Tag Archives: voices

23:02 – Another week already…

5 Aug

And so, another week has begun. It’s Monday night and I’ve had a relatively quiet day just spent indoors mostly besides a few walks with the dogs. I’ve been feeling extremely close to self harming a lot today although I’ve stayed on top of it and haven’t acted on it (yet). There’s several reasons for this but I’m not really in the mood to talk about them at the moment (a lot of them tie in with Berry whose still bursting into fits of giggles), so I’ll talk about my weekly line up instead…

Tomorrow I’m taking my Mum for a belated birthday lunch (it was her birthday last week but this is the first day she’s had off work) and I’m feeling a little bit anxious about it. I suggested going to a nice little village I’ve been to a couple of times recently with best friend. It takes about 45 minutes to get there and the scenery is absolutely beautiful but it’s a big challenge to all of the agoraphobic symptoms. Even though the rational part of my head says that I’ve done it before so I can do it again, this will be the furthest I’ve travelled with my Mum for a long time. But she has been so good to me and I’ve been saving up for a few weeks so I could take her to a really nice (but pretty expensive) restaurant that sits right next to the water. It gets excellent reviews so I’m sure the food will be lovely but again that is another big test to me – both being far away from home AND having to sit and wait until food arrives, fight the anxiety off enough so that I can get an appetite to eat, sit and make conversation for an hour or so, take a wander around the little row of shops, then finally come back home. I’m going to leave the dogs at home so that I can use them as an excuse to get back home for. I don’t like leaving them for any longer than 3 or 4 hours by themselves so that will give us enough time to get there, have our lunch, look at the shops and get home.

On Wednesday I’m going to try and get an appointment with lovely GP. That will be almost a week since seeing new psychiatrist so I’m assuming he will have got a letter to her by Wednesday stating what medication changes have to take place. Going on Wednesday means it will be exactly two weeks before I’d be due another monthly prescription so that should work out quite well – it will give me two weeks of adjusting to the higher dose of Mirtazapine as well as seeing how I tolerate the Pregabalin. Then I can go back and see her two weeks later when I’m due my monthly prescription and we can decide if I’m happy with the new med adjustments or if I want to change anything. I have to admit I’m feeling a bit very apprehensive about adding a new medication into the mix. I know I’ve chopped and changed and increased and reduced a shit load of meds over the years but I’m always a bit phobic of them to begin with, convinced they are going to give me tonnes of side effects and leave me in such a state of panic that no med in my emergency stash will be able to calm me down from. I don’t know whether to just add on the 15mg to my Mirtazapine and take the full 45mg at bedtime – I currently take the 30mg all at bedtime, and I figure that way I can hopefully sleep off any side effects. As for the Pregabalin I don’t know if I should add that into the bedtime cocktail or take it in the morning. I pretty much take all of my meds at night to try and sleep off some of the zombieness that accompanies them. I guess lovely GP can recommend the best way to take them seeing as new psychiatrist didn’t bother his arse *rolls eyes*… So anyways, that is Wednesday’s plan.

Thursday I have an appointment with lovely support worker at rape crisis and I think that now we can maybe start getting back on track and doing the ‘work’ that I’m supposed to be doing there. Due to me not getting in touch with CPN#2 for so long, some of my appointments with support worker have turned into mental health type stuff and that’s not really what I’m there to talk to her about.

But Friday I have an appointment to go back and see CPN#2 so I’m going to dig out that compassionate mind stuff she posted out to me and make sure I read at least the first chapter before our appointment so I can at least sound as though I’m trying (even if I do think it all sounds a load of bullshit deep down).

So that’s my week ahead… exciting times eh?!

I want to try and get to sleep early tonight so meds have been taken and as soon as I finish rambling on here I’m getting straight into my pyjamas. I never know which is worse – wake up early and have time to get organised, mentally prepare myself for the anxiety I know I’ll soon be feeling, take some Diazepam, take lots of deep breaths, kinda ‘psyche’ myself up to it if you like. Or is it easier when I sleep in late, have to jump up and have a shower, get dressed, dry my hair, walk the dogs, feed the dogs, run out the door chucking some Diazepam down my throat – all of which done within 30 minutes of opening my eyes. Is it easier to take the time to mentally prepare or is it easier to just throw yourself in, very much at the deep end? I don’t know which is the best method, both have been tried and failed, both have been tried and worked. Sometimes I think the best way is just not to plan anything, that way you can never be disappointed in yourself. I try and tell myself I’m just going out for a while, just going to spend time with my mum or best friend or whomever, that I’ll be back home soon, there’s no need to panic, but sometimes the panic just laughs straight in my face then sucks me in, sends me crazy, then spits me back out as a quivering anxious wreck…

OK, on that note I’ll say goodnight. Fingers crossed that tomorrow won’t be too anxiety provoking and maybe I’ll even manage to have a nice time and enjoy spending a few hours just Mum and me. I want her to have a nice day so I really need my panic to behave itself and stay well away hidden in the background if only for a few hours.

Goodnight folks! x

17:10 – Pregabalin (Lyrica) for anxiety… anyone?

1 Aug

Sorry I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks, to be honest my head has been all over the place and I’ve been spending almost all my time self isolating recently. I still haven’t seen CPN#2 but I finally found some courage and phoned to request another appointment. I was only on the phone to her for about three minutes and all she talked about was how it would be beneficial if I could at least read the first chapter of the Compassionate Mind/Compassion Focused Therapy workbook thingy before I see her again. She said this is to prepare me for doing structured work with the psychologist but I have to admit I just sat here rolling my eyes thinking “what a load of bull” as she spoke. Anyway I said I would try and read some of it and the first appointment she could offer me won’t be until the 9th of August, so next Friday.

