Thursday, 30 December 2010

This be the verse

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

- This Be The Verse - Phillip Larkin

It feels like all kinds of wrong that I would rather be here alone for NYE than stick it out for another minute at home.

Okay, I should be truthful, I don't especially care that much about NYE. The friends that I usually go out with for drinks and such like all work the holidays, and now I don't even drink so friends - drink + a hopeless family = sitting in the dark on your own watching sci-fi, just to get further away from reality.

My parents are so fucking.... Well, hopeless, I guess, and it's a terrible thing to say but I'm certain that if I spend much more time around them I am going to end up hating them and getting to a point where we can't salvage anything of out relationship. Either they don't realise what the Hell they're saying or they're intentionally fucking cruel.

After all they crap they said yesterday, about being attention seeking/delibrately out to shock to people, I told them that I was go back to uni, to which they answered whether or not that meant I was going back to the gym because 'you could do with losing weight', I don't care that that's actually true, that I really have piled on weight in the last six months and could do with shifting some, and maybe it's hypocritical of me to say those things myself and to myself and expect other people to be different but as far as I'm concerned it's an invisible line that my own parents have crossed. To think that it's perfectly acceptable to say things like that to me. TO ME. When they know all about my anorexic past and this time five years ago they were coming to see me in hospital because of it. Don't get me wrong, I don't want people walking on eggshells around me, being ultra sensitive, I just think that there are some thing you shouldn't say, and you're fat or lose weight is pretty much above and beyond the top of my list.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't.

"Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person."
- Mark Twain

My parents are out to destroy me. I am starting to think that they really, really deliberately set out to hurt and upset me, to push me backwards when I start to go forwards, to keep me in chains. We have grown apart. I am floating further and further away from them, maybe from everybody.

This is all about a haircut.

I got about an inch shaved off the side, it’s not even that drastic, it’s not my whole head, I’ve been shaving the back for months, and for fucks sake, its hair, IT WILL GROW BACK!

He had a massive row, they said some really fucked up and hurtful things. Apparently, I change my appearance because I want attention and I want to shock and offend them. That is not true, I change my appearance because I like to change my appearance, because I get bored, because I spend a long, long time looking the same and I grew to hate it. It’s good to experiment. How else are you going to find out what works for you?

According to them it is all because of ‘my illness’ and its controlling me and making me unaware of the how I really look and the things that I’m doing to myself. Seriously, that is such bollocks! Yes, my identity is a bit unstable, but to me that’s not illness, that’s just boredom, I’m a Gemini, I get bored easily, I like to change every now and then.

They said that I destroying my looks, that I used to be pretty but now I’m becoming ugly. Told me to look at old photos of myself and see what a mess I’ve made of myself. They want me to be meek and timid and quiet. They want me to be the person that I was when I was anorexic. Because that’s when I had long hair and wore ‘normal clothes’... They said that everyone laughs about me behind my back because they think that I look fucking ridiculous. I’ve only just started going out again, and now I never want to go out in public again. Fucking paranoia overload.

I tried to tell them that it’s not really what they think or what they find nice to look at. Sometimes I don’t think they realise how fucking low my self-esteem has been, and can still be sometimes, how I obviously hated the way that I used to look because if I liked it, I wouldn’t have changed it. I prefer being this way. Being weird. Alternative. I love tattoos, hair dye, piercings, boyish hair, funky hair... I am not a pretty girl, I don’t do pretty, I’m not cute... I try to make the best of what I’ve got, but according to them I am on some big fuck off mission to destroy myself and that deep down I want to feel ugly.

Why do they have to make EVERYTHING about fucking mental health? Why can I not change something about myself without it having some deep, fucked up meaning? I totally get that they may not like it andI would be completely okay if they just said that, but I don't get why they have to be so fucking cruel about it. I'm so sick of this so called loving family, how much they supposedly care yet at the same time how unbelivebly cruel they have always been to me (I just mean with words, nothing horrible...) I had it off my Grandad before he died, constant, relentless taunting about how fat I was. FAT. For years and years and years until my parents decided to get involved. My (eleven years older) sister was a total bitch towards me when I was growing up and my Dad ALWAYS took her side, even when you stole huge amounts of money from me and dragged me up the stairs by my hair, it was always my fault, I started it or whatever... My Dad never gave a shit about me until I got sick and everything he does know is a blatant effort for absolution, it's got nothing to do with how much he loves or cares about me... We are always falling out, they treat me like a child, I hate it, I want to move out properly and then they get all fucking pissy about it... They want me to be something, someone, that I'm not, the daughter they wished they had, but really I'm just the daughter they never wanted..

