It Takes Two

Hi everyone,

I’m going to briefly discuss today. I really need to get a few other feelings out so I will try and do that too…

I’ve just copied something I’ve written already because it sums up this morning!

“So today was a crappy start. I didn’t want to go to leavers group today, but I kinda had to as I had a card I needed to give to another member. Otherwise, I’d have quite happily stayed in bed.

As usual, got to talk a teeny bit bring up a load of suff only to be told to come back to it another time because there was other stuff which needed discussion, but the stupid thing was half of the time was used up with a member creating a division in the group and singling two of us other members out. I was able to switch off from it because I feel there are far more important things to talk about, and we were wasting time, but then these were their issues and I have to try and be respectful of that, despite me being one of the targets.

Oh, working in a group is such fun. Everyone seems to think they’re worse off than the other, and being able to say how you really feel is so hard because you feel as though you’re then copying others. Is it really possible that we are all feeling the same way? I don’t see how that is possible. I mean, we may all have a personality disorder but has it become a way of being in the group, that we must all be so negative and feel crap all the time?

I have been trying so hard to be happy, than now I am feeling like rubbish, I feel as though I cannot talk about my thoughts and feelings because there’ll be someone else wanting to rain on my parade and take over! It’s a joke.

To be honest, I said I’d try and make it until Christmas. I don’t think I can last much longer there… Fortunately my CPN is looking into other things which might be beneficial for me. Fingers crossed something works out…”

So, aside from the above and this morning being quite rubbish, yesterday I have to say was by far worse. I am having some problems with a couple of friends. Namely the potential donor and his girlfriend. I’ve screwed up. As always I push away those I love. I mess up my best relationships by saying or doing something stupid. Now, I’m not straight, nor do I consider myself bi-sexual. I am attracted to men, but not sexually. I most definitely prefer women though, and I am sexually attracted to women, thus would be considered ‘Lesbian’ (I actually hate that word, and prefer – Gay!), so, yes – the reason I’m saying this is because I made a mistake on my birthday … Although it wasn’t really a mistake because I’d joked about it beforehand and yes, I kissed the potential donor, and I now have this feeling that this “action” is why he pulled out, which is quite silly really because it “takes two to tango” … Anyway, this has now become “high drama” in my life and destroyed two of the best friendships I had. His girlfriend (or rather friend with benefits – currently), had previously, (before the kiss), said goodbye to him, and then the next thing is she sees us kissing. Now, I admit… I was drunk. At first, I didn’t think I was, but I’m going to own up and admit that okay, maybe I was a bit! So, she’s now wanting to leave the party, which for me was norma because everyone was leaving at different times. I didn’t even realise that my other friend was going with her, and I can’t even remember saying goodbye….

So as far as I was aware, after my party things were okay. No-one had said anything… UNTIL, I get a message from my friend saying that his feelings had changed because of MY actions, and that I had been sarcastic in messages (which is true, but more out of frustration due to not getting a response when I wanted), I’ve then asked my Wife and my other friend what happened, what actions he might be referring to, and the kiss gets mentioned.

I then feel completely rejected from all three of them. I mean, it’s been at least 3 weeks since my party and they’ve thought this of me the whole time. My Wife didn’t think it mattered as it was only a kiss, though when she heard it was a full on snog, she thought otherwise, still – we’re good, and that’s what matters -PHEW!

Though my friendships, they’ve been wrecked. With one of them, it was just ultimately destroyed after I’ve been accused of only wanting to be friends with him for one reason. It just showed how little he thought of me, and utterly destroyed my soul. My other friend, well… we have been trying to sort things out. But after I removed her from my new profile on Facebook (something I’ve yet to mention on here), she presumed I didn’t want to be friends with her as she was a negative thing in my life, which was not the case at all, it was more that I needed time to think things through and all the while we were friends on my “normal” account, I figured we could talk it through there before moving onto my new account which I created for a “positive” and hopefully, healthy reason!

I feel as though I have been pushing them away by constantly bombarding them both with text messages and private messages. Though, I haven’t been at it all the time, the words I say can perhaps be seen as harsh, too honest and too sharp for peoples liking.

I was so unhappy with my friends not being able to be honest with me from the very beginning. I feel as though I have been betrayed, and not been the betrayer. Yet that is what they are making me out to be.

I don’t know… Am I in the wrong? Obviously I have not stated any of what our messages were, but I can assure you they were only what they ought to have been. I was able to express my feelings and I agreed with some of the things which was said to me.

Anyway, I want to leave it there today because I’m mentally and physically wrecked. If you can let me know a solution to this situation and a way to get my friends back, if you feel a) I deserve them or b) They deserve me, then please let me know. Thank you!

That’s all for now. Speak soon!

Erica x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Where am I going?

Hi guys,

Goodness me, WordPress have updated their site. I think that just shows how long I’ve been away from last post. I’m so sorry about this.

**Trigger warning: self harm idealisation**

In all honesty, my head has been all over the place. To be fair, I’m not coping at all. My brain won’t switch off and the self-harm thoughts are constant. By which, I’m continuously fighting minute by minute and it’s exhausting.

