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…


1 Comment

Why are mentally-ill children tied up and tormented?

“If he was extra bad they would then chuck him on the floor there and then and put him in like a hand restraint, usually with his arms behind his back. And two people would sit side by side, sometimes with a towel over his head.”

In Australia, one of the leading news and current affairs shows is called ‘7.30’. Tonight, they featured a story that revealed a new report is warning Australian children in psychiatric care are suffering from out-dated practices of seclusion and restraint. In a country such as Australia – which is often referred to as ‘the lucky country’ – treating anyone in the manner described in this report is deplorable, let alone children as young as seven years old.

Hopefully this report will help bring the abuse of those in psychiatric care to the public eye and force the government and health services to change their archaic policies and adopt a more therapeutic, understanding approach.

cats

Clicking the above image will transport you to the 7.30 website, where you can watch a video of the report

“Just about every parent knows the angst of having a child throw a noisy tantrum in a supermarket or on a crowded street.

But some families struggle daily with much more serious behavioural problems, especially when their children suffer from mental health issues like anxiety or depression.

How to deal with those children is a major dilemma for health workers too. In some extreme cases, children with psychiatric disorders are physically restrained and placed in seclusion – something that can be deeply traumatic.

A new report has highlighted the unacceptable use of those practices on disturbed children and health professionals say it must stop.”

Watch the complete video of the report or read the transcript here >>>


3 Comments

Try Looking At It Through My Eyes – Day 08: The Close Friend

As the year quickly speeds toward its timely end, I’ve decided to polish off the outstanding challenges that I’ve commenced over the last twelve months so I can begin 2014 anew. One of these is the “Try Looking At It Through My Eyes” challenge (devised by Bold Kevin over on Voices of Glass).

When I left the challenge I had reached day seven, which means today I pick up with day eight: If you had a friend who spoke to you or treated you the way you speak to and treat yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend and why?

theclosefriend

This is actually a tough prompt for me to write about, not because the answer eludes me, but because the answer is so painfully obvious it’s almost unbearable to admit to.

Most readers of my blog will know that I was once the victim of an abusive relationship; a relationship that cost me everything in my life, a relationship that continues to haunt my life seven years later.

So to admit to being in a second abusive relationship is extremely hard for me to do, especially as the abuser in this relationship is myself. But no matter how hard I try to deny the obvious, the evidence is staring me in the face every single day.

On any given day I put myself down, make myself feel bad about myself, call myself names, play mind games, humiliate myself, make myself feel guilty whenever possible and deny the abuse is happening; often blaming external sources for the grief I am bringing to myself. My abusive side forces me to control what I do, who I see, what I read and where I go, thus limiting my outside involvement and preventing me from forging new relationships. The abuse is so bad that I am frequently afraid of myself, especially when threats of self-harm and/or suicide come in to play. In fact, the abuse is so extreme that I frequently feel like a prisoner in my own mind; a servant to the whims of a controlling overlord.

All of which are signifiers of an abusive relationship.

So how long would I allow a friend to speak to me/treat me in this way?

I’d like to think that I wouldn’t put up with being treated this way for any period of time, for having been in one abusive relationship there’s no way in hell I want to be in another.

But the fact I believe I deserve to be treated this way makes me think I would put up with it.

And I don’t know what to do about that.

~◊~

If you’ve missed any of the previous posts in this challenge, you can read them here:

| Day 01 | Day 02 | Day 03 | Day 04 |
| Day 05 | Day 06 | Day 07 |

 


9 Comments

Your life as you remember it…

What follows, being a timeline of my life from birth to present, is a post I have been writing for nearly a year. Every time I’ve sat down to finish it I’ve found myself triggered by the memories of various events and incidents I’ve experienced, triggering which led to me being able to complete only a few sentences at a time before retreating to the safety of ‘distraction’.

As I embark on pulling my block back to basics, I felt now was the opportune time to finish this timeline so it could be used as a source of inspiration for future posts, as well as a reference point for myself (and others) to see how incidents are connected and the chain of events that led to my eventual social isolation and mental ill-health.

This, is my journey through life (with plenty of catastrophes along the way!)

My journey through life (with plenty of catastrophes!)

life

~Sometime in late February 1978~
After a romantic candlelit dinner and several glasses of wine, Addy’s parents head to the bedroom…I won’t give any further details, save for saying on this night that glint in his parent’s slightly tipsy eyes became the embryo who became the baby who became the horny teenager who became the passionate man who sits here today!

