Life, and not getting what you want.

I think I’m in danger of causing rifts in my family.

I’ve achieved something today. I asked to do more of something and none of something else, and I’m paying for it.

This time, I feel like I’m awful.

I have upset my sister so much she’s no longer speaking to me. It’s like I don’t exist. I have tried to be everything to everyone, and I’ve hurt her in the process.

I have quit dancing as a career properly today. I decided I was shutting that door and moving on. As a result, I’ve dropped out of all the dance classes I was dancing in for more time to actually do my work on the massage qualification I’m desperately trying to get.

My sister is furious.

She wanted to joint-run a dance company with me, but since I haven’t been well again I’ve been re-evaluating things in my life that continue to hurt me. I have decided that dancing as a career is one of them. This, of course, puts paid to the joint company, and I’ve really hurt her by that.

The problem is, I’ve had enough of the dance world. Looking at my pointe shoes was starting to make me upset. I hurt so badly some night when I finish dancing because of my back, but sometimes also because I hate being in the dance studio all day, every day again. I loved it when my body was whole and did anything I told it to. Now I hate it because I hate that my leg will not lift at the back. I hate it because I have a TWO YEAR gap in my CV which will make all the professional dance companies out there laugh if I ever was to hand it in. The dance world is harsh and brutal and nobody cares if you get injured, because it means it was your fault and you were never good enough anyway, because a REAL dancer will never get injured because they’re too clever for all that.

My sis hasn’t faced quite everything I’ve faced yet in the dance world, although she knows just as much as I do how horribly cruel and unforgiving it can be. What she doesn’t understand yet is what it feels like to have no drive or passion for something you once loved dearly.

I hate the sight of the studios now. I hate my figure in the mirror, making shapes that aren’t what they used to be. My feet and legs look awkward and clumsy to me, and I hate how much effort I have to put into simple steps.

She will hopefully never feel like this. I never want her to feel this way. To hate the art that once nurtured you, to hate it so much you never want to dance or teach dancing again- that’s agony worse than a broken back.

What I have to do now is explain that to her, and hope that her hurt lifts. I don’t want to push her away even more with my idiocy, and my terror of telling the truth.

The reason I’m terrified of telling the truth?

Every time I did, my ex would push me away into a nowhere-state, filled with silence. That was worse that the other way it could go, which was rage. Give me the rage any time.

Right now, this silence could drown out the whole world.

Things I never thought were abuse. TW

TW: I write about very not fun non-consensual things that happened to me with my ex. Steer clear if you feel at all triggered, be safe.

I had a bit of a wake up in therapy today. Dr K told me that I have been very badly abused. I still don’t feel like this is the case, but that’s exactly what has happened. I was raped, and other sordid things came to light today before the rapes started to happen that I had buried in the back of my mind that I had completely forgotten about. I had never even associated them with abuse til I saw them through Dr K’s eyes today and realised that I have only just broken the surface of the evils done to me.

Remarkably, I’m not feeling too horrible yet. I think I’m either still desensitised or in shock.

Dr K was asking me why I had been dreaming about horrible things with huge, devouring mouths over the past few months. She was wondering whether there was some sort of deeper rooted thing in my head that I hadn’t explored yet. Apparently, I had told her a while back that he had bitten me, but I had no memory of telling her that.

Thing is, when she asked me about being bitten by him, memories of sharp teeth grating against my hipbones and sinking into my thigh swam unbidden into my head. I told Dr K about all the times I would have to turn up to ballet class with bruises from his bites splashed like a calling card across my skin. I told her about the fact he would bite hard in the middle of sex and it would throw me, and I would try so hard to cling on to the fleeting pleasure of the moment before- ride it out, it will be ok, you will be ok. I would dread sex sometimes because I knew he would want to bite me. I knew the bruises would last for weeks, too.

On another occasion he had me handcuffed to the bed and he whipped me with the end of a belt. It drew blood. It stung. It left marks. I wasn’t happy with where it was going but he told me I had to obey him because that was a master and slave thing, a contract between us. It wasn’t. I’ve seen the BDSM community’s reaction to Fifty Shades of Grey and I know they despise it. They call it abuse, without proper safe words and guidelines, and there’s certainly no pushing of your partner past his or her boundaries.

