I BELIEVED HIM

I write this fresh after my psychiatric reassessment experience. Only minutes away I was sat with him [and her who was sitting in to interject, if I went (for want of a better term), “bonkers”].

That was the conclusion of the two-parter- the psychiatric evaluation with some fresh meat….Fresh mental health doctor meat, with fresh eyes and less preconceptions and prejudgments.

How can I sum it up? Hmmm…..let me try.

It was tough, though much more relaxed than the first one. I didn’t have to tell him to stop talking this time! My tolerance (for him and the evaluation process) was higher, because I am now medicated appropriately on 100mg Pregabalin twice daily.

He was a nice doctor, with a heart- but my god did he talk! He talked and talked and talked, and I interrupted (in frustration a few times), and occasionally he’d ask me questions, but for the most part he talked, and he philosophised and he hypothesised, and he got caught up in his own elaborate descriptions and metaphors of what he believed were my issues, and what was happening emotionally for me which was affecting my mental state.

It will take a while for all of that content to percolate through my awareness, and for me to reflect on it further, but this post is my initial impression on the conversational exchange between us.

He made me cry today, but not in a “this man is a evil psychiatrist” way, more tears of resignation and overwhelm that no matter how many people I meet and how many times I think I am starting afresh, people form the same kind of opinions about me and my personality and mental health and where they believe I am going wrong.

He did a long monologue at one point (one of many!), and it made me weep. No matter how much I tried to blockade the newly forming tears by plugging the gaps with my tissue, they continued to drip drip drip out of my glassy eyes.

It wasn’t a monologue that I shall remember because it was unkind. Quite the opposite. It was a monologue that I shall remember because I know his words were absolutely dead right, truer than true, and compassionate and very kindly meant, though aching in the sadness of their truth.

Even though I have heard variations on the content of that monologue from several friends, mental health workers and colleagues, I think it finally worked and had a bit of an impact today- because I knew he sincerely meant what he said. I am used to the same mental health professionals and once I can predict them, I almost stop listening.

I need newness and novelty and fresh people and new and interesting conversations. Because with new people I think I sometimes believe them more, and their words therefore have a greater personal impact.

As a survivor of extreme childhood trauma/ abuse/ mind control/ brainwashing/ torture/ manipulation/coercion and cruelty, it remains difficult for me to take what people say on face value as being an accurate reflection of what they really think and feel. I am always skeptical and trust isn’t given on demand. People have to work a little to gain it first. The doctor worked so he gained my trust. He challenged me and I challenged him, so mutual respect and rapport developed.

Respect and rapport isn’t always 100%. I find the world threatening, and people even more so. I have complex-PTSD. Therefore I am hypersensitised to social danger. I am always assessing people’s faces very very closely. I am noticing the tiniest change in their body language, eye gaze, intensity of attention, facial expression, and so on, and this a skill I learned to do as a child who was physically, sexually, and emotionally hurt on a daily basis. I had to find ways to predict when the bad things would happen so I studied people closely. I think my motivation to study human psychology at school then university is definitely no coincidence.

I trusted he meant what he said because of the emphatic manner in which he delivered those messages. Wishy washy definitely doesn’t wash well with me. He had impact, and was quite mesmerising actually.

He said stuff I’ve heard but rarely believed, and he’d helped me believe it. All because I believed in him.

I won’t write what he said just now, as I want to keep it just for me a bit longer.

I think I will change. I just need to plan how the hell to do it!

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I am motivated to change, because I believed him, and in him- and in the truth he was trying to convince me of.

summerSHINES©

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THIS IS A LOW

Another candid share. I believe in honest blogging without any filter, so this is what I just sent, in desperation, to my therapist. Warning.** Triggering content- This is written by someone (me) while experiencing severe depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation/self-harm cravings. Only read if you feel strong enough ❤


“I’m emailing again because I need to communicate, but I only want it to be with you, and that’s because you’re my psychologist and you understand and have proven you understand again and again. 

I have no time for my friends (truthfully) and only want to communicate with you. I’ve done as much family interacting as I can muster for one day. I’ve shut social media down and feel nothing that I’d normally feel about anything or anyone. 

The world doesn’t understand what happens in here *pointing to head*

I’m tired of humanity. I’m tired of this lack of belonging and sheer inept uselessness I feel about myself and the contribution I make by being alive. I’m not meant to be here, living like this.

The conflict and chasm between what I feel about myself and who people think I am is cavernous.

My risks are higher lately. I feel the risk evelating, then only to subside (to lull me into a false sense of security) before the water level rises again. I don’t even cough or sputter when the water gets up to my face. ‘Learned helplessness’ is what you’d call it.

