Tag: mental health in childhood

If he doesn’t realise he’s being abused, what do I do?

I’ve gone too long not saying anything. I need to talk to my dad about what my step mother is doing to him and to me.

What happened to my other family member, who was being abused for months with no-one’s knowledge, has made it clearer to me that I need to speak out. I know what can go under the radar; how for those closely involved in the abuser’s world, it can be impossible to see what is happening. And look what went under the radar when I was abused as a child. I’m trying to separate myself from my anger about all the times I “should” have been helped. Right now it just shows me how important it is to not let it go by when you see abuse happening. Another event that has made it clearer to me that I need to speak out is that third parties have commented on my step mum’s behaviour and how my dad is and how another vulnerable member of the family is treated – this was not based on what I told them but on what they themselves observed. It isn’t just me being crazy, or misinterpreting because I’m too sensitive because of my early life experiences, or imagining it, or because I subconsciously resent my step mother so somehow want bad towards her. It’s really happening. Then on top of this, my social worker and a psychologist I have been seeing at the pain clinic have both said to me that for my wellbeing the only course of action may be to restrict contact with my step mother. This is on the basis of the limited number of incidents I’ve described to them from the past 7 years or longer.

It’s really happening. It’s sustained (worsened actually) over time. My dad has no idea or if he does see it wants or needs to ignore it (because he thinks it’s normal? Because he thinks he deserves it? Because he doesn’t know what to do?). My step mum has been able to convince other members of the family that she is perfect, blameless, that she is the one being mistreated, that I am the one mistreating her or causing the problems, that I am the one doing wrong to my dad, that another person in the family is again a cause of problems and to be ostracised (and she has orchestrated this ostracisation), when actually they are vulnerable and desperately in need of help.

As well as being angry with my step mum, I am angry with my dad. This is totally wrong. Misplaced. I feel furious anger at my step mother’s abuse going on unseen and unchecked, even when it is done in plain sight. Why do I have any anger towards my dad? My anger should be only towards her, and the immense control she exerts and deception she weaves, which allows her behaviour to be unacknowledged, unnoticed or excused. That’s all part of her abusing. Does abusers’ behaviour somehow get you angry with the wrong people too? Or is it because all the feelings are brought up from when I was a child needing my dad to help me, trying to tell him what she was doing? Because I can’t really understand why he couldn’t see what my mother was doing to me and what she was involving him in back then? He was deceived by her but he also did wrong, but that’s another story.

However, I am left with the fact that again he’s in a relationship where he and others are being abused, and either he can’t see that it’s happening or he can’t / won’t take action. I don’t want that to repeat for him, for anyone else I care about or for me. It went on 30 years in his relationship with my mother. I don’t want him to go through more years of abuse, never taking action or only taking action when much more has been lost. He is fit but not so young anymore and if he were only to realise what’s happening when he’s elderly, it would seem all the sadder.

I can’t force my dad to take action. I can’t pull him free from the situation. What I can do now, which I could not do as a child, is try to openly tell him what I’ve observed and what I’m worried about. I can also tell him how she behaves to me. It’s likely he won’t believe me or will refuse to acknowledge it. This is what has happened when I’ve told him previously what my step mum has been doing and it’s what happened when I told him what my mother was doing when I was a child. But now I’m not a child. My safety and my world do not depend on him believing and saving me. Sadly, his safety does depend on him acknowledging what is happening to him.

How do I help him do this? How do I raise what is happening without him being so hurt and angry that I’m saying it that there is no chance he will be able to reflect on how she’s treating him and how he’s feeling? How do I do it without him stopping talking to me at all? Then there would be no chance I can help him. If he just utterly blanks it all and changes the subject, or leaves (both have happened before), what then?

Whilst he is not isolated as we were when I was growing up, in a remote village in a shut up house, nobody allowed in, no relationships allowed outside the home, he is isolated in a different way. Apart from his work, the world he’s in is still hers. Her part of the world, her house then the house she chose, her choice of leisure activities, her friends. Almost everyone he has contact with outside his work is her world. Potentially controlled by her. I can think of nothing he does separate from her, apart from his work. I can’t think of any friend he has contact with who is not first hers. No way he spends any leisure time away from her, except for the rare occasions she goes away on holiday without him for a couple of days, or the rarer occasions he comes to see me without her. It seems there would be nothing and no-one to help him move away from her control.

