19:53 – A good day ’til the voices fucked it all up

5 Mar

[edited to add – sorry this post goes on forever, rambles, is all mixed up and probably makes very little sense so I apologise in advance]

This afternoon I met up with lovely social worker and we went for a bite to eat and to have a chat. Whilst I was standing outside waiting for her to pick me up a guy walked past me and the way he looked at me made me feel so uncomfortable. He was pretty much looking me right in the eye from across the street and kept on staring as he reached the other side of the road. While he stopped to let a car past he started looking at me up and down in what felt like a really leering sort of way. Initially it gave me the creeps but a few seconds later as he was crossing the road and about to walk right past me I saw these violent images quickly play out in my head of me pushing him right into a moving car.

Anyway, a few minutes later lovely social worker arrived and it was nice to see her again but from the moment of that guy staring at me my head started playing funny buggers which made me feel like I couldn’t talk properly about stuff. It’s hard to explain, I would start up sentences and find it hard to say anything that actually had any proper meaning to it, like when you go to say something that has a point to it but I’d never get to the point because as soon as I’d start talking ‘they’ would start as well. I felt very anxious when I got in her car (I really don’t know why) but I was trying not to show it and tried to relax. But ‘they’ didn’t want me to relax and during the ten or fifteen minutes it took to get to the cafe I kept hearing instructions to do bad things inside the car. I couldn’t tell lovely social worker this because she’d probably have kicked me out her car and made me walk, but the stuff I was hearing was bad, really quite disturbing, for example when she was on the faster bit of road they were telling me to open the door and throw myself out because I couldn’t be trusted not to say too much to her. So yeah, that was pretty unpleasant however since I got home ‘they’ have actually been happy with me for not revealing too much today.

So we got to the cafe and it was full of people, not one single table free so we had to sit outside. But while we were in the queue the anxiety began creeping in, there were too many people and it was making me feel not good at all, especially not when all I could hear was one direct instruction that I had not to let any of these strangers look me in the eye. I went outside and got a table and once out in the fresh air the anxiety did begin to calm a little.

I didn’t want to risk talking about the content of the chitter chatter and I have been really good and not written on here for a few days and actually really tried my best not to mention to anyone or anywhere what ‘they’ want me to do next. So we chatted about more general things and I told lovely social worker the bits of my uni course I’m struggling to get my head around and she did try to explain what some of the bits meant but my head was like mush and unable to fully concentrate, as is the norm for me at the moment.

In the car on the way back we stopped for a moment so I could get out and have a cigarette. I remember telling her that I feel like I have no sense of belonging at the moment, like everyone I know is either married or has kids. At the age of 31 I feel like they are all in some club that I am not a part of. And all these mental health symptoms and diagnoses and medications make me part of another world but I don’t want to connect with other people in that world in ‘real life’ – I prefer to not go to support groups because I know that any time I am in the psychiatric hospital it drives me mad being around so many other mentalists. Don’t get me wrong I love the online friends I have met through blogging and almost all of them are fellow mentalists but I’ve always had this thing about wanting to surround myself with what I perceived to be the norm but by doing that it only makes things even harder because they don’t understand what it’s like to live a life with mental health problems.

I think that is probably where the desires to find a faith have recently stemmed from – a desire to be amongst people who I can connect with and have something in common with. Where I could sit in an environment and feel as though I belong. Because I don’t feel as though I belong here on Earth with this as my life, I am always aware of being different from everyone else. Do I want to be the same as the people I think of as normal? In a lot of ways yes. But I can’t help but feel like I have too many issues to ever be ‘normal’ again.

Most of my life I have felt different from everyone else probably because by the time of reaching my teens I had already been abused for a number of years, starting self harming and had no fears of walking into an adult world and start smoking and drinking and experimenting with drugs. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with being 14 and having sex with my first proper boyfriend because I’d known for years what intercourse felt like. And I thought it was expected of me, afterall it was what ‘good girls’ did to make guys happy wasn’t it?

I’ve always been different in one way or another from those around me and the one and only time I felt ‘normal’ was when I was around 24 and I had lost a hell of a lot of weight, I was slim and felt pretty. For the first time in my life I could walk into a clothes shop and know I could wear the fitted clothes and pretty dresses. And then just to add the cherry to the top of the cake I also had a man who loved me. I worked full time and earned my money every month, then soon after I was pregnant, then engaged and planning a wedding. And before it all fell apart that was normal, that was the first and only time in my life where I felt like I was the same as all of my friends. Perhaps it was a little bit too good as it was also during this period that I had a (undiagnosed at the time) manic episode.

Like all good things that have happened in my life that normality soon fell apart and I became the girl who lost her baby and had to bury her son, then I got fat again, I lost all my confidence when I became the girl whose “fiancé cheated on her but like an idiot she’s taken him back” … only to be cheated on by him again. I felt like everyone was laughing at me and my agoraphobia got worse and worse. My depression that I’d struggled with for a little while in my very early 20’s came back with a vengeance, I was barely functioning and the last thing that detached me from the world of normal people was losing my job because my attendance had become so awful.

