Burdened.

BURDEN

*Strong suicide theme*

 

 

My head is packed full of noise at the moment and I can’t tell what’s what. I don’t know how I feel, what I think or what to do. I don’t even know how to begin unravelling the chaos inside. I feel like I need to write it out but I don’t know where to start. How on earth do I explain everything I’m experiencing? It’s not possible.

It’s been a tough week and nobody even knows about it. With World Suicide Prevention Week, it’s triggered a lot of memories and emotions surrounding the loss of my friend to suicide four months ago. Seeing all the posts / tweets about suicide has been upsetting. Oddly enough the thing that upset me the most was people saying ‘suicide isn’t selfish…. those who think it is are the selfish ones’. I thought, how lovely it must be to see things so simplistically. I have news for people – we’re ALL selfish. Every single one of us. If we’re not then we’re not living life correctly. We all think about things from our perspective. Have these people ever really considered what they’d be like if they lost someone to suicide? They have this view that you shouldn’t make someone’s suicide all about you. I’m sorry but it is about me. It’s about everyone her life touched. Yes she was in pain and couldn’t go on. It’s about her pain and her tragic end to her life. But the moment someone completes suicide it ceases to be about that person anymore and their pain….. it becomes a new wave of pain for everyone else. To say otherwise is to say we shouldn’t grieve the loss of them…. and to not grieve is to deny ever loving them.

Some people have the view that the grief and sadness someone feels at losing someone to suicide, cannot compare to the pain someone feels to want to end their life. I disagree. I don’t think those people can legitimately say that unless they have experienced both. I have experienced both. I am experiencing both right now. Very often those preaching about ‘not judging’ suicidal people and calling those bereaved by suicide ‘selfish’, are people who only have one side of the story… quite often their own experiences of suicidal feelings / attempts on their own lives. They tell others not to judge unless they have been there, whilst judging those who are grieving the loss of someone to suicide. They haven’t been there, they cannot understand how it feels.

I do not think my friend was genuinely and deliberately selfish. I know suicidal feelings like the back of my hand. I understand it. I know it’s part of a mental illness. A symptom that claims lives. It’s something that robs you of your ability to think and see clearly. It distorts reality and makes you feel and believe you are a burden, nobody cares and the world would be better without you. It is an illness. But it can still be seen as selfish. It doesn’t mean the person was selfish. They likely weren’t in their right mind. But it is perfectly normal and natural for loved ones to see it as selfish. I’ll tell you why, from my own feelings in regards to my friend:

  1. She didn’t give me the opportunity to help her. If I had known how she really felt, I would’ve done anything for her. But she denied me the chance to save her life. And I have to live with that forever.
  2. She didn’t give me a goodbye. She just went. I had no closure. I had to make that closure by going to her funeral to say my goodbye. But she didn’t respect me enough to say goodbye or that she was sorry for leaving me. She abandoned me.
  3. She knew how alone I was and what I’d been through. She left me with nobody and nothing, and I’ve now completely shut down and closed off from everyone.
  4. I was due to see her five weeks later – we were looking forward to a concert together and finally seeing each other again. She left me with nobody to go with initially… I had to go round begging people to go with me. I also had to attend the event whilst grieving… having gone to her funeral the week before. I never got to see her again. It felt like I was worthless…. she couldn’t hold on long enough to see me. It felt like a ‘rejection’ of me. It felt like she didn’t want to see me. Like she didn’t care about me.

These points would make some on Twitter bark at me that I’m being selfish, making it about me and not caring about her suffering. I would totally lose it at those people were they to do that. My point is that I am grieving. It’s perfectly acceptable for me to have these thoughts and feelings. They’re not often talked about as we have to appear a certain way, to avoid ‘stigma’. But those who have lost someone to suicide are faced with stigma too. They’re made to feel guilty for having the sorts of views I have just listed. They’re made to feel bad about their anger and for blaming the person. Ultimately I know her suicide was not about me in the slightest – it was about the torment in her own mind. I know that. But I haven’t reached that point in my grief yet – it’s only been four damn months! It’s a process. It takes time. Right now it feels like something done to me. I shouldn’t be shamed for feeling this way, especially by people who have no clue what it’s like to lose someone to suicide.

This last week has taught me I’m fighting the wrong battle. I no longer associate myself with the ‘mental health community’ and fighting stigma against mental illness no matter what. I will fight against it, but when it crosses over into stigma against others who are suffering (e.g. those grieving due to suicide), I will side with the bereaved. I know how suicidal thoughts feel. At this moment I want to end my life. I don’t want to exist anymore. I do not see me being here in a year. That’s why I’m reluctant to buy a ticket for myself to see my favourite band on my birthday next year… what’s the point? I won’t be here then. I know suicidal feelings too well. I know what hell I exist in right now. But what gives me the right to say that what I feel now is worse than what my family would feel if I took my own life? You cannot compare pain like that. That in itself is selfish… thinking your suffering is worse than someone else’s would be.

Suicide spreads. Those who lose someone to suicide are at risk of trying to take their own lives too. They can be left traumatised. They can develop a mental illness as a result, and end up down the same path. And having people say not to make someone’s suicide about you, is the worst thing you can do. It tells those people to shove it down, not talk about it and this will only compound their own struggles with mental illness. Suicide is a silent killer and many die as a result of not talking about how they truly feel…. so for mental health advocates to invalidate people’s feelings and grief and telling them to say nothing, and not be open about how they really feel, it’s damaging and they’re perpetuating the silence of suicide.

 

I have no support around me anymore. The safety net I once had has morphed into the noose around my neck. (1)

 

Those who talk about such things probably don’t know what grief feels like. How it tears your world apart and leaves a hole in your heart. That is just ‘normal’ grief. Grief from suicide is more complex and traumatic than any other loss. It’s a known fact. That’s not to diminish grief from other causes. All loss is traumatic and the worst pain you can imagine. But unless you’ve been affected by someone’s suicide, you have no idea how that feels.

Personally as well, if you haven’t lost someone to suicide then you don’t know what that’s like… to have to cope with that whilst having BPD, where your emotions are more intense. And throw into the mix already feeling suicidal yourself…. and having no friends left, so having to deal with it all on your own. Or rather not deal with it on your own.

How can I then be expected to not make her death about ME…? The point is whilst suicide is not intentionally selfish it does have consequences for other people. I remember someone even saying online before the funeral, if you’re coming then don’t make it all about you, and act like the ‘best friend’. I let that go, on accounts of them grieving. But I took that to heart. That really pierced down to the bone. That was another instance of ‘don’t make it about you’ – i.e. don’t be ‘selfish’. I had no intention of it. And it hurt that it could even be suggested that I would. It may not have been aimed at me, but as I was ‘uninvited’ it felt like it was a pointed comment. I felt they were trying to put me off going. Like I wasn’t welcome. I wasn’t ever going to act like the ‘best friend’ – I never was her best friend. She was the BEST friend I’ve ever had, in the sense that nobody could be better than she was. And I did know her since she was seventeen at least…. she was a huge part of my life, even if we only met up in person once. There’s a gaping hole in my life without her. Nobody has a right to deny that for me. It just felt as though I was being told I didn’t matter to her, so don’t pretend that I did. And when my whole issue in the past year had been that I felt I didn’t matter to anyone, and she was the only one who ever cared about me, that damn hurt. It was torture. I let it go, as I said, but months later it still stabs me in the heart when I think of it. I went to that funeral to show her family she was loved. To show support for them as I felt it’s what my friend would’ve wanted. She may never have expected for me to go to her funeral, but that’s what friends do. That’s how much she mattered to me. I wouldn’t have done that for just anyone. Our friendship mattered…. she wouldn’t want people to make me feel I was nothing to her. I know that. I went to a new place completely alone, for a couple of hours to say goodbye. I had to see her one more time. I never got to see her a month later as planned. She denied me the chance to see her and say goodbye. So I had to go. It was horrible to have to do. It still vividly haunts me today. But it was necessary. I didn’t make it about me. I popped in and ducked out just as swiftly. Yet I beat myself up for weeks afterwards, feeling guilty for intruding. She would hate that I felt that way. I’m not who people may have thought I was. I didn’t make it about me.

But now I’m left entirely alone to survive, I think I’m allowed to make this loss about me. It’s not just about me. But it has impacted on my life, and I shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for admitting that. I have nobody to talk to now. I’m invisible. She always made me feel visible. She’d always remind me what a good person I was. Now I can’t believe I am as I have nobody to help me believe that. There’s no permanence with what’s wrong with me. Sentiments only exist as long as they are said. She’ll never say those words again, and there’s nobody else to say them. So to me it doesn’t exist. I’m not a good person. I don’t know what I’m doing half the time. And I don’t matter to anyone now. And she’s not here to reassure me otherwise.

Her taking her own life has left me wanting to take my own. Feeling it is a certainty now. I see no way of recovering anymore. I’ve lost the two oldest friendships I’ve ever had, both of them early this year. There’s nothing left for me now. To start with I had people telling me what she would want for me… and that she wouldn’t want me to do that… but if she did it, then there’s no reason I shouldn’t. The only thing that stops me from doing it, is thinking how it would affect my family….. the belief that it IS selfish is the one thing that stops me from taking my own life. So I think it’s actually DANGEROUS for mental health advocates to send out a message that it’s somehow courageous and selfless to take your own life…. because you think you’re doing everyone a favour, not being a burden to them…. this is dangerous information to put out there. There needs to be balance.

 

The only thing that stops me from doing it, is thinking how it would affect my family….. the belief that it IS selfish is the one thing that stops me from taking my own life.

 

I think people who are suicidal need to be told they’re not bad people for feeling that way or for attempting to end their lives…. BUT they need to hear the reality. I understand it, I really do…. I feel like the biggest burden to everyone right now. It’s why I isolated myself last year and this year. So often I think about ending my life to unburden other people – but this is based on distorted thinking….

No matter how much of a burden you think you are with your illness, you are NOT a burden to your loved ones. They would rather you were here, asking for help, and being in their lives, than to never be able to see or talk to you again. The thing that burdens people the most is ending your life. That is the heaviest burden known to man. I have to carry that burden with me for the rest of my days, however many that may be. Her family have to carry that burden forever.

I am mentally ill. I feel suicidal. And I am carrying the weight of suicide by my one remaining friend. I don’t feel it can get worse than that. I have to live with that loss forever. This doesn’t encourage me to get better. It makes me want to die because the burden is too much to carry on my own, but that’s where I am in my life now because of her, and because of my best friend who turned her back on me a couple of months prior to my other friend dying. I have no reason to recover.

So suicide does impact on other people. And in that way it can be viewed as ‘selfish’. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with feeling that, if you are bereaved by suicide. I think people who have no clue of suicidal feelings, OR losing someone to suicide, and just sit on a train complaining about being late because of a ‘jumper’ – that’s wrong. Those people should be challenged. But when people are fighting stigma against the suicidal among us, they ought to remember that some of us are grieving and grief brings out all sorts of emotions, and beliefs. There may come a day when I defend my friend and say suicide is NOT selfish at all. I am not there yet, because it’s only been four months.

