Tuesday Journal: 31/03/20

Things I’m grateful for:

  • Wii games to keep my mind occupied and have fun in lockdown.
  • The photo challenges set on Twitter – gives me something to look forward to and to think about.
  •  The things people come up with to keep others entertained online – that sense of humour, fun and kindness people are showing each other.
  • Crochet. Obsessive about it again at the moment.

 

What I struggled with:

  • Feeling alone. Feeling invisible. Ignored. Nobody talks to me. I struggle to talk to others when they offer. I’m trapped. Wanted to talk to someone in my life about everything I’ve been going through. It was put off and now I feel unable to ask to talk to them again. So feel totally alone with how I’m feeling.

What I learnt from it:

  • Sorry, but nothing. I’ve learnt what I already knew. I’m nothing. I’m irrelevant. Nobody cares. I AM invisible. And I’m so messed up too, as other people offer to be there, and I just can’t talk to them. I can’t reach out. I can’t keep communication going. I’ve shut down again. I don’t know the way out of this. Going to the Wellbeing Centre helped me. I might not go there for another six months now. How the hell am I going to get through this on my own, in my own head, unable to communicate or be noticed? I can’t do this.

 

What I achieved:

  • Set up Skype to keep in touch with family.
  • Finally phoned my friend who lives alone & is in her 70s.
  • Faced my anxiety and did the shopping. Was scary. Don’t want to do it often.
  • Finished my 25 miles walking for March and signed up for April, even though it’s only 5 miles to start with – will increase it depending on how much we’re allowed out etc.
  • Managed to get through the last two weeks without doing anything to myself. Urges are there, and I’m sure it’ll happen at some point. But two weeks is good for me… considering everything.

Tuesday Journal – 24/03/20

As I said, I will write every Tuesday to keep a record of each week, like I would be doing at the Wellbeing Centre if I was still able to go. So this will be today’s but first of all what I would’ve written last week if it wasn’t cancelled.

 

Tuesday 17/03/20

 

Things I am grateful for:

  • My favourite season – Spring. Used to go for my walks in the evening as it’s lighter now and not too cold or too hot.
  • Westlife – keeps that connection for me with Liv. Anytime I listen to their music or watch their DVDs like the one that came out on Friday, I feel she’s here with me.
  • Blogging. A way of coping with my feelings. Expressing my thoughts. Enjoying working on the poetry blog.
  • Memory loss! A perk to memory loss is coming across old poems I wrote, having no memory of writing them or what they were in response to, and thinking ‘that’s pretty good… wonder who wrote that….’ – nice surprise when I realise it was me!

 

What I struggled with: 

  • Everything….. carrying on…. ‘adulting’ – I’ve gone backwards after talking last week. Thought I’d turned a corner but it was a dead end. Stopped doing everything again. Feel like a weak, wounded, vulnerable, broken little girl on her knees after pleading for help and being dismissed.

What I learnt from it:

  • Not much. That I have to just look after myself. That it’s my lot in life to beg to have my needs met, and to be rejected at every turn. This is all I’m worth. And all I’ll ever get. Nothing positive this week really.

 

Things I achieved:

  • Forced myself out for a 6 mile walk on Thursday.
  • Joined in on BPDChat on Twitter.
  • Survived.

 

 


 

Tuesday 24/03/20

 

Things I am grateful for:

  • That I attended the Wellbeing Centre when I did, so I found inspiration to set goals, think more positively and have more hobbies to keep me busy during lockdown.
  •  The ability to switch my mind off from the news etc. … some aren’t lucky enough to be able to do that.
  • Family.

 

What I struggled with:

  • A fair few things. Obviously my emotions in response to the groups being cancelled. But got through the initial devastation of that. So I’d probably say comfort eating and letting go of the walking, due to the Coronavirus stuff and feeling under the weather myself. Put on weight. Really craving chocolate at the moment, but got three weeks still until I can eat it. So trying to fill the void of that chocolate comfort I’m craving…. nothing seems to satisfy it though.

What I learnt from it:

  • I’m obviously wanting to comfort eat for a reason. I need to reflect on the deeper reason and try and meet the need in a way that doesn’t involve binge-eating. Find comfort in something else – like exercise, crochet or writing.
  • Not to beat myself up too much for it. It’s a stressful and upsetting time.
  • I may have put weight on and stopped walking, but I can start again from here.

 

Things I achieved:

  • Another 6 mile walk yesterday.
  • Made a crochet flower for my nan.
  • Phoned an elderly friend who’s isolating.

 

 

 

Coronavirus & My Mental Health.

It’s a concerning time for everyone right now, with Coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading across the world. Many countries are going into lockdown and confining people to their homes. In the UK people are panic-buying toilet roll, hand gel and paracetamol, and leaving the shelves bare of many other things too.

 

Many events are being cancelled. Social distancing means appointments are being cancelled as well as groups. People are working from home. Social gatherings are being banned. Restaurants are closing their seating areas and becoming takeaways. Schools are closing until further notice. Pubs, clubs, theatres, zoos are closing. We are now effectively in lockdown and can only leave our homes for essential shopping, medical reasons, work or exercise. Groups will be dispersed. People may be fined for ignoring these rules. Initially this is three weeks, but will be much longer no doubt. It’s worrying times.

 

I want to tell you about my own personal worries and how this is impacting my mental health. I really feel for everyone out there right now, who has a mental health condition and is facing the prospect of months of isolation, with no support. I’m with you.

 

Last Tuesday my peer support group got cancelled for the foreseeable future. It hit me really hard for so many reasons. I don’t have friends anymore. That group was the only support I had… socially. They were my only contact with actual human beings outside of my house.

 

In the year or two prior to attending the Wellbeing Centre, I had isolated myself. I didn’t leave the house. I didn’t talk to anyone, besides family. I didn’t have hobbies. I didn’t have goals. Things were incredibly bleak and black. I was on the verge of ending my life. I obsessed about it daily. I felt certain it would happen in the next six months or so. So attending the Centre has helped me tremendously….

 

I felt human again, after being out of contact with other humans for so long. The journals we keep in the sessions helped me to look at things more positively. I found more gratitude. I recognised my achievements. I started wanting to achieve more. This year I’ve signed up each month to walk 25 miles… trying to collect medals for my efforts. I’ve also got back into hobbies such as drawing and poetry. I’ve taken up new ones, like crochet – that’s helped me so much. I love learning all about it. I looked forward to seeing everyone and being able to talk about things with someone. So losing all of that now, it’s really upsetting.