This is worse than I thought.

Xxx

Your opinion sought – children seeing scars

WARNING: this post is on the topic of self-harm. If this may be distressing please proceed with caution. Thank you. 

I’d welcome any opinions or thoughts on this issue:

I have scars from self-harm, past and not so long past. Sometimes I don’t cover them. Usually I do. I do not mind at all people asking although I do not want to share the full reason with everyone. Too much to reveal, for them and for me. Not because of “what would they think?” type concerns but because the reasons I did it are very raw and intimate. A big reason I cover my scars is not wanting to upset people – this goes for people close to me, too, or maybe all the more – and not wanting to draw attention to myself by making people worry.

I cover the scars with clothes or when the weather is too hot or I want to wear something that wouldn’t cover them all, I use makeup  (designed to cover scars and not to rub off on clothes as ordinary facial makeup would). It isn’t possible to cover them totally but usually I consider it to be enough.

I am going to stay with my friend in a couple of days and she has two little girls, very young, 5 and almost 3. I’ve stayed with them before but never when it’s this hot. There is also the possibility we are going to take the girls to a kids’ pool and whilst I won’t be swimming it may necessitate wearing less. I’m worried about the girls noticing my scars. I will cover them with makeup but I’m worried that as it doesn’t hide everything, the girls will notice and might ask about it. The younger one probably not but the older one may. It may sound like a silly concern however, they are both very observant and pick up on things I would never think that they would.

I’m wondering, first of all, is it the kind of thing they are likely to ask about? Possibly it’s not something children would notice or they might not even know what scars are (as in making the connection that it means I was cut). I don’t know. 

Second, have any of you been in this position? If a child asked you anything, like what are they [ie the scars] or how did it happen, how did you respond?

I’m thinking this is a situation where the girls knowing any of the truth would be unquestionably so damaging to them at this young age that a small lie is the only possible course of action. An adult, if they notice the scars at all, would probably know that it wasn’t done accidentally and not believe my excuse, whilst a child, more likely to ask about the scars in the first place as children aren’t so socially reserved as adults, would probably not realise it wasn’t accidental and would accept the fake explanation I chose. I don’t usually opt for lying but this time it seems to me the only way to avoid causing harm.

Perhaps I should ask the children’s mum (who knows I self-harm) what she thinks or what she would prefer.

Just to be clear, I would never self-harm when with the girls or indeed, when with anyone or where the girls might see me do it – my worry is them seeing the scars I already have from past self-harm.

Any thoughts would be really welcome. Thank you.

Ginny xxx

Lost and hurting

[WARNING: this post contains content that may be distressing including mention of past abuse and things said and done to me by my abuser; it also reflects my very distressed and confused state. If this may be upsetting or unhelpful I would suggest giving this one a miss.]

It’s been a really bad day.

I’m sorry I can’t post quite what I said yesterday that I would although this is quite closely related.

I can’t do anything right now really. I’ve never felt so lost and fragmented. My thoughts are racing but I can’t get them into words. I’m freezing cold. I literally feel far from everything real. I tried to go for a walk to calm down. Everything around me – trees, people, sounds of talking around me, the ground – seemed to be existing and happening further away than usual behind a screen. The pain and exhaustion is intense and shattering.

Something inside me that was the last thing pushing me forward even in the mess things are, seems to have switched off. I can’t do anything. I don’t want anything except desperately wanting someone to hold me. I don’t know for sure what I feel apart from lost.

I feel a total failure. Failure as a friend. Failure in what everyone else can do. Failure as a Catholic. Failure at being. Not enough.

My friend told me he’s known for years I’m angry. That terrifies me. I have done everything to stop it getting out. I stopped eating. I cut myself. I overdosed. In the end it came back to stopping the evil getting out of me. It didn’t work. Everything I feared. There are evil things in me I can’t control. They got out when I was a child. What my mother said is coming true. I can’t even hurt myself enough to stop it getting out.

He said I’m too angry to let God in; that I don’t want God to love me,  I always want there to be a barrier, I won’t let God love me.