But right now it is unintentionally selfish. Some people take their own lives to unburden others. They think they’re helping other people by doing it. But a lot of the time people want to end their lives just to end their pain. Everything else goes out the window. That’s why people believe it is selfish, because they think we’re only thinking of ourselves and our pain, and not considering those we’d leave behind – and sometimes that’s probably true – we probably do forget about them and their potential pain. Or we think they’ll get over it. Or that they don’t care enough to grieve. And sometimes we do think of those we’d leave behind, but that thought isn’t enough to survive what we’re experiencing inside. So ultimately the thoughts of ‘self’ win.

It’s okay to be selfish. It’s okay to feel that suicide is selfish, but not think badly of the person themselves. I know that’s hard to comprehend. But you can think something is selfish yet is not a bad thing. Look, people think I’m selfish for my grieving process and for ‘making it about me’….. and I think those people who judge me for things like I’m writing here, they too are selfish. Because they’re thinking about themselves – their own opinions…. and they’re intolerant of a different view. They don’t stop to question the reason I might have this view… why I might be upset by people saying ‘suicide isn’t selfish’. It’s not a black and white case of me thinking that therefore I’m an ignorant, judgemental prick. But there are genuinely people who would read this post and think that about me. But the REASON I’m upset by that statement is because I have personally lost someone to suicide, therefore I know how it feels. I have conflicting views about suicide. It’s very confusing for me, and it’s a part of grief. So having people tell me it’s wrong to feel a certain way, is damaging in my journey to healing from loss. I’m not one of those ignorant people who don’t know what it feels like. I know perfectly well how it feels. Exactly four years to the day before my friend took her own life, I considered jumping off a bridge. It was the closest I had come to doing something like that.

So I know all about it. I’m also feeling the most hopeless and helpless I ever have. I’m strongly considering suicide myself. I haven’t quite reached that point where anyone needs to immediately worry. But I have an unhealthy obsession with not existing anymore. That’s why reading endless tweets about suicide was very triggering for me.

All these stories about ‘It really DOES get better… look at me now’…. they all felt empty. It may well get better for a lot of people, who have lives to return to…. but I feel like the exception. That’s what I felt when watching a programme about how to help people who are suicidal. I felt all those suggestions would work for someone else but not me. I felt people would care and be there to save other people, but not me. I felt like others can be saved, but I am the exception. I felt dead inside watching that programme. I feel it’s too late for me to be helped. No help can bring back what I’ve lost. I have no support around me anymore. The safety net I once had has morphed into the noose around my neck. The two friends I had left, who could have saved me from this pain and this certain fate, they abandoned me in one way or another. They are the reason I don’t want to exist anymore. I have nobody else to catch me. Everyone else willingly watched me drown or just didn’t even notice I was drowning. I didn’t exist to any of them. So I’ve cut everyone out now. I’m on my own.

I used to see my Godchildren as a part of my future…. it was the one thing I was certain of – that I’d always be in their lives and watch them grow. But when my best friend turned her back on me at my lowest point, she took them with her. So any hope for a future I had, it’s gone now. I’ve not seen them for over a year and half. The bond I had with my God-daughter is broken, along with my heart. I don’t think I’ll ever recover from the pain of that lost bond. My Godson has started school now apparently. My friend moved house apparently…. all of this happened without her telling me anything about it. She cut me out of her life well over a year ago. It was a long drawn-out abandonment and it destroyed me. I have no reason for living anymore. I have too many traumatic experiences from the last couple of years. I have nothing to aim for. And even if I could conjure up some new friends – it takes a long time to cultivate the sorts of friendships I’ve lost this year. And I never will be able to, because I will not trust anyone again, thanks to my former best friend. I will be expecting abandonment and rejection from everyone I meet now. If my best friend of over thirteen years can give up on me because of my mental illness, then nobody else will stick around. They’ll only tolerate me if I pretend to be okay. As long as I never show my reality people will humour me, at best. I used to hide my mental illness from everyone. After my breakdown at therapy two years ago, it let a lot out, and I could no longer hide how I felt. The more ill I got publicly, the less people wanted to do with me, including her. Once the mask of wellness slipped and she saw the true face of depression and BPD, she didn’t want to know me anymore. That’s how it feels. So my self-worth is non-existent now. I don’t believe anyone will ever truly like me. I know for a fact that no man will ever see me as attractive ever again. So I’ve accepted I’m going to die an old spinster…. assuming I survive that long, which I highly doubt right now.

I just feel too broken. Too traumatised. Too alone. I’m a lost cause. I’m feeling too hopeless, that I’m not even doing things I’m meant to be doing. I’ve not approached anyone for help yet… because I don’t believe I can be helped. This feels too big an obstacle for anyone to help me. I need grief counselling… but the problem is not just grief, it’s the mess that’s left behind – my mental illness, my grief, it’s all wrapped up together. Being abandoned by everyone… that affects my mental health and my grief…. my grief affects my mental health and vice versa, and then people abandon me because of it…..which makes me paranoid, which pushes people away…. makes me feel unsupported in my grief…. more mentally ill……. want to die….. see no future – seriously when I picture it, it’s black. There’s literally NOTHING in my future now. Because of abandonment. Because of grief and loss. Trauma and broken trust. Being made to feel worthless and not deserving of a goodbye or a conversation from my best friend. If she didn’t value me who the fuck is going to in this life? And if nobody values me and I’ll be made to feel this shit forever, then I don’t want to live a minute more. What have I done to deserve this?? I feel enraged about it. And then I beat myself up for it, thinking of course I deserved everything that’s happened. I’m an awful person. Another reason to die. But I can’t die, because it’s selfish and would hurt my family. My family are all I have to keep me alive. And even they don’t know how I feel at the moment. I can’t talk to them about any of it. This is how alone I am. This is the most I’ve talked about my feelings in a long time. And my mind’s telling me I shouldn’t have done it. I should keep it all in and let it build until I end my life.

 

I have no support around me anymore. The safety net I once had has morphed into the noose around my neck.

 

Mental health services have changed so much in the last ten years, since I did DBT. They won’t help me until I’ve been through ‘lesser services’. But they all are about ‘recovery’ – you have to want to get better and put the work in. The trouble is I’m beyond that now. They left me too long and too much has happened since. I don’t ‘want’ to get better….. because I cannot see that possibility anymore. It’s impossible to focus on ‘recovery’ when you cannot see the point in it. When you just can’t exist in this life anymore. When no matter what work you do on yourself, your circumstances will still be the same… you’ll still be utterly alone at the end of any work you do. You’ll still be grieving and have lost everything. You’ll still have wasted years of your life and be a failure. What is the point? And people won’t suddenly treat you better than they have. I’ve been trodden on too many times now, I feel it’s my lot in life. And I don’t want to participate in that anymore. I want it over with. I honestly feel even DBT won’t help me at this point. I have no clue what would – because my problem is not just my mental health or that I’m grieving… it’s the people I had around me…. you can’t force people to care about you. I have nobody to care about me anymore. You can’t replace that. And without that, I can’t recover. This world is what is killing me. It’s the reason I can’t live in it. The people. My irrelevance. And everything people have put me through in the last few years. You can’t erase that amount of emotional trauma. And I can’t live in this world with all of that inside me. So tell me…… who do I turn to, to help me with that?

Bereavement counselling won’t touch it. Mental health services will see my mental health as complicated by grief, therefore signpost me to bereavement counselling. There is nobody in this world who can help with the scale of this problem. And even if there was… I wouldn’t believe they can help me. I won’t believe that I can be saved. How do you help someone like that? How?? I’ll always believe people will give up on me, if I don’t seem to be ‘engaging’ with their attempts to get me to help myself. That’s what it’s all about – I have to help myself. That’s what services are like now…. they don’t help you. They help you to help yourself. So what would they do with me? Write me off as the lost cause I feel I am? Or would they overcompensate with nauseating positivity…. ? I’ve had that before. You just feel misunderstood and invalidated. Either way I end up feeling a failure and a burden… like I’m wasting their time. I’m not even in hell anymore. I’m below that. I can fully understand why my friend made the choice she did four months ago, if this is the sort of thing she felt.

I have nothing and nobody to lift me out of this. There is no joy in life. No hope. Nothing. I really want to fall asleep and not wake up. I can’t exist in my head anymore. I’ve had enough.

And that’s without the political situation unfolding in this country now too. I don’t exist to anyone in my life… I’m invisible…. and now Parliament want to treat me as though I’m invisible too…. just overturn my vote, deny me an election and rob me of the one achievement in recent times – winning that referendum. I won’t say much on politics now, but it just destroys me that MPs are treating me just the same as everyone else. Like I don’t matter. I actually tweeted to the Prime Minister the other day, admitting that Remainer MPs are making me even more suicidal than usual. I’m usually quite restrained on Twitter, but that’s going now. I’m beyond the end of my tether. And the political situation is worsening my mental health at a dangerous time…. they’ve created an environment too toxic for people like me to live in… another reason to opt out of life. I just feel the odds are stacked against me, to survive. And I’ve lost the will to care.

 

 

 

The Unfairness Of Life.

*Swearing near the end*

 

 

I have just realised why nobody talks to me anymore. For so long I’ve wondered why…. what I could possibly have done to them all. I thought of every reason – from them having their own stuff to think about, to not knowing what to say to someone grieving and suicidal. But it’s finally hit me…

 

They don’t talk to me and don’t want to be my friends because I blog. Because I’ve blogged about what I went through with my former best friend. They think if we were friends and they fell out with me I would blog about them too.

 

I can totally understand this thinking as well. And I don’t blame them for it. I can see how it’s my fault that I’m alone now. And I feel I deserve to be alone. That being said, I am not to blame for everything. As much as this goes against what I’m saying, I do blame my former best friend… for all of it. She may have decided to abandon me for a blog I wrote last year. That may be where she’s pinning the blame. But we had issues before that blog. She was neglecting me before that. I was ill and paranoid and grieving, and dealing with all that alone. The initial blog that caused issues with us was not about her. It was about paranoia and how it manifests as jealousy and possessiveness rather than the insecurity and fear it is. I was talking about self-fulfilling prophecies. I was right to talk about that as it’s exactly what happened. What happened after that was a misunderstanding. I felt rejected by her and like a burden to her. So I gave her the space it sounded like she wanted. But that’s not how she took it. She thought I asked for space. So she was waiting for me to approach her again. I couldn’t do that. I’d been rejected. I couldn’t put myself out there yet again. I was locked within myself. I did the best I could at the time and used my blog to break out of the bubble and communicate. Perhaps my pain and desperation stopped me wording it right. I know a lot was misinterpreted by her. But that’s the blog that offended her and she’s used as a scapegoat to ditch me.