 

It’s made worse by the feelings and I guess a form of attachment I have to one of those taking the group. I’ve battled so hard with that this year, secretly (other than writing about it on here). I’ve talked to the Centre about it. Unfortunately things weren’t left on a great note, as after the last session I had a conversation that sent me backwards in my recovery. I also think I upset the person I have the attachment to, and so didn’t get a chance to apologise for it. (This has changed since writing this – he’s reassured me he wasn’t offended and I’d just misinterpreted his comment…. so that’s okay, even though I wasn’t basing my belief on what he said but rather his body language… so I don’t believe him, but at least that’s ‘resolved’).

 

But now I don’t know if / when I might see him again. I already dreaded losing him one day down the line. But I knew it wouldn’t be just yet. I wanted to focus on the time I had with him rather than thinking about the inevitable loss… but with everything closing down for God knows how long, I’m forced into a ‘loss’ situation with him. I have a sense of grief for being without him. And worse than that I fear for him… I worry something might happen to him. And I worry I won’t get to see him again. I feel silly for caring about him. He’s not mine to worry about. But I do. And I can’t keep him safe. I have no control over if he’ll be okay or not. I won’t even know if he’s not okay. And I miss him already. The thought of weeks or months without him feels unbearable. I wasn’t ready for this. It feels like a darkness that will never end. It takes me to a place I’m scared of.

 

He brought the light back into my life. Even a three week break was too much for me. The light faded. It’s gone again. I fear it won’t ever return. At least I knew after three weeks I’d see him again… now I don’t know when it’ll be. This will be longer than three weeks, I’m sure of it. Without seeing him, having contact with others, or having any friends to talk to during isolation… I don’t see how to survive it. I won’t be the same person at the other end. I know that for sure.

 

I had just started making progress, which unfortunately got ruined a bit last time, but this is going to take me back to square one. It’s the not knowing when it’ll end or what life will be like afterwards… who’ll still be standing. It’s terrifying.

 

Not only that but the three year anniversary of losing my granddad was this weekend just gone, and I needed that support from the group. I needed to go last week and this week. Because nobody supports me online. I’m invisible to everyone online. And I have no friends. So that’s all I had. Also in a couple of months it’ll be the first anniversary of my friend’s suicide. Again, I have no support with that. Nobody talks to me. I needed to know I had the group to hear me. I’ll be all alone with these difficult dates. I’m highly aware of all the loss I’ve faced in the last few years…. and now there’s more loss, of the group and the person I care for.

 

It’s highly likely that every event I had booked up last year, to keep me alive this year will also be cancelled. I’ve got the theatre next month…. was going to see Queen in June and Westlife in July and August – was going to actually see them on my birthday this year – it would’ve been the best birthday ever….. but as usual it was too good to be true… just like last year getting front row seats – that was too good to be true, so my friend who was going with me took her own life five weeks before… turned a dream come true into something to just get through and grieve. I can never have a good experience. It’s true. Something always, ALWAYS ruins it. Every single time. So this takes me to a depressing place where I just think ‘what’s the point?’… Life was hard enough without all this.

 

Add to that the anxiety I feel. Before, my anxiety symptoms tended to happen outside the house – my blinking tic, my palpitations were associated with leaving the house. Now I’m having them at home. The fear of the unknown, the sheer scale of this and all the drama of it, it’s too much to cope with. To someone with anxiety it feels like the apocalypse… for real. I actually said the other day, this is pretty much like an asteroid situation isn’t it….. to which I was told it isn’t – because in an asteroid situation you’d just have to accept that’s it and you wouldn’t survive, whereas with this at least there’s hope and we will survive it. But it still feels ‘end of the world’ sort of stuff. Maybe because of my depression and that it is kind of the end of my world right now.

 

I’m also seriously concerned for loved ones. All of my family would fall into at least one of the vulnerable categories. I seem to be the only one who doesn’t. I’d say at least that’s something. But the thing is I’m not concerned about me getting it. I hate life at the moment. If something happens to me so be it. But losing someone I care about to it? That I can’t do. I can’t lose anything else. I have a very small family. I can’t lose any of them. I would gladly sacrifice myself, catch it and die if it could spare them all. Some of those family members I won’t get to see now. All I can do is worry about them from afar… again not knowing if / when I’ll see them next. What if something happens to them and I never got to see them again? I hope to speak on the phone to the people I care about. I have an older colleague / friend who lives alone. I really feel for her being isolated. I know she will hate it. So I will try and stay in touch with her too. I wish I could do more for them all, but I can’t risk carrying and passing anything on to them. So I have to keep my distance and not go out.

 

I’m used to isolation. Before I went to the Wellbeing Centre I’d stay in my room most of the time, with the curtains closed. I’m not one who typically gets bored. The only reason I’m struggling with the idea is the lack of support and social interaction with real human beings, beyond these four walls. It’s the fact that I had stopped totally isolating myself for about four months…. and now I have to go back to isolating again. It’s demoralising. It makes me wonder if I’ll ever be able to break back out of my shell again one day. I’m not sure I will. It took a lot of effort to get where I did. If I hadn’t been shown the light for a few weeks then I wouldn’t miss it. I would find isolation an absolute breeze, as it was my reality for at least two years! It’s being given something and having it taken away that I struggle to cope with. But I will do my best to cope nonetheless.