I want a family, I want my Mum and Dad, but I just want them to accept who I am instead of trying to destroy me, because that's what it feels like...

It's a fucking haircut
Hair grows back
I have not had plastic surgery
The world has not ended

Monday, 27 December 2010

Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose

“If you wait to do everything until you're sure it's right, you'll probably never do much of anything.”
- Win Borden
I’ve spent the last couple of days trying to work things out, to figure out why the last couple of months have been so awful and where it all went wrong. I didn't realise how much had happened leading up to, and possibly to, contributing to this recent bout of blackness.

Since I finished my first year of university back in May things have been gradually going wrong.
I don’t like the summer and it is usually an incredibly crap time for me.

2004: bad relationship/rape
2005: height of my anorexia/low weight/physical crap/countless appointments/eventually IP Sept
2007: bad relapse but pulled myself out of it/consider it to be the start of my true recovery
2008: second rape/psychotic breakdown/depression/IP
2009: severe self-harm and ending up in a&e getting stitches every other night/crisis house

This year I was already going to the day hospital, because I took two pretty serious overdoses, dangerous amounts, and the fact that I washed them down with whole bottles of absinthe, and the latter one being on a train on my own – but they weren’t planned and they weren’t really suicide attempts. They were impulsive. The first one I just had a thought that completely took over me, that I had to take 30 pills, and I did it without thinking. It was like a task. But it came on in a minute and I didn’t plan to do it, or really even think that it would kill me, I just didn’t care if it did. The second one I really did want to die, but when you have BPD no-one ever believes that... and then end of July time I was assaulted by an old bloke on a bus, went home in a bit of a state, for the first time ever I started getting real flashbacks, got home and got told it was all my own fault because I was ‘dressed up and asking for it’, there was a physical fight between me and my parents, the crisis team came out with the fucking police, they wanted to arrest me and refused to take me into hospital, and I just fucking lost it and went to the bathroom to slash my arm up, so they couldn’t arrest me and I had to go to a&e in a fucking ambulance, when all I needed was so fucking steri-stripes, anxious as fuck because my Mum was threatening to kill herself, and I’m the one that gets fucking carted off in an ambulance... The next day I went to the crisis house again and the crisis team said that they didn’t think I can any mental health difficulties, my parents wouldn’t let me back home and I was virtually kicked out onto the street until I broke down completely and my psychiatrist stuck up for me. SERIOUSLY, THE CRISIS TEAM WERE GOING TO KICK ME OUT ONTO THE STREET, and then a bit after than I rang them up in a state with pills all counted out and they asked me what and how much and said ‘well, that won’t kill you’ and hung the fucking phone up on me.

So all in all I went back to university under a bit of a cloud, but I coped alright for a couple of weeks just before lectures started, then things went downhill all over again.

The first thing that happened was that one of my flatmates friends came over one night, apparently only drank a couple of beers, but was completely drunk, aggressive, and eventually unconscious. I think because I’m slightly older they look to me to sort things like that out, and at the time I did, called the ambulance, who refused to take him in, so we sat up all night with him. Cool. Calm. Collected. In the moment. Until it was all over. And then I wasn’t in the moment anymore but six years ago dealing with the same shit from my cunthead alcoholic rapist of an ex-boyfriend., and since then I got flashbacks pretty much every day until... well, it’s still ongoing... I’ve got support sessions at rape crisis starting next month so...

Then, I got sick, physically ill, constant headaches, not being able to stand light or sound, dizzy spells, blacking out, and I was terrified, I didn’t know what was going on, I lost all my social life because I couldn’t go out and do anything, I couldn’t make it into lectures, I started staying in, then staying in my room, then staying in bed... It turns out that I was only anaemic, easily solved, but the damage had already been done and the depression had kicked in. I quit university.