Right on the base of my own hierarchy of needs would be the basics of staying alive. That’s enough. Self actualisation isn’t even on my radar anymore. 

Depression has set in. The depersonalisation leads me to feel as if I am already dead so literal death seems like the natural choice.

Hubby didn’t go out today. I told him he couldn’t, but tomorrow he can (as if a day will make all the difference?) 

Will I not feel as suicidally desperate tomorrow? Who knows.

I don’t care about much right now. My emotions are numb. I need sleep and to not be a part of this body. I want to poison myself and poison the badness away and to never have to feel anything ever again.

Hope? No chance.

But I can’t attempt again. Because that’s what I promised. 

Why do I make these fucking promises? 

Because mums can’t *morally* take their own life, because it’s not fair to inflict the damage on those depending on you. 

Yeah yeah. I know all the theory.

I really fucking long to though. 

I just don’t know how much more toleration for this I have left.”

SummerSHINES© 

I WISH YOU COULD…

I wish you could be exactly the person I wanted.

I wish you could be here right now.

I wish you could comb your fingers gently through my hair, and tease out the tangled mess in my brain and heart too whilst you’re at it.

I wish you could be here beside me, but not with reality putting the spoilers on it. Let me have my fantasy, just for tonight. Please.

This isn’t some sordid piece about sexual fantasies of some red hot fantasy lover. This is about my longing for a mother.

It isn’t ugly to want to be nurtured.

It shouldn’t be forbidden to express what we’re missing and to shine the torchlight into the huge void- the place where the empty space sucks in the joy.

Everyone has an empty space inside.

Some of us are accustomed to feeling emptier and spacier than others.

Or maybe sometimes in life we just feel fuller and more satisfied than at other times.

I am sick of the deep ache.

It hurts, that ache.

Does time really heal hurt of loss?…well I guess the answer is both yes and no (fence sitting is more than allowed in this case). Yes it gets easier, AND no it fucking doesn’t. Both truisms are totally true.

I have a special blogger friend who lost her mum to suicide. Her and me, we connect beautifully, not only bevause we are both shamazing writers 😂 but because we both match up in our very specific mother-shaped emptiness.

I feel for her and her for me.

We counselled each other at the weekend via Facebook messenger.

We were both feeling very childlike and tearful and low.

But while I can enpathise (as far as I can) with her feelings around her mum’s tragic suicide, her mum isn’t there but mine is still alive, and that is where the similarity ends.

Bereavement can be literal, brought about by physical death, or it can be just as real, representative of the permenent death or severing of a mother-daughter relationship.

Both types of losses hurt and ache in a way that time alone doesn’t heal. If time does heal, it must be at the pace of the slowest snail known to man/woman kind, because I haven’t felt any discernible difference in how much I miss my mum now compared to how much I missed her when we first became estranged.

It’s been so long now that I don’t count it in months, and have lost track of the number of years.

I cry less, and less loudly I suppose. There are less minutes overall spent weeping into tear-dampened crumpled pillows with melencholic mood congruent music blaring out of Spotify. But the hurt is still there- it just makes far less of a sound.

Tonight I hurt in the silence. And this kind of silent hurting and yearning is something I can’t help but throw myself into feet first. Of course I don’t want to hurt this much, and I don’t consciously intend to dwell on it, but I’d rather be honest about my loss than pretend I’m fine when I’m definitely not fucking fine.

I am soothed by the rhythmic ticking of a clock. I am all cocooned in this room-my loneliness and longing is contained within four plasterboard walls. Tonight the ticking clock is like a heart beat to me, reminding me of what I would have heard booming out in my mother’s womb- back then when we were connected and I was sustained by that cord of umbilical life.

In the womb, she breathed for me in those early weeks. I was fed by her. She helped me grow and develop from tiny seed to mini alien to pink newborn screechy creature wrapped in snow white terry toweling.

How can I possibly forget her?

How can any child forget their mother?

You may not like them, you may not even love them, but I dare you to be able to try and forget them- try it. I think you’ll find it’s impossible.

What have I got to replace her, or who have I got?

I no longer have contact with any human who has known me all thirty six years of my life.

No one who was there from the beginning is still present.

I am left just with me.

My therapist can’t be a substitute. That’s just FREAKY, and my therapist won’t be around much longer I would imagine.

She will go and continue to nurture other damaged people, for a living.

In my real/non-therapy life I have existed for 36 years, but the longest relationship I’ve sustained is not 36 years, but 20.

