Where I’m At

Suicidal? Prove it!

This is the challenge thrust forward from the *cough* mental health professionals who are supposed to be supporting me.

No, no of course they don’t actually say that. No. It’s just that ultimately that’s what they do say adds up to…we can’t really do anything until you actually try and kill yourself. And I find myself wondering what is a girl to do?

This bad spell is horrendous/evil/unbearable. I can barely move. I wake up in the morning devastated. In fact I cried this morning oh no, please, not again, I can’t take it, I can’t. I just want this to end. One way or another. Please, please I really can’t take it.I’ve reached out to Nora (but we are doing something! You start DBT in 4 weeks); I tried the Crisis Team (well, if you’ve got plans for tomorrow then there’s not really anything we can do to help); all of it a waste-of-fucking-time. Help me now. Please please help me now. I’ve been waiting since December please please help me. 


My husband rang the crisis team the other night to ask for help – he’s scared for his wife’s safety. They did…precisely…nothing. Didn’t even speak to me. 

I rang the Samaritans to help me cope. It did help a little but I’m in such a bad place it can’t help much. 

Please help me please help me please help me.

There is only one message I have but I must be saying it wrong because nothing is happening. 

I’m currently staying safe with a mixture of willpower and not being alone. I cannot be alone as I will be unsafe. 

I can’t care for my children. I can barely stand with exhaustion but I do manage a shower every couple of days so, according to the hcp, that’s tickety fucking-boo. 

I don’t want to eat. I am still eating though with my family so that’s another tick in the ‘she’s fine’ box. But I’m not fine. Is this fine?

Lying on busy roads, hanging, wrist slitting, and pills – these are the things that occupy my mind. I can’t make it stop. I can’t fight. I’m too tired. Illness, you win. 

I can’t stand being around normality and being expected to just fit in. It makes me feel worse. I become further isolated as I feel so separate and different from the normal world. I meekly plod along when really I should be screaming for help like I’m on fire. What’s the point though? There is no point. If there is anything which I know to be pointless it is asking for help. 


So what can I do? Well, very little but I do have options. I’ve started self-medicating with tramadol. I’m a medicinal chemist and I know I shouldn’t but I’m literally at the point of A. Suicide attempt or B. Self-medication. If the NHS won’t help me and even private has long waiting lists then I really do not see what other choice I have. 

The tramadol worked a treat the other night. I felt peaceful. It was beautiful. Absolute pain relief. I only have 5 days supply though. I’m using it sparingly but what then? It’s left over from my ectopic operation a few years back. But when it’s gone…what then? You see if I have to choose between being a functional drug addict and being a non-functional depressive then I choose the former. Coming from me with my hatred and fear of addiction that’s really saying something. I guess it’s saying help me help me help me. 

I’m currently stuck in hell and the rest of the world is just walking on by. That’s where I’m at.

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My Mental Health in Numbers

I’ve kept a log since this started. It was initially to help me report on whether the antidepressants were working. I knew my own recollection would be fallible so I started taking brief notes. I’d encourage you to do the same if you find yourself having a mental health concern. 

Anyway, these notes have come to be so much more. They now track and show me what the last 234 days of illness have really looked like. In a sense, what have they really felt like.


I collated them on to this wall planner as I was investigating whether bipolar was a possibility for me. That question has not yet been answered (or even really properly asked yet) but here is my 234 days of mental health, in numbers.

Total days = 234

Days that have information = 182. I’ll call this 100% as I can’t really comment on the 52 days that I don’t have any data for.

Number of days where I felt ‘normal’ = 28 (15%)

Number of days where I felt mild/moderate depressed =36 (20%)

Number of days where I felt the most severe depression = 100 (55%)

Number of days where I felt awesome = 23 (13%)


Number of days I self-harmed = 10 (6%)

Number of days I thought about self-harm/suicide but it was ok, not intrusive = 13 (7%)

Number of days I thought about life endangering self-harm/suicide and it was compelling and intrusive = 92 (51%) 

Number of suicide attempts = 1

Number of times I have deliberately purchased enough paracetamol to kill me = 3

Number of antidepressants tried = 3

Number of minutes with a psychiatrist = 60 (0.02%)

(Some days have more than one mood hence the moods total over 100%.)

