Tag Archives: cpn#2

00:01 – Hoping and praying I’m doing the right thing

25 Nov

So… since I last posted I have made the rather huge decision to accept the offer of the housing transfer. I went with my Mum to view it for a second time on Friday afternoon and then had an hour to give them a final decision as they are closed over the weekend and if I didn’t want to take it then it would be offered to someone else on Monday. I felt massively under pressure and I still don’t know if I am doing the right thing but after an appointment with CPN#2 on Friday morning and talking things through with her I decided I do need to get out of this flat I’m in. There are memories everywhere I look and a huge amount of them are bad ones. But, as lovely support worker said to me on Thursday “the memories that you need to keep you will keep in your heart and no matter where you are living they will always stay with you” and I hope so much she is right.

The appointment with CPN#2 on Friday was one I’d actually go so far as to say it was ‘semi’ productive. Yes she asked what items I wanted to put on “the agenda” for the session which as you all know drives me mad… but for once I actually had things I wanted to talk about. I knew I’d have lots to say about the housing transfer so decided to make it our second thing on the agenda and first of all discuss the recent letter from the psychologist. I told CPN#2 that I’d felt a mix of emotions when I received the letter, initially I felt hopeful as I read the words that I was now at the top of the waiting list and the psychologist was now in a position to offer me an appointment… but then as I carried on reading and saw she was only able to offer me 4 sessions due to going on maternity leave in March I felt pretty gutted. I chose my words carefully and said to CPN#2 “I’m assuming you only recently found out yourself that the psychologist is pregnant again as I’m sure you wouldn’t have left me hanging on waiting for my sessions to resume with her knowing she was pregnant and knowing that’s why I had to stop working with her last time”… I looked out the window as I said it and CPN#2 didn’t say yes or no… she just left me to carry on talking.

I’m now quite sure CPN#2 probably has known for at least a month if not a couple of months and that was possibly my way of making a little dig at her to let her know that I knew she knew. But I kept myself composed and said that whilst I wished the psychologist all the best with her pregnancy, I really felt like I would find it extremely difficult to spend January and February watching her huge bump whilst also spending January and the start of February trying to keep myself mentally strong enough to get through my little one’s 7th anniversary. CPN#2 said that she understood and was sure the psychologist would understand as well. I told her I felt a little bit deflated after being on the waiting list since May and to finally be offered an appointment then not be able to take it. Again, I’m not really sure if we would have achieved much in four sessions anyway, but now it looks like I’m going to be waiting considerably longer. CPN#2 told me that they had been advertising the post for a replacement psychologist for a while (this is why I’m sure she clearly has known for a while that the psychologist was pregnant again yet kept telling me just to hang on as I was getting closer to the top of the list) but unfortunately they’ve had very little interest in the post so far. She went on to say that it was not looking very likely that they will have a new psychologist in post by March and I’d most likely be in for a long wait. So just as I felt like she couldn’t make me feel much more deflated she actually surprised me and said that she thought I really did need psychological input and was going to ask the psychologist if it would be possible for me to be referred to a different psychology team. Basically it is the team located at the psych hospital about 90 minutes from where I live and they offer an outpatient service so CPN#2 is going to speak with the psychologist and see if they could refer me there instead. I don’t know that I’d be overly keen in being back in the grounds of the psych hospital or having to travel 90 mins there and back each week/fortnight but I guess if they could start seeing me in the next couple of months it would be better than waiting for God only knows how long to see a psychologist here. So that was the end of that conversation and I guess I can only hope for good news the next time I see CPN#2 that they are going to make the referral.

After that conversation was over with we started talking about all of the pros and cons of moving house. I talked about everything that scares me about leaving my flat behind and moving onto somewhere new but CPN#2 kept pulling me back to the positives of it all. She sat for about ten minutes painting this lovely scene of me waking up on Christmas morning with my little doggies bouncing around on my bed playing with their new toys… me getting out of my bed and being able to open my back door whilst still in my pyjamas and let them out to the garden… relaxing in a nice hot bath and getting ready to see all my family… peace and quiet around me, no noisy neighbours… getting the doggies and my presents and just having a five minute walk round to my parents house… talking almost like the way they do on hypnotherapy cd’s and I wanted so so much to feel this happy relaxing scene she was painting but in my head all I could see was me being in my flat. She then started to talk about how I needed to try and separate my anxiety associated with my “illness” and normal anxiety. That moving house was stressful for everyone who does it and it was normal for me to be having all these doubts but that she really thinks I need to leave this flat now and start afresh.

So I left the appointment with CPN#2 and came home and got the dogs and went for a long walk with them for an hour and tried to get my head straight. Then Mum came and picked me up and we went for the second viewing of the house. There is a lot of work that needs doing in it. The whole place needs completely repainted, the walls are going to need sanding down as someone has obviously put some plaster on to cover up little cracks but not bothered to smooth it out so there are big bumpy bits all over the walls. The ceilings and skirting boards need painting too. The flooring isn’t in a very good condition but I think I’m going to take my flooring from this flat and have it re-laid in the house as the rooms are slightly smaller than in here so it should fit. So after twenty minutes or so of viewing it I said yes I would accept it and we then went to the housing office for me to sign the acceptance forms. I have an appointment at 3pm tomorrow to collect the keys and sign the tenancy agreement. Then we had to go to the housing association from whom I currently rent my flat and was told I have to give them a 28 day notice period that I am ending my tenancy here which is a pain as we then had to go to the housing benefit office who have said that they will only pay the rent on one property at a time so I’m going to have to try and move as quickly as possible… ideally within a week as I will have to pay the rent on the new property out of my own pocket until I hand the keys back for this flat. But Mum said not to worry about that and that she and my Dad would pay a week or two’s rent for me.

So tomorrow it’s all going to start feeling real. Once I have the keys Mum and I are going to spend a few hours in the new house cleaning it all. I also need to phone a couple of removal companies tomorrow and get quotes from them to see how much it is going to cost to move all my heavy stuff like furniture and electrical appliances. Then on Tuesday I will need to contact my gas and electricity companies and arrange to have pre-payment meters installed in the new house. I also need to go to the post office and get a form to arrange to have all my mail redirected for a month or two to give me the chance to contact everyone to notify them of my change of address. I also need to phone and arrange to have my phone line and broadband moved. Then I need to start packing all the things that can go into boxes that I can move with the help of the parents. I feel like I have sooo much to do and to be honest I’m finding it all quite overwhelming and scary… I’m so thankful I do have my parents to help me with all of this because I think I would have fallen to pieces by now if I had to try and do it all by myself.

Plus I have less than two weeks to write and submit my two final essays for this term which I had intended to try and make a start on this weekend but I went to an engagement party last night and had a little bit too much to drink and have been suffering for it all day today. My own fault but never mind… I’m sure I’ll get them done. Sometimes I feel like I work better when I’m under pressure with a deadline fast approaching as I have no choice but to just study and write and study and write until it’s done. Maybe not my best work but so long as I scrape a pass that is all I really care about. I may just get my phone line moved and study from my parents house whilst they’re at work using their internet… at least I don’t have any distractions there and should be able to get my head down and get some work done.

So the next couple of weeks are going to be crazy, hectic and super busy but hopefully in a fortnight’s time I will be fully moved, essays done and on my Christmas break from the uni course and able to relax and get the rest of my Christmas shopping done. I’m hoping and praying that I am doing the right thing and won’t regret leaving this flat as once I leave I can never get it back… that’s it gone for good to become someone else’s home. And that really does throw up a whole mix of emotions for me. Whilst I need that fresh start I will also be very sad and probably quite emotional when the day comes that I’m sleeping here for the very last night. I have a feeling I am going to just sit here completely consumed with so many memories of the past 7 and a half years jumping into my head. But I am trying to trust my instincts and the words of advice other people are giving me and I do need a blank canvas to start creating new memories in… a new place to build into my home… right now it might just be ‘a house’ but I can make it ‘a home’ eventually I’m sure.

Big, scary adult decisions… argh!

Well I think 2000 words of rambling is quiet enough! I can’t quite believe that this time tomorrow I will be sitting here with the keys to my new house. It’s all happened so fast I just hope I can keep up and it doesn’t start going too fast that I get myself all into a big mess.

Deep breaths… keep calm… think of the positives… and when it all starts feeling overwhelming take a couple of Diazepam, try to be mindful and try to calm down… I guess that’s all I can do :/

Scared just doesn’t cut it. But I keep telling myself I’m only getting the keys tomorrow, I’m not moving tomorrow, I won’t be moving for at least a week yet, the more time I spend round at the new house getting it looking nicer the more familiar it will become and the more comfortable I will be when the official moving day comes around. I bet this last week of living here is going to fly by.

Another chapter of my life closing and another empty one just beginning…

19:34 – Here comes a RANT

16 Nov

As the title says – here comes a rant…

So as most of you already know I don’t get on very well with CPN#2 but I have tried to attend some of my appointments with her mainly because I thought if I completely disengaged then I might end up being discharged from the community mental health team (CMHT). I have also tried to go to some of them so that it would bridge the gap whilst waiting to start seeing the psychologist again. I haven’t seen her since February 2012 when she went off on maternity leave. I did try to work with her at various points throughout 2010 but by the end of the year had become so unstable I was sectioned under the mental health act. When we got about half way through 2011 I tried to work with her again but was still in and out of the psych hospital so we never really got to do more than a few sessions here and there before I’d end up back in hospital again.

