Tag Archives: rape crisis

23:45 – To go or not to go…

25 Oct

I must apologise in advance if I ramble more than usual but I’ve been drinking a really classy (yes that is sarcasm) drink for the past few hours called Dragon Soop. It is £2.99 per can (crazy overpriced shit) and I’m on can number 3 at the moment. The stuff is absolutely revolting, it tastes like paint stripper and is so heavily caffeinated and full of vodka it’s making my heart do crazy palpitations. However, I don’t like to waste things so carry on drinking it I shall…

Here it is in all it’s glory… not my photo, one I ‘borrowed’ from google because it’s too much effort to take a photo with my phone and hit upload…

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Today I had an appointment with lovely support worker and I told her the truth, the full complete absolute truth about everything. She didn’t judge me, I think she could see how genuinely regretful I am about it all. She let me talk and listened to me moan about CPN#2 and said it sounds like CPN#2 is only willing to do things her way or no way. This got me to thinking – if I’m in and out of bad head places right now and there is even the slightest possibility I am heading towards a crisis – how can we do crisis prevention if I can’t fucking talk about how I feel? *insert angry, fed up, frustrated smiley here* I apologised AGAIN to lovely support worker for her being lumbered with all my crap and us still not managing to do any of the work that I’m actually going there to do because I just cannot focus on that right now.

Then after I left my appointment something possibly good happened… I got a text message inviting me out tomorrow night to a Halloween party that’s on in one of the pubs. There are a group of girls going, some of whom I know and get on with and unfortunately a couple that I don’t get on with at all but maybe I won’t need to speak to them much. So I went off in the search for a Halloween costume to wear (always difficult finding any outfit when specific parts of my body must be covered due to excess scarring) and also hard when I’m such a fat bastard at the moment and all the nice outfits are made for tiny people. Anyways, I finally found one that both fits and covers all the bits that need covered, but once I got home and tried it on I realised I’ve actually bought it in a size too big and the woman in the shop said that none of the costumes can be returned. Argh. However, with the help of some discreetly placed safety pins I think I’ll be able to pull it in a bit. Failing that I am going to wear a onesie with my hair in pigtails and ribbons, freckles drawn on my face and a dummy around my neck… I’d look like an absolute idiot but it would be sooo comfy!

So I felt kinda psyched up and happier at the thought of going out with some girls I haven’t seen for a while (that was until I realised everyone else that was going and how many of them I don’t get on with) so now I don’t know if I want to bother going. But I know if I don’t I will sit here tomorrow night all alone and feeling miserable, especially as best friend has now splashed a message on facebook asking who is all going out next weekend! I knew she would do this, say she couldn’t even afford to go for a fucking coffee for my birthday but manage to go for a night out next weekend when it’s her other friend’s birthday. And yeah, it pisses me off because I’ve never missed any of her birthdays yet it’s a different story when it’s mine *insert another pissed off frustrated smiley here*

Right now I’m unsure whether I’ll go out tomorrow night or not. One part of me says alcohol is a depressant and I’m already feeling depressed enough without adding to it (she says as she slurps her dragon soop)… I worry that even if I enjoy myself I will come home alone and the depression will kick in along with being drunk and that will lead to me doing something stupid. And I can’t allow myself to do anything stupid because I must be able to paint on a smile and go for a nice lunch with my family on Monday. Then again I think if I do go out I might be surprised, I might get on OK with the other girls, I might actually have a good laugh (they are pretty wild!) and maybe come home with a genuine albeit drunken smile on my face, fall into bed and giggle to myself as I think about the night’s antics.

Who knows what way it will go?

The good thing is that I live within walking distance of the pub so I could always go along and if it’s crap just make up some excuse to leave and come home early rather than staying out til we get chucked out at 2am then stand around the kebab shop talking drunken shite to random people for another hour before finally staggering home. The friend who invited me along is also using the “you never know, you might find mr right on saturday night!” line … although I think I’d find it slightly disturbing if any guy found me attractive in either of the two costumes I would be wearing!