I don’t really have any conclusion to this data but I’m a scientist. I showed Nora my chart today when I raised my ‘am I bipolar’ question. (She doesn’t think I am btw but like I say we haven’t really considered it properly yet, in my opinion.)  She liked my chart and asked me to continue with it. Perhaps I might like to see the psychiatrist in another 6 weeks? Ummmm, yeah sure, I guess? She told me that it’s always difficult for people like me (no not nutters!) – scientists – as we want data and solid answers. Psychiatry, she tells me, isn’t like that. It’s far more subjective. But, it is a science, I think to myself. Subjective it may be – that’s because the data is complicated and actually rather lacking – but it is a science! It is!

 

And every minute feels like forever. 

Another Rock Bottom

“There’s rock bottom, then there’s 50 feet of crap, then…there’s me” said Rachel in Friends back in the 90s.

Yeah, we’ve all been there. You think you’re at your lowest and then, somehow, you plunge even further.

Today I handed Nora a collection of items:

  • 32 paracetamol (16g)
  • 8 cocodamol (4g paracetamol, not sure how much codeine)
  • 2 knives
  • 1 bottle of rum
  • 1 bottle of Jagermeister
  • 1 bottle of triple sec
  • 1/4 a bottle of gin
  • A smidgen of vodka

Strange list. My list of dangerous items that required removal from the house to keep me safe. Handing over these things was a new rock bottom. I handed them over freely, of my own choice, but it still made me feel very bad. This is what I have become. One of those.

I don’t know what ‘one of those’ is but I know that I am one.

I cried to Nora because I don’t want to die and I’m scared  that I might at my own hands. It’s a head fuck right enough. Although not a surprise (I knew a crash like this would follow Up#3).

I explained to my husband later where our booze had gone. He asked if I’d drunk any. He asked in a really horrible, accusatory way. His tone almost said I knew you would, I knew you’d drink it. Well his tone was wrong. I told him the truth – I hadn’t touched a drop. He told me he had taken photos of it anyway so he’d know. Right. Because I’m one of those am I?

Back to this afternoon and Nora gave me two choices:

  1. Contact the crisis team. They may hospitalise you. If they do hospitalise you it will be many (at least 50) miles away. There are no beds in this city.
  2. We come up with a plan to manage your distress and reassess in a couple of days.

I chose option 2. I’m not a huge fan, not any kind of fan at all in fact, of the crisis team. They just bring stress. Platitudes from self help books spewed forth like magic medicine. No thanks. Who’s to say they’d even grant me a bed in hospital. 

NHS Mental Health motto

So option 2. Tomorrow I’m off to an art gallery, on my own, because it’s something I want to do. I love art. I don’t know anything about it particularly but I like to look at the different scenes, the different styles, the different moods. When I look at art I feel small – in a good way – I’m just one piece of this big old jigsaw called humanity. It’s certainly a lot better than the plan I had which involved drips, beeping monitors and a stench of faeces from the incontinent patients that I’d be joining on AMU (acute medical unit – that’s where us paracetamol overdosers go on account of the organ damage. I know. I’ve been before).
Thinking about it like that…today’s rock bottom could certainly have been worse. 

It was a close call but I may just have spared myself 50 feet of crap.

The Depths of Crash#3

Still in crash#3.

Is that 9 days now? Think so.

Don’t know. Don’t care.

Conflicted. Torn in two. Think it’s fair to say I’m on the edge.

I’m a good girl though. I’ve phoned Nora. I’m prepared to be told the soundbites that are supposed to ease this pain. 

I can’t stand it. Being like this.

I broke down last night and I cried and cried to Andy – I can’t do it anymore. I’m sorry. I want to keep going I promise I do. I just…can’t. Big sobs from my core, head pounding, hands shaking, breathing laboured. I can’t do it. He rubbed my back and told me I can. I can’t. He told me to keep breathing.

