All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…


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The let’s answer people’s "google searches" post!

My minds racing at a thousand miles so many thoughts, feelings, emotions, rational thoughts, irrational thoughts, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and they’re driving me insane not even slowly insane fast fast faster than the speeding colour red insane that I need to do something pointless and rather weird to try and take my mind of the suicidal urges I’m feeling.

So here we have it folks, the let’s answer people’s google searches post!

It amazes me sometimes what brings people to my site. The things people write into google which brings them into my merry world: denise welch drinking again alcohol that’s a good one, but the best, the absolute best which had me merrily laughing and giggling away, “emily lloyd” wanking…who would have thought that would bring someone to my site? Bet they were disappointed!

Anyhow…some searches are actually pretty cool, gets me thinking, so here we go, hold onto your hats and lets see what we can find out.

1) “Movie TV Show Self Injury”
This one got me thinking. I can think of only one example of each: Takin’ Over the Asylum on TV and Secretary at the movies. So I flung myself into research mode and tried to find a few more…Girl Interrupted, Thirteen, 28 Days, Seventh Heaven (TV Show), Strong Heaven (TV Show)…and that’s the best I could come up with, which is pretty pathetic, but then I’m in that sort of mood…anyone know any others?

2) “Songs about depression and self harm”
This is a good one. So many songs are about love and lost love and happy bouncy pop numbers by ridiculously under-dressed pre-pubescent starlets gyrating around as if they know everything about sexy sensual antics it’s ridiculous. What about songs about depression and self harm, where are all they, eh? How about these?
[RED ones are self-harm, BLUE ones are depression]
Underlying Depression – Van Morrison
Black and BlueCounting Crows
Manic Depression – Jimi Hendrix
SmokeNatalie Imbruglia
Terminal Spirit Disease – At the Gates
If You Can’t Leave it Be, Might as Well Make it BleedDashboard Confessional
I Won’t Stay Long – Sixpence None the Richer
My Heart Is The Worst Kind Of WeaponFall Out Boy
When Silence Cries – Trail of Tears
Judge Yr’selfManic Street Preachers
Only Happy When it Rains – Garbage
Not an AddictK’s Choice
Put on Your Old Brown Shoes – Supertramp
Roses in the Hospital – Manic Street Preachers

3) “Overcoming emotional abuse in friendship”
An excellent point. In my posts covering emotional abuse I talked specifically about emotional abuse occurring in a sexual relationship, however emotional abuse can occur in any form of relationship. It could be teacher/student, parent/child, friend/friend, boss/employee even student/teacher or child/parent is possible. Overcoming emotional abuse in any form is an incredibly difficult thing to do, as even if you talk to the abuser and try and get s/he to realise that what they are doing is having a detrimental affect on you and your self esteem, they will often deny what is happening is their fault, they will in fact deny the abuse is occurring.

Something you can do is talk to a trusted friend and tell them what is happening and how it is making you feel. You could also try and convince the abuser that they require “help” to overcome whatever issue is causing them to be emotionally abusive, but this is dangerous, as it could lead to further abuse or an escalation into physical or sexual abuse.

Overcoming emotional abuse is a very tricky and difficult thing to do. Ultimately, you may have to sever the friendship/relationship with that person if you feel nothing is ever going to change. This will hurt more than you can know, but if it is the only way to stop the abuse, it may be the only option.

I’m not sure if that’s been of any help to anyone, including myself. I’m just in a really bad way today and trying to occupy my mind. It’s not really working so we’ll call an end to this post and see what happens.


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Let’s talk about my nervous breakdown…

I’ve skirted, danced, bogled and boogeyed around it and kinda explained why it happened but never really gone into much “depth” as to – what happened, how it happened, how it felt – so I’m bored, have a few hours, am tired of talking to Meadhbh so am gonna blabber here for a while.

What is a “nervous breakdown”?
You could also call it an emotional breakdown or perhaps a mental breakdown, but in essence a “breakdown” has occurred when someone becomes unable to deal with normal day-to-day life.

It can be ignited following a particular trauma, a series of events, or can even happen randomly and out of the blue with no precipitating identifiable cause.