It’s been a while since I’ve known true, major depression, and it’s never been this bad before, or at least not for so long, barely speaking, not going out, locking myself in my room, ignoring the phone, ignoring people knocking, the only place that I went to was A&E to get stitched up, the last time I had to get sorted out my plastics and some of the sensations in my arm has gone so I’ve been too scared to do it again, flashbacks, nightmares, counting, checking, skin crawling anxiety, the only thing that I thought about was suicide, in every possible, conceivable way, it was like a fantasy, a lullaby that got me through those nights, the knowledge that there was a way out... and then I tried it, genuinely planned a night where I was alone and got a handful of a way through a box of painkillers before breaking down, I couldn’t do it, and the worst thing is I don’t even know why. I don’t even know what stopped me.

It’s been just over a month since that night and things have gradually got better, I changed meds from Cymbalta to Mirtazapine and its pulled me right back from that edge, of suicidal ideation and cutting and insomnia, I still have days where I don’t go out, or get up, but that’s a sort of safe depression, rather than a raging out of control hopelessness, and I know the value of life now, even if not the value of my own.

I’m still anxious as fuck a lot of time, the whole time I’ve been at home for Christmas I’ve been too scared to sleep at night, I am sure that it would be all too easy for someone to get through my window... Ah, see, anxious! If anything it’s worse since I changed meds so I don’t really know what to think about that, I try hard to not let it dictate what I can do but when you’re just sitting on your own at home and feel sick, or you try to go to sleep but you can’t because you can’t breathe right, it’s frustrating and pretty awful to feel.

I don't know what it means to be aware of all these things, these triggers, I don’t know if it makes me feel more or less in control. Knowledge isn't always power and understanding isn't the same as solving, it's definitely not the same as preventing. And if things outside of myself have caused my to crack up so completely, then what's to stop the same things, or more things, doing the same next month, or next year, or ten years from now. Or what if done of them caused it and it just happened for no reason other than my brain deciding to shoot out a whole load of crazy chemicals. Which is more frightening? The possibility that your brain can and will work from the inside to bring you down, or that the world is full of people and places and things that will do it for you.

I have no idea about 2011 in terms of what I’m doing, whether I’m going back to my degree, or any of that stuff. I just want to get... well, go the support sessions, maybe the counselling, and just... not get over, but at least cope better with all the trauma stuff, because I tried for year to deny it and just carry on like normal, but I think I’ve reached that point over the second half of this year where you just can’t do that anymore because it doesn’t work, and I can’t pretend that how unwell and fucked up i get over the summer is one big coincidence, because it’s probably not, it’s probably all related to what happened, and if I don’t deal with it in a different way, by actually dealing with it instead of denying it, then it’s just going to keep coming back, every summer, and like this year’s proved, it doesn’t even constrain itself to that time frame anymore, and if you let it take over like that then you’re only really letting them beat you in the end, letting them win, and frankly I’m fucking tired of letting them have that kind of power over me.

This is the right time to try and deal with it, not because I feel ready or brave or fearless or strong, but because if it's not now it's never, and I'm not prepared to wait that long.

Friday, 10 December 2010

You're too young to be this empty girl

"I think back on things that happened. I bet you think you can pinpoint where it started for her. It’s easy to think that, when you look back at something as a whole. But when you’re living it, day by day, it’s like you’re in the belly of something and you can’t see it’s whole shape from the inside."
- Skin by Adrienne Maria Vrettos

I had my induction thing at the gym, apparantly I weigh 13st 7lbs and have a BMI of over 33. How the Hell did I let that happen!? That is literally double the weight I was at my thinnest (okay, sickest). I feel like I've completely let myself down and become gross and disgusting, and a part of me thinks fuck it, you deserve to be fat and miserable because maybe you couldn't help being miserable but getting fat is.all.your.own.fault. For the first time in a really, really long time I cried in front of the mirror.

I need to make some changes. I can't keep going at this rate. Being obese is much worse for you than being underweight, right? And I'm not happy. Okay, I know I'm generelly sad and depressed at the minute, but I'm not happy being this weight, this size, the depression has made me comfort eat and become comfortable not liking the way I look, being apathetic towards my body. That is not me and I am completely kidding myself and everyone else if I pretend to be okay with being obese.