Towards the end of 2011 the psychologist came to see me during one of my many hospital admissions and told me that she was five months pregnant. The reason why I was ending up in hospital so much was because I was constantly making attempts at ending my life because all I wanted was to be in Heaven with my baby boy. So I sat that day and listened to her and then told her that I thought I would find it too hard to work with her whilst watching her bump grow bigger especially as she was due around the same time as my little boy’s anniversary. She completely understood and other than at one CPA meeting in February 2012 I had no more sessions with her.

So, the psychologist was due to return to work in February/March time of this year. In May I got a letter from her saying that I was on her waiting list and she would write to me again when she was able to restart psychology sessions with me. CPN#2 told me a month or so ago that I was very near the top of the list at last and should get an appointment to start seeing the psychologist again very soon. In a way a lot of things have been resting on these sessions starting back – new psychiatrist has run out of medications to try with me and wants me to consider ECT – but first he wants psychological input and to see if working on the Compassion Focused Therapy (Compassionate Mind and Mindfulness) would help to improve my mood and anxiety levels. Lovely GP is hanging on to see if psychology will help me. Lovely support worker has also done her best to keep me going and reminding me it won’t be long ’til I can do some proper psychological therapy again. And CPN#2 told me only a matter of weeks ago that she really thinks I’m in a better frame of mind now to do therapy.

(Note: CPN#2 also recently informed me that she thinks my persistently low moods were due to several factors but the one worth mentioning is that she deliberately said that she thought my infertility issues and so many people around me being pregnant/having babies was definitely worsening my mood)

So this morning I get up to discover a letter in the post from Clinical Psychology. It starts off to say “you are now at the top of the waiting list and I will be able to offer you sessions starting in January”… OK so a little longer than I’d expected but at last I had a start date! Then I carry on reading the letter… “I will only be able to offer you four sessions, two in January and two in February as I go on maternity leave in March 2014“.

Now here comes rant number 1.

Why… why the hell did CPN#2 not think to mention this to me whilst trying to keep me focused on staying stable “so I can work with the psychologist again”?? Why, when she herself sat and told me that she thinks having various people around me just now who are either pregnant or have small babies is having a negative impact on my mood because it keeps me thinking about my little boy all the time and about the fact that I have a variety of fertility issues of my own did she not tell me that the psychologist was pregnant again? Why let me find out on a fucking letter rather than just telling me? CPN#2 knows all to well that the reason I stopped seeing the psychologist was because in her last few months of pregnancy and with a big fucking bump it messed with my head too much and that’s why I stopped seeing her! So if psychologist is due in March then she is around a similar point in her pregnancy as my cousin who is also due in March and my cousin has just recently had her 20 week scan and has an obvious bump now. So it’s not like CPN#2 wouldn’t have known, I’m quite sure she has known for a couple of months yet has carried on telling me how important it is for me to stay stable so I can resume these psychology sessions. And also she knows fine well that my little one’s anniversary is in February so at this time of year as we go through the Winter months my head is always more messed up than usual. So she wants me to attend psychology for a whole four sessions with a huge pregnant bump staring back at me? Seriously… wtf!

The next part of the letter goes on to say: “I understand that working with me towards the end of my pregnancy may be difficult for you so if you would prefer not to have the four sessions I can offer you then you can wait until a new psychologist is appointed once I begin my maternity leave in March 2014”. Well at least she was decent enough to acknowledge and remember how hard it was for me to see her the last time she was pregnant but I have been waiting and to a certain degree hanging on for these psychology sessions since May so if I say to her that yes, I think I will find it too hard to work with her and want to wait and work with whatever new psychologist they appoint that means I’m going to have to wait until March. Maybe April by the time the new one gets his/her caseload sorted out. So that’s another four or five months to carry on waiting when I’ve already been waiting for a very long six months. Plus it means working with someone new and let’s face it I’m not particularly good at that. I’m just so frustrated that all I’ve heard for the past few months from CPN#2, from new psychiatrist, from lovely GP and lovely support worker is to “hang in there, the psychology might help, you’re nearly at the top of the list” and for what? I reach the top and am offered four sessions… even if she wasn’t pregnant what the hell do they think I’ll achieve in four sessions?!

Don’t get me wrong, I know I have no say over when anyone chooses to have a child and as well as being a psychologist she is just a normal woman living her life and creating her family. I have no issues with that. I am just so so pissed off that people clearly knew but didn’t tell me. I’m so pissed off that after all this waiting I finally get that letter to say I’m at the top of the list and then have to sit and battle with myself over what I should do now. Should I say yes and take the four sessions then move over to whoever takes over her post whilst she’s on maternity leave or should I wait a few months longer and spare myself the heartache of sitting watching this bump growing whilst at the very same time trying to deal with another painful anniversary? If I do go to see her will it mess with my head again? Will I start getting crazy thoughts like I did the last time? Would I be able to cope with it better now?

Rant number two…. I shouldn’t have to be asking myself all of these questions! Someone should have been decent enough to have said to me a month or two months ago – “you are getting close to the top of the list but the psychologist is actually pregnant again and will be going on maternity leave in March, would you prefer to stay on her list and have a few short sessions or wait until a new psychologist fills her post?” Why the fuck was it too hard for someone to just say that? Argh!

And sorry, but a bit more ranting… I had sort of decided that as CPN#2 is so fucking useless and close to impossible to work with, that when I did start seeing the psychologist again I would stop seeing CPN#2. I am getting nowhere with the woman and every session is structured in her way or no way. So now if I have to wait til March/April time to see whoever the new psychologist will be that means months and months of having to carry on seeing CPN#2 until then. And I can see where that will head. I will either make up excuses as to why I can’t attend appointments or just completely disengage with her. And all of this at the hardest time of year for me when I need support more than any other time of the year. I’m frustrated and angry that she got my hopes up that it was close to my psychology sessions resuming, that she sat and spoke to me about how it “might be best for me to just try and stay away from people who are pregnant or who have babies over these difficult months” and the whole time the fucking psychologist is pregnant!

I could go on and on. Maybe you will read this and think I need to “get over it” or maybe you’ll understand where I’m coming from. Maybe nobody really understands how hard it is to see pregnant ladies and babies unless you have lost one yourself. I know I can’t stop it from happening and I have no choice to see it from afar, but I don’t need it up close and in my face, I need to distance myself a bit from it, especially around the weeks leading up to little one’s anniversary… as we’ve seen in the past it can stress me out that much I can end up in full psychosis or full of delusions about my baby needing me so I must end my life to be with him. It can lead to me trying to take my own life so that I can be wherever he is. So yeah, you could say that it can have a pretty significant impact on me, my life and my mental health.

I just wish someone had told me and prepared me a little bit. Now I don’t know what the hell to do for the best. I don’t want to end up suicidal to the point of trying to make active attempts to end my life… I don’t want to end up with delusions… I don’t want to end up in the bin… why did they have to make something so hard that could have been dealt with so easily by just casually mentioning it to me a couple of months ago when I wasn’t ‘at the top of the list’ so I could have prepared myself for waiting a bit longer to see the new psychologist. Why keep me going, keep telling me I’m nearly at the top, just hang on a little bit longer and then hit me with it in a letter. Part of me thinks CPN#2 did it deliberately because I know she knows I don’t like her and she’d probably be quite happy to see me properly messed up again.

Maybe I should just get back in touch with new psychiatrist and say fuck it, let’s do this ECT shit… it can’t be any worse than how I feel when I leave my appointments with CPN#2… it certainly can’t be any less productive as the sessions with her are so unproductive already. Maybe zapping my brain is what I need to stop me reacting so strongly when I do have to be around babies and pregnant people or maybe six years on I’m still in so much pain and still grieving so badly that nothing at all will help other than hanging onto the thought that if it all gets too much I can just go and end it all and get to be with my little angel again… at least I do know that option will always be there…

OK, I think I’ve vented enough now so…

/End of rant.

00:10 – ECT… has it really come to that?

31 Oct

Today I had my third appointment with new psychiatrist. I have to be honest and say I was utterly dreading it because the last two appointments with him have been extremely frustrating and of no help whatsoever. But lovely support worker came with me and when she first picked me up I was very very anxious, did not want to go, but after sitting talking to me and calming me down for about 20 minutes I finally got out of the car and went into the main hospital building.

I had gone over with her what I wanted to say to new psychiatrist today and just hoped that I’d both remember it all and get the opportunity to say it all. I can’t remember if I have already mentioned this here, but basically I had decided that if this appointment went as shite as the last two with him then I was going to ask my GP to refer me to see a different psychiatrist. I may live in the middle of nowhere with very little in the way of mental health support but I do believe there is one other psychiatrist that does cover this area.

So, bang on 2.30pm his door opens and he calls me through. I hesitantly walk through with lovely support worker behind me. We sit down and he asks how I have been since I last saw him. I took a breath and told him that my mood has remained flat the vast majority of the time, that there have been a couple and I do literally mean a couple of OK/good moments but really for… well… so long now I’ve lost count my mood is flat, I rarely find enjoyment in anything, my self harming continues, I have fleeting suicidal thoughts, my sleep is crap, even the very basics like having a shower and getting dressed and taking the dogs a walk sometimes just proves to be too much for me.