 

I’ve decided to make a list of things I can do with my time. I plan to avoid the news, forget the reason why this is happening, and just treat it as an enforced holiday. I will do things I enjoy. I will look after myself and see it as a period of recuperation. Here are some of my ideas:

 

  •  Catching up on sleep!! Anxiety is affecting my sleep cycle at the moment, so I’ll try and get extra sleep and find a routine.
  •  Binge-watching boxsets…. from things like LOST, to Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, even Dawson’s Creek – many episodes of old shows to watch.
  •  Exercise – if a time comes when I can’t even go out for walks, I can still do exercise – either DVDs or online workouts, or the exercise bike.
  •  Trying to improve my drawing skills.
  • Get back into painting again.
  • Keep learning more about crochet and creating lovely designs. I bought another batch of colours the other day to keep me busy.
  • Playing guitar.
  • Listening to music.
  • Playing old Wii games.
  • Playing online games – on Facebook, Royal Games, Sporcle, or doing all the Escape The Room Games online. There’s lots to be played!
  •  Tidying and cleaning. Necessary stuff.
  • Playing board games with family. If none of us are going out then we can’t pass anything on to each other.
  •  As long as I’m able to leave the house and go to the postbox down the road, I’ll write to those I care about, living alone, and keep them in the loop. Otherwise I’ll just phone them.
  • Writing poetry.
  •  Blogging – on this blog and on my poetry blog. I can find old poems I’ve written and design the banners for each of them, which is fun.
  • Keeping a journal about all of this so that one day when we look back, I can talk about how we got through it.
  •  Learning new skills. I taught myself crochet by watching YouTube videos. I could learn other things too.
  • Brushing up on shorthand now I’ve found my shorthand dictionary.
  •  Losing weight. So that by the time I next see other people I’ll be a whole different person. They won’t even recognise me!
  •  Jigsaw puzzles.
  • Puzzle books.
  • Reading.

 

There’s SO much I can do with my time. I certainly won’t get bored of that. I might just feel a bit lonely. I’ll miss people. I’ll worry for people. But I can keep myself busy. Or not. I can equally just rest and do guided meditations to relax. We do what we must to get through this. And then hope that life can continue afterwards as it was before.

 

Staying at home is no problem for me. That was my life last year and most of the year before. I only went out for appointments or to volunteer. I didn’t see anyone socially. I didn’t go to the shops. I hardly left the house. So in a way it’s no different for me. The way I’m struggling, already, is the thought I might not see people from the Wellbeing Centre for months on end. The light at the end of the tunnel has been snuffed out. Also while I was going out to the Centre and meeting with people, I placed less focus on people online. Now I have no contact and have no friends to chat to, I find myself noticing how invisible I am again. I post and nobody notices. Nobody talks to me. I liked not caring about that for a while. Now I feel very isolated again. It has turned my mind back to things I’d pushed out of my mind – the friend who abandoned me, and the friend who took her own life. Wishing I had both, or either of them right now. I feel very lonely already. It’s forcing me to face all that again when I really don’t want to. I had started moving on.

 

Having experienced a change to the isolation I knew, I now feel it more to have to return to such isolation. It’s like being shown love, to have it cruelly ripped away moments later. With mental illness I find that hope can be dangerous… despair is my life. If all you know is despair then it doesn’t feel as bad as things improving and then getting worse again…. the despair then feels so much worse and like something you can’t survive. It makes you think it’s better to stay down in that pit and never see the sunlight for a moment. You start to fear happiness or hope. The darkness feels even darker after the light.

 

Anytime I’ve looked forward to something, something has ruined it. And just as I started to try and turn my life around this year, this has happened. What’s the point? By the time this is over, most if not all of that work will have been undone.

 

Nothing can replace what I feel I’ve lost at this moment in time. I  fear losing more. But I’ve decided that every Tuesday I will blog about the things I’d normally write in my recovery journal at the Centre. I will list three things or so that I’m grateful for, one thing I struggled with in the week, what I learnt from it, and three things I’ve achieved. It won’t be the same. But it’ll keep my mindset on recovery, gratitude and achievements.

 

It’s taken a while to get this post done. I’ve felt a bit under the weather the last few days. Was worried I had this Coronavirus thing, as I’ve felt breathless and been coughing ust a little bit. But probably just anxiety. I feel better today.

 

Anyway I hope everyone stays safe, follows the advice and rules and you can all find your way through this difficult time. We’ll come through this together. But I fully understand how hard it is for people like us. Stay strong and take care.

 

xxxx

 

 

Open Letter To Those Meant To Help Me.

*Very bad language, self-harm, suicide*

Open Letter To Those Meant To Help Me…

 

You didn’t did you….. you chose not to. You decided what was best for me. You wanted me to have the right support and you said you can’t offer the in-depth support I need. Never mind the fact I wasn’t asking for in-depth support. I didn’t need it. I was perfectly prepared to help myself. I wouldn’t even have needed as much help and support as I’ve had in the last few weeks, if you had just simply done what I asked for in the first place.

 

But now you’ve made it into such a massive deal, that I sound like a crazy, unhinged person, who needs more support. I don’t. I just need X to say he would agree with what I wrote – even if ‘only in principle’. That’s all this is about. This is about you denying something that would’ve healed so many wounds for me. This is about you destroying my trust in mental health services. This is about you making me feel utterly hopeless about a future for me now. ALL of this could’ve been avoided if you’d just casually done what I requested. Now it’s a huge issue that can’t be resolved. You fucked up.

 

It’s like you’re deliberately trying to frustrate me. And it’s succeeding. I’ve never felt more frustrated. I want to scream. In fact I’ve done so into a pillow in response to this before.

 

I tried a healthy way of trying to get my needs met. I asked. And yet again, here I am on my knees, having pleaded for one simple little gesture to help me to help myself, and I’ve been left there, broken, naked and totally pathetic.

 

I’ve spent my whole life having to beg to have my needs met. Begging for friendship, for care, for love, for apologies, for effort, for kind words… all of it. Things that others are readily given… freely, willingly…. I’ve had to ask, beg and plead for them. And still had it all denied. Sometimes the mere act of asking for these things has ended friendships / relationships, as the person takes it as criticism of them rather than what it was. Even when I ask for what I need I’m not given it. This is my life. Do you know how it feels to see others showered with the things I need, and I’m here being denied those things when I ask for them…. can you imagine that? What that does to a spirit…?

 

I’ve reached that point where I don’t know whether to accept I’m just here for others to use when necessary and to be ignored the rest of the time – a catalyst for change and relationships for other people…. that I’ll always love but never be loved…. and to give up on asking for MY needs to be met….. or whether to give up on life altogether. Because I can’t live life like this.

 

Once upon a time I was young and I would give and give but never receive…. I took it on the chin. It was my nature. They always say to not let this world harden you, or transform you from a nice, giving person into a cold-hearted, selfish one… but eventually it will happen. If you’re repeatedly giving love and care and never seeing it in return. Eventually you have nothing left to give. Everybody needs love, care, respect, remorse, effort, kindness, forgiveness…..if you deprive a human being of these things for long enough, they will run out of it themselves and have no more to give others. That’s where I am now. I’ve run out. I don’t want to be a bitch, but the alternative has run dry. When you spend your life giving, eventually resentment will form in the void left by the denial of all you require, but never get.