I don’t want to, I replied in a whisper.

In this frame of mind nothing makes sense. Everything I do is wrong because I am wrong. There is nothing anyone can do. 

Nothing.

Except… I could do something couldn’t I? But I mustn’t.

I’m dreading Nora’s callback. How do I explain this?! 

I actually feel like I’m being slowly killed by this and there is nothing anyone can do.

Erase. Rewind.

I went to work today. I’m a science teacher. It’s the school holidays at the moment so school was empty. I missed the last few weeks of term due to illness. Mental illness. I’m taking the next academic year off unpaid so that I can focus on getting better. So I was in work today not to return to normality, but instead, to further remove myself from it. 

I packed away, removed and threw out my things. I removed ‘me‘ from my classroom. It was a horrible thing to do; a bitter pill. Unless you have found yourself falling from a great height career wise it won’t make sense. Believe me when I say it hurts.

The psychiatrist and Nora don’t get it – you’ve got a good, stable job! They proclaim. Yes, I do but they’re looking at what I have, not what I have lost. Four years ago I was full-time and part of the Science faculty leadership. That’s all gone. Because of mental illness. 

It was hard in work today for lots of reasons. Being in that familiar place with the bright blue walls took me back. I realise how crazy I was when I was last here. I shudder as I walk past a place I had decided would be an ideal hanging spot. I wonder how on earth I managed a class of 30 whilst simultaneously plotting how to steal a scalpel from the set that was out in the lesson. It’s quite scary to be back in that place. I say to myself in my thoughts ‘you were mad here, properly mad.’ I hurt myself in school. I punched walls, I unfolded paper clips and stabbed at myself with them – I was mad in this place. I think that I am better than this now. Perhaps it was the pressure of work? Anyway facing it causes all kinds of mixed emotions and handling emotions isn’t my strong point.

Working through the practical task of clearing the lab helps. I violently throw stuff in the bin. I sing along to my angsty music. Hey, I even kicked a few doors (naughty!). Then, quite by accident, I got a small piece of glass stuck in a finger. Sensibly I decided to get some tweezers to remove it. It’s great working in a science department, there are all sorts of useful things around. So I went off to the Biology store room for tweezers. I’ve not spent any time in the Biology store room previously. This was on purpose. The Biology store is full of dangerous objects which I really needed to not be around. 

I located the tweezers. They were meticulously stacked in the same drawer as the scalpels and razor blades. Oh shit. It’s the holidays. I could take a blade now and no one would know. Can I be a thief? I pick up a scalpel and press my thumb gently against the blade. It doesn’t cut. I didn’t press hard enough and I decide not to try again. I carefully put the scalpel back. I pick up the transparent plastic case containing the razor blades. I actually murmur to myself holy shit, no, this is dangerous, put them back. Which I do. I remove the glass from my finger with the tweezers, return them, wash my hands and leave the Biology store. Back to work.

I notice that a list has been pinned on a notice board: Science Faculty Staff. My name is absent. It’s upsetting; like I don’t exist. Like I was never here. 

I throw out a lot of resources.  Hours and hours, in fact probably weeks, of my life was spent finding, making, copying and filing these resources. I used to find comfort in them. Sheet on Rocks? Yup got one. Word search on Metals? Hey I got 3! But today I threw a lot of it all away. They are from the past. If I return to this place I will be returning as different. The past must be discarded. If I could throw myself in the bin I would but I’m stuck with me. 

So today I went to work and it was horrible. It’s only by trying to do something so normal, something that was my life before, do I realise how ill I am and have been for some time. 

That was me: erased

12 months from now I should go back into that classroom and unpack all the things that I stored away today. I daresay a lot will happen in those 12 months. It always does. I wonder… who will unpack those things? Will she be someone who can say that’s she’s recovered from mental ill health? I hope so otherwise the stuff will never see the light of day again. 