So right now I have no idea what will happen tomorrow… knowing my luck I’ll decide to just go for it then the social anxiety side of things will start to kick in and make me just want to hide in the house and too scared to go out. I find it extremely difficult to be in a group of people at the best of times but super super hard to be in a group of people where there are some I know and don’t get on with. I much prefer if I’m going out for it just to be with one or two other people.

And that’s my news for today… a good session with lovely support worker… I’m using my session with her next week with her coming with me to the dreaded appointment with the new psychiatrist that I don’t get along with as there is no chance I would go if I had to go on my own…

And decisions to make about tomorrow night… to go or not to go… that remains to be seen…

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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.

18:00 – The sexual assault: one year on

16 Aug

*Talk of sexual assault/abuse that might be triggering*

Today marks one year exactly since the sexual assault happened. It was probably around this same time of day that I’m writing this as well. A full year has gone by and still I’m left with all these gaps in memory as to what exactly happened that day/night. I thought over time memories would come back but they haven’t, I don’t really remember anything more now than what I did the day after it all happened, when I took myself off to A&E to have them test my urine for presence of drugs. So I learned one fact that day and that was that I had indeed been spiked and with PCP. The day after it happened I had a select few flashbacks of being with a stranger and flashes of seeing his body on top of mine, that feeling of power over me, the familiarity of that feeling of power, taking me back to the days of being sexually abused as a child.

But really I have learned nothing more than that. I think what happened was that there was a guy I liked and had met a couple of times in the weeks before the assault happened. I ended up liking him more than he liked me and whilst a little part of me hoped some kind of relationship might have blossomed instead he told me he didn’t think we should take things any further. So yes, I felt rejected by him and I guess I wanted to feel that feeling of someone wanting me again after it had been so short lived. So I think I was stupid and I think I arranged to meet a guy I’d got talking to online. I’ll never know for sure as my browser is set to delete all browsing history when I close the page so there was nothing there to go on. There also weren’t any strange numbers on my phone that I’d text or called that day so I have to assume our full conversation took place online. I also can’t make sense of the fact that I don’t remember meeting him at all – presumably I spent some amount of time with him before he got me to consume the PCP?? So why can’t I remember that bit? Why in fact can’t I clearly remember anything about that day… it only really becomes clear late at night when I was coming back to reality and very sick and unwell. PCP if you don’t already know makes you strongly dissociate and is basically just a horrible horrible drug.

So all I can go by are the facts and the only actual facts I have are the medical ones: PCP was found in my urine and there was a fair bit of blood in my urine with a lot of irritation inside my lady parts. Those facts back up the few flashbacks I experience. Sometimes I wish that I had taken the police up on their offer to try and investigate by looking into my computer and seeing if there were deleted conversations that they could locate, but the evidence was so little that they were honest enough to say that it was likely I’d put myself through months and months of stress and still get no solid outcome. And just like when I was 13/14 years old sitting in the police station after reporting my cousin for all the years he abused me I was given the choice to take things further or just try to draw a line under them and try to forget about it. The same way that as a teenager I couldn’t face putting my family through what could be months and months of building a case against my cousin, I couldn’t face putting myself through it all as an adult either.

So for almost a year I have attended rape crisis support appointments. I still can’t fill in the blanks of the 16th of August 2012 and mostly I’m relieved by that as it’s easier not to know. But it still left me waking up this morning feeling disgusting, wondering who ‘he’ was, wondering why I was sitting crying into my pillows when he probably hasn’t ever given me a second thought. Feeling so disgusting so I went into the shower and repeatedly washed myself… and cried… and cried some more. Sometimes I wonder if there are any other girls crying over what he has done to them… then all I feel is guilt… huge amounts of guilt that if any other girls have been hurt by him I could have done something more to have prevented it… I could have gone back to the police and given a detailed statement… but then I also know that I did tell them everything and that was very little… and it was them who told me that with so little to go on it would most likely not result in a prosecution… and I really didn’t believe that I would have the strength to go through something as stressful as a court case… and I still don’t think I could go through it now.