And from there that was it, I was catapulted into this world of mental ill health. Thoughts plagued with ideas of suicide, of self destruction and self loathing. I felt disgusting and grew to hate myself a little more day by day. Less than a year after my Bipolar Disorder diagnosis I began to hear voices, I became paranoid, I was suicidal and scarring my body a little more with every day that went by. Soon followed my first experience of being detained and shortly after that I was detained again and then had several more suicide attempts and some voluntary admissions to the psychiatric hospital. Everything was too chaotic to ever do any proper work with the psychologist and lovely social worker just rolled with the crises.

The last time I was in the psychiatric hospital I hated the feeling of being trapped so much that I think I managed to develop a bit of a phobia about it and to be honest I think that’s what has kept me out of that place, because whenever I think about it I think of the nurses who don’t give a shit… the boredom of every minute feeling like an hour… the days that pass so slowly… the place where there is absolutely nothing to do other than walking in and out of the smoking area and chain smoking 40 cigarettes a day… slowly driving yourself more and more mental. And for just over a year now I have managed to stay at home, no more hospital admissions but feeling completely alien from all the seemingly normal people around me every single day.

That brings me back to where I was before I went off on that little ramble – having a sense of belonging or a sense of ‘fitting in’. The whole finding a faith thing may have started with the chitter chatter telling me I had to ‘bare my soul and declare my sins’ when Charlie dog was so ill and them instructing me to pray repeatedly in order for Charlie to get better, but now it’s become about more than that. It’s become a search for me to find somewhere that I do fit in and am accepted for just being me. But you see that is impossible, to say I want to feel accepted for just being me when I am unable to accept who I am myself. If I can’t accept me then how can I expect anyone else to? I can’t.

[Sorry this post seems to have gone off at a bit of a tangent – I’ve completely forgotten what the point of this entire post was…]

Anyway…. back to today and seeing lovely social worker… on the drive back home I said something about the chitter chatter and she asked me was it definitely voices and not just my thoughts getting out of control? I couldn’t really explain myself properly to her but did say I know the male voice is definitely a voice because my thoughts are in ‘my’ voice if that makes sense, a female tone like how I talk… not an angry male tone… like the way any of us hear our own thoughts in our head. But the way that I really know what is chitter chatter voices and what is my own crazy thoughts is I try and talk inside my head/think thoughts in my head whilst the chitter chatter is talking and if it stops then I know it’s my thoughts because I can’t talk about two different things at the exact same time. Does that make sense? Like if it was actually my thoughts and not a voice then I wouldn’t be able to have two completely different thoughts at the exact same moment running parallel. That’s the best I can explain it.

So lovely social worker dropped me back home and literally just as I was stepping out of the car I looked at her to say bye and even though I saw her mouth form the shape of the word ‘bye’ what I heard was something different and something I don’t want to write here. Then since I got back in the house I’ve had the TV on and every so often I don’t hear a sentence the person on TV says, I hear the chitter chatter say a random line instead. I know it was the chitter chatter talking over her and that she didn’t really say anything bad but over the past few hours that I’ve been home all I keep hearing is that it would make her happy if she never had to see me again. And it gets louder and faster and it’s trying so very hard to make me believe it is telling me the truth, that I’ve not to refer to her as lovely social worker because she secretly hates me and it’s all spiralling out of control round and round inside my head. Then not only am I being told she hates me but people on the TV hate me too. I argue back if she hates me then why didn’t I pick up on it until the very last second when I was getting out the car, surely I would have picked up on it from the moment I first got in the car?…

I tell the chitter chatter that it is talking shit to me and I won’t believe what they are saying, but for some reason they won’t back down which is crappy because she is a lovely social worker even though I don’t see much of her these days. I don’t want to think she has feelings of hate towards me, that genuinely upsets me and while my head is so confused the only thing I know for sure is that the only hate that is truly real is mine towards the voices for fucking my head up so much. I don’t know how much longer I can realistically live this way… being controlled by something I can’t even see… that I can only hear… why does it terrify me so much to go against what they tell me to do? Why am I so scared of, what is at the end of the day, just a bunch of sounds? Why are they so convincing and believable that the consequences of ignoring or disobeying them feel too much to bear?

Sorry I know half of the stuff I’ve wrote probably doesn’t make a great deal of sense and I really didn’t mean to ramble on for this long, I guess I had a lot of stuff to get off my chest. I feel like such an awful person for even giving these horrible voices a second thought, but they are so real that no matter what I do I just can’t hide from them…at all…ever. And maybe that’s what I need to accept – that they are here to stay and always will be. It’s pretty clear that realistically there is only one way left to get rid of them now.

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