Facing my battles head on…

Posted: June 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about things I do or feel now that are connected to my past. In particular I’ve been thinking about the way I have always felt as though I’m worthless or that I am always second best to someone else.

Growing up with the past I had wasn’t easy, but it could have been a lot smoother had I been offered the support and guidance that was appropriate at the time. I guess a lot of how I feel about myself now comes from back then, from the way people treated me and the way I always felt that I wasn’t worthy enough to be cared for.

Losing my Dad was one of the very first times where I felt that I didn’t matter, that I wasn’t important enough for people to care or that I wasn’t worthy enough for support through it all. Don’t get me wrong my family tried their best to support me but not one “professional” offered support. I wasn’t allowed to say goodbye to my dad as I was told I was too young, this had a horrible affect on me later in life. No one asked me what I wanted they just made the decision for me. Not being able to say that final goodbye set of emotions in me that I’d never truly felt before. I became angry, depressed and very irritable. My behaviour changed, especially in school but nothing was picked up on. No one questioned why it was different, all they did was give me into trouble and punish me. They didn’t even care enough to let me tell my friends in my own time what had happened, they just went ahead and told my whole class what had happened when I wasn’t there!

I was 8 years old and they made me feel so worthless! They didn’t consider for one moment what they were doing to me and this only got worse as time went on. After I was sexually abused, I received no support what so ever! I did get interviewed from the police a load of times and had contact with them right throughout the case, but after that I had nothing. I saw a social worker once throughout it all and then she disappeared. The school knew all about it but nothing was put in place to support me. My teacher even started bringing things up about it in class. Again I felt worthless, not only had the abuse it’s self made lose my confidence and made me feel so small, they were adding to this too.

Even in secondary school things didn’t change, I always felt like I wasn’t important enough for people to notice there was something wrong. My behaviour got worse throughout my time in secondary school and still nothing was picked up on. I was seeing six different teachers a day, at least and not a single one of them questioned anything I was doing. In my third year when things came out about how I was feeling and why I was feeling this way, it still took quite a while to get support put in place. I had one person in the whole school that was trying to support me, and I really wouldn’t have survived without her, but it scares me to think that every single teacher in that school knew what I was doing to myself and what I was going through but none of them tried to help. I did eventually end up with a few people in the school I could speak to but this took some time and only happened because I had went to them for help.

When my “professional” support started it didn’t change they way I felt about myself. I was referred to someone, who then left about 2 months after and I was passed to someone else who I had to start over with again. I was then discharged only 2 months after trying to commit suicide. Only to be readmitted less than a year later. Again I felt worthless! I felt like no one wanted to help me. I felt that no one wanted cared enough about me to support me through everything and allow me to be a great person in life.

I tried to end my life, school thought it was appropriate to refer me to the children’s reporter which could have resulted in me be removed from my home, school and away from everything that was normal to me. They didn’t care enough to consider what effect that would have had on me. They told me that if they hadn’t done that then they would have had to think about throwing me out of school. A very considerate thing to do to someone who had just tried to commit suicide. Thankfully it was only recommended that I had social work contact and I was never removed from anything, although they did consider it at one point.

Even as I got slightly older and I was about to leave school, this feelings were still with me. I was 17 years old. My life was a mess, but all “professionals” involved in my life were about to leave me all at the same time. I was left with one who saw me about 3 weeks after I officially left school and then closed my case. I was alone. I felt worthless. I felt small. And most of all I felt that there was no one that cared about me.

I have always felt that I’m not special enough. That there’s always been someone else that’s more important than me! I’ve always felt that no one cares about me. Even to this day I still feel like this. I feel as though I’m always second best to someone else. I feel that people don’t care enough about me to help me achieve my dreams and goals. I know that there are some people there who do care enough but when it feels like the majority of people don’t then it’s hard to focus on those who do.

Some people still don’t care enough to allow me to move on and use all my negative experiences to help others. My whole life I’ve battled feeling this way and when I recovered from my darkest patch of my life I thought people would finally believe in me, but not everyone does. I almost feel invisible sometimes and it’s the worst feeling ever.

I’m trying my very best to get away from this feelings but it’s very difficult when people continue to make you feel this way. It’s a daily struggle of mine but I wanted to share it in the hope that I can encourage others to go out and achieve everything that they want to.

I may feel this way a lot of the time but it’s not going to stop me going out there and trying my hardest to make a difference. Everyone deserves the chance to be successful and I want others to realise this! I shall achieve everything that I’ve said I want to and when I do I shall make sure those who doubted me know all about it!

