Sleep is the enemy again.

Again, I find myself terrified to sleep. The nightmares are back with a vengeance. The other night, I dreamt about my ex, again, making me do all sorts of horrible stuff I didn’t consent to.

I’m trying not to let the nightmares win, but I climb into bed and fight to keep my eyes open. I want to sleep, I really do, but there is no way that when I sleep, I won’t have a nightmare.

I want to be able to cuddle the puppy, although she’s quite a big girl now! Thing is, she’s solid and warm and reliable, and makes wonderful snorty-groany noises when she’s tired and settling down to nap on your knee. Just having her near makes me feel calmer.

I’m also going sober for October, but I’m donating the money to a local women’s refuge. They’re being shut down across the country, and I want to help. I want to extend protection to those who have literally none, because the minute they go home, he will be there to make their lives a living hell again. Shelters save lives. That’s a fact.

I’m going to attempt to sleep now, I hope that my sleep app will help. Just please let there not be any more nightmares.


After that comment…

This morning, I don’t want to get out of bed. I panicked really badly last night- after the initial numbing shock, the anxiety clawed its way up my throat and tears flooded my eyes. I couldn’t believe it. I thought I was safe.

However, instead of keeping it to myself, I told my friend H, my friend R, J and another friend of mine I’ve known since childhood. I’ll call her Constance, because she’s been there every time I needed her. After ten minutes of believing the male and female voices of the dark passenger, I suddenly started getting messages back from my friends. I started crying again. Fear enveloped me and I asked, not for the first time and definitely not the last, why he has to keep tracking and following me.

J thought it was a troll, and my friend R thought so too. However, R was still not about to rule out the possibility that it was him. H was her usual supportive self- she’s feeling much better now and GOD, I’ve missed her- and Constance was furious with him/whoever posted that comment for me. All of the four told me to keep writing in my blog, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Here’s a little message for whoever left that comment: Really? You think you have the right to judge me like that? Grow up and learn about what abuse does to someone, then go and help someone who’s been abused. Chances are, someone close to you will have suffered the same as me, unfortunately, because the statistics say so. Use your words with consideration before opening your mouth- that’s what does damage.

If it was him- good luck intimidating me like you used to. You may have made me feel depressed as hell last night, but I don’t think there’s any reason for you to attempt to control me anymore. Please shuffle off under the rock you came from and leave me the hell alone.

Thank you to the four people who pulled me through last night, I couldn’t have done it without you. X

He’s found me.

I’m actually reeling from a comment I just received on my blog. I can’t believe that someone was that callous as to say that I have “shit life syndrome”, that I don’t have a legitimate psychiatric issue and that I am the only one who is responsible for my health.

I think I know who left that comment. Give you three guesses who.

Blood test for depression?

Share this everywhere you can. It’s all pertinent and very true.

Another Hope Entirely

New Blood Test Diagnoses Depression
Full text of the study here

I saw this article on my Facebook feed a few days ago, and it’s been popping up in various social media fora since then.  Everybody seems excited about it, and I don’t get that reaction.  Personally, it worries me.

I’ve been wary of the biological explanation for mental illness for a long time.  No matter how many times people insist that it’s an illness just like diabetes, that doesn’t make it true.  There is some overlap, sure–it tends to be chronic, it’s invisible, and lifestyle changes can help many people manage the symptoms.  But depression, unlike diabetes, is not a purely physical disease.

This study, despite what a lot of people on Facebook think, does not prove the biological/neurochemical hypothesis of depression, nor does it provide a test to “prove” whether someone has depression or not in the way…

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I think I made progress today.
At my mum’s dance school, I had just finished teaching my little ones class and the teens were coming into the studio. The second one in came in, looking rather flustered. She’s a tiny, pretty little thing with long blonde hair and big blue eyes, but a great fiesty attitude I admire. She takes shit from no-one.

“Right, when I was walking down here,” she said, frustrated, “this guy followed me all the way down! He was yelling, ‘oy, come here,’ and I just came and stood in the porch until he went.”

Immediately my brain sprung into action the way it would have done before PTSD.

“What did he look like? What was he wearing?”

“He was in a grey hat, pulled down over his eyes, and a grey tracksuit.”

“Right, thank you,” I said, and I headed speedily for the doors.

On the way, I met some of the other girls. I quickly explained the situation to them and they all said they had seen him too. At that point, I rushed downstairs to let the parents of the small children I’d just taught know there was someone weird hanging around.

When I got there, one of the mums was helping her children into the car. I warned her about the strange man, and she said that she hadn’t seen him.

“You’re brave,” she said, “coming out here alone like that.”

And then it hit me. No fear, no shaking, no dissociation, no flashbacks- just a genuine desire to protect the people I was caring for.

This may not happen quite the same again, or it may- who knows? The great thing to take away from this is that I did NOT freak out, I was calm and I managed the situation.

Tomorrow’s big challenge?

Getting the train alone to my massage course.

Why I stayed.

Then, I stayed because there was no leaving. If I left, my internal organs caved and failed and I bled internally. I was a wreck, a corpse shuffling through life like a zombie.

Now, I stay because J’s hand brushes warm across my hair. He lets me go where I please, as long as I’m happy. When the day ends there are long embraces and tender moments spent in bed, fighting sleep just to feel the faintest brush of a kiss in my hair or on my skin.

Then, I stayed because I was told over and over I was worthless. I was useless, stupid, slutty, selfish, and I had no idea how to please him. My ex would use all sorts of examples of how selfish I was, and like the small stupid thing I was, I played sheep to his shepherd and let him lead me into darkness.

Now, I stay because a kind voice on the end of the phone told me, “The first thing you have to remember is that it was NOT your fault.”
That was actually when I broke down crying. One good action from one good man fixed so much in just one short sentence. I clung to that some days when I felt like I was drowning, and it saved me.

Then, I stayed because I had no choice. I had alienated my friends, my family- everyone and anyone who could have read the signs and helped me get out sooner. But of course, when I asked him about it, he made me remember that I was naive and clueless without him, and I wouldn’t survive a minute.

Now, I stay because J treats me like an equal. He knows I’m on his level intellectually and appreciates my quickness to grasp something. He doesn’t mind where I go and who I see, and my friends now ask if they can meet him, impatient to get to know him.

That’s why I stay now. My world comprises of honour, respect, satisfaction, happiness amd genuine love.

I stayed with my ex because I was brainwashed.

I know where I would rather be.

Missing you.

Tonight, I’m missing J an awful lot. I was lying in bed this morning and I looked at my room, and wished that there was a comforting and familiar weight lying next to me. I wished that I could roll over and slide an arm along his side, and hear him mutter sleepily, “You ok baby?”

I usually reply that yes, of course I am, but had he been there this morning I would have told him that yes, I am ok with him. I’m always ok with him.

J has been having a tough time recently. He has his own issues and on top of that he is quitting smoking, which is pretty hardcore and I admire him so much for it. Still he is there for me, despite the fact that some nights he is too stressed to chat on Skype. He always sends me little emails of encouragement- funny stuff he’s found on the internet or stuff he knows I will be interested in.

In America, I was lying next to him the night I told him I loved him and I was bursting with the need to tell him, and I wasn’t frightened at all when it spilled over my lips. He has told me every night since that he loves me, and it’s not tinged with that horrible fake feeling I used to feel whenever I said it.

It’s because this time, it’s real.