Growing up with an abusive parent – A Conversation with Claire.

CLAIRE CONVERSATION TMY

 

This month, I had the opportunity to sit down with Claire* who bravely opened up to tell me her story of how she grew up in a domestically and emotionally challenged environment, and the impact this had on her mental health as an adult. Claire is now a parent and a homeowner with her long term Partner, and when she’s not caring for her two children she works part time as a registered medical professional. This is Claire’s story of her experience with an abusive parent.

*WARNING – this post contains some reference of domestic and sexual violence, and some contents can be triggering. All names have been changed to ensure confidentiality. 

 

 

TMY – “So what made you want to speak out?

 

CLAIRE – Mostly to help your blog, and to touch on subjects that I don’t really speak about which could help other young adults or children. Um… about – it’s really hard to say it now – if you are having a tough time at home when you are young but you don’t see it as abuse or anything… But when you get old you know it is, do you know what I mean?

 

Yeah.

 

And how it can affect you a little bit really.

 

So tell me about the background of it all, obviously I know quite a bit about the life you had with your mum?

 

Even now I’ll try and discuss it, and I still won’t see it as abuse. But now when I think about it with my children, and if I was ever to do something like that, I wouldn’t do it – you know what I mean – so I know it’s wrong. But even discussing it I’ll think – ‘No, it’s not really, it’s not’ – but then again it was. So I’ll think about the way my mum used to speak to me… see even now I think people will just think it’s attention seeking or you are just being stupid, but that’s just my mum talking.

 

Yes.

 

Do you see what I mean?

 

*Nods*

Yes. I think when you are that age as well you just don’t know, you haven’t got the experience to compare it to. You haven’t got that self-worth built up over the years.

 

No, I remember when I was at school and I went to one of the mentors who helps students, and I really wanted to tell her what had been going on, and I approached her and she said to me, ‘Someone’s mum died today’, and then just blanked me so I never spoke out to anyone again after that. So I do think it’s quite important for children to be able to approach people and mentors who are supposed to be there to help you. And actually get acknowledged and not brushed off, because that actually reinforces you saying well, maybe it is nothing? If she’s not going to listen to me who is? Maybe it is nothing, maybe it is just in my head.

 

It’s quite a big deal for someone to – how old was you at the time?

 

So… I think I was in year 8 when that happened…

 

So 13, 14 maybe?

 

*Nods*

 

And that was the first time I actually went to approach somebody about it and it was the last time I ever did.

 

Yeah.

 

I suppose things might have been a little bit different if I’d actually said; look this is what’s happening at home, I’m not very happy.

 

It’s a big thing to do, was it just… built up? What made you want to talk to somebody?

 

I can’t remember to be honest I just remember thinking I need to tell someone, and then I never did again.

 

And to face that kind of rejection as well at such a young age, it must have made you feel like…

 

It’s something that has always stayed with me, what happened, it’s not something I will ever forget.

 

Yeah. Do you remember the next time you spoke out after that, when you told somebody?

 

I think it was….. I think it was when I had had my proper fall out with my mum, and I went to the doctors with panic attacks – I couldn’t breathe – and like, I kind of spoke about it but not really. I can’t remember really? I think I have obviously spoke about it to my friends as I got older, but at the time it was normalised, you sort of get desensitised to things you know like, you don’t see it as… maybe when I went to councillor really, but that was when I was about… I was pregnant with my son, so, about 13 years later. And that’s when I really opened up to a stranger about wanting to seek help again, so that’s probably about 12, 13 years later.

 

It’s a long time.

 

Yeah. Oh and I did at university actually, I had this lady called S that I used to speak to. And I wrote a massive long letter about all the things my mum had done and she like took me under her wing a little bit. Um… yeah, it affected me whilst I was at university; I used to self-harm, I tried committing suicide. I had to stay in observations with the nurse for a couple of nights, I wasn’t allowed to be on my own. I had to sleep there before they were worried I was going to kill myself. I think that’s when I wrote the letter to this women who tried to help students.

 

Trying to reach out?

 

Yeah, yeah. I’m a little bit all over the place, sorry.

 

It’s okay. Do you think that…you said you was pregnant with your son at the time when you really started opening up… Do you think that being pregnant with your first born kind of helped to see your own worth in a way?

 

No, I sought help because I didn’t want to feel that pain anymore, and bringing a child in to it.

 

Okay.

 

I was so… I think it highlighted things more because my mum would, we’d obviously had that fall out, and she wasn’t bothered with my – you know with me being pregnant or anything – and I think it just hit home just how hurt I was still and that’s when I sought counselling, I didn’t want to bring a child in to it. Well, since having children it’s got better, but I still feel feelings of guilt towards my mum, I still feel like sometimes in my head… was it acceptable behaviour? And I’m just… You know… But I wouldn’t do the things she has done to me to my children, you know then it’s wrong, you know?

 

Yeah, I suppose you’ve got something to compare it to now, you are on the different perspective, you are on your mum’s perspective in a way.

 

Yeah. Because I think really, it would be nice for people to read this, and acknowledge that there are similarities in their stories, where they have got a narcissistic mum, that they are getting abused and that it’s okay to stand up – and if they are in the situation like, with the woman at the school who didn’t acknowledge it and brushed it off, because she’d heard that something more important had happened to someone else – there are other people who you can speak to, you don’t have to just walk away and then try and find help 13 years later because you wouldn’t have to go through all that suffering.

 

Do you think your life would have been different if she did say, ‘Okay, let’s sit down and talk?’

 

I think I would have been under the eyes of social services. But my mum was under social services with my younger brother. I’m not really sure of the story behind that, I know she had a social worker to take him out, but I don’t know we never spoke about it, so I don’t know what that was all about. But because that had happened, maybe… Well, if I had gone in to more detail, gone in to any detail what had happened, I think she would have spoke to various agencies to try and take me away.

 

When did it all start with you mum? Can you remember?

 

I don’t know if this is a memory… or it’s something she had told me. But she left alcohol out in the living room when I was about 2 or 3. I got really drunk and passed out, then I got bit by a dog. And I don’t know where she was then, and I find that quite neglectful because you don’t, like –

 

It’s very young.

 

– ‘Where are you?’ You know. But, um… I do have a memory of her pushing me down the stairs when I was 4. And I have another memory… the one memory I remember really well is, I was – I can’t remember why she was angry at me – but I was in primary school and I must have been about 5 (I started school when I was 5), and she was really annoyed with me, I can’t remember why. And she pushed me. We had this sofa where it had all these little metal studs going all around it, she ended up blacking my eye? And she told me I had to tell people that I had fallen over my toys. Um, and I remember that, and pushing me down the stairs, but I can’t remember anything else after that. So I think… what I can remember… I think she was neglectful from me being a toddler, because why else would a two year old get drunk and get attacked by a dog?

 

Yeah.

 

But my first memories are more when I was about 5, um… yeah.

 

Did you feel like it was normal, growing up in that environment? Or did you know something was wrong?

 

I used to watch films and I would see like, these families being really happy, and I used to think, ‘Why is my family not like that, you know why are we not like that?’ and I used to say that to her and she’d be like, ‘Oh it’s just in the films, it’s just films.’ I just saw it as normal I think though really, I used to see the films and think why is my family not like that. But… yeah I saw it as normal really. I think it was as I grew in to an adult where I thought, you know, it’s not right, it’s not right.