~28 November 1978~
Addy bursts out of his mother’s womb screaming into the well-lit maternity unit, as a kindly nurse smacks his posterior he tries to get his bearings in this strange new world devoid of comfort, warmth and embryonic fluid. Little did he know what this crazy planet had in store for him…

Continue reading


6 Comments

Coping Skills: The Negative Thought Challenge

In a recent post I shared a “Coping Skills” worksheet that I obtained via Indigo Daya’s website. One of these skills was a ‘thought challenge’, wherein you write down all your negative thoughts and then make a list as to why they may not be true.

Given that I could write a dissertation on why my negative thoughts are all valid criticisms of myself, I thought it would be an interesting experiment to take on this challenge, whatever happens as a result!

negative thoughts 1

Part I: My negative thoughts…

Note: I’m not going to write every negative thought I’ve ever had in my life (otherwise this post would win an award for the longest blog post in the history of the world!) so I’ll focus only on the last twelve hours.

  • I’m a failure
  • I’m worthless
  • I’m useless
  • I have no passion(s)
  • I’m a waste of space
  • My voice is so boring and monotonous it inflicts pain on everyone I talk to
  • I’m pathetic
  • I’m weak
  • I’m weak because I can’t just ‘get over’ the abuse I received
  • I’m unintelligent
  • I’m the most selfish human being who has ever lived in the history of the world
  • I’m the world’s worst kisser
  • I’m the world’s worst lover
  • I go down on women too much
  • I care too much about my partner orgasming
  • I’m not (sexually) selfish enough
  • I should just die
  • I don’t deserve to be alive
  • My life is pointless
  • I am pointless
  • I’m a terrible writer
  • I’m a terrible blogger
  • I’m a terrible emailer
  • I’m a terrible photographer
  • I’m a terrible everythinger
  • My photography is uninspiring, boring and monotonous
  • I use too many commas!
  • I use too many exclamation marks!!
  • My shoulder hair makes people want to vomit
  • I’m the fattest fattiest fatty who has ever lived
  • My weight is contagious
  • My self-harm is contagious
  • My illness(es) are contagious
  • I’m contagious
  • I’m unlovable
  • I’m evil
  • I’m grotesque
  • I’m insane
  • I’m too depressing
  • I’m too shy
  • I’m too anxious
  • I’m boring
  • I deserve to live alone
  • I deserve to die alone
  • I deserve to live alone and in pain
  • I deserve to die alone and in pain
  • My mind is repulsive
  • My body is repulsive
  • Heck, I’m repulsive
  • I’m a terrible friend
  • I don’t deserve to have any friends
  • No-body likes me
  • Everyone hates me
  • I should just go and eat worms!
  • It’s my fault I was abused
  • I deserved it
  • I deserve to be punished for it
  • I deserve to be punished for all eternity for it
  • My arse is too hairy
  • It’s my fault I was raped
  • I deserved it
  • I deserve to be punished for it
  • I deserve to be punished for all eternity for it
  • My mental illness(es) are a result of my own inability to cope with life’s stressors
  • Hell, my mental illness(es) are a figment of my imagination!
  • Homelessness is all I deserve out of life
  • I don’t like Harry Potter, thus I have no taste
  • My hugs are suffocating
  • I’m talentless
  • I’m a blob
  • I’m the blob!
  • My thoughts mean there is something wrong with me
  • My desires mean there is something wrong with me
  • My dreams mean there is something wrong with me
  • My thoughts/desires/dreams mean I am evil
  • There’s just something wrong with me.
  • I’m lazy
  • I don’t work hard enough
  • I don’t work hard enough to change
  • I don’t sacrifice enough
  • My opinions are invalid and deserve mockery and humiliation

Part II: Why they may not be true…

…and this is why I’m so terrible at thinking positively about myself.

All the bolded thoughts above were said to me by my abuser, those bolded and italicized were said to me frequently. As no-one believed she was doing anything wrong and I was told by many people I ‘deserved’ what she was doing…my mind concluded that they must be true, otherwise, why did I deserve being told them?

Given that the majority of these thoughts had been present prior to the abuse (some I specifically told her about), all the abuse did was make rational the irrational fears my social anxiety causes me to think.

And once a fear has been rendered rational…it’s almost impossible to deny as being untrue.