 

Crash#3

Crash#3 is on. This is day 3, 730pm. The first two days were depressed days but manageable. Today has brought that desperation to escape. Be away. Alone. Be gone. Quiet. Please let me go. Please let me go.

My skin is crawling yet I’m exhausted. I couldn’t sleep last night as my thoughts literally buzzed in my head and I felt kind of delirious and chatty. I just had to lie in bed and wait it out. I fell asleep about 3am to a fitful sleep. I was visited by strange faces and masks and they flew at me. I couldn’t sleep past 630am. Agitated. I dragged myself through the day which did involve a lot of sitting on the sofa under a blanket to be fair. That’s all manageable. I can do that. I don’t want to do this though. Not again. Does it end?

It’s the plans. Tick, tick, ticking away. Just ignore them, they’ll go away. I hope.  I can’t stand it. And no one even notices. 

If they don’t go away I’ll be faced with choices. Unappealing choices. What is more humiliating:

A. Lying ignored in pain in A&E as just another overdose;

or

B. Phoning up some random stranger in distress, begging them for help and perhaps being told to try a bit of mindfulness?

Neither option appeals. There’s maybe an option C that I just haven’t thought of yet. I feel so desperate. What am I going to do?

I think, just for tonight, I’ll take a safe dose of cocodamol to help me sleep. Perhaps if I sleep tomorrow will be better. 


The Up

It’s August 2016. Since this episode began in December 2015 I have had 3 “ups”. Ups are times where I feel normal(ish). (Not to be confused with UPS who are a delivery company and a different thing entirely).

Ups are times when I can go about my business without fearing what the fuck I might do to myself next. It’s very freeing to lose that invisible burden. I’m still not fully normal in an up but I have one foot firmly in normality and, more importantly, my head is definitely on the normal side of the line. It is bliss. Oooh look at me walking about like a normal person who can get out of bed, talk to people and do things. Do life. Hey look at me doing life… like a boss! I get stuff done. I guess it’s a bit like a kid dressing as a superhero and feeling kind of invincible as they immerse themselves in their new, temporary identity. That’s just reminded me of Allie Brosh’s cartoon, Menace

So this is Up#3. And, whilst ups are wonderful, I find them a bit scary. What happens after the up? The down. The super smackdown. Like a plane plummeting out of the sky. It is unstoppable and terrifying.

Up#1 happened in January 2016. It lasted a fortnight. I thought it was the fluoxetine I’d started in December. It wasn’t. It was just an Up. Here’s a fairly typical excerpt from my journal during Up#1:-

“Sun 10/01/16

Lovely lie in. The drugs are working, ūüėÄ.

Tremors 1/5. Nausea – only mild after eating 

Suicidal thoughts – 0

This is better. “

And this:-

“Wed 13/01/16

The difference is unbelievable. I’m calm and coping. Stuff happens and I’m like oh well. Nevermind. I’ve had down moments but they’ve felt ‘normal’ but I am conscious of the blackness. It’s still there at the edge of my consciousness. Like the tide is out. “

Pretty good eh? Pretty amazing actually. But then  the crash comes.  It actually started the next day, after the comment above. I went so low I stopped writing in my journal. When I had the motivation to try again this is what so wrote:-

“Sun 24/01/16

Stopped keeping journal. Just have felt so awful and pathetic with cold. I’d be loathsome but I’m not worth the energy. Getting thro days in work but exhausted and useless at home. Work has piled up and is stressing me out. I don’t know how to get back on top of things.”

Which lead to:-

“Wed 16/02/16

A lot has happened… Accelerated towards a lorry…Ran bread knife over wrist. Wondered if cry for help suicide attempt would help. Realised it wouldn’t…Cut finger with knife. Feeling desperate. No support…Husband in tears with stress. This cannot go on for 6m. *I* cannot go on for 6m. ..Bought oven cleaner. Pondered over it as a suicide method. At petrol station considered ramming full speed into pumps (wouldn’t hurt others tho). Well, this isn’t great.”

