Well, that was a s*** week!

Trigger warning: Suicidal ideation

The knot in my stomach just got tighter and tigher as the week went on.

I thought that having spent a couple of hours with my brother meant that things were looking up, but a week later, 3 days before our Grandfathers funeral, and I recieve another Whatapp message “We need to talk”.

Straight away, I feel nauseous. I’d spent the evening with my wife and friends and it had been a lovely evening out. And then we’re on our way home when I recieve the message.
My wife suggested dropping me off, but I wished for her to be there with me, so she joined me.

I don’t want to go into details abut this because it is still incredibly raw, and I’m not even too sure how I am supposed to phrase it online! This “We need to talk”, actually meant “I need to bite your head off”, and I ended up being verbally attacked and threatened. So, much so, that my wife was in the middle trying to keep him from getting too close to me in fear he may physically hurt me. It was scary, but not as much as it had been in the past. I think that I know now how he reacts to things, and I could only wish he’d actually try something to then see where it got him.

Unfortunately, this meant on the day of our Grandfathers funeral, when all the family come together, I was doing my utmost to avoid looking at him.

I have decided that I cannot, and will not have anything to do with my brother any more. I need to look after my own health and he continues to wreck what is already damaged.

It meant that the funeral, which should have been a day of mourning, but also a day of celebrating, was also a day, for me, of grieving from the loss of my brother.

My family cried, I stood there – unable to cry. I felt hate and anger towards my brother, that these emotions left me blank. I spent the day dissociated, disconnected from many feelings. If I let myself “feel”, then there was a chance of something going horribly wrong, on a day I couldn’t afford to let this happen.

I feel sad from my Grandpa. I was sad that he had to see how much the family dynamics have changed over the years. The division was so obvious at the funeral, and for anyone witnessing this, it must have been unusual for them to see. Boys vs. girls, and one family aside from the other. The contrast from both families also obvious, those who have had a “posh” and “well kept” upbringing, to those of us who have been through hell and back, you could almost see the cracks on our skin. It was just sad.

I had wished so much for our families to come together, and whilst my brother played the charm card and socialised with everyone, all I could do is sit back, and think “if only they knew…”, except, what good would it do, but destroy something which doesn’t really exist anyway?

All we could do was be patient, and be there for those who “mattered”. After all, the day itself was for Grandpa.

…..

A couple of days later, I started a volunteer role with a reading charity. It’s only an hour and a half a day, for two days a week, which is a start to find out if I’m mentally and physically capable of anything yet!

I was so nervous, I forgot my lanyard and worried that I’d get told off for not remembering it. Fortuately, it didn’t matter, and I got to meet the children I’d be helping out for the duration of the school year.

The next day I had a meeting with my care co-ordinator, before heading off to volunteering.

I find it so frustrating sometimes, going to a meeting and discussing how you’ve been feeling, for about an hour, to then feel dumped when they say “We’re going to have to wrap it up here”, then leaving you feeling abandoned and uncared for. With what I discussed I needed time, and I also needed feedback. Feedback which I could try and evaluate there, not to take away with me and think about.

I even started the meeting by stating how much of a horrible, nasty person I must be, and then reflected on the few friends who have recently cut me and a couple of others out of their life, and how I’ve bee told I’ve done something which “hurt their soul”, of which, still humours me, because I can be a drama queen, but this is just too much! I just wish they could confront me, and state exactly what it is I am supposed to have done which was so bad. And then I’m told by my care co-ordinator, that maybe they just needed to take a step back from the friendships because they could see it was unhealthy for them…. And that makes me so angry, because I know full well that my care co-ordinator is also theirs, and makes me wonder what they’ve said to her, and what she must think of me, setting off my paranoia.

Overall, my mental health is deteriorating, and although it’s not as rapid as last time, and perhaps that’s due to the therapy, but I can see it all spiralling out of control.

I even got told that I was “mature” for not self-harming, even though that’s all I’ve felt like doing, and yet, is “mature” really the right choice of word? No. I’ve thought of all the ways I could harm myself, and know exactly what I’d do if I wanted to end it all. I don’t want those thoughts in my head. But by not acting on them does not make me mature. It still frightens me, because sometimes I don’t know what I am capable of. On the night I saw my brother, if I wasn’t in the company of my wife and friend, it is likely that I’d have done some serious damage and ended up in hospital. I’m grateful that they were there for me, and kept me safe. I just wish I could stop the thoughts.

Leaving the meeting, I thought so much about what is it that I should expect from those meetings. What support do I want, or need? The problem is, when you don’t know what support is there, or you don’t feel as though your deserve it, it can be hard to figure out exactly what you want.

I wanted the diagnosis so I could get the right treatment. I’ve been through Stepps, Stairways and the therapeutic community, and I feel as though I’m none the wiser. There may be some things I take control of now, such as not raising my voice, and holding back a lot more now, but it doesn’t stop the noise and chaos inside my head.