But I thought nothing could stop God’s love. I so want to love God. It has never occurred to me to think I don’t want God to love me. I don’t think I please God and I don’t think I love Him enough and it is very hard to truly believe He does love me. I find it very hard to think He does want me and I’m terrified whatever i do, in the end He’ll reject me and everyone will see how bad i am and I’ll be damned. But to think I don’t want God to love me? It terrifies me.

The thought terrifies me constantly that my real desires and motivations are evil however much i want them to be good and even when I think they are good. That God knows and other people know they’re bad really. That it’ll be exposed sooner or later. That it means I can never be loved and never be good.

Just like when my mother told me, she’d be taken away because of me or whatever she was threatening at the time, I’d fool people it was because of her but she’d know and I’d know it was all because of me really. Nobody would believe a child could be that bad but really it would all be because of me. When all along I didn’t know what I’d done wrong and desperately tried to do what she wanted and needed, it turned out that was how bad I was really. I took in totally on board.

And – they’ll know you enjoyed it, she’d say after she put her hands in me. They’ll know you wanted it and you enjoyed it. Mind you don’t do that,  don’t breathe like that,  or they’ll realise. It hurt and I was frightened but she told me they’d realise I wanted it. It plays over and over in my mind now. The thought that I wanted it, is  as bad again as what she did. And when she had me do things. You love that don’t you, you really like it…. I wonder if anyone’s listening. ..no one would believe it’s all because of you, daddy and I would be taken away and you’d be sent to a special school for morons. Are you a moron?

Another time, just because i couldn’t do something – Look, this is a toddler walking rein. This is what you put on babies when you go out. So if you’re going to pretend, we’ll put this on you whenever we go out so everyone knows you’re a baby.

As a kid I knew I was evil. But even as a kid I wanted to be loved. I wanted it but I knew I was too bad really.

I’m fragmenting now.

Now my friend has said I don’t want God’s love. I don’t want a relationship with God. I want to put up barriers. I’m too angry. I didn’t think it was possible not to let God love. My only hope was we can’t stop God loving. But he said I refuse to receive it. What I feel is shaken and darkness and alone and losing one by one everything that gave me any stability at all. I try to read the Bible and I feel fear. Where I should feel hope. Where my friend tells me i should feel hope and joy and I just have to keep on doing it and i have to make the choice and if hopelessness carries on it’s a choice. My friend said he doesn’t think I’ve really tried to pray. That I haven’t kept doing it. That if I don’t feel hope I have to stir myself back up to it. That it works for most people so why would I be different, why wouldn’t it work for me? I repeat words I cannot believe and promises I cannot feel and try to follow a God I cannot find, I am twisted inside trying to act against everything I feel and say only what I want to believe but isn’t real in my heart.

I am completely lost. The relationships that meant most to me all broke down and it turned out I’m not a good enough friend, that when I was trying everything I could to do good and to keep all the frightening horrible evil things inside me, I was just a burden.

I have lost any grasp on what I can trust. I’ve lost any grasp on my faith. I think I desperately want my God – i thought I did, at least that was sure, although I found it impossible to believe He could want me. The terror of the harm I do and the evil that will come out of me and knowing I can never really know if I think or mean or want what I think I do, was too great. But now I have been told I don’t even want God, am too angry to want God’s love. I’m utterly shaken. Have I never had any faith. …if despite everything I really don’t even want God and everyone but me knows that then I’ve never had any faith and I’m lost.

This is absolute pain now. I cannot function. I am so frightened.

Ginny xxx

A shaky week

This week I planned to get all caught up here on comments and visiting your blogs. However as so often happens, things took a different term and I seem to be as useless as the proverbial handbrake on a tortoise. And moving at a similar speed too!

This hasn’t been a very stable week. I had a meeting with my new support worker, a difficult consultation with my GP, two relationships breaking down very painfully, an important but emotional group therapy where something that occurred brought flashbacks of a frightening incident in my childhood for which I feel responsible. Also I got some very unexpected news and had a conversation that seemed to throw everything. I’ll post about it in due course once I’m more able to cope.

Not big things in the grand scheme but I’ve got behind again. So once again, I’m sorry for being so slow to answer messages. I care and I’m praying for you and I’m sorry for how I struggle to write.

