Saturday, 5 February 2011

Deep

*Warning:  The contents of this blog may not be for everyone.  It is by far the most real post I have ever written.  It is not my intention to cause alarm or upset anybody.  My only intention is to share my story in the hope that it will help others in a similar position.*


To whom it may concern,

When I read your blog, it was as though I was reading my own thoughts.  Honestly, it was spooky how much I understood where you were coming from.  I won't patronize you and say I know exactly what you're feeling because nobody can ever truly understand another persons pain, but I can relate to the emotions you described.  Although I told you how I really admire your courage for speaking so openly about what you're going through, I feel as though I didn't say enough.  I guess you could say you've inspired me to be more open about my history.  More open than I've ever actually been.


The first time I self harmed was back in 1998 when my fiance left me.  It doesn't sound like much in the great scheme of things, does it?  "Oh, boo hoo, another romance is over."  But at the time it destroyed me.  He'd been my whole world for almost six years, the church was booked for the wedding, and we were ten days away from moving in together.  I was hurt, confused, angry, afraid, and plenty of other emotions that don't have words to describe them.  I wanted to feel something else, anything else.

So I cut myself.

It wasn't very deep, just deep enough to cause pain and draw blood, but I achieved my goal.  For a little while all I could think of was how much it hurt and that distracted me from all the other emotions I didn't want to feel.  Then the realization set in, the realization of what I'd actually done.  On top of everything else I was feeling, I also had the feelings of disgust, embarrassment and shame.  Fantastic.


Thankfully, I was in control of my senses enough to know I needed help so I went to the doctor.  Unfortunately, he was as much use as a chocolate teapot.  All he did was prescribe me sleeping tablets.  I was sleeping upwards of twelve hours a day,  my emotions were beyond screwed up and I wasn't sure how much more of it I could take, so the doctor gave me sleeping tablets?  Gee, thanks Doc.  Want to hand me a loaded gun while you're at it?

Time went by, and while I was nursing a broken heart, battling with a recurrence of my agoraphobic tendencies and getting used to My First Antidepressants (I wonder if they were made by Fisher Price?), with the help of very understanding and supportive friends, I started climbing the hill back towards normality... only to be unceremoniously pushed over the edge of it.

Out of the blue, my Parental Unit (with hell of a lot of encouragement from my Step-Monster) decided I had to move out.  This was only a few months after he'd bandaged my self-inflicted wounds as I sobbed my heart out uncontrollably, and now he was telling me I had to leave the only place I had ever called home.  Feeling more vulnerable and alone than I think I ever had before, I went.  I had no job, no money and now no family to turn to.  I had some very dark thoughts those first few months, and I handled them the only way I knew how; with a razor, a knife, a pin, whatever came to hand.  I didn't tell anyone, not a soul.  I went to the doctors and told them that I was feeling very low and didn't know how to cope, but I didn't say a thing about my new hobby (or should I say "addiction"?).  And so began my journey on the never ending mental health merry-go-round, being passed from doctor to therapist to counselor to psychiatrist and back to the doctors again.  And it did help.  Talking about my thoughts and feelings to a stranger helped get some of the mess out of my head (which is why I love blogging so much).  The only thing was, I wasn't telling them everything.

And then...


(I have to be careful what I say here.  It's not that I want to be secretive or not give you all the gruesome details.  If we were in a room together, I'd tell you the whole story.  But you never know who's going to read these blogs, do you?  And there are people out there who wouldn't appreciate me "raking up the past".  But this is  MY story and MY past, and it effected me very deeply for a long time. I'm being careful with what I write here to protect the innocent and not to protect those who broke my heart.)

Saturday night.  What should have been an amazing night turned into the rollercoaster ride to hell.  Long story short (too late?) I was betrayed by people I thought the world of and who I thought I meant something to in return.  It was done in a such humilitating and public way, that I actually went into some kind of physical shock.  My naivety was to blame to a certain point.  I have this unbreakable habit of always believing the best in people, so when I asked them to tell me the truth, I foolishly believed what they told me.  Hell, I even had an appointment to see my doctor and talk about my insane overwhelming paranoia.  Turns out I was right all along.  What made it so much worse is when I found out, half the people involved decided to come clean and admit everything, while the other half told everyone else that I was being dellusional, irrational, that there was something very wrong with me.  I believe their words were something along the lines of, "Oh, you know what she's like.  She needs to be the centre of attention so she's making something out of nothing."  "Nothing", huh?  F*** You.