 

But that blog was not the cause. It was the effect. Her abandoning me was the cause. The pain was the effect – and I used my blog to express my pain. I was also using it to fight for our friendship, though it clearly wasn’t received that way. I could’ve done what she was doing to me and stayed quiet…. never spoken again….. let apathy and indifference win the day. But because I bloody cared…. cared too much…. felt too much pain at losing her…. I had to say something. I had to get her to talk to me, as I couldn’t talk to her. It just went horrifically wrong, which led to her attacking and blaming me for everything. That’s what killed our friendship. That, plus snubbing me after I extended an olive branch at Christmas. And then blocking me etc. But I reckon I’m conveniently getting the blame, for blogging. I blogged because I was in pain and had nobody to turn to.

 

But now I think blogging my truth has cost me everyone else. And I’m angry with my former friend for that. Because had she treated me well, understood my illness and intentions, communicated with me properly and not run away and abandoned me at my lowest, I’d not feel so desperate that the only way to stay alive is to blog and let it all out. But nobody wants to know me now, as they think they’ll be the next topic for my blog. Well yeah…. as things stand at this moment in time I’m beyond being able to cope, and if they are like everyone else and refuse to treat me with the love, care, consistency and respect I need, and intend to hurt me then yes, they would probably end up being blogged about. But if they were decent people and intended to treat me well, then that’s a different story altogether.

 

 

What it’s demonstrating to me, yet again, is that some of us are destined for a life of pain, betrayal and abandonment. Life and the people in it will not let us move on.

 

People have endlessly hurt, betrayed and abandoned me…. unfortunately not everyone can bounce back from that. So I talk about the pain I’m in, and people don’t want to be there to prove I didn’t deserve to be treated that way. Because they think they’ll end up being talked about too.

 

It reminds me of how guys don’t want to be with a virgin. So you never get to change the fact you’re a virgin, because nobody ever gives you the chance to be anything other than one. So nobody will ever want to be with you because of the inexperience … and it never ends.

 

Just like I used to be thought of as ‘boring’. But nobody ever gave me a chance to prove I wasn’t. They never wanted to be my friend, spend time with me and see I wasn’t as quiet as I seemed, and I knew how to have fun. They chose to judge me on the opinions of others.

 

And the biggest of them all – when you are mentally ill and deteriorating, people want nothing to do with you. They only want to be around positive energy and those who are recovering.  It’s been the most sickening lesson of all in the past year or two…. as I have become more ill, people have talked to me less.

 

They don’t want to be around people who are depressed…. I heard as much on my therapy course two years ago – it was the thing that caused me to walk out the room until the break. Being mentally ill is tough enough without feeling people won’t want to be around you if you show how you feel.

 

I’ve spent years not showing my reality. Hiding my illness and depression behind a smile and a mask. I’d probably fit the profile of someone ‘high-functioning’. Not so much nowadays. Now my meltdowns are more public. I’m spiralling out of control and struggle to do life like before. I can’t pretend to be okay anymore. And people aren’t okay with that.

 

Even my best friend of about 13 years didn’t like my reality when she saw it. Yes I wore the mask for her too…. afraid I’d be alone if the reality of how I felt was known. I wasn’t being deliberately two-faced though. I knew no other way. I’m the person who got up after a BCG injection, gave a smile and said ‘thank you very much’. I’ve always wanted to be polite and to not make people feel uncomfortable. I don’t want to worry people or upset them, or bring them down. I’ve always felt like a burden. The fear of disappointing people or putting them out is the only thing that’s stopped me putting myself in hospital. The three times I’ve needed treatment were horrible for me emotionally. I felt so ashamed and guilty. But since the last two times – two years ago nearly – I’ve never really improved mentally. I have however become better at hiding things to some extent… usually until the point I explode. I’ve become more volatile…. unpredictable… unstable in my behaviour – because I’m trying to pretend to be better than I am, because I know nobody cares how I really am… but it’s harder to do now, so I very quickly slip into my ‘episodes’.

 

But it’s something I have noticed before – if you post about achievements despite your illness, or you talk about progress, people like it and encourage you. But if you say you’re not doing so well they give you a wide berth. Well they do with me for some reason. I notice they don’t with many other people. That’s why I think it’s personal against me specifically … being ignored is seriously increasing my paranoia… which makes me more ill… which makes people stay away even more. It’s a vicious circle.

 

We were taught about vicious circles in therapy, and about breaking them. The only way I can break my vicious circle is to miraculously not be mentally ill anymore! To not be traumatised! To pretend to be okay! I cannot and should not have to do this. People should care. And even if I did pretend to be okay now, it’s too late – these people will never be my friends. They’ve seen too much of me falling apart. The people in my life now will not want to know me anymore. It’s ruined. For good.

 

So I’m going to have to leave them all behind. I don’t see any of them begging me to stay in their lives. I won’t be missed. I’m alone anyway, so it won’t make any difference to me. I’ve been talking into a void for the last few months, with nobody noticing or replying to me, so I’ll keep talking to myself, like every sane and rational person does!

 

I don’t think any of these people I considered to be my friends will ever understand just how embarrassing and humiliating it has been to have such a public breakdown… to not be able to contain it…. to lose control of it and for it all to unravel and get worse and worse, and no matter what you say or do you cannot make it better again…. they don’t know what it’s like to feel like they’re all standing there watching me drown, and they’re not even considering reaching out a hand to save me. I think they’re willing me to drown. Alone. And that’s what I will do now.

 

I have a choice… I can choose these people, who don’t talk to me and don’t appear to care about me as a friend, or I can choose blogging. They’ve made my decision easier. I choose blogging. It may have caused a fuck-load of damage, but given there’s nothing left now – I’m so far down this path now I might as well keep going, these people aren’t here for me, the damage is done, I can never imagine liking myself again, let alone them liking me again, and the only one that’s ever been there for me, besides my friend who killed herself three months ago, is this damn blog. I choose the fucking blog.

 

Maybe one day my life will start afresh… with people who haven’t seen what a total freak I am…. people who care…. people who include me….. people who never leave me feeling I might as well be dead….. but then pigs might fly! I don’t see that happening. I don’t see anything other than blackness, screaming, pain and death. Nothing can undo these past few months. I can’t forget what I’ve experienced with people. And they won’t forget what they’ve witnessed in me. So there’s no hope of recovering anything that’s come before. The only hope I have, which I honestly can’t see at this point, is to build myself up as a new person, with new relationships. But this illness will always be a part of me. I fear I will never survive in this ‘social’ world as long as I have this illness. The pain is too much to bear. And I will never rid myself of the memories and scars of the past couple of years. You cannot escape the past. And my past will be the death of me.

 

 

 

 

Am I Broken?

I had a serious meltdown on Monday night and as a result made my blog private, and decided not to blog anymore. I was severely hurt. I have since decided not to let anyone shut down my voice. Yes I may change my manner of blogging if possible, but I’m only speaking my truth. Mental illness has become my life this year, not by choice. It’s been a battle to survive. My blog is my way of explaining my thought processes and the challenges I face with this illness. Nothing is ever done maliciously. I simply say things as I see them, from the perspective of having a mental illness and experiencing a mental breakdown. You see the world completely differently during a breakdown. I think you’d all acknowledge that. I report on what I’m experiencing and what my perception of reality is – not to hurt anyone, but rather to explain why I act the way I do… to explain that I’m paranoid and believing things that may not be true. If people take offence at that then it shows a lack of interest in even trying to understand my illness and how I feel. The aim has always been to explain so as not to be misunderstood, and so that people know why I’m behaving how I am, and at times this has failed epically and left me even more misunderstood. But this is a failing on the part of those who refuse to try and understand. I’ve tried to make people understand, if they still can’t then unfortunately it’s not my problem.

 

I have decided to continue my blog, as those with a mental illness know where I’m coming from and what I’m saying – and that after all is the whole purpose of this blog. That and challenging stigma – and what I have faced recently is stigma in my opinion.

 

Before the thing that caused my breakdown on Monday night I had been at the theatre at a comedy show…. I had intended to write about it when I got home, as it was the most peculiar experience I’ve had lately, but I got distracted by even worse things…

 

But anyway, I was anxious about going to this show, as I hardly go out anymore –  especially to anything big like that. I went with a family member. I had already felt reluctant about going, as I’ve had such a horrible year and my mental health is that bad that I felt I wouldn’t enjoy it. To some degree I was right…

 

It was hard to understand what he was saying, as he speaks so fast, with an accent too… so I missed a fair few bits. I also have a back problem, so found it difficult to sit for a long time. By the break I was desperate to stand up…. so the second half was particularly painful, I still couldn’t always hear him… and then he brought up Brexit. He lost me after that. I don’t find it amusing to laugh at and attack something I voted for which politicians are on the cusp of betraying. I don’t like lefty luvvies making fun of my vote for entertainment purposes or their own virtue-signalling purposes. So, I kind of switched off at that point, and no matter how hard I tried after that to reconnect, I couldn’t find anything he said funny enough to laugh at it.

 

I became very aware that I was sat in a room full of hundreds of people laughing their heads off, and I felt very disconnected from it all. It’s like I was there but not a part of it. I kept trying to get myself to focus on the show and the jokes, but my mind had already wandered off. And my illness had taken over.

 

I felt like I was broken. Faulty. Damaged. I started thinking all these things I’ve planned for next year – if I’m this ill I’m not going to enjoy them. I don’t feel able to enjoy anything anymore. Even when I went and saw the fireworks at the start of the month, I felt detached. Walking to see them, alongside everyone else making their way there, I thought ‘It can’t be fireworks again already… it doesn’t feel like that time of year’. Probably because I have hidden away for most of the year so missed a lot of the seasons…. I can’t believe it’s Christmas again in a month… the second one without my granddad. I don’t feel in that sort of spirit because of my mental health, the problems I’m having and because the year has just disappeared. I’m going to try and make the best of Christmas, in that I want it to be a peaceful Christmas.

 

But I feel so disconnected from life that even fun events feel like ‘going through the motions’ and pretending. I don’t get the same joy from them at the moment. So I went away from it having not enjoyed it, not finding it that funny, and feeling very pensive. I thought there was only one thing that could finish off the day in style – a horrible message from someone…. sure as hell that’s what I got when I got home 11.30pm. Then the proverbial hit the fan and I ended up on the phone to the Samaritans at 1am.

 

I won’t say any more about that in this post. This is more about that feeling of being disconnected from the world around you – it’s something I’ve felt all year to some degree. It has only got worse over time. My family are real. But any interactions outside of that don’t feel real. Anything that happens around me is as though it’s happening whilst I’m in an invisible bubble, just watching. I even hear myself saying words and sometimes don’t feel I’m in control of saying them.