Ginny xxx

A closing drawbridge and a silent cry – Eating Disorders and Personality Disorder – #6

A closing drawbridge and a silent cry – Eating Disorders and Personality Disorder – #6

Protection in Emptiness

Eating Disorders and Personality Disorder – #6

“Closing the drawbridge” – eating disorders and rigidity

PLEASE READ WITH CAUTION – this post contains discussion of eating disorders (primarily anorexia), description of my eating-disordered thinking patterns, and a link to an article about studies on calorie restriction

[Wow, again it has been too long since I have posted in this series. Sorry.]

Many books about eating disorders, in particular anorexia, mention rigidity of thinking as a symptom which emerges as restriction of food increases and weight drops. When I worked at an eating disorder service, it was frequently described in inpatients on the ward. I’ve been pondering why this is and how much did I experience it when I was anorexic. I never used to think that my eating disorder was about control, although I now would take that back and I think I did use it if not exactly for control, in order to separate myself from my mother’s abuse and protect myself (and, I thought, others too) from demands, emotions and the dangers I felt they presented.

Perhaps it is logical that counting calories and measuring portions and exercise, forcing yourself to adhere to a punishing regime of starvation and painfully excessive activity in the very weakened physical state of anorexia, requires a strong, almost angry, obsessional drive. Sticking to this above and against all the natural urges of your body to keep you well and nourished, to the point that your body consumes its own muscle for energy, requires a steely determination that must be fuelled from somewhere. This could be seen as rigidity. It could easily spread to other areas of cognition and daily routine.

Certain chemical changes in the brain are thought to contribute to this rigidity as well, I believe. Two studies were conducted in the 1950s, using as participants conscientious objectors to National Service and former prisoners of war. One of these is the Minnesota Starvation Experiment, where starvation was imposed on physically and psychologically healthy participants who had no history of eating disorders. As the participants’ calories were reduced and their weights dropped, their thinking patterns became more rigid and obsessional thought and behaviour patterns emerged. When their calories were no longer restricted, they also became vulnerable to binge-eating. You can read more about Ancel Keys’ Minnesota Study here. (It would be considered highly immoral by today’s standards, although perhaps it is worth bearing in mind that one purpose of the study was in order to find out how to care for and manage re-feeding and weight restoration in victims of starvation in several countries following World War II.)

I am not sure to what extent rigid thinking was a big feature in me when I was severely underweight. Others who knew me at the time might disagree! It was mentioned to me on a couple of occasions.

On further thought, perhaps I did not struggle so much with rigidity over, say, my daily timetable – with the notable exception of excessive exercise, as I forced myself to swim a certain distance a certain number of times per week, until I was so exhausted and weakened that I could no longer move through the water which felt ice cold, my legs cramping, and I would drag myself to the changing rooms with my skin purple and blue, bruises appearing that did not heal and no number of layers of clothing warming me up.

However, if the rigidity was not externalised, it was certainly internal. This is what I think of as the “closing drawbridge” of anorexia that locks up or locks away everything we fear. I’ve talked in previous posts about the blissful, safe numbness of anorexia, ensuring my emotions were in check and flattened, and ensuring the evil I perceived in me was locked away to hurt only me, weaken only me, so that I could not hurt anyone else. Locking up the perceived evil locked up feeling, too. No more panic – just obsessive counting calories, distances, how to hide or avoid food. No more fear – just explicable pain, wonderful blanks and emptiness, safe empty gnawing in my stomach. No need to feel others’ feelings. No need to be hurt or be overwhelmed. Just glorious numb, nothing, whiter. lighter, clearer than before. No needing; no taking; just closing down, separated, apart from everything, locked up safe, pushing away and always succeeding, taking nothing in, frozen.

As a friend pointed out to me recently, emotions take energy, just as physical exertion takes energy, so with vastly insufficient calorie intake, there simply is no energy with which to feel. Despite the lack of energy, the drawbridge was shut tight and closing harder. The further I starved and restricted, paradoxically, tighter shut the door and even stronger came the energy driving me on, not to need, not to feel, not to fear, not to touch anyone or anything.

Coupled with that strength came a desperation never to leave this closed up place and never to need or feel again, to remain unreachable, to keep safe away and to keep everyone else safe away from me. If I could just be sure to hurt myself enough and never to eat, this wonderful place would stay with me. The fear of everything the drawbridge kept away joined the energy and both drove me harder and deeper into the numb place of anorexia.

