Go die in a hole, dark passenger.

Is this going to last? I bloody hope so.

I had a morning of the dark passenger’s spiteful voices whispering filth into my ear. I was getting angry, and what pushed me over the edge was the minute my mum left me alone in the house-
“Right, now stop fucking ignoring us and go and cut.”

I flipped. I started yelling at them. I swore so much a sailor would have blushed. I threw their own filth at them and made sure that I gave as good as I got. I told them they were a bunch of goddamned fucking liars who deserved to be eradicated from existence, and I was better than them. I told them they had no fucking right to tell me to die.

I also told them that they should be scared of me, because I have the power to silence them forever.

They had been arguing back pretty strongly but at that they were deadly silent. I knew I had hit a nerve, so I started being as cruel to them as they are to me. They faded and shut up after that, and then my mum came home to pick me up and take me out.

I am ecstatic. This is the first time I have ever been able to shut them up by myself. I am under no illusions as to being able to repeat this every time they attack me, but I know now it can be done.

Fuck you, dark passenger.

The pendulum swings the other way…

Today there was a sudden shift in my head. The dark passenger was there this morning, but I threw myself into the day despite having four hours or so of proper deep sleep, and I wanted to be normal, for gods’ sake, for one fucking day.

I have managed it. I didn’t cut myself last night. I rang my mum, and I woke my dad up and sat until the unholy cacophony in my head faded to spiteful whispers.

Today I am wondering if I dreamt that despair. I know that it happened, but how I feel right now is so different to how I was late last night that I am confused, left reeling from the emotions that have ripped through my body and soul and left my mind raw.

No. I didn’t dream it. I lived it. I am exhausted beyond belief but wide awake and my brain buzzes with pent-up thoughts. I wrote in my journal last night that I wanted them to shut up. They don’t do that, my voices. They sleep, go dormant for a short while, and attack me whenever they please.

I’m sorry for the rambling nature of this post, but I feel that I have a long two weeks to wait for my next appointment with the psychologist, and I need to get down some of the stuff that is writhing around in my head.

I wonder if I will ever truly feel like he is not watching me- my ex, I mean. That terror last night when I thought I’d seen him pinned me like a butterfly to a card in a museum. I was crippled by it- my legs locked, I shook, my teeth chattered involuntarily. Why do I constantly feel like I can see him where ever I go?

I look out for the distinctive shape of his hair, the broad back, the walk I grew to know so well. I look for certain coats and flinch away from any man who wears them. I despise certain hand movements and turns of phrase, and I will not say certain terms of endearment or phrases I said to him to J, because I want what he and I now have to remain as untouched as it is. I hate it when I think I have seen him. I hate walking down certain roads because I see him in my mind’s eye, walking down the road to come and get me and make me stay at his house and feel like an optional extra, the cheap tart allowed to stay over for as long as he wanted because it would placate their precious son.

I only ever felt like a whore with him. I only ever felt like a spare part. I only ever felt worthless.

So when I told J about what I felt for the first time, he told me that I was “absolutely not a whore”, and that he would never do anything like that. Today, he told me he wanted to be there for me. I have never had that said to me before.

I feel still in danger of cutting, but I am wearing a band 24/7 so I can fight the urge head on. I had heard somewhere that getting through the first few months of quitting an addiction could be hell, but I didn’t fully understand because couldn’t find the strength to quit for long enough. Now I truly get it- I find myself pacing and talking to the voices and myself and shaking and wishing that I had never given up in the first place. Without cutting, my emotions are a huge mess, all over the twisted landscape of the inside of my brain. I need something to control them.

I am saving all the money I have to go and see J. I feel like I can be myself with him- he saw the girl behind the pain and wanted to be with her anyway.

Soon, I will be with him, and the voices will be silent, because they are the minute he speaks. Until then, I will keep trying to fight them, and I will keep trying to defeat the memories that haunt me.

I want my innocence back.

I don’t know what is happening to me.

 

Three hours ago I was completely fine. I haven’t been sleeping well anyway and I’m a little tired, but that shouldn’t warrant this.

Today the dark passenger talked to me when I was with other people. I was teaching with my sister, and whilst I was sorting some things out around the studio… and they spoke.

They called me a whore. Again. In front of a class of small children, lovely innocent kids who shouldn’t have to see their teacher twitch randomly as if an annoying fly had flown too close to her head.

Of course I pretended that nothing was wrong. Of course I didn’t mention it to anyone.

This evening I thought I saw my ex in a house across the road, whilst walking my dog home. I heard the dark passenger tell me again to kill myself. I saw the knife in my head. I felt the tears choke my throat, and I felt despair return as I tried to think of a way out of this shit. Nothing I could think of made me feel safe as two men walked along the road on the other side. I thought I heard footsteps behind me.

I am upset. I want my life to be normal. I am tired. I want to run to J but he’s so far away, and my mum and sister are out this weekend. I have my dad, but I don’t want to burden him.

Why can I not just stay balanced?! Why do these voices torment me?!