What used to happen between he and I, what he sold to me in his lies as BDSM, was actually just abuse. I didn’t like how I felt when he was treating me that way. I felt wrong and humiliated and frightened a lot. I was always worried that one day there would be something worse than a belt to contend with.

The biting was painful and left bruises, and the whipping was even more so. But I knew I couldn’t say stop- he would never allow it. He would have carried on anyway without mercy.

Maybe this is something else I have to realise- I was a battered woman, but not in the way everyone expects. I was sexually battered.

I can’t stop seeing Dr K’s concerned face as she said that I was very badly abused. She was looking at me with horror for what I had been through.

Maybe I should start looking at other things that happened through her caring eyes, too. Continue reading

Home again, emotional flashbacks, and holiday withdrawal.

Oh GOD I miss J. Seriously, like a hole inside. If not for my puppy I’d be a lot worse than I am right now- I’d be a crying wreck! He’s so calm and logical- after my last post, I went outside to the pool where J and my mum were. J was already in the pool, cooling off, and mum was enjoying a nice beer.

I had a panic attack trying to get in through the door where my dad had installed a very loud alarm- my brain entered that flight state and I started shaking and crying immediately. All that rage and terror came out in tears, but mum and J were there being awesome immediately. Mum came over took me away from the doors and hugged me til I felt better. J was there, shocked, but calm enough to tell me everything was ok, baby, and to put on my bikini and come in the pool with him to relax. Mum agreed, so I did. It worked. Tears faded, shaking stopped, and within FIFTEEN MINUTES (gotta be a new record there!) I was completely fine again, calm, and making jokes with the family and cuddling J in the cool water.

J can spot my mania immediately, and it’s impressive. Bradley has given me a great tip to manage it now I’m home again (boo, being home is not as nice as being out there with J and my family) and I’m going to start it tomorrow. I’ll set alarms on my phone that will remind me to check in with myself, and to stay calm.

So far, I’ve had a tough ride already. I’m aware that I drank too much whilst I was on holiday, so alcohol consumption has gone down a lot. Tonight, I had a cup of tea (fruit tea, orange smoothie tea!) and a glass of water as my beverages of choice. I’m doing this because when I’m manic, as I suspect I’m heading that way now, I do have poor impulse control and drink is usually the first sign of it. I’ve already had some very depressed moments, but that’s not the bipolar speaking.

That’s something else.

I’m in the midst of a bastard of an emotional flashback right now. For the past few days, I’ve felt unreal and dissociated, and horribly depressed, but the depression waned in the evening. Today it got so bad that I began acting unlike myself- snappy, withdrawn, moody, and exhausted. I even yelled at the puppy- at this point, I’m glad she’s deaf! A long sleep this afternoon fixed a lot of that, and I emerged with a better take on the world. I still didn’t understand why I was feeling like shit, but I was ready to give my day another try.

Dancing was fun and went well, and when I got home, I went upstairs to get changed. Pulling my favourite pyjama/lounge type pants on, something in my head suddenly shifted into place and I got it.

I understood that when I was with my ex, I was used as a fix. Because he was jealous of my family spending an unadulterated two weeks with me, I was often subject to derision and scorn when I got home. He’d cold shoulder me, blank me, and finally fix up a meeting with him sometime or place that was impossible for me. I’d inevitably cancel, he’d throw a fit, and then break up with me. I’d be alone, blaming myself and hating myself for nearly two months, and then he’d need his fix again. He’d pretend to relent, he’d tell me he ‘forgave me’ (er, bullshit sir, I believe you finished with me for no good reason) and we’d be back in the honeymoon phase again. Lovely.

So naturally my poor beleaguered brain still think I’m in for some horrible punishment for having fun. I’m reacting like a beaten puppy and I’m shaking in anticipation of a blow that will never fall.

J’s already been on Skype, commending me for my smarts in realising this. I’m pretty chuffed too… BUT GOD I miss him!!! He knows that, of course.

Another remarkable milestone I’ve achieved whilst away is that I’m better able to do real couple things now. I hold hands with J a lot, I’ll go for a cuddle when I fancy one, and, best of all- I was so tired one night I felt drunk, and slipping off into sleep I told J twice that I loved him. He said it back, and I heard the tenderness in his voice alongside the amused chuckle at how sleepy I was. When I asked him about it the next morning, he said I had indeed said I loved him twice and he hoped I remembered that he said it back to me.

Of course I had.

