Numb

You’ll have to excuse me, it’s a little random.

It’s been a rather weird week, or ten days. I don’t really know, I lose track, things are so hectic. It was my mother’s birthday a few days ago. She would have been sixty. It’s a strange thought. In my mind she is still in her 30’s, that’s where she got frozen.

The weather has been horrendous, a lot of the weather sounds are very triggering for me, lying by the window when I was a child, afraid it was going to blow in, so of course when I lost half the roof to my house a couple of days ago, things like that went through my mind and I felt a little out of it as the parts inside me tried to comprehend things that were going on. numb

It seems like something every day this week. And there have been days I just wished it was over. The power went out for us too, because of the weather, not just my house but an entire two mile radius. I have never seen the streets so dark or my house and there was nothing I could really do about it. I don’t like the dark. I hoped that when I went to sleep, the lights didn’t go out again.

I hope as new storms begin, that my house doesn’t receive any more damage and that we are not plunged into darkness again.

My dad called me yesterday, while the power was out. I am not sure he was talking to me so much, he seemed to not be registering anything I was saying and he was crying. I hate when he cries, it makes me feel such guilt for the way I made the world see him with my books. I feel like I did something wrong. I look in the mirror and wonder how I could have told the world all of those secrets. What is wrong with me to do that to my father?

He was crying because his cancer has spread, he’s been told he probably won’t make the year. I’m not sure how I feel about this, I know many readers will think good, but he is my father still. I write this and all I want to do is cut, because I don’t know how to deal with whatever it is I am feeling. I don’t even know what that is.

All I can think is that he is going to die and he is never going to tell me that it wasn’t my fault. I need him to say it. I need to know it wasn’t me. Not from my readers, or friends, from him. I need to know for real that it wasn’t me who made him that way. I don’t think I will ever get that, though.

His stepmother died a couple of weeks ago and was buried. She’d been his stepmother, my step grandmother from before I was even born. He didn’t tell me she had died. He didn’t invite me to the funeral, even though everyone else went.

When he found out about the roof of my house being blown off, his answer was oops. Not once did he call to make sure we were okay, if anyone was hurt, were the children afraid?

All the evidence is there for me to see that I am nothing to my father, yet I don’t know how to let go.

My older brother contacted me a week ago, the one who was adopted out because my mother hurt him. I haven’t talked to him in years. We talked for an entire afternoon like we had only seen each other yesterday; he has been diagnosed with all the same things as me. He was able to sit and put blame for things in all the right places. I wish I could. I wish I could make the same break he did.

My hands are bleeding as if I have run them along a cheese grater, sometimes I cant move them they are so sore, this is my OCD. The parts inside me are switching so often that some days I don’t even know who it is that stares back at me in the mirror. I woke up this morning and self-harmed because just breathing and getting to the next moment seemed impossible.

Yet with all this. I feel numb.

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#TimetoTalk

Today is #TimetoTalk day for mental health, which I agree, it should be talked about, but not just that, if anything, I wish people who suffered, be it the person themselves or a relative, were able to talk freely about mental illness. Even in this day and age, there is stigma, it’s sad that there is.

Anyone who follows my page, has read my books, or friended me on facebook will know that I have mental illnesses, and yes, that is plural, yes I have more than one. Many people do. I didn’t ask for them, but even I am not immune to feeling shame that I have them. It’s funny really, I hate when people get afraid to say, you wouldn’t if you were diabetic or asthmatic. So many with a mental illness think that they should just get over it, or that’s what society sees and it isn’t true. If it were easy to get over, it wouldn’t exist.

PTSD

This is one I have, many people think it is for veterans, but it is for anyone who has had something traumatic happen. For me it means I haven’t slept in a bed for three years because I just couldn’t stand the terror at night. It means I don’t go upstairs at night unless I have to, because I have terrible flashbacks, even though it is a different house.

It means like today, when I am alone in my house, I sit on the floor in the hallway by my front door so that I can feel safe, everywhere else feels like the stuff from my childhood will come back.

Sometimes I used to sleep outside I would get so afraid.