 

I don’t laugh at things the same. At home I might, but not elsewhere. I feel I can’t let go of everything that’s happened in the last couple of years…. I can’t just let go and have fun anymore. I’ve spent most days suicidal. It’s hard to truly experience the feelings of happiness and enjoyment when you’re still in that state of mind. Will I ever find things funny again? Will I ever be able to genuinely smile and enjoy being around people again? Will I ever live one day like a normal person and not secretly be wanting to end my own life? It doesn’t feel like it.

 

Monday evening was when I realised how broken and ill I am. I was later attacked by someone who refuses to understand that illness. So I have to put myself first, understand my own illness and not beat myself up for having it.  I don’t know how to connect with the world around me anymore… I’m not sure the way out of that. My first priority has to be to try and get the help I need – the understanding, support and validation. I’m not an expert in breakdowns and how to recover from them. So I have to be patient with myself and as people would say to me, take it a day at a time. I only hope people can show more compassion and understanding than I received the other night, whilst I live in this hell. It’s scary to not feel part of life, to be in so much pain and not want to exist anymore. To not feel in control of your own mind and body sometimes. It’s embarrassing to have people witness your mental breakdown, fearing they will judge you for it and leave you. Trying to rebuild your life whilst wanting to die is so hard. And I’m grateful to those who understand and who have stuck by my side and not held my illness against me.

 

I shall continue writing, as a step on my long journey to hopefully getting well again one day. If my truth offends people then I’m sorry. But I’m only sharing my relatively new experience of paranoia and trauma, and living with this illness is more painful for me than sharing my truth could ever be for you.

 

 

xxxx

 

 

Believe It Or Not…

*Language & self-harm*

 

 

Believe it or not those with a mental illness can have fun, enjoy things in life, smile and laugh… whilst still having the illness and suffering with it daily. 

 

Something which was said to me recently was when I told people at work that I was going to a gig next year – I managed to get front row seats to see my favourite band on their comeback tour…. and I had someone say to me ‘What gets me is you can do that yet….’, as if to say if I can go to a gig why am I struggling with other things? My answer to that was simple – I won’t eat all day! My anxiety will be that high that I feel sick and can’t eat until I get home after midnight. This is usual for me. I can go to a concert, a show or other big event and though you may not see it, I struggle. I am anxious. But for instance this gig next year is to see a band I supported for half of my life – I love them and I have to be there – therefore, as a one-off occasion I will suffer the emotions that come with it.

 

I went to a gig last year, to see one of the members on a solo tour….. I was anxious and upset the whole time because of something that happened. I kept a face on generally and when I got home, I burst into tears and roared the house down. It was a bad experience for me. Just because you see me out doing these things, apparently ‘confident’ or having fun it doesn’t mean you know what’s going on for me. My mental health was awful at that time – I’d recently had my breakdown at therapy. I still went. I think the only thing I’ve done since is go to a comedy show – that was good. It’s nice to be able to go out and laugh and feel part of something.

 

There almost seems to be this rule that if you’re mentally ill you have to look miserable and a nervous wreck all the time. And you have to stay home, unable to leave the house. I’ll have you know that’s what I’ve done most of this year. My illness does make it hard to leave the house. It makes it hard to leave my room or put clothes on, or anything! So any times I go out should be celebrated. I shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for going out and having much-needed fun. These sorts of events are needed for me at the moment, to give me things to look forward to and to stick around for, because most of the time I don’t want to live anymore. In some ways even seeing this band next year is not enough incentive to stay alive. But at least it’s something. I have a number of things I’ve got booked in for next year. And yes, some of them I am going to alone. Don’t think this is easy for me to do. It’s not. I’m dreading it. I’m trying not to think of it actually. But I will get through it as I have before. The reason I’m going alone is because I have been socially isolated this year… completely. So I had to make a choice… if I want to go to these things I have to go alone. It’s as simple as that. I made the decision and regretted it immediately afterwards. But I don’t have to think about those things right now.

 

On the days I can put on my mask you will see me in a work setting, joining in with the banter, laughing, chatting to customers…. it’s an act… to fit into society. I can’t show my reality for fear society will reject me. That is why I am not able to be in that work setting at the moment, because I’m unable to wear that mask. Who knows where I’ll be next year. I hope to feel better by then. I don’t see it happening.

 

I have a comedy show next week. I’m going with one of my parents, as I have done most things with them this year – they’re pretty much all I have, and are my rocks. I’m hoping laughing will do me some good. But I know it won’t solve the issues I have to deal with. Does this mean I shouldn’t get to go to something in the hope of a little relief from the suffering I endure every day of my life? After the gig I went to last year and other experiences, I’m concerned something will go wrong and ruin the experience. But I just have to go with the flow.

 

All throughout my illness people may have seen me laughing, chatting, messing around. Some of it an act… some of it me actually letting go and forgetting my illness for a while – which is nice! Does that mean I’m not ill and don’t have difficulties? No. Everyone is allowed to have fun and be happy and still have a serious illness. We shouldn’t live in fear that if we act normal or express contentment or enjoyment for a moment, that people will question the validity of our claims of illness…. but this is how I feel a lot of the time.  And this thinking keeps you stuck, not getting better because you never allow yourself to feel good. The worry is that people will see you laughing and think you’re not struggling anymore, leaving you misunderstood. But at the same time that is the mask people wear in order to be accepted… which means we feel ‘accepted’ but never understood … this is a big problem for me… although lately I feel neither understood nor accepted!

 

Believe it or not, people with a mental illness can also have strong opinions… and stand up for themselves…. and still have that illness. Just this morning I expressed my view online, and a troll decided to tell me ‘nobody cares!’ – I bit right back, saying that’s how I felt about their opinion, told them to have a nice day and muted them…. an outsider might think ‘Wow, strong…. she doesn’t care and won’t put up with any shit…. surely she can’t have anxiety or BPD like she claims’….. forget the fact that straight after that I harmed myself in one of the worst ways I ever have. Forget that it’s made me reluctant to say anything else. Forget that I had instant palpitations caused by this sod. Forget that it completely triggered me, because all this year my feeling has been that ‘nobody cares’ about me whatsoever…. friends, mental health services…. bloody government!! I’ve written about this several times this year.

 

But my response will usually imply I’m stronger than I am, because I was bullied all my life and I don’t believe in remaining silent, being made to feel like shit. I also don’t believe in worsening a situation to the point that I want to die instead of just cut. I believe in a curt response, putting the person in their place and then blocking them and moving on. I would have been able to do this had the troll not found my Achilles’ heel – feeling like nobody cares what I think or feel and I should be ignored. These nasty shitholes do a lot of damage to me, but fuck it, I’m allowed opinions. And I’m allowed to defend myself against bullies. This does not mean I’m not ill.

 

So often I have to weigh up my mental health and my RIGHT to say what I feel about things. It’s not right that it should be this way. I should be allowed to express myself without idiots jumping on my posts and attacking me, therefore worsening my mental health. Nobody NEEDS to respond to people they disagree with. I didn’t even say anything controversial. I was just telling my MP I won’t be voting for her again. What fucking business is it of that moron to tell me nobody cares?? You disagree, fine. Write your own post of support for the MP. This is the trouble I have with those with opposing political views to mine – they all think they’re entitled to explanations from us, and they can’t control their impulse to argue with everything and everyone they disagree with. Whereas we tend to let people have their views. I’ve never jumped on someone for their views. I had this with a friend a year or two ago (I say friend, I mean acquaintance) – she would always pounce on my posts, trying to appear ‘right’… but I never did the same to her. I let her have her views on her profile unchallenged, because I believe in freedom of speech but more importantly I believe in decency and manners. If I disagreed with something she said I would make my own post about the matter, separately, rather than trying to put her views down. But she didn’t do the same. So many on her side seem like that. Why can’t people just state their opinions independently without feeling the need to put others down?

 

Believe it or not those with a mental illness can be quite knowledgeable about their illness and still be ill. We can know what our issues are (which seems quite useful as professionals don’t seem to know how to help us anymore and ask us what help we want!!). We might know we’re experiencing paranoia, therefore knowing that the thoughts aren’t based on reality, but that doesn’t mean we can turn it off. I’ve experienced intense paranoia this year… I’m aware that it could be paranoia… I stated it and I wasn’t proved wrong, so actually in my mind it wasn’t paranoia now… but others would view it as untrue therefore paranoia. All I knew was they were obsessive thoughts that I couldn’t get over no matter how hard I tried. Knowing it’s paranoia doesn’t help. And it doesn’t mean I’m not experiencing paranoia.

 

It’s been years since I had it suggested that I had BPD / EUPD. I didn’t want the diagnosis when it was on offer, as my CPN made me feel there’s a lot of stigma around it. But in all those years since then I’ve had a lot of time to accept that it explains my experiences, so even without the official diagnosis I accept it, and have educated myself about my own illness. I know which of my behaviours and thinking patterns are problematic. Does this mean I can necessarily do anything to change them, without help? No. Awareness… insight….it doesn’t mean the illness is a choice. It doesn’t mean you have the answers. And even if you do have the answers it doesn’t mean you know what they are or how to access them even. I might know the level of help I need with an illness like this… I might be able to talk eloquently about what I’m going through… this may make some think I don’t have a problem in reality, as I’m not so bad that I can’t express what’s happening or what I need, but awareness and the ability to discuss my illness does not lessen the grip it has on my life. It doesn’t make it easier to deal with. In fact it’s worse…. to know what’s wrong with you… to know you need help and not be able to get it. To understand when you’re ‘splitting’ or engaging in self-destructive actions, but to be unable to stop and choose a different course, when people would expect you to be ‘smart enough’ to not make those choices. The illness is still real and has control over me… no matter how much I know about it.

 

So I might be opinionated. I might know a lot about my illness. I might go out and have fun sometimes. It doesn’t mean I’m cured. The path to recovery is long… and if every little step along the way is viewed by others as a leap and a sign of no longer being ill, this will lead to unrealistic expectations on me which will send me spiralling backwards. I am trying to survive. I can’t honestly say at this moment I am trying to get better. But I’m trying to endure the hell I live in. Most days it’s not a life worth living. There aren’t many good things in my life, so when I create them for myself this should be seen as an intent to keep striving for recovery, or at least a determination to endure the pain for longer. I should be allowed to have fun or speak my mind without fear of people questioning the reality of my illness.

 

Even things I enjoy, I also struggle with. Things aren’t always as they seem with mental illness. Often you can’t see it… that’s why so much stigma exists. And when doubts are thrown at us about the true extent of our illness, because of the things we CAN do, it is invalidating and makes us feel accused of making it up. I don’t know about you but I can say for certain, I don’t fake being ill …  I fake being well …  just so I can try and fit in and ‘get better’ for real. I realise how self-damaging this is now, as people expect more from me than I can give. That’s why I’ve pulled away from everything. I can no longer pretend to be well. But I promise you this – if you see me out and about either in the work setting or at an event, I will have my mask and smile on and chat as though nothing’s wrong…. it’s habit. It’s not easy to give up when you’ve been conditioned to appear positive around others. Just know there’s more going on underneath than you could ever know.

