*Self-harm and a lot of swearing near the end – sorry*
I don’t know where to start…. I don’t know how to put into words how messed up this week has been. I was originally going to write about ‘transference’, or basically having feelings for a MH professional…. I was going to write about the pain of that experience….. and then by Wednesday / Thursday I felt positive and was going to share that with you all… but now I’m completely broken, triggered and absolutely hate everyone at the Wellbeing Centre. I don’t want to go back there. I’ve been left triggered and in deep water with a weight around my ankle, left to drown for at least two weeks – and even if I then return, I can’t talk to anyone about any of this. They’ve messed up badly, repeated what the IAPT service did two years ago, so now I’m closing down…. I’ll resent MH services…. I won’t open up about anything…. I won’t engage positively with them as I had intended to in a couple of weeks…. it’ll all be for nothing. All they had to do was listen to me… to see that I recognised what would help me… if they could’ve done as I’d asked, I could’ve used the next couple of weeks positively and returned full of beans, focused on recovery and feeling happy and safe there. If they’d done what I suggested it would not only have solved the issue I’m currently having, but it would have healed the wounds of the past – the trauma caused by the IAPT service. But they chose to deepen the wound and further destroy my trust in MH services. I’m done.
Okay… I’ll try and start at the beginning of this week. I’ll try and be brief. I went to my group earlier in the week. I decided to say to X that I might not be coming back to the group, so wanted to thank him for all he was doing. I wanted to build him up and let him know he was doing a good job. I was dreading the three week break from the group. I said three weeks is a long time in my world, and anything could happen in that time. Part of me felt I might not survive the three weeks. Part of me felt it all depended on my discussion with Z the next day. I didn’t know what would come out of that discussion, and I might decide it best to not return. So I chose to ‘say my goodbye’ to X just in case.
Unfortunately during the group, before I had that chat with him at the end, there was mention of his partner…. I already knew he was off-limits. I knew about professional boundaries. I knew he could never be mine. I had actually begun to accept this and was trying to turn my romantic feelings towards him, into just being appreciative of him as a person. But hearing he has a girlfriend was the most sickening stab to the heart. And I had to sit there as if it didn’t affect me at all. When it came to the end and he said I’d wanted to have a quick chat with him, I felt like saying ‘no, actually it doesn’t matter’. It wasn’t like I was having the chat to try and seduce him or something… but the pain of discovering his relationship status just threw me, and I didn’t feel as appreciative of him all of a sudden. I also felt it really did mean goodbye. But I did talk to him for a couple of very awkward minutes. The things I wanted to say didn’t come out as smoothly as I’d intended. It was very forced. And I regretted it. But he seemed grateful for the positive feedback and hoped to see me come back to the group after the break. I said I’d see.
Wednesday I went to see someone at a different Wellbeing Centre, we’ll call her Z. This was to talk about the feelings I had, and the connection to my experience at the IAPT service. I won’t go into all the detail, but I discussed it at length with her – for almost two hours! She had said some helpful things…. She had said my feelings weren’t wrong to have. She just kept reinforcing the idea of the ‘boundaries’ and that it’s serious stuff, as ‘people can lose their jobs’ (which made me feel crap to be honest, as I already knew all that, and it seemed she cared more about their jobs than my distress). She said that MH professionals do care about their clients. They may not love them in that sense, but they think of them and want the best for them etc. She said he probably felt good that someone feels good things towards him. She said they agreed that I was brave / strong to share the truth with them. She said he wouldn’t judge me. She said he might feel hurt if I just stopped going to the group. She said all sorts of things…. I found it helpful at the time. It was overloading though…
So I went to the cathedral afterwards, lit a couple of candles for lost loved ones, and then sat in the Epiphany Chapel to quietly reflect. I’m not actually religious myself, but I asked for my heart and mind to be healed. I asked for the strength to get through this. I asked for help.
The next day I woke up and had a whole new outlook on the situation. I wanted to get the most out of the experience. I wanted to be positive, grateful and learn everything I could from X before I lose him. That way he’ll have made a difference in my life. That way there will be more to his presence in my life than the pain of losing him.
I had realised what would help me in order to move on and heal. Although she had said what he probably thought / felt, it wasn’t enough to convince me. They were only assumptions. I can’t be expected to base my beliefs on assumptions. The IAPT service never allowed me closure. I thought this place might be different. So I emailed Z and suggested that if I share a list of statements that would help me heal, could she share it with X and see if he’d agree with those statements, and then report back if he did. It was a pragmatic approach to the problem, that meant I didn’t have to speak to X again myself. And that I respected the boundaries, and would use her as a go-between.
The list included:
- Although he may not care about me, the way I care about him or wish he could care about me, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about me on some level – in a human way. Care doesn’t mean ‘feelings’. Care is care.