OCD

This is probably my biggest monster. Especially at the moment while I am dealing with a terrible episode of it, my hands are so sore from washing. I’m struggling to eat because everything feels wrong. It’s like that feeling when you forget something, but can’t quite remember what it is, that’s how the obsession feels, for whatever strange compulsion I have that day. Everything from I can’t wear certain clothes and if I try, something bad will happen, to clicking and sounding my words and counting.

It’s probably my most debilitating illness. It steals everything from me. Most recently my love of Starbucks. It has to be a really good day for me to feel brave enough, that somehow my coffee isn’t going to get contaminated, and that contamination won’t bring back the bad man, for me being bad, or make me sick, so I am stuck upstairs, see my PTSD.

It’s like trying to live in a world where I don’t touch anything and nothing ever touches me. It’s impossible. My brain feels like it invents new ideas and problems every day. Only yesterday I stood by my car, scratched my keys into my hand to check of the things I had done, like turn off the lights, put it into gear, and pulled up the handbrake. The scratches stopped me coming back a ton of times and being late for university.

This one has stolen many friends when I have had to cancel plans because going out just doesn’t feel right and I can’t tell them. When I have cancelled too many times, they give up.

Borderline personality Disorder.

This one is the hardest one I think. It is so tarnished by a bad reputation. I saw on amazon the other day, how to stop walking on egg shells and get your life back. It was a very cruel self-help book for people who are friends with a BPD sufferer. It told them to walk away pretty much. Don’t give into the episode the borderline is displaying. I hope that anyone who is in my life never reads it.

BPD should be renamed I survived a narcissist. That’s what it is really. Sufferers tend to be abuse survivors. They tend to have suffered abandonment and feeling so worthless to those who are meant to love them, that now, as adults, they look for every possible sign that this is still true.

For me it means, when someone has to cancel plans on me, or do something that is away from me, I feel like they have just told me they are going to die. It’s a gut wrenching pain inside, it’s so devastating to feel. I can’t control the reaction I have and if the other person leaves, in that moment, that is where the self-harm comes in. It’s how I cope, it’s all I can do to take away the agony I am feeling.

It’s like being 7 years old once again and crying by the road, begging my mum to take me with her.

It’s why I don’t really have friends. It why I am quite. Its why sometimes I stare in the mirror and wish to die. Sometimes I drive my car and think, it’s just a quick flick of the wheel, then it’s all over. The other day, I stood at the train station; I wondered what it would feel like to step forward when the next train came along. Would it hurt? Would it be over very fast? I support button reduced

This illness tells me I am worthless. That people lie to get away from me. That they go away to do things and are glad I am not there. This is the one that says, they won’t come back. They’ll sneak away because I am nothing. This is the one, that if any of you have me on facebook, you may realise, it is rare for me to message first. It is rare that I will say hi first. The reason for that, if people don’t answer, it’s because they want me to go away.

This is the one that makes me cut and starve myself because it’s what I deserve.

DDNOS and Derealisation.

DDNOS is dissociative disorder not otherwise specified. Probably the hardest one to describe, or at least to describe without sounding like I have completely lost the plot. I dissociate a lot. Sometimes I am not sure I am real. Sometimes I am not sure anything is real. It can feel like I am dreaming, as if my words are just an echo in my head. It’s very hard to come back when I float away in my head.

 The other part of this, is that I have many parts. Frozen bits of myself that got stuck at specific ages. Sometimes I do not recognise the face in the mirror, sometimes it is not me at the helm in my mind, but a broken child who is distressed. Some days I am quite, some I am sad and alone, some I am angry.

My therapist told me that what happens when a child suffers abuse, that part of them gets frozen because it never got to process what was happening and so the frozen part breaks off and stays there, suffering, in the agony which it was created.  It used to be an aspect of multiple personality disorder. Sometimes I do not know when I have switched, but I learnt from a friend, I do it often without realising.

This illness is the reason that the Dear Teddy books are out there. My therapist wanted me to give the boy a voice. She said he was obviously trying to talk and I needed to listen.

 

I was in my class at university yesterday, we learnt about counselling and we learnt something that clicked for me.

You are who you are right now, not tomorrow, not when you lose weight, or get better, but right now. That’s who you are and it isn’t wrong.