 

 

 

Understanding Suicide.

Suicide Understanding

 

 

I had wanted to get this post finished and published on Monday, as it was World Suicide Prevention Day… but in a way I’m glad I failed to meet that deadline, as why should there be just one day to ‘prevent suicide’ or to talk about suicide? Awareness days are all well and good, but I’d prefer it if we were more open all the time, about our struggles. We can help each other feel less alone, and perhaps give each other hope. We don’t need one day to do that. People weren’t just considering suicide or acting on those thoughts on Monday… every day people are contemplating ending it all. Right now people are paying serious thought to their place in existence… they need us to keep the conversation going today, tomorrow and every tomorrow after it. If people only care for one day, and can’t keep going day after day, how can we expect people to keep living day after day, when they’re in such turmoil and distress? We cannot expect people to keep going if the support and understanding doesn’t also keep going. So here’s what I wanted to say about suicide…. it’s rather long, as I don’t speak about it often… goes without saying, be careful reading it, due to the subject matter……

 

……………

 

I don’t have all the facts and figures on suicide, like many others put out there on World Suicide Prevention Day. All I have is an insight into the thoughts and feelings that would lead someone to feel that desperate as to choose to end their life. Until now I have never attempted to take my own life. I have considered it – sometimes just in passing as I walk past something that could be ‘a means’… sometimes more thought out… actually putting myself in the situation where I could make that decision. 6th December last year was the first time I really couldn’t see me being able to carry on, and it was the first time I phoned the Samaritans. I didn’t know what to expect but there was a gentle, caring sounding woman on the other end of the phone, who helped me through that desperate night. And the next day I shared with my family how bad things were. That was a low point in my life and I really couldn’t bear living anymore. There have been these moments I’ve seriously considered suicide. But until now at least, I have chosen the endless painful torment that is life.

 

But in more recent times my mind has become so much darker and more desperate, that it has sought comfort in the notion of death. Suicide plagues my thoughts. Every day lately I consider the way I could do it. I think what would be the quickest way… the most certain way… the least distressing or inconvenient for other people. You see, I’m still at that point where I can think of the people who would find me. When you reach that point where you choose death, there really is no room left for anything else. The mind and soul have been swamped by darkness and decayed hope. I’ve never been there, but I have heard from people who have, and I know enough to know that if I don’t get help soon, I will be faced with that reality myself. I’m close enough to it, to know that it takes over the mind to the point that not much else can fit in.

 

I know, because although I am thinking about the people who would have to witness it or find me, and I wouldn’t want to traumatise them, I also know that the pain I’m enduring is too strong and too much to bear, and in the end that will trump everything else. There will come a time when I put myself first and everything else will go out the window.

 

People think of suicide as a selfish act. I want to say a couple of things on this – yes…. I can understand the argument that it is selfish, and if that is the case then I can also understand why people still make that choice. I myself have been staying alive for my family now for the last few years. They are the only thing keeping me going right now. I am putting their feelings ahead of my own need to be free of this pain. I have had selfish people destroy my life and then claim I was selfish for being upset about it. All my life my needs and my wishes have come second (not to family though). So much so that I think of myself as ‘selfish’ whenever I take some time for myself and focus on self-care, or when I’m not there for my friends or family. When your self-worth is that low because you’ve had to stuff your needs down all your life, and then when it all becomes too much to bear inside, and you choose to put your needs first and end your suffering, people call you ‘selfish’… that is wrong. You have no idea what that person has gone through, and how very much the opposite to selfish they have been, to  have held on so long, for you. I understand that people will always view suicide as ‘selfish’. In some ways I could even agree that it is. That is not to say people are bad for opting for it. It is not to say they shouldn’t be allowed to make that choice for themselves. And it’s not to say it is EVER done with a selfish intent. Which brings me to my second point…

 

Suicide, whilst perceived by others as ‘selfish’ is often viewed by the person themselves as a selfless act. Many people who reach such a crisis point as to want to end their own lives, very often feel like a burden to those around them. They feel like a terrible person… a nuisance. Some feel invisible and don’t think anyone would notice or care if they died. But some actively think that others will be better off without them. It might not make sense to a calm, positive and rational mind – you might say ‘there is ALWAYS someone who cares about you’… but you don’t know other people’s circumstances. You may think that someone has a loving family, a network of friends, a happy relationship… and those people themselves may think that they communicate their love, care, appreciation and support – but it doesn’t mean it is being received by the person in crisis.

 

For instance, in the last few months I’ve had to cope basically on my own. None of my friends would know that the other friends weren’t there for me either, and that I’ve had to cope alone. I sometimes get messages saying ‘You know I’m here for you’… as if it’s a given. But sometimes when in crisis, everything goes out the window. If people think ‘Well they know how I feel about them… they know I care… it goes without saying’ and therefore don’t communicate it to us, we feel as though we’re totally alone and uncared for. Just telling each other what we mean to one another may be the thing that saves someone from suicide. You can’t expect people to just know how you feel about them.

 

Even if people DO feel loved and appreciated, sometimes it’s still not enough to save someone from the demons in their mind. Sometimes love isn’t enough. To live with a constant enemy inside you, ripping your soul apart from the inside, every single day, it’s exhausting, and eventually everyone reaches their limit. If they don’t have the right support, which is quite common nowadays in this country, and there’s nowhere to turn, some will choose to take matters into their own hands. It doesn’t mean they don’t love you. I think that’s what many people feel when a loved one ‘chooses death over’ them. Unless you know the endless torment of mental illness, you’ll never know how someone could choose to end it. It is not personal. It’s not about you. It’s something deeper and more complex than you could imagine…. an inner demon that’s taken control of the wheel. Someone could have every good reason to live and still want to die, because they are haunted by this sickness of the mind that robs them of all light and hope.

 

And one last point on the idea of ‘selfishness’ and suicide. I cannot count how many times I have seen comments on local news stories, where roads have been closed due to ‘an incident’, as in someone contemplating suicide… and these comments are always the same…. of ‘inconvenience’  … it’s the same with trains, when someone has ended their life on the tracks, and people are blurting it straight out about how selfish it was, and how they’re going to be late for XYZ, or they’ll miss the football, or whatever… my message to those sorts of people is this… I understand your frustration. Perhaps XYZ was important to you. Perhaps you frequently encounter this problem and you’ve had enough of it. But no matter what your annoyance is, be thankful that you get to go home to your loved ones. Be thankful that you have just had enough of being held up by people on the tracks. Those people on the tracks had enough of life, and ended it. They won’t be returning home to their loved ones… those loved ones will be grieving tonight, and for the rest of their lives. Be grateful that you don’t understand the desperation and torment that leads someone to end their life.

 

It shocks me when I see those sorts of comments or hear them from people. You always hear the ‘Why don’t they just go off somewhere private and do it quietly?’ thing, which shows the utter heartlessness of people, and makes me question the goodness of humanity. But I understand these are people never touched by suicide or mental illness. They would be horrified to learn it was a friend or family member who ‘inconvenienced’ them by ending their life. But because it’s a stranger they think it’s okay to be callous about their life. Some people will go off and die quietly, as you wish them to, others will see an opportunity and take any means possible to be gone. I know you won’t like this, but some people actually want to be saved. They want to be stopped. They feel suicidal but they really don’t want to die, and they’re scared that it will happen.

 

I have had times when I’d fantasise about a particular way of doing it, and a great part of that fantasy was people trying to stop me and help me. I wanted to know my life was worth saving. I wanted to get the help I need. It’s not about getting attention. It’s reaching a crisis point and not knowing where to turn or what to do. It’s needing more help than is available to you. It’s needing to feel you’re worth saving. Being protected and rescued. To have someone hear and see your pain, and take it seriously and save you from yourself.

 

Suicide is a tragedy. And people sit at home on their computer, or on their phone, writing about the inconvenience of ‘jumpers’. How it disrupts their lives. No humanity. No compassion. Just pure selfishness. That is the true face of ‘selfish’. Not the person in such distress they cannot live anymore, but the people who do not know that pain and suffering and whinge about being late. Selfishness is people making someone feel so bad about themselves or so alone, that they no longer want to live in this world and see suicide as their only option. And people calling it the ‘easy way out’ … ‘the coward’s way out’… when they don’t know what they’re talking about. There is nothing ‘easy’ about choosing to take your own life. It takes a lot of ‘resilience’ and being worn down by life to reach that point. It takes a heck of a lot of inner conflict, backwards and forwards between just wanting peace, but not wanting to hurt anyone else. Nobody makes that choice easily. And even people who don’t want to live life anymore will feel scared of dying.

 

I don’t promote suicide. I simply say that I understand it and I am against people attacking this highly taboo subject, forcing more people into silent suffering. I want people to know that I understand the agony that leads to those thoughts and those places, because I’ve been at least three quarters of the way there, and that’s enough to know the hell you’d be in, to make that final decision. It’s a decision I wish people didn’t make. I wish they didn’t have to make it. I wish that life could be kinder to those people and they could defeat their demons, in life. I want people to hold on and fight against this illness that’s telling them to leave this life. Too many good souls are lost because of suicide… because of the conditions that lead to suicide…

 

Suicide is very often the final symptom of a mental illness. Just as death is the final symptom of a terminal cancer. I know you might argue that point, saying that cancer robs a person of their life, whereas suicide is a person throwing their life away. But the reality is that those who reach that point of suicide most likely feel their illness has robbed them of their life. Suicidal thoughts and self-harm can be symptoms of many mental illnesses. I know matters of the mind are harder to understand than physical illnesses, but they’re no different. Mental illnesses have symptoms, which are not the fault of the one suffering them. We would trade lives with someone in a heartbeat, if it meant having hope and a life worth living. I would give anything to not be experiencing sickening paranoia, isolation, abandonment, self-destructive urges, self-harm, splitting on people and the world, daily suicidal thoughts, hopelessness and flashbacks to every painful thing that’s ever happened. I would love to trust people. I would love my mind to be quiet for once. It is so jam-packed with the noises of memories, worries, made-up scenarios, paranoid thoughts, negative self-narrative, and the silent scream for me to just end it all. I have no room in my head for anything else. It’s already overcrowded. I want a bit of peace and quiet. Nobody chooses their symptoms, or their illness.

