You Wouldn’t Like Me If You Knew Me

Taboo Word 9/9/16

Mental health is getting more attention today, than it has ever gotten before.  Why?  It affects something like 1 out of 3 Americans today.  More and more soldiers are coming back from war, forever damaged due to what they have seen and experienced during their service for their country.  It affects children, abused children, and these children, once they have grown are affected as well.

I was one of those children, and I was also in the military, and am now diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, PTSD, MST or Military Sexual Trauma, anxiety, and depression.  Including medication for MS, I take like 22 different medications daily, and have been unable to work for two decades now.  

My symptoms, besides those due to the MS, depression and anxiety, include fear of abandonment, intense, unstable emotional responses like anger, anxiety, that are difficult to control, and often inappropriate to the situation, and chronic feelings of emptiness.  

I often have anger, anxiety and feelings of emptiness.  I went through many self-damaging acts such as unsafe sex, substance abuse, self-injurious behavior which includes self-harm, attempted suicides and even excessive spending.  I have caught myself more than once pouring through catalogs or across the Internet, looking for something to buy.  I went through an entire catalog yesterday, before I realized what I was doing and threw it away,

The image I look at in the mirror looks back at me with sallow skin and sunken cheeks.  Sometimes I go for several days, or even a week or two, eating maybe one or two meals a day, and not eating the foods I need to stay healthy.  

After running up several credit cards, hospital bills, and store card bills, I eventually declared bankruptcy in order to survive, financially.  Ten years later, and I was signing paperwork, agreeing to the conditions set forth by the debt-management agency that I turned to, cutting off all my cards and agreeing not to apply for any new ones.  Mounting vet bills led me to apply for a Care Credit card which is used for vet bills, etc, and even dentistry bills for myself.

Now, several years have passed and I have three, active credit cards, a store card and close to $5000 in debt again.  I sacrifice groceries, to pay more than minimum payments for these credit cards, trying to get the balances reduced and eliminate this newly acquired debt.

A service-provider calls in sick, the day of my appointment and I take it personally, which results in chronic fear of abandonment, and inappropriate anger, thinking that the appointment was cancelled because I felt it was because I had an appointment that particular day.  This has happened more than once within even just the last six months.

Relationships are something that are also affected, often very unstable and intense.  I have been through three such relationships, each lasting only five years, before I do something that ends the relationship.  This has happened every time, and I have spent more than 12 years by myself, avoiding another relationship that will inevitably lead to the same, sad end.

Today, we need to look into suspected cases of child abuse, and listen to our friends, partners, spouses and children, listening and looking for signs that all is not right.  I have managed to stay sober 17 years, and I quit smoking nearly nine years ago.  But that doesn’t mean that I am okay, because I am not okay.  

I experience irrational fears, go through sometimes lengthy periods of depression, and live in a constant state of anxiety.  I live alone, and can spend days, not leaving my apartment or seeing anyone.  No one comes to visit and I do not visit others.  I sit here with my laptop for the entire day, then spend all evening listening to the TV, still using the laptop.  It’s a wonder that I haven’t burnt the hard-drive, with all the constant use it gets throughout each day. 

Noises outside my apartment, I take personally, as though someone is deliberately trying to annoy me, and often do get very annoyed.  I get symptoms which suggest my MS is getting worse, that I have forgotten to take a dose of medication, or something has caused my blood pressure to shoot through the roof.  This often causes me to lie awake for hours at night, unable to sleep, with my mind racing a mile a minute.

If I had a choice, I would not choose to live this kind of life.  But I don’t seem to be able to do anything about it myself, so I suffer in silence, with only the words that come racing from the ends of my fingers and onto the keyboard.  This is my main outlet for these feelings I have to excess.  My search for others out there, who are living lives like mine, is something that starts my search through my email, looking for the emails about new posts, by those who are like-minded, and we share our experiences and help support each other through the trials we go through every day.  Yes, I am one of those who suffer from mental illness, and I no longer want to keep it hidden in the closet, the naked secrets I feel would be exposed if you really knew me.

You wouldn’t like me if you knew about all this stuff, and so I keep it hidden.