Yes, I know I went out for the first time in at least six months on Saturday night and ended up having quite a good time but I think that was mostly due to the amount of alcohol I’d consumed. I did not mention anything about the recent brief substance misuse because I don’t want that splashed onto my case notes again… and anyways… it’s over and done with now with no plans of any repeat episodes. I told him about the two visits to A&E for self harm wounds and stitches, I told him I am trying my hardest to plod on with my part time home based uni course but that I’m failing to concentrate and struggling with it massively. I told him that sometimes I hear a little niggling voice encouraging me to hurt myself but that I can tolerate it as it’s nowhere near as bad as when I was hearing several voices and hearing them constantly. In that respect I think the 750mg a day of Quetiapine (Seroquel) is still working.

He asked how I’d found the increased dose of 45mg a day Mirtazapine and again I told him that it was fine for the first couple of weeks but then I started having such severe physical symptoms of anxiety (when I truly thought my heart was about to pack in and ended up getting the ecg done) and how lovely GP had wondered if it was actually the Mirtazapine causing it as anti-depressants do take a while to build up in your system. So I told him my GP told me to go back down to 30mg a day and see if the anxiety improved and yes, the heart palpitations did stop and have continued to be minimal. But the ‘psychological’ anxiety, the constant worrying and fears are still very much present. Some days I’m so scared to even walk out my front door to cross the road and walk the dogs for ten minutes then other days I dope myself up on whatever anxiety med I can and force myself to face a potentially scary situation.

He then asked how I had found the Pregabalin (Lyrica) that he had prescribed last time I saw him as the plan was for me to use it on a long term basis for my anxiety and finally start to taper off the Diazepam seeing as I’ve been taking it daily for three years now. But I had to tell him that had been a disaster as well… that I didn’t realise it had the same/similar ingredient as Gabapentin which it appears I’m allergic to. So the two medication changes he made at our last appointment a few months ago were both unsuccessful.

This of course brought us onto the discussion of reducing my Diazepam and I firmly told new psychiatrist that yes I am willing to reduce but I am most definitely not doing it at the moment. I feel horrendous enough as it is without trying to taper off from that. To my surprise he did actually say that he agreed now was not the right time, especially not as we are fast approaching my two worst times of year – Christmas and then my little boy’s anniversary in February.

He asked what support I was getting from the mental health team and I quite honestly told him how utterly useless I find cpn#2. He asked why and I explained about her super structured way of working, her setting of agenda’s, her constant ‘positive goals’ and her reluctance to talk about anything that is making my moods low. However I did tell him that I am now top of the waiting list for psychology and have been given a provisional date of mid to late November for my first appointment. It’s the same psychologist I used to work with so in a way I am looking forward to going back to see her even if I don’t feel particularly convinced that this Compassion Focused Therapy bollocks is going to work for me.

So all in all it was actually quite a good session. I managed to get across to him that the two medication changes he proposed last time I saw him had failed, that I was not ready to taper off from the Diazepam yet, that my moods are low and flat, that I’m self harming again and having occasional suicidal thoughts, that I am generally struggling with life a lot, that I’m struggling trying to continue with my studies, that the only person who lets me vent is lovely support worker, that I find my sessions with cpn#2 useless, and some days I seriously do wish I just hadn’t woken up that morning.

His first response to all of this was to ask me if I thought I would benefit from going in as an inpatient in the bin for a while? I said no, that place makes me feel worse, trapped, none of the staff give a damn, the other patients are too stressful to be around, there are too many rules… just no.

His second response was the one that surprised and to be honest shocked me (no pun intended). He said that as he looked back over all my medication history for the past four years we have pretty much exhausted every med now. There really isn’t anything different we can try. We could maybe try new combinations of something but I have pretty much tried every anti-depressant, mood stabiliser and anti-psychotic and benzodiazapine there is. He asked if it’s my depression or my anxiety that is worse and I said both of them. The anxiety can be managed to a degree with medication, the depression is just constant, constantly ongoing flat crappy moods that for months and months and months if not closer to a year have just stayed shit. Every day is an effort, every week is an effort, some mornings I open my eyes and my first thought is “I think I might kill myself today” or “I wish I was dead”. But I don’t act on them because I don’t want to put my parents through all that heartache and frustration again. I carry on painting on these fake smiles and trying so hard to make everyone think I am coping. Although I did let slip to my Mum the other day that I had recently self harmed and had to go to A&E. The thing is I’m still self harming – first through cutting… then misusing substances… then drinking… now back to cutting again. I try to put on this persona of being someone in recovery but I’m so far from recovery it’s scary. All these people telling me how well I’m doing because they don’t fucking let me talk about how bad I feel, they insist on only talking about positives and therefore have a completely skewed picture of how my life really is.

So new psychiatrist says here is the plan of action: he will not make any medication changes at the moment (mainly because there isn’t really anything else we can try), he would give me a couple of months to start seeing the psychologist again and see if psychological input helped my mood in any way, he encouraged me to be honest with cpn#2 about what *I* need from our sessions (told him I’d already done that and got nowhere)… he asked lovely support worker if she would carry on seeing me and she said yes she would see me weekly for as long as I needed it, he encouraged me to try and open up to my family so they know I’m actually not coping that great right now and all these fake smiles are simply that: fake.

And then he hits me with it… “there is one other thing we can try but I’d like to wait at least six months before trying it as I only like to use it as a last resort… have you heard of ECT before?”

I sat there kinda shocked but nodded my head. A very lovely fellow blogger tried ECT some time ago and I read all her experiences with it with interest even though it didn’t seem to work for her. It is something that scares me a bit… I mean nobody really likes the idea of being knocked out, put into a seizure and having your brain zapped do they? It’s pretty hardcore stuff. Then add in the quite possible and quite likely short term memory loss. It’s not the most appealing of treatment options. But whilst he did reiterate that it would be a last resort I suppose it sort of shocked me that it was even suggested. He said it doesn’t work for everyone but a point has to come where we try and break this depressive and unproductive cycle once and for all… and maybe, just maybe ECT would be the thing that finally works for me. But like I say, he wants me to try a few months of psychology first and then review things again. He wanted to see me back in a couple of months but he is away for most of January so my next appointment is February 6th… five days before my little man’s anniversary so I’m bound to be in a super depressed state of mind next time I see him. Again, lovely support worker said she would come with me.

I can see that my life is not good at the moment, far from it if I’m brutally honest. Yes on the one hand I haven’t given up on the studying (yet) and yes I managed to travel to a new faraway place recently (doped up on diazepam) and yes I even managed to go for a night out on Saturday (full of alcohol). But then we look at the flip side: I’m self harming a lot although managing to keep it reasonably superficial at the moment purely to avoid having to go to A&E, I’m having lots of thoughts about ending my life, my anxiety levels are ridiculously high and out of control most of the time, other than that one night out on Saturday I have next to no social life whatsoever, no friends that I see on any kind of regular basis, a constant niggling voice giggling away in my head at how pathetic I am and fuck just a couple of weeks ago things became so desperate I put that shite back into my body for some sort of an escape. I feel unsupported apart from by lovely support worker, I feel alone, I feel miserable, I question the point of everything, I don’t cook meals or eat properly I just binge on junk food, I’m lucky if I shower a couple of times a week. Things are not good. And I can’t go on pretending that I’m OK any longer because I’m not. I didn’t want to admit it but there you go, I’ve said it. I just don’t want to worry my family so I keep it bottled up… but it’s getting really bad again.

I cancelled my appointment with cpn#2 for tomorrow because I just cannot face her “positive goal setting” bullshit… I left a message for her saying I had too much studying to do and couldn’t go and asked her to give me a call back to rearrange another appointment but to be completely honest I will probably cancel that one as well. What’s the point when I get no benefit from them? And now I know it will only be a matter of weeks until I start seeing the psychologist again maybe it’s time to just stop seeing cpn#2 because I feel like I’m getting nowhere with her and I just cannot work to her super structured approach.

Has it really come to a point where I need to give serious consideration to trying ECT? Could that be the one thing that just blasts my brain back to a state of normality so I can get on with my life in a happy and meaningful way where I actually want to be alive and enjoy my life? Could it break away from all these desperate little attempts of escapism? I don’t know… And I’m not going to give it much thought for the moment because it wouldn’t be happening for at least six months anyway. And who knows where I’ll be in six months time… Who knows if I’ll even still be here? The way I feel at the moment that is somewhat doubtful.

But if I’m totally honest with people, if I lay my cards on the table and admit to how bad I feel then I enter back into the conversations like those of today: talks of admission into the bin… talks of ECT… Do I want those conversations, or worse, for them to actually happen? No.

I just want to feel normal whatever that is. I just want to feel happy. I want to wake up and look forward to the day ahead. I want things to be easy and free and effortless.

And yet I also want to go to wherever my little boy is… wherever it is we go when our body has died and our soul has moved on… and well…. I guess I can’t really believe that I’ve ended up back in this place again. I’m scared… the feelings of things about to fall apart and hit crisis level feel imminent and I’m genuinely truly terrified of that happening to me again.

17:08 – Another useless CPN session

24 Oct

Firstly I’d just like to say thank you for all the supportive comments you guys left on my post below. I have decided to put it on password protect for a while as it’s so personal that I’m not sure I want it available for public viewing. It’s the same password that I use for all my protected posts… if you want it feel free to dm me on twitter or send me an email.