I have a constant battle in there, and I wish it would all stop just so I could breathe, and feel at peace with myself.

I had to leave that meeting and head to the voluntary role, which meant putting on a brave face. Just another mask to hide behind.

Noone would know that anything was wrong.

…..

And then, on Friday we held a Crafternoon event for Mind. I’d been organising it for several weeks, and getting raffle prizes from companies and local businesses, as well as craft materials from those willing to donate. I was always with my wife when we went to collect something, or had something delivered. I couldn’t believe how strong I was feeling about doing this, but I feel as though most of my energy was going into the event.

The event was really good. I was so fortunate to have a few supportive crafters alongside me who were willing to help out and run activities. I felt a bit like a magnet, in the fact that  everyone wanted to talk to me. It was hard to find a moments peace, even popping to the loo was hard as I had a friend bang on the door!

The total raised for Mind was £188, and I’m really proud of everyone who helped support the charity. Everyone kept telling me to be proud of myself, but it’s really hard, because I always think about all the other things I could have done… That’s being a perfectionist!

…..

After the exhausting week, I’ve since been flat out with a cold. It’s affected me so much. My poor nose, my throat has swelled up, and my chest is aching.

I feel as though all my stress is now coming out in physical symptoms, and I’m due a trip to the doctors for the nerve pain, which is ever increasing. It’s booked for this coming Wednesday! Let’s see what happens!

…..

Hopefully things will start to settle, but I highly doubt it.

Wishful thinking… That’s all!

Until next time,

Take care x

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A knot in my stomach…

When I wrote my post last week, there was one thing I didn’t mention.

I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t mention it because it was something which affected me quite a bit.

I’ve mentioned family complications before now, and due to the upcoming funeral of my Grandpa, a family reunion is to be held.

It meant confronting my brother.

He was supposed to be arriving in the UK this week, but instead he arrived a week earlier (last week), and was told by our Dad, that he’d had enough, and that it was time he (my brother), spoke to every family member he has an issue with… BEFORE the funeral.

Well, at least you’d hope it would make things easier for then!

Last week, I picked up my phone, and  I saw a Whatsapp message from a number I didn’t recognise. It just said “If you want to talk I’ve never been difficult to find…”, and then I realised it was from my brother. It caused a knot of anxiety in my stomach, and I was gutted I’d seen it too late to have gone to see him, when he had suggested meeting him.

I mean, all these emotions were going through me, and I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to meet him, but I didn’t. Afraid of what might get said… The next day, he sent me another message, asking if I could meet, and that he’d cook lunch! Goodness, was this him trying to make amends?

I asked if there was anything I could bring, and he’d asked for his favourite drink… I have to say that when I turned up, and realised I’d got the wrong drink due to my foggy mind and anxiety overwhelming me, I felt like an idiot! I felt like I couldn’t do anything right, and in that moment it should have been!

I held out my arms for a hug, not knowing what to say to the person who last told me to “F*** off”, before moving overseas…. He cooked a really nice vegan meal, and we had a chat about tattoos, tattoo shops and artists, and what it was like to live where he does now. There was a bit of an uncomfortable discussion, but he didn’t want to discuss it with me in regards to his hatred towards some of the other family members. I just hoped that this could be resolved before the funeral.

It’s unlike to happen though, and he may forgive but never forget, infact, I doubt he’ll forgive, he’ll just get on with things. I know the relationship will never be as it was when we were kids, but I can’t expect that now that we’re all grown up.

I think that having been through therapy, I’m trying so hard not to have these unrealistic expectations. I mean, it’s hard, and I still struggle with a lot of my “perfection” thoughts, but I need to learn that as you get older things change, and families change.

Our family is coming together to remember a loved one, of whom, some of us fell out with, some of us haven’t seen for years, and some of us saw frequently. We’ll all be seeing family members for the first time in a long time together, and it’s going to be hard, but we all have to remember that we are there for one purpose only, and if after the day has passed, that communication happens with those we’ve barely had any contact with before the event, then we try our best to appreciate those times, and just go from there.

So much still going on, and it really does need to slow down! 

When will it all end?

It all seems to be happening at the moment. I’m not entirely sure how much I can take.

I put on a brave face because I feel I have to, but the cracks are slowly but surely starting to show. I can feel myself fighting all the negative thoughts and feelings every damn second, and it’s ripping into me.

Not only dealing with the emotional aftermath of my Grandpa’s passing, but having to deal with funeral arrangements and family. Arrangements being – making sure we’re all there. And family being – making sure we all get on and don’t kill each other.