She didn’t ask why I haven’t been in touch with her for the best part of ten weeks; I did try to apologise but she just said “that’s your decision whether or not you want help” which kinda left me feeling like she thinks I’m not arsed about getting help from them. Of course there are some days when I’m not arsed, equally there are other days where I know that whether I like it or not I have to try this therapy stuff and just see what happens with it. The one thing that did confuse me though was the way she said I was working with her to prepare me for working with the psychologist – does this mean that when the psychologist finally starts working with me again that I’ll no longer have a CPN? I don’t know. It kinda sounded that way though. To be honest I obviously don’t feel much benefit from seeing her or I wouldn’t have let the past couple of months pass without getting in contact with her. So maybe that question answers itself.

Moving along to today and it was my second appointment with the new psychiatrist. I haven’t been sleeping great lately and looked like shit (felt like shit too with the combination of extreme tiredness and a bucket load of anxiety). My support worker came along to it with me which was a massive help because I felt more confident in talking about the points I raised with him in the letter I sent after meeting him for the first time. I told him about my concerns over stopping taking the daily Diazepam and how I understood that I cannot stay on it long term but at the moment it is doing something to help me and if he takes that away then there is nothing in it’s place to help me cope with the agoraphobic related anxiety and to a degree, social anxiety. I told him I’d also spoken to my GP about this whole coming off of the Diazepam stuff and how she agreed with me that it made much more sense for me to start the Compassionate Mind stuff and at least start learning the basics before withdrawing what is essentially my safety blanket. He didn’t say anything, in fact he barely looked at me. He scribbled some notes down and made the same comment as last time “you are only scared to withdraw from it because you are addicted” – well if I am addicted it’s the fucking fault of my old psychiatrist for leaving me on them for almost three years!!!

He asked about my social life (what social life??) and I told him I had been self isolating a lot lately and I told him I missed a few days of medication (twice) in the past couple of weeks and how disappointed it made me to realise that the voices were still there underneath the elastoplast band aid also known as Quetiapine.

I didn’t like my old psychiatrist much, I admit that, but at least he gave appointments that lasted around an hour not fifteen minutes. He would ask me about the voices, what they were saying, how they made me feel, how they affected me, what I thought they wanted, etc. But this new guy? He didn’t ask a single question.  He skimmed over my medications again then said he would agree to leave my Diazepam dose at the current level of 16mg a day for three more months before I have to start withdrawing and leave my Quetiapine at 750mg a day but he then said that he thought I was experiencing low moods and wanted to increase something to help me (Quetiapine is already maxed out) so he asked me if I’d like to move up from 30mg Mirtazapine a day to 45mg a day. I said I’d give it a go.

Then he said something which surprised me a little – he asked if I wanted something for the anxiety that I could take on a longer basis than any benzodiazapine? I asked him what he had in mind and the medication he recommended was Pregabalin. I told him I’d never heard of it before and he simply said just to try it and if I didn’t like it then I didn’t need to take it. This was another thing that annoyed me – the old psychiatrist would have taken five or ten minutes to explain what type of drug it was, what possible side effects there could be and answer any questions I had about it. This new psychiatrist, however, offered no information at all and simply told me to go to my GP next week and get a prescription for it, as well as for the extra dose of mirtazapine.

Of course as soon as I got home the first thing I did was consult Dr. Google about what the fuck Pregabalin actually is. It seems that it’s primarily a medicine for epilepsy, an anti-convulsant, which is also used for neuropathic pain (conditions like Fibromyalgia) but the more I read the more articles I came across for it also being an effective treatment for anxiety. I’m not sure what dose he is starting me on, I’m pretty sure he said 75mg but from all the reading I’ve done this afternoon it seems like most people need at least one if not two or three increases as a lot of people say it seems to lose effect after a while.

I’m apprehensive about trying it but if they are determined to wean me off the Diazepam starting October/November time then at least it gives a good period of time for the Pregabalin to build up in my system. I think the withdrawal off the Diazepam is going to take several months and I can’t lie, of course I would much rather stay on it, but I know I can’t, so if the Pregabalin works then that would be super.

I’m still experiencing bursts of laughter, uncontrollable giggles, and silly childish remarks off and on from little Berry but the voice of Sasha has well and truly gone. However I am still struggling a lot with urges to self harm. I’m on top of it at the moment but things do feel a lot like they are sliding backwards a lot of the time. Oh, that reminds me, I actually asked the new psychiatrist if he thought the voice hearing had come back almost like a rebound psychosis because I suddenly stopped taking my medications for a few days and he didn’t even answer me! I actually found him to be a little bit rude because I was talking about something personal and instead of listening to me he started writing me out another appointment card. At the moment I rate his communication skills as poor, his ability to display empathy or understanding as non-existent, and his 15 minute appointment sessions are just a joke. I know GP’s are limited to about 10 minute appointments but the ones with the psychiatrist are supposed to be anywhere from 30-60 minutes. Grrr.

I thought that by writing him a letter and explaining everything it would be beneficial to both him and me but now it sort of feels like a waste of time. Even though he wrote a short letter back thanking me and saying he understands my mental health better now. I don’t even think he remembered the letter until I mentioned it and even then I saw him flicking through my notes and speedily reading through it. Unfortunately I live in such a rural area that he is the ONLY psychiatrist I can see. I am very thankful that we have the NHS in the UK and receive free healthcare treatment but sometimes it’s extremely frustrating when you have to work with people who you feel no benefit from seeing but you carry on going to the appointments anyway because you know that if you don’t then you just won’t have a CPN/Psychiatrist/CMHT.

I think I have rambled on enough now but it would be great to hear from anyone who has tried Pregabalin for anxiety purposes (I believe it’s called Lyrica for my friends across the pond) and what you’re experiences of it have been – good or bad!

For now, I suppose I had better try and face the outside world and go buy some dinner for me and the doggies. Hope you’re all well xx

15:14 – Silenced by Quetiapine

18 Jul

Just after writing my last post my phone started to ring. It was a friend.

Somewhere in the conversation I decided to tell friend about the voices coming back and about the lack of medication taken recently. I failed to mention the experimentations of the magical potions that have played a part in the recent weeks. I haven’t taken any magical potions since Saturday and have absolutely no intentions of taking any more, not after all the sickness that went alongside the magic.