Twenty years is the length of time I have been with my husband. The initial sixteen years before that were lived in a climate of fear within my family unit, but no one is around from that era to even validate to me that it even ever happened.

But I know it happened. I know.

The past lives on in the present and future, without the people physically being present to kick or punch or administer chinese burns to in protest for the PTSD shit storm they created.

I have a small number of photographs and a whole internal photo album of memories and cine tapes that play in my mind, but I don’t have my mum anymore even though she is still alive.

I’m bitter about that, very bitter and very lost.

Is she sat quietly in her room tonight, looking out at the inky blackness of the dark skies, wondering about me? Her daughter?

When she hears a ticking clock, is it just a ticking clock to her? Or does she hear my heartbeat, just as I would wish to imagine I am hearing and feeling and imagining hers.

I’ll never know, will I.

SummerSHINES

POST-CRISIS GRATEFUL

Whenever things build up to crisis point, people become all important. The power is, I suppose, all in the people.

A person or people can often be all it takes to push you to crisis point in the first place, (as just happened) but a person, or in my case the people (in plural) who step in as your helpers, showing they’re there for you, smoothing that path towards equilibrium again- those are the humans I feel grateful for.

People can hurt you, or heal you- such is their diversity. I don’t tolerate hurters and I value my helpers and healers more than I can say. I also value myself and my own ability to sit with difficult feelings and that is a skill that I’m strengthening all the time. 

I did a sharpie scribble last night after my crisis. I focused on what, or rather who I am grateful to. Even when things seem to be a stormy struggle I look for the helpers and the healers. I value their existence, and never ever do I fail to appreciate their impact.

I am blessed with amazing real-world friends. I am blessed with amazing virtual blog friends. I am blessed with my husband, and also blessed with my two children.  I am blessed too with my therapist, and my ex-CPN who has offered to support me next week while my therapist is away. So many people offering their kindness, not because it is ever asked for, but simply because they care and they want to.

Gratitude is a very powerful sensation for me. I experience it in a heart-bursting way. My chest expands, my head tingles, and I feel the happiest butterflies flutter round in my stomach. I often want to weep tears of gratitude, because of the sheer emotional release of it. I guess bursts of gratitude feel very much like positive emotional orgasms! I felt the orgasmic waves of gratitude this morning when I read messages from my friends, ones that they’d sent last night but I’d only just read. I felt it when I cuddled in close to my hubby in the bed we share this morning. I feel it when I look at the summery sky outside my window. I feel it when I get a sudden sense of the presence of my children, within the walls of our home, peacefully sleeping- safe and secure and LOVED. I feel orgasmic waves of gratitude when I feel the refreshing breeze billowing in through the wide open window, reminding me of the movement and the dynamic ever-changing nature of life and how it cycles up and down and all over, rarely remaining still or static, and certainly never dull.

Things can get crap, but they don’t stay crap.  Things can get great, but they don’t stay great. All of life is impermanent, unpredictable, and never remaining the same as the same old. There is no such thing as the ‘same old’.

I know I can deal with crisis. I know I’m not in crisis most of the time. I know how much more stable I am generally, but once particular triggers explode onto the scene, crisis is likely. Every explosion of negative emotion though is followed by an explosion of gratitude, and the gratitude explosions are fortunately far longer-lasting than their crisis counterparts.

I turn my face to the sun and feel grateful. The shadows cast by the humans who hurt barely register, as there is SO MUCH MORE to feel grateful about.

Thank you to those in my life who I’m grateful to have in it. You know who you are, because I tell you, just as you tell me. When gratitude is expressed two-way, it’s bloody awesome!  Two people seperately happy, and even happier when they share their appreciation for each other.

Today I am socially connected with people who care and I know I can count on in a  crisis, and that to me is everything. :)

I am post-crisis grateful to all of you- you know who you are :) 💖💖💖

SummerSHINES ©

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BRAND NEW DAY POEM

You’ll find me in my wishing well, once upon a dream

Voicing anthems of survivors till my tears dry clean

Never will I stop defending those like me

No matter how tough it is to urge the blind to wake up and see

Maybe they’ll NEVER see?- maybe their blindness is a permanent forever 

But I won’t hush my words for comfort because they don’t appreciate my wise or my sensitive or clever

I won’t put up with shit- I’ve had far too much of it

So on my podium I’ll sit, and then stay and sit and sit

I’m not going anywhere-won’t be put off this (my mission)

I’ll speak my truth till my voice shakes, I don’t need your approval or permission

I’m feeling OK now- human sludge rinsed away

Letting it go now because today’s a brand new and beautiful day :)

SummerSHINES ©