Stuff will be hard now I’m home. I’m trying to take more responsibilities this year, and I’m hoping I don’t overload myself- apparently, therapy this week with Dr K will be the start of lots of tough things for me. I am very aware there are still big issues I need to face. For instance, whilst I was in America, I had night after night of nightmares and J had to hold me to calm me down one night after I told him I was frightened to sleep. Hopefully, I will get these discussed with Dr K and she will help me become less afraid.

There are bonuses, though. I’m taking on more work so I can fund myself to get to America to see J quicker (I hope), I’m finally meeting a good friend I’ve talked to for a long while, I have a snoring puppy next to me and I’m planning dance numbers for a show. There are definite goals to achieve.

Fingers crossed that this year is the year that I get stuff solved, and not another year where I wrestle incessantly with the contents of my own head.

Fed up.

Today, I talked to a friend, D, who suffers from mental health issues of his own. He is currently undergoing therapy for his problem, and for some reason, today we ended up talking about the mental health services, and how different our experiences have been.

He had a huge wait for therapy, but after he moved, he was able to access therapy very quickly. He has regular sessions, and he says that they are helping him a great deal. He is also taking an antipsychotic, but it seems to be helping him to relax, and he says he hasn’t seen any of the side effects that can occasionally manifest.

He also said he thought that I hadn’t got the right people helping me, which I completely agree with.

So far, I am STILL waiting for regular therapy. I have had NO HELP managing my symptoms. I had to stop cutting by myself. I still have panic attacks, and the antidepressant I am taking has only helped me feel a little more balanced. I have still felt suicidal on it, and if I forget to take it, I suffer chronic headaches which make my jaw lock.

I have been prescribed an antipsychotic which I am not going to take because I can’t afford to see if I will gain weight on it- I’m a dancer, and my stupid judgemental peers will never hire me if I am the wrong shape. Personally, I enjoy being fit, and I don’t want to be any more lethargic than I already am.
I still have no diagnosis after seeing three psychiatrists and a CPN. I saw a psychologist for four sessions, and I know I need more because that was what helped.

I am slowly coming to the conclusion that the mental health services actually don’t care that I hear voices, that I have a history of suicidal thoughts and attempts, of self harm, of emotional and sexual abuse. I think I am yet another unsolvable problem to them and that I will never get the help or answers I need. You may say that’s paranoia, but I am at heart willing to believe the best of people. So far all I have seen is that the mental health professionals I have seen just don’t have a clue what to do with me, and some of them don’t care.

Despite the mental health assessment going well on the 23rd December, it’s now the 9th Jan and I still don’t have a follow up appointment or a referral to their psychologist, something they both promised me I could have.

Stop bullshitting me, please. If you don’t want to fix me just say so, and I will continue to try and fix myself. So far I’m not doing to well with that- I had another panic attack on the tube yesterday. I see my ex wherever I go in London. I am terrified he will find this blog and I will lose you all.

I suppose my big question is this- what happens next? When do I get help?!

I am beginning to fear that the answer is never.

The good news is that my awesome friend D is going to give me the number of the mental health team who look after him. Maybe then I will get some answers, and they might help me like they have helped D.

I hope.

A blog award!

You meanie, Sista! Ok, well maybe not- but the very lovely Sista Sertraline has given me the Sunshine Blogger Award!

sunshineaward

 

So, without further ado, here you are- the questions you wanted me to answer, plus the eleven things.

FACTS ABOUT ME:

1) I’m a little obsessed with certain things. I have to walk on equal numbers of street grids or it goes through me. I have a morning routine that’s identical to the previous day, usually. I dislike stepping on pavement cracks intensely, and I have to turn off switches that are on with nothing plugged into them. A little OCD perhaps, but that’s the way I roll.

2) I love the dark. I have always loved being in my room in the pitch black to drop off to sleep. Sleeping at my grandmother’s house in the country is utter bliss, because there are no streetlights in the village and it gets amazingly, beautifully dark out there.

3) Autumn and winter are my favourite seasons. I love love the smells and festivals and foods in both, and I love how Autumn dies into Winter so richly.

4) My music tastes are eclectic and surprise a lot of people. As I’m sure you can tell, I’m not a person who likes being shoved into one specific category. 😛

5) I wish I had never lost my virginity to my ex. That’s a huge thing to write, and not in the same vein as the other stuff, but I wish I hadn’t.