Anyway…. friend was concerned about the skipping medications stuff and made me promise to take my medications immediately. I took them there and then whilst on the phone. After that, friend asked why I hadn’t been taking my medications?

I explained part of me doesn’t feel like I need them and part of me just genuinely forgets. I told friend I was sad that by missing a few days medication the voices had returned and I had thought that after all this time the medications might have killed them all permanently. But they are still there. Just stop the medications for a few days and out of nowhere they are back.

I told friend that I felt very much like self harming because I think that is what it will take to make Sasha shut up, as all she seems to want is to see me punished in some way or another. She has a certain commanding tone about her.

Friend told me if I didn’t take my medications I would end up very ill and mentioned the big scary H word (hospital).

I argued I would never go back to that place.

Friend told me in a firm and rational manner exactly what would happen: I would end up self harming badly and end up in A&E. The nurses would ask why I did it. I would tell them I did it because either Sasha told me/encouraged me to or mention something about Berry giggling all the time. The nurses would think I need to speak to a mental type person about this and then find out I’ve not been in touch with CPN#2 in like 8 weeks. This could lead to them making the decision that I either must: stay with someone and have them keep an eye on me and make sure I take my meds – or – a stay in the bin for as long as is deemed necessary.

So since that conversation on Tuesday I’ve taken Tuesdays, Wednesdays and this morning (Thursday) medications correctly.

There have been no magical potions added in. No magical potions touched since Saturday.

My head has started to quieten down. Berry has now stopped giggling so much. I don’t know if that’s good or bad as there was something about little Berry I kinda liked. I don’t know if the medications will make her disappear or if she’ll be stronger than them and stick around.

The only bit of noise in my head is Sasha. She is still here and continues to offer me ‘warnings’ that I should listen to and take seriously. She frightens me a little bit as she has an element of control about her and I don’t take too well to things being taken out of my control. I thought at first that Sasha was Berry’s mother but now I’m not so sure. Neither of them are constant, they don’t get into conversations with me, they don’t answer my questions, I can’t see them I can only hear them… they just appear when they fucking want to tell me something/several things then disappear again.

What saddens me is the realisation that even the maximum dosage of Quetiapine is just a band aid/elastoplast. As soon as that band aid is taken away my head goes straight back to that place of hearing all sorts of weird and wonderful things. And some pretty awful things. The voices haven’t really gone away they are just silenced by the Quetiapine. Even after all this time, deep down they are still there. Even when I’m not hearing them it’s purely because the Quetiapine is silencing them.

And that makes me pretty sad.

I can cope with little snippets from Sasha and the occasional giggle from Berry but no way could I cope with full time, full on, constant head noise again. But underneath it all… it’s all still there.

16:03 – Magical potions and much sickness

16 Jul

When I last wrote it was late on Friday night. I spoke a bit in my last post about some recent stupid and risky behaviours but didn’t want to go into any detail. I still don’t want to go into detail but I will say that on Saturday morning Berry kept giggling while I was getting dressed, giggling inside my head that I was going to be in “biggg trouble” that night when Sasha found out. She was confusing me, I’d only just got up and there she was wittering away that I was going to be in some sort of trouble when we got to the evening. I laughed back at her and told her not to try and be so smart, I wasn’t going to do anything on Saturday to get myself into any trouble, I was/had been behaving myself for the previous few days and it was going to stay that way.

I was wrong.

I tried to do good and be big and brave and with copious amounts of medications floating around inside me I braved it to go with best friend to McDonalds. It took about three hours to get there and back as it’s like 60 miles away from us. So yeah, it was around 8.30pm when we got back home. See that’s how big and brave I was being, like fuck you agoraphobia I *will* medicate myself to the eyeballs and beat you… So by the time we got back I was in no fit state to do anything but come home and laze on the sofa full of sedative and anxiety meds. My head was quiet. I felt a little bit nauseous from the mix of tablets and the food I’d eaten and I was really sleepy. I should have just let my eyes close and drifted off to sleep but I lay here flicking through TV channels for ages. I took my bedtime medication around 11pm then just as I was going through to bed my phone started ringing. I looked to see who it was. It was him. Why was he phoning me? I told him a few days ago that all of the stupid risky behaviours were stopping again, I’d just needed to dip my toes back into that pond for a few days but I’d stopped again. I was behaving and being sensible. The phone rang out to voicemail but he kept calling over and over and over again. I tried sending a text to say I couldn’t answer and asked what was wrong, he text back saying he had something that I would want. I told him I didn’t want anything bad. He replied it was the opposite of bad, it was “fucking amazing”.

So I didn’t know what to do, I was lying on top of the bed ready to go to sleep, it was around midnight, I was still all doped up on medications, everything was nice and peaceful. I told myself to be strong and just ignore his texts, put my phone on silent and closed my eyes. Then fucking *boom* Sasha is in my head telling me she’ll make me pay the price if I do the bad thing, that she doesn’t want Berry to see me doing that crazy shit. So then I get angry and am having an internal argument with Sasha – who the fuck is she anyway? who does she think she is just making herself at home inside my head… Another thirty minutes or so passed and I lay there getting more and more agitated. I text him back. I’d get dressed and go meet him.

It was dark but not cold, it was kinda nice to have a bit of breeze in the air, I could feel my heart racing with some sort of trepidation I guess. Berry was having fits of the giggles in my head but not saying any actual words. I walked past people moving between pubs and then finally saw him walking towards me. We walked together until we reached a house. He told me to stay outside and sit on a wall and he disappeared. Sasha had been getting louder and now I was sitting alone I could hear her properly, she was telling me how she would make me pay for this. Berry was completely silent – in fact I didn’t hear anything other than laughter from Berry again until this morning when she started up a conversation about wanting me to take her to a zoo – all whilst I was lying in the dentist chair having a filling put in. Anyway, back to Saturday night/early hours of Sunday morning. I sat on the wall for about ten minutes and then he re-appeared and we walked back to his place. He gave me my magic potion and I carried on walking back to mine alone.

