Still worrying, still wondering.

I’m going to go to therapy tomorrow and talk to Dr K about the last post I wrote. I still feel like there’s more to talk about with it. I think it’s still bothering me because I feel like the mania is clouding my real feelings. I want to cry but I can’t. I want to get upset and hide in a ball but I can’t, because I get distracted and suddenly I’m laughing for no reason and feeling cheerful, but it isn’t real cheerfulness. It’s some sort of bubbled effervescent fizz, tasty but short-lived, and there’s the speeded-up-ness and the irritation to contend with. I get worried when I’m like this because it’s dangerous. If something catastrophic was to happen I would be energetic and capable enough to do something drastic. I don’t want to not be happy, I just want to not be this frenetically speeded-up.

The thing that’s been bothering me today, apart from my mania and the thing I wrote about last time, is my scars. I know that compared to others, they are not big. I know that the ones on my legs and hips are pretty small compared to some. The problem is, the UK has been experiencing a lot of warm weather recently and I’ve been peeling off my customary, long-sleeved layers. I am seeing more of my scars, and I still can’t like or accept them. I know that J calls them my battle scars, that Dr K says that they’re not big or visible, and that scars are good things in some cultures. I want to believe that they are acceptable and that I am not this shredded mess. The scars on my hips actually disgust me still. I hate them.

J has never criticised my scars. He has never criticised anything about my body. He is always lovely and sweet about me, and he would never make me feel uncomfortable- so why am I making myself feel this way?

I’ll start again on the vitamin E oil again, and I am going to talk to Dr K about these feelings too. My mum might have hit the nail on the head- she said the reason I might feel so bad about my scars is because I have a lot of horrible memories that surface whenever I see them. The ones on my arm remind me of that time I wrote about here: https://battybeth108.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/bad-day/ That day, I wound up in A & E because of my self harm. The ones on my hips remind me of the early days of my depression, of the later days just before I met J, and the later days than that just before I went into hospital. The faint ones left on my calves remind me of being thirteen, fourteen, fifteen and sixteen. I hate the fact that each set of scars throws my mind back in time to when I was at my worst. I hate how they look and what they make me feel.

If anyone has any suggestions about how to help myself come to terms with what I’ve done to my skin, and maybe some help as to trying to reduce the appearance of my scars, it would be welcome. I feel so guilty and upset when I think of them- and then, worse still, I get distracted all over again and when I next think of them, I haven’t dealt with what I’m feeling so I go back into those feelings again.

Apologies if some of this makes no sense, but I’ve taken over an hour to write this because I’m just so distractible and my head is everywhere. This is what I hate about mania- can’t concentrate for five minutes solid.

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These hours are dragging.

So I got a call from my Psychologist, after having a breakdown today in front of my mum. She suggested I ring her, but when I did she was in a meeting. Dr K rang me back, but I was in the car with both my mum and my Gran. Gran doesn’t know much apart from that I am depressed, and she sure as hell doesn’t know about the voices of the dark passenger. So I was limited in what I could convey to Dr K, and I must have sounded cagy and desperate. She somehow thought I wasn’t coming to my appointment tomorrow, but I told her I certainly was coming. She said I should write down everything the voices are saying and bring it tomorrow to our appointment.

I wanted to cry after the short conversation. I felt like it had gone totally wrong. What about the fact that the voices are STILL telling me to go and find the steak knives/bleach/ibuprofen and kill myself? What about that I am self-harming again, that my mum saw all my cuts today, that I still hear the voices telling me to go get the steak knife and do much worse damage?

I’m so fucking tired of it all. I want to sleep and dream, not of some awful man forcing himself on me again, but of nothing. Maybe a couple of mad dreams about talking dogs or flying would be great, but I don’t want any more nightmares where I am pressed against a wall and choking on aftershave, a hard bulge pressing threateningly into my hip? I don’t want this any more!

At least there is tomorrow. Mum is staying with me tonight so that I have someone to wake if the voices get bad again.

I’m so tired, everyone. I’m just so tired.

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.

Relapse

I did it. I relapsed. The new blades are really sharp and so pretty. I feel like a failure again, ashamed and dirty. Maybe this is what I am forever, all I ever am. I’m nicely anaesthetised, though. All emotion is fading, and soon this shame will vanish too.

Maybe there is no end to this, and I will always be a screwed up failure, addicted to the blade and to death. One day I might finally succeed and get there and die and finally alleviate the world of my presence, because I am worthless, just like the dark passenger tells me I am.

What is the point of asking for help when everything just gets worse? What is the point of living when all I do is die every day in my own head and the dark passenger wins?

I’m sorry. All I do is fail everyone. I should just man up, get on with life and stop complaining, or finish the job I tried to start when I ended up in A and E.

The dark passenger, sluggish and sated, yawns and agrees with me. “The quicker the better. Hurry up.”

The voice in my head.

A friend of mine and I were having a discussion about the dark passenger. He said to me he thinks that it is part of my brain warring with another part of my brain- the right side versus the left, perhaps. He thought that most people have these two sides of their brain in order, but my problem comes when the two sides become two people- me, and him. The dark passenger.

I told my friend that I thought he was right about the dark passenger, and that I hadn’t been able to tell the doctors about this- and some of my other problems- because I was waiting for an appointment with a consultant psychologist so I’m currently out of the loop. This, my friends, is what happened after my appointment with the normal psychologist: she knew I needed to go to someone else higher up the ladder. At least my case is being taken seriously.

Another friend of mine told me about the name I’ve given to the suicidal voice in my head. He’d taken the name from a programme called Dexter- have you heard of it? He’s a serial killer who kills serial killers, and when the urge to kill comes over him, he describes it as the dark passenger.

