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Haven for the living Princess and the Pea

Emotional deprivation

I shared one of my poems with a psychiatrist once. She told me that I needed to “grow up”, that I relate to people like I’m a child. This psychiatrist is long gone now. She had no manners and all we’d do is fight. Yet this comment has stuck with me. I realise there is a little girl in me who didn’t get the love and attention she needed. And she haunts me. Continue reading “Emotional deprivation”

Fuck life

I wish we could feel we can talk to each other as human beings, even when we don’t know each other very well. I wish people at the shops actually want to hear the answer when they ask “how are you?” I wish we were bold enough to share a little bit of our lives with people instead of replying with the standard “I’m good”, even when we aren’t. I went to the chemist today to fill a script. The pharmacist asked me how I am. It wasn’t busy, she had time to listen. But as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t even say “I’m not the best”, a gentle invitation to a more meaningful conversation if she wished to go there. I wish I had of been bold. I wish I had of told her “I’m not the best”, and even why: that my mum has just been diagnosed with cancer. She would have been a great person to talk with. But I never took that opportunity. I just stood there in silence. Then said “sorry, umm I have a script”. She, like the pharmacist yesterday, noted that my antipsychotic medication had been reduced. “Has the doctor lowered your dose? You used to be on 5mg”, asked the pharmacist. “Yes” I said. I didn’t tell them that I am taking myself off my medication, that my psychiatrist and case worker hadn’t wanted to reduce my dose so instead I got the new script from a GP unknown to them. Continue reading “Fuck life”

What NOT to say to someone living with chronic illness

I’ve just realised the post I’m about to write is similar to a post I’ve already written called “Milly”. Basically I want to point out something that people say, which, while well-meaning, actually isn’t very helpful to hear for people with chronic illness. It makes me, at least, feel like you don’t understand my condition or its severity. This phrase is “I hope you are well”. A psychologist recently said this to me, of all people. I really thought they’d know better. Anyone who knows me well enough would know that I suffer with anxiety and depression daily, and have so for the last decade despite being in therapy and on many different medications. I also have problems with my sleep, and my mental health often causes physical problems too such as fatigue and headaches. I do not have periods where I am well, only rare moments, which, if I’m lucky, might last up to a few hours. I just move through various degrees of bad. This might sound grim and depressing but I’m not going to sugarcoat how things are for me. This is the unfortunate reality that I live with, so do not tell me “I hope you are well” because most likely I am not. Similarly, do not tell me “I hope you get better soon”, as if I am temporarily sick or injured and expect to recover in weeks or months. Continue reading “What NOT to say to someone living with chronic illness”

Vaccine mandate

It is such a sad night for me. Tonight my team started the new season of badminton without me. Badminton was the highlight of my week, it was so good for my mental health and it gave me a little bit of social contact. One of my team mates texted me saying she will miss having me in the team. What a fucked up thing our government is doing. It’s tearing apart communities and destroying people’s mental health (like mine). Tonight I wanted to kill myself so bad. I said to my team mate I’d still like to keep in touch if she would like to also. She said she would, and also believes no one should be coerced into putting something in their bodies they don’t want. So I’m feeling a bit better. But holy shit, this is one of the shittiest things ever. Being excluded is shit for anyone (it’s actually processed in the same area of the brain that’s involved with physical pain), let alone someone who has a long history of being left out. But this evening I read a quote which I believe was sent my way for a reason:

“If you feel like you don’t fit in this world, it is because you are here to help create a new one.” Continue reading “Vaccine mandate”

Politics and friendships

I used to identify with “left-wing” politics. I went to protests with socialists about climate change, LGBT rights and capitalism. But I’m not sure it’s easy to divide people into “left” and “right” wing anymore. Lately, especially over the “vaccine” mandate, I find more support from people on the “right”. So many so-called “left-wing” groups have been completely hypocritical throughout this pandemic. They’ve always said they stand for equality, freedom, rights, anti-discrimination, anti-capitalism. So where are my comrades while alternative points of view about covid and the injections are being censored? While doctors are being gagged? While all the media spins is fear and propaganda and big pharmaceutical companies capitalise off that? While covid treatments are being banned? While people are excluded from society because of what they choose to put in their bodies, losing their jobs and turned away from cafes, the movies, travel, sport and the activities they once enjoyed? Not only are the people I once stood with, chanted with and fought with quiet on these matters, but they are joining in on the oppression and marginalisation. They are out there calling the real people fighting for our freedom “right-wing anti vaxxers” and shutting them down. I feel horrified and betrayed as I watch my comrades turn on me and turn on all they stood for. Continue reading “Politics and friendships”

Year 9

It is 3am and the darkness is a blank canvas on which my mind paints a person and place from my past. Continue reading “Year 9”

Riding the BPD rollercoaster

People with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) have been described as the emotional equivalent of a third degree burn victim. We have no skin which means every little thing that goes wrong is excruciating. When I started DBT, we were taught that BPD sufferers have a lower baseline mood than other people. This, I believe, is from a lifetime of trauma, chipping away at us like water wears away rock. As Trading Yesterday sings, “A million miles have led me to this place, Where all I’ve ever loved has been erased, Changing my song to a disenchanted lullaby”. BPD is depression, and more. We are already barely hanging on, so any setback easily tips us into crisis. Continue reading “Riding the BPD rollercoaster”

This is what it’s like to have OCD

There are many different shades of OCD. Being a neat freak is only one variety of OCD. OCD is a continuum that stretches between the extremes of spotlessness to hoarding so severe there is no space to walk. Then there are other types of OCD, such as getting distressing, intrusive thoughts to drive off the road or to hurt someone. Some people keep checking that they’ve turned the stove off or they’ve locked the door. And I met one person today who must line up her M&Ms according to colour in the order that those coloured electrical wires are plugged into the fuse box.  She also told me she has to count how many of each type of chocolate there are in the Cadbury Favourites box. She must then eat the ones that are more abundant first to level the numbers. Continue reading “This is what it’s like to have OCD”

Latest Internal Family Systems work

There is a part of me that, for a while, I’ve wanted to change. It is a part which I’m sure frustrates those who want to be closer to me too. It is how I, generally, don’t get attached to people. I will go weeks, months, or years without talking to friends and it doesn’t bother me. I don’t miss people. And displays of affection such as hugs usually feel empty and emotionless for me. These are some of the most private things I will admit to; I’m scared people will think I’m heartless. In Internal Family Systems, this part of me is called a “manager”. Managers are one of two parts (the other being “Firefighers”) who protect us from being overwhelmed by “Exiles”, those parts of us that carry our deepest wounds. Melissa Sandfort has written a wonderful description of Internal Family Systems on her website here. Melissa describes “managers” as parts that “try to control your relationships and environment so you’re never in a position of being hurt. They avoid emotion, and try to control everything… Very extreme managers may turn people into robots who never seem to feel anything or connect to anyone.” Continue reading “Latest Internal Family Systems work”

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