 

I take medication. I am still waiting to hear from the mental health services, just for the initial assessment! My world has shut down around me. I am isolated. Nobody knows the depth of my suffering. Suicidal feelings are hard for me to share with others – it’s pretty much the only symptom I don’t talk about in real life with people, for fear of their reactions. I don’t want to upset anyone, or alarm them. But I know I’m going to have to find the courage to discuss it at some point soon, and I just hope I have a calm, validating reaction when I do finally speak up. Silence around suicide is a big risk factor. A lot of the time people have no idea someone feels like ending their life, until they’re gone. They don’t see the warning signs. The signs are there. The world is just too busy and people are caught up in their own lives to notice them…

 

Signs of suicidality include:

 

  • Talking about / being preoccupied with death and suicide.
  • Increased self-harming behaviour.
  • Withdrawing / isolating.
  • Feeling trapped or hopeless.
  • Giving away possessions.
  • Being unable to concentrate / feeling restless.
  • Agitation / irritation.
  • Changes in personality / mood.
  • A calm / positive burst after continuous deep depression – this is often as the person is resolved to ending things… it brings them peace to know an end is near.
  • Engaging more in risky behaviours.
  • Changes in sleeping / eating habits.
  • Talk of feeling like a burden.
  • Negative view of self / life / the world.
  • Saying goodbye to people / making confessions.

 

I think the biggest signs for people ought to be that the person talks and writes about death and suicide more. I think there’s this myth that if it’s being talked about it’s not going to happen. This is wrong. I have talked about ending it for the last eight months or so. Admittedly I haven’t done anything yet. But what concerns me is the silence on the other end. People could see me talking about wanting to die, and had nothing to say to me. My take on that is that they don’t honestly believe I will do something. But me talking about it  was me reaching out for help, so that I wouldn’t do it. The trouble is eventually you stop talking about it. You go silent. And then if you were to follow it through, those same people who heard you talk about it for months would bleat out the same line – ‘Why didn’t she say anything?’ … ‘I had no idea she felt that bad’. The warning signs are there. And talking about suicidal feelings has to be one of the most blindingly obvious signs that someone is considering ending their life. Yet it’s often ignored as a ‘threat’ or ‘attention-seeking’. People talking about suicide is your chance to save them from it. So please don’t ignore someone as ‘crying wolf’ if they say they don’t want to live anymore. One day you’ll regret ignoring this sign.

 

Personally, my self-harm has got worse. I have withdrawn from everyone and I’m isolating myself. I feel trapped and worthless… completely hopeless. I don’t see a future for me. My concentration isn’t that great right now. It’s taken me a long time to write this post. I wanted it posted yesterday as well, but I had awful anxiety yesterday which only felt worse when writing this. I always feel like a burden. There’s not much good left that I see in me, life or the world and the people in it. And I am in the process of writing / saying things for people to know when I’m not here anymore. I’ve set it as my goal to stay alive long enough to document certain things, and to tell people the truth about my feelings and events. In the last few months I actually wrote ‘a note’. It didn’t become anything. I don’t know where it’s gone or what I said in it. But I’ve definitely gone to some extremely dark places this year. Right now I’m advised to take it minute by minute, so that’s what I intend to do. Everything feels broken and ruined beyond repair. But I have to just limp on and not worry about the big picture at the moment. I have to focus on me and getting through each minute. But I do so, with very heavy and intrusive thoughts of suicide.

 

But you wouldn’t think it to look at me. If you saw me I would be trying my hardest to wear a smile, even if that smile doesn’t touch my eyes I’ll be trying my hardest to force it to.

 

The whole thing with mental illness and suicide, is you never know when you’re standing next to someone or talking to someone, who wishes they were dead, or who has plans this evening to end their life. Suicide is a silent killer, often known about too late. We need to be able to speak out about how we’re feeling, and we need to have it taken seriously. If we’re speaking out about wanting to end our own lives, we’re scared, and we want to feel safe, loved and supported. It’s not easy to talk about suicide, so if we do it, please listen.

 

 

Whenever I used to be asked about suicidal thoughts by mental health professionals, I would say that I thought about it, but would never do anything about it. This was because I was afraid of their reaction. I was afraid of the doors it might open (or close). I was worried it would result in lectures, or even abandonment. The truth is I never felt completely safe from the possibility of actually doing something. And as time has gone on I have become less certain of what I’m capable of. After self-harming at therapy last year, which is something I never thought would’ve happened – I never thought I’d have been caught self-harming – I now don’t know what the limits are for me. I can’t honestly say that I wouldn’t do something. Would I admit this to a mental health professional? I don’t really know. Because I have a fear of the unknown. And I don’t know what lies beyond honesty about suicidal intent.

 

I feel certain at this point that it’s the direction my life is heading in. I see no future. I see no light or hope.

 

But let me clear something else up. I don’t want to die. I want to not want to die. I want a reason to live. I want a life. I want that life to bring me happiness, make me feel loved and important. I want people to treat me well. I want to matter. I want life to give me a break. I want to be able to cope with the world. I want more joy and love. I want to forget my past and dream of a future, that isn’t suicide. I don’t want to end my life. I want to end my pain.

 

This is the thing about suicide. Most people just want the pain to stop. They want the inner turmoil to mute. They want to heal. They want to kill the demon they carry with them everywhere they go. They want to be free of what weighs them down. This is how I feel. If life was different… better… I’d want to be a part of it. But at this point in time, the pull of ‘peace’ is greater than the pull of ‘life’. I don’t want to die. I want life to be better. I want to erase my memories. I want to not live in emotional pain every day. But when you are at this point, you feel there is nothing you can do to change the way your life is. You can’t make people treat you the way you wish they did. You can’t turn back time. You can’t forget everything you’ve been through. You can’t create your own breaks in life. You can’t create joy and love by yourself. You can’t make yourself matter to other people. You feel powerless. You can’t change your circumstances. But you can make a choice as to whether to live with those circumstances. And unfortunately that is why many people choose suicide. They see no other option.

 

People speak of the fear of being sectioned, for admitting suicidal ideation.  I would fear this too, having never been sectioned. In some ways a part of me would welcome it. A great part of me right now wants to be kept safe from myself. But the fear of the unknown doesn’t give me that choice. So I have to keep pushing on, in the hope that my regard for my family’s feelings will overpower the overpowering wish to make everything stop. But nothing feels certain anymore. It’s no longer a given that I won’t do anything. And that scares me. This year has seen the worst decline in my mental health I’ve ever known. I’m no longer who I once was. The self-destructive part of me is running the show now, and I’m afraid of my own mind.

 

People don’t just wake up one morning and think ‘Hey, I’ll kill myself’ for no reason. It happens slowly… days, weeks, months, years of endless sadness, pain and depression… until one day it feels like the only option left.

 

Please don’t be so quick to judge suffering you couldn’t understand. There’s so much more going on underneath a person than you will ever know. Try to understand what someone has been through, before thinking of them as selfish or weak. Be there for them. Help them want to live again. Push for support for them. Don’t give up on them, as they’ve given up on themselves. And listen to them – allow them to talk to you about their suicidal feelings. Remain calm and caring. Validate how they feel and why they feel that way, but show your commitment to helping them continue with life. One suicide is one too many. It’s important we talk about our feelings. It’s more important that others listen.

 

If you’re feeling suicidal or struggling with your mental health then please try and seek help – I know it’s hard to come by now, but don’t suffer in silence. And give the Samaritans a call (or your national suicide helpline)… it might not fix everything, as the pain you feel cannot be cured overnight. But I hope they can give you the encouragement to see another day.

 

We’re in this together. You’re not alone in feeling the way you do. I understand how you feel. I’m going to keep trying, one minute at a time, and I hope that if I can do it, you can find the will to do it too. I know it’s hell and pure darkness, but all we can do is survive and pray the light will return in time. And I believe it will. I have to.

 

Take care of yourselves.

xxxx

Is My Blog Doing ‘More Harm Than Good’?

 

I always wanted this blog to be a ray of hope for people with mental illness. I wanted it to speak to those who feel they’re alone with their illness. My main topic was BPD along with self-harm, and I wanted this to be a resource for those who don’t know much about BPD. I wanted to dispel some of the myths. I wanted to educate. I wanted it to be informative and hopeful for those in the process of learning about their illness.

 

I find myself at a point where I’m questioning if my blog is fulfilling its purpose. I’m sure every blogger is plagued by doubts at some point…. they think ‘Is there any point to this blog?’ … ‘Is it helping anyone, or just making them feel worse?’ … ‘Does anyone read it?’ … ‘How does it compare with others?’ … and many other questions. But I really have started to wonder whether my blog itself is doing ‘more harm than good’.

 

I’ve always been told this is my space, and I should share my feelings and be myself. It’s just not what this blog was set up for. When I first started it was explaining BPD, challenging the myths, describing the snowball effect, ‘episodes’, splitting, transference etc… but lately it’s become a venting space.

 

This is because unfortunately life has taken a downwards turn. Add to that the fact I’ve had no support, other than closest family. So I’ve had nobody to talk things through with. My blog has become a sort of ‘online journal’. It’s become a personal rant and place to explore my thoughts and feelings. Surely nobody cares about those

 

It’s become my way of expressing myself and communicating that I’m not okay. It doesn’t help OTHER PEOPLE. Also a lot of my posts recently have been rather negative, and I don’t feel this will help others to feel positive or hopeful. I know some would say it’s ‘showing the reality of mental illness’… yes, I agree it does. But my blog has become a documentation of the deterioration of my mental health. I want to be a story of success and hope, like others. I want to be uplifting and tell others ‘Look, if I can beat this, so can you!’…

 

My experience of mental illness has been that people will talk to you, interact with you and include you, as long as you’re ‘getting better’. As soon as they see someone breaking down and getting worse, they distance themselves. They abandon you. They avoid talking to you. This is something I’ve witnessed among friends and acquaintances. Whilst I was being positive and talking of ‘kicking mental illness’ arse’, they’re there cheering you on… as soon as you say life sucks, things are getting worse, you don’t want to live anymore… they disappear. They’re silent. You’re alone. This is something I’m going to write about separately soon. But the fact I’ve experienced this in my own life, makes me concerned my blog is going off the rails.

 

  • Do people only support you as a blogger if you’re ‘on the up’?
  • Does the fall into negativity and despair send your readers running in the other direction?
  • Have you ever found your blog going in a different direction than originally intended?
  • And when reading mental health blogs, are you after information, are you after a hopeful recovery story, or are you after the raw, often painful reality of mental illness, that you can either learn from or identify with…? 

 

Feel free to chip in with your answers to any of those questions. I’m having an existential crisis with this blog at the moment! Not sure which direction to go in right now. I know there are things I want to write about – sometimes they’re overridden by personal rants, depending on what life throws at me. As much as this is my space, I want it to be useful to other people too and certainly don’t want to make people feel worse…. I’ll have to have a think about the future of this blog.

 

Do you have any thoughts? Let me know…

 

 

 

Stigma: All’s Fair In Love & War… And Politics Apparently.

“My self-worth is not linked to your cruel words and actions.My self-esteem is not affected by your deliberate attempts to destroy my character.You have no power over me.You will not s

 

 

*Bad language & self-harm*

 

 

To the woman (I assume) who attacked my personality the other night…

 

This was going to be a post about people like yourself, who have a habit of diagnosing those you don’t agree with, with mental illnesses. I had collected evidence from the last few months of just that, where people said President Trump has Borderline Personality Disorder. I wanted to tackle the stigma that people like you are spreading with your uneducated opinions. But after the way you spoke to me the other night, I’m addressing you as an individual.

