A Few Questions

I was asked some general wonderings, too, when I asked what people wanted to know. I guess that these are things I can’t quite cover in the book, so I’ll answer them here. Anything else I might not cover, just ask on my page or here, or message me. 🙂 I try to answer as best as I can.

These come from Kimberly:

 

“What happened to Nathan? “

 

We were friends until I was around 27. I still see him on Facebook, but we don’t talk that much really. He doesn’t live far away. As far as I can see, he is happy. We drifted apart because as my mental health got worse, I started to cancel things and eventually, he stopped asking. I miss him a lot, though.

“Are you still friends with anyone from college? “

 

No, aside from Facebook, I don’t see them anymore.

“Do you still live in the same area? “
I don’t live that far away from where I grew up. Probably just a 15-minute drive.
“How are you doing without being in therapy?”
I found therapy useless to be honest. I do better alone. My last one, last year, was pretty bad. He wouldn’t let me talk about anything. He’d say, What does it matter? It’s in the past. And had me down as having low self-esteem issues, which I don’t.

I did have CBT for my OCD at one point, but it didn’t cure it, just helped me to calm it a little. I needed that back then. I was living in a bubble.

I went to one therapist about my PTSD and the badman. He pretty much accused me of having an overactive imagination and said we’re all afraid of the dark when we’re on our own.

So, without therapy, I cope as best as I can.
“Do your children know anything about your abuse?”

 

They don’t have a clue. They know little things, like me not having a bed until I was 9, but no, they have no idea really, and I am glad about that.

 

“I’m also curious why your brother hates your dad so much. Was he aware of the things going on maybe, and just didn’t say? Was he abused in some way? Do you have a relationship with either of your brothers?”

 

I don’t exactly know why my brother hates my dad so much. I think it’s just a bad relationship and that our father is selfish, and he sees that. They fell out really when my brother asked me lots of questions, like whether my Nan used to beat me, like our parents had claimed. He realised it had all been lies and that made him angry. I don’t think he was abused, but he has issues from living in that house. Maybe he saw things. He was in the same bed as my father and I. He doesn’t live too far away. He comes and goes, but we talk. My older brother lives abroad now; we talk on Facebook. I have other siblings from later in life. My youngest sister is 12. I don’t really have contact with them, though.

 

 

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Sanity

This is another one of those posts from me asking what people want me to talk about. TeAnne asked, “How you kept your sanity. I know you had survival mechanism in place?”

I am not sure I have really. I have many problems that I deal with day to day, but back then, I didn’t know I had them. In writing Teddy, I can see where many started. I can see where my OCD began, and I think that was a survival mechanism to begin with – some kind of order in my mind about this world I didn’t yet understand. sanity-is-madness-put-to-good-uses-george-santayana

Obviously there is my bear. I told him everything. I had an imaginary friend, too, called Andrew. He is also in the books. Both of those helped me; it was a way of having some kind of social aspect without a real social aspect. I also read a lot. I could read for hours and hours and take myself away into the stories. I learnt to read very young. I was reading at four, and by the age of six, I had read the Hobbit – to give you an idea of my reading abilities.

I also wrote. I wrote all kinds of things; stories for one. I wrote those for hours. I wrote poems too. Sometimes, though, especially right after some form of abuse, I would cry and write everything down, asking why my dad didn’t love me. Why I had to do those things.

I used to count too. I think that’s where my number OCD came from. I’d tell myself that in an hour, I’d be in my own bed. I’d be sleeping. I used to try to count to sixty, sixty times. I pretended I was asleep a lot too. I could pretend it wasn’t happening to me.

Of course, there were times I didn’t cope. I was maybe six, I think, when I tried to drown myself in the bath. I got into sniffing petrol fumes when I was about 9. Started smoking and drinking at 12. I even ran away from home, but got taken right back.

I became very introverted. I think that was the best mechanism I had. Taking everything inside, and outside, I just smiled.

I Want to Show You Something

If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

Blogging 101 Day Two.