I’m only just starting to speak up about such things. I find talking about self injury a shameful and embarrassing topic. Yet after something which happened last weekend, and with me being brave enough to speak to my GP during the week, I realise that I don’t know how to ask for care before it’s too late.

I’m scared.

That’s what it comes down to. I think I’m frightened of what people will think of me. I am frightened by what they will do or say, but most of all, scared of myself. If I start talking, it’s like those thoughts become real. More real. The demons win because it’s out there, even if there isn’t a physical wound.

If you could see the inside of my body, I am scarred from head to toe. But visually, when you look at me, faded scars, some barely noticeable, others covered by ink. My life hidden and shamed. Why can’t I talk about how I feel without feeling so embarrassed?

I don’t know.

Perhaps it’s something to do with a pattern I’ve learned growing up. Something which has impacted my whole life, where I have continued to keep these thoughts “secret”, and attempt to manage them on my own. I know one thing about not speaking of such things… I didn’t want to worry anyone. But then, after all these years, what has it been doing to me? It’s only been making me worse. A constant battle inside will find a time to explode and defeat me. I will lose and I am afraid of that time.

This is why I *need* to start talking about how I feel. Learn not to be afraid and stand up to my thoughts and feelings. Learn that that’s all they are, and that I am stronger than I believe.

Ha. If only it were that simple, right? I’m sure I’d have worked through it all by now. The trouble is, as every day goes by, there’s always something which lets me down, whether it’s someone, something or somewhere. I have such high expectations that I just don’t know where  to draw the line. The expectations of myself are high. Far too high, that I don’t even know myself!

I have never had a great idea of my self-identity. I have tried so much to create one, but I am sure I fail at every attempt. If I stop trying then I am at a loss of who I am again, and the circle continues.

I have tried so much to work out what I want in life, but I keep coming back to the same answers. I don’t know. To be happy? Is it that simple? What is happiness? I am “happy”, but again, my expectations mean living in a bubble where nothing can hurt me.

In fact, just earlier I was speaking to my Care Co-Ordinator, and I said how I feel as though I am a little girl in a world full of adults, even though I am supposed to be an adult now too. She said that everyone can feel like that, but I don’t know if she really understood what I meant. I meant as in, I physically and mentally feel like a child.

Now, lets just try and summarise the past few weeks as to why this has come about…It’s been an up and down couple of weeks… Since my last post, in fact the night of that post, things started spiralling. My Wife and I had a bit of a tiff and I ended up sleeping on the sofa, when all I wanted was for her to understand my point of view and ask me to return to the bedroom. Jeez, I did miss my duvet that night! The day after we still hadn’t sorted things out properly and had to be “normal/fine” as we went out for a meal with a relative.
Then, on Tuesday at Leavers Group, I managed to discuss the “baby stuff”, which quite rightly had broken my heart, but it was something I didn’t really want to bring up because I know there’s not much time to discuss such personal detailed issues in a group of 15 or so. I’d been to the library that same day, so there was no time to be emotional about it, just get on with things. I had to concentrate on my coursework, and to be fair – it was probably the right thing having a distraction.
Then Wednesday, I had a doctors appointment and discussed a few issues, one being my thoughts and feelings. The reason I mentioned it was because of a review of my medication. That was all. Let’s say that I didn’t really want to as it has realised I’m not good at asking for help with I need it. Then in the evening, I attended a friends birthday party at an art cafe. I hadn’t been invited to a party for so long, and this meant so much. Though I was so nervous because I only knew my friend and none of the attendees. There was a moment of silence surrounding me, everyone huddled in their groups and me just stood in the middle, perched on a table just waiting to be acknowledged. I smiled as a girl, but I had no idea what to say. My silence astounded me. I soon began to fit in after I found something I liked. Which then got us all talking. I’d picked a rabbit to paint and we were all able to discuss the size of the model and also about animals. It was quite nice, but other than that, we were all so busy concentrating on painting, there wasn’t much room for talking.
Thursday was migraine day! Whoop. Not. I haven’t spoken much of GammaCore recently. I need to admit that I am not very good at using it 3 times a day, so i think I’ve been starting to pay for the lack of usage. It’s my own fault really. No-one else to blame!
Friday evening, my Wife and I had a couple of friends over. We’d arranged to have a night in with some friends playing computer games, but only two could make this date. It wasn’t that bad, in fact we had a laugh. Although I had a lovely time, again my expectations were of all my friends and getting take-away, something we couldn’t afford.
Then as for this weekend, we’ve simply spent it chilling out and trying to catch up on lost sleep and spent an evening at my Mums for dinner and catch up.

Then today happened. All the above seems pretty normal, right?

This morning I woke up to a message from the person who pulled out of being a donor. Finally, a response I have been waiting for but not the response I wanted. It’s made me realise that people are dishonest, liars, cheaters and nasty. That is us. That is the human race, right? All I want from people is honesty. And this is where I realise that my expectations of myself and people are far too high. My realisation that there is no such thing as perfection. Yet I yearn for it so deeply.