I am so sick of being in tears, of feeling guilty and worried and insecure. I feel triggered and I keep thinking I have the word TARGET written across my head, beckoning in any and all rapists or abusers. I feel tonight like the dark passenger is staining all my thoughts and trying to erase any good last night did. I had a revelation last night and felt like I was reclaiming my body. Now, I just feel like the dark passenger is trying to control me again and I am frightened.

I hate this. I truly hate the way I am sometimes. J doesn’t deserve to have to come home and put me right every time something like this happens. Nor do my parents or friends.

Why can I never deal with things rationally?

Tonight I am a scared girl wishing that an atrocious incident in a flat in South London had never happened. The ugly word floats in front of my eyes. The terror of the experience is very real tonight. I feel as if I’m suffocating. I hate my mood swings.

I want this to be over.

 

I want my innocence back.

 

The contents of my mental chest of drawers.

So, I feel like I need to write about voices, psychologists, friends and relationships. Not necessarily in that order. Probably rather jumbled…

I saw the psychologist again today. I was nervous, because I felt like I had nothing to say. How wrong I was.

I suspect that the voices like me feeling unsure of myself and unsure that my current situation is real. They find it funny, and they delight in calling me a fake so much that sometimes I believe them. After I’ve started to doubt myself they then call me an idiot for believing them and they laugh at me.

I said this to the psychologist. I told her that I felt sometimes like I was going crazy because of this loop of thought. She told me that in no way should I feel like I’m making any of this up- she could tell by my very evident tears that my distress was real. I cried again today, describing the torment I have to go through every time I want a bath or shower.

It’s physically impossible to have a bath or shower without removing all your clothes, but the act of doing so makes me feel physically very unsafe and uncomfortable. I feel like I’m being watched. I feel so horrible without clothes. I get into the shower as fast as I can and then the voices start their stupid cacophony.

“You’re such a whore. Look at you, taking forever over washing a leg. Do you think you’re flaunting yourself or something? Do you think you’re sexy? Well you’re not, you’re a fucking slut who’s gagging for it.”

Et cetera. It makes me scrub as hard as I can to get out quick, and then I wrap myself in a massive towel and a dressing gown, and run for the safety of my room.

Where it starts all over again as I get dressed as fast as I can.

I told her this and she was concerned that this is what happens every time I have to take my clothes off. I feel anxious now writing about it. Plus, that speech from the voices of the dark passenger is highly edited. There is some truly vulgar stuff I have to listen to, and more than once I’ve hit myself in the head to shut them up.

She asked me about my childhood. I told her that when I was nine, I tried to hang myself to find out what it would be like to die, and was pissed off when my school tie snapped and the canopy over my bed came loose from the wall and I fell.

She asked me about a mention of bullying that had been on one of my notes. I told her that ever since I started school at 4/5 to leaving full time ballet training at 20, someone has set out to make me feel like shit.

I also told her that I have a daily fight with the dark passenger not to slit my arm open with a steak knife from elbow to wrist.

She thought I need a re-evaluation by the psychiatrist. My first reaction?

“Please can it not be her again?”

She said I could see someone else.

 

So I think it’s moving forward. She thinks the voices are either caused by psychosis, or maybe due to trauma. She also said she’s worried about the possible issue of Bipolar disorder, which I’m starting to think is more than likely. She has been so kind to me, and our next session is on the 11th October. I hope that I’m still as balanced then, but I fight every day to stay balanced.

My friend Y is having a tough fight. She has a lot of things that happened to her that make her doubt herself, and make her feel awful about herself. But I know she can do it. I know she can conquer her demons, because she is a good friend to me and that goodness will help her through.

My friend H, I think, is going through another tough time. I just want her to remember that whatever has happened, I will always be her friend.

I had a ring from my friend Z who’s been away with work recently- I’ve missed her so much and I really enjoyed catching up with her. Hopefully she’s coming to see me soon.

 

I really value my friends, and I feel like I have got back a lot of the relationships that I wasn’t allowed to have when I was with my ex. I am so happy that despite months of neglect, they have all come back to me and they have all been so kind, despite my faults.

 

Lastly but not leastly, I have begun to get enough self-confidence back to apply for something I’ve always wanted to do- and J helped me immensely in that regard. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at modelling but my ex thought I would be beneath his notice if I did, and i would be exploiting myself. Yeah, I could go ahead and do it, but I’d have no respect from him. This has changed so dramatically now, it’s a U-turn.

Because J hadn’t got enough pictures of me, I sent him some of the ones I had done professionally before I lost my mind. I was seized with guilt immediately after- the voices called me a whore again. It’s amazing how often that comes up in their vocabulary.

J was amazed and asked me why I hadn’t sent them to modelling agencies. He thought the ex’s opinion was bullshit and he was “blown away” by my photos.

So, I decided to give it a go- why the hell not? I need money to get to see him, and I enjoyed being in front of the camera back then…

I was shocked when I got asked to a shoot today. I turned up, full of nerves, flinching away from every man on the street, eyes locked onto the ground… and surprised myself by really enjoying the shoot. It was a really relaxed atmosphere, and it helped so much that the photographer was a woman. I managed to hide my scars really well (thank gods for foundation!) and I had J on IM as I made it back to the train station, so I wasn’t as frightened.

