Tag: psychotic symptoms

They’ve found her

My mother has been found. My abuser has been found.

It has been a little over a year since I first reported to the police the abuse done to me by my mother in my childhood and early adulthood.

Since I made my statement, the police had been searching for my mother to question her. It had come to the point that with her not being found for so long, part of me felt perhaps she never would be. Had she chosen to disappear? She had gone from her last known address, disappeared and ceased contact with the hospital that was treating her, no information about her whereabouts was known by the very few former friends and similar, and none of the few leads I could think of helped (a relative she might have had contact with, a place she worked a very long time ago and so on). Even the police’s searches of records held by places like the DWP or tax office yielded nothing (very strange since she must surely be claiming a Benefit, or a pension, or working). The police had even searched the death and marriages registers and were talking about the possibility she may have passed away. It was in my mind whether the time would come that I might have to accept that, though bizarrely without ever really knowing what happened to her.

Then at the weekend I got the news that the police have found her.

Shock. I was stunned.

So, now I am to meet with the DC who is working on my case, the same person who took my statement. He has spoken to my mother. I don’t know if he has interviewed her. I expect he must have. He has things he needs to tell me but felt we need to meet face to face to talk about it.

I’m in a sort of suspense til our conversation. There are so many questions and uncertainties and fears. Where was she? Probably the DC won’t be allowed to tell me. How did they find her? Perhaps he will be able to tell me how. What state is her health in? She was not in good physical health when I last saw her and her mental health conditions are severe; she never believed she was ill though. Has that changed? I doubt it – but perhaps that’s too much of an assumption. No, actually, it isn’t; given the years and years history anything else would be astonishing. What has happened to her since our contact ceased? She disappeared from contact with the hospital team – not surprising, sadly – so has she had no treatment since? What’s she doing? What danger is she in? And what danger is she to others, that’s in my mind too, because of what she did to me, and because of her violence when she is ill.

For me, what now? If she’s been questionned, what happened? What did she say? What do we do now? I can imagine what she will have said to the police about me. I’m trying not to imagine too much in general about this, as it can lead to no good. There is no point in imagining scenarios until I meet the DC. A big issue will be her mental state now, I think, and whether she has capacity to understand proceedings. I think another big issue will be how will there be any evidence of what I went through? So much happened when I was alone and isolated with her. The lack of evidence gives the voices in my head power and I’m stifled and paralysed quickly with the flashbacks on the one hand, the voices telling me liar, disgusting, your fault, you wanted it….

The last 2 days dissociative episodes have taken hold scarily often. I’m fighting them, sometimes. But often that makes me break too much or I’m too far in.

If I have to make some decisions over what happens next, how can I choose for good?

Ginny xxx

The wrong voices calling

The voices are very bad at the moment. My emotions are soaring and plummeting at the moment since my last group therapy and discharge on Friday. So it is not surprising the voices are worse. They often are when I’m emotional and stressed.

It’s as if now this stage of therapy is completed and I’m trying to hang on to the good and the real, the voices are getting louder (stronger?) trying to pull me back to the blackest darkness and terror where “reality” was my abuser’s words and threats. All morning I’ve heard her calling out to me. Sometimes just my name. Sometimes the things she’d say – mocking, detesting, making me an animal, less than human, threatening, confirming my evil and the terrible things that would happen (unless I gave in and gave her total control). I hear her. And it is terrifyingly real. It is totally outside, not an echo in my head. I turn towards the voice and dread grips me. It stays totally real to me even as I try to repeat my safety statement.

I am Ginny. I am 32 years old. Today is January 30th 2017. She is far away. I am safe now. I trust in God. …He created me for good not evil.

These aren’t the only voices I have but they are some of the most frightening and separate me most from reality. I don’t know how or if there is any way to stop or change the voices. If there is I haven’t found it in the therapy I’ve had so far. If I can’t change them can I lessen their power?