“Nervous breakdown” isn’t even a medical term: it’s a colloquial phrase designed to try and hide what is actually happening, which is the sudden acute attack of a mental illness, because a breakdown is far more easily accepted than bipolar, depression or anxiety; it is stigma at work!

Why I had a breakdown…
A breakdown generally occurs when your circuits become overloaded. Your brain, heart, soul, emotions – whatever – are under so much stress that they short circuit, and then shut off, and then you can’t find a nice clean unbroken fuse to mend them.

As mentioned previously, I was diagnosed with CLL and then dumped by my girlfriend by text message which set in motion a chain of events which caused me to lose my college course, my income, my best friend and all of this happening whilst I was suffering from glandular fever – a pretty serious physical illness which could have killed me – and all in the period of ten days.

I think any one or two of those things could have the power to trigger a breakdown, but to have so many stressful emotional events hitting you when you are already physically, mentally and emotionally devastated from glandular fever, the fact I had a breakdown doesn’t surprise me.

What happened?
The day I realised something was seriously wrong was the Tuesday I spent walking around the sleepy hamlet of Port Fairy talking to myself at an audibly obvious level for six continuous hours before sitting on a beach and burning myself with a flaming stick. Now I had wanted to phone someone at this point, I knew something was brewing and I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to stop myself…but no working public phone box anywhere close and…dammit…mobile phone battery was dead!

So I burnt myself twice, used the ocean to cool the burns, and then stood there for an hour or so staring at the black expanse of the horizon before retreating to where I was staying whilst I was in Port Fairy.

I spent the next day glued to the bed, unable to move, writing obscure journal entries which skipped, danced and evaded the actual events which had happened the night before. I thought that by not writing about them I would be able to forget them. I watched an entire season of 24 that day and wished to high fracking heaven my mobile phone charger had been packed because at this point I really desperately needed to speak to someone. Oh well.

On the Thursday I crawled to the Doctor, on the Friday I saw a psychologist, on the Saturday I sat on a beach again, on the Sunday I spent another 7 hours walking around talking to myself, on the Monday I returned to Melbourne.

How did it feel to have a breakdown?
I literally felt nothing. I literally could do nothing. There was all this stuff I needed to do, all this stuff I wanted to do, but I just – couldn’t – I literally could not do any of it. My brain was not functioning on any level, all I could do for a few days was lie there watching other seasons of 24 (as this had helped the week before) trying not to harm myself.

Now that I had my charger back I couldn’t even bring myself to phone anyone because I didn’t have any words to say. I was doing that wee dial the number, delete the number, toss the phone across the room dance.

On the Wednesday I woke up having a panic attack, spent the day in a constant state of anxiety, panic, despair and fear. I wrote in my journal on and off, and for the first time ever mentioned my self harm in it’s pages (which you can read here). Then something happened that night which – well – let’s just say really really really really didn’t fracking help!!! I have never understood why that person thought it was a good idea, never will, but what they did that night was fucked up to the extreme!

On the Thursday I wanted to kill myself. I sat on the floor of my room staring at a knife and wondering what it would feel like. Tears were streaming down my face and I know I made two phone calls, but I can’t remember which order they came in. I either phoned a friend and then the suicide helpline, or I phoned the suicide helpline and then phoned a friend. Either way I spent the vast majority of that day in a constant state of fear of what I may do to myself.

After that week the specific days become blurry, everything is just a mess in my mind. I know I fought my self harm tendencies, I know Meadhbh came back, I know I did self harm, I know I was suicidal, I know I saw friends, I know I tried to rebuild my life, I know I saw doctors, I know I saw the occasional psychologist, I know I tried to do anything and everything that I could to fight what was happening to me and get my life back to something I was able to enjoy.

I wasn’t able to work. That’s a fact. Simple and pure. My health was fucked up to the point of unbearable, I couldn’t concentrate on a job advertisement let alone work an 8 hour shift, but I job hunted nonetheless.