I have a six month membership and they give you your own fitness programme to follow and check you weight and body fat and everything every month, and I'm giving up eating crap that's no good for you and addictive, like sugar, and stop snacking, and obviously stop eating to try and make myself feel better, because that is clearly not working, throw out the scales, through out all the disordered thoughts that I don't need anymore, let other people in that are going to call me on ... And hopefully I will end up somewhere in the middle of such stupid extremes.

I don't want to weigh in at under 7st again, no way! I am so completely not anorexic anymore. Sure, I sometimes miss it as if I've lost a vital organ, I sometimes feel like nothing will ever fill the big, black hole that it's left. I sometimes crave the simplicity that it gave me. The sense of power and purpose. I didn't give a fuck about anything back then. Only losing weight and not eating. I never had a BMI of less than 15, I never had a tube shoved up my nose... I used to believe that those kinds of things mattered. That I obviously wasn't a real anorexic. That I was too fat. Now I believe the evidence to the contrary. That those things don't mean anything at all and that wanting them and fantasising about them is fucking ridiculous. That I most definately was ill, anorexic.. I was completely fucking insane. Thinking that I was more powerful than anyone else in the entire universe because I didn't eat for 28 days. For a long time that was my proudest moment. My biggest achievement ever. And now in the cold light of day it looks completely fucking pathetic. I look completely fucking pathetic.

Guess what. I did all those things to myself. I had power. I had control. I had a choice. It was all willpower. I have the power to turn things around and lose the weight again, in a healthy way. I don't even want to be 'thin'. I want to weight 9st 7lbs/10st. The weight that I was before I got seriously sick. I've said many times before that I would go about things in the right way, lose the weight in the right way, but I didn't really mean it. The thought of being thinner and thinner and thinner was always driving it, somewhere...

I don't want to be fat anymore, I don't want to skinny anymore, I just want to be healthy and happy and proud of my body. Okay, I will probably never, ever be proud of it, but I'm sure that we could learn to not try and destroy each other.

After the six months are up, it'll be around the same time that I first danced with an eating disorder, ten fucking years ago. I am only 23 years old. That's not right. If I'm fit and healthy by that time it will be my final fuck you and goodbye. This stops here. I have control. Power. Strength. I don't have to walk around in a fat suit because I'm too uncomfortable in my own skin. I don't need to faint around like a ghost because I'm too uncomfortable in my own skin. No more extremes. No more using food to regulate my emotions. Has it ever really worked? I don't think so. And if I can sit here in six months time, healthier, fitter, with a normal attitude towards food, with a healthy attitude towards exercise, then I will genuinely have tears in my eyes. I will have done something to be truly proud of.

I am so fucking scared though... Scared of the comfort and safety that being this heavy makes me feel. I am disgusting so no-one will want to touch me. I'm completely safe because the outside of me is so, so much bigger than the inside. Safe. Fat. I'm scared that I don't have the willpower to change. I'm scared that I iwll be obese for the rest of my life. I am scared of how close to the edge it's going to push me. I want to change, but I want to be healthy, and I want to feel...... Safe.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories

"Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind,
As man's ingratitude."
- William Shakespeare

I have the most vivid memory of winter. Back in 2005. I don't remember much of that year. I went to the EDU at the begining of November and wasn't allowed outside for over a month. I remember the first time that I went outside. It was freezing. Obviously, we had to wear as much clothing as possible. But it was still freezing. I can remember walking through the grounds. I can remember how it felt to have that little taste of freedom. Wanting more. I remember feeling completely alive and connected. In that one moment.

