TW: difficult topics mentioned. Miscarriage, sexual assault, abuse, health issues.
The saga drags on. Now, it turns out, as well as the cyst, we have a sinus arrythmia. That is, apparently, behind the reason that we are always exhausted and the palpitations we’ve been experiencing. I went to the doctor’s (me, 26 that is) and got her to get us referred for a 24 hour ECG (not sure when that will be done), and blood tests which are being done tomorrow.
Depression is a constant friend at the minute. May this year was traumatising and triggering for all of us, and July is on its way. We all hate summer. Bad things happened years ago and they still haunt us. Memories from fourteen and fifteen being locked into a room with a boy who wouldn’t take no for an answer; from nineteen of arguments and a descent into a manic spiral of drinking and non-stop partying to run from the agony; from all of us, realising that we had just lost a baby we never even knew was there.
The Dutchman is his usual fantastic self. He continues to help each one of us with the things we find upsetting and hard, he’s still looking for a house for us, and he is always there when we need him. PTSD is currently shrinking all of our attention to that of a gnat. We are in pain constantly from the cyst, and he provides distraction from that and also the pounding heart that makes us black out.
So, the past few days, I have been trying to get an extension granted on our massage course. Because of that, I think Mum thinks that we are failing it- so, despite the fact that we now walk with a cane and can barely get out of bed without feeling horrendous, from the minute we get up it is constant nagging to get on and do some work with the massage course.
Yesterday we were trying to get to the kitchen and were swaying, the palpitations were thundering in our ears and we were unable to see. Instead of helping us, Mum just said, “What!?”
Ok, so I know we are irritating and talk a lot about how bad we feel, but for the gods’ sake, possibly compassion might help at this point? You know, that thing that might actually make all of us FEEL BETTER about the fact that walking is hard and often results in us feeling faint? No, apparently not. Easier to shout at us than actually help.
The next thing that happened was she said that she never let cancer beat her, that she only had a week off, that work got her through it. Holy. God. Where do I even begin?!
Depression, anxiety, mood disorders and PTSD are all physical as well as mental. There are BRAIN SCANS that show what they look like. The brain is damaged by PTSD, as has been shown in these scans. So, regardless of what we all look like on the outside, there are biochemical issues on the inside that prevent us acting ‘normally’.
That’s not even taking into account that we are literally fighting for consciousness because of an arrythmia which should, by all accounts, not be producing these symptoms because it is found in many fit people, and a cyst which makes it very difficult to sit up, to walk, to eat and several other things. The cyst was on a scan. The arrythmia was on an ECG. They are documented physical health conditions. I was in a wheelchair in Holland. Of course I am going to be depressed- the time of year, my mental health conditions and two physical health problems is a lot for anyone to juggle, let alone someone who is constantly reassuring three younger versions of themselves that they’re ok. How the actual hell could we be faking or malingering?
Thing is, everything I’ve just written makes me look like the bad guy cause she had cancer, and my issues are nothing compared to that. So I didn’t say anything to that when she said it. She’s trying to make me see that I can do it if she could do it, but the way Mum faced cancer was to run headlong from it into the arms of work. That’s where she’s expecting us to go, but PTSD, depression and DID make a mockery of our levels of concentration…
The next thing she said was that I was a clever girl.
As if that will make us feel better about the fact that we can’t concentrate/have a short attention span. Like it will magically fix the fact that we work ten times slower than we used to, because we don’t remember what we just read. Like it would miraculously make us realise that oh gods, yes, how smart we are, we can acheive anything, as if depression and PTSD are not already telling us that we aren’t because who the fuck can’t finish an easy course IN TWO YEARS COME ON YOU HAD SO MUCH TIME?!
I just left that one.
Every time we say we are full, she’s there thinking it’s a mental thing and we have to eat more. Brain is telling us we are starving, Belly is telling us NO MORE. There’s no way to describe how mind-fucky that is, especially for the younger ones. Fourteen and fifteen want to eat how we used to, and nineteen is actually freaked out for the first time in her life at how little we can eat now.
Every time we pick up our phone to answer a message from a concerned friend, she saying we’re addicted to that phone, put it down. You didn’t see what was on TV just then. Do I have to rewind it? We can’t leave the house unless we are driven, so that is our only link with friends since we are not on Facebook at the minute.
I’m exhausted. I want to go back to the gym. I want to be able to drive again- yep, due to the blackouts and headaches we have been getting, we are not allowed to drive. I want to be able to go shopping and not worry about blacking out in the aisle, and I want to be able to dance again. Apparently, all of these physical illnesses are in my head, and I have to just pull myself together and get on with it.
None of us want to be here right now- we would far rather go stay with R. Mum is convinced we are faking some of this, and she’s been unhappy about us ordering more painkillers. If we are that much of a strain, just stop taking us places, making us breakfast grudgingly, and nagging us to get on with our work. That way, at least you get five minutes of peace and quiet and you can go back to ignoring the very real pain we are in. After all, it worked so well last time- oh wait, no it didn’t. We ended up as a psychiatric inpatient.
I personally think she has far too much on her plate and is hoping that if she tries a little bit of “tough love”, we will stop being so useless and floppy and become happy-perma-smile-girl again, the one that never complained, overworked and ran to please everyone whilst making sure she never spent any time on herself (cause, you know, that would be selfish and self-centered. Self-care, after all, is just making sure you get out of bed with a perma-grin on.) and helping everyone, even at the cost of her happiness and health.
Unfortunately, we don’t work like that any more.
Currently, we take promazine, paracetamol, naproxen and tramadol, and that’s not counting the vitamin B complex and vitamin D pills. We are unable to bend down. We can’t breathe properly. We can’t eat properly. We are exhausted. We need support.
Looks like the only time we get support is when…. well, we’re not sure.
Read at depression comix at http://wp.me/s3zYhM-2