Trigger Warning – graphic talk of self harm in this post
All I have been able to think about for days now is cutting. Cutting, cutting and more cutting. The more I try to distract myself the more graphic the images in my head become. The more I try to ignore, the louder male voice gets and that triggers him to start spewing out vile evil instructions in my head. What hasn’t been helping is the lack of sleep. What also hasn’t been helping is all the pressure I feel that everyone thinks I’m doing so well and coping so well and I am shitting myself that everything is going to fall apart and I am going to let down every person I care about. I’m terrified of being back in that place where you feel so worthless and then can’t even manage to take your own life properly… got to fail at that too just to rub that extra bit of salt into the wounds.
Last night I fell asleep on the sofa around 1am. I quickly woke back up just after 2am as it was freezing. But instead of putting the heating on or getting into bed I just covered myself in a blanket and lay on the sofa thinking about things. Wondering why my life turned out this way. I had a bit of a cry for a while, they were sad tears, tears of all the times in my life where things actually looked like they were going well then ultimately they all fell apart. Why do they all fall apart? Why can’t something nice just remain consistent in my life? I don’t want this life. I wanted to try and better it by doing the part time uni course and not even a year into it and I don’t think I can do it any more. I have no belief in myself whatsoever. I want to run and hide and curl away. I don’t want to speak to anyone. I don’t want anyone to see me… but this morning I had no choice.
Around 6am I was still awake and was starting to feel very anxious and sort of like I wasn’t fully in control. My thoughts felt like they had been taken over, I was so tired I just went with it. The voices told me to cut, told me it would fix things… male voice told me to just “fucking make yourself uglier you fat slag”… again I tried distraction techniques but just got nowhere.
By 8am I was pacing, anxious, heart racing, feeling sick, tired, emotional, feeling really bonkers crazy, seeing flashes of me going outside and just attacking any random object or any random person. THAT IS NOT ME. I DO NOT DO THAT! EVER! I don’t know where all these violent urges are coming from but they are so fucking terrifying. It’s not even as though I’m angry at anyone or about anything… angry with myself that I can’t bounce back to being the fun person I once was once upon a time… but that’s more of a sad angry than a violent one. Needless to say I ended up getting out everything required for self harming – a pack of clean stanley knife blades, a towel, some dressings and sat down cross-legged on the bathroom floor. I made a deal with myself that I could cut once then I would clean it up, cover it up and go no further. But of course that didn’t happen… those little cuts looked too much like scratches… those visuals flashed in front of my eyes again wanting to see gaping wounds… I felt like I couldn’t even do that right. In the end I got a fresh blade from the packet, closed my eyes and just pressed down and dragged it through my skin. It felt like my skin was burning from the pain and I expected to see a much worse wound than what I did see… however it was pretty gaping so I decided it would be OK to stop cutting then. I got myself patched up and tried to stay distracted through til 10.30am when I had to leave to go to my last ever appointment with Mr Psychiatrist.
The reason it’s my last appointment is that he is retiring and he explained he didn’t know who would be taking over from him yet but there would be a locum in place for a while until someone permanent takes over. I swear no one with a professional mental health background seems to want to work for our NHS trust, all these permanent positions never seem to get filled for what seems like forever. I told Mr Psychiatrist about self harming this morning and told him that when I left my appointment with him that I would go along to the A&E department and have them check me over. He asked what had led to me cutting and I told him all the shit I rambled about at the start of this post – these feelings of pressure and these horrible horrendous images I keep seeing. He knows it is a coping mechanism of mine and he’s told me a million times it isn’t a helpful one but I think he’s come to realise there is no point in telling me that any more.
We didn’t talk about a lot of things in detail today, I think when he realised I was sitting there with a wound needing medical attention he tried to just whizz through everything as quickly as possible. He said that he still feels that even though male voice is male (and I am female) that the things male voice says to me are things which I actually feel about myself deep down. Almost like it’s my thoughts and beliefs but being heard in a male tone. I kinda see his point but I also know it’s not as simple as that, male voice can come out with things that have never even crossed my mind before. Plus there is a big difference between a voice and a thought (even racing horrible thoughts) and I think you can only know this and understand this if you have actually experienced it.
What else did we talk about… cutting – voices – male voice – pressure – images – violence – lack of support – and a referral which I requested to another psychiatrist, one who specialises in trauma therapy and who told me a couple of years ago that he believed the EMDR treatment could be beneficial to me but at that time I was considered too unwell and too unstable to try it out. Mr Psychiatrist said he didn’t want me working with lots of different people and lots of different approaches (he said this because psychologist is supposed to be coming back at some point over the next few weeks and she is likely to want to do the compassionate mind and mindfulness program with me). However he agreed to write to the other psychiatrist and see if he would be willing to give me an appointment to assess my suitability for EMDR.