One thing I didn’t expect to happen was to find that any time I think of the assault I am catapulted back in time to a flashback of my cousin abusing me and I really thought I had dealt with all of that stuff some 17/18 years ago when I was 14 and seeing a CAMHS therapist about it all. But I guess it was just too hard to talk about when I was 14 plus I was scared that the therapist would tell my parents everything I told her so I spent about a year going to see her but told her very little. It wasn’t until the assault happened that I realised I had a tonne of memories that I still hadn’t dealt with as a 31 year old woman, memories I’ve kept suppressed for years that all suddenly sprung out like a jack in a box. There are so many memories and experiences that confuse me and stir up all sorts of emotions in my head. So if anything good has come out of this whole situation it’s that I’m finally getting the help I need to deal with some of those memories at last… even if I do still believe 99.9% of the time that I am the one to blame for everything bad that’s ever happened in my life.

Besides talking about this shitty anniversary I also wanted to write a little bit about my experience with taking the Pregabalin (Lyrica) tablets that new psychiatrist had decided to start me on for anxiety for long term use as he tries to get me to start reducing my diazepam dose. As you know from the posts I wrote about it I wasn’t very keen on the idea of trying it. This was mainly because I had tried a similar drug to it (Gabapentin) a few years ago and had a horrible time with it. Also I read about a lot of people having a really hard time getting back off of it, some people finding it even worse than a benzodiazapine withdrawal. I also didn’t fancy risking the weight gain side effect when it is already one of the most common side effects for the Mirtazapine and Quetiapine both of which I’m now on the max dose of. So I got the prescription from lovely GP last Wednesday then sat and stared at them each time I took my other meds for a few days. It wasn’t until Sunday that I finally found the courage to try them.

A few hours after taking my first little capsule I got that same feeling the Gabapentin gave me – I can only describe it like your body being on some sort of amphetamine stimulant whilst your head can only think about wanting to either cut or kill yourself. Completely flat mood with very depressing suicidal type thoughts slowly seeping through your brain. Yet at the same time there is this rush going through your body which makes you feel all jumpy and then the heart palpitations started which of course make me start to think I’m about to have a panic attack. Which I did indeed end up having… a huge massive one which was just awful. But I persevered and took the three a day I’d been prescribed all of Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and yesterday mornings before deciding I could not handle them any more. And that was me only at 75mg a day when the starting dose is normally 75mg twice a day. There seems to be something in these types of drugs that I’m overly sensitive too because for those 5 days of taking them I was a complete mess, so uncomfortable in my own skin that I’ve scratched so much I’ve made my skin bleed… not been able to sleep more than a couple of hours at a time… constantly feeling on edge and ‘stimulated’ but in a very unpleasant way… like my body and my mind were feeling two completely different things at once… blah… I haven’t taken any for around 30 hours now and it’s only now that I’m starting to feel the last of it leaving my system.

I had another appointment this afternoon with lovely GP and felt like I was having a panic attack in the waiting room. I was still really anxious when she called me through and I rambled all of the above to her, how the Pregabalin made me feel, how I tried them for 5 days but just couldn’t cope with the side effects any longer… I rambled about not knowing which was worse the horrible rushy anxiety provoking body feelings or the sudden onset of suicidal/self harm type thoughts. She agreed that I’d made the right decision stopping them and asked how the thoughts of hurting myself were now. I told her I am still having some urges to self harm but when I saw her face starting to look a bit worried I added in that I would do my best not to act on them which made her look a little less worried. She gave me another appointment for two weeks time as she wants to review things again then and check that all of the side effects I had from the Pregabalin have completely gone by then. She said just as some people would have difficulty in tolerating even small doses of Quetiapine and Mirtazapine that I take at maximum dose, it seems I just can’t tolerate the side effects that come from the Pregabalin/Gabapentin family of drugs even at small doses.

So I’m now hoping that I can try and keep myself distracted from the thoughts of the assault that keep flashing into my head and have a peaceful Friday night and hopefully catch up on some sleep this weekend as well. But I feel pretty meh and the self harmy thoughts are still swirling round my brain. I haven’t cut since April? I think and I don’t want to do it to mark this shitty anniversary yet at the same time I feel more disgusting than ever and like I probably deserve a few more ugly scars.