So this is me right now, quite broken and suffering, someone with these conditions. Someone who fights daily. This is me, it is who I am. It is not wrong.

 

 

If you don’t want to cut, just stop it. Simple

Yesterday I wrote a blog title Death, I can’t really explain what it is about because I wrote it out yesterday whilst thinking and can’t remember it that well. But I do remember that someone had commented on my facebook page and said that she wished I didn’t self-harm. She said she didn’t really understand it.

I like that she said that, so many people who don’t understand simply say, if you don’t want to cut anymore then don’t. That’s like telling someone, if you’re on a diet, don’t eat any more, if you want to quit smoking don’t smoke any more cigarettes, pretty easy answers I guess and true in ways, but if you have ever tried to stop doing something, you’ll know how hard it is and how much that thing niggles at you and you give in, always tomorrow right? To diet, stop smoking, stop cutting or whatever vice it is you wish to give up. 1044939_157099524476527_1254857261_n

I can’t answer why everyone self-harms, but I can explain why I do it.

Have you ever been lied to? I’m sure you have. I want you to bring to mind just one time, but when it was a real big lie, one that really hurt. It doesn’t matter who did it, mother, brother, wife, husband, children, best friend etc. Anyone’s lies can hurt us deeply.

Do you remember the pain of it? The way it smack you in the chest so damn hard you couldn’t breathe. The way your stomach plummeted and your heart contracted in agony, pain that shot so deeply it brought tears to your eyes and angry to your cheeks. For those first few seconds you can’t think or can’t hear, nothing but your own heart beat in yours ears.

I’m sure right now if you are thinking of a lie that did that to you, you can bring all of those feelings to the forefront of your mind once more and you can feel it and you feel angry and betrayed and for some reason still can’t fathom why you weren’t worthy of the truth.

Remember that moment. Imagine you couldn’t say to that person who had lied to you, that you knew and that you were upset. Maybe they were at work, it’s only a few hours right? But its endless, this lie and the hurt goes through your body in torturous waves and you have to say something. It won’t stay inside. Even if it’s just picking up the phone and ranting to someone else about how you just got hurt. Sometimes the hurt from it feels like it will never go away. How can your relationship ever go back to the way it was? How will you ever stop feeling this hurt? Does it sound familiar?

Now instead of a lie, change it to something else, bullying, parents who don’t understand you, or in my case, abuse. That one lie hurts so bad doesn’t it? Even now, days, months, weeks even years later, there is a lie you can recall that still hurts. I know I have one from last year and when I bring it to mind it cuts inside the same way it did back then.

But what about child abuse? When someone is hurting a child. A child is so different to an adult, they don’t have the skills to process hurt and betrayal. They haven’t grown into an adult who understands these concepts, but they can feel this hurt, and they don’t understand it. But its more than that, when it is the parents doing the abusing, how does the child let out that hurt? The same hurt that you felt when you were lied to. For the child it’s a new additional hurt every day. Given to them by someone who is supposed to love them and care for them, but their actions say they aren’t worthy.

Me and so many other children had nowhere to go with that hurt. There was no one I could tell it to. No friend I could pick up the phone. No person I could yell at and make them take it back. I didn’t have the same skills available to me to deal with betrayal. And like liars, if you have ever noticed when you catch them, they get defensive, tell you how it was your fault, they deflect the blame so that they don’t feel any guilt. Much like a child abuser. So suddenly there is this child with pain and betrayal bigger than any lie could ever cause and words that point back at them that tells them it is their fault. What do they do?

They look in the mirror and they hate the face that stares back. They get mad at it. All that hurt and anger and pain and betrayal gets pointed at that reflection. Maybe they hit them, bite, scratch, cut, burn, pull the hair, but that face in the mirror has to pay, because it is their fault that child’s parents do what they do.

Multiply those days by weeks and then months and then years and then even some decades. The child is still there, just bigger and older. The pain is inside, but now it isn’t just one time, its years and years of betrayal by the people who were supposed to do the protecting. Every morning that adult wakes up, carrying years of agony inside them. For me, so many mornings just waking up is more pain than I can handle, I’m bursting with it, and the only way I ever learnt to let it out was to let it flow with my own blood and tears. So I do.