I try to remember,although the world created by my abuser was my reality – the only reality for 11 years and the most of it for another 14 or so – it is not the truth. The voice is not trying to do anything, or pulling me anywhere. It is a hallucination. It is a memory. It is not a person (now). A hallucination does not have a will or an aim. A hallucination is not physical so cannot pull or drag me. So why does it have power to cause me terror, to return me into the frightened child, to make it impossible to believe in my freedom or any goodness in me?

Several other people I’ve met who have personality disorders have shared having experiences of voices. In my 18 month MBT therapy, we talked about hearing voices in the group sessions. Sometimes for example, I’d share that I was struggling to stay present in the room because the voices were loud and scary and I was constantly being pulled away from reality. But in therapy we didn’t get to explore the experience of voices or how to cope with them, how they may interact with what you’re feeling and what is happening in reality, how they affect interactions… in therapy the focus was on using grounding techniques to move away from them and be present in the group and able to focus on others. Sometimes we talked a little about how the voices may affect our thoughts about ourselves and about others, for instance when we’re interacting with someone, leading to assumptions (they think I’m evil, the know I’m bad, that’s what the voices are saying) rather than curiosity about the other person’s thoughts.

However we didn’t talk about how to cope with them. We didn’t talk about their emotional effect on us, the way they pull us with them, the control they have even though it makes no sense, how they bring traumas right back, how what they tell us and make us feel is more gripping than our current experiences, if there is any way we can respond to lessen their power…

There is a place for using grounding techniques to cope and this is valuable. There is great worth in learning to be able to stay present for others here and now. Probably a value to staying present in the moment for ourselves. Yet I wish there were more than grounding techniques because there’s always next time the voices come. Their apparent power stays the same.

Perhaps I’ll look to see if there are any books that explore voices and how to cope. I’ve pretty much been told that the voices won’t go away but if I keep taking my medication, I won’t lose my grip on understanding they aren’t real. I feel I need to find more than that.

I would be very interested to hear about experiences of voices that anyone would like to share.

Ginny xxx

Fear, tears, pain, joy, guilt, thankful, anger, strength, shaken…

The emotions are crashing over me now. They stayed temporarily a little distant in the activity of yesterday afternoon and today. Now the activity has stopped. The rush of mixed experiences of the past week is temporarily still. I am physically utterly exhausted, shaky and hurting and it’s all I can do to get across the room. Sitting I feel like I’m being crushed. I’m cold and my chest aches deeply. I’m curled up in my dressing gown and blanket, needing all the comfort and grounding I can get. I feel childish and guilty for saying that, because I have no right to – what have I been through that’s so bad? – but it is true.

There’s so much to take in right now.

Intense waves of scary emotions jolted me through the week, especially fear and anxiety I cannot attribute to a logical cause that was there at the time. On reflection perhaps it was an emotional flashback to earlier times and threats, both distant (childhood) and more recent.

The hallucinations strengthened – auditory, visual, sensory – and scared me more.

My escape imaginary world was closer than ever and its pull stronger than ever.

Anger is raging and rising uncontrollably in me against my stepmother. All at once I feel huge guilt, fear, hurt, rage, the need to express what I feel and the impossibility and danger of ever actually doing so.

It’s feeding anger against my dad again; then against both of them together.

More memories of specific painful derogatory, demeaning, restricting, humiliating things my abuser did have been coming to the fore, along with memories of how her abusive power was perpetuated, and then in turn, more thoughts of how it feels – and this is so scary to write – similar patterns still repeat in my family. I need to get away from that.

It was goodbye to a friend in my therapy group for whom I care very very much. I’m still crying for her.

Another member of my therapy group to whom I also feel a particular connection, has suffered an unimaginable avalanche of hurts, struggles and illnesses. Now, he has been diagnosed with cancer which is likely to be late stage. The end of his life could be close. I’m crying for him.

Today was a special day. I had a little coffee morning to fundraise for Macmillan Cancer Support (part of the “World’s Biggest Coffee Morning” Macmillan run nationally). It is the first time I have ever done an event like this at home (following on from the courage I gained from having had some close friends over for my birthday earlier in the year). My anxiety was huge. I put as much as I could into the preparations. Good things happened today. My guests’ care and kindness was wonderful. This fills me up with gratitude.