Anyway on that cheery note I shall wish you all a good weekend… and as I have two sets of puppy-dog eyes staring at me I think that’s my hint that the doggies would like to go for a walk now. Hopefully that walk will be distraction enough to get through the next hour or two without self harming and I think it’s going to be one of those nights where all I can do is take things hour by hour and just wait and see how they turn out, whilst doing my best to try and gently steer things in the right direction.

00:21 – Terrified of the wrong side winning

12 May

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

(Victoria Leatham)

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What was the quote I started with again?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

01:36 – A confused and messed up girl

24 Apr

My head is still pretty messed up and sadly the regrets over self harming so severely on Sunday night still haven’t kicked in. Last night was pretty horrendous,  I became extremely emotional and sat with my little angel’s memory box on the bed and cried for what seemed like hours. After putting his memory box away I became really angry, angry that this is my life, that the most precious thing in my life has been lost.

My behaviour after that became ridiculous. I started pulling all the bandages off my legs and sat with a blade in my hand, shaking and desperately wanting to cut out all twenty something stitches. I shook, I cried, I threw the blade angrily on the floor then picked up the TV remote control and began smacking it off my face, whacking my cheeks with it over and over again. Then I was down on the floor and  hitting my head off the wall like an angry child. Then the blade was back in my hand again and I was going to cut but I truly could not have faced more stitches. So I repeatedly lit my lighter until the metal was red hot then pushed it down deep onto my skin all round my ankle. And then ended up in tears again.

I was really starting to get quite terrified of where this was all heading. My thoughts were so negative that I began to feel quite suicidal. Then I cried some more when I remembered yet again I can’t commit suicide because I can’t put my parents through the pain I carry about every day of having to bury your child. So whether I like it or not I have to keep on going and that made me angry and upset and frustrated that I felt in the moment like I was only alive to spare others pain. But then of course there is always that little evil laugh inside my head saying “they wouldn’t care anyway, they’d be glad you were gone” even though rationally I know that is completely untrue and that my parents love me very much. I don’t deserve their love, sometimes I wish they loved me less so it would be easier to put an end to things 😦

Everything was just going bonkers. I couldn’t hold myself together any longer and ended up phoning the mental health helpline breathing space and spent the next hour on a non stop ramble about how I just want to completely self destruct, how much I deserved to be in this pain, I deserved to suffer, I was/am a bad person who doesn’t deserve good things in life. I told the call handler I wanted to rip all my stitches out, that I couldn’t stop thinking about hurting myself more and more. After about an hour I finally got so tired from everything and broke down in tears on the phone, I couldn’t keep talking and just hung up. I felt a bit bad for not even saying thank you or goodbye to the person who had sat and listened to me all that time but I was completely mentally exhausted. With a slight bit of self medicating I did finally manage to semi-sedate myself and fall asleep only to wake up every couple of hours in a state of panic. I think I was having nightmares, I’m not sure.

I sent lovely support worker from rape crisis a text message yesterday telling her I’d had a bad night on Sunday and she messaged me this morning to ask if I wanted to see her today instead of waiting until tomorrow. So I said yes and we had a long chat together. I was honest with her about everything I did over Sunday and Monday night, I was honest with her about feeling like I just want to make myself hurt and hurt and not stop hurting. I told her I was scared about where this was all heading and that I didn’t know when or how to make it stop. I don’t think it can stop until I do something really bad to myself. And that I was terrified I was going to end up in the psychiatric hospital again if I keep going like this. She asked if that might be a good place for me right now and I very firmly said no. There is no way I am ever going back to that place, it is awful, truly awful. It would make the sanest of people feel like they’d gone bonkers in just one week of being there. The thought of that place makes me feel anxious as hell and physically sick.

Oh I forgot to mention that for the first time since this whole arrangement was made with A&E a year ago that they would let the CMHT know when I had attended – well yesterday for the first time I actually got a phone call from the duty CPN (albeit it was just before they were closing) but yes someone did actually phone and ask if I was OK as she’d read the A&E notes. I told her I wasn’t sure how I felt and she asked if I thought I could keep myself safe. I said I’d try my best, I said the same when I was leaving my support appointment this afternoon.