But, in the spirit of the challenge…

Is my photography really uninspiring, boring and monotonous? Although they never reach triple figures, whenever I post a ‘weekly photo challenge’ post, more often than not I receive dozens of ‘likes’ and twenty odd plus comments. Unless all these people are suffering from mass delusion, there must be something to like about my photography, isn’t there?

Ditto for my writing! People are often telling me how inspiring and enjoyable they find my blog. Plus, would an editor spend weeks helping me polish a short story and then publish it in a nationwide magazine if it was truly bad?

As for not making enough sacrifices, frankly, what THE FUCK?! I sacrificed my home, family, friends, uni course and future plans in order to move to the other side of the world purely because I loved someone. When my abuser was suffering from Glandular Fever I phoned in sick for work several times purely to look after her, in fact, for over a month I become her 24/7 nurse-maid, never once putting myself first throughout that entire period. Before that, I spent three years putting my life on hold for the benefit of my employer and staff, regularly working in excess of 60-80 hour weeks without overtime, cancelling night classes, social events and social groups in order to do so. Even though I live in abject poverty, I still find money for monthly donations to charitable organisations and have frequently done all I can, when I can, to help whomever I can (including complete strangers!) Even when I was homeless I would regularly give other homeless people money, clothes, food and blankets that I couldn’t afford to part with. Does that really sound like someone not willing to sacrifice things for the health, wellbeing and happiness of others?

You could even use the above to argue over the validity of my alleged selfishness…but the fact I wasn’t there for Grace when she needed a friend instantly renders all this evidence ineligible and one hundred percent proves my selfishness.

However, what about the negative thoughts relating to deserving to be abused? Astute readers amongst you will have connected what I was told following the emotionally abusive relationship to these thoughts. I was literally told I deserved it, ergo it must be true. But the rape? No-one told me I deserved to be raped…and I have no logical argument other than ‘guilt’ as to why I think this is true. But think it I do.

So what if I don’t like Harry Potter? There are so many better young adult fictional series (His Dark Materials, The Dark is Rising, Hunger Games, Narnia) than the tale of this young wizard. Or rather, in my opinion there are so many better young adult fictional series! Just because my opinion differs from others does not make me tasteless, it just makes me different. And while we’re at it…I don’t deserve mockery and humiliation for sharing an opinion, no-one does!

Ditto for all the my desires/dreams means there is something wrong with me thoughts. Just because I have cravings, needs and desires that are considered ‘deviant’ and/or ‘weird’ does not mean that they, or I, am wrong. It just means I’m different. Where’s the problem with that?

As for everything else…I’m afraid I can’t come up with reasons why they may not be true.

The simple fact is I have been living a socially isolated life for the last six years (give or take six months), so if I really am a decent person, deserving of friends, company and relationships, someone who doesn’t deserve to live and die alone, why is it that none of the efforts I undertake to create real-life connections work?

It is impossible to live alone for as long I have without believing that this is all you deserve in life.

The same argument can be used for the kissing, hugs and sex negative thoughts. There is a reason why I don’t get to do any of these things…and it can’t just be because of severe abuse trauma rendering me untrusting and fearful of intimacy. Can it?

The simple fact is, for every single item on that list I could come up with at least a dozen individual reasons for why they’re true. These reasons would be backed up by comments multiple people have told me throughout my life.

As I’ve said in the past, the more you are told something, the more you believe that something to be true. When all you’ve had in your life is negativity, insults, criticism, isolation and abuse…how can you possibly believe you’re a good person?

negative thinking 2

Part III: What would I tell a friend who thinks like this…

If any of my friends thought like this I’d put them over my knee and spank some sense into them!

But once I’d been released from prison on assault charges (unless the spanking had been consensual, that is :p) I would sit them down and tell them how unhealthy it was to think like that, how brilliant, beautiful and awesome they are and how these thoughts were the product of low self-esteem, low self-confidence and (possible) mental health and abuse trauma related issues.

I would then ask them what I could do to help them think more realistically about themselves. If that meant surreptitiously sending stories to magazines to prove how awesome a writer they are, let them cry on my shoulder, help them organize counseling to defeat their guilt over abuse and/or just spending time with them doing things that make them feel good, I would, without any hesitation.

In fact, I have done all of those things (and a lot more besides) to help friends defeat their demons in the past!