I wish I could experiance the world like that again.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

There are no innocents

"Normally seven minutes of another person's company was enough to give her a headache so she set things up to live as a recluse. She was perfectly content as long as people left her in peace. Unfortunately society was not very smart or understanding."
- 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo', Stieg Larrson

I went to the psychiatrist on Thursday and told her about everything, she is surprisingly easy to talk to and be honest with, I don’t know whether it’s my own attitude towards her or just the way she is but with some people I just get a positive vibe and some I get a really negative one… Like with Carol I absolutely could not stand her because I didn’t feel like she was ‘on my side’, I can’t get on with DBT people for a similar reason, but with my psych I feel like we’re aiming for the same results, and I get a good vibe and find that she comes across as genuinely giving a shit (the fact that she gave me her phone number, or that she will always fit me in at the end of her clinic if I really need to see her whereas DBT and Carol (who got suspended so it definitely wasn’t just me who found her a waste of space…) I just feel like they’re constantly fighting me rather than trying to help me, and I have never even considered talking to them about the rape thing because I know that they couldn’t care less about anything I’ve gone through, they just care about making me not self-harm, they don’t realise that it’s something more than the behaviour… I guess that’s why the ‘B’ in DBT stands for behavioural - but fuck it, I haven’t been in a few weeks and I feel better because of it, and I don’t really cared if I sound like a textbook example of BPD, because surely when you feel like absolute shit and are just trying to stay alive, you don’t want to be dealing with people who just make you feel worse, no matter how much other people might tell you it’s for the best. Also, they seem to think that it’s the answer to everything that’s wrong in my life, when I genuinely don’t think it is, but anyways, that’s a bit off-topic, sorry, I tend to get carried away with myself whenever I bring the subject up!

So yeah, Dr S, I like her a lot and can talk to her about stuff, because she knows about everything and is the one that go me into the rape crisis centre, and she has said that if I wanted to use her to talk about things then she would do that, but that she also thinks that its good to have the two things separate and to use the people at the centre because they can meet me once a week and do practical support stuff that’s specific like dealing with flashbacks, and I can also get long-term counselling there if I want to, but I’m just going to do the support sessions first and see what it’s like because just doing that feels terrifying enough right now, and that she’ll deal with the medication side of things. She increased the Mirtazapine which I’m a bit apprehensive about because I don’t want my appetite to increase but I guess right now feeling better is more important than what I eat or weight, and I guess that is has always been more important, I was just too fucking stubborn to realise it and to let go of the eating disorder. I feel so completely free of it right now, not spending the whole time thinking of weight or food, and I guess that’s been a ‘positive’ aspect of feeling so depressed, and I’ll be honest that I’m kind of scared that when I feel better again and back to normal, I will start to care about what I weigh and I know that I have gained A LOT of weight over the last six months, over 40lbs and that was from a high end of healthy BMI so I’m technically obese (193lbs at 5”4) and I do worry that it’s become like a safety blanket to me, feeling all safe and protected in this ‘fat suit’, because I really can’t stand the idea of looking remotely attractive right now… And a little part of me feels like I’m in denial over my weight gain and pretending that I’m living in complete freedom, eating as much as I like, pigging out, when really I think I’ve been doing it for comfort. The comfort that I used to find in losing weight I seem to have found in being overweight. It doesn’t make any sense but then I guess disordered body image is disordered, no matter which way it swings. Anyway, gone off on a tangent again…

I like having it separate but working together at the same time, because I do feel that there are some parts of my mental health problems that aren’t solely down to trauma, but I also realise that they both have a knock on effect to each other (which, if you’d asked me a year ago, or even six months ago I would NEVER had admitted, so I guess that’s kind of a good thing…)

I’ve emailed my therapist to explain how things are and why I haven’t managed to make it to see her for the last month and asked her if it would be okay if she would keep a space open for me when I was feeling a little bit better about things and like I would actually be able to use her to talk things through because right now I just don’t feel like I can use her like that so I kind of feel like I’m wasting her time by keeping letting her down. She‘s been really great and understanding, I’ve got on with her since the first time she opened the door to me, I just knew that she was going to be good for me, so I really don’t want to not utilise her time, and she said that it was fine to leave it for awhile and that as soon as I wanted to see her again I just had to send her an email, which is something that I will most definitely do because of how good I found her before this thing got its teeth into me.

I got into a bit of a state earlier because I got a letter from uni saying that I had to pay back all of the student loan I’d had this term in 14 days, which there is no way I can because I just don’t have the money because my benefits haven’t come through yet.