As all this was happening I was having to sell all of my possessions in order to survive (rent, food, occasional social outings or cinema trips to make myself feel normal, which I would have to plan in advance in order to have the strength to do it without a panic attack) and try not to tell any of my friends what was really happening because, well, you have to pretend and not ever talk about your problems or negative incidents remember! Internalise, never externalise, because it was attempting to externalise that contributed to the problem in the first place!

My decision making capacity was shot to fuck, my conversational ability had gone; anxiety, depression, suicidal inclinations and self harm reigned supreme. The fact I had overcome all of this only a few months before contributed to the continuation of my depressive episode – all of those years of work for nothing!

My conversations with Meadhbh were driving my ever more insane, my ex was driving me nuts with her consistent emotional/psychological abuse, which Meadhbh was loving because it backed up everything she was telling me. Meadhbh would often say something which my ex would then reiterate word for word a few weeks later; “You have to help people,”, “You’re selfish,”, “You should kill yourself,”, “You never care about anyone!” oh how Meadhbh loved those moments!

Physically I was a wreck; fighting glandular fever was made almost impossible and my recovery time was lengthed by months. I had chronic pain in my back, splitting migraines, I wasn’t able to sleep and never felt hungry. I had to go to hospital several times for a recurring polynoidal sinus, though unrelated to the breakdown, has been recurring ever since due to the stress I have been under and have been waiting for an operation to have it removed. The meds I was on threw all sorts of side effects in my direction, which further messed with my body (and mind) and viruses seemed to claim their hold on my body on a regular basis.

I don’t think anyone can truly understand what having a breakdown feels like unless they have experienced one. Like depression “breakdown” is an overused word and does not in any way fully describe the pain and torment your mind is constantly under. You literally cannot function on a normal day-to-day level; your body is besieged with physical pain and your mind is engulfed with the sort of emotional pain I would never wish on anyone.

Overcoming a breakdown…
Like with all forms of mental illness there is only so much help you can garner from other people. You can see doctors and psychologists and MH professionals but you still have to do a hell of a lot of work yourself. I saw my GP regularly and fought for months for professional mental health care, which even after two suicide attempts only really came a few weeks ago.

So how can you help yourself fight an emotional breakdown? These are some of the things I tried:

  1. Be kind to yourself!
    You are going to have bad days and you are going to have good days. Don’t berate yourself for the bad days and think of yourself as a failure as this will only feed the breakdown demons.
  2. Find ways to reduce your stress level…
    Eat healthily; brown rice, fruit, vegetables, natural foods…
    – Find ways for regular relaxation (I used to walk, play in parks in the night-time, sit under trees, watch movies, write [we’ll get to that in a minute])
    – Have baths!
    – Try to socialise with friends and do things you enjoy (trivia nights, movies, coffee and tea, pizza lunches)
    – Do regular relaxation exercises.
    – Keep a daily ‘things to do list’ to refer to.
  3. Be physical
    Regular exercise and activity helps relieve stress and tension and keeps your body fit and active, in can be hard to do this after having a breakdown or going through a depressive phase, but it is important. Walking, swimming, cycling, yoga, pilates…if you do something you enjoy it will make things easier.
  4. Research and learn about what is happening to you.
    Understanding your problems/illness better may make it easier to cope.
  5. Find your own coping strategy
    Everyone is different, what works for one person will not work for another. So find your own ways to deal with what you are feeling and your own techniques to get you through your bad days.
    – Writing is something I did, the vast majority of my novel “The Ghosts that Haunt Us” was written during this period. However, in order for me to achieve the state of mind I needed to be in, in order to write, I had to self-harm (sometimes severely) in order to get there.
    – Other people find art, music, drawing or poetry effective.
    – To get through the bad periods I would play video games. I’m a Zelda aficionado so would replay my Gameboy Zelda games to occupy my mind.
    – Meditation and yoga can help.
    – Although I was unable to write a journal (still can’t to this day, won’t go into why), I did keep a mood diary to help identify and chart what I was feeling.
    There are lots of ways you can find to cope with what is happening. I would be interested in hearing your own coping strategies as they may help other people.