Today I feel soul destroyed, heartbroken and utterly worthless and betrayed. Those I thought knew me best, know so little about me. This has made me start to doubt myself. How genuine am I being too? They say practice what you preach, but what if I’ve been preaching the wrong message? What if I am the one who has ultimately screwed everything up because of how I perceive the world to be?

I sure hope you understand this. I feel like it’s now utter nonsense out of my mind, but at least it has created a little space inside my mind to breathe. Every if just for a moment…

Thanks for reading,

Erica

Dear Wife

Dear Wife,

I want to thank you for everything that you have done for me over the past year and a half whilst I’ve been in therapy. I know it hasn’t been easy, for me or for you.

I know I should probably be in work by now. I imagine you’re probably thinking the same. It would at least put us in a better financial situation than we’ve been in these past few months. It is not my fault that the “system” is taking forever in sorting out my benefit claim. I just wish they could see the impact it was having on the health of all those applicants waiting, because I feel my health declining the longer I wait. We’re in our 5th month of me not having a single payment, whilst we await my assessment outcome. You have had to support the both of us for much longer than I ever expected. And I mean what I say, when I say – I will make it up to you. Even more so, than you can ever imagine.

You have been there at my lowest points, and seen me at my highest. I am sorry that there have been more low points this year. It has been hard working through things and digging into the past. It has been hard trying to come to a realisation of a few things, one being not being able to remember my past. I feel my childhood has disappeared, and I have no memories of being a child, just the stories I have carried with me over the years. The child I see in the photos or how videos is not me, but someone else. I just wonder where she has gone and if she’ll ever be found.

I’m sorry that during the year there were times I held some stuff back from you. I was embarrassed and ashamed with some of the things I was doing. There was a lot of hurt and pain inside and my emotions at times got the better of me and let’s just say that I never mean to upset you by not talking to you before I hurt myself in any way. It sometimes just happens and I have no control over it and I then realise at some point I have to talk to you about it because hiding things from you is one of the worst feelings possible as it heightens my anxiety. I should know by now, that I shouldn’t be afraid to talk to you.

I am sorry for all the tears I’ve cried over nothing. You keep telling me not to worry about things, but you see myself continuing to get worked up over things which really don’t matter. We both know it is part of the illness, and that I am trying my best to distract myself, but there are times where I really do feel completely and utterly worthless.

I keep asking what is my purpose? Where am I going? What am I supposed o be doing? Aside from therapy, I feel as though I should be doing so much more. But you know that my physical health also puts a strain on the things I maybe “should” do, but you always tell me to look after myself and to rest or sleep. I feel that I should do the cooking, the cleaning, and all other household chores, but you simply say that my tasks are to cat sit and work on my home learning course.

How is it possible that I deserve someone like you?

We have been together for almost a decade, and every passing day I love you just that little bit more. You have been so strong and supportive to me over the years and seen my disabilities become disadvantages, but it has never made you once think about leaving me and instead you work around those disadvantages and work on things we can do together. You care so much about me and I have never felt cared for as much as I do by you. You put me first, before yourself, and I need to ask you to stop doing this.

You need to look after yourself. You have feelings and emotions too. It is hard when I see you “just getting on with it”, because you need to express your feelings instead of bottling them all up inside. I find it distressing when you cry. I’m not used to you crying, so when you do, I find it hard knowing what to do and how to comfort you. All I want to do is hold your hand and say that things will be okay, but sometimes I feel that I should be doing more. I try really hard to be romantic and tell you “I love you” every day. I need to do this more because you deserve it.

It’s fair to say that we have both had our difficulties in our relationship, just like every one else. But we have risen above our problems and grown from past mistakes and learned lessons which we can only carry on with us into our future.

I love you. You are amazing. You have been my best friend since the beginning and my Wife for just short of a year now. I couldn’t ask for anyone else in my life. You’re always there when I need you and you’re always there guiding me in the right direction. You help me out through thick and thin and you let me know what you truly think about things. I appreciate your honestly and your loyalty towards me.

With you by my side, I am learning to love and trust those around me. You support me when my heart is broken from family or friend relationships. You help pick me up and work on what’s real.

From the bottom of my heart, deep within my soul, I just want to say thank you and I love you. Always and forever. You’re simply amazing and I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Love,

Your Wife xxx

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Hey everyone,

This post is about being in a same-sex relationship and wanting to start a family…

I’ve had a rubbish few days. On Sunday, I spent the evening trying to hold back the tears. I was half way through some pyrography work, whilst drinking wine, when I received a text message and a Facebook message from a friend of mine.

This friend I’ve known since 2006, and we have become very close. At one point, I was told I was his soulmate, then years later seen like a little sister. A friend who would listen to be and care for me.

I’d always joke about wanting his “babies”, when in all seriousness, that would have been nice!

My Wife and I have wanted to start a family for some time now, and especially as I am currently off work and still having therapy, we felt that this would be the best time as I would not need to worry about work, and I would have support from professionals too. My friend, also a close friend of my Wife has agreed to be a donor for us. We just needed to discuss the legalities of such a decision.