Today I feel much better physically than I have done over the past few days. I think now that it’s been a full 3 days everything is out of my system now and other than being loaded with the cold I’m OK.

I just wanted to write a short post mainly because I’m feeling quite frustrated at the moment. I went to see CPN#2 a couple of hours ago and had decided in my head that I was going to say something along the lines of: “I’ve been feeling really low, I’ve had a lot of thoughts about self harming and even about ending my life, I spent a few days misusing alcohol (there’s no way I could tell her what I really used) and basically I feel like I’m in a bit of a mess and I think it would be helpful to try and work out what it is that’s making me feel so low”.

So that was the little script I had in my head ready to say to her but when I got to my appointment the first thing she did was sit down with her notepad on her knee and ask me what I wanted to put on today’s “agenda” – ARGHHHHHHHH!!! – Yes, this was the reason I didn’t go and see her for so long, this was what I had politely tried to explain to her a few weeks ago that the ‘setting an agenda’ approach just doesn’t work for me, this is what I thought we had got sorted out and clearly we haven’t! I said to her I didn’t know what I wanted to list on our agenda but I was feeling low and could we just talk for a while? Her reply was that it wasn’t helpful for us to focus on ‘negative thinking’ and that by setting an agenda we were setting goals – positive goals – so that when I left each appointment I could think that I had achieved something good that day. I tried again by asking her who exactly I should be seeing if I need someone just to talk about life with? If I need a rant or to vent? If I’m feeling low and scared? Do I just bottle it up? Isn’t it part of her role to listen to me?

She then said she thought the best way to structure our appointments was to have three things each week to talk about. We could spend 15-20 minutes talking about each one. She would prefer all three things to be ‘positive’ things and us discussing how I’m going to reach individual goals but said that on the ‘rare occasion’ if I was feeling particularly low then I could use one of my 20 minute sets to talk about my moods and feelings.

So as none of this was particularly helpful and I was feeling like I just wanted to get up and leave it became increasingly difficult to even try and tell her how messed up I’ve been feeling. I had decided before I got to the appointment that I would say I had been misusing alcohol – I didn’t want the truth written on my case notes, I didn’t want my parents to find out and break their hearts again over 6 days of complete stupidity and so I figured just saying I had misused any substance was good enough as at the end of the day they are all misused for the same reasons – either to make you feel good or to block all the shit out. I’m sure CPN#2 could tell that I needed to vent but she just kept on talking about how well I was doing. She said she has spoken again to the psychologist and I’m now almost at the top of the list so my sessions with her should start back around the end of November and whilst telling me this she said she had told the psychologist how well I was doing in so many areas of my life like with the part time uni course and the fact I’d had no hospital admissions since January 2012 (the last time I saw the psychologist was Feb 2012 when she went on maternity leave). Apparently the psychologist told CPN#2 that she was really proud of me as I’d been so unstable back then that I just could not do any psychological therapies and that she is looking forward to seeing me again and seeing a much more stable me. Then CPN#2 was telling me that she’d been talking about me with her line manager as part of her supervision – where they briefly discuss each of their service users with their managers – and how the manager had been telling her about the first time she met me (when I was being sectioned) and travelling in the ambulance with me to the psych hospital… the mess I was in… the voices I was hearing… etc etc. So when CPN#2 told her too about how well I was doing now she was apparently “extremely pleased to hear it”. She continued to say how it was strange but nice for her to hear from other people about how bad I’d been at my worst but how much better I seemed now (as CPN#2 never worked with me or knew me when I was ‘at my worst’).

The whole time I was just sitting there thinking why are you telling these people how well I am doing when just last week I was suicidal? Why do you never want to listen to the truth? Yeah, I’m all for turning a negative into a positive if possible but fucking hell she was making it sound like I was well and truly on my road to recovery when right now that couldn’t be further from the truth. So I finally butted in and said to her that whilst I accepted there have been some areas of my life that are slowly improving there are other areas that are bad. I told her I’d gone through a misusing alcohol binge last week to block out my emotions. I told her I’d had suicidal feelings. I told her I’d wanted to self harm and instead of cutting I drank myself into a stupor. (OK so I didn’t drink but again, I wasn’t about to tell her what I really did). All she said was “well you must have realised that it was doing you no good as you’ve now stopped” and then tried to move along to the next subject of ‘setting goals’.

She just doesn’t seem to get that I cannot think about what three things I want to think about a week in advance. I can’t even plan for the day I’m on let alone plan three very specific things for a week’s time. She was very clear that she wants us to use our time to set goals and discuss how to achieve them, and then achieve them… and very clear that whilst we could talk about my moods if it was like some sort of emergency situation it would not be the focus of our sessions.

I understand that working with the psychologist has to be very structured especially when you are doing a specific therapy programme with them, but I hate how these CPN sessions have to be so structured as well. Well they don’t have to be because I’ve worked with plenty of staff members at some time or another who do just let you talk but this is obviously the way CPN#2 works and she isn’t going to work in any other way. I wonder if I’m the only one of her service users who finds her so unhelpful or if they all benefit from her agenda setting, goal setting, super positive approach where if we just don’t talk about any of the bad things then we can pretend that they just don’t fucking exist.

So I’m sorry to say but I am annoyed. I wish I hadn’t bothered going to the appointment. I have another one for next Thursday and already I am thinking that I might just cancel it. Also, I got a text from best friend whilst I was en-route to my appointment which said “hi, i’m really sorry but i have no money at all to even go for lunch on saturday”. It’s my birthday on Monday and originally I’d suggested just the two of us going for a couple of quiet drinks or for dinner but she said she didn’t have much money so I suggested we went for lunch instead. It didn’t need to be anywhere fancy, it was more just to spend a couple of hours with her and have a chat. She said yes she could afford to do that but now for whatever reason she can’t. Why am I pissed off? Because it is another one of her friend’s 40th birthday night out the following weekend and I know she is going to that! So she can’t meet up with me, can’t go for a cheap quiet lunch, can’t even manage to go for a coffee and have a chat yet she can go out the following weekend with her other mate. I’ve not missed any of best friend’s birthdays since she has been living back here, nor any of her kids birthdays/christmas/etc. Even when I’ve mentally been feeling like shit I’ve dragged myself along and always bought nice gifts. All I wanted was to spend some time with her, the money is irrelevant, there are plenty of things we could do that didn’t involve money but there was something in her tone in her text messages that said to me she just doesn’t want to do anything with me at all right now. So yeah, truth be known I’m feeling slightly rejected at the moment and pretty lonely as well.

So it looks like it’s going to be a quiet weekend. Maybe I will see if anyone else is going out that I could tag along with. The last thing I want is to sit in the house alone all weekend because I’m scared I’d be tempted to let the emotions get to me and act on them in some way or another that I’d end up regretting. On my birthday on Monday I’m going out for a nice lunch with the parents – we were going to go for dinner but my Mum is working night shift so lunch it is. Looks like it’s going to be a super quiet one this year… as if I wasn’t already feeling crappy at the thought of another birthday being single and alone and having all of those “this wasn’t how I thought my life would be at the age of 32” type thoughts.

Sorry… I believe I said at the start of this post it was going to be a short one… it didn’t really turn out that way… I’m going to try and do some studying for a couple of hours then vegetate in front of the TV for the rest of the evening. Oh what an exciting life I lead.

Protected: 02:38 – A bit of an explanation

24 Oct

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23:36 – When the past comes back to haunt you

4 Oct

Today got off to a better start than I expected. I kept to my word and went to my appointment with CPN#2 and it actually went quite well. I managed to stay calm and explain how her ‘super structured approach’ and ‘agendas’ for our meetings were not helpful at the moment. I explained that recently my head just hasn’t been in a very good place at all and I need emotional support more than I needed to learn the basics of the Compassionate Mind therapy. We actually spent the hour where I did most of the talking and where she actually listened, and to give her the credit she deserves (well for how she was today!) she even offered some suggestions that did sound helpful. So I’m very much hoping that this is going to be the start of a change in her approach and that way I might just start attending my appointments properly again. I do want to do the Compassionate Mind therapy stuff but right now is not the right time… I just can’t concentrate or deal with things being overly-structured or planned for in advance. I need to just go with the flow for the moment until my head settles down again.

I left the appointment feeling more positive but minutes after I got home I heard my phone beep at me. There was a text message from a girl that I don’t know personally, but I do know her partner. Now for those of you who have been reading for a while, you might remember that back in January 2012 I made some very stupid decisions whilst trying to escape from life in any way possible. I was in a really dark place and the stupid decisions I made were to do with drugs. Now I won’t lie, whilst I haven’t touched any Class A drugs since then, there has been the odd time here and there when I’ve maybe smoked a little bit of cannabis but very rarely, and any time I have done I always regret it because it makes me anxious as hell and super paranoid within hours of smoking it. To get back to the point… the guy who I did hard drugs with in January 2012 is a heroin addict. He is also on a Methadone treatment program but he continues to use heroin on top of this. He found out that I was prescribed Diazepam from my doctor and there have been a couple of occasions where he has bumped into me in the street and quite literally begged me to give him a strip to help with the heroin withdrawals and like an idiot I gave them to him. Not because I wanted to, but because I just wanted him to disappear and the easiest way was to hand him a strip of them and then he’d be gone. [Lesson number 1 – never give anything to a full on junkie, you will never get rid of them, they will only keep on coming back and asking for more]

So a couple of nights ago he sent me a text asking if I could spare a couple of Diazepam for him, he gave me some story about being in bad withdrawals but I replied saying that I no longer had any. I do, but I need my prescribed dosage for myself, especially with the intense anxiety I have been battling with recently and all the self harming. So I thought if I just told him I don’t get them any more then that would make him not bother contacting me again. He replied at the time saying “ok, thanks anyway” and I didn’t expect to hear any more about it.