By the time I get back home it’s just after 2am and I sit here with my magic potion inside of me, feeling warm and happy and at ease with the world. Well I felt like that for all of ten minutes before I felt my legs pulling my body upright and quickly running to the bathroom. I then spent the remainder of the night, all day Sunday and all day Monday projectile vomiting. Every so often Sasha would make little disapproving remarks and told me that she had warned me I would pay the price if I made any more mistakes and boy was she right. 48 hours or so of non-stop vomiting was definitely punishment from her and the occasional giggles from Berry just wound me up even though I knew she was only laughing because she saw me getting into trouble from Sasha. So yes, I made another mistake on Saturday night, but I paid the price for it and only today (Tuesday) have I managed to keep a little bit of food down. I’ve only been sick once today and I’ve been up for about seven hours now so I think my body is starting to heal now. Definitely no more magic potions for me no matter how nice it might feel to be completely lost in my own little magical forest in my mind… I must behave, I have behaved again since Saturday but the temptations are still there (albeit only a little bit now).

I don’t know what exactly triggered off Berry and Sasha, it could have happened as a result of the mixed varieties of magical potions I have been consuming on and off. Or it could be because I have been so sick for a few days each time that my medication didn’t work those days and my head just naturally started to slip into bonkers land. They are still both there (well I’ve only heard Berry today and that was when she was trying to make me have a conversation with her about the zoo while I was at the dentist) but they aren’t bothering me. Sasha told me I’d pay the price, I should have listened. I feel bad that Berry might have seen me consuming the magical potions because she sounds so innocent and young and I can only assume (since neither she nor Sasha will tell me) that she is still a child.

I still haven’t made contact with nor heard from CPN#2. She has probably given up on me by now. I wouldn’t blame her. I am going to try my hardest to be good again now. I’m sick of being sick. Well I’m sick of feeling both mentally and physically sick, if I can just get the vomiting to stop then I can try harder to make my head calmer. It’s weird, part of me feels like I’ve been doing these stupid and risky behaviours because I’ve been feeling a bit like I’m about to lose it mentally but then I don’t know what it is that’s making me feel so close to losing it. I can’t identify what the thing is that’s making me feel so shit. So I try and cover it up, put a magical band aid on it and hope that by covering it up for a day then it might all be OK again by tomorrow but I’m slowly learning it just doesn’t work like that.

Lovely support worker is going to be so disappointed in me when/if I tell her all of this once she is back from her holiday leave. Then again maybe by next week I’ll still be keeping myself safe and she might be proud of me for doing that. Methinks I will see some level of disappointment/disapproval in her face so maybe I will just keep all of these little crazy moments over the past couple of weeks to myself… I can’t even talk about them properly on here yet and this is my secret anonymous space, maybe it’s best just to lock it all away somewhere in my head and try to forget about it all… call it a little blip, a mistake, an experiment… something like that… it wouldn’t be a lie, it was all a mistake, unfortunately it seems to take me considerably longer to learn from my mistakes than it does most other people… but hey… c’est la vie…

00:21 – Terrified of the wrong side winning

12 May

“Do you know what I’m really terrified of? The wrong side winning. It’s as though my mind has split in two and I have no control over it. And the thing is, I’m beginning to get confused about which side is right and which is wrong.”

(Victoria Leatham)

 

That quote above couldn’t be more true right now. My mind is split in two and it is driving me mad, it’s tormenting me constantly, it’s trying so hard to pull me backwards and make me fall with an almighty bang. I have two things going on inside my head right now and the voices keep cropping up as well, making sure that my head is constantly busy.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been finding it incredibly difficult to watch television. I feel as though everything I watch is trying to trigger me, like the programmes are being deliberately controlled by someone to make sure just about anything I try to watch either leaves me feeling panicky or in floods of tears. There are two reasons for this, one is that I can’t seem to watch anything even a tiny bit upsetting or I end up in these moments of intense sadness and tears. The other is because there have been so many alleged cases of historical sexual abuse by soap stars and TV presenters reported recently that I feel as though every time I see a news report it is trying to fuck my head up. I start to wonder if this is a deliberate attempt to see if watching TV could send me properly bonkers.

I don’t know if this will make any sense, but some of the men accused I associate with happy childhood memories of seeing them in kids TV programs and others I have kind of grown up with as TV soap stars. And because my childhood wasn’t always happy as I was abused myself for a large part of it, when I see these news reports this noise starts up in my head just of laughter, a sick laughter that goes on and on until I switch the TV off. It’s not good enough just to put it on standby, it must be switched off at the wall. When I see/hear these reports I feel as though the evil laughter in my head is just one final way of reminding me that even the innocent happy memories of my childhood can be tarnished so easily.