We’d been looking at alternatives for a sperm donor, such as the sperm bank or websites which offer free or paid for sperm, but the cost of these are so pricey and simply not affordable for us especially when it isn’t guaranteed.

My GP is aware of us wanting to start a family and he sent a request  to our local fertility clinic, but they don’t offer free IVF in our area, but they are happy to do the rest of the tests to see if, you know, it’s actually possible for me to have kids. (Pretty scary thought really!)

So all the while this has been happening, we decided to speak to our friend who’d said he would be happy to do it for us. We explained to him the cost of everything otherwise and he said that he’d like to because of his connection and affection towards me. We discussed with him what we knew, and then when it come to sorting it out, his only request was anonymity. This raised concerns for us, particularly myself in terms of my own mental health, I’d find it extremely stressful keeping such a huge secret away from a child asking questions when our friend is in the picture. I decided to explain why it would be impossible to remain anonymous, and it got overlooked.

After saying we’d been sorting things out, (I’d even contact solicitors, and written up a brief contract), I received the message, on Sunday…

He didn’t want to do it anymore.

This immediately tore my heart in two. We were so close to having everything ready, and suddenly dreams are shattered and I suddenly felt the immense loss of a friendship and trust.

I battled my way through the tears and tried to continue with my work. My Wife said he’d messaged us, and I said I knew but I wasn’t going to respond. She could see I was upset and my lack of talking was also an obvious sign that I was distressed.

We finished off the bottle of wine and I’d finished the work I was doing. I binged on an entire box of Roses chocolates and sank into deep depression.

I had to get myself out of it, and the only way I was able to, was to relieve myself of it with anger. I chose to respond, and of course without thinking about his feelings was harsh in replying and agreed with him saying that he was a hypocrite by saying he never wants kids, yet his girlfriend has a child (different father).

So, what was I supposed to think?

I knew this could potentially make things worse with our other friend, who just so happens to be his girlfriend. I sent her the messages of what he’d said about not wanting a family. I’d also been honest about how I was feeling. She was saddened that this decision had happened and swears she didn’t know anything about it, which I do believe, but it is hard for me to get her to see that being with him isn’t the right thing if he doesn’t see family, because that’s technically what they are!

My Wife and I tried to explain to him that the anonymity would have been impossible but that doesn’t mean he’d have anything to do with the kid. But it was being overlooked and it was as if he stopped listening to us.

I spent Monday in tears at my 1-1 appointment with my Care Co-Ordinator. I’d discussed the situation with her. I said that it would be difficult to discuss this issue in a therapeutic group, and that I felt that 1-1 therapy would be best for me in the future (I’ve been having doubts about the other group for some time now.)

My Wife also tried to make me understand that just because this is the decision doesn’t mean to say it’s the end of the world, it’s over, its never going to happen,  because there are ways around this. It just might the longer.

And this is where I get angry and frustrated. There are so many people out there who don’t deserve to have children, there are so many in foster care and up for adoption. I’d love to adopt, but our housing wouldn’t be suitable for a child, and unless it all happens “naturally”, then we won’t be entitled for a bigger place. Plus, the adoption scheme takes forever, having mental and physical health may prove difficult (not saying I’m completely uncontrollable!) and then there’s the whole same-sex debate that we have to tackle.

Why is is so hard for same-sex couples to start a family? It shouldn’t be this way.

On Tuesday I tried to discuss the situation, cryptically in the group. I didn’t want to cry, and I didn’t because of that, although I did cry most likely because of the heightened emotions. And then yesterday (Wednesday), I decided that having since calmed down and had a chance to reflect on the situation, I needed to work out where the friendship was going. Was it make or break?

I wrote out a heartfelt letter, which I’d like to share with you so you can understand the situation more clearly:

I felt it was best to send you a message a few days after, now that things have “calmed down”. It is understandable that in the moment of hearing this change of heart, that emotions were high from both parties.

I’d like to try and clear the situation up by trying to explain to you what should’ve happened, as I felt that you were shutting us down from explaining what should be a simple discussion.

I understand and appreciate the difficulty in your decision. I would like to say that those who offer as a donor are often those who just want to help others and don’t want to have kids of their own. This is what would be the case with us, if you were to have gone ahead with helping us.

At no point would you have anything do do with the child. As we would be doing it by ourselves, you wouldn’t even be on the birth certificate and it would be impossible to ask anything of you, which we never would do anyway.

The anonymity in this day and age is quite impossible. There are so many children born via donor trying to chase biological donors to piece family history, medical history etc together and it can sometimes affect their own mental health with them not knowing.

If you weren’t in our life as a friend, then it would be easier to keep distance and the secrecy of the child. However, by being a friend it would be hard on all of us to keep the donor situation a secret – something which should have been clear from the very beginning.

If you were to go ahead, we simply would have wanted to say that a friend had kindly helped us out, and that they can find out when they are older who, and then it would have been appreciated if at an appropriate age they could ask questions which they should rightfully know; and even just to thank the donor.