Combined with my mother’s illness and abusive actions, there was no shortage of reinforcement from the outside that this numb place was good. The only period of my life in which my mother’s emotional abuse and threats reduced and in which she was even caring towards me, in which interactions with her were free of threats and scorn and twisted statements about the harm I was doing to her and my father, was when I was severely underweight with anorexia so severe it was probably life threatening. I was no longer a danger and no longer seemed to be so evil. I even thought perhaps she loved me. I even dared to hope perhaps the evil thing I was sure was in me and that came out and hurt and controlled and deceived everyone, was gone. If I could just stay like this, perhaps it wouldn’t come back. On the other hand with the drawbridge tight shut my body was mine as well, only mine, and the anorexia was mine, and she would never come near me again, literally never touch me again.

(Perhaps that was the one thing that was eventually true in all my twisted anorexic thinking. She did abuse me sexually during the anorexia but afterwards, she didn’t ever abuse me sexually again.)

Until I started to eat again and weight restore, there was only one thing that cut through my rigid defences, and that was singing. I’m not a particularly good singer but I was in a musical at my school (more because I used to be able to dance, than for my voice, I think!) and afterwards I took singing lessons, which were about the only part of my later school years that was enjoyable. Although I enjoyed singing, during the anorexia I would find that the music had a peculiar effect. We didn’t usually sing particularly emotive songs but I would often find music bringing me to want to cry or causing a strange twisting feeling of unease inside me, as though it was draining away the rigid kind of energy but I wouldn’t let it go. My mother prevented me seeking any professional help for my eating disorder but the only two people to whom I did talk about it honestly at all at school were my singing teacher and my art teacher. (My swimming coach was also very concerned about me and to some extent I did talk to her but, for some reason, although I knew she cared and was a safe person to trust, I was never able to be truthful to her, I think because in some way I feared hurting or disappointing her too much.) I don’t know why music and to some extent art, broke through the rigid protective mechanisms, but it did. I know that music can be very helpful in therapy for people with various conditions, including dementia and depression. I’ve never read about it in relation to anorexia but that might be something I should look into!

The struggles I have with overpowering, overwhelming emotions in my Borderline Personality Disorder, are the complete opposite of the protective place I entered in my anorexia, and they are an excess of feeling and needing which are probably, actually everything I feared. If I’m honest the numb place was safer. I’ve long lost the way back there and lost the key to the drawbridge and I hate that and I’ll admit that in the worst times, when I really hate myself and everything I feel and need, I wish I could return and it’s hardest at these times to try not to punish myself with cutting or purging. I’m trying to learn how to choose life and staying connected to other people – and to my body and my emotions – without the unbearable and dangerous becoming all that there is.

Ginny xx

Fat, and hot, and horrible.

The hardest thing about the quetiapine (and venlafaxine maybe, though I attribute it more to the quetiapine) and clonazepam is what it’s done to my body, or rather what I’ve let happen.

Fat. Disgusting. Sweating and hot (that’s the pain meds too I guess). Conscious of my expanded body. I have gained so much weight in the last couple of years. And I’ve let it happen. It’s true the drugs make you gain weight and increase your appetite, but I’ve failed. I haven’t stopped it.

I’m repulsed when I pass a mirror and see the foul reflection, bigger and bigger; when I feel the flab around my stomach and waist, the one thing I used to be able to keep flat and small even if I did have chunky thighs I hid under skirts. It’s everywhere. Crawling disgusting flesh and fat.

Why did I let it? Why? Why did I return to this demanding sick big disgusting body? I want to rip and claw and cut. It’s out of control. It’s all wrong. Growing and needing and hungry and hurting inside and out, aching within, stabbing in my stomach, darts and shooting burning pains as my feet touch the ground and my joints feel like they’ve been smashed and bruised.

Failure. Why. Hate. Hate hate hate this growing sick too big too present body. Even in my dreams I’m fat fat fat, running and clawing to get out of my body. My mother is there, shouting and mocking and threatening and I wake up drenched in sweat and shaking because the nightmare is real now. I couldn’t save her and the foul thing I am stares back at me out of every mirror.

And I cry.

Telling

Telling

On Tuesday I made my statement reporting the years of emotional and sexual abuse from my mother. Two officers were with me for about 3 hours. There were a lot of preliminary questions and forms to complete then my statement was recorded by a small camera. The recording itself may be used in evidence, and a transcript will be typed.