One part of me reacts to it all angrily – very angrily – and I find myself sitting here thinking that all men are complete wankers, that I will never have another relationship because at the age of 31 I’ve had so many bad experiences with men that I genuinely do not believe I could ever trust one again. Even in the last week I have seen yet again just how much they can leave me feeling dirty and ashamed. I got talking to a guy online and after a few nights talking online he asked if he could have my number. Like a fucking idiot I gave it to him and he called me for a chat. It was pretty awkward at first as I sort of clammed up and didn’t feel like I had much to say for myself – I fucking hate phone conversations, they make me feel really anxious when it’s someone I don’t know. But I stuck with it as I’d had my medication and waited to see if I would calm down a bit and be able to chat away to him. Eventually I did start to calm and we talked about loads of different things. It was him who said he had just seen someone posting one of those stupid sick jokes that always go round when the media report that well known people have been arrested on rape or abuse charges. He asked me what I thought of it and as I’d already been honest about my mental health problems I figured I’d try telling him the truth. So I told him I hated hearing about it all as it triggered a lot of memories from times I had been abused. He sounded a bit sad when I said that and asked me what had happened. I didn’t go into great detail about the adult experiences but told him I’d been abused by an older cousin throughout my childhood. He began to ask a lot of questions and I thought it was just his way of asking to understand what I’d gone through, he sounded like he was asking it in a caring sort of way, and even though it felt a bit weird to be having such a deep conversation with someone who was still a stranger it also felt nice to be able to be open from the start with someone. He began to ask more details – how old was I when it first happened? What did he make me do to him? What did he do to me? How did he get me to keep it a secret? I answered the first couple of questions feeling OK but the more questions he asked the more I started to feel a bit uncomfortable. I could hear his breathing going funny when I was talking. At one point I thought he had fallen asleep as the breathing became so loud. And then it dawned on me what he was doing on the other end of the phone. I didn’t want to believe it but I couldn’t ignore it, I had to ask him what he was doing? Why was he breathing like that? Had he fallen asleep? How I wish he had fallen asleep because I was completely unprepared for his upfront answer that he was “getting off”, what did I think he’d do if I started “talking like that”?

I hung up immediately and burst into tears, went over to the wall and stood there banging my head against it over and over until the tears stopped. I had allowed it to happen. I was to blame. I made him aroused by telling him about some of my most painful experiences. I felt so stupid. So fucking stupid. But it is just another incident to remind me that apart from my Dad and my brother, I must look at every man like he has the potential to hurt me even if it starts making my head go crazy. I’ve been getting these rushes of ideas going through my head, things that could land me in serious trouble if I were to act on them, like carrying some kind of weapon so that if I ever get caught off guard I’d be protected. But obviously that is highly illegal in this country. Usually when I am in some type of depressive or paranoid episode I prefer to go out during the night when nobody is around. The dark makes me feel safe and protected, the day time busy-ness makes me paranoid and anxious. But this time it’s different, the daytime busy-ness protects me and keeps me safe. At night time I am vulnerable and terrified. I might not be allowed to carry any type of weapon to protect myself but I do let one of the dogs off his lead and walk with it wrapped tightly around my hand, I hold the thick metal end tightly as images rush through my head telling me to make sure I’m ‘ready’ if anyone tries to hurt me in any way. Thankfully there is only one walk a day that I have to do when it’s dark but it is getting harder and harder because I have to stay so alert to anyone else whose around. I can’t relax, my heart beats so fast I can hear it in my chest and I keep one of the dogs next to me at all times because I know they will bark like mad if anyone approaches us, especially in the dark.

When I’m not thinking of all possible scenarios whereby a man could hurt me I am thinking about all the possible ways I could hurt myself. It’s not enough just having these violent thoughts towards potential ‘abusers’ – my thoughts race off in another direction telling me that I clearly deserve to be hurt and abused because it’s happened to me by so many men at various ages throughout my life. I must attract it somehow. They must be able to tell just by looking at me that by slipping something into a drink or by acting all caring and sweet to get me into a conversation with them that they’ll be able to make me do things for their perverted pleasures. They must just be able to tell by looking at me that they’ll be able to use me for what they want then fuck off and leave me to pick up the pieces. I told my support worker at Rape Crisis all of this on Wednesday and she told me it’s not uncommon for women who have been abused in some way to go on to have a string of abusive relationships or experiences. I think the sick fuckers can smell vulnerability and just have to try their luck. So yeah, along with the thoughts of wanting to castrate every man who has ever hurt me there are also a lot of thoughts and urges to self harm. I want to see the rivers of blood trickling out of me, I want to grab a blade and cut and cut and cut. But I don’t want to go to A&E, my legs are still in an absolute mess from the last self harm episode, I’ve got an area on one of the cuts where I think I’ve done some kind of nerve damage as there is a bit about the size of a 50p which is completely numb, I can’t feel a thing when I press down on it, even with something sharp.

It terrifies me to have thoughts about hurting other people and I have to keep telling myself over and over that I’m just being overly alert and that it IS safe to keep going outside. I know I would never act on them unless I was put into an extremely threatening position by someone. But then one part of my head screams so loudly that I deserve for another man to hurt me, I deserve to be used and abused and left even more broken than I am just now. And that just feeds the images and the urges to self harm again, because I believe I deserve to be cut, scarred and to look as disgusting as I do. I should look even more disgusting than I do now, I should be covered from head to toe in self mutilated wounds. Then no-one would ever want to come near me again. By making myself less and less attractive I can protect myself, or so the racing thoughts and occasional voices blurt out to me.

What was the quote I started with again?

“Do you know what I’m really terrified of? The wrong side winning. It’s as though my mind has split in two and I have no control over it. And the thing is, I’m beginning to get confused about which side is right and which is wrong.”

Which is the wrong side? I guess it’s the thoughts of hurting someone. I can’t control the thoughts, but I can control my actions. I think. And like the quote says, I truly am terrified of this side winning.

So which is the right side? I wish there was a side which believed that one day I will recover from all of this and achieve some things with my life. I wish I could believe there is a right side and it is going to be a place where if not happy, I’m at least content. But I don’t believe that is going to happen so instead I have to wonder if the right side is actually all these thoughts and encouraging voices telling me to hurt myself? Hurting myself feels right. It’s what I do. It makes me focus on a different kind of pain, a physical ache feels so much better than an emotional one. After all, I can see what is causing my pain when I can see that I’m covered in stitches and the variety of wounds all at various stages of healing.

I simply do not believe that I am ever going to escape these intrusive thoughts or escape from the self harming behaviours. I have been self harming for 17/18 years now. The voices have come and gone so many times I’ve lost count over the past 4 years or so. Feeling different in every way from every one I know has been a part of my life for too long now, and whilst I may have avoided any psych hospital admissions for over a year, my head is still very messed up. I don’t feel in control, I feel like something dark and sinister is controlling me, something that only gives me very occasional glimpses of feeling normal or even the tiniest glimpse of happiness, and then snatches them away from me… coming back every single time to ensure they can torment me a little bit more.