No it most certainly wasn’t great. So that was Crash#1 after Up#1. 

Then came Up#2. Not as long. It lasted about a week. Here’s a snapshot from Up#2:-

“Tue 03/05/16

Needed an extra propanolol this morning. Then felt pretty normal for the rest of the day in work. It was such a relief to feel normal. I’m too scared to go to sleep in case I wake up ill again tomorrow. This was such a nice break.”

I got another normal day after that and then Crash#2 happened. Crash#2 was bad:-

“Sun 08/05/16

Only 1 question- how the fuck do I fix this? I have no idea. I am in denial about the fact that I (me! Trudy!) took a lethal paracetamol overdose. I did that. I did it.”

And after Crash#2 I was fully checked in to Depression Town. It’s a fucking miserable place – don’t go if you can avoid it. Since then I’ve bumped along; dangerous, suicidal and self-harming my way through the calendar days to here: August the 8th 2016. I’ve just had my 7th good day in a row. I’m in Up#3. 

Yes. 

You’d better believe I’m shitting it.

It’s different now though. I have support. For example Team Trudy are now aware that when the crash comes it will likely bring an overwhelming urge to kill myself. That sucks. Nora and I discussed it today. I was reassured when she told me that this is the time she really worries. This is when shit happens (I’m paraphrasing obvs!). It reassured me that she gets this. I explained that I’m terrified too. I’m taking extra propanolol to keep the panic at bay and it works. 

It’s rather like my abuser has gone to sleep but any minute now they are going to wake up and they are going to be pissed off. Gulp. Actually it reminded me of my mum. I would feel my body physically relax when she was passed out drunk on the floor. The relief of not having to be constantly on guard for a little while…maybe an hour…maybe two…maybe five…until...         

Well, ups are like that. I get to go about my business without too much trouble but always, always aware that, at a moments notice, a killer may join me. Shit. You’d be a bit on edge too wouldn’t you? 

I’m trying to protect myself. I’m actually going to do mindfulness. I’m doing some DBT exercises Nora has given me and I’m trying to be as sensible and proactive as possible. 

I guess Up#3 is scary because I don’t know how much Crash#3 will hurt. But I’ll let you know, assuming I survive it. I will survive it. I believe that. 

PS Sorry for all the swears. My mum always said that swearing shows a terrible lack of vocabulary. Perhaps she right but I don’t give a flying fuck






My Husband, Me and BPD

 I lost my temper at my husband last night. I felt guilty and equally entirely justified! I lost my temper over words and their subtle meanings. Subtle meanings can deliver hammer blows to a cPTSD/BPD sufferer like me.

Let’s call Mr Amygdala Andy. It’s so much easier! Here’s some more background on Andy. Crucially he is a good man. He doesn’t understand mental illness but tries. I believe he loves me although I don’t understand why. Perhaps because he has low self-esteem? Which he does. Andy makes no assumptions about gender specific jobs in our house – actually that’s a lie – certain things he sees as his job as the man¬†but, generally, we share responsibilities for the domestic chores and childcare. Andy is easily summed up, and has been many times before with the phrase he’s a good ‘un. And he is. And I love him very much.

Of course it’s not that simple. If you have BPD you’ll understand that loving someone doesn’t negate the turbulent extremes of emotion: love, hate, love, hate, love. ¬†I always love Andy but sometimes I feel I just cannot be near him; that everything about him is wrong for me. I still love him though.

Anyway, last night’s squabble. Here’s how it went.

The scene is teatime at the Amygdala’s. Trudy, the mother, is busy washing dishes, cleaning up whilst simultaneously cooking and watching the kids. The kids are in the next room watching a DVD. Andy arrives home from work on his bike. He comes straight in the kitchen. The required and pointless hellos are exchanged. Pointless because they cannot speak of anything adult in front of the children.
T: I’m actually really proud of myself. I cycled to Tesco and bought dinner stuff. And had a shower. And I felt OK. Not now though. You know what it’s like at this time of day.

A: yes I’m sorry. I wish we could change it.