But then today I get home from my appointment and a text appears through on my phone telling me it is his girlfriend and she had been reading all his texts while he was still in bed… she’d seen the ones where he’d asked me for Diazepam and proceeded to tell me that he had been “a complete monster the past few days, falling asleep in his dinner, verbally abusive towards her and not a good dad to his kids” and since the only text she could find about any kind of drugs was the one he’d sent me and my reply she automatically assumed that I was the one responsible for giving him some type of drugs to get him into that kind of state!! He has openly told me that he still uses heroin pretty much daily on top of his methadone but she thinks he is only taking methadone and is clean from heroin! Lies! So her text ended with “if you ever meet with H again or give him anything again I swear you will live to regret it”.

I was sitting here like WTF? Seriously… what… the… fuck??

So I reply to her saying the last time I gave him a strip of 2mg Diazepam was at least six months ago and if he was in such a state he was falling asleep in his dinner and behaving in the way she’d said around her then I doubted very much it was even Diazepam he was taking. It is pretty easy to buy ‘street blues’ (counterfeit 10mg Diazepam tablets, even in the tiny town I live in they are everywhere) and I know for a fact that he buys them regularly. I then sent a text to him very clearly saying “please do not ever contact me again, I do not appreciate getting angry texts from your girlfriend and certainly don’t appreciate being blamed for the mess you are getting yourself into on god knows what you’ve been taking – delete my number and leave me in peace!!”

He then spends the entire afternoon texting me constantly… apologising for her getting access to his phone and for her texting me… begging me not to tell her he was using heroin again… promising me that he’d make sure my number got deleted off her phone… asking if he could come round “to talk to me”… every text I got I either ignored or replied back saying “I’ve already told you to delete my number please do it, I do not want any trouble from someone I don’t even know about something that has fuck all to do with me”.

Then it went quiet and I thought that was it over and done with.

About an hour ago I get another text message from his partner. She’d got hold of his phone again and had read all the texts (although he coincidently deleted the one begging me not to tell her he was using heroin again) – so she went off on one going mad that I had text him back even if it was to tell him to leave me alone… saying she didn’t believe me and she knew it was me giving him whatever he’s taking to get in that state… then the threats started that she knew where I lived, knew who I was and would personally be coming to my door to *insert a load of expletives here* then “give me a hard kick in my fat ass”.

So I reply again. I tell her again very clearly that I have not given him anything. That I have nothing to give him anyway. That I haven’t even seen him in months. I hint to her that it does not sound to me like it is any type of Diazepam/Valium he is using. I try to be polite even though my hands were shaking and say I completely understand why she wouldn’t want him around their children if he is getting himself into that sort of state. And I finally end my text by repeating that this has absolutely nothing to do with me and it was pure coincidence that he text me out of the blue and if she read my reply she would see I offered him nothing at all. Nada. Zero. Zilch. I then ask her if she could please get his phone and delete my number from it as well as any texts from me to ensure he couldn’t contact me again. And on a very final note made it clear I was not impressed with her sending me threatening messages either.

After sitting with CPN#2 this morning and talking about how I felt all messed up but her pointing out how far I’d come from the stupid few weeks of drug use almost two years ago, I couldn’t quite believe these ridiculous text conversations that I was being hit with today. Between him texting saying to ignore his girlfriend and begging me even for just 1 or 2 tablets and her texting me and accusing me of something I have absolutely no involvement in whatsoever and threatening me it’s turned out to be a pretty crappy evening. And this is one of the really shit things about living in such a small town, I know it will only be a matter of weeks if not days before I run into him somewhere… and whilst I know who his girlfriend is to see, I certainly don’t know her to talk to, but from the sounds of things she is a bit immature if she thinks sending threatening messages to someone is a clever move. So yeah… kinda dreading the idea of going out and about now and think I’ll be keeping my head down for a while… and I *hate* myself for writing that because I know I have done absolutely nothing wrong. OK, giving him a strip of my prescribed medication months and months ago was wrong legally, but I’ve learned from that mistake and not repeated it.

I have asked both of them to delete my number from their phones and told them both not to make any contact with me but who knows how long that will last. I’m so annoyed as well because I only just got a new phone a few weeks ago and I changed network providers… I had a new number but decided just to keep my old one and transfer it over to save me having to change my number everywhere. I should have just gone with the new number and dealt with the little bit of hassle of informing people I had a new one! Then he wouldn’t have been able to contact me at all and all this shit could have been avoided. I feel like such an idiot… like it’s taken me right back to remembering being in that horrendous black hole where I needed to use hard drugs to try and get through each day… but I recognised I was doing something extremely stupid and went to my doctor before I got the chance to develop any sort of an addiction and asked for help. I even agreed to voluntarily go into the psych hospital for a couple of weeks to break away from the cycle I was getting myself into and to try and sort my head out a bit. I broke away from all that crap before it got really serious and yet 22 months later because of living in this tiny little town I still pay the price for it by not being able to escape from idiots like him.

*aarrggghhhhhhhh*

I thought writing all of this down would be therapeutic and get me to release my anger/frustration over it all in a healthy manner but to be honest the temptation to just do one little cut just to release and lower my stress levels is super high. But I won’t. I will not wake up tomorrow with yet another fresh cut and know that one was inflicted by some desperate addict and his nasty little girlfriend.

I’m better than that.

I haven’t done anything wrong.

I don’t need to punish myself.

Repeat over and over.

And breatheee.

13:17 – Progress with CPN#2 at last?

2 Oct

So this morning I got a phone call from CPN#2 who said she was calling me for two reasons. One was to find out why I didn’t attend my appointment with her last week and the other because she had the notes from my A&E visit on Sunday night in front of her.

This is unusual for her to phone me for missing an appointment and also unusual for her to phone me because she’s seen I’d attended A&E. I couldn’t help but wonder if she had read that my support worker had taken me there at 11pm on a Sunday night and maybe the A&E nurse wrote something on the notes about how unhelpful I’m finding my appointments with CPN#2. Maybe the combination of both finally made her decide she better at least phone and appear as though she gives a shit… either way… she called.

So her first question to me was about my non-attendance of appointments. I could feel my heart suddenly beating super fast and hard in my chest, a huge wave of anxiety came over me because I knew this was my opportunity: be honest with her but not know how she’ll react – or – make some excuse up and let her carry on thinking it’s ‘me’ not ‘her’. There was a lot of noise in the background and CPN#2 said she could barely hear me so was going to move to another room and call me straight back. I used those two minutes to quickly decide whether or not to be honest with her and what the hell to say.

My phone started ringing again a few minutes later and with a deep breath I said I wanted to try and explain what was going on. I wanted to be polite about it, I knew if I started going on about all the little annoying habits she has like “setting an agenda” and the stopwatch app on her phone running all the way through our appointments I would just end up getting angry, sounding silly and not achieve anything. So instead I explained (as calmly as I could) that I felt she was only willing to discuss this Compassionate Mind therapy with me and that any time I have tried to divert away from that to talk about how I’m feeling or how my mood is, she’ll stop me in my tracks and say “this isn’t on our agenda”. I was getting the feeling she was going to start being all defensive so I added in that I *did* want to try and learn the Compassionate Mind stuff because it seemed like a positive step in the right direction… i.e. something that will help me in the future whereas going back to talking about self harming, low moods, etc seemed like a step backwards. This seemed to balance things out a bit as I came across like I was willing to take some responsibility for not opening up to her or being honest with her.

I told her about the self harming and the things that had triggered me into feeling so crappy and spoke for another few minutes about how I didn’t want to “go backwards” but equally I couldn’t ignore these low moods any longer. And to my surprise she said that yes, I *should* be able to tell her when I’m feeling low and if I wanted to put the Compassionate Mind work on hold for a couple of weeks while we look at what’s causing the dips in my mood then we could do that. I explained how I’d had to turn to my support worker at rape crisis to help keep me safe over the weekend and I think this helped her to realise that this wasn’t right… it should be her as my CPN making safety plans and monitoring my mood… that’s her job not my support worker’s. So she asked if I would go in and see her on Friday and said we could get everything out in the open and that she’d give me the time to talk about what *I* wanted to talk about during our hour and I agreed that sounded like it would be helpful and that I would attend.

So I now have my fingers crossed that she will stick to everything she said on the phone and give me some space to open up on Friday, hopefully there will be no “agenda setting” and rather than running it like a business meeting, run it like a session with a CPN should be run. I feel better for finally getting all of this out in the open and if she sticks to her end of the deal then I can maybe start getting the right support from the right people again… i.e. mental health support from CPN#2 and get back to working on the issues surrounding sexual abuse with lovely support worker.