So here I am now, afterwards, with this whole mix of soaring emotions. All of them I need to face and there is a lot of work for me to do. My individual therapy is tomorrow and I’m so glad. When the emotions are too much, every so often, I’m going to try to return to the thankfulness for today and remember everyone’s enjoyment and generosity. Somehow, this just a little restorative.

Ginny xxx

Trying to climb back up out of this ice

It has been a really full month. I feel disoriented realising it’s September already and so much of the year has slipped past. I so much want to write today but I’m feeling shattered and something else weird and disturbing. Just low and empty and I can’t find my thoughts or find the way out of it. I guess it’s just emotionally cut off. I was really upset, really anxious, then happy and something almost felt like it woke up part of my mind that is not usually there as I felt hopeful about something…..but then hallucinations and then with no warning, this. Never felt quite like this before and nothing that’s happened today explains it or touches why I’m feeling this way. I used to self-harm in this kind of state. Now I can’t even do that. It feels like I should sleep but sleep is far away. There isn’t even anything harmful in this state itself. It’s only inside me. So why is it so unbearable…. I don’t know how to wake up out of it. I’m trying to fight through by writing, trying to do any little creative thing, draw something, keep on grasping to try to find the so so many things I should be knowing I’m thankful for right now no matter how I feel, and even was feeling thankful for, really was, until a couple of hours ago.

I haven’t blogged for ages because so much has been going on this month and taken all my energy. I’m sorry. I know I owe replies… I haven’t been here and haven’t kept up reading or keeping in touch with everyone…through everything you’ve been going through. I’m sorry.

I’m trying to find the way back up. There are several topics I do want to write on when I can manage to process the words and get them down, and so many posts I want to get caught up reading and comments I know I owe replies to!

Ginny xxx

Not my GP

I’m very fortunate to have been able to consistently see the same GP most of the time over the past two years and to have a mostly good rapport with him. I know this is a help that lots of people don’t have. My Surgery recognises the importance of seeing the same person if you have to attend regularly and have ongoing health problems. I find it helps so much practically, in not having to constantly go over your history every time and the cost on time and your emotions that this incurs, as well as gaining confidence in someone. I don’t find it easy to trust new people and the effect of the voices and hallucinations can be worse when I’m meeting with someone new and afterwards.

Tomorrow I have to see a different GP. The Surgery called me this morning and explained that very sadly, my usual GP has suffered a family bereavement and will be off for many weeks at least. I am sorry and sad for him, all the more as I think he is a really good person, so I feel all the more empathy with him in this loss. It’s very sad.

Tomorrow I am seeing a GP who I have not seen face to face before but I have spoken with on the phone. The conversation and trying to get help has almost never gone well. She has been what felt very dismissive to me. I don’t think she believes me. She has told me that I’m making nasty threats when I’ve been feeling suicidal and self-harming and trying to get help, absolutely at the most desperate I’ve been. She’s hung up on me. I’ve ended up getting very angry and distressed in response. It was after speaking with this GP that I completely lost it at the Surgery a few months ago. They called the police and I know that I scared people by being so angry and losing control and that they were worried about me. When the police came I was sure they needed to arrest me and begged them to take me away because I was so afraid I was going to hurt someone and was terrified of my loss of control.

I’m scared of losing it again and also scared of not being believed. Things haven’t been good this past week but I’m scared of talking about anything in case she interprets it as me making threats or thinks I’m lying. I’m sure already she’ll think I’m lying and that she hates me. I was sure of that as soon as I spoke to her last time and I’m even more sure now after how badly I behaved when I lost control. I need to get my medical certificate renewed but I don’t know what she’ll do – she has not seen me before and doesn’t know me – and I’m scared she won’t agree to do it. For some reason I’ve already convinced myself she’ll think I’m lying and she’ll say nothing’s wrong with me. She’ll think I’m a fraud and don’t deserve any help.

The voices are screaming at me in my head about what she thinks of me and all the evil, fraud, liar kind of accusations, telling me what to do to hurt myself, telling me all the terrible things I’ll do if I don’t, horrible images behind my eyes that disgust me.