 

Yeah. Did you tell your friends?

 

I can’t remember. I don’t know if they witnessed it or… I know one of my friends said that ‘I know your mum is always a bit funny with you.’ I don’t think I told my friends at the time actually, what was going on. They must have known something because when I was about 15, I lived with my friend and her mum for a while, and her mum used to say to my nan, ‘Oh I used to have her all the time as a toddler,’ and my nan was like ‘Well I used to have her all the time as well,’ so when did my mum actually have me? My mum had me quite young, and I think she felt she had missed out on a lot of her teenage years where you are going out and getting drunk and all that, so I think she wanted to experience those that everyone else was feeling? And I think she took it out on me. Quite a lot. Blamed me.

 

Do you know if she had a history of any abuse, anything similar?

 

No, she was doted on by my grandad, absolutely doted on and the problem with my mum and how she is, is that my grandad doted on her, and gave her anything she wanted, but he was a strict parent. But my nan used to hide things from my grandad too so she wouldn’t get in to trouble, and I think she has always get away with stuff and walk all over her mum because my nan wouldn’t say anything. Like my mum used to come home drunk and my nan would make cover stories up for her, you know… so. But I don’t think she was abused. She once said in anger that my dad had raped her, but I think she just said that because she’s just…

 

*Silence*

 

Yeah.

 

*Silence*

 

There are some stories about my dad and how he’d pushed her down the stairs when she was pregnant, and that he’d held her face to dog shit, but I don’t know how real these stories are because she, with my mum, you never know what to believe. She tells so many lies, it’s like the boy who cried wolf, you don’t know if it’s true or if it’s not true. So you just doubt everything she says.

 

How was the relationship between you mum and your little brother? Was it different to the relationship that you had?

 

Yeah. Um, my mum hated… So my Mum used to buy all my brothers clothes and stuff, she wouldn’t buy me any, so my nan would get them for me, my mum hated that. And my mum was very all for my brother, my brother was a little turd when he was younger sometimes… But my mum was quite nasty with him growing up though, I just remember little things, you know? And I’d think ‘It’s a bit mean that’, but… not half as much as she was like with me. They were quite close.

 

When you had your first born, was anything like, brought out of you?

 

Yeah so, some of the mental health things that I experienced was, when I was with my son, and one of the other reasons why I tried to sought counselling was that I was getting nightmares of my mum. Um, every night really, waking up screaming and stuff… and even though my mum had been abusive like, I still wanted her, I still wanted her in my life and I wanted her to care for me, and I still want her to care for me but she’s never going to be that person so you’ve kind of accept and acknowledge the fact that she’s never going to be the person that I want her to be… and a lot of anger and resentment came out for her really as well when I had my son because I thought how could you do that? How could you treat your daughter that way, like I could never be like that with my children, you know? Um… Yeah. But… There’s a lot of things though that I think ‘I could write a book about my life’ and there’s a lot of things I find it hard to talk about.

 

Does your partner know about what you have been through?

 

He knows everything, I think he knows everything really? Most things yeah.

 

I bet it feels nice to have someone who you can share your life with in that way?

 

He doesn’t… he hates her with a passion.

 

*Nods*

 

But… He gets so angry when I’m upset about her, because he hates what I have been through… where it can come to the point where he’s not really supportive and he’s just angry at her? And sometimes, like, I mean I’m not really like it anymore because of my medication but when I used to get really down… he didn’t get it? He just didn’t get it, because he has never experienced any bad things in his life, everything is perfect and rosy and he doesn’t really understand that anyone can ever suffer in pain or anything, and feel down.

 

Do you get depressed? Do you have bouts of depression?

 

*Nods*

 

Not at the minute though, because of my tablets, they really help. If I was to come off my tablets tomorrow, I’d say in a few months’ time I would be back down there feeling anxious, feeling paranoid that everyone is out to get me, like nobody likes me, I’ll get a funny look off someone and I’ll think, ‘Oh they are talking about me!’ I feel devalued, I feel below everyone, I don’t feel like I’m… I feel like everyone up here? *Raised hand above head.*

 

But I’m down here… *lowers hand.*

 

I don’t feel like my worth is…. Everyone else’s standard…

 

*Chokes up*

 

*Silence.*

 

Um… I’ll look at myself in the mirror and think – ‘You’re ugly, you are so fucking ugly!’ Um… and I’ll… I’ll just have really bad… Yeah… and, but… I’m on the tablets and I’m a lot happier, I try to avoid thinking about my mum now, but I do question my own parenting, I get paranoid that I’m not a good parent? And I feel like I’m letting my children down, but I try so hard. I think I overcompensate, but I just, I just want to be everything that my mum’s not. Um, but yeah without the tablets, I would be very down I think.

 

How long have you been on them for?

 

Um…

 

*thinks back*

 

About 2 years… yeah.

 

And who’s decision was it to be on them, was it your doctor’s?

 

That was mine. That was mine.

 

And was you in counselling before that?

 

I think I started with CBT…

 

Yep.

 

But that was before, that, I think it was before I was pregnant. But I didn’t like that, I didn’t like the female therapist, I thought she was young and I would have wanted someone a bit older and I’m my eyes a bit more experienced and someone who could actually listen to me, I felt like I was talking to someone my own age who was being judgemental of me, so I didn’t go to any more of them. So that’s when I opted for counselling, that’s when I was pregnant.

 

Was that through the NHS? (National Health Service)

 

Yeah

 

Yeah – do you think it helped at all?

 

It did yeah, but unfortunately got cut short because I had my son early…

 

Okay.

 

And we never really followed it through after because obviously with a newborn it is quite difficult to go to counselling.

 

*Nods*

 

Yes.

 

But, with my first born I had suspected mild psychosis, which is what my mum had. Well, she didn’t have mild, she had strong psychosis where she would see blood coming out of the walls. Um, I can talk about that if you want, with psychosis and stuff?

 

*Nods*

 

So… when I was pregnant with my first born, I used to, like see the devil coming out of the ceiling like out of the corner, um… I used to see the number 6 everywhere, and think of the devil, I thought he was after me. I’d be screaming at night telling my partner I could see the devil coming out of the wall. I used to have nightmares. And then when I had my son I was hearing voices where, I could hear voices but I could never make out what they were saying it was like whispering it was like…

 

*Whispering impression*

 

…One time, I heard somebody go, ‘Go on…’  like an old man’s voice but there was nobody there, because I was on the postnatal ward and it was in the middle of the night, but I was so tired and drained it was just normal to me. And then when I got home I could see bears coming out of the walls, and on the way home I could see shadows climbing up trees, and loads of weird things going on. I went back to hospital because of what I could see in the walls… And then it kind of just disappeared, it kind of disappeared after all. But I remember, like, when I used to breastfeed my son, and I’d be looking at his toys and I could see them moving and I though they was alive, so when I used to feed him I used to hide his toys away so I couldn’t see them. I used to hide them behind the cot the teddies because I genuinely thought they were moving! But then that kind of disappeared then, I went to a support group for women with postnatal depression, and I found that really helpful and it all so gave me a bit of structure – that helped. But with my first son I had to be super mum, I had to do everything, I couldn’t sit still. In one day we’d go swimming, library, park… everywhere like, it would be jam packed my schedule, I’d never keep still. Whereas this time around I’m a little bit more relaxed but then I’m thinking am I a bad mum because I’m not being super woman, I’m not doing this and doing that, you know? Um… but I’ve not had any signs of psychosis this time around. But, the hospital was quite rude though with my second son, because I got told because I had mild psychosis with my first, then I had to see a psychiatrist in order to get discharged?