By being a donor, you would have been giving something incredibly special, a gift which is invaluable and would have actually made our friendships and bond much stronger.

Your message about not being bothered about the legalities of the situation, because as far as you saw it was that my wife and I would be the parents – IS the case. You would not, and never would have existed in that context, which I think you seem to be misunderstanding by this anonymity situation. Just because it would be “known” does not make you a parent. As as stated above, it wouldn’t be told who until they were older, and know a special friend gave us a special gift – But only when they started asking questions. It’s not like we would be shouting from rooftops about you being the “father”, because you wouldn’t be.

Your comment as well about handing the child back, and being a hypocrite by being with your girlfriend– Well, by handing her child back, we presume that things between you both won’t be serious because, although you say about it concerning ‘family’ and no plans, well, that means no future for the relationship because you wouldn’t be able to move in together, and what if, just what if your girlfriend fell pregnant? What would you do? You cannot hand a child back to their mother if you are with them. Whereas, if you were donating then you wouldn’t be having the child at all, because the child is mine and my wife’s responsibility. We wouldn’t be asking anything of you.

I am really hurt by your comment “You’re right, I never WANTED to help but I was GOING to help because of my connection to and affection for you. When I realised the only condition I requested was going to be ignored no matter what that was when I realised that I could no longer help. I know you have a low opinion of me and I’ll have to live with that. Don’t for one moment think that I’m happy about any of this situation and it’s ramifications to our friendship.”

This is because – 1. Stating you never WANTED to in capital letters shows just how much you never wanted this to happen in the first place, and secondly, saying GOING to help because, makes it sound like we were forcing you to. This was most definitely not the case. 2. The only condition you requested had not been ignored. In fact we had tried to explain to you why the option of anonymity was impossible, but for some reason, again you seem to assume that means you would have to be a father – which again, you would not have any right because you would not be on the birth certificate and there would be no legal attachment whatsoever. The reasons for it being impossible are because of the friendship. We would know about it, but it doesn’t mean the rest of the world need to know about it. I think you unfortunately weren’t willing to listen to our reasoning thus bypassing the fact we were trying to respect your wishes, and explaining to you that it simply wouldn’t be possible.

For the final 2 sentences of that message – I’d just like to say that my opinion of you isn’t low. I, in fact am hurt that you could not be honest and straight with us in the first place by saying that you never wanted to have kids, and then we could explain that you wouldn’t be. It would be me and my wife who would be. If we were a same-sex couple, it is without a doubt that we’d have had a kid by now. What has made the friendship complicated now is where to go from here, and that is most likely going to be made with the decision after your response to this.

If I was to be truly honest, I’d wish you would reconsider. However, I feel that there would be repercussions of this because I fear you will bail out again. We were preparing ourselves for the situation, and explaining to you all we knew. As you know by previous messages, I’d even been contacting people to find out the legal side of things to ensure that things could not get messy. We would be simply saying thank you for the rest of our lives. I just wish you hadn’t given us false hope when you knew deep down you couldn’t do it. We now need to find the funding to had a child which is something we cannot afford outright, and we also wanted to do it whilst I’m still at the “appropriate” age before it becomes more difficult. I wish you could understand how incredibly difficult it is for same-sex couples to start a family. It is something we never would have taken for granted and the friendship, as I have already said, would be unbreakable to to the bond all three of us would have.

Anyway, I think I have said all I wanted to say for now. I guess I’ll wait for your reply to decide the future of our friendship.

Take care,

And that was it. I have yet to hear a response, but I’m scared as to what it might be. Was I fair in my message? What should I have said differently?

I knew right from the beginning it seemed too good to be true… And as the heading of this post goes – it probably is…

And because it was, it broke my heart and destroyed me inside. I will find a way of mending these broken pieces. I cannot hold it all together forever. I’m not that strong. If there’s an update on this, I’ll let you know – But I have a feeling I won’t get a response for a while…

Thank you for reading this one. I know it’s a difficult read, particularly if you or anyone have also had difficulties conceiving or starting a family.

Speak again soon,

Erica

What living with BPD feels like.

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I wrote a piece of creative writing to describe what living with BPD feels like for me. I believe that there are other BPD sufferers out there who will completely understand this nonsense and that it will in fact make complete sense to them!

What living with BPD feels like:

There’s no easy way of describing exactly what living with borderline personality disorder feels like.

I think the best I’ve come up with is to imagine you’re Alice and you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole, and landed in a Labyrinth which happens to be the Matrix in Oz.

You’re unsure of what is real and what is not real. You’re unsure of your purpose in this place and what you’re doing there. You question yourself are you really there? And as you move cautiously around the labyrinth, you hold on to the walls, but they seem to be expanding and sometimes those walls disappear or you meet a dead end. You feel trapped and hopeless. Then suddenly, the labyrinth caves in and you’re in another place.

Feeling lost and empty, all you want to do is find your way back home. But where is home? You seem to have forgotten your path. You end up trapped in an endless place of searching through the paths, high and low. It feels like you have to make a choice, but you’re unsure of what is right and what is wrong. Once you’ve chosen your path, you begin to hallucinate and meet weird and wonderful creatures – Some often trying to help, others leading you the wrong way.

