’t tell
But stay awhile and maybe then you’ll see
A different side of me.

 

That’s it. That’s exactly what it is like. And what happens is the person wanting to be my friend can’t cope. They can’t understand and they ask me to stop. Ask me to change or be better, and I can’t.

And if you’ve read Teddy, and then ask me to be well … this was where yesterday’s post came from. I can’t switch myself off and be what people want. I can only be me … the raw, hard to live with, hard to be friends with, version of me.

If you had a friend who ran marathons, and then suddenly got hit by a car, ended up disabled and in a wheelchair, which meant you now had to push them around in the chair all the time and it was damn tiring, would you ask them to try to walk?

I think not. This is the same for me.

People keep expecting me to walk, and I can’t.

 

Sorry it’s such a long post, and if you’ve read it all. Thank you all so much for replying, for listening. I hope you understand some things above. They’re bloody scary to share. You know, because my head wants to tell me the admittance of things is likely to send you running.

 

I am …

I am a whisper you can’t hear. A child you can’t save. I am every part of every soul crushing moment when I have tried to stand tall and all my mind could do was grab me, pull the veins from my body and splay them out on the ground in a pile of dark, black strands.

I am dark, silent, tormented. I am a master at the lie of I am okay. I’m fine … fine, like the dying breath of an aching soul. Fine like the last beat of my heart you can’t hear.

You can’t be my friend because you don’t understand. You think you do, but that is a lie, to yourself, not me.

You think yourself a hero, something marvellous, someone who can read my story and put me back together, but who says that’s what I want.

Maybe I want to be broken? Maybe I like all the sharp edges that dig into my skin every time I find the energy to move. Maybe they are my super power, did you ever think about that?

You want to be my friend, but really what want is to ease the pain of a collective conscience the world has. But it cannot heal it. You cannot heal me.

You will sit there and tell me I am not what I believe. That I am not as broken as I think, but I sit here and tell you, you deny me my voice, my thoughts. You try to tell me what I think is wrong, and isn’t that the very thing that got me to this place in the first place?

I can thread my hands into my hair and pull with all the power I can muster … pull until my scalp stings and the painful agony as my flesh wants to rip away. I can claw down my face with nails that have been both friend, and enemy in my life.

I am an echo in my own head, a dream inside a bubble, a nightmare in my memory. I am lost.

And you, my unfriendly friend, do not understand.

 

How do you fight your brain with your brain?

How do you fight your brain with your brain?

I sit here today, feeling somewhat a mess, and I don’t even know why. All I want to do is slip from my chair, get under my desk and hide. If I thought it would help, I’d consider it. All I can do instead, is sit at my desk with my head in my hands, and try to think myself into feeling better, but the thing I need to use to feel better is the same part of me that doesn’t feel well, and all my thoughts seem to do is crash.

I write this, and I don’t feel real. I make my fingers go across the keys and words are coming out on the screen, but none of it makes any sense to me because I just feel like an echo in my own head and I don’t know how to make it stop.

Part of me whispers that I could make everything stop if I wanted to. I could fix it, end it. Maybe. I feel like I could stand somewhere really high and just fall back and it wouldn’t matter anyway, because I’m not really real.

I hate when I feel this way and as I write, my head asks me why I am writing. Why would anyone care what I feel? I may or may not post this on my blog, if you’re reading this, then I posted it …obviously.

Do you know what is the real kicker with my mental health? I have OCD as well and so when I sit here thinking, please let me die, my OCD whispers, well what if you wish that and get cancer? Maybe I can make myself sick by wishing it and so I get afraid to wish I could die and then afraid to be here and it all becomes a mess, and do you see the problem I have.

My skin is tingling with all of this and my thoughts won’t stay still and at the moment, I can’t sleep. Sometimes I rock myself to sleep. That’s been a habit of self-soothing since I was a child, but when I get off to sleep, then I can’t stay asleep and I am checking for something. I don’t even know what it is.

I wish I could die from myself, does that even make sense? Like if I could get rid of the part of me that is switched onto this brain … if I could just cut that part out. I feel like a bunch of different people trapt inside one body and they’re all fighting to take control.

This is all just part of my dissociation condition, and I know that, but it doesn’t make it any better knowing.

I learnt to dissociate at such a young age. I was reading that this actually makes it harder to recover, the younger you are. But I don’t know. It helped me get through things when I was little. I wish I could go back some days and just kill that child I used to be. At least then I wouldn’t be here now. I wouldn’t feel everything in my head.