I went to the A&E department this afternoon to have a wound check and dressing change done. I was supposed to be going back again tomorrow to get last Wednesday’s stitches out but I asked her if they could just come out a day early. That wound looked like it is starting to heal well so the nurse took those stitches out. Now I have to wait until a week tomorrow before I can get all these other ones out. I don’t honestly know if I can go through the next 8 days without doing it again. I don’t even know if I can go through the next 8 hours without doing it again at the moment. My head is well and truly pickled it really is.

Tomorrow I have promised to spend some time with best friend and her kids. I haven’t told her about Sunday’s self harming and don’t plan on telling her. I don’t know why, I just don’t want to talk about it with anyone close like friends or family. I haven’t mentioned it again to the friend who came with me to A&E either. It almost feels a bit like a can of worms being opened if I tell them, if I admit to those nearest and dearest to me that I’m not coping and constantly trying to hurt myself then it makes it that little bit more real that I really am falling apart. It’s easier for them not to know. For now anyway. Even with all these stitches in I still don’t feel like I’ve done enough damage and I have no idea how long that state of mind is going to continue for.

I haven’t felt this much of a mess in a long time and I can’t seem to make it stop. Maybe I don’t want it to stop. Maybe I need to feel this level of self loathing at the moment. I don’t know why… but maybe I just do. Nothing really makes a great deal of sense at the moment. I’m one very confused and messed up girl.

19:09 – A surprise phone call

18 Apr

Today has actually been quite a busy day for me and I’m feeling pretty shattered after yet another crappy night’s sleep. I met my Mum and my Gran at 12.30 and we went for lunch as my Gran was going back home tonight. It was nice to have spent a bit of time with my Gran this time as I haven’t seen her since Christmas and didn’t get much time to talk to her as all the other family members were around and I was also really struggling with anxiety so didn’t really stay for that long.

However, I painted on the fake smile last night and went for dinner with them and done the same today for lunch. As I was saying my goodbyes my phone started ringing – private number – usually they get ignored… But something made me answer it and I was surprised to hear temporary CPN #2 from last year on the phone. She said she was back working in my area again (probably temporary again but I don’t know for sure yet) and asked me if I would like to meet up with her tomorrow. I’m not sure where the call came from – maybe lovely social worker who hasn’t been able to support me asked her, maybe Mr Psychiatrist contacted the CMHT to find out what was going on, maybe A&E contacted the CMHT, maybe it was just sheer coincidence… but yeah she called to offer me an appointment tomorrow which I agreed to go along to.

After lunch I had to head off to my appointment with lovely support worker from rape crisis and we had a good long session today. We talked about everything we possibly could regarding the self harming on Wednesday… I told her that I had no regrets this time and felt like I could potentially do it again quite easily. We spoke about my appointment with Mr Psychiatrist, about my trip to A&E and then about CPN #2 getting in touch. I have decided that whilst I will go to the appointment at the CMHT tomorrow I will also tell her the truth which is that I haven’t found working with any of the 3 cpn’s I’ve worked with over the past year helpful or beneficial. They don’t have the time to try and help me with graded exposure for the agoraphobia. They don’t care or get in touch if I’ve self harmed and gone to A&E as according to cpn #3 they know it’s a coping mechanism so they don’t need to get involved. They only ever seem to want to talk about “positive” things I could do with my life, they never seem to want to hear about the shit. And there is a lot of shit. And there is not much “positive” so it ends up just frustrating me.

I will ask her tomorrow what involvement she is going to have with me and will tell her that I would rather try and do structured work with the psychologist once she is back. I think that would be more beneficial in the long term if I could really properly learn coping skills for moments of intense anxiety or horrible flashbacks or evil voices. So maybe cpn #2 will just be someone to touch base with once a week or something to let them know I’m still alive. CPN #2 was the nicest out of the 3 cpn’s by far but she was also the one who kept trying to push all the positive things on me like starting the college course so that’s going to be fun tomorrow telling her I’ve fucked that up now. Part of me doesn’t even want to go to the appointment with her, I don’t think she can say anything I haven’t heard before, I don’t think she can offer me help in the times of crisis which is when I need help and well… I don’t want to start “working” with her and bringing up painful emotions if I’m only going to be seeing her for like a month or something. Anyway, I guess I wait and see what she says tomorrow. I must remember to go into A&E at some point whilst I’m at the hospital and have my wound check done.