It’s a quiet place being alone, but inside your head it is so incredibly loud that all you want to do is scream for help. You try and no voice is heard. The walls shake with the vibrations of nothingness, and send you into a daze.

You find yourself curled up in a corner, hidden away from what you’re trying to escape from. The cries are misunderstood or unheard, the pain is endless and sometimes you need to find a release to the torment. The potential to harm in this place is high. You try so desperately to fight the urges, but the louder the voices, the stronger the hallucinations, the harder it becomes to fight, and you cave in.

For a moment, it feels like time is standing still. Yet, in reality, the whole world is passing by. You feel somewhat peaceful, but still yearn for a sense of reason, a sense of being.

Sometimes you cry, sometimes you just can’t stop. Other times you feel as though you just want to punch and kick down those walls in desperation of finding the exit.  You have strong desires about what you could do, and you get trapped within your fantasies.

Every time you turn a corner, it feels like you’re back at the same place. You’re lost.

It takes, what feels like an eternity to escape from this place, travelling far and wide in search of an exit, in search of finding yourself, and yet you had the power all along… You tap your heels together three times and upon waking up from the dreamlike state, you frighten yourself by knowing this is your reality.

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Writing and Pictures (C) theghostwithinme

Thank you for reading.

Erica

Thoughts keep spinning…

Hi guys,

I’m back, so soon!

Apart from my birthday, there have been other things going on, and my mind has been wandering around like I’m lost in some sort of Matrix. I’m literally making myself crazy by these thoughts spinning.

Firstly, an update on the Rheumatology Gym – I was discharged from them on Thursday because the exercises aren’t doing anything but give me grief. It shows that my fibromyalgia had heightened pain when exercising and I’m unable to continue to work outs weekly because I’m left wiped out after a session for up to 4 days. They have suggested I get referred to the Pain Clinic. I have been to the Community Pain Clinic before, where I was told I was a lost cause because everything they were telling me wasn’t helping, and that there was only so much they could do. Well, so much for receiving the right care you deserve! I had done a pain management course online, and I figured I’d been managing my illness well enough to get on with life. However, this seems to be NOT the case. Although the pain may be more manageable, it is the other symptoms I am unable manage, thus having an impact on my daily living. The main symptom here currently, is my shaking. My tremors when I walk down stairs are so scary because I feel like I could fall at any moment. When I walk up a flight of stairs, I use my walking stick and a hand rail. I am exhausted before I reach the top. This might explain the fatigue on going down the stairs, but even still – it is affecting my life because when I start looking for work, I am unable to work upstairs, which of course limits my options of jobs, especially as I also can’t lift heavy items etc. I need a desk job on ground floor level, but these are hard to come by and get! So yes, I am now waiting for a Pain Clinic referral for what will be the “full package” at the hospital, rather than the community, where they can offer psychotherapists for the psychological cause of pain, and all back injections which rheumatologists in our area no longer prescribe. Cut backs!

Speaking of work, I had my ESA assessment half way through October. I was told I’d hear the result within 2-3 weeks. I had my suspicions that I’d find out on my birthday, because hey – I’ve had a few things go wrong on my birthday – usually to do with work, so I was sort of expecting it. But no… After a tearful shop when preparing for my party, I decided to phone the job centre, to see if they knew of the decision. It was 2 weeks and 2 days, so they should have heard. Of course, if you’re familiar with the DWP and ESA assessments and the job centre, then you’ll be aware of how utterly crap and useless they can be. They hadn’t sent off my assessment until 10 DAYS AFTER my assessment. This meant it was still in the post, on the way to the job centre to be sorted through. I now how to wait another week or so until I HOPEFULLY find out what group I am placed in. It has been since JULY that I have not had a single payment from ESA due to not being in a group, and the basic rate running out after 365 days. It’s a complete joke, and it’s no wonder people end up worse off because of this. We are struggling financially, but we are getting by with lots of juggling. It’s really hard, but I am fortunate to have a Wife who supports me and understands the situation. I just hope they make the right decision… And let me know soon!

The next thing is, I really wanted to keep you up to date with the GammaCore situation. The awesome nifty gadget I am using for my Hemicrania Continua diagnosis… Well, I can’t remember if I told you or not, but I also got my daith pierced, which for acupressure has been known to help relieve headache symptoms. I got the piercing done late September as part of my birthday present, which was also not long after I started using the GammaCore. This meant it’s been hard to tell exactly what has been working – however, I can say that either one of them is! My pain has definitely decreased. I have only had a couple of major HC attacks, where the pain of the HC usually scares me because I want to kill myself because of such a high intensity. I have a feeling the piercing has helped a fair bit, although it is still healing, I am often forgetful and don’t use the GammaCore as instructed because I’m meant to use it 3 times a day, but sometimes I may only do it twice if I’m lucky. It is so hard to keep up with i, but it is of course worth it if it helps, which it certainly is too. If you have migraines and/or any headache disorder, speak to your GP or neurologist about the benefits of GammaCore! 