You can see today’s taboo word below. Visit Eric, author of the All In A Dad’s Work blog and creator of the challenge, for details on participating.

 taboo

Click the blue frog to read others taking part in this fun challenge 

I Am A Winner!

Throughout the years of childhood abuse
They made me feel there was no use
Through all those years of constant strife
I could not live my very own life

A children’s view of this time
I never had a thing that was mine
Hand me downs from those of old
No longer did keep out the cold

The home itself was cold as well
Living there, I went through hell
They taught me when I moved a way
That others still had their say

In how my life to be controlled
Again I lived in that cold
Afraid to peek out of the hole
Burrowed deep within my soul

Now I live here on my own
My body now is fully grown
But carries all the scars I earned
That taught me I had never learned

But down the hole, did I fall?
Little by little I changed it all
Every night I sit for dinner
Another day  I am a winner

BPD – What It Means For Me

I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder many years ago, and have been taking pretty much the same medications over this time. I have BPD. I know I have it. I recognize the symptoms when they get worse. I wouldn’t dream of stopping them, for fear of the consequences.

It has long been thought that BPD was caused by abuse as a child, or some other horrendous trauma experienced when young. It has been brought to my attention that in order for someone to develop BPD, there has to be one or both parents who suffer from this disorder. This disorder is passed on genetically.

Without the genetics, BPD does not occur, despite popular belief, because of chronic abuse as a child, alone. The gene must also be present. I realized a couple years ago, that my mother must have had the same disorder. Based on the way that she treated me, along with the sexual abuse from my father, I developed BPD.

There has to be at least five symptoms a person must have to be diagnosed with this disorder.

  1. Unstable or poorly regulated emotional responses – anger, anxiety, depression
  2. Inappropriate intense anger that is difficult to control
  3. Chronic feelings of emptiness
  4. Self-damaging acts such as excessive spending, unsafe sex, substance abuse, binge eating, and
  5. Suicidal ideation, acts, threats, self-injurious behavior
  6. Persistent, unstable self-image
  7. Paranoid ideation or severe dissociative episodes
  8. behaviors from most people, impaired social reasoning under stress
  9. Frantic acts due to chronic fear of abandonment, very intense and unstable relationships

To be diagnosed with BPD, five of these nine symptoms must be present.  When I finally learned about Borderline Personality Disorder, it was sort of an ‘aha’ moment.  Now, things that I feel or do, I understand why.  I suffer from eight of these nine symptoms.

I understand why I will do almost anything to prevent what I perceive as abandonment.  I understand why all of my relationships were either inappropriate, extremely intense and unstable.  I understand why I have a great deal of new debt, that has occurred after the agreement with the debt management program,  that I would not apply for anymore credit cards, and this new debt is due to three  new credit cards.  I understand why I became a chronic alcoholic (Nearly 17 years sober now).  I understand the cuts on my arms, the overdoses, and all the threats of suicide, and all of the psychiatric hospitalizations.

I understand now, why I am me, and why I still do many of the things on that list.  Do you now understand me?

 

Do You Really Know Me?

We pass each other along the way

You don’t give me the time of day

I’ve known it right from the start

You wouldn’t know what’s in my heart

They see me, but not really

Just another face you see

Who knows that I love to sing

To hear all the church bells ring

Do you know, where I’ve been

Or what I did, way back when

Whom I held close to my heart

With the hormones at the start

They said that it was just a fad

It couldn’t really be that bad

But I’m here to tell you now

You’ll hear me when I tell you how 

Soul In Despair

I’ve often wondered where I would be today, if my life hadn’t started off in the manner in which it did. The first 17 years of my life, full of every sort of abuse, by both of my parents. I ran away when I was 17 to continue my life, filled with all kinds of musical desires, and classes.

I quickly learned how lonely I really was away from home. This made no sense to me, so instead of finding myself, I went out into the street, searching for someone to fill the void that had been somehow left in me.

Alcohol soon became my new companion, along with all the problems that it can cause. The only good thing about this was that I wasn’t a licensed driver, therefore wasn’t bothered with DUI’s. The city buses ran late at night, enabling me to drink myself senseless, and then stagger back to my new home, and my new bed.