So overall it was a good and productive session with support worker today but I felt pretty tired by the end of it, I’ve been feeling pretty drained all day from lack of sleep but we also did lots of talking. Then after that appointment I had to take Charlie dog to the vets for a vaccination and a little check up. Everything is fine with him, he is doing well and has put a bit of weight back on as well, he’s now 9.1kg and should be around 10kg so he’s getting there 🙂

After the vets I took the dogs a walk and then had to go to the supermarket. It seemed really noisy and everything sounded weird, like as though it was distorted somehow. I couldn’t concentrate and there were too many people and I started getting all anxious so I just grabbed dog food and then came home.

Mood wise I’m not entirely sure how I feel tonight. My head is noisy, male voice keeps offering “helpful” suggestions on how to next hurt myself. I’m trying to ignore it but quite simply I can’t. I don’t know if I’ll cut again tonight or not, if I do I will have to keep it superficial and not on my legs, I don’t want the A&E nurse tomorrow to see any fresh wounds. I find myself flicking my lighter a lot today…. heating the metal around the top of it then pressing it against my arms. It hurts a lot and yeah it leaves a sore mark for a while but it won’t lead to me needing more stitches and I can hide it easier. I have so many suggestions from male voice and ideas of my own on things I can do that will hurt but not require A&E and I feel as though I’m on a bit of a mission now to tick them all off the list one by one (and to see what other methods apart from cutting and burning give me that feeling of a release).

Before I start getting in to all that shit again I’m going to go and watch some TV. My head is properly pickled at the moment… just bursting full of ideas, thoughts and voices… all bad ones of course. But they seem like good ideas at the time, I guess that’s why we do them… we know we’ll regret it in the long term but when you’re in “that moment” you would pretty much do anything to make all those head crazies just leave you alone. I’m sad in a way that I don’t have any regrets over self harming yesterday but I also know that male voice is right, I haven’t done enough damage yet, I deserve much more pain and head fuckery before I’ll have done enough to make him happy. He’s right, I do deserve to hurt… I just wish he would fuck off with all these violent ideas and images… I am 99% sure I would never act on them if they involved hurting another person but there is that 1% of me that can’t help but wonder if this is all a build up to me totally losing the plot again. This little saying (below) very much reflects how I feel about everything right now… And I hope everything doesn’t keep going downhill but right now I have no idea what way I’m heading and I’m not even sure if I care… 😦

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15:15 – Last appt with Mr Psychiatrist and a trip to A&E

17 Apr

Trigger Warning – graphic talk of self harm in this post

All I have been able to think about for days now is cutting. Cutting, cutting and more cutting. The more I try to distract myself the more graphic the images in my head become. The more I try to ignore, the louder male voice gets and that triggers him to start spewing out vile evil instructions in my head. What hasn’t been helping is the lack of sleep. What also hasn’t been helping is all the pressure I feel that everyone thinks I’m doing so well and coping so well and I am shitting myself that everything is going to fall apart and I am going to let down every person I care about. I’m terrified of being back in that place where you feel so worthless and then can’t even manage to take your own life properly… got to fail at that too just to rub that extra bit of salt into the wounds.

Last night I fell asleep on the sofa around 1am. I quickly woke back up just after 2am as it was freezing. But instead of putting the heating on or getting into bed I just covered myself in a blanket and lay on the sofa thinking about things. Wondering why my life turned out this way. I had a bit of a cry for a while, they were sad tears, tears of all the times in my life where things actually looked like they were going well then ultimately they all fell apart. Why do they all fall apart? Why can’t something nice just remain consistent in my life? I don’t want this life. I wanted to try and better it by doing the part time uni course and not even a year into it and I don’t think I can do it any more. I have no belief in myself whatsoever. I want to run and hide and curl away. I don’t want to speak to anyone. I don’t want anyone to see me… but this morning I had no choice.

Around 6am I was still awake and was starting to feel very anxious and sort of like I wasn’t fully in control. My thoughts felt like they had been taken over, I was so tired I just went with it. The voices told me to cut, told me it would fix things… male voice told me to just “fucking make yourself uglier you fat slag”… again I tried distraction techniques but just got nowhere.