I thought the name worked for me too, because it sums up how disconnected I feel when I want to kill myself. I always feel like I’m in a glass box shouting at myself when I feel suicidal. I’m locked away in my head, the fragile me that wants help and wants out of this hell, and I’m watching my body cut myself, or place a ligature round my neck. I am screaming and pounding the glass, and the dark passenger has control of my body. I’m calm, controlled and alert on the outside, but behind the glass, I’m a screaming wreck. I break the glass, but it takes longer and longer each time.

I know I have always been self destructive and I always want to try and ignore it, but I end up wanting to kill myself anyway- purely because the dark passenger tells me to.

What really sucks is that sometimes, when I’m locked away inside my head, I’m helping the dark passenger because I want to die too. We work in tandem. Like today.

Today is a bad day. I went to town to get some food for the ballet examiner who is examining my mother’s students. People stared at me, judgementally, and men stared at the dress I wore. Hell, I’d go around in baggy clothes all the time if it were cool enough. Damn this heat wave.

I completed my shopping whilst fighting the urge to run, and flinching when people got too close. I hated the feeling of being paranoid, of being stared at, of being a circus freak. I hated feeling like I was going to burst into tears at any minute, and most of all I hated the constant dialogue from the dark passenger.

“Just go and buy a blade. You know where they are. You know how much they are. You know where to cut. DO IT.”

“But I can’t. I’ve promised to give therapy a go before dying. I will let everyone down. I can’t go and get the blade because I’m already terrified to be in town alone-”

I finished off the shopping and stood, in the square, feeling terrified of all the people and terrified of the contents of my own head. I wanted to get out of there- but I wanted a blade…

The war in my brain reached fever pitch, and I snapped. I took what was left of my shattered nerves and went to the first place i knew that might sell my blades.

The blade i wanted wasn’t there, so I bought some random stuff and went to the next place. They had them, but there were too few people there for me to not look like another one of the crowd. I left with the dark passenger’s insults ringing in my ears: ” You’re a fucking coward, all you ever do is talk about the damage you can do to yourself, you are such a fucking liar…”

The third place I went to was the one. There were more people there and I picked up a couple of other things that I’d been meaning to get, so I could say if questioned why I’d been out so long.
I paid, shaking with nerves, ran outside and hid them immediately in my bag. Finally, the dark passenger was content.

“You’ve finally done what you keep saying you’ll do… Don’t screw it up.”

I went back with the contraband burning a hole in my bag.

The dark passenger is quiet now. I have the blades, and ebbing willpower.

The worst part of all this is that I keep thinking that somehow, I’m inventing all this. That this can’t be happening to me. Maybe it’s just a phase.

Then I think to myself that this isn’t something you can fake, this isn’t made up- this has been my life for a long while, and it will only continue. Of course, the dark passenger has to have his say.

“You’re a crazy fucking bitch. Always have been, always will be. And who knows it better than us two? Now, find an opportunity to use those blades you have. I’m here to watch that you get it done.”

I feel like I don’t have a choice any more.

Finally! Good news!

So, I finally got my letter to ring the psychologist for an appointment, and I made one- next Tuesday at 9.30. I am beyond relieved about this, because I know cutting to numb any emotion is so not the answer.

I’m starting to panic about my holidays. I know we’re going to Florida this year, which means bikinis. I know for a fact my scars will be revealed by the some of them, and I feel terrible coz I haven’t told my parents I haven’t quite managed to not cut. I think they think I have ‘cured’ it because my wrists are only scarred. I haven’t cured it. It’s just hiding elsewhere.

How is the rest of the family going to react my scars?

Why I do it.

At some point, I swear I’ll get a move on with finishing off my story… Please feel free to kick me in the backside if you are on the edge of your seat…

I’ve realised whilst looking over this blog that I haven’t really explained quite why I cut. I am a bit of a minority, it seems, with my reason. The majority of people (or so I have read) use self-harm as a punishment or to express internal torment that needs to be made physical, to cope.

I’m not like that, I’m afraid.

At first, as I’ve mentioned, I used to cut to punish myself. I wanted to punish the bad person I was, and I wanted to have some way of reminding myself how much I lacked as a daughter, sister, girlfriend and family member.

When I was banned from cutting by my ex, I didn’t cut- but maybe I was still self-harming. I got addicted to alcohol in my last year of dance school at nineteen, and quit drinking as much when I realised that it was quarter past eleven and I already wanted a drink. I was trying to forget the argument I’d had with my ex before we broke up that time round, and I was blanking it all out with parties and drink. Being sober sucked.

This time round, I’ve been cutting for a very different reason.

I can express my emotions pretty adequately, I’d say- before getting re-depressed, I was a writer, and wrote with only myself as critic for years. I’m pretty harsh with myself too, so I would hope I am a writer of at least a small capability of using language accurately. I can say when I am sad or in pain, or feeling suicidal, and I have lists of images queueing up in my head to express how I feel. I can also deal with my emotions- for the most part, until I start to crash, and my depression returns. Then, I have highs and lows of emotion that are so unbelievably hard to ride out and leave me drained until the next assault.

I’m pretty sure you’d like anaesthetic too, if you were tired of that rollercoaster and needed a break.

Well, that was my reason. It still is. The knife is a strong anaesthetic which has me feeling nothing at all. I am numb. I can’t cry, I can’t be in pain- nor can I feel real happiness, or experience joy properly. I am a creature with half its senses removed, and I have no other way to end the emotions I cannot be bothered to feel any longer.

Anaesthetic is the way forward for me, because I can’t live life at the minute without. Thank gods I finally have a letter from the psychologist- I can ring, make my appointment and then maybe this hell will be killed off without me dying or me cutting myself to ribbons.

Thank you to everyone who has read or commented, or subscribed. You are all very kind.