 

I’ve had too many experiences of coldness…. had too many people ditch me as though I was nothing…. too many people not care about me… not say a kind word to me…. give up on me rather than making things right or apologising…. I’ve never been loved…. I’ve never been understood. I don’t believe this will ever change. It never has. Seriously if you took the time and understood my past you would see this is the pattern of my life. This is my worth. To everyone I’ve met I am nothing. I’m dispensable… forgettable… irrelevant. Nobody will ever treat me differently. Believe me. And I will never trust anyone or open up to them enough to let them close enough to treat me the same again.

 

I needed you to do this one thing for me, to make me believe people could be different. That there is hope for change. To build my faith in people again. Yes it would’ve been synthetic. It wasn’t a real experience, relationship or human interaction…. but it would’ve fixed something inside me that had given up on humanity. Now that part of me is even more broken. You’ve made me totally give up on not only humanity but myself.

 

You’ve confirmed it’s wrong to ask to have my needs met. And actually the asking for it is even worse than just not having them met. Because to ask for something and have it rejected is even worse than not asking. Usually I’d say ‘If you don’t ask you won’t get’. But for me it’s irrelevant whether I ask or not, I still won’t get.

 

The trouble I have is I made specific points in the email… things I needed to hear / believe… and the refusal to acknowledge them makes a black and white mind like mine think the opposite is true. X may have said that’s not the case, but I can’t believe that now. It’s like if I ask a friend to tell me they care about me or miss me, and they turn round and say they can’t do that, it means it’s not true. It means they don’t care about me or miss me. Otherwise they’d be able to say it. Or at least be able to say something to replace it if not. But if they just say no and that’s it, then to someone with BPD it’s going to come across very loudly that there is a lack of those things, and therefore the opposite is the truth.

 

If I hadn’t asked for those specific points though, I wouldn’t now be believing the opposite is true, as there would’ve been no denial of specific sentiments. So part of me is annoyed with myself for asking. It’s my fault I now feel uncared for, worthless, disgusting, a burden, feared, ashamed, forgettable, like a number, and that it doesn’t matter what I do to myself. If I hadn’t specified what I needed in order to heal, then I wouldn’t be where I am right now. But it’s just cruel to deny human kindness and compassion to someone reaching out for those things. 

 

That’s the reality…. that’s all I was asking for. I didn’t need additional support. That would’ve been it as far as the Wellbeing Centre was concerned. It would’ve allowed me to reach out elsewhere for support if necessary – but it wouldn’t have BEEN necessary. I know my heart. I know my mind. I know it would’ve been enough to start a healing journey for me. You will never understand why. You will never know what a difference such a tiny gesture would’ve made for me. But the denial of it has damaged me far more.

 

To say that X doesn’t have the training to deal with this, is weird. Because all I was asking for was reassurance from him. That doesn’t require training. It’s a basic human concept that everyone is capable of. So I’m being fobbed off. I know it. Apparently there was concern because I’d said that X can even lie if he has to…. I said that because I feel nobody feels those sorts of things towards me, so automatically assumed I was asking too much. But it seems that gave him doubts – that I wouldn’t believe it and it wouldn’t be enough reassurance. So the answer was to give me NO reassurance. Because no reassurance is better than not enough reassurance, right?? It would’ve been better than nothing. It would’ve been enough… as I told you last week. It still would be enough. You’ve messed this up so badly, and it feels it’s being blamed on words I wrote from a place of low self-esteem. So it’s MY fault I’ve been denied what I needed to heal. STORY. OF. MY. LIFE.

 

To hear that you can’t help me…. when all I needed was a nod of the head…? Full stop. Or at the most a phrase that ‘I think those things are true’. You can’t give that? And your reason is stupid…. it’s an insult, to pretend it’s because you want me to have the right help. If you wanted me to have the right help you’d have listened to me, as I’d seriously contemplated what would help me, and you would have given that nod or allowed X to say that statement. It wasn’t a contract. It was a human being in need of healing, and you had it there right in the palm of you hand. Rather than give it to me you chose to crush it and throw it away… throw ME away as though I’m nothing. Fuck you. All I asked for was kindness, compassion and warmth – not buckets of it…. a tiny sliver of it, to make me feel you’re not robots, and I’m not just a number in a factory. But the truth is you ARE robots – your fucking ‘rules’ make all mental health workers robots. And I AM a number. I’m nothing. You’ve confirmed that over and over again. You don’t care about my recovery! You deny me the very thing that could’ve allowed it. You’ve sent me backwards. You’ve ripped every wound open and left me to bleed to death.

 

It’s sad… I watched a programme a few weeks ago, where some mental health worker was talking to a client and saying something like they’ve really enjoyed their company and they’d miss them etc., as they were due to be discharged soon…. and I thought – see, THAT’S  what I need. That’s all I asked for. If they’re allowed to say that to that person, why can’t I hear anything remotely like it myself? Especially if it would’ve saved my life. Human connection. Human kindness and compassion. Apparently when it’s me that’s too much to ask. And given that I’ve been asking too much of absolutely everyone in my life, it fucking hurts to be denied it by those meant to be helping me too.

 

My paranoia is a huge problem for me now. And my anxiety has become so much worse. Palpitations, tics, breathing issues…. all made worse by this problem. No, the solution is not to stop attending… it’s your problem to fix, or you just have to put up with me. I’m not going to make this easier for you and just leave, like you probably want me to. You broke me. You either fix me or put up with my shattered pieces.

 

But the paranoia I’ve felt, like last week when I came in to talk to X, and there was a ‘chaperone’. That screams that I’m not trusted to be alone with X. My motives are being questioned again.

 

I had paranoia about the topic discussed in the group. I voiced that and X seemed upset and offended… like I was accusing him of personal digs at me through the topic. This has eaten away at me ever since – that I upset him. I was only explaining that paranoia has been a big stumbling block for me in trying to understand and read about that topic. But he was so defensive…. maybe I was quite close to the mark…? It talked about this theory that everyone has it in them to help themselves …. and about not taking on what others think of you, as your own beliefs…. I’m sorry that what I’m going through at the moment made me see secret messages that may / may not have been there. But it felt like I was being told why I’m not being given the help I asked for – because you want me to help myself. Fuck you if so. If that’s the case you’ll need to tell me exactly what I need to do to help myself in this situation. Okay maybe I shouldn’t have voiced my paranoia… it never goes well when I do… it seems human nature to get defensive in response to paranoia – I will be writing separately about this at some point – but I said it and that’s that. I just hope for X’s sake that the others in the group didn’t pick up on his reaction and think there’s a story there.