Relationships and Friendships following a breakdown…
One of the hardest things I had to deal with was being told repeatedly that who I thought were my friends were not really my friends (an example of being isolated by my abuser) and wouldn’t be there for me. Thus I was unable to talk to them about what I was going through as I was afraid of pushing them away – which was inevitably going to happen anyway – so had to fight my breakdown alone. They knew I had had a breakdown, and self harmed to some extent, but were not aware of the full extent of what I was dealing with.

After a breakdown your self confidence and self worth will be virtually non-existent, thus your ability to retain friendships and relationships will be put under further strain. As you are not thinking clearly your actions may cause harm to those people you care about, even if it is inadvertent, so you may need to apologise for anything which happened during the breakdown and work on rebuilding those friendships.

Although you will need to work out whether the problem was caused by you, or by them, if it was their problem they will need to find a way to deal with it as you should not have to accept responsibility.

I can’t sit here and talk about friendship really, I don’t have any, and as I am still fighting my breakdown cannot give profound advice on healing rifts and repairing damage.

I will say however that, like everyone, a show of kindness and love can help someone who has suffered from a breakdown. We all want to feel loved, we all need kindness, to help us get by.

Can you overcome a nervous breakdown?
The breakdown I experienced earlier this year was singularly the most painful, distressing, chaotic and fear inducing period of my life. I literally just could think straight in any way, my brain shut down and wasn’t functioning on any level. It was a constant daily fight to get through each conversation, each hour, each day.

The road to recovery following a nervous breakdown is hard work, it could take anywhere from 6 months to 3 years to fully recover. It can be done however, it’s not going to be easy, pretending it isn’t there won’t help but just cause longer term problems, it’s going to be painful, destructive and the hardest fight of your life.

But it can be done, never lose hope of that.


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Is it me, or is the word "depression" overused these days?

“I’ve just messed up my exam, god I’m so depressed!”

“Why do I get so depressed when the shop runs out of chocolate biscuits?”

“Christ, these petrol price rises are really depressing me!”

“It’s bloody depressing it’s my birthday again in two months!”

“Channel 10 moved Torchwood to the midnight slot – that’s bloody depressing that is!”

“I’m so depressed because I dropped my ice cream and the dog ate it. I really wanted that ice cream!”

Getting the idea?

The word depression and all it’s subsidiary variants are the most overused words in today’s language. Often done so by people who have absolutely no understanding as to what being “depressed” in the medical sense actually feels like.

If you can sit an exam then go shopping for chocolate biscuits because the petrol prices are too steep as you need something to keep you up until the midnight screening of Torchwood instead of worrying over your birthday as you watch the dog lick up the strawberry gelato – chance are you are not clinically depressed.

Chances are you are just feeling a little sad or ticked off or down in the dump.

Getting the idea?

Clinical Depression is a whole other ball park! Depression in this sense is feeling like shit without actually knowing why – even if everything in you life is looking as good as peaches and cream nestled on the small of a naked woman’s back just begging to be licked off – you’re still feeling like shit!

It’s hard to get out of bed let alone sit an exam; it’s tough to find the energy to walk to the front door let alone the supermarket; driving a car feels like you’d be piloting a rocket to the moon; waiting up for your favorite TV show, why bother, the bed’s right there?; birthday in a couple of months – blimey, you can barely think about something a couple of minutes away; ice-cream schmice cream, let the dog have it!

The simple difference between feeling sad about something and suffering from a diagnosable form of depression is length!

It’s perfectly natural to have a couple of weeks of sadness about your dog eating your favorite ice cream, a friend moving away or failing that subject at school. If you can carry on with your daily life as well as feeling these emotions, you are not depressed. Negative displays of emotion are (contrary to some belief) perfectly natural and healthy. The thing with clinical depression is that it lasts months, in fact some experts have set the time-frame to be about 3 months before depression is a diagnosable option.

If you are depressed carrying on with your life on a normal day to day basis is almost impossible, in fact it takes a great deal of strength to even get out of bed in the morning. Life loses all meaning, the things you used to enjoy no longer hold any pleasure, you find it hard to laugh at something which would normally have you pissing yourself on the floor. Hopes, dreams, ideals, passions and fantasies go out the window. In comes a cloud of thick black fog which envelopes your entire world and no matter what strength torch you are using nothing penetrates it.