Sunday morning.  A couple of friends turned up at my front door to see how I was.  I can't remember if I called them or they called me or if they just turned up, and I can't imagine what they must have thought when they saw me.  I was still dressed in the same clothes as I wearing the previous evening having stayed up all night staring at the television (it wasn't turned on), my make-up a mess, and my arms were cut to ribbons.  I vaguely remember looking for my Lady Bic in the bathroom, but then it all goes blank.  I was in a complete daze.  So, there I was, wearing a top encrusted with dry blood, trying to convince two friends who were very dear to me that I was absolutely fine.  But I wasn't fine.  I was so far away from fine that I'd forgotten what fine looked like.


The next few days are a blur, but eventually I managed to get myself to the doctors and tell the truth about everything I'd done to myself.  After my wounds were examined, I was sent off to the nearby mental health unit for a cup of tea and a chat, and I was assigned a social worker who visited me for the next couple of months or so.  I started telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and after a while I started to understand myself a little more and hate myself less.  And slowly, very slowly, life became a bit more bearable.

At the end of the day, there is only one person responsible for what I did to myself, and that's me.  Other peoples actions may have effected my confidence, my trust and my self respect, but they didn't physically hurt me.  I managed to do that all by myself.  I bottled up all my fear, sadness, shame and anger for so long that eventually it exploded.  My arms still have the scars to prove it.

I'd like to say that this is where that chapter of my life ends, but I haven't lied to you once so I won't start now.  That wasn't the last occasion that I hurt myself, but I haven't done it for a while and I'm pretty damn proud of that fact.  Thoughts about doing it have occurred more recently than that, but so far I've had the strength to fight them.  I can only hope that I always find that strength when I need it.

I'm not looking for sympathy.  I don't even want understanding.  How can I expect other people to understand when I don't understand it myself?  People react to different things in different ways.  My way was painful, dangerous and very bloody stupid.  I wish I could promise that I'll never do it again, but I can only promise to try.

It's taken me about five days to write this.  I kept stopping and starting, asking myself if I was saying too much, not saying enough.  In the end I just decided to be as honest as I could bare to be.  A majority of what I've written I have never spoken about before.  It's good to finally share it with someone I suspect can relate to it.  I didn't think that would ever happen.


I want you to know that you are not alone.  You're not the only one to have these feelings and you're not the only one who takes their emotional pain out on themselves.  I want you to know that it's okay to feel sad, angry and scared.  It's called being human.  I know it's not easy to fight the urge when you get it, but you have to promise yourself that you'll try.  And please believe me when I say that there is nothing wrong with admitting that you're not as strong as you'd like to be and you want some help.  We're not superheros.

As Buffy the Vampire Slayer once said...
"The hardest thing in this world is to live in it."   

Never a truer word said on television.

Take care of yourself,
A
x

7 people love me ♥ Add a comment...:

PAMO said... [Reply to comment]

A- What a beautiful, heart felt post. You are incredible! I have a feeling your words will help many people. I'm in awe of the courage you have to face these personal demons, explore your emotional self and dare to recover. Amazing.
I'm honored to "know" you. Thank you.

A said... [Reply to comment]

You've brought a tear to my eye, Pamo. Thank you for such lovely words.
x

Michele Chastain said... [Reply to comment]

It's healing to open up and let these things out. Thank you for sharing. Glad I found your blog and am now a follower.

Kym Rae said... [Reply to comment]

NEVER apologize for your words. Tell the truth. This is your history. This is your story....Scream it out, Girl. Do not be ashamed. Honesty helps others.

Keep writing. Keep it raw & real. Keep healing....!!!!

Just popping in from LADY BLOGGERS. So glad I did.

Love love love .

Kim from MY INNER CHICk

http://myinnerchick.com/2011/02/05/curvy-girls-in-skinny-bitches-out-2/

The Bipolar Diva said... [Reply to comment]

You are truly wonderful. I'm so encouraged to have "met" you. The world can be a scary place. You know I'm in that place now and soon it will be better. I still have the marks on my arms from the other night, though faded and healing they are a reminder and a strange comfort.
Once again, you are wonderful, thank you.

Diva said... [Reply to comment]

I ♥ you with both my blogs...

Sally-Sal said... [Reply to comment]

I think the bravest people aren't necessarily the ones who are able to offer a hand, but those who are willing to take it.

This post touched my heart.

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