I want everyone in my life to know I care about them. Even those that I may never have met. Each and everyone of you deserve to be happy, you deserve to know you are loved. You are cared for and I believe in you all. You can all reach those goals and dreams that you have set. I will be here all the way cheering you on!

H 🙂

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Is this my punishment?…

Posted: May 11, 2014 in tough times

I’m going to approach this blog a little differently to what I would normally. I’ve spoken about a few things that have happened to me and how I share them in the hope I can help others. Well this one is sort of different, I guess the main reason for this one is to maybe get an answer to my questions. Also it might be a little more personal than usual.

I often think about things from the past. The good and the bad. I spend hours every day just thinking. Sometimes those thoughts become so stuck in my head that I can’t shift them until I do something about them, sometimes the solution is easy but there are a few where I’ve found it a little more difficult. This time it’s been really difficult, I can’t find the solution and it’s really getting at me. So I thought I’d have another attempt at trying to deal with it.

I’ve talked briefly about my sexual abuse before, but this time I want to talk about how it’s affecting me now. I’m at an age of where I feel like I should be settling down, I’ve got the career part of it pretty sorted but I lack the relationship part of it. I’m not saying I want a perfect relationship that’s going to be my forever (even though I wouldn’t turn that down), but I would like to have a relationship. One that means something, one where I can be me and not have to worry. I don’t think there’s an age where your meant to be doing that but I feel like I’m ready for it now. But there’s something stopping that from happening.

Every time I get close to a guy I feel like they just run away. Maybe I’m just looking in all the wrong places but it’d be nice for just someone to understand me and still like me regardless of what happened in my past. I’ve been debating with myself whether or not it’s wise to write this and even now whilst writing this I’m still doubting whether it’s the right thing or not.

One thing I want in a relationship is honesty and me being honest is telling people about the bits of my past that still affect my present. The major thing being the sexual abuse I suffered. I want the guy I’m with to know that I may struggle with the intimacy part for a while. I don’t want to put my self in situations that I don’t feel comfortable with as this could have a horrible effect on me. I can’t just do all the things that others can do straight away, it’s going to take time for me to build trust and make sure I’m doing the right thing. I can’t change my past, it’s part of me but sometimes when I’m in the situation where I tell I guy then they just run away, I really wish I could change the past. The one little part anyway.

I’m not sure if it’s the normal way to feel after it happens but it’s how I feel and anyone I’m with needs to understand and accept that. I’m not saying it’s all guys but the ones I’ve built the courage to tell haven’t taken it well. People say all the time in life that you find the right person at some point and it’s worth waiting for, but I’m starting to doubt that will ever happen. I don’t want to hide my past as it’s important in those kind of situations but is it going to be the only way I can find someone?

Should I feel like damaged good? Like I’m not good enough? Cause that’s how I’m feeling right about now. I feel worthless. I can’t even write this without the tears streaming down my face as I imagine what those guys that I’ve told think about me. Do they think I must have deserved it? That I’m not worth the time and effort? Do they take a second just to think about how i feel when I’m telling them? Or how much strength and courage it took to tell them? Do they think about how they make me feel when they just ignore me after I tell them?

Well it doesn’t seem to me like they care one little bit. I think being made to feel all these things can only happen so many times before a girl just gives up all hope. Right now I feel like all those things, I feel like this is my punishment for my past. It’s not healthy to feel this way but it really can’t be helped.

I really do hope that this isn’t how all suffers feel. And if you too feel this way then I want you to know that your worth so much more. I maybe can’t make myself feel much better right now but I hope I can make you feel a little better.

I’ve been trying to find things to help and although it’s not really been successful I did come across on article that sums up how I’ve been feeling pretty well. It talks about all the things people don’t tell you when you’ve been sexually abused or (raped) as so many people call it.

This is what it says.
1. Nobody tells you that you’ll feel guilty the first time you have a crush on a guy after your rape. Aren’t you supposed to hate men now? I mean, ugh, penises are evil and one ruined your life. You shouldn’t even be thinking about boys. That’s what got you in trouble in the first place. (Oh, hey rape culture, how’d you get here?)

2. Nobody tells you that you’ll be called a tease when you draw the line at making out. Even though you’re pretty proud of yourself for this minor victory on your path to regaining any confidence in expressing your sexuality, some people will think you’re a prude because you won’t take off your pants.

3. Nobody tells you that the first time you do take off your pants in front of a potential partner you’ll cry almost immediately and put them back on, leaving without an explanation. You’ll feel embarrassed and stupid and you’ll wonder if you’re ever going to be capable of intimacy ever again.