The self harm thoughts are still very much present and my mood is still low but I do feel like I’ve got something off my chest now and I just keep telling myself that it’s Wednesday today, I only need to get through today and tomorrow and then I’ll have my CPN appointment and hopefully have a productive appointment for once. It would be nice to be able to write a bloggy post to say the appointment had gone well and that after all the moaning I have done about CPN#2, maybe now a little bit of progress could be made. I don’t know about you guys but I’m sick to death of moaning about the woman!!

So yes, I have a tiny glimmer of hope that after all of this time CPN#2 might finally be ready to listen to me rather than the other way round. I shall report back on Friday on how it went and try my hardest not to self harm again before I see her, and I guess that’s all we can do, take it one day at a time and keep on trying….

(P.S. Completely off topic – this was my 800th blog post!)

15:12 – Bad weekend, A&E, self harming and more

30 Sep

**Please note this post is (a) very long and (b) contains talk of self harm so could be triggering**

 

Since I last posted things have been shit. Beyond shit in fact. The constant urges, needs, niggling voices about self harming have been grinding me down at a super fast pace.

I don’t really know where to begin so I’ll just stick to talking about the weekend. Friday I was a mess, but a manageable mess (or so I thought) but from the moment I woke up on Saturday (at 6am) I seemed to do nothing but cry all day long. The urges to self harm were crazy strong, very very intense and I fought so hard not to act on them. I had agreed a temporary safety plan with my support worker from rape crisis and even though it was a Saturday afternoon I desperately needed someone to talk to so I sent her an email, thinking that this would both get things off my chest but that she wouldn’t get it until Monday morning, therefore I wouldn’t be disturbing her at the weekend.

However, she must still check them at the weekends as I got a reply from her about an hour or so later. She was really nice in her reply and all the bits I’d written saying things like “it’s my fault, I’m bad, there’s bad blood in me, I need to bleed it out” she replied to saying “no, you’re not bad, you’re just having a really rough time at the moment and rough times mean you are more likely to use the one coping mechanism that you’ve always turned to – i.e. self harming”. She ended the email by saying that if I wanted a chat just to text her and let her know. But I didn’t want to ruin her weekend with all my crazy head crap so I tried to plod on with things by myself. The day carried on getting worse and worse, and by the time we got to about 7pm I was totally inconsolable… crying gentle sobs, quiet tears running down my face, then hysterical crying, huge heaving sobs, my whole body shaking and still with the repetitive “just fucking cut” voice going on in my head. The next few hours after that are a bit of a blur, I took more than my prescribed dose of Diazepam just to try and get some control back by calming down a little but it didn’t really do much to help. Maybe I just needed to cry like that, it has been a long time since I last really really let go and completely broke down emotionally.

Lovely support worker text me to ask if I was OK somewhere around 10pm and I replied back honestly “no, I’m a mess” so she replied saying she was going to phone me for a little chat but I replied again saying “I don’t even know what to say, I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I can’t stop crying and I don’t even know if I’ll make any sense” but about ten minutes later she phoned anyway. I answered but couldn’t talk, just sat there crying my eyes out, every time I tried to say a simple word like ‘yes’ or ‘no’ more huge sobs would start up. But she just sat there and listened, she spoke for a little while until I got it together enough to talk a little bit. She was so reassuring and kept telling me everything was going to be OK, and every time I did manage to speak and something crazy came out my mouth she would listen and then repeat it back to me with the ‘crazy’ parts removed so that she could just keep putting it to me that I was just having a really hard time right now, but that I would get through it, look at all the other things I had gotten through that I never thought I would. She told me I was strong even when I sounded like a whimpering mess, she told me it was OK to feel how I was feeling, and after maybe 20 minutes the tears subsided enough that I could speak a little more rationally.

We then had a chat for a little while longer and I told her I was sitting on my bed surrounded by my little boy’s memory boxes, I had all of his scan photos and his actual photos spread out on the bed… I was cuddling his blanket of love that he is wrapped in in the photos… I’d been reading all of the sympathy cards we got at the time and in so many of them people had written how sorry they were but how they hoped the “love we had for each other” would be strong enough to get us through such a difficult time. And it hurt me to my very core because at that time I truly believed the love that me and my (ex) fiancé had for one another would be enough to get us through it. And then at the bottom of all of the sympathy cards I found two mother’s day cards and the ex had written a little poem from our baby… the last few lines of which said:

although right now we may be apart,

know that I love you from the deepest of my heart,

thank you so much for looking after my daddy for me,

mummy, a time will come when we’ll be back together as three

And my heart felt like it broke all over again as I read those words. At first I ached as I read them and felt such sadness… but then this changed to a more angry feeling, like what my ex had written was all lies… there would never be a “three of us” now, why did he claim to love me so much yet still go and have his two affairs? I was still on the phone to my support worker at this point and saying all of these thoughts aloud through the tears but again she helped to calm me down and explain that whilst going and having his affairs was very wrong of him, at the time he wrote those words on that card he probably did mean every word of them. He wrote them long before our relationship even started to show the tiniest of cracks, when we were very much in love and when I was facing my first mother’s day but without my baby. I guess that made some sort of sense as I did begin to calm down a little bit again and put the cards back in the box and closed the lid.

So after a long chat (and it was now getting really late at night) I thanked her lots for taking time out of her Saturday night to sit and talk to me. I apologised for all the crying I’d done and felt a bit embarrassed about it… I don’t really do the whole crying in front of people thing… but again she told me not to be silly and that crying is what we do when we’re upset, it’s completely natural, and right now I have a lot of upsetting thoughts that I’m trying to deal with. She said again that she was proud of me for not giving in to the self harm urges, re-checked I’d be OK and told me to text her any time the next day if I was struggling then we said goodnight.

I lay there for hours with my head pounding from all the crying I had done and then finally fell asleep feeling a bit better for talking to someone.

But then I woke up on Sunday morning (yesterday) and my very first thoughts upon waking were “cut yourself, just do it” and I burst into tears straight away. I got up and felt determined that I was not going to listen to those thoughts nor act upon them. I tried to busy myself by having a shower, walking the dogs, trying to do some studying, but to be honest no distraction was actually distracting me. The thoughts were constant and at the very front of my mind no matter what I tried to do to block them out. So then I tried doing things the other way and allowed all of the thoughts to flood my brain, sat and cried and listened to every single reason why I should cut myself. Needless to say this approach didn’t get me very far either. I got through ’til about 5pm before I felt like I was seriously going to lose it so I sent a text to lovely support worker and said I was struggling a lot and that I didn’t think I could stop myself from self harming for much longer. She replied asking if I’d like to have a chat but I didn’t want to take up her Sunday as well so I decided to leave it for a bit before replying to see if I could calm myself down on my own.

The next few hours were an absolute nightmare, my head hasn’t felt that crazy in a long time, I tried and tried to fight back but was running out of fight. By the time it got to around 9pm I finally started to lose it big time. Now at this point I *should* have text/emailed/phoned my support worker and talked it through but I had become so focused on needing to harm myself that I couldn’t think about anything else. So I got some towels and a clean blade and then turned the light off so I was sitting on the living room floor in the dark. [Insert warning here: self harming in the dark is not a clever idea, you could easily go too deep by accident and cause nerve damage, hit a vein or worse nick an artery, you could cut at a tendon or muscle and risk permanent damage to a limb… etc etc] But yeah, I just didn’t want to see what I was doing, I just wanted to feel the pain from it and fully intended to just cut one time, sit and feel that stinging throbbing sensation and then stop. But of course, as always with self harming, it didn’t turn out that way. I made three pretty nasty cuts which didn’t look too bad when I turned the light back on, but the sight of them and the blood on the towels made me not want to stop. So I cut deeper and deeper into the three cuts I’d made until it was at the point of them all being gaping open a fair bit. When I was finally ‘finished’ it was only then I realised that I didn’t have any essential first aid stuff in the house and there was a lot of blood soaking through the towels… so I began to panic a little bit. Even though it was about 10.30pm I sent a text to lovely support worker apologising profusely and explaining what I’d done. She replied asking if I needed to go to A&E? I text back saying ‘yes probably, but I don’t want to go’ then we spent the next half an hour texting back and forth with her saying she wasn’t going to force me to do anything I didn’t want to do but that if I did need medical attention then she would come and pick me up and take me there. After a lot of thinking I finally decided that it would probably be the best move to have the cuts cleaned and treated properly.

So around 11pm she picked me up and I said I was so sorry, sorry for using up her free weekend time and sorry for wasting the time of the NHS. I was really anxious as I had a feeling it would be the same doctor on duty who stitched me up after my ‘accidental’ injury just over a week ago but thankfully it wasn’t. Support worker was great, she let me go and sit in the waiting area while she explained to the nurse what I’d done and explained on my behalf that I was feeling really anxious. As usual, it was a nurse I’ve seen a few times before but haven’t seen this particular nurse in about a year. She let my support worker come through to the treatment room with us and said I had done really well with getting my self harming ‘under control’ as she remembered a time I was in there every few days with wounds, and other than the ‘accident’ the other week, I haven’t attended A&E for self harm wounds since April this year. So yeah, she was nice about it and told me not to feel too bad for having a bit of a relapse.