T: well we can’t. It is what it is and actually I’ve done really well today it’s just this time y’know?

A: I’m off next week. I can do it all then.

***RAGE***

Anger explodes inside of me. Why?¬†Well I’ve just told him how well I’ve done today (note how I have to encourage myself. That’s not his thing.) and rather than acknowledge that progress, that achievement, he wipes it away: not to worry he’ll ¬†do it next week. It’s no bother for him. This makes me feel like my hard work to achieve these things doesn’t matter. I feel useless. And stupid. I recognise that’s not what he intended. I recognise that actually he wanted to reassure me so I breathe and calm down before speaking. When I do it’s still snappy. I do my best to be calm but I’m trying to contain a volcano of rage¬†and that isn’t easy.

T: you don’t have to do everything for me. There is a world of difference between supporting¬†me and helping me to do things and just doing them for me, cutting me out.

A: ok that’s not what I meant…

T:..I know. I get that. It’s just how it makes me feel and I’m sorry I’m such a nightmare.
A: you know I’m no good with words.

***uh oh. She’s going to blow***

He always comes out with this ‘I’m no good with words’ line. It does my fucking head in. It’s like it’s ok for him to not think about what he’s saying and I should just accept that because he’s no good with words. If I question his choice of phrasing then I’m being unreasonable. It’s not fair on him. I know he’s no good with words. No, I decide, I’m going to try and discuss this with him.

T: I hate when you say that – like it’s an excuse. It’s ok to make mistakes and say the wrong thing but learn from it. Always saying you’re no good with words is like a get out of jail free card for you.
A: look I’m sorry. Really, really sorry. I’ve said the wrong thing. It’s not what I meant.

***Now I feel hideous. What on earth was I kicking off about? Why have I just verbally whipped Andy? I hate myself. He’s such a nice guy and I’m a bitch. I wish I could run away and let him be happy. Why won’t he let me go? I wish I wasn’t like this and yet still…still…I feel angry. But my anger is unjustified. Let it go Trudy. Defuse the situation. Change the subject***

T: ok let’s leave that behind and move on. How was your day?

A: alright.

There are a few more questions. All answered with one word. I’m so fucking annoyed right now.

T: you can answer in more than one word you know?!?!?!?!?!

A: well I don’t want to say the wrong thing and make things worse.

Right. Because I’m so awful that he can’t speak around me. All those internal emotions run riot. I smother them. Kill them. It works for now but I know they’re still there. Waiting. It doesn’t matter because right then I’m just pleased that no damage was done. I let it go.

Yes it’s a nightmare for Andy. I get that. God, I get it so much that I am a nightmare. Of course I do. I hate myself, I hate the things I do, I hate the words I say. I wish that he didn’t have to deal with me. It’s not fair on him.

There are some things he could do though that would help.

  • If I’m bold enough to suggest something positive about myself let’s just stop there. Agree. Validate it. Give me a hug. Whatever. Even better if you can recognise an achievement!
  • Don’t help the “I’m useless” voice in my head. When you take over it cuts me out and I feel even more useless.
  • Support me doing things. Help me to still take part in the world. Shutting me away to rest, alone, all the time isolates me further. Instead listen to how we can make it work. Let’s tackle stuff together.
  • Stop making assumptions about me.
  • Please don’t act like a victim if I disagree or dislike something you say. I love you. I am not cruel to you (I think). I recognise that I am difficult. Acting like a victim makes me feel more guilt and more self-hatred. Instead perhaps accept your mistake or, if you think I’m wrong, we can agree to disagree. No victims here.

I’m sure there’s more but I’ve run out of steam and need to bath the tiddler.

I understand that it’s quite rare for someone with BPD to maintain a stable relationship. It’s a question mark over my BPD diagnosis (not yet official but said by several inc a psychiatrist). We’ve been together for 13 years! That’s pretty amazing! All I can guess is that we must have something special. I’m lucky to have have him. I doubt anyone would say he’s lucky to have me. Hopefully we’ll figure it out.