 

Last week was very bad for me. Having a chat with someone afterwards killed me. I kept crying. I was frustrated as he wasn’t listening or understanding. He wasn’t helping me. I started doodling on a bit of paper to stop me from getting upset again and because I was angry. I felt the life drain out of me at one point. I realised this is hopeless… you’re never going to help me or hear me. It’s pointless talking anymore. I had resigned myself to my fate. I wanted to get out of there and self-harm, or worse. I walked into town, right next to the road and kept feeling a pull towards the traffic. I wanted to throw myself in front of a lorry or something. I seriously thought I would. I broke my stint of no self-harm… I’d made it 17 days without anything at all. I was proud. Now it’s all gone. Now I’m reverting back to earlier this year. You lot don’t care what I do to myself. You don’t care about helping me. You don’t meet my needs when I ask healthily. So now I’m back to communicating through pain. Might as well.

 

I’ve lost interest in things again. I’ve gone backwards. I’m trying to keep doing crochet, but I’ve buggered my hands up haven’t I… and yesterday I forced myself outside to walk 6 miles… because I’ve committed myself to doing 25 miles this month. If I hadn’t then I wouldn’t go out. But everything else I’ve given up on. I don’t care about anything anymore.

 

I don’t want adult life. You’ve reduced me to a wounded, vulnerable, broken little girl. That’s who I am now. And as such, I don’t fit in this world where I look like an adult. Well done on making me feel I don’t fit in and never will…. that I can’t live anymore because of your failures. And thank you so much for acknowledging the mistakes you’ve all made and apologising for them. That was sarcasm in case you didn’t get it. Not once have you accepted fault for anything. Just like everyone else in my life / past…. you blame it on me or just dodge accountability. It’s damaging to someone like me. Well done for reflecting my life’s pattern for me. Proof that nothing will change and this is my lot in life. You’ve finally made me give up on life. I’m back to feeling suicidal again. It’s certain to happen at some point. You could’ve stopped it all with a simple nod of the head. I hope you’ll be proud when I’m inevitably dead.

 

I thought I’d turned a corner. But there’s no such thing as corners…. it’s just a circle… the same things repeating over and over and never changing, and it’s making me sick. Now I’m just waiting for Coronavirus to come and get me. As long as it leaves my family and those I care about alone, I don’t care what happens to me anymore. I don’t exactly have a life or a future, so let’s get it over with already.

 

I wish you could’ve helped me. I really do. Unfortunately I’m the one who has to live with the consequences of you not doing so. I have no control over whether you help me or not. I only have the choice to tolerate this life or to opt out of it. Thanks for dragging me down to this point. I have no fight left in me. I’ve tried so hard the last few months. I’m not sure anyone recognises just how hard I’ve worked. How hard I’ve battled through this, alone. I can’t pick myself up this time. I’m not strong enough. I had such high hopes for this place. I thought it would be better. I was wrong. Or maybe I’m just beyond help. Maybe nobody can help me. Maybe I’m the problem. Well I won’t be your problem much longer. I’ll get through this and leave you in peace. I regret opening up. It was all for nothing…

 

 

 

 

 

Poem: Deluge.

Deluge

 

Deluge

And just like that, the lights went out…
Extinguished once more by those too afraid to let me shine.
It’s for my own good they claim;
“We’re on your side” they cry from the bank of the river
As they watch me flail around,
Dragged under by the current;
“We can’t give you the in-depth help you require” –
When all I asked of them was to throw me a line
And I’ll save myself from drowning just fine.
One word.
One simple line,
And my lungs would not be filled with silent screams
And bitter salty tears,
Stained red from the wounds they inflict
With each jab and kick,
At my absolute lowest.
None of this need be
If they would only help me…
Help me to help myself;
Prioritise my mental health.
Be human for a moment and see the person before them
Pleading, as she has her whole life,
To matter, to hear it and have her needs met;
Begging for once to get, that which she asks for.
For she’s only ever known rejection, deflection,
Disconnection,
Detachment and denial of what could heal her heart.
Things given freely to others are withheld when she asks;
She’s learnt her needs come last.
I matter not to these folk…
Their idea of ‘help’ is an utter joke –
Help by denial of the one thing which would be of use,
For pitiful reasons they simply refuse,
Using any excuse
And leaving me to drown in a torrent of paranoia,
A deluge of pain,
A flood of anger and resentment as I circle the drain.
Nobody reaches a hand to pull me from these cold, lonely,
Devastating depths…
It’s too much trouble;
I’m not worth the bother.
So here I’ll drown… before their very eyes;
I’ll bid them all goodbye
And spare them the hassle of me being me.
I’ll set them all free,
Take one last desperate gasp of air
And give up the fight at last.

 

 

Breaking Through A Breakdown.

*Self-harm / suicide*

 

Right. I feel about ready to start talking about the last week…. I had a breakdown last Friday. It’s related to things I’ve written about recently. I don’t fancy going back over it all. Let’s just say I gave the Wellbeing Centre something to read, and wasn’t given the opportunity to say necessary things as I did so. I didn’t get to explain that I was not requesting what I had originally asked for from them. Nothing needed saying or doing. Only acknowledgement it had been read if anything. I didn’t get to say I didn’t blame ‘X’ for any of it and I didn’t want him to blame himself. I didn’t get to say I had blocked emails from ‘Z’ because I was so triggered by her response. I didn’t get to say the most important bit … that I needed to feel I was in control of what happened next. I needed to be the one to decide if I continued at the group and the Centre. If that choice was taken from me and made for me, it would render me powerless. And powerlessness, alongside humiliation, is one of my most massive triggers. Always has been. It would also have shown they weren’t listening to me – as the group is not the problem…. my feelings for X are not the problem…. the problem was the handling of the situation and how it made me feel. If I was told the Centre was no longer the place for me it would be the worst thing in the world.