 

Okay.

 

So… about 7 days after having him, I said, ‘Can I see the psychiatrist now?’  So when it comes to me leaving the hospital, I can just leave, instead of waiting around to see the psychiatrist. The psychiatrist came in… And he was asking me all these questions – which they have to do – do you think you have got super powers? Do you think everyone’s after you? And I was like, ‘No, I’m fine, I’m absolutely fine there’s nothing wrong with me, I feel so much better than I did when I had my first…’

 

Yeah.

 

And then they was like, ‘Well I think you should get supervised whilst you look after your baby for the next few weeks, can you agree to that?’ and I was like, ‘No!’ I was like, ‘There’s no way I’m getting supervised, there’s nowt wrong with my parenting, I’m not giving you any answers that would make you feel that way?’

 

Yeah…

 

I requested this psychiatric assessment because it’s what I need to get discharged, and I didn’t want to be fannying about! Because I’m in hospital for so long, I want to get discharged, I don’t want to be waiting around, I wanted this to be over and done with, and I found it quite…. Infuriating. Because I’d had it the first time around that they had assumed… Do you know what I mean? It wasn’t like that at all.

 

What did they say to that then, when you put your foot down and said No?

 

He just said – ‘Okay then!’ – he didn’t say anything. But he was a student psychiatrist and I think he was just covering his own back.

 

Yeah maybe, maybe… Did you have any signs of psychosis or paranoia, or anything like that when you was younger?

 

Paranoia, yeah. Psychosis, no.

 

*Laughs*

 

I was always frightened of ghosts and stuff. But no not really…

 

*Silence*

 

A lot of my memory is blanked out. I don’t have a lot of happy memories. I do of my nan and grandad. I don’t really remember a lot. I remember one time when we was sat on the floor next to our house and we was chatting a lot, and that was really nice? But my mum could turn really quick, and I always remember being really disappointed where one minute she’s be really happy, and the next minute she’ll take it out on me. You’d feel lifted and nice and comforted, and the next minute… You were back down to the bottom again…

 

*Silence*

 

Um… yeah… I don’t have a lot of memories of my childhood to be honest, I have a lot of stuff from what had happened but the happy memories, I don’t have many of them.

 

Do you feel like you missed out on a childhood?

 

Yeah. Because I don’t have a dad. Haven’t got a dad that has bothered with me as they say, and my mum’s not particularly the best mum you could ever have…so yeah I do feel like… I wish that I had a family where, like my partners mum and dad; where they come and help with DIY and you can go round for your dinner and you can raid the fridge without being judged or… and I had a mum where I went shopping with her and drank champagne. Maybe those things don’t happen, and maybe that’s not reality and that’s just created in my head because that’s what I want? And I see it in films and stuff maybe that’s not what family life is really like and that’s what I have created and it’s not really real. But that’s what I’d like – a mum and dad – with no mental health issues and that cared about me and loved me and took me shopping, did the normal things that mother and daughters do, and a dad that cares about you and judges all your boyfriends and… Instead… Instead of having emptiness. It is, it’s just like a childhood of emptiness, I don’t remember anything… Apart from the bad things…

 

*Silence*

 

You seem quite close to your partner’s mum and dad, do you see them as a family?

 

I know they are family because they are my children grandparents, but I don’t feel like… I get on with them but I don’t feel like I am part of them, I don’t feel like I a worthy of being part of their family. I just feel like, it’s me, my partner, my children and my nan. I feel quite lonely. I feel like my children family, it’s all about my partner’s side, because I haven’t really got anybody. That’s how I feel. I feel like I’m quite lonely, like I feel like I’m not really part of my son’s life.

 

Okay.

 

Because I feel like, I’m here. That’s their family… And my nans over there? I don’t feel like really… yeah. Yeah, I don’t know.

 

*Silence*

 

Do you feel like… I know your mum came back in to your life quite recently and you tired making a go of it, and that didn’t work out. Do you feel like you was stronger to handle the situation this time?

 

I was a lot stronger this time than how I was when I was pregnant with my first born… I was a lot more accepting of it because I’d already been through it. But, I still get feelings of guilt that maybe it’s me who’s in the wrong? And being that person where you have always been put down… My mum is like, it’s like role reversal where I’m her mum and I have to look after her needs and her feelings, and it’s still like that now, I think that’s why I get the guilt. Because, she is narcissistic, she has got the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder, she’s like that. Even now I’m thinking, ‘Oh I feel guilty on her, how is she feeling? How is she coping? I am being the bad person because I’m putting her through this?’ But, then I’ve also got to think I’m doing it for myself as well, and I’ve got to be in a good place to look after my children. And when I was friendly with her, she did nothing to make her horrible when we were friends, obviously the telephone calls she went a bit insane, but the times we saw each other she was okay. But there was always that doubt in myself thinking she’s not doing to stay like this, this is all an act. And she proved me exactly right when we fell out. Because of the social services things, and, ‘I’m going to take your kids on a Saturday,’ and, ‘It’s going to be on my terms,’ and I thought well you have not changed and I know I did the right thing my cutting her out again.

 

Yes.

 

But it does mean I don’t feel guilty and that show I feel, but she doesn’t worry about how I feel because it’s all about her.

 

I know that you had quite a bad time with it again, but do you feel like you did the right thing by trying to give her a second chance?

 

Yeah I’m glad I did because if I didn’t I would always wonder what if? but I’ve done it, I have extended the branch, and it didn’t work out so. That’s the last time I ever do it because I don’t have any feeling of what if anymore. I know what it leads to… it leads to me feeling anxious, me feeling nervous, me worrying, me being paranoid – even if she doesn’t give me any reason to be paranoid. And then, it’s just not worth it, like I wasn’t sleeping, I was overthinking. Do you know? Whereas now I feel a lot better.

 

Yes.

 

I still feel guilty. I feel like I have pushed herself out on purpose, but she proved me wrong anyway with calling social services on me and my children and stuff. I thought – you’ve not changed.

 

No.

 

You’re still selfish.

 

Do you feel like you have come out stronger from it?

 

I’m back in the place where I was when it was me, my son and my partner, where it was just us and I didn’t have to think about her. But I feel like I think about her a bit more now because she has met my son and I’ve put her in that situation where I have introduced her to my son and then I’ve taken it away? But I took it away – not in spite –  but for my own sanity, because I’m worrying so much, and also when she used to be with him I used to think, ‘You don’t deserve this, you don’t deserve this happiness to be with my son, you are not worthy of being with my son, because you are so cruel.’ She’s been so cruel to me yet I’m letting her see my son? And I used to resent her and think why am I doing this? I’m not doing it for me, I’m doing it for her, I’m not doing it for me, I’m not doing it for my son, I’m doing it for her, and it’s the whole role reversal thing again of looking after her needs.

 

Yeah, I think there’s bit of a whole role reversal with your worth as well, I mean you grew up in that situation thinking that you wasn’t worthy, and now it’s she’s the one that’s not worthy?