By 8am I was pacing, anxious, heart racing, feeling sick, tired, emotional, feeling really bonkers crazy, seeing flashes of me going outside and just attacking any random object or any random person. THAT IS NOT ME. I DO NOT DO THAT! EVER! I don’t know where all these violent urges are coming from but they are so fucking terrifying. It’s not even as though I’m angry at anyone or about anything… angry with myself that I can’t bounce back to being the fun person I once was once upon a time… but that’s more of a sad angry than a violent one. Needless to say I ended up getting out everything required for self harming – a pack of clean stanley knife blades, a towel, some dressings and sat down cross-legged on the bathroom floor. I made a deal with myself that I could cut once then I would clean it up, cover it up and go no further. But of course that didn’t happen… those little cuts looked too much like scratches… those visuals flashed in front of my eyes again wanting to see gaping wounds… I felt like I couldn’t even do that right. In the end I got a fresh blade from the packet, closed my eyes and just pressed down and dragged it through my skin. It felt like my skin was burning from the pain and I expected to see a much worse wound than what I did see… however it was pretty gaping so I decided it would be OK to stop cutting then. I got myself patched up and tried to stay distracted through til 10.30am when I had to leave to go to my last ever appointment with Mr Psychiatrist.

The reason it’s my last appointment is that he is retiring and he explained he didn’t know who would be taking over from him yet but there would be a locum in place for a while until someone permanent takes over. I swear no one with a professional mental health background seems to want to work for our NHS trust, all these permanent positions never seem to get filled for what seems like forever. I told Mr Psychiatrist about self harming this morning and told him that when I left my appointment with him that I would go along to the A&E department and have them check me over. He asked what had led to me cutting and I told him all the shit I rambled about at the start of this post – these feelings of pressure and these horrible horrendous images I keep seeing. He knows it is a coping mechanism of mine and he’s told me a million times it isn’t a helpful one but I think he’s come to realise there is no point in telling me that any more.

We didn’t talk about a lot of things in detail today, I think when he realised I was sitting there with a wound needing medical attention he tried to just whizz through everything as quickly as possible. He said that he still feels that even though male voice is male (and I am female) that the things male voice says to me are things which I actually feel about myself deep down. Almost like it’s my thoughts and beliefs but being heard in a male tone. I kinda see his point but I also know it’s not as simple as that, male voice can come out with things that have never even crossed my mind before. Plus there is a big difference between a voice and a thought (even racing horrible thoughts) and I think you can only know this and understand this if you have actually experienced it.

What else did we talk about… cutting – voices – male voice – pressure – images – violence – lack of support – and a referral which I requested to another psychiatrist, one who specialises in trauma therapy and who told me a couple of years ago that he believed the EMDR treatment could be beneficial to me but at that time I was considered too unwell and too unstable to try it out. Mr Psychiatrist said he didn’t want me working with lots of different people and lots of different approaches (he said this because psychologist is supposed to be coming back at some point over the next few weeks and she is likely to want to do the compassionate mind and mindfulness program with me). However he agreed to write to the other psychiatrist and see if he would be willing to give me an appointment to assess my suitability for EMDR.

Before I left the appointment he asked me what help I was getting through the CMHT (mental health team) at the moment and I told him pretty much none. That I had 3 CPN’s who have all left now and that I was supposed to have lovely social worker as someone to see until psychologist returns back to work but that we’ve only met up once, so that bit isn’t going so great. In fairness I haven’t tried to make a great deal of contact with her but I had hoped we would have been able to stick out the once a fortnight meetings just for a month or two until psychologist returns… but it hasn’t worked out that way. Instead I’ve just been seeing my support worker through rape crisis pretty much on a weekly basis but at least I am actually trying to deal with some of my issues with her – the childhood abuse/the assault/the self harming/the feelings of worthlessness. But she shouldn’t have to deal with all my mentalness stuff as well, that should be someone from the CMHT but it never seems to work out that way.