 

So I was not given the chance to explain what I was handing over to X. I had to just throw it in front of him, sit through the group massively triggered, and then leave, knowing that was it…. after I handed the writing over I wasn’t going to talk anymore, so I didn’t get that closure I needed, and didn’t get to explain anything. It left a whole load of uncertainty because I didn’t know what they’d make of it, and without the explanation I needed to quickly give, it was likely there would be misunderstandings on their side. X said he would read it after the groups and he’d email (text) me later. I wandered around town, considering how to end my life that day. I had my first breakdown of last week when I got home. I think I’ve written about this already.

 

I waited all week, dreading a response yet longing for one too. I thought he had forgotten. Or that he was avoiding dealing with me. I had sent a text on the Wednesday saying:

 

Hi X. If you’ve read what I wrote, then I hope you can understand just how difficult it was for me to ask to have that final conversation at the end. I feared that rejection I got.

I understand you felt you couldn’t and I know you said I could talk to someone else but you guys were the only ones I trusted. I don’t want to talk to anyone else about this anymore. I only needed 5 mins to explain a couple of things associated with what I wrote. After nearly 3 weeks of sheer hell I just needed a minute to feel heard & to relieve the anxiety I felt, all alone for the longest fortnight of my life. It’s all I would’ve needed. Being denied that was like being denied what I asked from Z… it replicated the very thing I needed to tell you about. Z made me feel worthless… like a number… a burden. Yesterday confirmed that for me. And again I’m sorry I took up so much of your time and made you late that one time. I felt awful about it. Now I pay the price for that.

So yes, I’m extra triggered now and have to get through at least another week of feeling even worse than the last 3… knowing there will be no relief because I’m never opening up again. That was to be the last time. Once I handed the writing over that was it… no more talking. So I had no closure. Everything’s a giant mess. And I don’t know the way out of it anymore.

L

 

I waited for a response. I wasn’t even sure he received that text. I waited and waited, and on Friday at 16:59 I got a reply:

Hi L, I understand it was difficult for you to ask for a conversation with us at the end of the group. I’m sorry you have felt rejected and not heard. As I said to you on Tuesday, we have been late for the second group on more than one occasion and you are not the reason for that so try not to feel responsible.

After reading your letters we appreciate this situation has triggered a lot of distressing feelings for you and we respect and support your decision not to talk to anyone connected to the Wellbeing Centre, about this anymore. It is sad to hear you feel stuck in your head and are feeling this badly about it all. Although we want to support people’s mental health recovery, we are unable to support your recovery in the way you have requested.

I would urge you to seek support from outside our service. Like you have suggested _______ is one possibility but there is also _____ that covers more general matters as well as bereavement. Another option would be to contact your GP and ask to be referred to the CMHT. I believe they may be better suited to support your recovery needs.

Kind regards ‘X’

 

Can you imagine how that would feel? Not only was I being denied the help I needed (even though I wasn’t still asking for it – and he’d have known that if he’d given me a couple of minutes at the end of the group!!), but that last paragraph sounded very much like being abandoned by the whole service. Like being passed on to someone else as they couldn’t cope with me. The last sentence – ‘I believe they may be better suited to support your recovery needs’….. wouldn’t that make you think you’d been ditched? Especially if you were already in a heightened emotional state like I was.

 

The worst part was that I received that perceived total abandonment at one minute to five on a Friday…. and then his phone would’ve gone off and it would be too late to contact anyone else regarding this. That’s what caused my breakdown. I felt entirely rejected and abandoned, and had no options left. The Centre closed at 5pm. I knew I had to cope over the weekend by myself – entirely by myself, because nobody in my family knows about this – I don’t want them to. So it was kind of like ‘It is sad to hear you feel stuck in your head and are feeling this badly about it all… but here you go, have some more to feel bad about, stuck in your head all weekend on your own!’ … it’s what made me feel I couldn’t survive the weekend. I couldn’t even survive that night.

 

I immediately harmed myself, quite badly. But I wasn’t in my body as I did it. I was watching. I was totally numb. I felt nothing. That was really scary, as I could so easily have continued and I’d have felt nothing. I did something that was actually quite risky and I wouldn’t normally have done, but at that point I didn’t care if I lived or died. That’s the truth. I wanted to die, but what I did wasn’t an active bid to do so. It was more an indifference. But mainly I wasn’t in control of myself anyway. So it just was what it was.

 

It didn’t make me feel any better. I texted X back, knowing his phone would be off, so he’d probably never get the texts anyway, as usually if you text while his phone is off he won’t get it when he turns it on next (which wouldn’t be until Tuesday just gone)… in my mind he probably knew that, so that’s why he left it to the last minute, so I wouldn’t respond. That’s my opinion. I said:

Guess that’s that then. Should never have said a word. This is worse than ____ ( – the other place I went to). Sounded from what you said that I’m no longer welcome at the group / centre … I’m sorry for all this. I never wanted any of it. L

And a bit later, added:

And my recovery need was just to know I mattered and wasn’t an awful person. I guess the opposite is true. Human kindness and compassion was all I needed. I didn’t know that was asking too much. I won’t be asking for help elsewhere. This was it. I can’t go through this ever again. I’m done. Thank you for everything. Sorry it had to end this way. L

 

At that moment I wanted to die. I thought I was going to. That was my goodbye. I don’t know if he even got those replies in the end. I regretted sending them once I was out of my ‘dissociation phase’… but part of me hopes he did get them, so he knows the pain I was in.

 

I did many things that night that I regret… some I don’t properly remember. One was potentially dangerous. I sat in the chaos and mess for three hours, afraid to move. Too overwhelmed to begin to clear things up. I didn’t know where to start. It took me that long before I got up, washed my face and cleaned / patched myself up.

 

During those three hours I phoned the Samaritans. Self-harm wasn’t helping. I knew diazepam wouldn’t calm me down either. I was trapped. I knew I had to phone them or I’d end my life one way or another. I spoke to a man there, which concerned me at first, given the topic that had triggered the whole thing, but he was really helpful. Talking to him, and talking to someone online who’s been a rock for me lately, helped me to see things in a different light. It brought the emotions down to a more manageable level. I did end up taking the diazepam after that, as my mind was obsessing over things and I was too emotionally delicate. I needed the noise to stop. All I did was tell my family that I wasn’t okay, but didn’t want to talk about it. It was just so they knew I was fragile.

