Twitter informs me its World Mental Health Day today. Something I can contribute to I feel. The other day I shared my doctors letter with you.
I was hurt and upset to read a professional stating “Julie’s condition disables her” and his opinion that I’ll probably never be fit to work again. This is due to mental health. Mental health is often invisible. It often comes with a huge stigma, and a lot of judgement.
A brief history of me… I’ve been abused, step father and a male partner. I have been beaten, robbed, raped, forced to do things, and utterly controlled to a point I lost the will to live. I escaped, I ran a few hundred miles and made internet friends. One of those internet friends is my Blokey, and we have two gorgeous children. Despite my mood swings, flash backs, nightmares, phobias, depression, dissociative disorder, and break downs we are still together.
My main mental health issues are anxiety disorder, depression, PTSD and DDNOS (dissociative disorder not otherwise specified – it means I have a DD but that I don’t fit an exact type of DD). Some days I’m fine, some days I want to die, some days I feel like I’m not me. DDNOS is what I wrongly called “repression” myself, certain things I don’t remember right, it’s like I’m not involved, I remember much of the trauma as though it was happening to someone else, not me. Yet I know it was me still, crystal clear, almost photographic memories of some awful things, yet I’m emotionally dead to it. Sadly it doesn’t always stay repressed, locked away, sometimes I just cry or panic, suddenly, without warning, boom, like that I’m a child/teenager in danger, a victim, in that moment my past owns me, rather than me owning it. Certain things can trigger it and stress me out, I’ve learnt to avoid things where possible.
I see a psychotherapist weekly, I take medication, I see a voluntary “befriender” from a local church most weeks, and the independence trust are going to teach me to cook.
I am trying, yet I often feel a failure, a bullied, abused, waste of air. Thankfully when I’m feeling this way I hug my son Jen and it goes away (normally). Jen and are closer than my eldest son D as I had a mini breakdown, undiagnosed PND, and possibly mild psychosis after Jen’s birth. I couldn’t move without help for around 8 weeks, maybe more, I had him with my constantly. I now feel empty, lost and lonely if i’m not with him.
When D started school it was great for me, no tears at all. When Jen started school just over a year ago it broke my heart, my best friend was now legally required to be somewhere else for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week. I felt so bad, and I felt worse realising I depended so much on him.
I often feel I’ve let both of my boys down, but then when i’m having a good day, I know I haven’t. I know of people with pasts like mine ending up as druggies or drunks. having their kids taken away. I might not be able to fake happy, but I still have my boys, and I love them.
Just remember you can’t always see an illness. To strangers I might seem rude, aloof or anti-socially shy but really I’m just trying to cope. The shyness is because my instincts is to avoid awkward situations, to run away. If
If someone like me smiles but can’t make any words come out, that probably took a lot of effort. Smile back!
Do you have anything to share for world mental health day?