Part IV: Conclusion

Over the years I have exasperated psychologists, counselors and therapists with my negative thinking. Every time any of them issued compliments, positive reinforcement or adulation, my mind would immediately source from my history of bullying, abuse and criticism several comments that proved they were lying. There have been times when these psychologists, counselors and therapists have told me they can see this process occurring; from the moment they issue the praise to the moment I discard it as an irrelevant lie.

None of them have been able to help me find a way to combat this cycle of thinking.

No matter how hard I try to break free, no matter how many times I tell myself I’m wrong, no matter how often I can see the awesome bastard that I am, the damage from all the bullying, abuse and isolation seems to run too deep to be overcome.

And if you don’t believe me, if you think I’m just being lazy and not working hard enough, go and spend six years on your own, living on the streets, frequently being physically and emotionally abused whilst receiving no praise, positive reinforcement, human contact, touch or compliments…then get back to me and tell me how easy it is to think ‘positively’ about yourself and your life.

However much I would like to think less negative thoughts, it is going to take years of intense work to fix the damage caused by abuse, homelessness and isolation.

But, as with everything, I’ve already begun to work on it. This challenge is part of me moving toward fixing the damage, as are the social and support groups I’m trying to attend, as is this blog and so many other skills, therapies and treatments that I’m currently undertaking.

It would be easier to lose myself to these thoughts, to let them overcome me, but I refuse to let them simply because there is no way in hell I’m going to let my abuser win.

I’m way too freaking awesome to let that happen!

(Even if I don’t believe this most of the time!)


3 Comments

The A-Z of my emotional triggers

The other day I was reading an article dealing with triggers and their predictability. Last week, I was talking to a counselor about my voices’ triggers. The month before that, I had another detailed triggers conversation with a different counselor. In fact, for the last several years I’ve lost count of the number of conversations I’ve had regarding triggers.

Which isn’t wholly unexpected, I suppose, given that any one trigger can send me careering into a near comatose state that can last for weeks on end. Knowing what triggers these states is vital to my recovery, for only by knowing them can I build coping strategies to deal with and move past them.

So, as I had little else to do this afternoon, I decided to see if I could come up with at least one primary trigger for every letter of the alphabet. Aside from a small cheat (which I’m sure you’ll spot) I was successful in my endeavour.

Although I’m not sure having so many triggers is something to be proud of! ;)

THEA-ZOFMYTRIGGERS

ADELAIDE, ALICE SPRINGS, APPLE PIE and AMERICAN PIE
Adelaide is where I was raped; Alice Springs was a nightmare from (almost) beginning to end; Apple Pie was being baked whilst I was assaulted in a boarding house; American Pie was part of one of the worst abusive tantrums my ex threw.

BRUNSWICK STREET, BOARDING HOUSES and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
Brunswick Street was where I lived during the abusive relationship; Boarding Houses are some of the worst establishments in the history of the world and I would rather sleep on the street for the rest of eternity than have to deal with living in one again; Buffy the Vampire Slayer (one of my favourite shows of all time and one I’ve seen every episode of at least 12 times each) is a major reminder of my abusive relationship and can no longer be watched under any circumstances! I miss it :(

CIGARS, COLLINGWOOD FOOTBALL CLUB and CARLTON (the entire suburb)
Cigars were the favored smoking choice of my rapist, he STANK of them; supporters of the Collingwood Football Club beat the crap out of me whilst I was homeless; Carlton is the suburb where my abuser lived;

DANDENONG RAINFOREST, THE DARK KNIGHT
The Dandenong Rainforest is where I once attempted suicide; The Dark Knight is a reminder not only of Alice Springs but of one of my biggest failures/fuck-ups.

EMOTIONAL ABUSE
This basically means anything dealing with emotional abuse. If there’s a trigger warning I might be able to deal with it. If there isn’t a trigger warning it can send me spiralling into chaos.

FROZEN (Tegan and Sara)
Frozen was one of Stephanie’s favourite songs.

GIN AND TONIC and GRACE DARLING HOTEL
Gin and Tonic was my drink of choice the night I was raped, I’d never really drunk it before, I’ve never touched it since!; the Grace Darling Hotel was my ‘local’ from end 2006 to mid 2007, I wrote most of one novel and half of another there and it is my favourite pub in Melbourne, I just can’t ever go back :(

HARRY POTTER and HOMELAND
My abuser was a big Harry Potter fan and forced me to watch all the movies (up til year 4 at the time) so this entire phenomenon is a massive reminder of that relationship; when I first tried to watch Homeland I was triggered by the first episode and have never been able to watch it since.