6) I love the colours red, black, and silver.

7) I may not talk face-to-face with some of my best friends for months, but we can pick right up where we left off with no problem at all.

8) I once got my hand stuck down a drain trying to rescue a badge I really liked. My primary school teacher never let me forget it, the awesome guy.

9) I HATE fondus at the barre. HATE THEM. Pointless pieces of crap. 😛 (Dancers amongst us will get that, I’m sure! That and bloody ronds de jambes en l’air!)

10) I have blue eyes, and J once said they were beautiful.

11) I hate that feeling when you wake up in the morning and realise that something inside you is missing, and there is a deep dark pit of horror and despair there. That’s depression in a nutshell. It feels like falling.

 

Ok! QUESTIONS.

 

 

What is the first thing you do as soon as you wake up in the morning?  I usually check my phone. I use it to actually wake the hell up, because I am always in danger of falling right back to sleep.

 

What is your greatest fear?  That one day, the voices will win.

 

Do you have a new years resolution for 2014?  Don’t be daft. I hate the things.

 

What is your favorite song at the moment? Tough question! The Chauffeur by Duran Duran or A River Red by Halo in Reverse.

 

What is your favorite childhood memory?  Argh, too many! Although I remember so many awesome times with my sister and cousins, I think I will pick when we were all on an American-Carribbean cruise together.

 

Facebook or Twitter?  Facebook, because Twitter is irritating.

 

What did the last text message you received say?  It was explaining about a difficult day a friend of mine had had.

 

What bugs you the most? Mental health professionals who plainly don’t give a fuck.

 

What do you consider to be the most important appliance in your house?  My phone. I need to ring/skype/text people or distract myself if I’m having an awful day.

 

If you could have one song that would play whenever you entered a room, what would it be? I don’t know! Maybe Emilie Autumn- Shallott. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQCAo5tKFyc

What’s your favorite movie quote?  Star Trek- “Are you from the future? Do they still have sandwiches there?”

 

Hope that was illuminating!

 

x

La jeune fille et la mort?

I’ve just watched La Jeune Homme et la Mort. It’s a ballet that lasts for eighteen minutes. Essentially, the plot goes as follows- A young man is pretty cruelly emotionally abused by his lover, who mocks and taunts him until she drives him to suicide. Death, a woman in a long white gown, comes for him, hooded and masked… and she removes the mask, revealing that she was his lover all along. She forces the dead man to wear her mask and makes him walk into the night, alone, desperately not wanting to.

 

It made me think.

 

Did he ever really have a choice? Was he always going to die?

That mask, placed so damningly over his face, was disturbing. He was dead both inside and out, and didn’t have even a face to show his torture.

 

It occurred to me that this is how I feel at my darkest moments. This exactly, with death’s brutal embrace calling me.

 

I am not going to let her in.

Future?

Hi all…

Basically, I am still struggling with my future. I want to know what I should do. I feel like I am at a crossroads in life.

The problem is as follows. With my head in the state it is in, and the enormous pressure of the dance world, I am seriously worried about having another breakdown. I am finally feeling more stable- my mood score for the past two days has been 66%, which is a read achievement for me. I am frightened the stress of moving away from home again. I am frightened of the huge whirl of the world of dance and the cutthroat world of auditions outside of the environment of the company I was in. I have been told I can go back to them, but I don’t want to cut. I don’t want to be offered the temptation of being alone and unmonitored where the voices will literally scream at me to commit suicide, and they won’t be happy without my pain.

Mum is incredible, and says I can try it out and if it doesn’t work, there is no shame in coming home. She is right, of course, but I am really frightened that I am making a mistake.

What if I don’t have the head for this any more? What if I do have to come home after trying to dance again and I’m a wreck and I have to start all over again? I’ll have wasted time and money and I will have got nowhere…

I love the company. I love dancing. I love my friends down south. I want to see them all again and I want to dance… but I don’t know whether I can do it.

It is tearing me apart.

I have other things that I know I would find completely fun and really rewarding to do. I have plans that I want to fulfill and there are so many things that I have realised I enjoy doing that I could make a career from. So am I making a mistake in going back, or am I really doing the right thing here by going back to try again?

I feel like I should make a decision soon. I feel like it is part of the thing that’s been upsetting me and triggering me over the past few days.

Problem is, I don’t know if I will make the right decision.