- Even if I feel a level of rejection from the whole situation, I’m not being rejected as a person. I’m still accepted and liked as a person and will be treated the same as usual.
- Even if I’m not valued personally by him, I’m still valued as a person.
- Maybe he does worry about me and wants the best for me – for me to stop hurting myself and to treat myself with more love and care than I do.
- Maybe he respects me and is proud of me for carrying on and trying to overcome this and everything else.
- He might even feel sad if I gave up and stopped coming to the group, because he wants to help people and wants to see me recover too. He doesn’t want me to give up.
- Maybe he appreciates the honesty, and appreciates being appreciated.
- He’s not disgusted with me.
- He doesn’t pity me.
- He doesn’t feel threatened by me or the feelings I have.
- He recognises I’m trying my best.
- Though a time will come where I will lose him and never see him again, he’ll know he made a difference in my life. And even if it’s only in the tiniest way I’ll have played a small part in his journey too, so I won’t be completely forgotten when it comes to an end.
- Even if I don’t matter to him like he does to me it doesn’t mean I’m ‘nothing’… (my friend who died last year, her partner got a tattoo with her initials and date of birth/death on his arm, with a quote saying “Every contact leaves a trace”… it feels like it’s all coming together and it’s a sign that even though I may lose people from my life, it doesn’t mean I never existed in their world. We all make a little difference to each others’ lives… feels like a message from beyond, that I can use now to deal with this situation).
These aren’t things that I DO believe. They are things that if I heard that he agreed with, would’ve allowed me to sit in a room with him again, comfortable that I’m cared for, appreciated, and that I matter, even if I’m still a ‘nobody’ in his world. I would’ve felt safe, supported and at peace, as I said to Z.
She didn’t respond, and I was concerned I might’ve gone into her spam folder, so I texted X to ask – and he also didn’t respond. He’s now off for two weeks. And she’s now off too. But she did reply to me last night….
Her response was that she saw X briefly and he assured her I’m a valued member of the group, he doesn’t feel anything negative towards me. She said as with all service users he wants me to succeed with my recovery and do well. So she successfully made me feel like a number. Like a nothing. A nobody. That was all she said on the matter. So after opening up and completely baring my soul and vulnerabilities to her, that was the extent of reassurance I got on everything. She clearly didn’t share my email with him or the sentiments in it. And then she said “I hope you can accept this and successfully manage your feelings without needing further reassurance” – WTF?!?
No, I cannot accept this and manage my feelings without further reassurance. I’m sorry that my need for reassurance is pissing you off and being a burden to you, but I actually fucking need it. So the moral of the story for me now is don’t seek reassurance from any of them. I feel I’m not allowed to speak to X anymore about any of this. I can’t seek his reassurance. She sure as hell isn’t going to reassure me, not anymore. She fucked that up. I don’t even want to hear from her ever again.
I’m now left feeling too demanding. But I knew in my heart what I needed to be able to move on. If I had properly been given that, then I could’ve used the next two weeks to get to a better place in my head, and everything would be fine when I go back. I’d never have needed to mention it again. Now I have two weeks of hating the guts of that place… I am splitting on them – and not just on Z, but on X too. It’s upsetting. I feel like they’re in it together, and he doesn’t want anything to do with me either. So I’m back to where I was on Tuesday – me, being in so much pain, whilst he’s out there with the woman in his life, happy as Larry, unaware of what Z has just done to me and my prospects of recovery.
When / if I go back, it will be more of the same I’m afraid. Any healing I could’ve done in this time off has gone down the toilet with that dismissive email. I now feel I’m on my own with it. I don’t want to talk to Z again. I feel I’m not allowed to talk to X anymore. Face to face Z had said I didn’t need to discuss this with X or his colleague again. I’ve been silenced. I sure as hell won’t bother opening up to anyone else at the Wellbeing Centre. So that’s it. It’s done. I either don’t go back and just live with the scars. Or I go back and don’t fully engage, because they fucked up. I’m trapped whatever happens.
If only Z could’ve accepted that I knew my own mind best, and what would help me. So often these bloody MH ‘experts’ ask their clients what help they need / want… I never know the answer – I always think ‘you’re the expert, you tell me!’ – but on this one occasion I knew it would’ve allowed me to accept that it could never be, but it would’ve probably healed the wounds that made me have the feelings for him in the first place. If I could’ve known he was proud of me, cared for me, appreciated me, and that I might’ve made a slight difference in his life (not personally, but just in some way that I wouldn’t be totally erased when it comes to losing him) – that would’ve made my time there and the impending loss a little easier. But fuck that. They don’t want what’s best for me. They want ‘boundaries’. They want to cover their own arses, no matter the cost to someone in distress. They want the power of being the professionals and knowing what’s best for me.