If there was an easy way to make everything over without hurting those who mean something to me, I would do it. Time travel seems about the only option and that’s not something real either.

I’d go to the doctors if I thought it would help, but they don’t know what to do. Not really. How can they? They could put me on some unit somewhere and let me sit in these feelings with no means of doing anything to myself, but that wouldn’t fix what I feel. If I am just going to sit and wait it out, I can do that here.

Or they’d give me more medication. I already take something.

They say if you feel suicidal to tell someone. So, I’m telling you, whoever you are reading this. I’m sure it’s a trick my mind wants to play on me. I’m sure I won’t do anything. But it’s how I feel. It’s what my head whispers.

I’m sorry.

I’m just going to go and lie in the middle of my floor where I can feel safe from myself.

I’m so OCD

I was talking to my mate today, and he asked me a question and used that phrase that makes me want to punch people in the head … is it because they’re OCD?

Now, I forgive my friend for this because I know he doesn’t understand the disorder. He doesn’t understand it because society is so damn stupid with it that they make it impossible for it to be understood.

I get annoyed at memes over OCD. They show things out of place, and then there are all these comments about it setting their OCD off. Or people make comments about something, I’m so OCD about …… 

I was at Uni a couple of years back and a woman there said, she had slight OCD because she hates coffee tables being messy and has to tidy them. I said, oh yes. I have slight paraplegia. My legs go numb when I sit too long. The looks I got … but to me, that is how stupid her comment sounded.

I have OCD, and I feel I have to clarify, that I have REAL OCD. I am not a neat freak. I don’t like things tidy or in line or whatever because of this condition. I don’t give a shit if I have all of my orange M&Ms mixed with the yellow ones.

OCD has three words. Obsessive … compulsive … disorder.

People need to understand that when something is a disorder, it is not a quirk. It is not cute. It is not this thing that comes and goes. No. It is a disorder because it brings disorder to your life. It causes problems. It can, and does, ruin many lives with it.

I wish people would stop using it so flippantly, so people like me could get better understanding from others.

Have you ever gone out and then thought, did I lock the door? You get that feeling inside yourself, like you’ve forgotten something. It’s a niggle, but its manageable. That is part of OCD, but …

Have you ever got a song stuck in your head and by stuck, I mean, it is driving you bonkers and you keep humming it to yourself? I am sure you have.

Put those two components together, and you have the start of an OCD thought. But increase it. That, did I lock the door becomes a stuck record. It becomes so stuck that it goes over and over in your head. And you try to remember, but when you try to picture locking the door, your mind is so confused with thoughts of, well what if you didn’t. What if you only thought you did?

So what happens?

You go back and check the door.

No, worrying if you locked the door and going back to check it, is something people without OCD do. It’s fine. But … remember for someone with OCD, it is at song stuck phase.

Someone with OCD will check, and check, and check. And you know, maybe they just can’t get that thought to go away. So they get the idea of, well if I unlock it and then relock it, then I know for sure I locked it. So they do that.

Guess what?

Doesn’t work. Your OCD sufferer then does it again, and again … familiar, right? You see people say they turn light switches on and off, or plug sockets. Even Neil Hilborn in his poem talks about doing just that. This is why.

OCD is a freight train of repetitive thoughts that are so loud and so insistent that they make us do things to try and calm them.

I iron clothes to perfection. I iron them within an inch of their lives. My son thinks this is because I am a neat freak, and I want everything flat and neat. Nope. Not at all. This comes from being a parent and having OCD. Somewhere in my muddled brain, to be a better parent, I had to be perfect. I had to get everything right. That meant my kids had nice clothes. Nice clothes have to look neat. If I don’t make them neat, then I am showing I don’t care about my children, and if I don’t care about my children, the universe, God, fate, whatever, will take them away because I don’t deserve them. So … basically, if I do not iron my children’s clothes perfectly, my children will die, and it will be my fault.

Tell me how this compares to someone who sees some dust and their OCD comes out?

To someone reading this, badly ironed clothes causing the death of children, seems nuts, bonkers. Hell, even I know it is stupid, but OCD whispers to me. He leans in and says, yeah, maybe it is crazy, but what if?

And this is just an example. This isn’t a one off occurrence that only happens when I iron. OCD makes sure it is in every corner of my life.

What if I don’t fill the kettle right? Maybe it’ll blow up? Maybe it will splash a germ in and I’ll get sick and then I can’t look after my kids, and then they leave.

What if I wear my blue jeans on Friday’s instead of the green ones? And I’m not even kidding, that is one of the things I have to do or not do.