There was no other GP I could see tomorrow. I didn’t feel I could say I didn’t want to see this GP or explain why because it would be rude and I feel so guilty for how I lost it before and how I upset people. I’ve booked in next week with another GP I know and trust and I know that will help and that it will mean however tomorrow goes, I still have this appointment next week with someone I am comfortable with. So that’s a help.

I’m already so anxious thinking about it and having panic attacks. I am so tempted to just cancel the appointment tomorrow. But I know I need to talk to someone and I do need to try to get the certificate renewed. I’m getting triggered so quickly by feeling I am not believed, which is ironic because I struggle to believe myself as the voices rarely give me rest from their suggestions (sometimes slowly increasing doubts, sometimes overwhelming screams) about how I’ve deceived people or how the evil inside me will be exposed. The emotions associated with the past abuse are so uncontrollable and coming back to me separate from the memory of specific instances of abuse and it’s really hard to understand what’s happening.

At least after the GP appointment I see my support worker, who is someone I trust, so that will help me to stay a bit safer.

Ginny xxx

I’m scared

I’m scared. I’m scared of the memories and scared of the hallucinations. I’m scared of what SHE did to me and the thought she got pleasure in it and what she accused my father of…

I’m scared of what I hear and see and remember and I don’t want it and I’m trying to block it out with the TV always on. I only know after that it’s not real and after I’ve been so scared.

Am I going to stop knowing they aren’t real?  

The 1000th last straw

[TRIGGER warning for mention of self harm, overdose and suicidal thoughts, and childhood sexual abuse;  and for anger, i am really angry and hurt writing this.  I am not meaning people to worry about me. When i say I’ve given up i mean on therapy and the doctors and everyone i trusted, not that I’m immediately suicidal.]

I am so far beyond angry. Hurting. They can decide I don’t get help. But it does come to a point I can’t just keep going one day more and being told the bad things are temporary.

In group and after I desperately needed to talk about the abuse and trauma and the decision I’ve now got to make whether to make a full statement to the police. I needed help when I told them I was really high, right on the edge, really unstable, not safe. Nobody heard.

I’d dared to ask a friend for help and to help me talk through some of what I have to decide about the police. She’s cancelled and changed arrangements so many times we’ve had to meet. I doubt she really wants to anymore. She keeps meetings to the most difficult and shortest times. She knows I’m ill, she knows I’m desperate, she surely knows how difficult it is to talk about abuse! She agreed to meet in the middle of the day at her work. Obviously I needed to talk in private but if that was all the time she had then I was thankful for it. I was at my wits end today after group. She changed the time and place back and forth through the morning today. She knows this puts me right on edge if I have no idea what’s happening. She told me she only had 30 minutes, then that she had work to do and hadn’t finished, then couldn’t I wait an hour and a half later, then asking where I was, 2 hours earlier,  when she knew I was still at my hospital appointment. When I finally pinned her down to a time she still came 20 minutes late without even letting me know and we had to meet in a crowded cafe where I obviously couldn’t talk about a thing – what did she expect me to do?! “How’s your cappuccino? Oh yes and by the way, I’m not quite sure how I’m going to cope when I tell the police about my mother sticking things up me when I was 7, any thoughts?” I don’t think so!

Then she told me I ask too much, it would be impossible to do what I ask (really? Is it so very hard to agree to meet a friend, stick to the arrangement and turn up?) And she doesn’t believe i wanted to meet in private because I thanked her for agreeing to meet in the middle of the day (well just because I thanked her and was grateful doesn’t mean I was happy or it was what I needed, I was just grateful for any help – or what I thought was help). She said she didn’t know we needed to meet in private (really? Is she that stupid she doesn’t know if you have to talk about abuse you won’t do it in the middle of a cafe? I don’t think so).