This overuse of the word depression is adding to the stigma held against the illness at an exponential rate. If you admit to suffering from depression – oh, you’ll be fine in a couple of days! Nope, that’s sadness, not depression! Depression may take months to overcome and require a helluva lot of hard work from the person suffering. No-one can cure depression for you, but they sure as hell can help you to beat it.

No, I think it’s time for a new word, a new term, a whole new definition for the medical community to use. Much like manic depression is on the way out and bipolar has come in – clinical depression needs a new term so that it is instantly recognisably different from feeling sad or going through a patch of the blues.

Any ideas?


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Emotional Abuse – Part II: The Effects of Emotional Abuse

The above diagram illustrates the cycle most abusive relationships rotate through.

My Abusive Relationship

Anyone who has visited my Facebook page will see that my relationship status is listed as “it’s complicated…”; I cannot be with another person until I have healed the scars from my previous relationship.

The reason I am finding it so hard to heal those scars is simple; I still love her. I know this is irrational…but that’s what depression is. A cavalcade of irrational statements being flung at you by your own mind. You know it is wrong, you know it is unhealthy, you know you shouldn’t feel that way…but love is just as irrational as depression. Combine the irrationality of love, depression and an abusive relationship and what do you get: utter brain shutdown.

It’s so hard for me to write about my abusive relationship because of this love. A huge part of me despises this person for what she did to me earlier this year, a huge part of me blames her for what has happened.

Which isn’t to say I don’t also blame myself; I do. I made mistakes, I did many things wrong.

We all do.
We are all human.

But the thing is, and the thing which finally made me realise that I was in an abusive relationship was that she never, not once, admitted to doing anything wrong. Everything was my fault. Everything was always my fault. Even if it had absolutely nothing to do with me, she found a way to blame me for how she was feeling – even after she broke up with me, everything was still my fault.

What finally made me realise I was the victim of abuse, after research, were:
1) Everything on the lists in “Part I” she did at some point inflict on me.
2) That my feelings or needs were never of any importance to her.
when I asked for things they were often made light of or completely discarded out of hand as being not what she wanted. Whilst suffering from glandular fever I was not making enough effort in the relationship or in my personal life, despite the fact I could have died if I pushed myself too hard. When I was diagnosed with CLL, as mentioned in previous posts, she did not seem to care in any way what my problems were – focussed instead on only hers.
3) That no matter what I did, said or thought – it was never good enough for her.
I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that no matter what I did. No matter what I said. No matter what I thought. Nothing was ever good enough for her. I have so many examples of my words and actions never being good enough for her we would be here til Doomsday if I were to list them all! The final straw, and what made me finally realise I could not have anything to do with her was when she attacked me for doing two things – one of which she had categorically asked me to do – the other being something she had implied she wanted.

Being a victim in an emotionally abusive relationship is painful, it has long reaching devastating consequences in all areas of your life. The affects of the emotionally abusive relationship in my life are clear to anyone who has read this blog.

So we’re back to the whole irrationality of life, love and depression. She abused me, frequently, I know that, I don’t however know if she knows this. Do abusers ever know what they are doing? Or have they excused their behaviour to themselves as being something the victim has bought on themselves?

I even know why she was abusive toward me, I know why she was eliciting control and the excuse she gave for it.

It is an excuse so many people give in her situation: they hide it behind the pretence of changing you. That what they are doing they are doing for your own good; not realising they are actually doing the complete opposite.

I also have an idea as to who she was trying to change me into, and therefore have a much clearer idea of why she needed to illicit control over me. Which is something most people who are victims of emotional abuse do not ever understand, so at least in this case this is a positive.

This understanding however has not made it any easier to overcome the scars and hurt she has torn into my soul; I honestly don’t think I will ever get over them.

I still love her, I have never lied about that at any point in time. I think I always will love her.

Why am I writing this?