 

Yeah. Kind of, um… but on the same token, I’m still looking after her needs by feeling guilty, you know?

 

Yeah, yeah.

 

I won’t… but then, I am more worthy than that so…

 

I think that’s what makes you human though? Like, we’re empathetic creatures aren’t we –

 

– Some of us.

 

Some of us…

 

*Silence*

 

I just… I’ll close my eyes and think of her when I was a child, and I’ll just see these evil eyes, looking through my nan’s window, shouting and swearing, and saying, ‘let me in’ or saying ‘You’re killing your nan and your grandad, they don’t want you here..’ And she didn’t want me because obviously her husband would beat me up. He’d bust my lip open. He tired breaking my nose, but my nose it like… malleable…

 

*laughs and squeezes tip of nose*

 

*silence*

 

Um… I forgot what I was saying now. What was I saying? Yeah, so she didn’t want me and my grandad took me in and she hated that, because it made her feel jealous, so in turn shed make me feel like they didn’t want me, that I was killing them, she actually said -‘You’re killing them being here!’ and… she just made me feel like I wasn’t worthy of anybody, of anybody loving me, of anybody taking care of me… You know if they ever brought me some clothes – even though I was living with them and she didn’t buy me any – she’d go sick, she’d hate it! And I used to think… why? You know, why am I not allowed a holiday, why am I not allowed clothes, why am I not allowed to be loved? And it did make me… because I know I look back on my school days, there was a time where someone would wind me up and I’d just go over to them and punch them in the stomach *laughs awkwardly*. Like, that I’d be so angry and I’d just go over and punch them… Like… I think if I ever worked in a school – which is something I do want to do – if anybody ever came to me and said, ‘I’m having problems at home’, even if it was something so daft I would sit down and I would listen to them, and I would acknowledge them and make them feel acknowledged, I wouldn’t turn them away because, schools hard enough as it is without having problems at home as well.

 

*Nods*

 

Yes, I agree.

 

And when you seek that help of someone who’s in an authority position, where they are in a position where they can help you, then they should stop listen, actually listen to what they are going to say, because you never know what that child is going to say or what they are going through. You can look at somebody, they can be well dressed, well groomed, going on holidays all the time, they can be the most happiest person in public – but if they come to you are say they are having problems you need to listen to them. You don’t just turn them away.

 

Do you think with the situation that you went through, it would make you be more aware of it with your children? You know, say if they are going through tough times at school?

 

Yeah I wouldn’t… I wouldn’t want to see any child, regardless of it they are mine or not, I wouldn’t want to see any child going through any problems because it would really, you know… strike a chord with me, I wouldn’t like it. But it would make me feel more desperate for my children to be happy though, because it would make me feel guilty if they were so down? It would make me feel horrible. But my children will never experience anything from me or from their dad, you know… I don’t know really? I want my children to be more open with me and willing to discuss anything with me, without feeling judged. Where they can have ten minutes where they can shout and swear, and punch things and after ten minutes… *holds hand up* ‘right… Calm down now,’ do you know where they have got that time to be able speak about their emotions, you have ten minutes where you can shout and swear, you’re not going to get in trouble, just get it all out… You know, where they can just come to me and feel open and relaxed, to say – ‘Look mum I’m having problems’, and that’s something I wished I’d always had. My nan’s always been there for me, she’s been amazing, but there is going to come a time when my nan isn’t there anymore, and like I said before my partner and my sons are there and I’m literally on my own then I don’t have any branches off to anyone else really, you know what I mean? And I think there is going to be a time, when that time comes I’m going to feel incredibly lonely.

 

*chokes up*

 

But then I’ve got to think that I’ve got two beautiful children now, and I don’t have to dwell on the past and that I’m not really on my own because I have these two beautiful babies and I can look after their emotions and help them to grow up to be strong people where they do feel wary that everyone is here, but they’re up there, and they are not on the same level they are up here…

 

*raises hand*

 

You know? I want that for my children, I want everything that they didn’t have, where if they… You know… If they… where I can get them the shoes that they want so they fit in at school, where they can talk to me if they need to talk to me, where they can feel open to talk to me where they can get a cuddle from me or they feel comfortable to give me a hug because that’s what they want. Where they are not nervous to give they mum a hug because it’s not a natural thing, I want it to be natural where we give each other a hug and you know, where they speak to me and know that… Their worthiness is up here, so they can do well in life and they have the confidence to go forward, instead of thinking, ‘Oh everyone thinks I’m down here, you know…’

 

Yes. Well…they are two very lucky boys!

 

*Laughs*

 

They are very lucky. So what would you want to say to somebody who read your story and was going through the same thing, what would you say to them?

 

Acknowledge it. Acknowledge that it is wrong. Speak out, don’t feel guilty for speaking out on that parent because that parent is not thinking about your emotions or your health or your happiness, they are not thinking about your happiness. Speak out and do something, and if the first person doesn’t listen to you don’t give up. Don’t just put up with it, and acknowledge that it is wrong, ask yourself would you do that to your child? And if it’s no, then it’s not right.”

 

 

 

The NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) is a registered UK charity that provides 24/7 support and information for children who are victims of abuse, and support for families. For more information about the NSPCC, research, and their services please follow the link to their website below:

Web: nspcc.org.uk

The NSPCC also provide support helplines for adults concerned about a child;
Tel: 0808 800 5000

For help for children and young people, the Childline website, provided by the NSPCC, is a great resource for information, advice and 24 hour support.

Web: childline.org.uk

Tel: 0800 1111

 

 

The blog is looking for people to take part in telling their story. To take part in The Conversations, please drop me an email on themanicyears@gmail.com.

Megan x

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‘Sharing Stories’ – Our Volatile Years After Bipolar Diagnosis; Raising a teenager with Bipolar, by Kat.

 

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“As I read and learn more and more about bipolar disorder, I realise that my daughter Jessie has been textbook. The volatile behaviour in children with bipolar is extreme and common. Physical violence and verbal abuse is not short lived as it is with ADHD. Whereas rages in ADHD children usually last 30-40 minutes, they can last for hours with bipolar kids.

Jessie was typical in that she experienced the rage and aggression, and rarely the euphoria or elation. Discipline was fought, and she couldn’t deal with disappointment at all. She would fly into violent rages, smashing my things. Foul language and screaming abuse at the top of her lungs became Jessie’s way of communicating. I used to wonder if she’d just become a spoilt brat. Her behaviour was so out of character, and so extreme. In fact, she was actually behaving as kids with bipolar do. And understandably so – kids don’t have the understanding or maturity to cope with emotions bigger than themselves. I was parenting the way I always had, but Jessie stood up to all discipline and raged at any disappointment. Life was incredibly tumultuous in our house, and at that time I felt like I was between a rock and a hard place. Any parts of me left exposed were being squished between other rocks and hard places!

The abuse and destruction were what I found the hardest to cope with. I don’t stay in abusive relationships. But, you can’t leave your child. And she was no more than a child – she was just triggering things in me. Therefore I was hearing her as if I was listening to an adult. I had no control though and there’s nowhere to escape to to get away. Jessie would relentlessly follow me around the house, wherever I went – literally! She’s be in a rage, calling me every name under the sun, throwing things, smashing things and damaging my things. She was a baby the last time she saw her father, but I couldn’t get over their behavioural similarities and ways of thinking.