I was in bits and in so much pain as well  – and yet again the last hope of getting help or to talk to anyone was snatched away. It’s not just today. It’s every single time. I’ve had it now after this is just repeated – every one i should be able to trust,  every place i should get help. They don’t hear. They don’t believe me. They don’t help. It’s some sick joke or someone’s plan to find out when I break, to laugh at me, to test if I want help enough. Well I’m screaming and nobody can hear. I can’t scream louder. They can choose to keep up this game. Well I guess they’ve won. I can’t shout louder. I can’t make them believe. I can’t make it so that I deserve or am allowed help. I can stop trying anymore because it does just hurt too much. That one’s down to me. It’s not really a choice because it simply now is too painful. But I can choose not to let anyone near me again so they can’t trick me, so they can’t decide to keep a distance because I’m not allowed help and cut me down again because I’d just started to trust and go forward believing they’d be there, so they can’t disappear and show me how they don’t really want me around and it isn’t a friendship and they won’t be there.

(Funny. She’ll threaten to call an ambulance – and if I do go to a&e I just talk to someone then get bounced back out after a few hours and I’m alone again – but she won’t come to see me when I’m not safe, understand how hard it is, sit with me when I’m terrified, come to see me when I was in hospital – every time I was in I was the only person on the ward who didn’t get a single visitor -or hug me when I’m crying. Why is it so hard to do any of that? The doctors don’t care and don’t help me and the only friend I have nearby doesn’t want me around and says go to the emergency services. So I’m not allowed medical help and not allowed friends.)

I’m not allowed any help. I need a friend and I need someone with me and I need to trust someone but every single thing I trust gets taken. It’s not just today it’s every time and I’ve had enough. Oh, you must keep going to work, they say. You’ll feel worse if you have nothing to do. No, I won’t. All I want is it to stop. I don’t want to go out. I want to sleep. I want drugs to stop me feeling.

Oh it won’t help you if you have anyone with you it won’t help you get better you have to be independent. Why is it for her to decide what I need? She’s not my doctor! She doesn’t know what it’s like! I need help. I need someone with me. I want a friend. I want someone to help me. I want someone to care. I want someone to be there when I can’t cope. Not only when I can say everything is fine. Not only when it suits them. Not only because they’ve decided I have to learn to be independent. I’ve always been independent. Nobody has ever been there when I needed them. Now I Can’t cope anymore. It’s even more cruel that every time I’m most desperate I have to be deceived into thinking someone’s there then left alone.

If you’re friends with someone, if you care for them, you are there when they need help. You don’t decide what they need or that something else is best for them or they have to learn something. You don’t see them sometimes then walk off when they’re ill. You don’t constantly change every arrangement. You don’t only allow them in certain situations and certain parts of your life. If they need you you’re there for them. If they’re sick you help them and care for them. You don’t just disappear because it isn’t convenient. That’s just utterly basic friendship and actually basic morality. I’d do it and do do it for anyone.

Is it really so terribly much to ask? Every other person in therapy has family, a carer or a spouse with them. I’m the only person who doesn’t, who lives totally alone. Is it really so terribly awful to want someone to be with me when I’m in crisis, to hug me when I’ve been crying for hours, someone to stick to a commitment, someone to be a friend, someone to help me when I’m cutting as soon as I’m alone, when I’m terrified of the hallucinations?

And the doctors know and they don’t care. They don’t help me. My friend says call them if I’m not safe. She says persist. I’ve been persisting for years. I’ve been accepting nobody wants me. I’ve told them in not safe. I’ve told them I’m cutting and overdosing and when I was planning to end it. They didn’t help me. I don’t want some stupid phone number for a few minutes of so called support. That doesn’t keep me safe or get me help or a friend or anyone with me. I’m on my own again. Left to just go back to the same cutting and overdosing. There’s no other way to cope. They tell me just keep going is temporary. I don’t care if it’s temporary. I can’t right now.

After years of making sure never to say what I needed and always to do weekday I’m meant to, I’ve had it. I’m a disgusting selfish b*tch and a baby and I’m screaming and I need help now and nobody can hear me. I’m not allowed help and I know I’m not but every time it’s proved the kick hurts even harder. I know it’s selfish and disgusting but actually the need and the hurt has taken over. Nobody wants me. Nobody wants me really, not what’s really me.