I still have so much more to say but I think I better end this post now, it’s got pretty long and the more I write the more messed up my head gets. I was also going to mention that whilst I did go to see my support worker on Wednesday, I phoned up with an excuse not to see CPN#2 on Friday. I think I just didn’t want to take the chance of opening up and all of the above pouring out because I already know what her response will be. It will be the usual bollocks about how I “will get better” and “will get through this” I just need to “learn coping techniques” that will work for me and then my life will somehow miraculously be cured of any mentalness. Plus there is the risk if you mention even having violent thoughts towards others – even if you know you wouldn’t act on them – that they still might get concerned enough to start assessing if you could really be a risk to others. And I’m not… well so long as no one tries to hurt me I’m not. Isn’t that a complete contradiction? I don’t want anyone to hurt me yet the only way I know to cope is to hurt myself? It might not make a great deal of sense to anyone apart from me.

On that note I think it is time for bed. I might try and write some more tomorrow if I feel like I can write something that makes a bit more sense. I don’t know if any of the 2500 words I’ve just written even make any sense at all. But my medication is kicking in and I need to try and sleep… I’m sure I’ve been writing this for over an hour now.

Goodnight folks, and I hope you’re all having a good weekend xx

00:50 – Feeling seriously low tonight

20 Apr

I went to my appointment this afternoon with CPN#2 (maybe I should think of a better name for her – but there has been 3 cpn’s I’ve worked with over the past year and she was number 2 so cpn#2 seems like the best suited name for her). It was actually nice to see her again and I managed to tell her most of the things I wanted to including not finding having a CPN helpful, the frustration about the lack of consistent appointments through the CMHT and the frustration of people coming and going and coming and going and never being able to move forwards with anyone. She told me she is there on a temporary basis but will be there for a minimum of three months and that she would like to work with me on a weekly basis alongside psychology when it re-starts.

I basically brought her up to date with where I’m at with everything in my life at the moment and told her about the self harming and how much I’ve fucked up my uni course. I told her I’ve been feeling pretty unsupported again lately apart from lovely support worker at rape crisis. She did tell me that lovely social worker who I was supposed to be seeing until psychologist returns is actually off on long term sick leave – it would have been nice if someone from the CMHT had decided to tell me that rather than me just sitting here thinking I’d been forgotten about. I hope she gets better soon.

After my appointment I went along to the A&E department to have my wound checked and a dressing change, everything looks like it’s healing well and the stitches are nice and neat. I almost felt OK for a little while when I got home – maybe because it had been lovely and sunny all afternoon and maybe because I’d got some of my frustrations out… but yeah I felt OK for a little while but as the afternoon went into evening my mood has taken a serious dip. I’m sitting here with a clean blade and really badly want to do some damage to myself. I don’t want to go to A&E though, so this time I really do need to be in control of it and keep it reasonably superficial, but sometimes that really is easier said than done.

My head feels really fuzzy like I can’t think straight, I don’t know what I want, I’m irritable and restless, I took my medication about an hour ago and my thoughts seem to be getting worse and worse. Lots of images in my head of what I’d like to do to myself but genuinely fighting back simply because I’m too tired for one, and for two I *know* I won’t be able to keep the cutting under control. Yet I can’t put the blade away. I keep it sitting next to me and occasionally pick it up and do some scratches on my skin then put it back down again. I hate this, I hate this frame of mind when you so badly want to do something really bad… something worse than self harming but you don’t even know what’s making you feel that way. The voices are a constant source of negativity and keep the stream of negative thoughts flowing.

Head just feels a total mess. Need to take slightly more than normal amounts of medication to try and sedate myself. Really scared I’m going to do something stupid tonight if I can’t get myself off to sleep soon. This favourite quote of mine does a pretty good job of summing up how I feel right now…

The Girl Who Seemed Unbreakable, Broke

23:37 – It’s not going good at all

14 Apr

[Warning - Graphic Descriptions of Self Harm in Post]

It’s just getting worse. Worse and worse. I feel really low and the only thought revolving around my head is to cut myself. I want to make it clear that I am NOT suicidal, I do NOT want to die, I just can’t distract myself from the constant flashes in front of my eyes of me doing something harmful to myself (or other people which is very out of character for me). The constant thoughts are about cutting mostly.

I sent an email to rape crisis support worker tonight and basically sent her the stuff I’ve written on here for the past couple of nights. She knows I write a blog but she isn’t very technical minded so I’m not worried about her coming across my ramblings here.

I have taken too much medication this evening but it was sort of by accident. Well it wasn’t really an accident at all, it was more a case of realising I’d forgotten to take ANY medication today so around 8pm I just took my full day and full night’s tablets in one. I thought maybe a big surge of medication in my system might make everything feel much less fucked up but I just feel a little groggy… This could be a good thing as it might mean I will sleep tonight. It would help a lot if I could get a full 7 or 8 hours uninterrupted sleep.

Back to the self harming. The cutting. Male voice is very prominent and has insulted every single thing I’ve done today. He has a broad Scottish accent and whilst I haven’t seen him I have an idea of what he might look like from how he talks and certain little quirks that he has. I am a bit scared of this next impending self harm episode because he wants me to leave marks that will be even harder to explain, he wants me to draw certain symbols into my flesh with blades, he wants me to cut so deep I can truly see the inside of my body… not just some yellow globule like bits of flesh but proper muscle, bone and tendon. I’m not going to lie, that does actually scare me a little. I am well aware that it doesn’t take that much of a slip of the hand to do permanent irreversible damage but the urges, the orders, the ideas… they are all sucking me in.

I’ve done so well to have only had a couple of slip ups in the past year and I most certainly do not ever want to re-visit the place I was in a few years ago. I’m genuinely terrified of the psych hospital and genuinely scared of how I would react if I was ever faced with that situation again.