He’s the good one, I’m the bad one. I’m the one that can’t cope, I’m the one that social services are concerned about, I’m the one that overdosed. Poor Andy. And that’s how the world sees it too I think. Except, sometimes when I feel a bit stronger I think poor me. The illness means I can’t cope, my illness concerns social services, it was the illness pushed me to overdose. Poor me living with that! But that’s not how the world sees it.

I lost the point of this post as I was writing it. My brain has gone on lots of tangents. I love Mr Amygdala. I hate me and my BPD.



Am I Being Unreasonable?

There’s a lot of frustration runs through this particular amygdala. Frustration and impatience and helplessness at trying ever so hard and wanting ever so much to be better but feeling like I get nowhere. On more than one occasion I have said to a healthcare professional “I may as well bang my head off a brick wall! It’d be about as useful!”. And I’ve asked time and time again: what else can I do? The reply always the same: you’re doing everything you can.

How can that be?

I’m very self-aware, probably too much, and in these frustrating months I’ve tried to understand. You see I want to understand why this wait is more than just frustrating. It’s actually distressing. It upsets me. It causes a volcano of emotions to erupt inside me. Why is that? Two ideas resonated with me: compliance and please don’t talk about it.

Idea 1: Compliance 

Ok I have trouble regulating emotions inside me.


They bubble and seethe and flare and pop. All of this turmoil is hidden. I’m a master at it. After all, it’s all I’ve ever known. Unfortunately sometimes, ever so rarely, they pop out. Now, when dealing with the professionals it helps to keep a calm head, remain rational and most important of all: comply. Whatever they ask of us we must comply and do so calmly, meekly, gratefully even. And it is this that drives me so utterly, absolutely bonkers! So if my particular brand of crazy is cPTSD, based on an entire childhood of, well, compliance, hiding emotions and generally being a good girl doing what I’m told it isn’t a huge stretch is it to recognise that repeating this behaviour/feeling/experience (whatever!) is actually triggering. Essentially as I comply with the services, particularly when I feel they are being unfair, it distresses me. The rage flares inside me. I want to defend myself. I want to demonstrate how wrong they are. I want to react, like a regular human but I can’t. I am mentally unhealthy. I cannot react. Reacting means notes made on my records, conclusions drawn and becomes something else I have to justify and explain. It seems pretty simple to me: I think you’re talking utter crap and it pisses me off! Instead: compliance. And it kills me to be living like this again.

Idea 2: Don’t Talk About It

1. You mustn’t talk about it.

2. You should let it go and try not to think about it.

3. Put it all back in the box.

4. Focus on now.

All of the above have been said to me by healthcare professionals, mental health specialists in fact. Number 2 was the psychiatrist. The same psychiatrist who agrees I have cPTSD tells me to not think about it.¬†(Engage head with brick wall or¬†rather, sit compliantly listening). Anyway, this has been the approach since the specialists have been involved: don’t talk about it. It tears at my insides. I finally opened up about my past. I’m now desperate to talk about it. Please. Please listen, please validate me? No. We do not want to discuss that. We must only talk about your current behaviour. It is actually painful that they won’t let me discuss the very thing that is running around destructively inside of me, causing chaos. It hurts. It really, really hurts to have told this secret, to be ready now to finally talk about it, make sense of it and yet be refused. ¬†Yes, it’s fair to say that is very distressing. Inside I’m screaming but remember: I must comply.

So whilst waiting is frustrating, of course it is, that’s not actually what’s causing my deterioration. Well, not solely. It isn’t helping that’s for sure! But really, being made to relive the bad bits of my past: be a good girl, comply, don’t make a fuss, do as you’re told, don’t talk about it; the professionals are mirroring my parents. It’s happening all over again. I am powerless and mute because I am mentally unwell.

Maybe they could listen to me? Allow me to let the emotions show without judging it as illness or being difficult. I’m just being human. Like you. Maybe I am unreasonable sometimes but isn’t that ok? Isn’t everyone, sometimes?