I TRY (Macy Gray)
I Try is a song that reminds me of a bittersweet time of my life

JACK’S MANNEQUIN
My abuser’s favourite band. This trigger causes serious problems as the group features heavily in one of my favorite episodes of One Tree Hill and their music several times on the soundtrack!

KISSING
Attacking my kissing was one of my abusers favorite hobbies. It wasn’t just every now and then. It was CONSTANTLY! To say I have developed a complex about it is an understatement. It was a major issue in my relationship after the abuse and has affected many other things, including my self-worth, self-confidence and self-esteem.

LYGON STREET
Lygon Street is the primary street in Carlton (see above).

MXXXXXXXXXXX and MELBOURNE
The XXXXXs are because the first is a person; Melbourne, because it treated me like a piece of shit – even though it’s still my favorite city in Australia.

NEVER AGAIN (Kelly Clarkson) and NORTH MELBOURNE
Never Again was a big hit in mid-2007 and reminds me of the manic phase and rape; North Melbourne is where I used to work.

OPINIONS
Whenever I tried to share an opinion my abuser would attack, insult, abuse and publicly humiliate so I learned to shut up quickly! I am now paranoid about sharing opinions in case people will react in the same way.

PHOTOGRAPHY
My photography was frequently and repeatedly attacked by my abuser. Not having a camera is not the only reason I don’t take photographs any more!

QUEEN VICTORIA MARKET
A frequent destination for my abuser and I. Many incidents of public humiliation, abuse and manipulation occurred here.

RAPE
Do I really need to explain this one?

SXXXXXXXXXXX AND SELF-HARM
Again, the XXXXXs are because they are hiding a name – a name that can render me self-harming and suicidal upon hearing it; Self-harm, especially implicit discussion and images of, can be a major trigger depending on my state of mind.

TALKING TO PEOPLE
“Your voice is so boring and monotonous it inflicts pain on everyone you talk to. You should kill yourself.” For someone with social anxiety who had recently suffered a mental breakdown, this was one of the worst things she could have said. Once described as one of the most vicious and cruel things a counsellor of mine had ever heard.

UNEXPECTED SONG (Bernadette Peters)
A song I can no longer listen to because it was one of my abuser’s favourite songs and became a personal ‘anthem’ of that time of my life.

VICTIM BLAME MENTALITY
Articles dealing with, actual victim blaming and/or discussion of can be a massive trigger because of the amount of victim blaming I’ve received.

WOULD YOU LIKE THAT? I THINK YOU WOULD”
A sentence said to me by my rapist. It was once spoken by someone with a similar accent as I walked past them in a supermarket. I was rendered frozen in the foetal position and the staff had to call an ambulance to assist me. Exceedingly embarrassing!

(E)XTRA GUM
Okay, a little cheat, but I think I can be forgiven given my rapist chewed this brand of gum throughout the entire incident.

YXXXXXXXXXXX
Not a person’s name, but an establishment I used to work for. Bastards.

ZATHURA
A film that was playing whilst I wrote my suicide note in October 2007. I tried to watch it last year…highly unsuccessful.


18 Comments

I Forgot to Remember to Forget

victimblaming

For the last several weeks I have been considering ending my blog for a myriad of reasons, most notably because I am tired of being told that all I need to do to rectify over twenty-one years of mental health problems, trauma and abuse is to simply ‘get over it’.

Over the years I have done my best to describe the difficulty of living with mental illness but in recent weeks I’ve come to realize that my writing is not good enough to explain the complexities of these conditions and the challenges some people face in order to live more contributing lives.

Living with unsupported (not by choice) and un-medicated (again, not by choice) mental illness is beyond difficult – especially when that ‘living’ is done in abject poverty and isolation.

In recent weeks the ‘get over it’ mentality that has been thrown at me has caused tremendous distress and self-hate. It has fuelled my descent into alcoholism, my withdrawal from the world, increased self-harm and confirmed my belief that I am a failure; that I am simply weak because I have been unable to move past the (multiple forms of) abuse I received.

I am all too aware of what I need to do. I am not an idiot. I am not stupid. I am not lazy and I am certainly not someone who doesn’t work for a better future. If it was as simple as just ‘getting over it’ I would have done this years ago.