 

I never challenge things online. For reasons such as you. It took a lot for me to pluck up the courage to speak up. But I couldn’t see such lies about BPD being spread. You were saying that BPD is a ‘personality defect’ and ‘not curable’. You are wrong on both counts. I felt I had a duty to say something. I naively thought you looked like a decent person, and might be welcoming of new ideas. I thought you might be a reasonable person…. boy was I wrong! I’ve encountered some nasty people in my life – it’s why I am the way I am…. but you are by far the worst of all the people I’ve had the displeasure of conversing with.

 

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Your responses to me were full of sarcasm, attitude, anger and false accusations. You are a spiteful bully and a narcissist. You talked to me of ‘projection’ – projecting your own projection onto me … which is ironic, as that’s a part of being a narcissist – the same thing you actually mean when you talk about Trump. The thing you’re confusing with BPD. I was trying to educate you on the difference. It’s not my fault you’re a closed-minded bigot. You actually were trying to ‘gas-light’ me as well, by saying ‘you WERE absolutely asking me to have compassion for Trump supporters’ – that’s another narcissistic tactic, to try and create doubt in my mind about what I said and what I meant… to change the narrative to make yourself look better…. it’s either gas-lighting or you’re just dumb and didn’t read what I said at all. Maybe your understanding of the English language is below par.

 

I most certainly was NOT asking you to have compassion for Trump supporters, I was saying people should have more compassion for those with a mental illness, and since Trump supporters do not have this mental illness of BPD, I was NOT asking you to feel compassionate towards THEM. I was asking you to have more respect for those with the mental illness. They don’t have it. Trump doesn’t have it. You just hate him. I could easily claim that YOU and your lot have a mental illness…. I’d probably be closer to the truth with that too, as you seem totally deranged in your fanatical hatred of Republicans. But the truth is your lot also don’t have a mental illness…. you just have different opinions to Republicans… and those of you who seem crazy and show all your bad qualities are not mentally ill, you are just unpleasant people!!! You see? People have different opinions. Just because they don’t fit with yours, and you can’t accept that Trump is the President, it doesn’t mean that he and those who put him in power, have a mental illness… but I would seriously consider whether you have one….

 

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The way you went on the attack, and were so unreasonable causes me concern. It’s not normal to behave that way. Yes I was challenging something you said, but I did so respectfully, with goodwill. I was not rude to you, I didn’t swear, I wasn’t provocative, so I don’t know what your problem is. I think you are so livid with the result of your election, and hate Republicans and Trump that much that you swipe at anyone who isn’t as livid about it as you. You’d probably take a swipe at a Democrat who has even one ounce of reason or acceptance of things. You need something to control your rage. You are behaving worse than you are accusing others of being! You try and give off this sense that Democrats (just like Remain voters) are better people than those who won the vote…. but you show from the way you speak of them, and your violent, aggressive, hateful and divisive nature that you are in fact MUCH worse as people.

 

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I wasn’t trying to ‘shame’ you by saying ‘the likes of you’ – that’s a wild interpretation of a set of words…. those words simply meant ‘people like yourself’ i.e. you and others who feel the same as you…. but Twitter has a character limit, so ‘the likes of you’ fitted in better! Deary me if you’re offended by that… ! It was actually a way of not singling you out – not being so confrontational as saying ‘something that YOU are fortunate to not understand’ – for fuck’s sake, if my trying to not be confrontational made you angry then you need help! I honestly don’t see the offence in my words. However calling me an ‘arrogant know-it-all’ IS bloody offensive and I reported you for it and all your subsequent tweets.

 

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You also said that you’ll rush out and get a psych degree so you don’t insult ‘people who have no compassion or interest in other humans’….. First of all it doesn’t take having a psych degree to know how to be kind to people. I don’t have one, and I manage just fine. Most people I know don’t have such a degree yet know how to be a decent person. It’s not hard… though you obviously think otherwise!  Second of all you talk about these people who have no compassion or interest in other humans, yet you prove that you have no interest in how other people feel, no interest in changing your behaviour and wording so as not to hurt other people, and you have no compassion for mentally ill human beings…. I think this sentence tells everyone all they need to know about you.

 

You said to ‘whine at someone who cares’… you made it perfectly clear you are not a caring sort of person. You made yourself sound like a teenager having a strop. I’m shocked to discover you’re actually in your late sixties! Your behaviour does not reflect this in the slightest. I’d have thought you would know better how to be respectful of others. Clearly not. You said I was just ‘pretending to be on the high road’, simply because you recognised I was on the high road, and you wanted to drag me down from it.

 

You are a little bit delusional and dramatic if you think your country is crumbling around you… your own little world where you get your own way may be crumbling around you, but I don’t think things are all that bad. They’d be a damn slight better if you started accepting things the way they are. You’d find more peace. But you clearly enjoy conflict above all else. The ‘assholes causing it’ are probably those unwilling to accept the result two years on, as it is here. I respect you don’t like Trump, you don’t agree with the result, but calling his supporters ‘assholes’ won’t change anything. It won’t get you anywhere, and will only breed anger and division. You should calm down.

 

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You say I jumped into what was an obvious political discussion – yes, I did, because you were incorporating MENTAL ILLNESS in that political discussion, and my whole point was that was uncalled for. If it was solely political that’s different – when you bring mental illness into a political discussion it suddenly changes from a political discussion, to a political and mental health discussion. You don’t dictate what is allowed to be discussed henceforth. It’s indecent of you to label someone as ‘borderline’ simply because you don’t like them. Only I was saying it in a nicer way. But I’ll be straight now, and say – it’s a bitchy thing to do, and makes you a very nasty and uneducated person. You are adding to stigma and should be ashamed of yourself. There. Said it. I’ll speak your language, rather than trying to be polite about things… being polite and thinking through my responses still ended up with me being spat at anyway. At one point in our discussion I actually typed in the words ‘To use language you understand – fuck you!’… but deleted it, because I’m not that person. But actually after what you were like, and what it did to me… yeah… fuck you.

 

I wasn’t ‘lecturing you’, I was hoping it might guide you, inform you, enlighten you, and I was making sure people newly diagnosed with BPD know there is hope and that it doesn’t mean their personality is flawed. But you’re a closed-minded moron, so nothing will get through your thick skull. As for ‘think what you like’ – I realised I was talking to the thickest of walls, so your opinion is your opinion, feel free to think it…. but it doesn’t mean you’re right. Still makes you a bitch. Still makes you nasty and a bit of a sociopath to be honest, but keep doing it, whatever works for you….. Again, character limit.

 

But do you know what I noticed? I noticed that you picked apart every innocent word I said, and turned it into either an ‘insult’ or me being ‘above you’ i.e. ‘arrogant’. You read into words that mean nothing. You are either highly paranoid and need help with it. Or you recognised that actually I was right, and you felt bad, so had to attack me to feel better about yourself…. but since I was not offensive to you, you had to try and find some fault in the wording I used, to make it look like an attack on YOU – that is fucked up mate.

 

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I’ll tell you how you were being offensive – calling me an arrogant know-it-all. You called me arrogant twice. You don’t fucking know me mate. Anyone who knows me would tell you how polar opposite I am to that. You’re the arrogant one. There’s some projection going on with you I think ‘deary’. Patronising bitch. Fuck you. You only WISH you were on a high horse. You were on the ground, and losing ground, so you were wildly, viciously clawing at me, to make sure I was no better than you. You were trying to get a rise out of me. I managed to stay calm through most of it. My heart was all over the place. But I waited for it to calm down before responding. I wish I hadn’t given you as much as I did, because you will use that as ‘evidence about people with BPD being a certain way’. You’re wrong. Anyone would have reacted how I did when provoked. Of course your side of the story would be that I provoked YOU. That I baited you and then played the victim. But if you can’t take a little questioning of your spreading of misinformation on something quite important actually, and your ego is too big to be ‘challenged’, then I’m glad I did it. Because people like you need taking down a peg or two. You think too much of yourself. You think you’re right, and anything else is wrong. That much is evident from things you said to me, but also on your timeline. I simply made a comment in defence of those with BPD – that was not baiting you. It may be what you read into it, but it didn’t require a response, especially in the manner you responded. And you continued it even after I explained and tried to defuse your aggression.

 

The fact is you knew I had BPD, and yet continued to lash out at me and hurt me. This either shows the FACT that you don’t know anything about BPD, and that therefore you should not cause such hurt to someone… though given your opinions about Republicans I’m wondering why you would think anything other than ‘I shouldn’t cause hurt to anyone whoever they are’ – as you think you’re so noble and morally superior….. Or it shows that you’re a psychopath and a narcissist and you take joy in making people like me cut themselves. Because that’s what I did. Repeatedly. Violently.

 

You were fucking offensive and aggressive, and you tried to excuse that by insisting that I don’t know you and called you ‘the likes of you’…. in what world is that even offensive? If you want offensive then read this bloody letter. I’d agree it’s offensive. I’d also say it’s true though from what I’ve witnessed with you and how you made me feel. I’m rightly angry about your bullying nature – this is the reaction to that. Your response was totally uncalled for, and out of proportion with what I was even saying. That’s because you’re so caught up in your hate-filled bubble about Trump, that you perceive everything as an ‘attack’…. you see everyone as ‘the enemy’ unless they agree with you 100%. What I said was not in the slightest bit offensive. And you people wonder why you get called ‘snowflakes’! Seriously. I don’t call people that, but being offended by a general term of ‘the likes of you’ – meaning ‘you and others similar to yourself’ is very snowflake-ish. How anything can be inferred about your character from those words I don’t know. But calling me arrogant is an offence against my character. There’s no mistaking what you meant by your words. So that’s how you were offensive. I notice you deleted that tweet soon after… did it reflect badly on you?

 

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I don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation with anyone so vile as you. There was one who I used to know who was offensive and resorted to personal insults, when they couldn’t bring me down any other way. But actually even she pales into insignificance next to you. You do your side of the political debate no favours. I don’t actually give a fuck about American politics. I don’t give a fuck whether I SHOULD give a fuck about American politics. I believe in democracy, acceptance and just bloody well getting on with it. But you have shown Democrats to be vile, deranged bullies. I’m quite upset that I also at the moment think badly of Americans. I know I will get over that, because there are lots of lovely American people, but you do them no favours by behaving in the way that you have.

 

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I’ve seen too much evidence of Americans attacking Trump and sometimes his supporters, saying they all have BPD. This is unacceptable. Nobody can diagnose someone from their armchair. Even medical professionals who say they think he’s got it, cannot and should not do that. You cannot diagnose someone unless you are qualified to do so, and have met them in person and evaluated their mental health. You cannot decide who has what mental illness. If you want to call him a narcissist that’s different, because you’re not referring to the illness of NPD, you’re just talking about his nature, if that’s how you perceive it. People can be narcissistic without having the personality disorder. But I don’t get why you can’t just state the fact you hate the guy, hate everything he says, everything he does, everything he stands for, and will never accept him as President, full-stop. Why bring mental illness into it?