Okay, next things… friendships and forgetfulness, family and equality.

Friendship and forgetfulness: At what point do you give up on a friendship? How long can you try for to regain a friendship? How many times should you put in the effort? Yes, I’m on about my “ex” friend, who I’ve been meaning to see for some time now. She was going to come to my birthday, but did;t turn up. The next day she said that she thought it was that day, even though it’s all plastered over Facebook, I find it hard to believe. However, having Fibromyalgia, and a foggy mind – it is easy get things confused. After all, it is the first time I am sure, that I have ever done something for my birthday on a different day! So, I could understand the confusion. She wasn’t the only one who didn’t turn up when she said she would. There were other people too. I was really proud of myself for not letting it bother me, but what bothers me now is I had said if she didn’t turn up that I would cut my ties with her. But I still can’t let go, and have suggested meeting up. I have left the ball in her court, and I am going to leave it like that. But how long before I give up now? This attachment issue is very hard. It’s so irritating for me and for my Wife who sees the pain I go through with this!

Family and Equality: Our family is having a bit of a difficult time at the moment. My Dads Dad (My grandpa), have recently been moved into a care home. He has alzheimers and dementia as well as prostate cancer. He’s falling apart since he had a stroke 5 years ago. Needless to say, it’s been really difficult for my Dad and his Mum (Nanny), and my Dads sister (my aunty. I have mixed feeling. Really weird mixed feelings. I feel worried about how my Dad is coping. My Aunty has Fibromyalgia too and isn’t coping very well. My Nanny has a cancer scare and is awaiting biopsy results , and is adamant it isn’t cancer. My Dad has depression and has a lot of stress. For many years he put on a front, but I think that in the past few years that front has begun to crumble and I for one, worry about him. I’m not too sure how I am supposed to feel about my Grandparents. I’m told they love me, but I know they didn’t want my Mum to have me, or any of my siblings. They don’t like my Mum and that has been difficult over the years, mostly since a massive fall out around Easter time when they tried putting my Mum in her place and it was the beginning of the end for our family being one big happy family (in my eyes, when in actual fact this was never the case). Since then, I have barely seen or spoken to my Grandparents. I have also not been there to see my Grandpa deteriorate. It’s hard. And maybe even more so that my Dad recently said that Nanny has made it perfectly clear that she’d end it all if she had cancer, and if she lost Grandpa. Now, I can understand the loss of having spent 60+ years together, and currently having a sort of bereavement, despite him still being there. It’s painful because Grandpa just wants to go home and it’s hard leaving him there. It’s also worrying with the “state of care” he is currently receiving. With Nanny having high expectations, it’s hard to see what is a reasonable “state of care”. Our family have had our issues, and I am struggling to work out my feelings about this entire situation. This also concerns the matter “equality”. It was my sisters birthday yesterday – the day after mine. I received a card from my grandparents, and an amazing present from my Dad which I was not expecting. My sister, 11 years my junior, received a card from my grandparents with some money in it, and from my Dad a college backpack (which is what my sister wanted), plus some money to equal the cost of my present. My sister didn’t understand why she had the money too, and would’ve been happy with just the bag. But my Dad said we had to be treated equal. Now, I am not too sure where he has learned that from, because if anything, it has been his parents, my grandparents – the ones currently in this crisis, who are the least able to be equal to any of us. It’s not about greed here, I don’t care that I didn’t receive any money – After all, I barely speak to them now. But it is more about the principal. I get treated by my Wife’s Nan as if I were her own Grandchild, better than I do with my own. I only know one set of my grandparents. The other set seem to have abandoned us. And we have no idea why, so we just get on with it… Anyway, what am I supposed to feel? Another thing with my Grandparents – on Equality, is that they (well, I guess my Nanny now, I can’t blame my Grandpa due to his illnesses), won’t recognise I changed my name and have got married, that they still call me Miss and use my birth name. Is it because they can’t accept a same-sex relationship? It is rude to ignore it. And I find it insensitive. How should I feel about that too, other than angry?!

I’m going to leave this all here today because I’ve written a fair bit in both posts today.

I’d appreciate any comments you can make to the posts, as always.

Don’t forget I’m also on Twitter so you can reach me there too.

I’ll be back soon, with no doubt more ramblings!

Take care for now!

Erica

Birthday Blues

Hey everyone,

I apologise for yet another long wait for a new post, but at least this time I have a valid excuse… MY BIRTHDAY.

Yes. It is always this time of year I find the hardest. The clocks go back and the evenings get darker sooner. The weather is often colder, wetter and just darn right miserable itself, that basically Summer cannot come soon enough. Except we all know that we have to go through Halloween, Christmas and New Year before we can actually embrace the sun and warmth.

However, there are the positive parts to Autumn and Winter, when you’re not full of snot and cold… The colours of Autumn are magical, the smell of bonfires (the only bit of warmth you get, unless you spend X amount on your heating bill!) and “Christmas”, roasted chestnuts and mulled wine, are in the air, the misty fog upon awakening and if we’re lucky to see some snow, then the white blankets which fall upon the scenery creating an amazing sight of pure white heaven.