I didn’t say very much at first… I hate that moment where they take off the DIY bandage you’ve made and expose the cuts. I always look away and refuse to look at the wounds until they have been treated and covered up. One of the cuts just needed glue and steri strips but the other two were quite a bit deeper. I’ve had cuts less deep than them needing proper stitches before, but the problem was that the two cuts were so close together I don’t think it would have been possible to stitch them. So she asked if I was happy to have them glued and taped together and I said yes. It looked quite neat once she was finished but the dressing I have on my leg has quite a lot of blood on it today and I’m not sure if a bit of the glue has burst. I don’t want to take the dressing pad off because I only have one spare one and so long as no new fresh blood appears then it doesn’t really matter too much if a little glue has burst, me and medical glue don’t really get along, I always seem to burst a bit of it somewhere.

Anyways, going back to what I was saying… the A&E nurse was gentle, non judgemental and kind to me. I notice if you have someone with you, especially someone they see as a supporting professional, then all of the A&E nurses and doctors tend to be a bit nicer towards you. I asked her if I could just care for the wound myself instead of the usual routine of going back after 2 days for a wound check then returning again to have the stitches or steri strips or whatever removed. She said that would be OK as she knows I know what signs to look out for regarding infection etc. I then asked her if it would be possible for them not to send over the information to the mental health team even though it is in my care plan that if I attend A&E a copy of the notes should be sent over to them. She was a bit reluctant to do that though and asked me why I didn’t want the mental health team to know. I answered as honestly as I could:

  • Nobody from the mental health team ever contacts me even when they do receive a copy of the notes from A&E
  • This in turn makes me annoyed that I stick to my end of my care plan but they don’t stick to their end to even make a quick phone call to ask if I’m OK
  • If crappy CPN#2 doesn’t even attempt to make contact with me when I didn’t attend for 10-12 weeks in a row then there isn’t much chance of her making contact following an A&E visit
  • I end up just feeling let down and like no one really cares when I know those notes have been sent over but nobody even acknowledges them

 

Adding to this I also explained that I’m not finding my current CPN very helpful at all. I told the A&E nurse I did have an appointment to see CPN#2 last week but didn’t attend it so that would be even more reason for CPN#2 to turn round and say “well you had an appointment, you could have come to see me but you chose not too” – when in fact the reality is even if I had gone to see her my ‘current mood’ is never a topic for her little agenda so in reality I wouldn’t have been able to talk about how crap I was feeling anyway. The A&E nurse said she completely understood where I was coming from but that she would feel much better for sending over the notes anyway. She said at least this way, if nobody does make contact, then I have even more ‘evidence’ that this CPN is not the right one for me. So in the end I agreed that the notes could be sent over and lovely support worker agreed I’d done the right thing.

By the time we got back to mine it was well after midnight and we sat in support worker’s car and chatted for a little while before I actually realised how late it was and thanked her very much for coming with me and for supporting me all weekend. I have an appointment to see her again tomorrow afternoon and am going to get a little thank you card for going above and beyond in helping me these past few days.

So yeah, it’s been a very difficult weekend, lots of emotions, lots of crying and another three scars to add to my already horrendous looking legs. But at the same time I was never left feeling alone with all these mixed up emotions, I felt supported and that in turn enabled me to feel like I could be honest and not have to hold back… I could just admit to what I was feeling and let people help me. I’m still not sure if the urges to self harm are out of my system but at least I no longer have to keep those thoughts to myself, I know now I have at least one person I can talk to when things get really rough who won’t judge me but simply reassure me that it’s OK to feel how I feel. It still really annoys me that support worker is having to take that role at the moment, I truly believe that it should be the job of CPN#2 to look after my “mental health needs” rather than my support worker who is there to help with my ongoing issues regarding the sexual assault in August last year and the issues I still have surrounding the childhood sexual abuse I suffered. Thankfully when it comes to the topic of self harm it is one that my support worker is quite knowledgeable about as sexual abuse and self harm often go hand in hand, but still, it would be nice to have a CPN who actually made me feel like she cared once in a while.

Sorry for over 3000 words of rambles… hope I didn’t bore you too much(!) I guess I just have to hope now that this new week is a better one… so yeah… will see how it goes…

01:15 – A temporary safety plan

26 Sep

Today I have tried my hardest to start being honest with people.

Best friend text me out of the blue last night asking how I was. I contemplated sending the “fine thanks” reply but decided that no, I would tell the truth, well mostly the truth. I text back and told her I was lonely, that I felt like I had no friends and that my mood was very low and I’m finding myself feeling triggered by the smallest of things. To my surprise she text back straight away and said she was going to come and see me in the morning and true to her word, at 11am this morning she phoned to say she was on her way.

The first thing she asked me was why I was bandaged up, had I been self harming? This was the only lie that I told her. I stuck to my story that I have told A&E and also told my Mum. But all the other stuff I was honest about. I told her I was feeling really low but that there was no one specific thing making me feel this way. I don’t know why I couldn’t be honest about all of the cutting I have been doing recently, usually I can be pretty straight to the point with her. I guess maybe I didn’t want to see the disappointment in her face, as she thinks I haven’t done it since April. That’s probably the reason why I have lied about it this time round, just to avoid dealing with that sad look in people’s faces. I told best friend I was finding it hard being on my own all of the time and that I missed her. I also never see the male friend that I used to spend a lot of time with but that is mainly because the last time we had a proper conversation a few weeks ago he asked me if we could be more than friends – of course I said no. I came up with some shit about just not wanting to be in a relationship with anyone – you know – the sort of thing you say to try and make them not take it personally. Blaming my mental health and saying I would be too much of a burden on someone right now. To a point that is true but I wouldn’t ever be more than friends with him anyway purely because there is absolutely no physical attraction there.

Anyways… back to today. After we’d sat and chatted for about an hour I realised best friend hadn’t just been too busy with her boyfriend and kids, she’s actually had some stuff going on as well that she’s been quite worried about. She had a heart murmur as a baby but it’s never really affected her, however she became quite unwell at the weekend and had to go to hospital where they found something quite abnormal on her ECG and the doctor suspects one of the valves in her heart isn’t letting oxygen in properly or something to that effect. So she is being referred to the cardiologist and is feeling quite worried about that. I then felt a bit stupid and selfish that I thought she was just too loved up to remember to text me but she did say she shouldn’t have left me for weeks with not even a text to say hello. We decided to go for a coffee before I had to go to my appointment at 2pm and I felt slightly better for spending a couple of hours with her and getting out of the house.

I then went to my appointment with my support worker from rape crisis. This is where I was properly honest. I told her about all of the self harming. I told her I’d even been having thoughts again about not wanting to be here any more. I told her about how lonely I feel. I told her about abuser cousin’s daughter having the baby. I told her about all the things that have been triggering me. I told her I wasn’t sure how safe I felt at the moment especially with my parents being away on holiday. I told her about not going to see CPN#2 yesterday and all my reasons why I find myself avoiding more and more appointments. Basically I got everything off my chest. I was talking slowly, every word felt like it was draining me but I got it all out in the end. She asked me what we could do to try and keep me safe. I told her I really didn’t know. I do know that I definitely do not want to even consider hospital, it is not an option. I don’t know that I feel suicidal as such however I did admit to having a cupboard absolutely full to the brim of a variety of medication. Some prescribed stuff and some stuff I’ve bought. I have no idea how many tablets are in there but it’s easily into the hundreds. So after a long chat I managed to identify that I am relatively low risk when it comes to trying to kill myself or taking an overdose even though I have the means to do so. However I could recognise that I am at a high risk of self harming to quite severe levels. This is when lovely support worker said we should think of a ‘temporary safety plan’.

I agreed that if I found myself in a situation where I was beginning to self harm and it was possible that it might spiral out of control then I would do my best to stop for a moment and phone/text or email her. I don’t know how realistic that is going to be should it happen… once I’m in that self harming ‘zone’ it’s very hard to stop and think, I’m too determined just to bleed out all of my pain. She said I should try and make contact with her when I’m at the ‘crazy-head-full-of-self-harm-urges’ stage rather than afterwards when the damage has already been done but that truly is easier said than done. But I will at least try. If she’s being good enough to make a point of being there for me then I should try and make use of that support.

After I left my appointment I decided to try and face A&E to get my stitches removed. As usual the two nurses on shift were nurses that I knew. I made a point of saying this hadn’t been a self harm wound and she gave me a bit of a strange look for a second. Whatever she had read from my notes appeared to say differently so clearly the doctor who put the stitches in didn’t believe my lie or at least expressed some sort of doubt about the story I gave him. She was nice enough though, removed the stitches, made some general chit chat, asked what I’d been doing with myself today so I decided fuck it, I’ll be honest with her. So whilst I stuck to the story of that particular wound not being a self harm one, I also told her I’m not finding my appointments with my CPN helpful at all and haven’t really been going to them. She suggested I mention this to my GP when I next see her to see if there is a way that I could maybe see a different CPN but I don’t know if that would even be possible due to the small amount of staff there are in the mental health team here. Plus it would mean CPN#2 finding out my feelings on how unhelpful I find her.

I also told the A&E nurse that I was experiencing a lot of urges to self harm at the moment. I don’t know if this was partly because I thought that if I told her then if I do end up self harming badly again it won’t come as too much of a surprise to them. Or maybe I just needed to be honest and stop lying. I think it was a mix of trying to reach out for some help and just wanting to tell the truth.