It was a bit surreal at first, but the anxiety was rising in my throat and pumping through my whole body. I thought it would consume me and I would not be able to speak. The officer stated the date, time, place, who was present. Rather like on TV shows, except this was real. Then I spoke. I spoke for about 50 minutes with just a few breaks and questions, then there came more questions at the end.

The officers were incredibly kind and compassionate and made the process as “best” as it could be in this situation. It did make a difference. They were respectful, and gentle, and had empathy for the impact and the cost of speaking. I know from what readers have shared in the comments on other posts that this is not everyone’s experience of reporting this kind of crime to the police. How I wish it was.

Right now I feel shattered, like the picture. I’m so tired. Every joint feels as though it has been smashed with a hammer. At the end of the day at work today, my legs are hurting so much I can only walk very slowly and my feet recoil from the ground. Partly it’s the fibromyalgia and arthritis. Partly the stress, I’m sure.

It’s as if I don’t really know how to stand right now. I know that it was the right thing to do and that I needed to give this statement. Yet those 3 hours change everything.

Suddenly those “touches”, those words, the coercion, the threats, the violence, are unquestionably crimes. A substantial chunk of my childhood written, taped, recorded, in a couple of hours. What happened was no longer sickness (or no longer only sickness). No longer to be excused. No longer misunderstanding or as she sometimes claimed, the product of her fear. It was a crime. In the police’s words I am the victim of her crime. My mind is shattered, too, try to understand this concept….

Ginny xx

She needs someone to hold her

Tonight I’m aching. Physically with my back hurting and a stabbing pain all round my hips and stomach with the endometriosis; inside with something I can’t soothe like a loss that’s pulling me apart. I know it’s childish. .. the little child I turn back into when I’m as drained and feeling as… left …as this really needs a hug. I really need someone to hold me as if that would stop me losing it, stop some of this fragmenting.

Nobody ever held her. Not when she needed it. She doesn’t want pity. She knows it’s no great wrong in the scheme of things and her problems no greater than anyone else’s, in fact far smaller. But she wishes someone understood and accepted and held her.

Going to the police

[TRIGGER warning for mention of and thoughts around memories of childhood sexual emotional and physical abuse, reporting abuse and so on; also as I wrote I know I’ve gone totally crazy and this post could be frightening.]

I’m waiting for the police to call me. A DC called me earlier in the week and we talked about making a statement reporting the abuse. (I’ve another post I haven’t uploaded yet about how this all came about – will upload that as soon as I can. ) We decided I’d take a few days to think and the DC would ring me back this evening about 7.00 to talk again. He hasn’t rung yet. But I can well understand they’re busy and have emergencies to deal with. I’m just on edge and really unstable today.

However, my decision is made. Funnily enough my friend’s actions yesterday, when she knew I was in pieces and really needed help and had asked her please did she just have a little time to talk about how to get through reporting what my mother did to me – she messed around the time of the meeting, then still left me waiting 20 minutes, made sure we had no privacy and very little time so I couldn’t talk about a thing and then left me when I was really distressed and unsafe (why exactly do all this? Why not just refuse to meet? Why trick me again and pretend to be there, drag it out and string me on more and more desperate?) – all of that has crystallised my decision in my mind.

This is yet another time nobody hears me and nobody is there when I’m most desperate. When I try to tell them about this it gets brushed off, I’m not allowed help, I just have to keep going and be independent, nobody will listen, they say I’m making impossible demands. … when I have had absolutely everything I needed to be safe taken away then I’m thrown out on my own and told just get on with it you’re responsible for your self. … it’s a really sick game.

Nobody will help me. They’ve tricked me.

I don’t want anything to do with them again. I’m not letting them near me.

I will report what she’s done. I found out she attacked a paramedic, attacked my father twice at least, as well. So what she did to me she is capable of to others too. If others can be in danger from her it makes some difference too. I thought perhaps it was only to me. She had so many delusions about me. The things she did were always bound in some way to those. That we were being watched, that I had a special intelligence and knew her thoughts exactly and had plans to punish her, that I was causing my father to have a heart attack or her to be paralysed, that people had done things to me and she had to check it out and then show me what a woman I’d be taken to would do when she examined me – that was her way in when she started putting things inside me. Was it all bound to her sickness? How can we know? Her intent wasn’t the same as an abuser who take sexual pleasure from it if she was sick and doing it because of weird beliefs? What does that mean? Was it a crime still?