They’ve solidified the feeling of shame that came with being attracted to X. And Z has made me feel I can’t even talk to X anymore. So there’s even more shame. It feels like she’s holding me away from him, and denying me any sentiment that could help me. She is the obstacle to my healing. This is exactly why I didn’t want to see a fucking woman about this issue. Same happened at IAPT. So she’s triggered all that shit off too. I said I didn’t want to see a woman. That was for a reason. I was right. They didn’t listen. And she didn’t listen when I said what I needed. They don’t want to help me.
I now know my feelings ARE wrong. My NEEDS are wrong. They don’t deserve to be met. I therefore am nothing. I’m a statistic to them. So I might just turn up in a couple of weeks, as a statistic…. give my statistical feedback on mind-numbingly inane things that I’m not really struggling with… just to make them all comfortable with the situation… I’ll make up some things I’ve done well in this two week period. I’ll think of a minor struggle I can talk about…. I’ll lock my reality up inside my head and heart again, as though I never said anything – you know, I really wish I hadn’t said anything. Then I’d just have my feelings to deal with. Now I have my feelings, plus the trauma of IAPT opened up, and my trust in MH services completely yanked out of my system… and the negative feelings about them and about me, that this experience has left me with. I have to stuff ALL of that down inside me now, rather than just my stupid fucking feelings for a guy I can’t be with.
I never want to talk to Z again. Ever. Not allowed to talk to X. Now I’ve been burnt I won’t talk to anyone else. This is it. They blew the one fucking chance they had to help me. Just like the IAPT people did. Even back then I knew what I needed and they denied me it. The upset I felt at that – because I knew if they’d just listened to me and done what I knew my soul needed to heal, they could’ve stopped this situation ever happening again….. well now the Wellbeing Centre are just the same. They missed the chance. It’s too late to fix it. I don’t trust them anymore. They could’ve helped me change and heal. Now I will shove everything down and this will happen again in the future – only, I will probably never ask for help from MH services ever again as a result. I cannot afford to feel this way ever again in my life. I couldn’t afford to feel this way now. I was afraid to feel this way again. Now I do, I know I’ll never survive it happening again. Right now I’m not sure I’ll survive this.
Right now I’m angry. I may be crying, but I’m angry. When that anger dies down and the depression side kicks in, I’m screwed. I can survive with anger. I can’t survive the darkness and the hopelessness.
I feel very let down. This last week has been the worst, most intense rollercoaster, and I’ve ended up lower than I started. All it took were three / four days, to feel hope and to have it extinguished by the same person. I’m just done with recovery right now.
Yeah, honestly if I believed X wouldn’t want me to hurt myself, then it could’ve helped with my self-harm. As it is, I’m obviously just a number to him, so what I do doesn’t matter does it. Plus the way they’ve made me feel has only increased my urge to hurt myself. So fuck it. I won’t stop. I would’ve stopped for him. But as I’m that irrelevant, they won’t care if I don’t. I don’t exactly have any other way to cope with the shit they’ve left me in right now.
They might interpret it as ‘going to the group is making me worse’ – wrong. The way they’ve handled the situation is making me worse. Going to the group is fine. Feeling banned from talking to X makes me feel worse. Feeling watched makes me feel worse. Being told to stop seeking reassurance is making me feel worse. Being made to feel like a number, when I wanted to believe I mattered, is making me worse. That woman – Z is what is making me worse. But I bet they stop me going to the group, because they think that’s what is making me worse. Seeing X and everyone else has been the only thing keeping me alive this year. If they take that away from me I have nothing, and I’ll go. They’ll kill me. I just wish they could’ve handled it differently. I wish I never spoke to Z. I want to forget I ever did. I want to forget all of this. But it’s too late. It’s spiralled out of control, and now I resent them. If I resent them I can never make progress with them.
Maybe this will feel better when I’m not splitting on them like this. I’m aware that’s what’s happening. It doesn’t stop it happening though. I cannot see the good in them at all right now. I don’t even want to go to my course next week, which involves neither X nor Z, as I hate all of them in response to Z. But never mind. It is what it is. I have no choice but to tolerate all the negative thoughts and emotions that will be my existence this fortnight. My only hope might be the Samaritans again…. but given how I’m feeling about having opened up and had the response I’ve had, I’m reluctant to do it again, with anyone. Besides, I can’t talk… I feel too upset.
Time to hide it though, and pretend everything’s okay. Don’t want those around me to know about any of this. It will only add to the shame I already felt, and had confirmed by my encounter with Z. Silence is the way forward. This will be the only place I break that silence. Thank you to my followers who don’t judge me, and just allow me to air my feelings without making me feel shame. I appreciate you guys xxxx