There is a method of treatment for mental health problems called cognitive behavioural therapy. CBT is a psychotherapy based on modifying the assumptions, beliefs and behaviours of a person. In the simplest possible terms, it is all about positive thinking. If you do something wrong, instead of reinforcing the belief that you are a “terrible person” and a “complete failure”, CBT works to modify the way you think so that instead of the negative statements you’re saying to yourself, you instead reaffirm yourself with positive statements. You can read more about CBT at this Wikepeida entry.

The emotionally abusive relationship I experienced, in essence, was CBT in reverse.

If you are telling yourself, and are being told, that you are strong, smart, a good person, courageous then you will eventually believe that you are (CBT at work people!)

If, however, you are telling yourself, and are being told, that you are weak, useless, pathetic, insignificant, never thinking of others, selfish then you will eventually believe that you are (reverse CBT at work people!)

No amount of pretending will make you believe you are a good person if all someone is telling you is the exact opposite. Especially if you have more than one person saying those things to you.

I think emotional abuse is something the world needs to become more aware of. Everyone in relationships make mistakes, argue, bicker, annoy, upset and hurt the other person. It is how these issues are handled and overcome that defines the emotional connection the two of you share. There is a difference between constructive criticism and abusive criticism, there is a difference between a constructive conversation and an abusive one.

No-one – ever, period – deserves to be the victim of abuse in any form.

———-

Endnote:

I have written these two posts in an effort to bring emotional abuse into the spotlight.

I am aware of the mistakes I made in my relationship and am not excusing them in any way.

Whilst in the relationship I never thought what was happening to me was abuse, it was only after (specifically the months following the break-up) that I realised I was not (nor had been) treated well in any respect. It was only through research that I started to make the connection with emotional abuse.

If you feel that you are the victim of abuse please talk to someone, anyone. You do not have to deal with it yourself, and you should never feel that you are alone. In hindsight, this is what I should have done.


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Emotional Abuse – Part I: "Words are just as powerful as the fist,"

What is emotional abuse?

If I were to ask you to describe an “abusive relationship” I would lay money on you giving me the following: a man physically hitting/slapping/beating a woman.
Am I right?
Maybe not, but based on the vast majority of internet pages, Facebook groups and television commercials this is the general consensus of an abusive relationship. The fact that this is not only sexist – implying all women are saintly victims – but also blatantly ignores another form of abuse should all be staring at you in the face.

Abuse is any form of treatment where one person asserts control, power and dominance over another.

This treatment can be both physical and emotional. I was the victim in an emotionally abusive relationship, and it has left scars which I don’t think will ever heal.

The difference with emotional abuse over physical abuse is that although physical abuse does leave internal damage, there is always external damage which proves to other people that this is actually happening. .

Emotional abuse damages only internally, eating away at your very heart and soul until there is nothing left. You cannot prove to anyone it is going on, and often disbelieve it is happening yourself.

Victims of physical abuse have foundations, laws, charities, organisations, television commercials all fighting to protect them and offer support, counselling and guidance. Which is a good thing!

Victims of emotional abuse have nothing – they often do not even know they are being abused.

What are the symptoms of emotional abuse?

Have you ever been in a relationship where:

  1. You understand their feelings, but they never attempt to understand yours;
  2. They dismiss your difficulties or issues as unimportant or an overreaction;
  3. They do not listen to you;
  4. They always put their needs before yours;
  5. They expect you to perform tasks that you find unpleasant or humiliating;
  6. You “walk on eggshells” in an effort not to upset them;
  7. They ignore logic and prefer amateur theatrics in order to remain the centre of attention;
  8. Instead manipulate you into feeling guilty for things that have nothing to do with you;
  9. They attempt to destroy any outside support you receive by belittling the people/ service/practice in an attempt to retain exclusive control over your emotions;
  10. They never take responsibility for hurting others;
  11. They blame everyone and everything else for any unfortunate events in their lives;
  12. They perceive themselves as martyrs or victims and constantly expect preferential treatment.
    [Taken from This is War: ABUSE – Emotional Abuse]

Well if you have, then you have been/are the victim of emotional abuse.