I surprised myself even more by getting accepted onto the agency’s books.

J is responsible for part of this, and my patient mum the other. She sat up late with me to choose the best photos, and he encouraged me and supported me from the word go. I feel like something has finally gone right, and I’ll be damned if the dark passenger gets hold of this and ruins it. Those bastard demons are getting nowhere near my J. Enough said.

I feel odd tonight, as if this has happened to a girl who isn’t me. I wonder if this displacement ever eases. I wonder when I will finally feel like my happiness happens to someone else, another me who deserves it.

It’s ok. Someday I might have a brain that functions better than it does. Someday, I might believe that I am the girl who I was before all this.

This is why J, my family and my friends are so precious. They believe I am that girl now, when I don’t even believe it myself.

thank you, and a huge box unpacked

Thank you all so much for your support- today I realised I had 100 followers! Amazing…

 

So last night I was talking to my auntie. She means a lot to me- she has been there for me since I admitted I was depressed way back in May. I had an amazing tea with her, and she helped me talk about how I was feeling back when I was finding communication impossible. Last night was no exception. She wanted me to talk about the psychologist… so I did.

I told her pretty much everything and then I got to the bit with the flashbacks, and needing to see a specialist. Telling her about the voices was easy, but she wanted to know why I might be seeing a specialist.

So, we went into a different room, and I told her.

I was in floods of tears. I get choked up whenever I have to even think the word, and telling an auntie who I have known and loved for years was so surreal. I felt detached and agonisingly in the moment.

Even harder? When Mum came in and asked why I was crying.

So I told her. In hysterics, barely able to get a word out. I was waiting for her to blame herself, waiting for her to feel awful about it… She folded me in a huge hug, and I felt another hand stroking my hair.

Yep, my dad had heard me crying and had come to find out what was going on.

So I told him too.

Telling someone three times in one night left me physically and mentally exhausted. I was so tired talking to J on the phone, and I told Y and my friend R who lives in London.

Now, I have my family behind me. Now, I know that if I wake crying in the middle of the night after a nightmare, or a sensory hallucination, or a visual one, they will understand. I can feel free to tell my mum, auntie or dad about why I suddenly panic around strange men, or why I have to snap a band on my wrist occasionally.

I feel liberated. I feel calmer. I feel ready to start a war in my head against the bastard demons that hurt me and make me hate myself. I will not let them win.

I won’t.

Psychology and happiness.

Yesterday I saw the psychologist- I’m still exhausted today as it was so emotional. I was brutally honest with her and I tried really hard not to forget anything important. I told her about the dark passenger, the suicidal feelings, the ex, the assault, even J… I told her about my amazing family and friends.

As any good psychologist would be, she was very concerned about the voices, and I answered a lot of questions on them. She also wanted to know about my self harm, and the psychiatrist. She wasn’t happy that I had been written off by the psychiatrist as I had- even to the point where she said ‘well, everyone gets sad sometimes’- and my psychologist immediately said “there’s a big difference between just being sad and depression”. I laughed and said there’s a big difference between feeling sad and wanting to kill yourself.

I told the psychologist that a lot of the time I feel like a stupid overdramatic child, struggling to get by in a world that’s too big and complicated for her. She said to me that I am not a stupid child, and my problems are legitimate and quite serious.

When I told her about the rape, I was in floods of tears. She sat there, looked me in the eye, and apologised for me having to go through all of this. I think that’s one of the nicest things I’ve ever had a mental health professional say to me. She clearly didn’t want me to feel like I’d felt with the psychiatrist.

I told her about all the hallucinations I’ve had, all the flashbacks, the horror of thinking you’re going crazy because the voices in your head tell you to cut yourself… she wasn’t fazed by it but she was concerned that I had been brushed off by the psychiatrist. She asked me if I’d been diagnosed. I said no.

So her response to all this? She’s going to read through all my notes, sort out reports of my progress (if I keep seeing her, that is) to send to my GP, and she is going to talk to some of her colleagues who specialise in what has happened to me. Maybe from them I will get a diagnosis… Who knows?

At least I am on the right track now. At least someone is bothered about me and the state of my head. At least now I can start trying to rebuild my life whilst trying to ignore the dark passenger, and concentrate on my dancing. I was at the hospital on Monday – the physio there discharged me! I only have to worry about the consultant discharging me now.

J has his own demons. He was worrying that because I’m so excited and impatient to see him, I would get bored and wander away. The truth is the very opposite- the excitement is made even better with the wait to see him again. I am completely crazy about him and would no more leave him than my family. I told him I wasn’t going anywhere and he was so happy. I wish I had arrived on the scene earlier, so I could have told him these things for longer.

Now, we wait foe the next installment of the saga. I hope it brings more good news- I’m sick of the bad. It’s my turn to be happy now.