It’s really knocked me off my feet, I got all ridiculous and suicidal just because I thought it would be the best way out. I know that it’s a stupid but right just normal, day to day life is hard enough, so when something ‘dramatic’ happens my brain reacts in a ‘dramatic’ way, daydreaming about just ending everything so I don’t have to deal with it. I hate how suicide has become this twisted daydream, I know that I’m not seeing it clearly for what it is, and I know that it’s terrible and everything, but the words ‘suicidal ideation’ feel so fucking true for me right now, the ideation part, because I’m building it up into some kind of far off fantasy, imagining all the different ways I could do it, and it’s become kind of fantastical, like a bedtime story, or a comfort blanket, that I cling to when I feel like I can’t cope with life anymore. Does that mean I’m not actually suicidal? Does that mean that I’m faking everything? Does it make me an attention-seeking idiot? Because it’s a fantasy not a reality…

This whole business has put me off ever going back to uni, which is a bad thing I know, but I don't think I could stand going through all this again because I tried so hard to get back into education, all the way through the ED it was what I wanted more than anything , the reason why I started to get well. But now it’s all uncertain and I already feel like it’s ran away from me. It was hard enough to get it back once. I don’t think I could do it again.

I don't even want to admit it but the last few nights.... it's been weird. It's like I'm tied up in rope, I can feel and see it, and when I look down there are all these... Holes? In the room. And neon thread wrapped around me, and when I go to touch it it's not there. The first time I thought that I was just overtired so ignored it. It's like part of my nightmares have come alive and climbed out of me... although I know that's not possible, but still... I'm also angry so much of the time, sometimes it's real fucking effort not to lash out, I feel like I constantly wanting to punch someone or something. There are certain people especially in my life right now who I want to scream at, tell them to fuck off, shout and rage... I hate this part of things. It genuinely terrifies me. Ever since I read/watched the Millenium trilogy I've been filled with images and fantasies of violent revenge. I have such a deep hatred towards the people that have hurt me, even if they were only really kids themselves at the time, even for the people that have protected them and stood by them, family members and friends that just point blank refuse the see that the person they love so much could be a maniuplative, alchoholic rapist. I hate the world and everybody in it so much right now. No-one and nowhere is safe. Everything's a threat. Everyone's a suspect.

Friday, 3 December 2010

The girl who kicked the cornet's nest

"I will never know myself until I do this on my own
And I will never feel anything else until my wounds are healed
I will never be anything till I break away from me
I will break away and find myself today"
- 'Somewhere I Belong' by Linkin Park

Sometimes I feel like nothing will ever fill the gap that the eating disorder has left. That nothing will ever make me feel so good, as strong, as in control, as accomplised, as free from the chaos in my head.

And then I see my friend, eating lettuce and gravy, and I feel completely liberated from those chains.

I'm not like that anymore, I don't believe in it anymore, I don't want it to be a part of my life (even by proxy) anymore.

So who am I instead? I have no fucking idea! And maybe that's why I still struggle so much with everything else that's going on inside. Why I am still 'ill', why I'm depressed, or anxious or self-harm or get suidical. Because I don't know what else to 'be'. But right now is one of those times when I'm not prepared to blame my body, or believe that losing weight will solve anything, because it won't. I don't know what will but I know that it won't.

My psychiatrist thinks that I've been feeling so shit because of everything that the rapes have left behind, and I have to admit that she has a point, and that a lot of what's going on right now is directly down to that, flashbacks, low mood, wanting to die, anxiety, it's all got so much worse since I started talking about it, and sometimes I wake up in a complete state just because I no longer have the ability to hide it all. I still don't understand why it's all come out now, what's been so special about now, why I suddenly realised that it was a big problem rather than a series of unrealted incidents that just happen to happen to me, and I just then happened to get on with things. I would never have even imagined that I would be in the position that I am right now, going to rape crisis, accepting that the way I feel isn't completely unrealted to it. I just wouldn't have thought I needed it. I genuinely thought that it would just go away on its own. That by not coping with it I had somehow tricked it enough to be able to cope with it, get on with things.

I feel so weak for not being able to get on with things, for talking, for feeling whatever the Hell it is I feel.