 

 

I think, therefore I am, as the saying goes. ..

[Sorry. I know this post makes little sense. It’s a mess of thoughts in my head tonight since I realised how much I “am” what I am experiencing and feeling and cannot stand it and get lost along the way. ]

“I think, therefore I am.” ??

I think…

I feel…

It’s harder than you’d expect to separate thoughts and feelings. Thoughts can hurt. Thoughts are (must be?) quickly judged. Thoughts desire; thoughts need and long and that again is judged at once, answered or unanswered, and that brings feeling.

Can thoughts be stopped? Those that come unbidden, spiraling or shouting and yet never to be trusted, tell me I am deceiving, tell me – too bad to write… memories…

And feeling. Nothing. Terrible nothing with something clawing at me to come back, or blessed numb. Or everything.

Everything. Everything I am. All I am – pain, hurt, need, frightened – everything I am, all I am. Can’t anyone else see? Can’t you see? Everyone is in so much pain. Feeling it and absorbing it – theirs or mine? But it hits me like a wall and it’s all there is that moment, separated from time, not knowing what to do or what to be but – pain.

I think, therefore I am? I’m not sure about that! But I feel, therefore – I am not. My self, my certainties, are lost and all I’ve become is the feeling and the fear.

Back to work

I go back to work tomorrow after a few days’ annual leave. I’m really anxious right now. It’s harder than usual for me to go out at the moment. I’m better than in the last few days where I was crying all the time, but still feel dangerously out of control and shaky. This makes me feel like I have to double check how I’m behaving and what I’m saying all the more and the thoughts and voices in my head are all the stronger – you’re stupid, freak, ugly, fake, selfish, why did you say that, stop talking, deceitful, it’s your fault, disgusting, you’ve made it all up, why did you do that, not good enough, they know how bad you are now, they’re angry with you….it would all have been fine without you, everyone knows it’s your fault – until the frightening emptiness comes back and I just want to sleep.

I know it’ll just get worse if I don’t go to work and it does no good to think about all this. I need to turn outwards, look at everyone else, work, try to do good, try to do my job, try to just ignore the ache and the anxiety, not let it take everything over.

I’m going to try to do some things immediately to overcome it. I’m going to call a friend who I know has been having a bad time recently, having recently lost a friend of hers; I’m going to try to make some cards in preparation for a charity fundraiser in the Spring; I’m going to prepare my clothes for work tomorrow. I’m going to be thankful for having a job to go to.

Ginny xxx

What if I don’t trust them?

I’m still struggling to process what I’m feeling after therapy group on Friday. Tomorrow I have my 1:1 appointment and I know we will be talking about it. It is going to be so hard to go and even harder to go back to group when it comes around this Friday.

Just when I’d dared to start to think it’s okay, it isn’t. Just when I’d started to think group might be a safe place, somewhere that you can dare to speak about things that are otherwise forbidden, it isn’t.

Just when I’d started to let my guard down a little and trust, it turns out I’ve hurt everyone and didn’t even know. How did I not know? Usually I can feel it right away and know it’s my fault and this time I didn’t. I so so needed to trust them there and now I can’t. I couldn’t understand what I was feeling then last night the thought hit me – what if actually I’m angry and hurting because I feel I can’t trust them? I did the wrong and I caused the hurt but what if I’m angry because I feel people didn’t say what was really happening?

What if I’m angry because I feel I can trust or speak anymore?

What if I’m angry because I really needed to trust and yet again it all breaks down, just as usual, every other time? I know and felt so so strongly they hate me, they are angry, they don’t want me there, they hate me, they’re angry, and they’re angry for each other too because I’ve done wrong and got it wrong and they think I’m nasty, a fake, no right to be there, they just want me to go away and just put up with me because they had to. What if that made me angry as well as guilty because I can never know where I am and know I must never ever let anyone close but so desperately need people?

Does anyone else ever just wish they could never have to speak again?

The hallucinations are multiplying as my thoughts spiral through all these things.

Ginny xxx