Being on a first name basis with many of our local police was just how it was for a couple of years. Jessie’s experiences were undoubtedly traumatic for a 10-11 year old. Calling 000 became a necessary safety measure for us both. It came to the point where I’d ask for an ambulance and the police would turn up. Every time. I only just realised why as I’m writing this – maybe only the police can section someone under the Mental Health Act, not paramedics? Police drove Jessie to hospital a couple of times, but due to self harm or talk of suicide, she usually travelled by ambulance. This could happen up to 3 times a week.

On two of those occasions she went against her will – carried out by police with wrists and ankles cuffed with the plastic tie-like cuffs they sometimes use. I’ll never forget it. At 11 she was carried out this way after being put down on the lounge with a knee pinning her head down until she settled enough to cuff her. Jessie was spitting at the officer, trying to bite her, fighting to free herself and swearing at and abusing the officer. The officer tried to get Jessie to settle, but she was out of control. She had got to that point where the brain flips and reason can no longer be seen. It was so distressing, I was in tears. And by the end so was Jessie.

Police applied for an AVO (Apprehended Violence Order) for me against Jessie when she was just 11. She’d chased me with a big knife, but fortunately my bedroom door came between us. It still has 8-10 stab marks in it. Police would arrive to what looked like the aftermath of a cyclone! Jessie had destroyed so many of my things, and the unit was being damaged. With the strength that comes with such rage, Jessie was a danger to herself and to me. We had the Sergeant come a few times to say something had to change. Well no shit Sherlock, but an AVO wasn’t the answer! Thankfully the court agreed. Jessie needed help. Psychiatric care was what she needed, but her aggression and volatility along with her young age made her ineligible for any of the many programs we applied to.

It was such a horrible time, and there was no respite. Our caseworker, Stella, from The Benevolent Society was truly our saving grace. There were times when I said to her that I couldn’t do this anymore. I’d had enough, Jessie needed to go into care where she could have good parents. For so long I seemed to get more wrong than I did right with Jessie. Consequently my confidence in parenting plummeted. I didn’t know this young person. How to deal with her was something that actually felt impossible at times.

Stella would remain calm and talk to me. Not once did she accept my parenting resignation, neither did she ever actually refuse my request for a better home for Jessie. She didn’t need to. She listened, she heard me and acknowledged where I was at and why. During our conversation she would teach me about Jessie’s behaviour, and remind me that I’m a good mum. By the end she would ask me if I still wanted her to make some calls. Of course not! I always felt empowered and determined after these visits where my frame of mind was so defeatist at the start.

I completed the Circle of Security parenting course with Stella. Doing one on one I was able to do that one in a lot of depth, relating it to specific situations I encountered. It’s a BRILLIANT course that every expectant parent would benefit from. It gives parents the opportunity to learn what babies need emotionally to grow into confident, resilient, well balanced people. The principles apply to children of all ages though, and I found it invaluable. It is all about positive, calm engagement and recognising, understanding and attending to children’s emotional needs and behaviours. This is the parents’ manual we all wish we had!! It should be way more widely promoted! Another brilliant course is the Triple P Positive Parenting course for parents of teens. The principles are very similar as Circle of Security, but you learn about the teenage brain and what changes it is going through. Positive communication skills are also taught along with practical example responses.

It’s now been 3 years since I’ve needed to call 000 and home life is very different now. We have other challenges we are currently faced with, but the highly volatile days are in the past. These days Jessie apologises to me if speaks to me in an angry tone, or storms off slamming her bedroom door. She’ll then talk to me about what upset her and why. Our bond is strong and has proven to be enduring which I really love.”

 – By Kat. 

More of Kat’s stories can be found at her blog FamilyFurore, where she shares her personal experiences with raising her teenage daughter who has been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder.

 

Stories are still needed!

Do you have a mental health/recovery story of your own that you’d like to reach out and share to others? Whether it be overcoming depression to addiction to eating disorders… no matter what your area, there will be a chance that your experience will touch someone elses life.

Send your story with your name to themanicyears@gmail.com and i’d be happy to publish on The Manic Years.

Sharing saves lives –

M x

“Sharing Stories” – How Bipolar type II has affected my life, by Jenna White.

jenna

 

“My personal story with mental illness begins when I was 13 years old. I began to feel different than the rest of my peers and I showed signs of both depression and mania. I was put on mood stabilizers, anti-depressants and sleeping pills to quell the mood shifts. I began to self-mutilate, choke myself with scarfs and pop different pills in the medicine cabinet. Neither my Mom or Dad understood mental illness and chastised me endlessly with a hint of concern.

I began high school and in grade 10, and found the worst boyfriend I ever had. He was mentally, emotionally, sexually and physically abusive to me for a year and a half. I had grown up with abuse so I knew this was over the top but I knew how to handle it…or so I thought. I began to snort hard drugs like cocaine and speed. The boyfriend, Kyle, didn’t want me taking my medication because he didn’t believe in it. I was being broken spiritually and not getting proper help for my mental state.

At 15 I attempted suicide for the first time. I had “tried” before by popping handfuls of random medication from the cabinet but it wasn’t a serious gesture. This time I was in the bath, note written, a full bottle of Tylenol in my stomach and I was on my way. But suddenly I changed my mind and threw the bottle at my mom, evidently she made me throw up and we never spoke of it again.

Fast forward to when I am 19. My mental state was so terrible I was having black outs with a different personality. I had been a drug addict for 4 years at that point and it was all getting to be too much. I quit drugs and moved to Toronto Ontario with a boyfriend and his kid. In Toronto I was admitted to a hospital ward for 2 weeks for a final diagnosis: Bipolar II.

From then I’ve been admitted 3 more times in two different cities. I constantly struggle with medications and dosages which cause me to go into manic and depressive states. My family, social and professional life suffers from my disorder.”

-By Jenna White.

Jenna writes about the personal struggles with having a Bipolar type II diagnosis on her blog, Brandnewbipolar.

 

Please drop me an email on themanicyears@gmail.com if you want to take part and be featured in “Sharing Stories”, if you have a story to tell or you just want to share your thoughts about your experiences with mental health. I am so proud of everyone who has contributed and who has joined me in this journey so far, and I do hope our army gets stronger. A bigger voice. A fight to speak louder. – M

Follow the Sharing Stories Facebook page! – The Manic Years – Sharing Stories of Mental Health

WRONG.

I have been extremely tight about how much I ‘let out’ during my last relationship. I hold Pandora’s box in the back of my mind, the lid shut tight, too afraid of what it all might mean if I do let it all out. I’m slowly building up to writing a post about it, getting all the memories out on paper and questioning my thoughts about it all.

I have had a terrible weekend. The ex is stirring trouble yet again. It doesn’t matter how many times I have tried to make peace with my past and sail through my life as of now, the tide always catches me off guard, grasping me by the ankles and pulling me under.

I speak to friends about the hurt he has caused. They know i have been hurt. They just don’t know the extent of it all. This poisonous person I have in my life, who I have tried to leave behind is still trying to exert his control over me by manipulation, meddling and hurtful words. This time, I know I don’t deserve to be treated like that. I’ve known it all along, even when he was part of my life it was there, cowering in the shadows of my subconscious. He just beat all the self-esteem out of me to say it out loud to myself.

This time, I will not believe his harmful words, he will not pull me under and I will not let my fear of him stop me from being the good person I have become.