 

I talked with the Samaritans about how hard it is in that moment to see beyond that moment. The possibility of things feeling better (or different, as he said it might – rather than ‘better’) in the morning or in a few days, was impossible for me to see. In that moment all there was, was that moment. The pain of it. The despair of it. I couldn’t imagine surviving the weekend. I couldn’t see me surviving that night. I can see why people do end up taking their lives… because in that moment there is nothing else – there is no chance for change. There is no feeling better in the morning. They’re caught up in that intense moment and if they don’t reach out and get another perspective, they can’t see beyond it. Had I not reached out to the Samaritans that night I would’ve been consumed by that moment too.

 

But the next morning not only did it feel different… it felt better. I had anger. Anger at X. It’s almost as if getting that text on the Friday evening broke the spell…. if he could do that to me, then maybe he wasn’t as special as I first thought. He kind of fell off the pedestal I’d put him on. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise. That’s not to say it’s a good thing. I won’t ever let them think they did right by me, by pushing me to that point I had to fight for myself. But that’s where I got to the next morning. I found fighting spirit in me. I thought ‘Hell no, I’m not going to let them destroy all the work I’ve done to recover as much as I have’. I wasn’t going to let them dictate my story. I wouldn’t let them win.

 

How it was left, I was unsure if I was even welcome at the group on Tuesday, but rather than avoid it, I decided I would be there, even if I wasn’t meant to. Even if it made X uncomfortable. I would not be forced out, without even being consulted on it. I seriously went there on Tuesday, full of anxiety at the prospect of being turned away and told I wasn’t welcome anymore. Because that’s how the text had made me feel on Friday.

 

But I turned up and everything seemed normal. It was as if nothing had happened at all. I kept quite quiet in the group. And then when it was my chance to talk I mentioned I had a breakdown on the Friday. I didn’t say what had led to it. I didn’t give anything away to anyone, but X would’ve known what I was referring to. It was hard talking about it. It’s not like I took joy in doing it, but I figured I needed to get it out there, to explain how I feel. I talked about how much I learned from the experience. I spoke positively about moving forward, putting all this behind me and starting from here. Anyone who knows me would know it is most definitely not behind me. I just said that to be able to feel more comfortable there and to be a people pleaser. I talked about giving myself the things others won’t give me – so liking myself, valuing myself, being proud of myself etc. – screw those who don’t feel that way, I’ll do it myself. That was a subtle dig obviously… I know that even if I do those things it’s not enough. Only I seem to understand what it was I needed and most importantly WHY. But I’m done explaining it to people now. They clearly don’t want to help me, so I’ll pretend to help myself. My ability to do these things for myself actually hinged on getting that validation from X. But never mind.

 

Now I will do what I said I would in my letter. I’ll pretend I’m better than I am. I’ll go there and act normal, talk about boring stuff, smile, keep people happy. It was nice to be able to go there and act normal. It kind of gave me my power back a little bit. I did what I will always do at the end now. Swiftly got out of there. Won’t be talking to them anymore. Limited interaction. They know everything now. It’s their fault for not listening.

 

I had asked to speak to someone after the group, so I did that, and I talked about the three things that happened, that if done differently would’ve saved me from a breakdown… starting with Z – if she had just been honest to start with and told me what I asked for was not possible, however…. then I would’ve known. The way she dealt with it seemed rushed, like I was being fobbed off and not being listened to… then she was off, and so was the group for a fortnight. So I had two weeks of resentment building, thinking people were ignoring what I was saying. So I wrote what I did…. the second point was that if I had been given two minutes to explain it as I handed it to X, then I would never have received the text on the Friday from him, because he would’ve known I wasn’t making a request, nothing needed doing, he wouldn’t understood the manner and tone of what I wrote, and he’d have known how I’d feel about having the decision made for me that I couldn’t attend anymore. He’d have known I’d be sensitive to that feeling of abandonment and powerlessness. And the third point was that if X hadn’t left it until the final minute of the working week to send that message, then I’d have had options that didn’t include suicide.

 

If he had done it at exactly the same time but on the Thursday, that’d be different. It would’ve allowed me to have my breakdown on the Thursday (which might not have been so bad, as I’d have not felt so trapped without options!), and then on the Friday I could’ve got in touch with someone else from the Wellbeing Centre to confirm the situation, ask if I was even welcome there still, and to talk about it all if necessary. The same could be said if I’d been contacted Friday morning…. I could’ve done something about it. It was the fact I had to wait until at least Monday to do anything at all. That’s what nearly killed me. I hope that’s fed back to him so he understands the impact that would have on someone like me.

 

So I let my feelings be known about the handling of the situation. For once it would be nice to hear ‘We cocked up, we’re sorry…. how can we fix this with you?’ But pigs might fly. Nobody takes responsibility anymore. It’s a shame, as that’s the story of my life, socially too.

 

It turns out I am welcome there… it’s just unfortunate that message didn’t shine through from X last Friday. One thing I talked to this other person about is that the IAPT service left me unhealed, therefore I feared this happening again. And it did. And now they want to leave it unhealed too. So I said I know it WILL happen again, because it’s unhealed and always will be. So I talked about how difficult it is that I’d been denied healing at the last place and now here. I can’t go through it a third time. I won’t survive that. I can barely survive this. I don’t think anyone understands how distressing and intense it is to develop these feelings in this setting. And the handling of it is so important. But because few people talk about these feelings, little is known about it or how to handle it. As I keep finding out. Apparently people aren’t usually as open and honest about it as I’ve been. Trouble is it makes me feel abnormal because they handle it wrong. So I know I must be the only one they’ve faced. I wish they could’ve helped this time. I trusted them to. Now I will leave with open wounds. And will have to avoid mental health services in the future, because I know this will happen again, thanks to the Wellbeing Centre denying me a very simple nod of the head, which could’ve prevented all of this and a future of pain for me. That’s what bugs me. It was so simple. That one little gesture could’ve fixed my whole life. Now it’ll never be fixed.