OCD comes in many shapes and forms. Usually it is always, a thought, followed by a way to fix it, followed by more thoughts, followed by more fixes and it gets to the point of taking over your life. Then it is a disorder.

Could you imagine saying, oh, my diabetes is coming out? Or, I have slight cancer. My back hurts every time I see a ladder …

It’s so stupid.

I live with OCD. Every minute of my day. Not just when it doesn’t like something.

I know my little rant won’t change how the world sees it, but it sure as hell makes me feel better getting it out. And I hope, someone understands.

Obsessive compulsive disorder is an illness. A very debilitating illness.

 

Just Listen

I hate my head. I hate it with a passion. I wish there was a way to kill off parts of myself, and just leave the bits that can cope with life …

My skin feels like it is on fire today, except it isn’t burning. I don’t really know how to describe it other than a sensation inside my skin that makes it crawl and makes me want to cut along it because it is skin made of fire and anger and everything inside that wants to come outside, but I don’t know how.

I can’t tell anyone other than the people who read this. I’d say faceless, because that’s what you are to me just now, but it feels insulting. Faceless is better than being able to see you, though … of being able to see the looks of pity, or misunderstanding.

I feel like I’m standing in the middle of the world and everything is spinning in the opposite direction to me. I’m screaming, but I don’t know what about. I scratch at my own face, but I don’t know what I am trying to get rid of. My mind has declared war on me, but it won’t tell me what it’s fighting for, so I don’t know how to yield and make it all feel better.

I stood in the shower this evening with my head in my hands and water taking away the only scream I could let go. I don’t feel real.

 

I try to work out what is wrong with me, and the only thing in my life that is a problem just now is a doctor’s appointment in a week. If you remember, I wrote a post, I’m Fine. Ages ago. I still didn’t make it there yet. I try and I try, and even picking up the phone to make an appointment triggers me.

But I did it. I called, and I made the appointment. Now it looms and I picture it in my head and all I can see is myself standing at the door begging the dr, please don’t touch me … please don’t touch me. And maybe that’s it. Maybe that’s the thing because that breaks the barrier in my head and makes me break down as I write this, but I type. I type just to get this out of my head because if I don’t, I’ll do something bad. It’s right there, on the edge. I could jump …

I cut as I write this. I cut both my arms. Don’t panic. It isn’t bad. I just needed to feel it … I needed that sting to feel something that was something bigger than the ball inside my chest, the one that’s choking me from the inside. The one making is so my lungs are crushed to asphyxiation even though I can still breathe perfectly fine.

I need to make it stop. I need to find some way to shut all this up inside my head … inside my mind. It’s so loud. So god damn fucking noisy and it doesn’t stop. Ever.

I think of telling the dr I was abused. Of saying those words before he does anything. When he asks why it’s taken so long to go to him … I’d say because I was abused, but what if he didn’t understand? What if he told me that was silly?

The first thing they ask when you go for therapy is was there penetration and it’s the first thing that always chokes me up. If I say yes … do you know what that means? Do you know how bad that makes me? If I say no, then I’m wasting your time. It isn’t important.

I rake my hands through my hair and dig them into my scalp because I can’t make any of this stop. I can’t take it away. I make people who know me tired. I have people who knew me because they’re tired. That’s how they change their tenses in my life.

At least you can leave me. At least you can stop speaking to me when I am too much, but what can I do?

I’m a wound-up box with a door closed tight and sometimes, someone dares to open it, but the sound gets to loud and they try to listen, they try to stand, but in the end, the doors got to close again.

I went to a therapist once. It was at the time all those people came out to say the guy Jimmy Saville, had abused them. There were many that came forward. My new therapist asked me if because of all this fame, was it the reason I came to speak about it … I wanted to yell at him. I wanted to leave. He asked why now? Why … now? Because that’s when I needed it.

How do I go to the dr to make sure nothing is wrong, and not have him touch me?

How can I say I was abused, when even in my own head, I don’t believe it?

They can ask if there was penetration, and the yes will catch in my throat because then I make the it sound bad … in my logical adult brain, I know the actions were bad. I know what happened. I know what it means and if that child had been anyone else but me, I would agree … but I can’t lie. I can’t say I was abused when I wasn’t. I can’t say that there was sexual things with my father because it lets the world know I am some sick fuck.

I wish there was a way to end it … just a way to end me … the me in my head.

I just needed to tell someone. I don’t know who you are, or if you made it this far.

I just needed someone to know that I’m not okay.

But if you ask me, I’ll tell you, I’m fine.