All I have done for six years is work myself to the bone for a better future (my years of fighting to get off the streets, my years of battling for support and mental stability, my years of trying to break free of social isolation and poverty, my years of combatting the trauma of abuse, my years of trying whatever therapy option I can get my hands on, my years of trying to improve my education and employment opportunities, my years of trying to raise awareness and help others who are suffering to realize they are not alone in this war) when it would have been all too easy to give up and drink myself to death.

But telling someone to just ‘get over’ trauma is naïve, pretentious and deeply insulting. It is akin to telling someone suffering from depression to just ‘cheer up’ or a victim of rape to ‘forget about’ what happened to them. A counselor I saw a few weeks ago described it as victim blame mentality, for it shows a complete lack of understanding of mental illness, abuse trauma and how these two issues feed into each other. It minimizes the effort someone is making to overcome their illness and blames them for not being strong enough to just ‘get over’ whatever is happening to them.

Three days ago I woke up following one of the most visceral dreams of my life. A dream so vivid I thought I had Quantum Leaped back into my July-2007 self! Upon waking, the pain I had relived was so intense – so real – I promptly vomited over my bed, bedside bookshelf and books. I haven’t slept since because I’m too scared to do so.

I cannot control my subconscious dreaming any more than the next person can, and no amount of telling me to just ‘get over’ these events is going to stop the constant parade of nightmares that constantly hurl me back into those times, especially without support or distraction.

Many people struggle to fight issues of mental illness, abuse and homelessness when surrounded by friends, family and professional support – let alone someone who has spent almost every minute of the last six years (bar six months in 2008) completely on their own.

So if this failure to just ‘get over’ my illness and trauma makes me weak, useless, pathetic, lazy, selfish, worthless and someone who isn’t working hard enough – all things people have called me for not being able to fix myself over the years – then I guess that’s who I am.

Personally, I prefer to see myself in a different way.

But I would say that, wouldn’t I?

Postscript:

I haven’t decided whether or not I will be ending my blog yet. Although the reasons are real and valid (in addition to the above: I’m a bad writer, I have nothing original to say, I’m effing tired of life, there are many people who raise awareness far better than I) with all I’ve been through over the years I am more than aware my current depression is the central voice beyond this thought. I have made irrational decisions based on my mental health in the past – such as the instigation of my suicide plan in 2006 – and do not wish to make a firm decision whilst lost in this state. Until I’ve made this decision my blog will remain and I am going to try to post more frequently than I have of late.

As for other areas of my ‘life’:

  • I have made efforts to begin dealing with my current alcoholism (however much I hate to use that word, I can no longer deny it, for I have consumed more alcohol in 2013 than I have in the five years between 2008-2012 combined! Hmmmm? Does that mean people will now begin accepting me as ‘Australian’? :p)
  • I am also trying to seek psychiatric care but have been told an appointment will not be available until March/April at the earliest as I’m not in ‘crisis’. Yay the mental health system in Australia!
  • I have also begun working with a new therapy called ‘Mindmapping’, which I will explain in a post later this week (hopefully).
  • My internet connectivity is still buggered. I humbly apologise to people who have emailed me over my lack of reply. I am not deliberately avoiding doing so. Sorry.
  • This is the first time I’ve logged into my blog for weeks, so more apologies for not responding to comments that have been left. I will endeavor to get to them soon.
  • Current 2013 smile count = 3½  (upon receiving a Christmas card, listening to Amy MacDonald, upon waking following a dream about Stephanie and whilst watching the Doctor Who episode ‘School Reunion’ – although this was a bittersweet sad smile upon seeing Elisabeth Sladen (RIP), hence the ½.)

Here’s hoping you’ve all had a better start to the year than me :)


21 Comments

[SOC] Demons of depression

I wrote this confused stream of consciousness last night (1/1/13) but was unable to post it due to my current internet issues. I don’t know why I’m posting it today as it’s merely me realising I have once again become lost to depression and no longer know what to do about it. But…at least it’s a post, something that has been sorely lacking from this blog of late.

Apologies for any grammatical or spelling errors that occur throughout, they are part and parcel of stream of consciousness writing. Additional apologies for the depressing nature of this post. Not all of us are happy at this time of year.

Demons_of_depression_by_flina

Demons of depression © flina

To say I am struggling at the moment would be an understatement.

On numerous occasions in the lead up to Christmas, and in the only post I have been able to write over this period, I wrote of my hatred of this time of year. The endless stream of articles, radio shows, television reports and newspaper columns devoted to letting us know how wonderful it is to share this time of year with family and friends, with scant regard to the millions of people who have no-one. The people who exist in an isolated state desperately hoping that one day their sentence will end and they’ll finally be able to find some peace.