4. Nobody tells you that masturbation is a healing practice (OK, maybe your therapist suggested it once or twice) and that realizing you’re capable of sexual satisfaction after rape is an incredible, powerful feeling. Sometimes it takes a while to feel wholly reunited with your body in this way, and you’re allowed to take all the time you need. Sexual exploration is a journey, not a destination.

5. Nobody tells you that your PTSD symptoms will be scoffed at. Your boundaries will be called “arbitrary” and you will be accused of “wielding sex as a weapon” and “putting yourself on a pedestal.” Someone should tell you that people who say these things are the worst type of people to be around. They have no right to make you feel ashamed, but they will. If they have the potential to get angry about the choices you make about what you do with your body, they are not worth your time or energy or thought or love. But nobody tells you that.

6. Nobody tells you that the ‘rape talk’ will be a thing that has to happen before any romantic relationship gets too serious. Nobody lets you know that immature men will freak out and refer to your rape as “baggage” when they cut things off. And unfortunately, nobody mentions that some men will hold your hand and weep with you when you tell them, because they can’t believe anyone would be capable of hurting you.

7. Nobody tells you that there are men who are patient and kind. Some men will listen and support you and they will read and research and seek to understand. They will ask you what you like and what you don’t like, they will be explicit about their concerns, and they will treat you with respect and dignity.

8. Nobody tells you that the first few times you try sex again it might not go well. You might have a panic attack or a flashback, and you might scream or shake or cry or throw up or all of the above. What they should tell you is that the right partner will stroke your back or make you tea or hold your hair back for you. He’ll leave if he’s asked and he’ll keep his phone on him so you can talk if you need to.

9. Nobody tells you that the first time you successfully, enjoyably have sex again is empowering, and freeing, and overwhelming. Even if it only lasts two minutes, it will feel like an enormous victory. You will be happy in a way you weren’t sure you would be happy again.

10. Nobody tells you that it doesn’t work that way every time. PTSD isn’t cured by one blissful experience, and anxiety is a bitch. Sometimes you will burrow down deep in your comforter and wish you could just be NORMAL and have NORMAL sex like a NORMAL person. And it is frustrating. But you will remember that one bad experience does not negate your ability to have future good experiences. And you will drink your tea and feel better.

11. Nobody tells you that people are capable of loving you after you’ve been raped, and that you are capable of loving back. You are allowed to give yourself to someone completely. Likewise, you are allowed to hold back. You are allowed to be fearful but you are also allowed to trust again. Your healing process is your own and regardless of how you get there, know that as long as you are taking care of yourself, nobody has any right to tell you differently.

12. Nobody tells you that just because he’s the first boy you slept with since your rape doesn’t mean you have to fall in love with him. You don’t “owe” anyone else your love or happiness or body. You can be thankful and appreciative and comfortable, but if he’s not “the one,” don’t settle just because he treated you better than your rapist.

These are all things everyone should know, not just the victims. It doesn’t just affect the on person it happens to but everyone who is in their life and especially partners. It’s a subject no one likes to talk about but I needed to do this. I needed to open up about it. I need to try get the answers to my questions. If your reading this and think you can help me with the answers please try because right now I could be done with some sort of explanation for how I’m feeling.

It’s been a while since my last blog and I guess that the main reason for that is the way I’ve been feeling.

I recently spoke out in the local paper about my mental health and the fact that I’m turning all my bad experience into good my running never never and getting the message out there but even whilst doing this I still have times where I’m struggling and I pretend like all is well. My bipolar disorder means that I have periods where I suffer from depression and also periods of mania. I’m aware of these periods usually but there are times where it’s almost like I’m in denial and it’s almost like I’m watching someone else go through those periods of time. I guess when they hit hard it’s tough for me to accept what is reality.

I’m just coming out of a depressive phase at the moment. Normally I can cope pretty well with them and it doesn’t really affect my day to day life but this time I’ve realised that it has had an effect. My birthday was a few weeks ago and as it was my 21st I celebrated in style over the weekend them I guess things went downhill. I didn’t see it coming, I guess all the excitement had blurred the fact it was happening.

I want to share how I’ve been feeling. They way it makes me feel and the things I think are happening cause me to spiral downwards as I believe it all. This is the first time I have openly spoken about my illness and I hope that it can help me understand it a bit more by getting it out and also help others realise that they are not alone.