The next time someone lies to you. Bite your tongue, don’t confront them. Take it away and let it go silently. Can you do it? Or do you know you would only last so long before you exploded?

That’s self-harm. Minutes and hours trying to hold in the pain and nowhere for it to go.

Its not attention seeking. It’s not something that can just be stopped. It isn’t even a cry for help. It’s that moment when all the things inside need to come out but can’t, physical pain makes it better. Like releasing the valve on a pressure cooker before it explodes into a thousand pieces.

Sorry this is long, but I hope it explains it.

Day Two!

Day two. Yes, day two of no self-harm, quite an achievement, especially when I didn’t start the day that way. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to face the day today, but I did, I got out of bed before that harming feeling took over. I wanted to share something today, it’s from a reader, he gave me his permission to share this. If all my books ever do is help children like the one he speaks of, then they were so worth writing and sharing. I’ll paste it below. I wish everyone in the world could have this kind of insight.

It took me a while to realise he was talking about me and talking about that little boy from long ago. I had to read it a couple of times before I understood, but here it is. Thank you Colin, and everyone else for the bundles of support I receive every day. I hope you all know how much it means to me.

Hello James my name is Colin. I don’t know where to start… It feels like I’m sitting down to write an essay… I’m 43 living in a small town near Shepparton Vic , Australia.. I’d like to tell you about a small friend of mine.. He doesn’t know me but I feel I know a small piece of him and his life.. He decided to write about himself and published a series of books. He wrote in a fashion I could understand about his misfortunate upbringing and day to day life….. I’d like to tell you how much I cried and still cry on a daily basis of the horrors this little friend went through and I believe still goes through every minute he breathes.. I can’t understand and I never will how he feels. He doesn’t know how much his books have changed my life forever…. I have lived in a gay relationship with my partner of 12 years, He’s a GP and has been there for me in the past month for when I felt really down and helpless reading my little friends books.. I couldn’t help him and I got heavily depressed… But that was ok, My feelings were nothing compared to what this boy was going through. My partner was very understanding and I feel for him too as he has to try and diagnose people with their own problems.. Recently my bike was stolen from my house by a 14 year old boy, He was caught and charged. I thought nothing more of it until I received a phone call one day.. I was requested if I had the time to be apart of a group conference for the young lad. I find out later this boy is living in a foster care type of accommodation and is only allowed to see his mother for 2 hours a week. I thought long and hard about doing this, I was in the middle of reading my small friends book at the time and took a different view of this young thief. I did go to the conference. I’m a funeral director and to be honest with the job I do I really couldn’t care less about my bike. What I was more concerned about why had this kid got into the state he was in… The funeral industry has changed my views on a lot of things, one being, life is too short as it is to worry about material things… I explained this to the kid and how in the first few months of doing the job I had to prepare a 14yo girl who had suicided for her funeral… I explained how I cried and that she had made a bad choice, he on the other hand still had his whole life ahead of him.. The long story short he seemed like a nice enough young man and had been influenced by the conference. I got a good feeling from it as well but then heavily saddened by what life he has gone through to get where he is. I would like to help this kid so I’m making a few phone calls to see if there is anything my partner and I can do for him. We have to be careful as some of the public are still on the belief that all gay people are perverts… Anyway It brings me back to my own plight, While reading the books I felt there was a heavy bearing of my own life in them.. I too sniffed petrol from a very young age and from a broken family of alcoholism on my father’s side I had my own questions to ask. As a child of around 7yo I remember overnight stays with one of my mother’s male friends of the time. I don’t recall any bad doings from this man except sleeping in the same bed. Confirming this with my brother and sister I think I was fine. My mother has passed away so I couldn’t ask her anyway. I’m sorry I hope I haven’t rambled on.. James I think you know my little friend very well, I’ve started to cry again as usual while typing this but he has taught me that’s ok.. please cut him some slack and give him a big hug for me.. That’s all I can do.. I still feel helpless but I hope for the best for him and yourself.. One of your photo’s say “sometimes when you see a person cry…….. I am here!…..” You can re-blog my letter if it makes any difference

Please tell our little friend how much he means to me… Thanks Colin

 

I know you all can't hug me, but when you send messages, even when I am too sad to reply, this is how it feels.