So all in all today wasn’t such a bad day. I talked about a lot of depressing stuff and from all that talking I managed to recognise that I don’t feel particularly safe at the moment and that my self harming behaviours are starting to get pretty bad again. But on the flip side I don’t feel as though I’ve just been left on my own to deal with it all. Even if I don’t make contact with my support worker before our appointment next week at least I know that she is there at the end of the phone or email should I need it. For now there is a temporary safety plan in place.

I am planning on spending some time at the cemetery tomorrow as the new bits and bobs for my little boy’s headstone arrived today. Usually I find it very peaceful to sit up there for a while and talk to him, admittedly I usually have a bit of a cry as well but maybe that’s not such a bad thing. I will post a photo next time I write a post of his stone looking all pretty again.

There was just one last thing I wanted to ask you all before I log off (well ask my female readers!) – I got the routine letter through today saying it is time for my three yearly smear test. The actual test itself isn’t the problem. The problem is that obviously you have to remove your bottom half and my legs are a horrendous mess of deep dark scars and the scars are all over them – calf area, front of legs, thighs, all completely covered. For many many years I only ever self harmed on my arms or stomach and it’s only really been in the past few years that I started on my legs. Most of it was done in times where I was really unwell but this is going to be the first time where I will need to expose the damage. There is absolutely no hiding it. I could probably be brave enough to explain to the nurse about my self harming problem or maybe I could ask lovely GP to explain it to her. But I was just wondering really if any other ladies have had this problem and how you managed to deal with it? After my first ever smear at 20/21 coming back abnormal and needing a fair bit of treatment done I never miss them now, I know how important they are. But the idea of exposing all the damage to a stranger is starting to freak me out a bit, I have to admit.

Right I think it’s bed time now. I can feel my medication cocktail kicking in and my eyes getting heavy. I haven’t self harmed today despite the urges being there, I hope I can continue in the same way tomorrow although I do know that going up to the cemetery for a while will most likely cause me some upset. Hopefully I can be strong enough to deal with the emotions in a healthier way.

Goodnight folks.

16:54 – In a pretty crappy place right now

24 Sep

So yeah, I spent the weekend getting drunk by myself. Sitting here pouring glass after glass of wine and drinking it at a ridiculous speed. I don’t know what I hoped to achieve by doing that, I guess I was trying to block shit out. However the reality was that I just got more and more depressed, my mood dropped a little further down with every gulp I took. I did a lot of crying which maybe wasn’t such a bad thing, maybe those emotions had to come out of me, but I’m still having emotional outbursts with no warning signs today.

I continued to self harm Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Despite being under the influence I seemed to manage to have some control over it as the cuts are reasonably superficial. I think I just kept reminding myself that if I just pushed down that little bit harder then it would be time to go back off to A&E again and I’m still sticking to my story with them that the stitches I’ve got were as a result of an accident and not self harming.

I am supposed to be going to get my stitches taken out today but I just feel so low and so miserable that I can’t face going out. I don’t suppose an extra day will make much difference, I’ve had times in the past where I just couldn’t face going to A&E and left stitches in a few more days than they were supposed to be in for. I was also supposed to go to an appointment with CPN#2 at 12:30 today – I got up at 9am and forced myself to go in for a shower, got dressed, sat and watched some TV, let the dogs out to do the toilet, then around 11am took my clothes back off and put my pj’s back on. Sat and watched 12:30 come and go, knowing that I should phone and least concoct some excuse for missing yet another appointment but my brain just seemed incapable of thinking so I didn’t attend and didn’t phone to apologise either.

I think I have come to the conclusion that I don’t find that I get any benefit from my appointments with CPN#2. In fact, I have worked with a number of CPN’s over the years and I’ve never really achieved much with any of them. The ones who have been good are the ones that haven’t stuck around for long. Typical really. So now I don’t know what to do – do I phone and leave a message for CPN#2 and make yet another appointment, drag myself along to it, sit there finding it no help whatsoever, make another appointment, repeat the process over and over again? Or do I somehow try to find the strength to be honest with her? I don’t know if I could do it face to face but the thought has crossed my mind that it might be an idea to write her a letter explaining why I’m not finding these sessions useful, therefore I either cancel them or just don’t attend.

My main problem with them is that CPN#2 likes to work in a very structured sort of way. I go in and she takes a sheet of paper that she calls the ‘agenda’ then asks me to pick two or three topics that I’d like to discuss during our session. If I go off at a little bit of a tangent she quickly pulls me straight back on topic by saying “this isn’t on our agenda, please stick to the agenda” which leaves me feeling like I’m being told off for trying to explain something. I don’t know if I’m explaining this very well? It’s like she wants our sessions to be like business meetings – have an agenda with a few bullet points – discuss them very specifically without really allowing any emotions to come into the conversation. Sometimes you need to go off at a little bit of a tangent to explain things better and when someone is sitting tapping their pen against their notebook it is extremely off putting. Then add to that her latest thing of propping her phone up on the middle of the table with the stopwatch app counting the minutes, constantly flashing, distracting me… yeah… it’s just not helpful.

I understand that she wants to use the sessions to get me to cover the basics of Compassion Focused Therapy until such time that I can see the psychologist again to learn it all in more detail, but surely I should be able/allowed to talk about how I’m feeling as well? Like if I had gone today there is just no way I could have told her about the self harming or about how low my mood has been/still is. We have absolutely no bond/no relationship/no therapeutic relationship/nothing. I cannot open up to her because I’m scared to mention anything that isn’t set on her little business agenda. So I end up not going to my appointments, not engaging with the mental health team, sitting and waiting for a letter to appear in my mail one day telling me she has discharged me as I don’t attend and she could be seeing someone else in my place. Part of me wishes she would just do that, but I carry on clinging to this little bit of hope that it won’t be too much longer now until I see the psychologist again and at least I know I can get along with her and work with her.

So here I am hiding indoors again. It’s now week three of my part time uni course and I haven’t even finished week one’s work. I sit and try to read, try to absorb it, try to understand it but it’s like there is an invisible mental block getting in the way and nothing sinks in. So I give up and tell myself I’ll try again tomorrow. But tomorrow comes and goes and I’m no further forward. At the moment there is still a chance I could catch up but for that to happen I need motivation. Right now I have no motivation at all. I just sit here and cry, cut myself a few more times, cry some more, never really getting anywhere. I can’t even go and sit on my (personal) facebook because I just cannot handle all these pregnancy announcements, baby announcements, baby talk in any way shape or form. Of course I know it’s something I can’t hide from forever but right now it’s all just too triggering for me. My mental state feels pretty fragile like the slightest thing will cause it to fall apart.

Although I fully intended to get drunk on Friday night I actually didn’t plan on repeating it on Saturday night. However, I popped up to see my parents to wish them a nice holiday (they left on Sunday morning and get back Monday next week) and just as I was leaving their phone started to ring. I saw on the caller display that it was my Aunt that I have nothing to do with these days (this is my Aunt who was the mother of my older cousin that abused me for years – he’s dead now for any new readers) and as soon as I saw her name flash up on the caller display I knew instantly what she was phoning for. My abuser cousin has a daughter who has been brought up by my Aunt as he couldn’t provide for her due to either being in prison or when he was out of prison he’d go straight back to his life of heroin and crack addiction. The mother of his daughter was also an addict. Despite who her parents were I still just looked at her like a little cousin and we used to be quite close until a couple of years ago when my stupid Aunt told her about the abuse. I had never wanted her to know about it but my Aunt is an alcoholic and doesn’t think about what she is saying half the time. So, the girl was about 14 at this point and of course she reacted to the news in a very angry way. She splattered messages all over my facebook and I made the decision to write her a long email explaining everything. I wrote about it on here and it was quite controversial to say the least – some people commented to say they thought I’d done the right thing – others said she was too young to have been told about it and that I shouldn’t have sent the email. But that’s all in the past now and sadly I haven’t spoken to her since.

My Mum told me several months ago that the girl is now 16 and pregnant. Firstly the fact that yet another person just accidentally got pregnant at the drop of a hat upset me. Secondly I convinced myself that she would have a little boy and name him after her father (as I think there is a bit of childhood idolising of him on her part even though he was never around as a father to her). I knew the baby was due in September and sure enough that was what my Aunt was phoning to tell my Mum. Thankfully she had a little girl. Even though I don’t see her any more or have any contact with her, I think it would have really got to me if she’d named an innocent little baby after the monster my abusing cousin was. But yeah, just hearing about yet another baby started making my head feel all bonkers so on the way back from my parents house I went and bought three bottles of wine and drank the lot over Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

So that’s where I am at the moment. Alone, lonely, self isolating, unable to study, crying a hell of a lot, cutting myself, missing appointments and generally feeling extremely low. I have an appointment with my rape crisis support worker tomorrow which I’m going to make an effort to go to as she is pretty much the only person that I can just sit and be honest with at the moment. And if I make it to that appointment and get out of the house then maybe I’ll manage to get to A&E as well to have these stitches taken out. As for the rest of today and tonight I have absolutely no idea how they are going to pan out. If my mood stays like this then it looks like it’ll be yet another shitty night to try and get through. Truthfully I don’t feel 100% safe at the moment and I do feel a little bit worried about where this is all heading. But if I can just get through tonight in one piece then maybe tomorrow’s appointment with lovely support worker will help to calm my crazy brain down again.