This phase that I’m just coming out of has been one of the worst I’ve had for a while. I’ve felt alone for most of it. I have been feeling so alone. I got it into my head that I’ve done something wrong and that my friends are backing away. I lost motivation in a lot of things and have been lacking energy. I’ve been sleeping a lot! My appetite has been very low and I’ve pretty much been living in an alternative world where I guess I think everything is bad when it’s really not that bad. I’m scared to ask people if what’s in my head is really true. Maybe i should just ask, but I find it hard to do so as I’m scared that it is reality and I don’t want to have to continue to feel that way. But then because I don’t ask the thoughts just get worse. It’s a bit of a vicious circle. Even now when I’m coming out of it and starting to feel like myself again, it’s still something I find hard to do. I just suppress the feelings as much as possible and try and get back to normal as quickly as I can.

I’m struggling to find the words to write all I want today but as I fight them to get them out I hope that it does sort of make sense. I guess the point in this point is blog is to let people see a little bit about what it’s like to live with bipolar. I’ve only covered a small part of it and only touched upon the depression side but I will try and write about my mania at another time as I think I need to be fully well to do that.

If your reading this and feel you want to ask me something, please feel free to do so. I’m more than happy to try and answer them.

If you are going through similar things and face phases like this all the time, I want you know that eventually you find a way to cope that little bit easier but sometimes you’ve just got to get through it and cope as best you can. 🙂

Do the changes really matter?…

Posted: January 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

So this is my first blog of the year and normally it would be something cheery or supportive but this one is going to be a little different. I still hope that it can help people understand more about the subject of self harm and also hopefully help others that are on the journey.

For a while now I’ve been thinking a lot about what other people think of me. I’ve been told more over this past year that people are proud of me than I have ever before but somehow I find it hard to keep the positivity from this. I know that most people who know me and my story will see every change I’ve made in my life, even the small ones, but do they fear that I may slip back? I constantly think that people think this and it drives me insane sometimes.

One of the biggest things connected to this is the fear if I have even one small scrape or cut in a visible place that people will think I’m back to self harming. It may sound a little daft but I live in fear of this everyday. I know that I will never go back down that road, it’s not a place I ever want to have to revisit, other than to take the good out of it. My future is looking pretty bright, so why do I let these thoughts make me worry so much?

I’m working on an answer to that, but I’m yet to find the right one. Sometimes I find my self covering up small scratches or anything of the sort just so people don’t think these things about me. I thought that when I was in recovery I wouldn’t have to hide things again, but yet this is what I find myself doing. I’ve been fighting myself about this for a while. I shouldn’t have to hide them as I know that they haven’t come from self harm, but the fear of not knowing what others will think makes me do it?

I guess I’ve managed to cope with this feelings quite well up until now and it’s only recently that it’s gotten past the point of me being able to deal with it. I recently started a new part time job and it’s pretty physical and I do get a lot of little cuts, scrapes and bruises. I guess the thoughts of what people might think have gotten stronger since starting this job as I can end up with quite a number of little cuts in just one nights work.

I would like to know what others would think. Would they be brave enough to confront me, or would they just go away thinking their own thing. If your reading this and you know me, what would you do? Would you be scared that I’d slipped back to where I was? Would you ask me about them? Or would you just pretend like you never saw a thing? If you fancy helping me out on this point I’d gratefully appreciate it.

One other thing I think about a lot is the fact that people who know about my past may actually check to see if they see anything now and again. I guess this is something I’ve feared my whole way through my recovery. This stems from people checking for signs when it all came out back in school. It’s pretty crazy to think that I still fear this even though I know they won’t find anything, but it’s a massive fear. I hate the thought of people still thinking that this could be a possibility for me to do. I ask my self almost daily if this is something I will ever get to leave behind or will I always be in fear of what others think of me? Hopefully one day this will change but for now I’ve just got to find a way to deal with it.

I’ve got one question that comes with all this, do the changes really matter? Or will my past haunt me for the rest of my days?

If you are going through similar things then I hope this helps a little by knowing that it’s not just you that feels this way. I think it’s part of recovery and a piece of the puzzle we have to suss out. In time I hope we all get there.

If your reading this and you know me, if you could help me out by letting me know your thoughts I would be ever so grateful! It may help me find the answers to all my questions.

I’m not going to let this hold me back and now that it’s out in the open if might make things easier. Let’s make the most of 2014. It’s looking to be a great year already.

Bye for now. 🙂

So today has been one of my wobbly days. I don’t have the greatest self esteem sometimes (this is something I have to continually work at) and today for some reason this has been at an all time low.

It’s like this one little part of me that I can’t change or that’s how it feels when I’m having a bit of a wobble. I hate the fact I have days where I feel like nothing is right and that all of what I thought was going well was in my head. I know these days will make me stronger but they really aren’t easy to get through when they come around. (thankfully they don’t happen as often as they used to!)