Abuse is about power. It is about someone asserting control over their partner/family member/friend/loved one so they remain the centre of attention.

They achieve this power in a number of ways:

Mind Games ◘ Silent Treatment ◘ Destructive Criticism ◘ Humiliation (public or private) ◘ Isolation ◘ Making you feel ashamed ◘ Making you feel weak ◘ Using a disability against you ◘ Making you feel crazy ◘ Brainwashing ◘ Putting you down EVEN when it is clear and obvious to the abuser that you are already down ◘ Blatant disregard of your feelings ◘ Demoting your opinions, beliefs, values ◘ Denial of past actions and unwilling to accept any responsibility ◘ Unwilling to discuss or talk about problems unless their rules (and only their rules) are adhered to ◘ Putting the entire blame for everything on you ◘ Insulting your friends and family ◘ Unwilling to compromise ◘ Cutting you off from family, friends, community, social network (enforcing isolation) ◘ That no matter what you do, say or think, it’s never good enough.
The above list is not comprehensive, merely for example purposes only. If you are being abused the abuser may use some, all or none of the above examples; their method of abuse may be entirely different.

There are many reasons why people become abusive. Abusive childhood and a sheltered insecure upbringing are two examples. There may even be psychological reasons at play. Often it comes down to a lack of insecurity.

Their insecurity with themselves pushes them to justify their reason for existing. In order to feel good about themselves, in order to ascertain that they deserve a place on this earth they need to retain control of all situations and relationships around them.

They do this by attaching themselves to people who they see as *weaker* than them, people who will be more easily controlled and dominated. This way they can retain control of the situation and the person.

The abuser, in all honesty, may not even be aware that they are being abusive – because to them this behaviour is normal, and even when challenged, will not admit to themselves to being wrong as this has implications on the very self-worth that they are trying to prove to themselves.

A sizable number of experts believe that emotional abuse has more damaging and far reaching effects than physical abuse, and I – far from being an expert – agree with them.

Emotional abuse can lead to:

Low self esteem ◘ Fearfulness ◘ Inability to trust ◘ Sleeplessness ◘ Anxiety ◘ Physical complaints with no medical basis ◘ Stress ◘ Underachievement (due to lack of belief) ◘ Self blame ◘ Self deprecation ◘ Extreme dependence ◘ Depression… ◘ Social Anxiety… ◘ Other mental health problems…

[Note: now the smart ones amongst you would also be able to work out that most people who suffer from a mental health problem (such as depression) are in an abusive relationship. Both abuser and abused are the same person.]

What can be done?

So little is known about emotional abuse that it is only recently that the effects have started to be recognized. Detecting emotional abuse – unlike physical abuse – is difficult as there are no clear indicators or signs that someone is being abused. Adding to the problem is that there is no consistent definition as to what constitutes emotional abuse, so it is hard to effectively conclude whether it is taking place.

Remember that if you are being abused it is not your fault!
You have done nothing to deserve this treatment, you do not deserve to be punished in this way, there is absolutely no excuse for what is being done to you.

The best advice that I can give, if you believe that you are being emotionally abused, is to talk to someone that you trust. Explain to them the situation, how it is making you feel and know that there is always someone there who knows how you are feeling – you are not alone, and there is help available.

Continued in:
Emotional Abuse – Part II


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Another blahdy bad day…getting tired now…

I was so happy this time last year.

I’m not looking back through rose tinted glasses or anything because there were problems in my life, but by hell I remember laughing and smiling and joking and playing and feeling…alive! I remember feeling so blissful sometimes that I thought I was going to burst. Sitting on the beach, swimming in the ocean, gathering around BBQs with friends (friends? what the hell are they?), I remember watching movies and going to restaurants and writing…always writing in whatever spare minute I could.

Behind Closed Eyes, that’s what I was writing this time last year, a project which flowed out of me like it needed to get onto the page. The easiest (the best) novel I have ever written; an interactive tour-de-force of dreams, desires, intricate plotting and love. It was meant to be a birthday present, never intended for public consumption but…well, things kinda went wrong. Thems the breaks. I never heard back from the publishers, never really expected to – I think it was a little too non-mainstream for the publishing industry these days. Damn shame really, five months of work flushed down the toilet.