God this post is getting long…

I said my goodbyes to Mr Psychiatrist and muttered thank you to him for the support he’s given me over the past 4 years or so (even though he’s also been a total wanker to me in that time!) but it’s just what you do isn’t it? Say thanks, smile, make them think they have helped you get a bit better when really what they have done is remove power and control from you, detain you, make you like a human guinea pig with all the varieties of medications they insist will make you better, tell you that even voices are still a product of your own mind, try to make you believe things will get better if you just have good sleep patterns and distract yourself 24/7. But still, I was brought up to be polite and so it was only right to just say thank you to him as I left.

I walked along to the A&E department and thankfully it was two of the nice nurses on, the female charge nurse who has come to a couple of my CPA meetings and a male nurse who is very gentle and non-judgemental. Even though I knew in my head that I had met the male nurse before and knew he was always nice and knew he wouldn’t do anything to hurt me it still felt weird being in a room alone with him. I was in a room alone with Mr Psychiatrist but the whole appointment kept my coat on and sat in the chair pointing the door (always got to have my escape route planned out as soon as I enter a room)… so yeah it had felt safe enough with Mr Psych. And I did feel safe with male nurse but more exposed and vulnerable I guess as the coat had to come off and the shoes off and one leg out of my trousers…. like I couldn’t just jump to my feet and leg it out the door if I wanted to… so that was making me pretty anxious.

He took a look at the wound and decided it definitely needed stitches so he went to get the doctor. It was a doctor I hadn’t seen before and I didn’t like him very much, he had a bit of a patronising tone and I just wanted him to fuck off back out the room. Plus having two men at either side of me while I lay on the trolley bed was making me very very uncomfortable. I asked the doctor if he could please get me some Lorazepam and he said “we don’t keep lorazepam at this hospital” – BULLSHIT!! – I have probably been given a couple of lorazepam on at least 20 occasions from that A&E either for anxiety that’s led to self harm or to get me into the ambulance if they have been moving me to another hospital or the psych hospital. So I asked again if I could have Lorazepam because I needed to calm down and he very firmly said “you cannot have Lorazepam” – argh I hate when I know people are lying to me. Had he said something like they didn’t have any left or something then I would’ve dealt with that, but I knew fine they had it and knew fine that if it was one of the doctors who have seen me before then they would have given it to me asap to calm me down so they could put the stitches in. He said I could have a Diazepam if I wanted (despite me telling him I’ve been on daily prescription Diazepam for years and it does FUCK ALL when I feel as anxious as I did then, but he went and got me one anyway and like a good mental I shut up and took it.

I got seven stitches put in and a little glue and steri-strips on the non-gaping cuts and have to go back in 2 days, so Friday, for a wound check and dressing change. I told male nurse that usually I would be feeling regret pretty much immediately after cutting but today I don’t. I don’t regret it, I don’t care that I’ve got more scars on my body now, I don’t care that the one bit of leg that I had kept scar free is now mutilated as well. He said to me if I felt like cutting again to go up and see them and they would try and get someone to sit and talk to me which I was very grateful for, but I don’t want to talk, I just don’t fucking care about anything. I feel so low and so emotional and so tired and all I want is to have a few hours of feeling normal…whatever the hell that is… and I would much rather not do anything which may leave me having to see that doctor again as I really didn’t like him much at all. It was something about the way he spoke to me… there was an obvious power balance thing going on and he spoke to me the way I speak to best friend’s four year old.

Anyways….

My Mum phoned me as I was leaving the hospital and said my Grandma is staying with them for a couple of days and they were all going out for dinner tonight so she was phoning to ask if I wanted to go. As the restaurant they are going to is directly opposite my flat I couldn’t really say no but I am so tired and am really not in the mood at all to sit through a long meal and listen to all the chitter chatter at the table… plus it’s a kinda posh restaurant and I hate trying to get dressed up when I feel so fucking ugly and awful. However, I love my little Gran and don’t see anywhere near enough of her so I will go. The table is booked for 7pm… ugh that’s less than 3 hours away… I just realised I started writing this at 15:15 and we are now on 16:18 … an hour of ramblings… no wonder this post is going on forever.

And on that note I suppose I had better go and find something to wear tonight. Hope you’re all having a bit of a better day than me xx

23:37 – It’s not going good at all

14 Apr

[Warning – Graphic Descriptions of Self Harm in Post]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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