Anyway… I’m sorry it’s not been a more cheery post… I did send an email to my support worker at rape crisis earlier and she replied saying all nice and supportive things but male voice just laughed loudly throughout the whole time I was trying to read. He knows he’s going to win and I know he’s going to win. The only plan I can have is to somehow try and very much limit the damage so it’s only one more scar to deal with… if he has it his way I won’t even be able to see the flesh on my limbs he wants that much of my ugliness cut away.

I wonder how many hours/days/weeks it will take before I reach the point of doing ANYTHING to shut him up once and for all.

21:02 – Don’t know

10 Apr

Didn’t go to see support worker today. Head has been in a mess all night. Trying absolutely everything I can think of to calm and quiet it down. Around 4pm it did quieten down for a while and whilst I really wanted to use the peace to get some sleep I decided to pop up and see my mum for an hour seeing as I didn’t see her yesterday when I promised I would. Very soon after leaving ‘male voice’ woke up and started his shit.

So I……

Don’t know why I didn’t go and see support worker today.

Don’t know when I’ll next see her as she’s off all next week.

Don’t know when/if I’ll get to see social worker.

Don’t know if I’m coming or going.

Don’t know how I feel.

00:02 – Truth be known, I’m struggling… a lot

10 Apr

[Warning - there is a graphic description of sexual violence in this post]

Since my last post in the early hours of Friday morning I have been quite busy but also, if I’m honest, struggling. On Friday afternoon I went to see my Mum for a little while and to see best friend. We were all going out on the Saturday night for best friend’s birthday and I was trying on my outfit I was planning to wear out up at Mum’s. Seeing their eyes quickly scanning the extent of the scarring on my body felt horrible but then they both started telling me how proud of me they were that I was now being trusted with a month of medication again and how proud they were that I’d stayed out of hospital for so long. They were nice about the scars but I felt utterly hideous and very uncomfortable with them on show so quickly got covered up again.

Saturday night we all went out. All the girls had short tight dresses on – I on the other hand had my legs fully covered and my arms fully covered. I felt a bit out of place so took just a couple of diazepam whilst we were all getting ready at best friend’s house followed by at least four pretty strong vodkas. By the time we got to the first pub around 10.30pm I was feeling a little tipsy… by the time we left the last pub and began to head home at 2am I was very drunk. But it was a strange kind of drunk, I just couldn’t seem to relax properly all night. I couldn’t get hyper-alert-suspicious-paranoid-brain to shut up. I didn’t join in on the dancefloor, I didn’t let a single person buy me a drink, every guy who got within a couple of feet of me I quickly walked away from. I tried to join in with the laughs but my head was somewhere else all night and all I seemed to do was watch the clock and count down the minutes until I could get the hell out of there and back to my safe little house.

Sunday I felt absolutely awful all day. It seems I’m at that age where hangovers don’t feel too bad when you first wake up but as the hours pass you feel worse and worse, not any better. So yeah, Sunday was pretty much spent lazing around doing nothing. I know alcohol is a depressant but this weird state of mind has been on the go since Wednesday when lovely GP decided to trust me with a month’s worth of medication. Every time I open my cupboard door I hear ‘male voice’ telling me I’ve got them there for a reason and it’s not to prove how responsible I can be with them. But then I hear Mum and best friend in my head, telling me how proud they are of me and I hate myself for even giving the tiniest bit of attention to ‘male voice’.

But ‘male voice’ has been very much present over the past week mostly being insulting telling me things like I’m a dirty whore who deserves to be raped again… a stream of laughter by him every time someone said I looked nice on Saturday night… telling me it would be a good idea to take all of those Diazepam and just fucking knock myself out… telling me me I’ve not made my body ugly enough for him yet and to get a blade back to my skin. He’s angry with me that I walked past the DIY store today and didn’t go in and replace my empty box of blades and it is all I keep hearing from him tonight that I WILL go buy more tomorrow or else I’m going to make him so mad that he will have me [insert warning here to very graphic horrible instructions] “cut my tits off” or his other favourite is “someone’s gonna rape you [between the legs] with the sharpest knife I can find” . Pretty fucked up I know but that is the way he speaks, that’s his vocabulary, that’s his way of showing me he is in control, not me. He is particularly violent in his threats and comments and I am not a violent person, but he says things in ways that flash images in front of my eyes of either me mutilating my body badly or hurting someone else. I’ve never really hurt someone else, I’ve had a few bitch fights, hair pulling and that kinda shit… I’ve punched a couple of people in anger… but I’ve never really properly hurt someone to the point where I could do them permanent damage. And I can’t imagine me ever doing something like that but the things he is saying to me scare me, I can’t deny it.

So with all this going on in my head and his voice talking far too much I haven’t been able to sleep again. I stayed up all of Sunday night, all day yesterday until I finally took a handful (not an overdose) of diazepam this morning around 11am and at finally around 1pm I fell asleep until 4pm. I had promised best friend and her kids that I would go out and see them today now they are back from their dad’s, I promised Mum I would go for a walk with the dogs with her and maybe go for some lunch or coffee or something. Neither of those things happened and other than going out a few times today with the dogs I have done absolutely nothing.

I am very very much at crunch time with regards to my part time university course. I have failed the 20% part of the module. The essay part makes up the other 80%. If I was able to spend the remainder of the week studying like crazy there’s a chance I could throw some sort of an essay together but I have an appointment with my rape crisis support worker tomorrow and then it’s best friend’s actual birthday on Thursday. And to be completely honest I have lost all motivation. I’ve lost interest. But then I’ve lost interest in everything over these past few days.

My head feels like it’s going a bit mental again and I am lacking in strength to fight back. All I seem able to do is lie on the sofa or in bed and battle back and forth with the intrusive voices and crazy thoughts. I feel like I have all this invisible pressure around me: be responsible with the medication, prove to them all I can do this, keeping mum and best friend proud of me, keeping ‘male voice’ happy, knowing I’m probably going to be kicked off the uni course and fail at yet another thing.