I know you all can’t hug me, but when you send messages, even when I am too sad to reply, this is how it feels.

1 day cut free

I made it one day without self harming. I know that isn’t much, but it’s good for me, recently at least. I also went out to dinner with friends yesterday. I didn’t want to. I was afraid. It was the 4th and I hate that number, still it bothers me, I know it’s stupid, but I went and it was okay.

Back to uni tomorrow, I’m nervous about that. But maybe it will be okay.

All these challenges seem so easy to everyone else, yet I feel like I’m holding my breath.

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Happy New Year

happy-new-year-2014

Happy New Year to you all. I hope you all saw the new year in with friends and family. I saw the new year in alone this time, it’s been a while since I have done that, but it was okay.

It’s been a while since I have posted here. It’s been a while since I’ve really bothered talking to many people. I’m not really sure why that is, I think about doing it, saying hi, nudging, inquiring how people are, but then I always come back to what is the point? I’m better off quiet I think. I thought very hard about shutting this site down and my facebook pages too, but then I know that those who support me need somewhere, and so I don’t do it. Perhaps there would be some way to fade into the shadows and not be seen, to just be there and observe, so that people could forget me.

I realise how depressing this post might sound, I’m not really depressed. Just fighting and tired from it. Fighting to eat or not eat. I can’t make my mind up which I want to do. Today is a not eat day. I ate so much over Christmas. I fight to keep my OCD down, from it’s torturous voice. That one is winning at the moment. I’m back at university on Monday and I’m afraid. The voice of my BPD confirms to me when I look in the mirror, why no one is around. Self-harm is winning. Three days of the new year, three days of self harm. At least my PTSD has been a little more under control recently. So many things to fight.

I wonder if when I see the next new year in, my father will be here. I’ll be surprised if he is. His cancer has progressed, although that doesn’t seem to stop him in his ways. My own stupidity on Christmas day saw that I turned my back on him, I didn’t think, it allowed him to grab my head and ram it down twice into the roof of the kiddies play house. Then he tried to kick me, but I moved and his foot only just brushed passed me. Some lessons I really need to learn.

I wish all my friends peace and happiness this year.

Take Care.

 

Vanish

Everyday feels like I am running through mud with my eyes closed and going backwards when really I should be going forwards, yet I see no point in it. The most I can do is stop and try to breathe. I wish somehow I could lift the ache inside my chest. I feel so much like a fraud living through every day. I go to university and sit in my lectures and I look normal. I look like everyone else, yet I am not. Every move I make is thought out. Every door I open, I don’t touch. I feel like I’m living in some kind of bubble that any moment is going to be invaded by I don’t even know what.

My mind is so crazy. No one knew today as I sat with a couple of class mates in the canteen and declared, no, I’m not hungry, I had a huge breakfast that I was lying. My stomach inside was starving. The smell of the soup from my friend’s tray, or the look for the chilli on the plate opposite me was like torture, but still I sat and did not eat. The stupid echo’s in my mind. Sometimes I wish they would just shut the hell up and get lost. I cannot eat, I don’t deserve too. It’s like having a voice on my shoulder, every time I go for food it starts with the names and the reminders and I just walk away defeated again.

I wish it would vanish.

I wish I could vanish.

It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t expect anything off my father as usual. He hasn’t bothered for 36 years, what would make 37 any different? But of course still there was that hope that never goes away. Maybe this year will be different, but it isn’t. He did message me a couple of days after, to tell me that he forgot. What kind of father forgets his child’s birthday? No matter how old they are. Why tell me? Why point out how useless you are and always have been. Is forgetting some kind of excuse? Doesn’t he realise it makes him look bad rather than excusing it? tumblr_lctztxzXNK1qcqnroo1_400

I get mad at myself when I have anger at him. He had a heart attack and what if he dies? It wasn’t so long ago. I broke down when I was told, but I realise the reason I broke down wasn’t because I was afraid of losing my father, I wasn’t scared that he might die. What I was upset about was, he might die and never make amends. He might die and never say he’s sorry. He might die and never realise he is actually my father.

I realise I’m waiting for the impossible and I don’t know how to let go of that hope that keeps breaking my heart.