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I want to show you something. I want you to really see. I want you to understand. Not through your eyes, nor through mine, but through what I show you. I want you to look.
The room, it’s filled with shades of orange and yellow, warm sunlight filters through the curtain from the dusky autumn evening. The sunshine creeps in so much that the smell of the warmth permeates through the room. Evening motes dance idly across each ray that gets through, oblivious to what they are about to see. On the floor, leaning against the wooden box, just in front of a window, is a boy.
He’s sitting there, small and innocent. He’s almost silent, save for the small hiccups that make his body tremor from the crying he’s since pushed down. His tiny arms wrap around his legs, small hands and small fingers try to ease away the fear that’s inside. His head is down, he doesn’t want anyone to see him cry. He doesn’t want anyone to know that he is upset because he’s getting a new brother. He doesn’t want his mum and dad to be taken away. He’s five years old, his parents are his world.
He’s afraid.
Look at him. Look at his face, so small. Look how he bites his lip to keep it from quivering. He doesn’t blink to keep the tears in his young eyes. He’s trying so hard to make himself happy. His dad is happy, so he should be. His dad is happy; he’s going to have another son.
Watch the door. Watch it and see. Cruelty ascends from the darkness below. Hidden behind the face of an ordinary man. Covered in the mask of a love. He gets closer, the heavy footsteps approach, and his evil design in his mind.
Just watch.
Dark intent drips from him with every step. The walks over to the other side of the room first, he turns his back, but don’t look at the man. Look at the boy, look at his face as he swipes away his tears so the man doesn’t see. Did you see?
The man walks over to the boy, crouches down and enquires what’s wrong. He hasn’t been fooled, he sees the boy has been crying. The boy puts his head down, he doesn’t want to say. The man gives a loving sigh and smiles down at the boy. He reaches out and touches the boys hair, soothing him as he invites him to sit on his lap for reassuring comfort.
Maybe I could stop there. Leave it in a moment of care. I want to scream at the boy. I want him to put his arms down. Don’t fall for it. Don’t. Run away. I want to shout until my voice is hoarse and my breath is gone.
Do you see?
Does it not make your heart constrict?
The man had plans all along
Did he not care that it was wrong?
He lifts the boy, picks him up.
Turns him around, slams him down.
His hand over his mouth to stifle his screams
His clothes torn from him, to shatter his dreams.
Listen to the cries of stolen innocence. Listen to the screams as the man violates.
Listen to the sound. How can you stand it? The wail of agony. Pain so deep, it will stay forever. Listen to the sound of those falling tears, I can’t stand it. I cover my ears.
The boy is five
The man doesn’t stop
He doesn’t listen.
After, he stands victorious above the boy.
The boy, broken, bleeding and bewildered. Innocence never knew such evil.
I said I wanted to show you something. I want to show you the boy. Look at the child, curled in a ball. Look at him shaking. Look at his face. Look at his tears. Listen to the way he cries. Look at the way he tries to get up.
Watch as he looks at the man, not understanding.
Watch as the man leaves.
I wanted to show you a day, the say when the sunlight came through the window and evil came through the door. I wanted to show you when the man broke the boy and didn’t care anymore.
I wanted to show you the day a father killed his son, not the living and the breathing, but his soul that is within.
You dad, you are the man and I am the boy.
I wanted to show you.

Time Limit on Mental Health Recovery

Why does mental health recovery have a time limit? It’s one of the things that bugs me the most. Many people put into therapy get 4-6 weeks of therapy and then they are cast out into the world again. Some people get 12 weeks if they are lucky, but that seems to be the maximum. Why is it that mental illness comes with such a limit?

Would we treat a cancer patient and say well you’ve got so many weeks of chemo, but after that you’re on your own? Or tell someone who is recovering from something like a stroke that they have 12 weeks to rehabilitate and then off they go to do it themselves? I don’t think so. Why is it okay with mental health? It’s just as debilitating as any other illness. The difference is, is that it can’t be seen.

The reason from my rant today comes from my own experience. When I had taken an over dose those few weeks ago and gone to my doctor after the hospital had discharged me and for the first time I said to someone that I think my thoughts are wrong. I need some help, did I get some and felt relieved.

I was assigned a therapist. I have had therapists before and for various reasons either I didn’t stick or my time was up. This time I tried to give everything I had. I tried to be honest about how I was feeling. I even showed him my many self-harm episodes across my skin. tumblr_mjvm92IrOr1s8qsclo1_500

It was heart-breaking to hear at my last sessions that I only have three left. His manager said I could have 14 sessions. I’ve done 11 so far, because I needed so much, but that’s it for me. I feel let down again. I feel lost again. I keep hearing those words in my head and it makes me upset.

I am not a stupid person, but I am an ill person. I don’t understand how the doctors can say to someone who –

Who is suicidal and has tried many times before.

Who self-harms almost daily (although at the moment it’s been 8 days)

Who has flashbacks, sometimes so bad he has to leave the house.

Who suffers disassociation and often doesn’t know if he is a real person.

Who has BPD and breaks down and wants the world to end at something as simple as a cancelled lunch date.

Who suffers DDNOS and flits between different parts of himself at different ages because he is fragmented.

How can someone with so much to recover from be told they have 14 weeks and then they’re on their own again.

No wonder people don’t tend to get better. You can’t put a time limit on recovery from anything. That includes mental health.

 

#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.

Happy New Year

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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.