So, this time of year may have it’s beauty but it also has its ugly times. The rush of Christmas, everything completely overrated and commercialised, people pushing people out of the way of the latest bargains and ripping sale items off the shelves.

I don’t know why I have found the months October to February so dark for the past umpteen years. I always find myself at the doctors more often, and my depression is usually at it’s worst.

So, with my birthday falling in October, you’d think that would make me quite happy. Well, yes it does – it falls on Halloween. And for the majority of my life we have dressed up.

As a kid my birthday parties had the entire class crammed into my house and my parents would do their utmost to make sure we played as many party games as we possibly could.

Then, I reached secondary school and found it difficult to make friends. My first year at secondary school, I didn’t have a birthday party. My youngest brother and sister were christened. I didn’t find out until the day, so didn’t have must say in the matter, but I was happy at the time. It made it feel more special, but thinking about it, that first year of secondary school meant my birthday had a shadow over it.

The next couple of years I invited the few friends I had. I think, year 8 I had 3 people turn up, year 9 – 3, year 10 – 2, and years 11 and 12 -2 as well, despite inviting over 10 people. College was just as bad, I would invite those from school and college, and only a few people turned up. It wasn’t until I went to a pub when people turned up, as it was our “age” of drinking and clubbing, so everyone would pop in for an hour or so and then bigger off to the clubs.

The fact it was on Halloween meant that everyone dressed up and with everything going on in the town, it made it a night out for halloween not my birthday.

As you get older, you generally don’t want to do anything, but you do. It’s one of those contradicting moments, where you know you’ll regret it if you don’t at least try and do something…

I would invite people, but no-one would turn up.

In the end, over the past 9 years I have been with my Wife, she has seen guest numbers fluctuate because of Halloween. She has seen me get distressed at the amount of effort I go to, to then be let down by friends who don’t bother turning up. That this year, after a year of therapy and saying how no-one would turn up, I decided to change the day of my party by ONE DAY.

I started organising my birthday in AUGUST. Sending an invitation to lots of my friends on Facebook. I asked them to ignore the “maybe” button, and simply say yes or no. A few people said yes, and a couple hit the maybe button. But there were more who didn’t bother with either. They simply ignored my event. I am not too sure how you can miss events on Facebook these days, especially as the pop up on your newsfeed and notifications saying ‘events near you’ or “events coming up”, but hey ho. I organised it in August so I knew what I was doing, and gave people enough notice to make sure they could work their halloween plans around my birthday.

As the date got closer, I was starting to feel really anxious. We’re been purchasing food and drinks, and I was getting more stressed and anxious about the situation. I was feeling overwhelmed by the amount of people who said were coming, and thinking it was darn right typical that I end up with lots of people coming after a year of saying no-one turns up!

I find birthdays embarrassing and awkward. I do not understand the present situation, and feel awkward opening them up infant of people, as I feel like I don’t deserve them and I feel confused as to why I’m getting them. I can’t remember how I felt as a child, I guess I was always excited about presents, because that’s kids, isn’t it?

Anyway, the night itself went well. That’s when people started turning up. (I’d said from 4pm, and no-one turned up at 4!) It didn’t go as planned in my head – of course, I have high expectations and I thought I’d end up sitting down and playing on the Wii and competing with everyone on MarioCart, when in actual fact, I didn’t get he chance to sit down (For which I PAID FOR), and I drank a fair bit, but didn’t feel as though I had done, (I didn’t have a hangover!), and I also feel as though I didn’t speak to anyone even though I was so busy for the entire evening.

I have to say that I was please that everyone had a lovely time. I had gifts from so many people, which I didn’t open until the next day, to you know – save that awkwardness, except – it felt like Christmas and the presents kept coming, and I really did in the moment feel loved and special, yet completely confused as to why some many people had been so kind to me. Perhaps it is something I am not used to after so long? I don’t know.

This year I turned 28, and I have been extremely spoilt. Especially by my wife, who has gone out of her way to make sure I was happy and had the party I wanted. She spoilt me with gifts and spent way too much on me, when all I wanted was to spend time with everyone. To me, I am happy being around those who appreciate me for me, not being treated with gifts. (I’ll be writing a post at some point for my Wife, so keep an eye out)… I have been genuinely “chuffed’ with how things have been. It’s been a difficult time recently, not just the winter months coming in, but family stuff (new blog coming after his one), and just those negative feelings of worthlessness and not belonging.

I need to remember that my party showed that I do belong, that I am appreciated and cared for. I am not worthless, but loved and worth friendships.

I think it is important to remember the good times when feeling blue. It can help change the perspective on the situation.

I’ll leave it there for now as I want to have a break, and then I’ll crack on with the next post.

Look after yourself, and if you have a birthday coming up – remember that you are worth it. You are valued and appreciated. So, happy birthday!

As for Christmas and New Year, well… We’re not there yet – So I am NOT wanting to discuss that any more than I have done already until neared the time!!

Speak soon!

Erica