I’m dealing with the thoughts about a lost friendship too. I recently found out that I had “done stuff which hurt [their] soul”, I mean… What?! Am I really such a horrible person? I really wish I knew what it is that has been so terrible to use those particular words. I believe this person is exaggerating the situation, as they are the partner of my ex-friend, of whom I felt I had a connection with because we were able to discuss quite intimate stuff between each other. But… Clearly not! Read the situation wrong!
It was a shame because we had been on holiday together, been out for a few nights out, been to a local music festival, and had social time at home with bbq’s and games.
I’ll never understand what went wrong, all it’s done is heighten my trust issues again and made me feel very paranoid and anxious about the way people see and feel about me.

I’m also struggling with the thought of my youngest brother heading off to America for the year for work. He’s in his final year of Uni, and has a work placement. It’s a very scary and stressful process and he’s finding it tough. I just hope he will be okay when he’s out there!

I have so many racing thoughts in my head about things. The past, the present and the future. I know I can’t change the past, but it’s making me curse the present, and dread the future. It’s the feeling of the unknown which terrifies me.

I have a recurring image in my head, which I’m trying not to get too obsessed with, but I’m struggling with it… Internally screaming.

I’m working myself too hard again. My body is giving up on me. I’m back on gabapentin for the nerve pain. Most days my legs are hurting so much, a constant bruised feeling along with muscle spasms and shooting nerve pain. The hemicrania continua attacks are getting worse again, the pain level is increasing, and I need to start using my gammacore as prescribed. I struggle to use the device because it means holding it up to my neck for the vagus nerve for 2 minutes, and that’s 3 times a day. My arm doesn’t like it in that awkward bent position and I end up with shooting pain down into my wrist and thumb.

Yes, working too hard – study, no. Although, it really should be! Instead, I find myself distracted by organising other events. I see it as a challenge as it’s something I’ve struggled to do in the past. I have the help from Lauren, but the idea was mine. So I’m organising a Crafternoon event for Mind, which I feel is important to me due to the mental health. It’s crafts, which means I’ll enjoy it when the day comes, I’m sure… Until then though, it’s stressful trying to work out the plans, and make sure everything pans out all alright. I worry so much that no-one will turn up, that we won’t raise any money, that we won’t have enough materials and all sorts. It’ll all be okay… It’ll all be okay….!

I recently left my choir. It was a hard decision for me to make, but my care co-ordinator, Lauren and my friend all said to me, why do I go if it makes me unhappy? And that I should leave because of the way it’s been making me feel. I mean, I LOVE to sing. I was getting my confidence back, but then I started to notice that I become that child, where I felt very alone and that all these people around me were having so much fun, and I just felt as though I wasn’t able to join in. It seems as though I wasn’t the only one who felt this way though, so in a way it made it easier for me to leave, but telling them the truth about why, and all the reasons, I’m not too sure was a good thing or not. I mean, if noone tells them, how will they be able to change things for future members? Perhaps this is what people mean when I say the wrong thing and it gets me into trouble, maybe that’s why I struggle to keep friendships. Too honest and open, not considering the consequences? Well, it’s a BPD trait, but I know I am a very caring person and I do consider peoples feelings. I guess there’s still something I need to learn!

It means I won’t be joining in with the Hand in Hand festival which I was looking forward to in Manchester in August this year. I annoyingly paid a third of my accommodation, which I’m now told is nonrefundable. I am so angry and frustrated about this… It’s one of the reasons why I needed to leave choir because of their lack of communication and disorganisation. I need to know the finest of details otherwise I’m likely to panic.

Angry and frustrated by losing money, but also upset because financially we’re not doing too great. Lauren is studying at the moment, and her loan has run out, and she’s had to get a job to try and help our income because my payments don’t cover everything, and we are only just scrapping by. We’re trying to sell what we can, and I’ve been so tempted to have an open house and see if people would be interested in buying everything we have, except our cats, rabbits and hamster. Everything else is material items, and can be replaced. My pets can’t! I can’t survive without them.

We’re still trying to move, and that has been a nightmare for some time now. We can’t feel comfortable in our place, and that is apparent by the fact we are consistently moving the furniture around. We’re hoping to find somewhere soon because there’s no room to store anything, and my wheelchair seems to be the extra seat in the place, not that you can use it indoors because it’s too small to move about in!

And lastly, I’ve also had to deal with filling in the dreaded ESA form, of which I HATE because it puts my illnesses into perspective, and I hate that. I want to be “normal”, no pain, no fatigue, no mental illness… I have a long way to go…

This has become a long post, and it wasn’t my intention. I needed to try and get a few things off my mind, but has writing this down helped? No.

I hope that you can see that there is a hell’a lot here, and when you have a mental illness and a physical disability, dealing with these sorts of issues only makes the triggers, symptoms and experiences much worse.

I’m having to be brave because I don’t want to break.

I’ve been doing so well. But I’m starting to wonder if it is time to give in…

Until next time. Keep safe everyone x