 

The thing that’s troubled me since discussing this with that other person afterwards, is I was given the sense that it was actually X who didn’t want to help me in the way I’d asked. I’d always assumed it was his supervisor (Z). It’s tough now, thinking he is the one holding me back from my recovery. Changes my view of him. But also throws up lots of questions and theories about why it is. Could it be he’s uncomfortable with his emotions? Could it be he fears me or is disgusted by me, and can’t fathom forcing words out that could heal me, because they’re such lies? Could it be he has some sort of feelings towards me too, and worries that by helping me in the way I’d asked, it would make them stronger? It feels big-headed to suggest that last one, but it’s something I’ve not really considered before. Maybe it’s not as fully one-sided as I’ve always stated. Doesn’t mean he feels the same for me, or that anything could happen. I’m a realist here. But everyone’s human. He could feel something. It may not be about me being a risk to them, but him being a risk to me… It could be to stop him falling for me and risking his own job. That’s what I mean – it’s so open, the possibilities for why it wasn’t granted. It makes my mind go haywire. It could be the one I believe most – that he wants me to suffer… he thinks he knows best and that denying me it, will help me more. In which case f*** him / them. Had that at the IAPT place, them making me push myself instead of helping me how I asked. All it did was damage my trust in them and stopped me asking for help.  Or the other possibility is that he’s just like all the guys I’ve known in my life, and likes the ego-stroke – I had mentioned that being allowed the closure might stop me from longing for someone as long as I usually do in the absence of closure. It might help me move on. Maybe he doesn’t want me to move on. Maybe he wants to know that I still want him and can’t get over him….

 

Do you see how this one little decision to deny me the healing I needed, has thrown every possible explanation into the air and confused the hell out of me? Denying me what I needed to hear drags me in two very different directions – one where he couldn’t confirm the things I needed to believe, because the opposite is actually the truth, and the other one where he can’t confirm them because he has feelings too… him reassuring me of the things I asked for would’ve settled the question for good. It would have firmly told me he feels nothing for me, but he still values me as a person. It’s what I needed. The denial of that tells me he either doesn’t value me as a person or he does feel something, if he can’t say those words on a professional level. If I had been allowed what I asked for, or even a quarter of what I asked for, none of this would’ve happened and everything would be right in the world again. I know it. No matter what anyone says, it would’ve been enough for me.

 

I do honestly believe that everything I needed to hear but was denied, is now untrue. That the opposite is felt instead. I do feel inferior in the group. I feel uncomfortable. At times I felt that X was saying things broadly to the group, but as a means of saying some of the things I’d needed to hear… almost like making up for not doing it….  but I don’t know. It missed the point anyway. I accept my fate now, that I am a number in mental health services, and they don’t care that I feel that way. Because it’s a fact. To them it’s a fact. The person I spoke to at the end also said that he thinks the things I asked for are all true anyway. That didn’t help because did he mean he thinks they’re true from his perspective? Just like Z said things… or did he mean that he thinks X would agree too? That wasn’t clear. And the point is if X doesn’t think those things it doesn’t matter what anyone else tells me. They just don’t get that.

 

I’ve told them I need to turn this around because I won’t seek help elsewhere in the future. It’s fine them saying the CMHT are more suited to my needs, but that would mean I have to find someone I feel this way about in the CMHT and pray to God they will help me in the way these previous two places refused to. I wouldn’t hold my breath. The mental health team would probably reject me anyway. So I’m not being passed on just to avoid them dealing with me. The point is, going to another service to discuss how I feel about X, makes no sense. I know what it is I need. It was very simple to do. They refused to do it. There could have been a way they could’ve done it that would’ve satisfied us both. They just didn’t want to. No amount of talking about him to someone else will deliver what I asked for. And their withholding of what I asked for is cruel. It was very basic, yet left me feeling I was asking too much. That I was too demanding. Imagine what that does to the self-worth…

 

I’m not okay with the Wellbeing Centre. I’m not okay with Z. I’m not okay with X even. Yes I still have feelings for him. But they’re not all love and light now. But I won’t let them / him beat me. I will make them face me every week, reminded of how they let me down… how they destroyed my recovery…. I won’t leave. That would be too easy for them.

 

This will always hurt. I don’t know how I can cope with it to be honest. I feel so angry. I feel frustrated, resentful, paranoid, untrusting, trapped, humiliated, worthless, ignored, silenced and very, very hurt. But my options are to push on through it all, or to die. So I will fight for as long as I can. I won’t be a bother to them. I will be pleasant. I will put on a mask. I may even accidentally make them feel like they’ve helped me, that I’ve turned a corner and feel better…. but they haven’t, I haven’t and I don’t. It’s all a lie. I’m just a stubborn bitch who doesn’t give up. My heart will close now, for good. I will make others feel comfortable. That’s my aim. And I will stuff down everything I feel. If this affects me badly further down the road, so be it… they could’ve prevented it. And they will always know that.

 

 

 

Poem: My Prison Soul.

My Prison Soul

 

 

My Prison Soul

 

I almost tasted freedom from this prison of emotion;
The closeness of you, my key…
You came so close to saving me.
I peered through the lock, awaiting your arrival,
Beholding the light of you,
And a world free from these shackles of darkness.
Your radiance shone through the keyhole,
Straight through to the cold, murky walls of my prison soul;
That ray of hope kept my fighting spirit alive.
I waited for the sound… the turning of that key;
Through the lock I watched a shadowy figure approach –
The silhouette of a woman blocking you from view,
Ushering you away, and there was nothing I could do
But wail after you –
Come back! Don’t leave me in here! I need you! I need your light!”…
Helplessly I watched you fade out of sight;
The woman jangling the bars of my cell
As she forbade me farewell,
And doomed me to this relentless hell;
Withholding my liberty,
My chance to escape…
She bound my hands
And sealed my mouth with tape.
Left here to rot in silent solitude
And to never complain
Or ever again
Ask to be released.
She will not be satisfied until I am deceased.
It won’t be long my dear –
My heart beats its final beats
As the will to endure perishes.
Nothing can live forever in the dark…
‘The prison guard’ ripped my light away,
Now I’ll never see the dawn of day.
My only companion is the voice in my head –
The one saying I’d be better off dead…
Is this what you wanted?
For me to die?
Left to fight to the death – my demons and I?
I shall not win, for my wounds run deep;
If abandonment you sow
Only death will you reap.
My mind and body are weak;
I have not the strength left to even speak.
The pleas for help die in my mouth –
They’re swallowed by my heart;
My insides ripped apart…
These bones break on the walls of frustration;
My blood runs cold on the floors of isolation.
My recovery shot,
My name they forgot.
If willing was enough, then my heart would stop this minute –
For what is life with no light in it?
She trapped me and gagged me, and threw away the key…
Now, without your help I will never again be free.