When I used to write journals, way back when I had a ‘life’, I would always write the obligatory ‘year that was/year that will be’ entry. I would relive the joyous moments I did not want to forget and plan for twelve months that would move me closer toward my goals. But I can’t do that anymore. The only highlight of this year was getting my unit, but I am starting to look on that as a curse, rather than a gift. Years of hunting and working myself to exhaustion finally paid off but for what? All it has done is become my prison.

Every day I wake up to be reminded of how alone I am, how poor I am, how uneducated I am, how worthless I am, and every moment I am reminded of this my abuser laughs her cruel laugh and reminds me that this was all I would ever amount to. That this is all I deserve.

Her, and my other voices, have increased in volume and frequency over the last few weeks. Each and every day a cacophony of voices accompany my every waking moment, rendering me unable to think, focus, work or function. I have done little to nothing of value aside from resort back to alcohol and self-harm in order to achieve even a few moments of peace amidst the din.

I cannot leave the house. I cannot eat. I cannot shower. Smile. Or laugh. And I definitely can’t sleep. The moment I close my eyes the demons rise and the nightmares reign. Over the last few weeks the dreams have become more vivid and painful than ever; no longer flashes of confusion but HD replays of the most painful, regrettable and destructive moments of my life.

All of which reminding me that I have achieved nothing in (nearly) six years. In fact with every year that has passed since my breakdown I have devolved. My mind has slipped further and further into the abyss with every month that passes. Every effort I have made to gain support, education, employment, respect or to achieve something that I could be proud of has failed, and as a counselor put it a few weeks ago,each successive ‘failure’ proving (to my broken mind) that everything my abuser said about me was the truth. All those words of colorful description; pathetic, useless, a waste of space, better off dead, disgusting, repulsive, worthless, evil, becoming much harder to fight, much harder to believe are not an apt description of myself.

Six years ago today she publicly humiliated me for expressing an inconsequential opinion – yet the burn of my blushing cheeks, the sound of the laughter, the shame that filled my heart, the wetness of the water that cascaded over my hair, the dampness of my shirt as it clung to my chest can still be felt as if it were yesterday.

The event played out in my dreams last night, was relived at various moments throughout the day, feeding into the whirlwind of negative thought that has ravaged my heart and soul over the last several weeks, further proving that no matter what effort I make to move past it, my mind is still lost in the trauma and pain of that period.

At least when I was on the streets I could focus on survival; a repetitive cycle that distracted me from the ‘failure’ that is my ‘life’. But now I am in my prison the only cycle is the endless reminder that she was right. That no matter what I do I will never succeed in anything. That her words and actions were not insult or attack but incidents of truth, all of which I deserved.

A cycle that feeds, rather than distracts from, my depression.

Yes, to say I am struggling at the moment would be an understatement. My mind once again has become the residence of the hideous demon that is depression; a demon that with every year that passes is becoming harder and harder to fight.

I cannot look forward to 2013 because no matter what I would like to achieve (return to education, have a holiday, write an eBook, cross item [1] off the things to do before I die list, move past the trauma of the past) I am convinced it will amount to nothing, for all five of these things have been on my list of ‘things to achieve in the year ahead’ since 2007; only now, the trauma of the past is ten thousand times worse than it was then!

I’m tired. I’m exhausted. This endless pain is becoming harder and harder to deal with without external aids (such as alcohol) and, not for the first time, I am losing hope not only for myself but for the world.

You’d think I’d be used to ‘living’ like this by now. That being alone should no longer get to me. That having nothing shouldn’t bother me. That I should have just accepted being inconsequential is my destiny. But I’m not. And I don’t think I will ever get used to living like this.

For no matter how much I’ve been convinced that I deserve all that has happened to me, I still have vague memories of the man I once was; creative, passionate, caring, determined, imaginative, sensual and the things he used to do; laugh, talk, hug, kiss, tickle, squeeze and smile. And as long as those memories are there, however distant, however unbelievable, I will keep trying to prove that the world has me wrong.

That this is who I am – not who she made me believe I was.

So although I’m not looking forward to this year in any way shape and form, I do have one sneaking suspicion. This is the year that will change everything; 2013 will either make me or break me completely.

Simply because I can’t deal with another year like the last six of my life.

I just can’t.

I won’t.