Before I left the appointment he asked me what help I was getting through the CMHT (mental health team) at the moment and I told him pretty much none. That I had 3 CPN’s who have all left now and that I was supposed to have lovely social worker as someone to see until psychologist returns back to work but that we’ve only met up once, so that bit isn’t going so great. In fairness I haven’t tried to make a great deal of contact with her but I had hoped we would have been able to stick out the once a fortnight meetings just for a month or two until psychologist returns… but it hasn’t worked out that way. Instead I’ve just been seeing my support worker through rape crisis pretty much on a weekly basis but at least I am actually trying to deal with some of my issues with her – the childhood abuse/the assault/the self harming/the feelings of worthlessness. But she shouldn’t have to deal with all my mentalness stuff as well, that should be someone from the CMHT but it never seems to work out that way.
God this post is getting long…
I said my goodbyes to Mr Psychiatrist and muttered thank you to him for the support he’s given me over the past 4 years or so (even though he’s also been a total wanker to me in that time!) but it’s just what you do isn’t it? Say thanks, smile, make them think they have helped you get a bit better when really what they have done is remove power and control from you, detain you, make you like a human guinea pig with all the varieties of medications they insist will make you better, tell you that even voices are still a product of your own mind, try to make you believe things will get better if you just have good sleep patterns and distract yourself 24/7. But still, I was brought up to be polite and so it was only right to just say thank you to him as I left.
I walked along to the A&E department and thankfully it was two of the nice nurses on, the female charge nurse who has come to a couple of my CPA meetings and a male nurse who is very gentle and non-judgemental. Even though I knew in my head that I had met the male nurse before and knew he was always nice and knew he wouldn’t do anything to hurt me it still felt weird being in a room alone with him. I was in a room alone with Mr Psychiatrist but the whole appointment kept my coat on and sat in the chair pointing the door (always got to have my escape route planned out as soon as I enter a room)… so yeah it had felt safe enough with Mr Psych. And I did feel safe with male nurse but more exposed and vulnerable I guess as the coat had to come off and the shoes off and one leg out of my trousers…. like I couldn’t just jump to my feet and leg it out the door if I wanted to… so that was making me pretty anxious.
He took a look at the wound and decided it definitely needed stitches so he went to get the doctor. It was a doctor I hadn’t seen before and I didn’t like him very much, he had a bit of a patronising tone and I just wanted him to fuck off back out the room. Plus having two men at either side of me while I lay on the trolley bed was making me very very uncomfortable. I asked the doctor if he could please get me some Lorazepam and he said “we don’t keep lorazepam at this hospital” – BULLSHIT!! – I have probably been given a couple of lorazepam on at least 20 occasions from that A&E either for anxiety that’s led to self harm or to get me into the ambulance if they have been moving me to another hospital or the psych hospital. So I asked again if I could have Lorazepam because I needed to calm down and he very firmly said “you cannot have Lorazepam” – argh I hate when I know people are lying to me. Had he said something like they didn’t have any left or something then I would’ve dealt with that, but I knew fine they had it and knew fine that if it was one of the doctors who have seen me before then they would have given it to me asap to calm me down so they could put the stitches in. He said I could have a Diazepam if I wanted (despite me telling him I’ve been on daily prescription Diazepam for years and it does FUCK ALL when I feel as anxious as I did then, but he went and got me one anyway and like a good mental I shut up and took it.
I got seven stitches put in and a little glue and steri-strips on the non-gaping cuts and have to go back in 2 days, so Friday, for a wound check and dressing change. I told male nurse that usually I would be feeling regret pretty much immediately after cutting but today I don’t. I don’t regret it, I don’t care that I’ve got more scars on my body now, I don’t care that the one bit of leg that I had kept scar free is now mutilated as well. He said to me if I felt like cutting again to go up and see them and they would try and get someone to sit and talk to me which I was very grateful for, but I don’t want to talk, I just don’t fucking care about anything. I feel so low and so emotional and so tired and all I want is to have a few hours of feeling normal…whatever the hell that is… and I would much rather not do anything which may leave me having to see that doctor again as I really didn’t like him much at all. It was something about the way he spoke to me… there was an obvious power balance thing going on and he spoke to me the way I speak to best friend’s four year old.
My Mum phoned me as I was leaving the hospital and said my Grandma is staying with them for a couple of days and they were all going out for dinner tonight so she was phoning to ask if I wanted to go. As the restaurant they are going to is directly opposite my flat I couldn’t really say no but I am so tired and am really not in the mood at all to sit through a long meal and listen to all the chitter chatter at the table… plus it’s a kinda posh restaurant and I hate trying to get dressed up when I feel so fucking ugly and awful. However, I love my little Gran and don’t see anywhere near enough of her so I will go. The table is booked for 7pm… ugh that’s less than 3 hours away… I just realised I started writing this at 15:15 and we are now on 16:18 … an hour of ramblings… no wonder this post is going on forever.
And on that note I suppose I had better go and find something to wear tonight. Hope you’re all having a bit of a better day than me xx