“You are WRONG.”

“You WILL respect me.”

“You should NOT.”

Power. He has thrown these words at me and instead of them soaking in like they always did, they are beginning to bounce off me. No. I will not tolerate this man, Boy who cowardly uses hurtful words to try and pursue his control over me. I dropped my shackles a long time ago and they are now rusty old chains from the past.

I have a past of me saying to myself “Write about it. Every single thing that he has wronged you by. Admit it. Admit it for what it was.”

Then I imagine my fury busting out from my memory in to words and I freeze. I stop myself because I cannot mentally go back there. Why can’t I write about it? Where is this fear coming from? A fear of him finding out? A fear of people not believing me? A fear of me realizing it wasn’t all as bad as I was making it out to be?

“You are WRONG Megan. You are WRONG.”

The Game Changer.

index

My period was 5 days late.

And I do believe what added more fuel to my freak out, was that I had taken a test out of curiosity 2 weeks before when I was supposedly ‘ovulating’ because I was experiencing unusual cramps.

I’m not pregnant, I came on eventually (even if it was alarmingly ‘late’ – probably due to sickness, i’d been ill that week which made it all seem that little bit more suspicious –)  but the last few days didn’t half make me think about life, my own current choices and my decisions for the future. I even ended up shutting N out in the process, when all he wanted to do was be there and support me.

I’d never wanted another child after I’d had my own daughter. The traumatic experience that was the birth (and the following weeks after), had totally solidified that decision for me. I just didn’t feel like I was made to be a mother.

Being pregnant with Lo and having her in my life has been the most beautiful and reshaping experience of my world as I once knew it. She is my solid core, my anchor, the one being that made me eventually realize that I had a purpose in life. Even if my mind wonders sometimes, I feel lost and disorientated, she is the one who eventually makes me know for certain, that I had never left in the first place.

I was in the Park the park with her the other day, with a friend who is still in that blissful ‘new mommy’ stage of parenthood. The sun had started to finally break out from the clouds after frozen away from the long winter we are beginning to leave behind us. The light across the hills of the Pennines peaking over our little village made it look Green for the first time in months. New light, new season, new hope. It made me feel sad.

Suddenly I was reminiscing of the life I left behind. The life I had gambled and lost, when I had it all figured out. My old house, mortgaged and secured, just up the road from the park. When Lola was at her peak of her first year of life, soaking in all of her new surroundings around her, excited by her first ride on the swings. Her little toothy grin and her flushed cheeks, her little pink beret. Her podgy arms reaching out to me, needing me. Fresh morning forest walks, we used to walk for hours, when she was taking her first steps I’d take her out of the pram and let her explore. Picking up leaves and acorns (and eventually putting them in her mouth). Picnics by the canal. Our challenging attempts to feed the ducks with her shoving every piece of bread in her mouth that she could lay her chubby fingers on. Planning dinners, stopping off at the local shops to buy fresh vegetables every day and heading off home for her nap whilst I prepped a nice hearty family dinner for when daddy got home. Bath and bed times, as a family. Putting her in her cot and watching her fall sleep so peacefully. We had done everything right, and she had the most incredible start to life. You could tell how content she was just by watching her fall asleep. So safe.

I had it all. And then I had it all taken away from me.

It breaks my heart how my life has changed so much and in the process I feel so disconnected as a mother. I feel like I’m not there as much as I owe it to her and I don’t know what happened in the process. My weeks now begin by her being at her Dad’s, whilst I got up for my 5.30am starts, and returning home, alone, around 7-8am in the evening and preparing for it all over again. Sometimes I don’t come home. I am M – the 25 year old Research Scientist trying to find her way in her career. I am not a mother.

What have I become, that the majority of my time is spent trying to earn money, thinking about my silly mood issues, and disconnecting myself from the one thing that she needs me to be? Just because my life has changed doesn’t mean I have to give myself up as a person.

“Life is hard. Just try not to lose yourself in the process.”

I have thrown myself in to my new life the past year (I can’t believe it has been a whole 12 months) believing that I didn’t want the whole family thing. I do. I really do. I want the house and the security and a partner who dotes on me, and to be healthy. I want a family, not just me and Lola but maybe even more little ones to look forward to. I want to do friggin washing every day, and slaving away over the stove every night and paying bills. I want bills! I never thought I’d say that but I want to sit down every month with my partner and have serious discussions about ‘finances’.

I want my old life back what I was working towards. I just had the wrong person in it to live it with.

I don’t just owe it to myself to I owe it to my daughter, and I owe it to N, not to shut them out anymore. I’m so harsh on him too. I’m CONSTANTLY trying to prove a point – I am M and I do not trust, I am independent and I am my own person who doesn’t need a man, or anyone else for that matter. I am always trying to test if he deserves me or not. And every time I distrust him, or turn him away, he always comes back and makes me realize that maybe it’s me who doesn’t deserve him. How can I love somebody, anybody, if I don’t let them fully in and give them a chance?

It’s funny how one simple happening such as a pregnancy scare can open your eyes and completely turn your whole perception on it’s side. I really do hope good things for this year. I just need to be willing to let them happen to me.

The Countdown.

 

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Ten….

Nostalgia can often be the emotion I fear the most, particularly when it comes to certain times of the year. New Years eve is probably up there in the top spot.

Anxiety, regrets of the past, heartbreak, self hatred, rejection and again – fear – for as long as I have remembered, they have all huddled up together to make up one huge heated ball of nostalgic energy that sits with me as I pass through time through the end of one year to the beginning of the next.

Nine…

I was a teenager again, absolutely warpped up in the poisonous blanket of love. It was a love that breezed heavily through my life, through everything I touched, every cell that made up my innocent self. Do you remember your first love? How intense your feelings for one special person was, hyped up and magnified by the rebellious hormones flowing through your bloodstream, that one person you would risk your life for to save one last breath of theirs.

If only I knew what the real problem was back then – the intensity of having a disorder which controls you in a painful way that you could not possibly understand without the experience. How alone it made you feel how you was the only single person on the planet, in this lifetime who hurt to the extreme over something so trivial as loving someone who never loved you back. I was 13 when I first laid eyes on the boy who unknowingly pulled me in to ten years of hell. It was only when I got my diagnosis when the chains of torture began to release themselves and I was set free.

Eight…

I cut the pain away, everytime. I was sixteen all over again. What should have been a night full of joy, friends and laughter turned in to a self-pitying party for one, where the only thing I could do was to carve in to my body to release the terror that was inside me for reasons I never understood. Never had I felt part of a team, part of someone elses soul, a collective. I went in to the next year which was supposed to be something special, full of shame, as I had to hide what I’d done away and battle my identity all over again. Some things never change.

Seven… 

New year, new me, something I always aspired towards at this time of year. I will change, something will change for the better… Little did I know that it was me who had to do all the work, to look inside myself. Nor did I know that every single year will be even more traumatising than the latter. I always had high hopes, but that soon spiralled downwards every time I felt a flare of heated emotion.

Six…

Drink. Drugs. Anything to numb the unidentified horror that I felt burning inside my raw and battered heart. Vodka, wine, whiskey, cocaine, absinthe, raiding my parents med cabinates trying to find something – anything – to poison my blood stream and change my twisted state, but each crushed pill I ingested, inhaled, it just fed in to it. I was feeding this monster and it was getting more powerful by my unruly actions. My thoughts were unidentifiable; logic, vigilance, empathy – they had dissolved the more I lost my true self. I was killing her, I was killing the real me, and I couldn’t put a stop to what I was doing. Because it wasn’t my choice anymore, no. I had stopped breathing a long time ago.