I am shattered right now. It’s midnight and I pray I can sleep through the night. I need a little bit of energy back, it all feels like it’s been zapped out of me. I am so scared I’m going to let everyone down… things feel slippery yet I don’t know why. I have no plans to take the medication to hurt myself but the self harm urges (cutting) seem to be getting stronger again. If only to shut him up. And not even the remembrance of the major regrets I had after doing it a few weeks ago are enough to keep me certain I won’t do it again… I think in all likeliness I will give in… because I’m weak… pathetic and weak.

Why oh why can life never just be straightforward? Why does it always have to end up mental again in the end?

21:25 – Trying out sandplay/sandtray therapy

28 Mar

Today I actually dragged myself off the sofa and got some things done. I can now tick off my list:

  • Bought Easter card for parents
  • Bought and posted Easter card for my Gran
  • Bought and took Easter eggs to best friends kids
  • Returned book to best friend that I borrowed
  • Paid a cheque into the bank
  • Put clean clothes on
  • Went to appointment with support worker
  • Dogs have had 3 walks so far today in between all of the above

The only things left to tick off my list is:

  • A shower
  • Studying
  • Read university emails
  • Send email to personal tutor to explain how much I’m struggling

So I got a few things done today and I guess I feel glad. The only thing to write about today that is of any interest is my appointment with my support worker (that I see through Rape Crisis). We talked for a while and I told her about the continual urges to self harm despite the regrets I have about doing it last week. I told her I wished I’d just got the proper stitches put in because my wound is very painful where the deepest part is still healing. We talked about some other things – one which I will write about on here at some point soon but right now I’m still trying to make sense of it myself. The first half hour of the appointment we touched on quite a few things, but for some reason my eyes kept on diverting to a tray on the table that was full of sand. Also on the table were loads of little miniature toys like animals and people and scary looking things and happy looking things. Support worker told me it was for something called sandplay (or was it sand tray?) therapy and asked me if I’d like to try it. I told her I felt a bit silly as it looked like something for young children to play with but she encouraged me to try it so I did.

She left me alone in the room for about ten minutes and I sat there and stared at the sand. I didn’t know what type of “scene” or “picture” I wanted to create. I felt stupid and like I couldn’t do it properly because I don’t have the creative imagination of a young child. So I just sat there swirling my fingers in the sand for a couple of minutes then decided to have a look at all of the miniatures. I found some gates, like the kind a kid would use if they were playing with toy farm animals and created a gated in corner of one side of the tray. I picked up a miniature toy wolf but it had three heads and had an evil look about it, and at either side of the wolf I put lions which were roaring and also evil looking. They all went in behind the gate.

Then at the other side of the sand tray I put a miniature Church minister holding a Bible and lying by his feet a little baby with a blue nappy on. But I started burying the baby into the sand until only his head was visible. I surrounded him with pretty things, little crystals and pretty buttons.

I thought that was all I could do. There were no other miniatures that I wanted to put in my scene but where the two empty corners were I dug all the sand out of them to make a big hill in the middle so one side of the tray miniatures wouldn’t be able to see the other sides miniatures. But then in the empty space I found three miniatures that were just little heads with faces on and hands held up. The first head I left sitting up properly, the second falling down into the sand, the third face deep and underneath the sand.

Then I told support worker I was finished and she came back in. We talked a little about why I picked each object – the wolf felt like inside my head – the three different heads on it, like me with my head but the voices as well. It looked angry – a lot of the time the voices are angry. I wanted them gated in because I feel like I have to hold things back all the time and constantly try to prevent those I’m close too seeing me interact with the voices and look totally bonkers.

The church minister looked kind and I believe in Heaven and believe my little boy is there. The baby figure I guess was representative of my little one, why I buried him under the sand (apart from his head) I don’t really know. Maybe because we had him buried. I don’t know.

The falling faces – guess they reflect how I feel – like I’m constantly falling downwards and it is so difficult to lift my head up high when inside I feel as though I’m trapped in some sort of cycle of always ending up falling flat on my face, head first, head deeply buried in some sort of shit that I don’t want to be buried in.

So yeah it felt a bit weird doing it and I don’t know if I’ll ask to do it again but I can see how it would be helpful if someone was having trouble saying the words out loud or expressing their feelings and emotions or experiences through creating visual scenes rather than talking. This evening I have been thinking that maybe there are some memories that I have suppressed so much that maybe expressing my memories of them in a sand play session would be easier. I don’t know. Even though some things are incredibly painful to think about there are some specific details of some memories that I don’t seem to want to share with anyone. I’ve had plenty of opportunities to from the wide range of professionals I’ve seen over the past few years but some little details I have always kept to myself. Shame maybe. I don’t know.

I have another appointment with my support worker next Wednesday. I also need to try and see lovely GP next Wednesday rather than just handing in a prescription request again but it’s a case of waiting until Wednesday morning then seeing if I can get an appointment on the day and that might be a bit hard as they are closed for a couple of days over the Easter bank holiday weekend so there will probably be loads of people trying to get same day appointments on Wednesday. Maybe I’ll just hand in a prescription request again this month but see if I can make an appointment to see her next month. Surely she can’t be completely booked up for the next month.

I also need to get an appointment with my social worker but I’m guessing she will be off tomorrow and Monday so will try and contact her next week sometime.

So that’s been my day. Best friend said she is going to pop by tomorrow morning and that I’ve to be up and showered and dressed for 10.30am and meet her for a cuppa, but the way my sleep is at the moment I have no idea what time I’ll end up falling asleep then waking back up. I could fall asleep at 12 and be awake again by 3am and that will be me up all day and night. I could fall asleep at 3am and be awake again a few hours later. I could be up until 6 or 7am and asleep when she calls at 10.30. I have absolutely no regular sleep patterns at all just now but I won’t start moaning about that again…

If I don’t post back before then I hope you all enjoy your Easter bank holiday weekend and get lots of choccy eggs :)

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