 

Does it make you feel powerful or something? That would be my guess from reading such posts. It gives off an air of ‘I’m better than you – I’m more sane than you…. you’re a crazy person…. you have a mental illness…. your “crazy” is showing’. It seems like you’re all doing it to make you feel better about yourselves. Can you not see what is wrong with that mentality? To put people with mental illness down, to make you feel better…. to use a mental illness as a way of insulting someone you don’t like….. to imply that someone is incapable of doing a job because of a supposed mental illness…. you are stigmatising and discriminating against those with mental health problems. And when you attack one, you attack all. Even though in your mind you’re possibly thinking ‘Depression and anxiety are “good” mental illnesses…. BPD is one of the “bad” ones’. You are still discriminating against those with mental illness. Would you do the same with those physically disabled? Would you use their personal circumstances to make you feel better?

 

“No one would ever say that someone with a broken arm or a broken leg is less than a whole person, but people say that or imply that all the time about people with mental illness.”

 

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I would hope that most of those throwing ‘BPD’ at Trump would in reality have compassion for those with such a mental illness. I’d like to believe that people still have their humanity. That if faced with a loved one with such an illness, they would be caring, compassionate and understanding, and defend their loved ones against harmful words like this. Either I’m wrong, and they honestly think those with BPD or mental illnesses are the scum of the Earth, in which case may they live long enough to experience such a mental illness themselves and face such stigma. OR I’m right and they do care about people with mental illness, and are just being foolish in posting such shit online. Maybe they don’t comprehend the damage they’re doing….

 

Trump is a controversial character. People love him or hate him. The hate is toxic. WRONGLY diagnosing him with BPD, and listing incorrect symptoms of BPD to back-up that false diagnosis, will cause trouble for those of us with BPD. When people hear about our BPD they will think of Trump, if these opinions are allowed to circulate unchallenged. Trump does not have BPD… not the recognisable diagnosable version of it. I realise I am equally unqualified to say he doesn’t have it, as I’m not his therapist – but the point is he would have to be assessed by a professional to be given a diagnosis, and I feel I know a fair bit about my own illness, to know what the symptoms are, and what they are not. People say he meets all the criteria. This cannot be assumed. How does anyone know how he feels about himself? About abandonment? Does he self-harm? Is he suicidal? Does he feel empty? How would anyone but a personal psychiatrist / therapist know any of that?

 

People seem to be basing this apparent ‘diagnosis’ on possible anger outbursts – which EVERYONE is capable of… doesn’t mean they all have a personality disorder; on ‘impulsive’ decisions he’s made; on ‘narcissism’ which they believe is a symptom of BPD; apparently ‘pathological lying’ which they claim is a symptom of BPD too – news to me! They talk about his BPD and how he’s self-absorbed, thinks he’s always right. They claim projection and triangulation (playing people off against each other), and gas-lighting are symptoms of BPD… these are all symptoms of NPD, and the two should not be confused! I feel convinced that knowledge of the different personality disorders varies in America from in the UK. I’ve often witnessed people lumping all ‘Cluster B’ personality disorders in together, as though they’re all the same. They’re not. There may be a little overlap between the disorders, but they are different. People have claimed that those with BPD lack empathy, therefore Trump has BPD. What bullshit is this?! Anyone who’s reading this and has BPD knows what a lie this is – we have an abundance of empathy… so much that it actually hurts when others are hurting… we are able to read the emotions of others. We wouldn’t hurt or reject other people because we know too well how it feels, to be hurt and rejected by others.

 

“With ignorance comes fear- from fear comes bigotry. Education is the key to acceptance.”

 

 

Everything they say about BPD is wrong. Some even refer to it as a ‘narcissistic borderline personality disorder‘ – there’s no such thing… it’s one or the other. I shouldn’t be too bothered, as they’re only showing their ignorance… but it’s sad that so many speak of something they know nothing about, and those words they speak are damaging and dangerous for people who already suffer a great deal. These people all paint a picture of people with BPD being ‘monsters’. If they only knew the reality they’d feel ashamed of vilifying us. People with BPD are some of the loveliest, kindest, most caring, loyal, funny, creative, generous, loving, understanding people – a damn slight nicer than those who insult them! Whilst people are painting the image of us as people who abuse others, we are in fact more likely to be the VICTIMS of abuse ourselves.

 

This woman who attacked me said that BPD is a ‘sad personality defect’. She is so wrong. Ignorance and the unwillingness to learn from your mistakes, and attack people instead is a ‘sad personality defect’. A stubbornness and arrogance. That’s what I would refer to as a ‘defect’. BPD is not a flawed personality, as we all know. We know about the movement to change the name, as it doesn’t reflect the meaning. It’s not about our personality at all. It is about our emotions, our difficulty regulating them, and how we relate to the world. It’s about how we cope with our emotions. People labelling Trump and followers with it are implying it’s who we are, there’s no cure, we don’t even accept there’s a problem (NPD), and that negative character traits = personality disorder. It doesn’t. Everyone has less than desirable traits – it doesn’t mean they all have a personality disorder. People like this woman for instance… she demonstrated many undesirable qualities in just a few short tweets…. do I therefore diagnose her with a personality disorder? Whilst the temptation may be ‘yes!’ because I’m angry with her, and appalled at her behaviour, there is no reason for me to diagnose her with any mental illness, including a personality disorder. She’s just an arsehole.

 

People can hate Trump. I have no issue with that. I don’t think people should be so offensive towards those who support him and voted for him…. I think these people need to become familiar with ‘live and let live‘… accept a difference of opinion and move on. But let’s just say for a moment that I don’t even care if people hate Trump voters too….. People can say what they like about Trump, the situation, the voters…. they can say they hate him, he’s a prick, his supporters are idiots, they detest their country now, their lives are ruined forever… whatever…. but mental illness? Come on! They’re ‘free’ to say what they like about that too, as we have freedom of speech still, for now, but I want those people to realise it makes them look like not very decent people. A lot of people in the world are trying to be more open about their mental health struggles, and battle the stigma, and such ignorance and hatred – trying to get people to hate those they deem to have a mental illness, is just so backward-thinking. So they can’t use mental illness as an insult, and then claim they have the moral high-ground politically.

 

Insults are the last resort of insecure people with a crumbling position trying to appear confident in their dumb decisions.

 

 

My question to those people would be – Would you speak about BPD in this manner if you weren’t associating it with Trump? Forget Trump is President… rewind a few years…. would you spread such vile opinions about a mental illness like BPD? Or are you just doing it to have a go at Trump and make yourselves feel better because you lost? If you would still do it then shame on you…. there’s no hope for you ever changing probably… though it would be nice if you could properly educate yourself about mental illness (note: this does not require going to university and getting a ‘psych degree’ – read a book…. read blogs…. listen to people who have BPD!). If you’re only doing it because it’s Trump then think. Be better than this. Don’t let your hatred of Trump and Republicans turn you into ill-informed, ignorant, insensitive arseholes.

 

I know nobody likes to admit they’re wrong about something. A part of me would be concerned that I honestly upset and embarrassed this woman the other day, and that she was just refusing to admit a mistake. But to be frank I think she’s just a bitter, angry woman, who loves hurting people and putting them down to make herself feel more powerful. I’ve met one or two of them in my life.

 

I hate people trying to paint me as some sort of villain when I’m trying to do something good in the world. I’m not a nasty person (I know you might think so from this post, but this is the releasing of emotions stirred up by a bully)… I don’t like confrontation. I hate conflict. I think the scars on my arms would tell you as much. I’m a peaceful person. I’m quiet and reserved by nature. And my only aim in what I said was to help people who have BPD… to defend them against such vicious lies. To stand up for what’s right. To stand up for those of us with this illness, who feel we have no voice a lot of the time. To try and educate people to stop the stigma. This woman has a fixed idea in her head what BPD is all about. She has demonised us and will never change her stance. Upon hearing that I am one of those with this illness, she obviously decided what sort of person I was and treated me in relation to her beliefs about people like us. This is her problem not mine. She got me all wrong. She misunderstood me as a person… she misunderstood my intentions, my illness, my words. She invented insults out of what I said. She interpreted what I said and tried to tell me what I said / meant, when only I know what was meant… she thought she knew my mind better than I do. She doesn’t know anything but her own mind. I think she lives in her little bubble of hatred… she’s blind to all else. The trouble is though, once someone like this makes up their mind about you, there’s no persuading them otherwise. She’d decided I was a villain, just like Trump and his supporters – I didn’t even have to be a Trump supporter myself to incur her wrath. Once I’d been put in that category there was no coming out of it. I could’ve been the sweetest person on Earth to her, and she would insist I was doing it to wind her up, and to pretend I was better than her.

 

This is what’s known as a ‘superiority complex’. It’s something that’s fascinated me in our politics too, where Labour voters perceive Conservatives to be ‘above them’… ‘looking down on them’…. ‘posh, rich snobs with no idea of real problems’. These attitudes are in themselves ‘snobbish’. Labour voters sneer at Conservatives and call them ‘Tory scum’, to put them down and make themselves feel superior. They claim to be morally superior to hide the fact they  FEEL inferior. The important thing to note is that they’re not actually inferior. And Conservatives DON’T think they’re better than them. This is why it’s called ‘a complex’. They feel inferior, so try to appear superior. Conservatives don’t look down their noses on Labour voters… certainly not for the reasons they think. More recently I’m sure a great many do, but simply because of the behaviour of Labour voters – the same sort of behaviour I witnessed from this woman. When people act like that, you do start to feel like you’re ‘better than them’, and ‘above such behaviour’. You do start to feel morally superior…. and in that way what people with a superiority complex do, is cause the very behaviour they’re afraid of… It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

As someone with BPD I take on the negative things people think and say about me, as though they’re true. This comes from not feeling certain of who I am – I often split on myself, and go from thinking I’m a good person, to thinking I’m a terrible person. And words like ‘arrogant know-it-all’ scar me. They go into my negativity memory bank, for a rainy day when I’m hating myself. They will replay now forever. In a rational, more positive mind though, I know how wrong she is about that. I know I have the qualities of my granddad, and he was gentle, reserved, quiet and a good person who worried and cared about other people.

 

That was all I was doing by my tweet… worrying how those with BPD would feel. Standing up for them. Challenging stigma. If that makes me ‘arrogant’ in someone’s view, then so be it. I think it’s better to defend and explain a mental illness than to demonise it. I just chose the wrong sort of person to do that with. She wants to remain ignorant. I will continue to fight stigma where I can, but I will stay far away from anti-Trump fanatics from now on. They’re not reasonable people. And I’m not strong enough to cope with them.

 

Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all.

Said by the husband of who that woman would
have supported in the elections. How ironic.