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Haven for the living Princess and the Pea

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Mental health

Suicide

I sit before a plainly dressed, earnest woman and my new case worker. My case worker introduces the woman as a psychiatrist in training. No time is wasted before my mind is picked apart, dissected, analysed like a specimen under a microscope. I am asked a series of questions, questions I have been asked so many times I could rehearse it all back to them. Continue reading “Suicide”

Narcissists and toxic relationships

Many highly sensitive people/empaths are magnets for narcissists. This is not because we are like them, but because we are light to their darkness, Shahida Arabi writes.

“Regardless of any of our vulnerabilities, we exhibit the gorgeous traits of empathy, compassion, emotional intelligence and authentic confidence that their fragile egotism and false mask could never achieve.”

This post is about some of the strategies the narcissist and other toxic people use to maintain control over their victims. It will cover love bombing, projection, abusing what we’ve told them, jealousy, stone walling, scapegoating, gas lighting, isolation, hoovering, smear campaigns, and finally, discarding.  Continue reading “Narcissists and toxic relationships”

A day in the city

The big day is here. I stagger out of bed. I’m already one down as I didn’t fall asleep until sunrise. I open my wardrobe crammed with clothes. Some drop to the ground as the doors open. It makes no sense that I have so many clothes as I never go out. Most days I never get dressed. I guess I just see the potential in every single item. Whether that makes me a hoarder or an artist depends on who you ask. It’s important for me to keep my options open, to know each item is there if I ever need it. But my options are anything but open now. I cannot find what I want and the task of getting dressed is completely overwhelming. It is overwhelming just being in my room, a physical replica of the turmoil within, as though my mind has been turned inside out. Continue reading “A day in the city”

Empty veins

I will probably need to give this post a trigger warning, though to reassure anyone who is concerned, I opted instead to bleed with words.

Empty veins

I examine the blue veins highwaying my wrist

where your fingers rested a paper-slice away from my life force.

Veins visible and dramatic beneath my anorexic physique and translucent skin.

Veins like roots protruding the surface,

my insides and my dreams laid bare

for you to tender, if you wish, or slay. 

 

I imagine slitting these veins.

These veins, once bursting with your love.

These veins now waterless river channels meandering to my heart.

Emptied as fast as they were filled.

Helplessly waiting for the next rain fall.

Hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.

Dying more and more as each day drags on.

The angel and the devil,

the villain and the hero,

Are one and the same.

So I push away both

and return to a solitary world

behind closed doors,

behind the stillness of night, my only friend,

and behind my bags yet to be unpacked.

Bags stained with the sour taste of my final day

when the silence, perhaps, said all there was to speak.

A real life Hogwarts

As I was watching Harry Potter the other evening, I was thinking how this hospital to me is very much what Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is to Harry. I’m sure all who have stayed in a psych hospital can attest to that strange feeling separation, or insulation, from the world beyond. Your sense of time changes and mental health is no longer something you have to hide. When you leave there is a distinct feeling of crossing a veil much like platform nine and three quarters. The hospital is a parallel world, and a world I’m finding I much prefer, despite the difficulties I’ve had in here. Continue reading “A real life Hogwarts”

Merry-go-round of life

Cars swirling round and round

Their whir a daily greeting

soon to be followed by the clunk of the cleaner

rattling down the hallway

Lingering, like the pong of chlorine or artificial fragrance,

Scrubbing and vacuuming floors barely trodden

Replacing towels unused

Over and over. Continue reading “Merry-go-round of life”

An invisible scar

“All those years drifting in space
I have known you well, yet I’ve never seen your face
You turn around, looking at me, laughter in your eyes
And now I can see”
Hayley Westenra, ‘Across the Universe of Time’

Some people grow up believing they’re dumb or ugly. I grew up believing I was a rapist. When I was five, I was accused of sexually assaulting my friend. The story, woven by my friend and her mother like venomous spiders, spread through the principal’s office, the classroom and the school yard, and I was no longer allowed to see my friend. The story did not end at the school gate too. It spread into the houses of mutual friends, into the neighbourhood which I unfortunately shared with my friend, and other schools we both found ourselves at years later. I had a number of friends taken away from me due to the story. I was watched in the yard by teachers and when I went to play with them I was told I had to play somewhere else. I had my enrolment declined at one school due to the story. I had my reputation stained. My friend and I both went to the same high school- the local, Catholic college for girls. Here the story was used as a reason to bully and exclude me, and a couple of my friend’s friends- her assassins- threatened to hurt me if I were to come near her or if she were to get expelled for her slander. As a child I often had dreams that none of this ever happened and we were still friends. But then I would wake up to this reality again. I was told that I was as good as a criminal, a message drilled into me every single day. My friend’s mother did not drive and walked everywhere with her children. Whenever they’d approach our house, her mother would lead them onto the grassy terra strip on the opposite side of the road where they would pass our house as far away as they could possibly get without trespassing on our opposing neighbour’s property. Her mother continued this routine for the rest of her life. Continue reading “An invisible scar”

An account of a “mixed episode”

This is an account I have written about my recent “mixed episode”. I agree with Kimberly over at themighty.com (a great read by the way) that there’s not enough written about what these actually feel like. I also think they could be better diagnosed; I am only just learning about the mixed features of my own depression which have been overlooked by professionals all these years.

 

It is not ordinary depression nor is it mania

But a concoction of the two,

A mad science experiment,

Where the worst aspects of both have been combined. 
Continue reading “An account of a “mixed episode””

Invisible

Every day she’s so depressed and angry and in pain. All she wants to do is sleep but today she was woken by her mother’s guests. Now she must lie awake and suffer. She suffers silently behind closed doors, closed blinds and under the blankets of her bed while laughter fills the house. Her dark room is both her refuge and torture chamber, the darkness seeping into every bone and tissue of her body to the point the pain becomes physical. She breathes and exhales darkness. There are no tears; she lies in a dried up riverbed, thoroughly scorned and beaten by life.

dried river 3

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