Five…

New Years Eve, 2013. I looked in to her eyes in the mirror, her reflection gazing back at me. Who owned this pair that stared back? Who was she? This body felt so powerful, this sexual energy bubbling inside of me, breathing in my own aura and growing stronger, more sensual. These thoughts inside my head had targetted exactly what it wanted – what She wanted. She wanted him and she was going to stop at nothing until she had him held down tightly by the wrists, pinning his body down underneath her. She needed. A release, to explore – a heated state that cannot be put in to empty words. She just needed it as badly as she needed herself. She was her Wolf.

Four…

She took his key, ever so confidently and took him home, without any hesitation. She unlocked his door and pulled him in. Kissed him, it felt so good to kiss a different pair of lips for the first time in years. She looked in to his eyes, so sure of herself.

“Is this her Wolf you have unleashed tonight?”

She gave a sly smile in return, and leaned to his ear.

“The Wolf wants to tell you a little secret. She’s not wearing any underwear…”

And with those words lingering in the air she slid down her dress and proudly paraded her body in front of him. The Wolf always gets what she wants; even if she has to deviate to get it. She feels no shame, no regrets, and not a single thought in the back of her mind about the man of 6 years, the father of her child, she’d left at home.

Three…

Crash. Overdoses. Self-harm. Hallucinations. Hospital visits. Missed medications. Addict. Affair, after affair, after affair. More heartbreak, rejection, dismissed. Hatred, she had become someone who she or those around her barely recognised. She was ruining her life, and she loved every single second of it. Her choices weren’t her own anymore, they belonged to some vicious, cruel entity who had latched on and swallowed her whole, sucking the souls out of everyone around her. A tsumami of ever lasting waves, repeatedly devastating the lives of her loved ones again, and again, with each hit more tragic than the last….

Two….

A light. Angels, reaching out. A saviour. A glimpse of myself, who I used to be. A fighter. A diagnosis. A lifeline. Help, finally there was help. A continuous journey of pain, that didn’t have to be taken alone anymore. Choices.

A break up, homelessness, peniless. Family and friends lost, true family and friends who walked beside me. Helped me pick up the missing pieces of my long lost self, and put the real me back together. I had nothing. Blank space. Emptiness. But it was in that emptiness I finally found myself. A chance to grow – rebuild my life. I found my home, my independance. My daughter got her mother back. The hurt was still there but I had a choice, I knew I did not have to suffer alone.

One…

The clock struck midnight on the 1st of January 2015. From one moment to the next, nothing drastic happened. There was no devastating concequences. No hatred. No rejection. No painful nostalgia this time.

For the first time in forever, the only word I would describe what I felt at this moment in time, was simply, Peace.

And it was. A contentness within myself. This time I had made the right choice. No drugs to poison my system, no more drunken mess, bad decisions, my wolf was soundly sleeping. I stayed in, no more over-partying the pain away. There was love in my heart, and not the kind of love that hurt. It was a love that was calm, gentle and content. A love for myself, my true self that I never thought i’d ever feel. Nothing felt too much, nothing to the extreme. It was almost…easy.

I looked over to my left and saw The Boy staring back at me, smiling. It was the first New Years kiss that I have remembered in a long time. Probably because I had made the choice to stay in, sat down with myself and thought, “how do I really want to spend my evening..?”

Of all the things that have lead me to that moment, all the hurt that had been caused by my past actions, not only hurt to myself but to others around me. I was grateful for that final push that shattered my life as I knew it which made me find the real me again.

2015 won’t be an easy year for me. I will still hurt in my heart, my Wolf will still sound a faint cry in the distance, and depression will probably seep in at some points over the next 12 months. My anxiety will still pop by to choke me for fun, I will still have to take my medication. But I can start the new year holding this self-love in my hands and raise it up as my trophy to show I have battled through it all and, finally, I have found some sort of inner peace to hold on to.

 

Happy New Year x

 

Love.

heart

I thought I would post a lighter hearted topic seeing as it’s Christmas Eve and all…

I have finally come to terms with the fact that (and actually allowed myself) to fall love with The Boy. As scary as it sounds to me, scary being a total under exaggeration, I am taking that brave step and allowing myself to feel something for a change, without fighting it off.

It’s early days. Thinking about it, there is so much more I do not know about The Boy. But what I do know, is that when he’s not here, it hurts.

I have found someone that, for the first time in my history of dating, respects my raw thought’s, my decisions, my passions. I have opened up to this wonderful person, and so far he hasn’t turned a judging eye to me. It’s been all ears, and an attempt to understand the best an outsider can. He has tried with me, and tried and tried again with me, and mustered the strength to be effortful with me, even if I have not given anything in return.

Love for me is painful. It hurts so much. My emotions are intense right now, it is the way I am built. I have Bipolar charged emotions, that I know can skew my health if I let it, can become dangerous to myself and to those around me if I allow them to get out of control. This is extremely difficult for me, and I’d rather hide away and shut myself out forever. My head is screaming at me to turn around and walk away without looking back, my instincts are raging to stay safe and protected, bubble wrapped from the world. But I also realise that I can’t lock myself away forever. Slowly does it, I will continue to take as long as I need to take, and I probably have a long run of painful emotions ahead of me and my feet will crumble time and time again below my heavy heart.

To The Boy – the one who has never failed to make me laugh each and every day since the moment I met him.

A wonderful Christmas to you all xxxxx

Run.

run

How do you learn to stay put and fight when every single cell in your body is screaming at you to run?

After all the hardship with the ‘ex-boy’ the past few years and the intense break up that followed come March 2014, it took me a while to convince myself that I would have to eventually trust again. A foundation had been built, steel walls entrapping the shattered soul inside, leaving me in my lonely but ever-so safe haven away from the hurtful bodies around me.

When I started getting back on the dating scene again before the Summer, I had no intention to jump in to a relationship. I knew what I needed and the intense emotions that come along with the beginning of every partnership was not it – the uncertainty, the jealousy, paranoia, the are-we-aren’t-we’s and are they going to hurt me’s – No, these were the certain things that I needed to protect myself from for my sanity, for my health. I’ve had my heart broken wayy too many times this year, I cannot bear to have it shattered again.

Besides, I knew it was hard enough to get through anyway, never mind having the burden of the Bipolarcoaster to ride with as well.

Psychotic Mood disorder + Love = Pain.

When The Boy came along in June, despite dating an exhausting 7 men at a time (I have Tinder to thank for that – a little slutty but I had nothing to lose), he was the only one who didn’t push me. Let me tell you a little inside secret about the male form from my experience;

They meet an independent woman who can stand on her own feet, express her own opinions without being scared of not being heard, a woman who can *gulp* actually say it forward and ask a guy out on a date for a change, who doesn’t ever message you first, and doesn’t mind if you don’t contact her for a whole week, who enjoys her own company, is honest and real and is not afraid to be on her own…

They meet a woman who doesn’t need them – and they turn PSYCHOTIC.