And so much was emotional. Does that count as a crime? She trapped me and trapped the family and isolated me totally and did quite a good job of the same with my father. She made false allegations about my father. She told me I was saying and showing my father had abused me sexually unless someone else had done it and she told me I had to tell her what had happened or that was what it meant. They’d be taken away and go to prison and all because of me. So I had to tell her. I had to stop it. I lied but I had to stop it. I could have got someone else in trouble with my lie though. I was 6 or 7 I should have, must have known. I took it back as soon as I made myself dare. I took it back and I hate myself since. I hate the foul thing I am to do that. I know I invented something – so I can never trust myself and never be sure because I did that. She told me for years how evil I am inside. If i lied like that perhaps I could be. It’s not perhaps. I am.

But she encouraged me in the story. She didn’t go right to the police. She told me I’d be taken to be examined. She kept coming back to me to get me to tell. She showed me books and wanted me to draw pictures. Something is not right. Something is not the normal action of a frightened or worried parent. Was she actually sick getting some pleasure from it? That thought has never been in my head before today.

I’m going to the police. They will have to listen when they take my statement. Perhaps they will tell me. Perhaps they will find the sick thing in me and if I’m evil they’ll punish me. They’ll take me in. They’ll tell me if it’s abuse or if it’s me that’s the sick one and invented in some twisted part of my mind. They’ll tell me if she was sick or if she was abusing me. She did hurt other people and maybe at least I can stop that. I need the answer now because I am going mad with this and this will be how I get it because everyone else I trusted has decided I don’t get any help and have to be left. I think the police are my very last hope now.

Ginny

The 1000th last straw

[TRIGGER warning for mention of self harm, overdose and suicidal thoughts, and childhood sexual abuse;  and for anger, i am really angry and hurt writing this.  I am not meaning people to worry about me. When i say I’ve given up i mean on therapy and the doctors and everyone i trusted, not that I’m immediately suicidal.]

I am so far beyond angry. Hurting. They can decide I don’t get help. But it does come to a point I can’t just keep going one day more and being told the bad things are temporary.

In group and after I desperately needed to talk about the abuse and trauma and the decision I’ve now got to make whether to make a full statement to the police. I needed help when I told them I was really high, right on the edge, really unstable, not safe. Nobody heard.

I’d dared to ask a friend for help and to help me talk through some of what I have to decide about the police. She’s cancelled and changed arrangements so many times we’ve had to meet. I doubt she really wants to anymore. She keeps meetings to the most difficult and shortest times. She knows I’m ill, she knows I’m desperate, she surely knows how difficult it is to talk about abuse! She agreed to meet in the middle of the day at her work. Obviously I needed to talk in private but if that was all the time she had then I was thankful for it. I was at my wits end today after group. She changed the time and place back and forth through the morning today. She knows this puts me right on edge if I have no idea what’s happening. She told me she only had 30 minutes, then that she had work to do and hadn’t finished, then couldn’t I wait an hour and a half later, then asking where I was, 2 hours earlier,  when she knew I was still at my hospital appointment. When I finally pinned her down to a time she still came 20 minutes late without even letting me know and we had to meet in a crowded cafe where I obviously couldn’t talk about a thing – what did she expect me to do?! “How’s your cappuccino? Oh yes and by the way, I’m not quite sure how I’m going to cope when I tell the police about my mother sticking things up me when I was 7, any thoughts?” I don’t think so!

Then she told me I ask too much, it would be impossible to do what I ask (really? Is it so very hard to agree to meet a friend, stick to the arrangement and turn up?) And she doesn’t believe i wanted to meet in private because I thanked her for agreeing to meet in the middle of the day (well just because I thanked her and was grateful doesn’t mean I was happy or it was what I needed, I was just grateful for any help – or what I thought was help). She said she didn’t know we needed to meet in private (really? Is she that stupid she doesn’t know if you have to talk about abuse you won’t do it in the middle of a cafe? I don’t think so).