Now…

…can’t write for toffee. Can’t even come up with a decent blog post any more! It’s not for lack of ideas either, I’ve got a book I keep where I jot down the thoughts I have. It’s not a journal, can’t write those any more, just a notebook to help me remember things.

– Psychological Abuse: The Silent Killer
– Combat Depression with…Journal Writing Therapy
– The Manic Adventures of Addy and Meadhbh. Part I: Adelaide, Schmadelaide!
– Depression is a fracking illness! Get Over It!
– Why is Stephen Fry a “hero” and I’m a waste of space? Is it ’cause he’s famous?
– So I’m suffering from glandular fever, I’ve had a nervous breakdown and been diagnosed with CLL…and you think I still have my health! Are you just fracking insane??
– Recovering from a breakdown is an absolute bitch: The months following my breakdown…

Frack I could just keep going on and on with all these post ideas but whenever I sit down to write any of them, nothing comes. It just all blocks up and I sit staring at the page bursting into tears because this fracking mental illness has taken another bloody thing from me!

When I say I’ve lost everything this year, I mean it! I’ve lost possessions, homes, friendships. I’ve lost hopes, dreams, the future I always craved. I’ve lost my photography. I’ve lost my ability to write and create. I’ve lost…everything. Can you imagine what that feels like?

Think of all of your friends; all those people you talk to, email, chat and have fun with.
Think of everything that you own; your books, knick knacks, DVDs, music, cameras, computers.
Think of your home; your bed, your posters, your sanctuary.
Think of your skills; your writing, your photography, your art, your cooking.
Think of your dreams; all those myriad of exciting things you want to do with you life.

Then go sit in a park, under a tree, and imagine what it would be like to have no home to go back to. Imagine holding your phone in your hand knowing that no-one is going to phone it, and that you can’t phone anyone. Imagine wanting to read a book and watch a movie – but you’ve got nothing. Imagine wanting to curl up in bed with your beautiful cuddly partner and then realise that not only do you not have a beautiful cuddly partner but you don’t even have a bed!

Can you imagine how painful that would feel. To be all alone in the big bad uncaring world.

Just you, your mind and your mental illness. A mental illness which has cost you everything you cared about. A mental illness which plays tricks with your mind; makes you believe things which aren’t real, makes you question the very essence of your being, makes you paranoid and fearful of everyone around you. A mental illness which, no matter how hard you try to explain it, is never understood by anyone. A mental illness which feeds and promotes every mistake you have ever made in your entire goddamned fracking life.

So you have to pretend everything is okay. Pretend and lie and betray so as to be accepted by people. You have to be happy. You must. You must NEVER tell ANYONE your problems because by frack if you try to externalise something they will rip out your heart and sell it to the nearest demon. That’s what I’ve learned this year.

You must pretend everything is okay, always internalising, allowing your soul to slowly crumble. No matter what the problem is, whether it be; a magpie dive bombing you, the diagnosis of a terminal illness, theft, stressing over uni or college, glandular fever, suicide attempt of a loved one, not sure what holiday destination to choose, hives, worried about the future, family strife.

No matter what it is you MUST internalise it for we are not allowed to be negative, we are not allowed to seek advice, comfort or support. We must deal with everything by ourselves.

No-one wants “real” emotional connections anymore; they just want lies, pretence and the facade of happiness. They want to be friends with liars, manipulators and deceivers.

Period.

If I’d done that maybe things would be different. If I’d done that maybe I would still be laughing and smiling and joking and playing and feeling…alive! Instead I have become a wretched hollowed out shell. Angry with the world. Angry with myself.

A shadow of any of the men I have been in my life.

The hopes, dreams, passions and desires which pulsated through my body this time last year have gone. They’ll never be back. I have been beaten down, destroyed, utterly defeated.

[…and yes, I’m having yet another bad fucked up fracking day! Sorry that I’m not being a happy bouncy bunny and cheering you all up okay! I’m tired, emotional, crying and losing stregth fast…sorry okay!]