Needy, pushy, argumentative, soft and my gosh desperate – every single one of them turned slightly mental over the fact that I wasn’t clingy or needy over a guy who I was dating. I was purely real and enjoyed their company but could still enjoy my own company more, could sleep without the strings and then get on with my own life the next day. After two or three meetings, said ‘dates’ started buying me endless gifts, showing up at my doorstep unannounced after I didn’t message for two days, and even turning up at my work after not arranging another catch-up for a week (Honestly!! I believe the message that followed went along the lines of “So I came in to work desperate to see you today…”) I’d began to wonder if it was worth all the hassle I was getting, when one day I actually messaged one of them first for the first time in my series of dating shenanigans.

I remember being sat at my desk daydreaming away at work. I hadn’t heard off this Boy for a few days, and all of a sudden I felt an urge to see how he was doing. It was a real feeling, a genuine move on my behalf. Usually, I would only message when it suited me and I’d never be the first one to text, as shady as that may sound.

No, The Boy never pushed me. And so we kept on dating, took it slowly and he ended up filling every single one of my needs on the whole dating side of things.

The first night we slept together took me by surprise. It didn’t feel like a ‘one night, for the sake of it, let me just get my fix’ sort of moments. It seemed real. Nothing was rushed, nothing was played out like a game; it just was. We woke up together and spend the rest of the day with each other, lying on a grass embankment in the sun like it was the most natural thing in the world to just… be.

The first one to have me send a message first, the first one not to be rushed out of the door in the morning by me.

I ditched the dates after that night.

Six months down the line, he is still here. He has established himself as ‘The Boy’ in my life, and nothing has changed. He just fit in. Nothing is rushed, my heart has opened up slowly somehow understanding that there was no need for me to be frightened and if it got too much I could ever slow down or back out. I feel lucky to have someone like him in my life. He accepts me for my illness, he makes me laugh, he listens and he respects my opinions and decisions. He is exactly what I may have needed, if not what I certainly want in my life at this moment in time.

Then, as predicted, alarm bells started ringing.

I met his friends for the first time at the weekend. Expecting a nice night, it turned horribly wrong, when I ended up leaving feeling hurt, intimidated and disrespected over a few comments confidently expressed without a care in the world over The Boys Ex-flings, a few of them somehow thought they would just share the details of his past sex life in front of me. Ouch. It hurt. Whether it was jealously, anger, paranoia, a shatter of self-esteem or just a plain defence output over how disrespected they made me feel – it spiralled some sort of infinite anxiety loop inside of me. As much as I respect The Boy for not joining in, or making it worse in anyway, I did not deserve to be in that situation and I definitely do not want to experience what I felt in my heart that night. I would rather be alone than to be hurt by the poisonous sting of Love, whichever form it will inevitably arrive in this time. I’d rather live without the fear that I was going to get hurt and crawl back in to my castle like a princess who insists on being her own knight.

That night has reminded me just how harmful other people outside my (extremely) tight circle can be, and even though Boy’s will be Boy’s and all that – memories of how my personal past experiences of Boys (-and just that, I’ve yet to find someone who is bold enough to be labelled as a ‘Man’ ) has come flooding back to me, to haunt me, and to hurt me. For I know, and I am certain, that every single partner I have had and I have yet to have will throw that dagger and aim it to the bullseye of my heart; again, and again and again.

As a consequence of this weekend’s events, The Boy who’s smile I have fallen in love with I now want to run away from because of other people’s immature and cowardly actions.

 

 

The Wolf – Hypersexuality.

wolf

I’ve had the hardest time this week. The wolf is back.

For the second time this year my sex drive is sky high and on the verge of being out of control. I’ve put off this post for a while, but it’s about time I start admitting to myself that sometimes my behaviour is disorderly as a concequence of the irrepressible emotions that build up inside. Theres no doubt I have the off episode that somehow manages to channel itself in to sexual energy, it doesn’t become a want anymore, it becomes a need.

Due to the research found on the fluctuation in sex drive being a symptom of the bipolar illness, P has now begun to understand exactly why I get the way I do.

The drive for me is so intense that its enough to take over my mind and completely change who I am as a person – my actions and personality is unrecognisable. When the high promiscuity becomes uncontrollable I am agressive, manipulative, controlling and my inhibitions are non-existant. If I don’t manage to achieve what I want I become at risk to myself, the self harm turns bad – i’d do anything just to let something out, even if means being violent towards myself.
I hate to say it but i’m ashamed of how i’ve hurt others in the past, and how I have disrespected myself. Little things that didn’t seem so bad at the time have now built up and are eating away at me. It makes me feel like the kind, considerate and caring person I’ve always thought myself to be is a nasty horrible being.

The things i’ve put P through in the past – the wolf has threatened him, caused arguments, hurt him, been violent and physically restraining him without even a hint of compassion. It’s all a game to the wolf, she wants to play and there is only one winner. Physical – dare I say it – rape, towards someone you love is as serious as it gets. He’s been hurt, and I have to suffer the concequences of my actions when my emotions are out of control.

This week, however much i’ve managed not to let that wolf destroy my life, I am concerned that its on the brink of being let off its leash. Multiple passes towards P per day (which have continued despite of him letting me have my way as much as he can physically manage) have escalated towards the point in which he can’t keep up with my demands and its crossed in to the danger zone. I’m indulging in fantasies that I cannot get out of, they stop me functioning throughout the day and have stopped me from getting to sleep at night (I’m averaging about 5 hours a night now). I have discovered the online world is my friend – the dating profiles have started up again, I have spent hours on end each night trying to find men to unleash her on. The urge to go out – the urge to pursue, is getting too much for me to handle. I think about the concequences of who I have been in the past – either i’ve been hurt or somebody else has. It needs to stop, or else I’m going to end up hating myself.

I’m surprised I have managed to stay faithful for the 5 and a half years of my relationship with P lasted – even though the risk is always there, he somehow manages to ground me. I’ve still managed to get myself in situations, near misses, stripping off in a room full of strangers, waking up completely undressed in a bed next to someone I barely know, with no recollection of the mad night out i’d had before. The excitement gets to much for me to handle, and I’m afraid i’m going to spoil everything i’ve ever worked for.

It’s the wolfs attitute towards situations when shes awake that terrifies me the most. When shes out on the prowl it doesn’t matter if she’s single or taken, it doesnt matter who gets hurt, if shes putting herself at risk or if shes disrespecting herself or giving herself a reputation. She’s used. Shes had multiple partners in one night. She’s swapped partners in the middle of an act. She’s pursued friends, friends interests and disrespected friends parents beds. She’s had sex at work. She’s had sex in a room full of people. She’s been watched, without a care in the world. She’s been dragged away by concerned friends from a known rapist. She’s attempted to cheat. She’s never used protection. She’s suffered the concequences of not using protection.

She’s willingly let someone else suffer the concequences of her not using protection, fully aware of what she was doing.

I know, when shes out, that I play dangerous games not just with others but with myself too. I don’t think about the reprecussions of my actions. They are non existant in my world when that drive takes over. I think i’m becoming to realise that this issue can only be adressed by admittance of the past mistakes and secrets I’ve held inside, not only hiding them from the world but hiding them from myself. Awareness is my first step in that journey towards beginning to understand, and fix, the sensitive soul inside of me. The soul that feels everything that little bit too intensely.

As for tonight, I believe a mixture of guilt, shame and release has already managed to tame the wolf roaring to get out inside.