I was in bits and in so much pain as well  – and yet again the last hope of getting help or to talk to anyone was snatched away. It’s not just today. It’s every single time. I’ve had it now after this is just repeated – every one i should be able to trust,  every place i should get help. They don’t hear. They don’t believe me. They don’t help. It’s some sick joke or someone’s plan to find out when I break, to laugh at me, to test if I want help enough. Well I’m screaming and nobody can hear. I can’t scream louder. They can choose to keep up this game. Well I guess they’ve won. I can’t shout louder. I can’t make them believe. I can’t make it so that I deserve or am allowed help. I can stop trying anymore because it does just hurt too much. That one’s down to me. It’s not really a choice because it simply now is too painful. But I can choose not to let anyone near me again so they can’t trick me, so they can’t decide to keep a distance because I’m not allowed help and cut me down again because I’d just started to trust and go forward believing they’d be there, so they can’t disappear and show me how they don’t really want me around and it isn’t a friendship and they won’t be there.

(Funny. She’ll threaten to call an ambulance – and if I do go to a&e I just talk to someone then get bounced back out after a few hours and I’m alone again – but she won’t come to see me when I’m not safe, understand how hard it is, sit with me when I’m terrified, come to see me when I was in hospital – every time I was in I was the only person on the ward who didn’t get a single visitor -or hug me when I’m crying. Why is it so hard to do any of that? The doctors don’t care and don’t help me and the only friend I have nearby doesn’t want me around and says go to the emergency services. So I’m not allowed medical help and not allowed friends.)

I’m not allowed any help. I need a friend and I need someone with me and I need to trust someone but every single thing I trust gets taken. It’s not just today it’s every time and I’ve had enough. Oh, you must keep going to work, they say. You’ll feel worse if you have nothing to do. No, I won’t. All I want is it to stop. I don’t want to go out. I want to sleep. I want drugs to stop me feeling.

Oh it won’t help you if you have anyone with you it won’t help you get better you have to be independent. Why is it for her to decide what I need? She’s not my doctor! She doesn’t know what it’s like! I need help. I need someone with me. I want a friend. I want someone to help me. I want someone to care. I want someone to be there when I can’t cope. Not only when I can say everything is fine. Not only when it suits them. Not only because they’ve decided I have to learn to be independent. I’ve always been independent. Nobody has ever been there when I needed them. Now I Can’t cope anymore. It’s even more cruel that every time I’m most desperate I have to be deceived into thinking someone’s there then left alone.

If you’re friends with someone, if you care for them, you are there when they need help. You don’t decide what they need or that something else is best for them or they have to learn something. You don’t see them sometimes then walk off when they’re ill. You don’t constantly change every arrangement. You don’t only allow them in certain situations and certain parts of your life. If they need you you’re there for them. If they’re sick you help them and care for them. You don’t just disappear because it isn’t convenient. That’s just utterly basic friendship and actually basic morality. I’d do it and do do it for anyone.

Is it really so terribly much to ask? Every other person in therapy has family, a carer or a spouse with them. I’m the only person who doesn’t, who lives totally alone. Is it really so terribly awful to want someone to be with me when I’m in crisis, to hug me when I’ve been crying for hours, someone to stick to a commitment, someone to be a friend, someone to help me when I’m cutting as soon as I’m alone, when I’m terrified of the hallucinations?

And the doctors know and they don’t care. They don’t help me. My friend says call them if I’m not safe. She says persist. I’ve been persisting for years. I’ve been accepting nobody wants me. I’ve told them in not safe. I’ve told them I’m cutting and overdosing and when I was planning to end it. They didn’t help me. I don’t want some stupid phone number for a few minutes of so called support. That doesn’t keep me safe or get me help or a friend or anyone with me. I’m on my own again. Left to just go back to the same cutting and overdosing. There’s no other way to cope. They tell me just keep going is temporary. I don’t care if it’s temporary. I can’t right now.

After years of making sure never to say what I needed and always to do weekday I’m meant to, I’ve had it. I’m a disgusting selfish b*tch and a baby and I’m screaming and I need help now and nobody can hear me. I’m not allowed help and I know I’m not but every time it’s proved the kick hurts even harder. I know it’s selfish and disgusting but actually the need and the hurt has taken over. Nobody wants me. Nobody wants me really, not what’s really me.