They say that self harm is closely linked to low self esteem and depression, and although I have tackled the depression and no longer suffer from that I do still have the ongoing battle with my self esteem. Most people probably don’t have a clue as I come across as someone who is quite confident and I hold up well in nerve-racking situations, but on the inside I can be falling apart. It’s like a little voice niggling at me telling me I’m no good and that I’m a fool for thinking otherwise. I’ve been trying for years to make this better but it’s something that’s going to take time, it’s one piece of my past that’s going stay with me for a little longer.

For this to get better I need to change more physical things in my life. If I don’t like they way things are then only I have the power to change them. I know I have the strength in me to do so, but finding the motivation is sometimes the hardest thing. That voice takes control and I have no idea how to stop it.

I want this blog to be the start of my changes, this is the first time I have openly told anyone about this problem. This is my first change, it’s not a secret anymore!

The changes need to continue to happen and I will blog about it as they happen. It will take time but this is something I need to do and I need to start it now! Like everything else I have overcome, I will do this too! I know it’s going to be difficult but I will find all the willpower I need and I will complete this.

Today is day 1 of a new battle and I’m going forth with a positive attitude. I’ve taken the first step and I’m ready for the next. It’s time to step up the game and complete my transformation into the person I want to be. My past is not going to hold onto me forever, I am going to overcome this!

So today was a big day and is another piece added to the puzzle of my life. Today I graduated with my HNC in social care. It’s one more step closer to me reaching my ultimate dream.

Its funny how things work out some times. Who would of thought that I would be on the right path knowing exactly what I want in life. I spent so long feeling like I had no future and now I have everything to look forward to. I know which direction I want to go in and I am moving along the path quicker than I ever thought I would.

This qualification is the first official thing to say that I’m good at what I’m doing. My charity is my main focus just now and my qualification is one step forward for this as who knows what the future might hold, one day I might have enough funding and work with the charity that this is what I do full time, well this is the dream anyway.

Well thats all I wanted to share today. This small thing means so much to me and I wanted to share a bit of my happiness with you. Take hold of the small things and embrace each and everyone of them. Life is full of enjoyment and sometimes its not easy to see but its important that you take hold of them and use them to your advantage! 🙂Image

So it’s been a little while since the last time I wrote something, not much new has been happening except for me just working hard and getting Never Never out there a bit more. 🙂

Today is the start of a new year for us at girls brigade and this means that I will returning to my old school once more. Every time I step through the door it feels strange and my head fills with memories, some good and some bad. School played a massive part in my past not only because I went there 5 days a week for so many years but because that’s where I was at some of the hardest points in my life. School was one of my safety nets. I wouldn’t say I loved school but It was something that kept me going and the routine I had during the week helped me get through many stages of my life.

When I was in school I knew that I had people around that I could run to when I needed help, well in the latter years anyway. I knew that no matter what someone would be there to help me through. Whether it be a teacher, the nurse or even the librarian, one of them would be there. I didn’t necessarily tell them how I was feeling or why I was there but just spending time with them and talking about anything, even the weather, helped me feel safe and often stopped me from feeling as bad as I did. I guess in a way they were one of my distraction techniques.

There are also certain parts of the school that hold stronger memories than others. One place in particular was the bathroom up stairs in one part of the school. I used to spend so much of my time up there. It was where I went when I was having a bad day, I knew that it was hardly ever used and that I could just sit there. It was also close to the guidance department which meant that if I needed them I was close, especially when it was my first guidance teacher and things had only just came to light for them.

I spent hours in that bathroom (picture below) and it has so many memories, not many good ones. It was my place where I would harm myself. The lack of people going about made it easy. It was the bathroom I used when I would make myself sick time after time. It was the place where I felt safe. Where I could be ME. I didn’t have to pretend in that room. I now go back there having come through the other side and I see the old me sitting in the corner doing the things I did, but it makes stronger knowing that I no longer need to that. I’m happy! That’s something I never thought I would feel when I was in that room.

It’s scary to think just how much I’ve changed in the last 3 years after leaving school. I wouldn’t go back there but it definitely was a good place for me to be when I was at my worst stage. What would’ve I done if I didn’t school? To be honest I don’t think I could’ve coped. So many people say that school days are the best days of your life but for me the were the hardest days, but school in itself helped me become the person I am today. I am grateful for my time at school and the chance I got to grow.

So the whole point of this blog is that if you have somewhere that makes you feel safe then use that place to help you to recovery. I have other places I would now class as my safe places and I love to spend time there when I’m having a bit of a down day. Use your safe place on your journey and hopefully it will you as much as mine did for me.

Keep strong 🙂

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