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hsphaven

Haven for the living Princess and the Pea

Author

Zoe

A founder of hsphaven, Zoe hopes to create a space for HSP writers to come together and share their diverse passions and expertise through writing. This has been an important outlet for Zoe over the years; she fondly recalls writing stories as a child at recess and lunchtime and sharing them with her classmates. Some of Zoe’s areas of interest include mental health, healing and self-development. She has a background in psychology/social science. In her spare time Zoe enjoys being in Nature, op shopping, vegan food, music, and art and craft.

Deliver me

Depression is like drowning. Every day is a battle to keep your head above water. You must be a superman/woman/person to survive it. To drag yourself to do things, even as small as having a shower or getting dressed. To bounce back from things that go wrong in your day as your reservoirs are already depleted. To endure hours, days, weeks, months and years of torture, a life devoid of pleasure, of hobbies, of connection to other people. You start your days behind as you most likely had no replenishing sleep that night. You try to sleep your day away, but at its worst, you cannot sleep, or wake up bright and early for another day with depression. Depression is like the dementors from Harry Potter sucking away the person and the joy you once had, leaving you an empty shell.

I have battled depression for eight years now. I’m a survivor and a figher. Many times in my life I’ve thought that’s it, I’m a goner, but I’m still here. And I’ve fought to still be here. As bad as my depression is right now, I know I will most likely survive another week. But I do get tired of treading water. There is a part of me that wants to surrender. That is why I find so much peace in the song “Never Let Me Go” by Florence + The Machine.

“And it’s over and I’m going under
But I’m not giving up
I’m just giving in

Oh, slipping underneath
So cold and so sweet

In the arms of the ocean”

Gratitude

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This post is going to be a little different to my others. A friend bought me a gratitude journal. I’m thinking of making a post every time I come up with ten things I’m grateful for. Here are my first ten:

  1. Painkillers
  2. Having plenty of water
  3. My friends
  4. Living in a family and a world where being gay isn’t considered a sin
  5. Glasses
  6. Not living in an era where there are old mental asylums
  7. My freedom; not being on a Community Treatment Order
  8. Traffic lights
  9. Being born in a country free of war
  10. Being born in a sex that matches, for the most part, who I am

People come and people go

There is a certain melancholy that greets me as the seasons turn.

It speaks to me softly,

Reminding me of those I have lost,

And those I will lose.

It shows me that little in life is permanent,

Except change itself.

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Attachment trauma with therapists

The mental health system often does more damage than good. As I reflect on my own journey, I realise I was actually better before I started seeing therapists. My experience has been a little like losing a beloved parent over and over. This is because my clinicians become attachment figures. As Julie Wetherell writes in her article “Complicated grief therapy as a new treatment approach”, “Attachment figures are people with whom proximity is sought and separation resisted; they provide a “safe haven” of support and reassurance under stress and a “secure base” of support for autonomy and competence that facilitates exploration of the world.” But it is the wrong place to look for closeness because these relationships are fragile. The service is not long-term, the clinician moves jobs, the clinician retires, we can no longer afford therapy… there are plenty of things that can sever the relationship and send us into a very deep, primitive kind of grief. Really these people can only be a tiny part of our lives and relying on them for such large things like safety and security is only going to disappoint us. I am now a shell of the person I once was. The day I started counselling was the day my world started to shrink. I went from being a full time student to part time and finally not studying at all (and not because I had found a job). I was once dux and now I am on social security and in and out of psych hospitals. I used to be an activist and involved in a lot of groups on campus. I now barely see anyone apart from my mum and dad. I’ve lost touch with most of my old friends because I suck at maintaining relationships. Everything that has happened to me is consistent with what happens when we lose an attachment figure. “In acute grief following the loss of an attachment figure, the attachment system is disrupted, often leading to a sense of disbelief, painful emotions, intrusive thoughts of the deceased individual, and inhibition of the exploratory system,” continues Julie. Continue reading “Attachment trauma with therapists”

Betty

“And now you are just a stranger with all my secrets.” lauraklinke_art

She swept into my life while I was at my lowest. It was my first time being in a private hospital for my mental health and she was my nurse. I remember being blown away by the level of care shown towards me, which sat at stark contrast to the public hospital I was in a few years back. She told me she felt protective of me like she was my big sister. She was always looking out for me and said that during handover she would ask to hear about me first. Continue reading “Betty”

I am not alone

“The tide recedes, but leaves behind
Bright seashells on the sand.
The sun goes down but gentle warmth
Still lingers on the land.

The music stops and yet it lingers on
In sweet refrain.
For every joy that passes
Something beautiful remains.”

Martha Vashti Pearson

An excruciating sense of loneliness has followed me all my life. I never had a solid group of friends as I moved schools seven times. I was always the new girl, the outsider, and wherever I went, I was told how much I was hated. I was bullied at nearly every school and this took the same form each time: exclusion. No hands were laid. Sometimes no words were even spoken, I was simply glared at from across the room. We called it “the evil eye”, a glare reserved for the most despicable. Sometimes I wonder whether that is why people’s faces are a blur to me, my mind’s attempt to protect me from seeing such hatred again. Continue reading “I am not alone”

Life inside the BPD mind

You list all that you have accomplished: clarifying my diagnosis, getting me on the NDIS, getting me into Spectrum.

“Is there anything we’ve missed?” you ask me. “Is there anything else you need?”

“I need you,” would be the honest answer, but I do not let it escape my lips.

As you summarise your progress, it sounds as though you’re wrapping up our time together. You don’t see a need for you anymore. Pain builds inside me like a tsunami, yet no tears reach the shore.

“Are you trying to get rid of me from this service?” is all that comes out.

You tell me there are no plans to finish up with me in the immediate future. It is not the answer my mind is looking for. I need you in my life not just in the immediate future, but forever. Tell me you will stay with me forever. Continue reading “Life inside the BPD mind”

Lost

The clothes drier is a drill into my scull.

It’s hum incessant, pausing only briefly before continuing to deepen its reach.

Clothes spin round and round,

Thoughts spin round and round,

Why am I going round and round, in and out of hospitals, getting no where?

Layers of self

We are like flower buds with many layers/dimensions. The Energetics Institute breaks these layers down on their website.

There is the self we present to the world. This is called the “Social Mask”, and is what we pretend to be so that we will be accepted. Behind this is the “Lower” or “Shadow” self, the “Primal Wound”, our dark side which we learn to hide. But there is a side even deeper than the Lower Self. This is our “Higher” self, our core, our soul self, our Life Force. This is the pearl which only the deepest sea diver will get. We need to go through our shadow self to find it. Continue reading “Layers of self”

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