The loneliness, however, drove me into unknown places, unknown faces, faces that only wanted one thing and one thing only, and I could never say no.

After two years of this, my soul succumbed, and my life and dream was in shambles. Unable mentally to return to my parent’s home, I chose to run very far away, and into the Navy.

After eight weeks of mental and physical torture, I was released into what seemed to be endless freedom, and went to the wonderful state of Illinois. Great Lakes, otherwise known as Great Mistakes. I had no choice at that point in where I was sent, and it wasn’t good.

I don’t believe any place I might’ve been sent to, would really have been good, because the problems that occurred came from within my own soul . . . planted there when I was growing up, never to really go away.

And so, today, my soul remains in despair.

~ van ~

 

Afraid To Be Afraid

Someone’s been watching me

For so many years now

First every day

Every other day

Every week

Every other week

anxietyWatching over my meds

So I don’t take too much

For so many years

Overdosed twice before

Still watching over meds

Only two more weeks

Then I am done

It’s the last day anyone comes

To watch over my meds

To ask how I’m doing

Watching over me

They tell me I’m a success story

I have kind of graduated

I am a success story

One more time, then no more

Afraid to be a success

Afraid I will fail again

No one coming to check on me

Two weeks and then

It will be the last day

I’m on my own after that

Image result for fear

Afraid to be on my own

Afraid to be alone

Afraid to be afraid.

Why Can’t I Stop?

First it was people,
Never enough,
No one understood,
Living was tough.

Needing this and needing that,
What did I really need?
I tried everything I could get,
But nothing would soothe that need.

A drink here,
A smoke over there,
The more that I got,
I had no cares.

A life like mine may never see,
The end of the driving need,
I stopped the drink, and the smoke,
I planted a very small seed.

But as this seed continued to grow,
Along with it did the need,
How was I ever to know,
There was no end to this greed.

Three Goals For This Blog

I started this blog in February, 2013, with no idea as to where it would actually go. When a theme started to appear, I modified my tagline just a bit, so that this theme would emerge to readers who might be passing by, or were looking for my theme in particular.

As far as three goals for this blog, I had to stop and do some deep thinking about the future of this blog. It became apparent that I was starting to write poetry about my experiences and feelings that were emerging from my experiences with childhood sexual abuse – incest, to be precise. Now, nearly three years later, I feel sort of stuck, and having some goals might get me moving in the right direction once again.

After considerable thought, these are the three goals that I came up with for this blog.

1. Explore more deeply into the things that are still stuck inside, and bring them out so that I and others can start or continue to heal from this horrendous type of abuse.

2. Increase my following by at least 25% by the end of September. This will increase readers’ comments that could aid in healing for myself and others, and to reach out to newcomers that are trying to find their way through their own feelings about abuse.

Coming up with a third goal took a great deal more consideration than the first two, but I think it is probably the most important goal. This is what I came up with.

3. Change the appearance of my blog, as right now it has a dark, gloomy appearance, and there are positive changes occurring in my life, and I want to express that in the appearance of my blog. I think this will then appeal to more readers if it has a positive appeal.

Alone And Sad

My life when I was young,
Bad, from what all had been done,
Ran away as soon as I could,
But even that did no good.

Relationships, I cannot keep,
Never really get that deep,
I hardly let anyone inside heart,
I know you can still play a part.

Neglect, abused, parents both sick,
The air in our house was very thick,
Dared not do what would trigger more pain,
When all it would do was repeat again,

The words, the blows, the cause of the pain,
Sexual abuse, again and again.
Nothing worse could have been done to me,
But no one, could ever really see.

The sickness spread from parent to child,
A young adult became quite wild,
Alcohol, for me, was the best,
Never really got into the rest.

The sickness grew inside of me,
And other people began to see,
The help that was needed so very bad,
Nowhere to be found, it is quite sad.

Started climbing out of the old, deep pit,
Once it was started, I could not quit,
To quit would mean that I would fall,
And once again I’d lose it all.

Today, alone, feeling sad,
Sometimes wish that I still had,
That one who’d smother me with love,
I’ve found it some, sent down from above.

Sexual Abuse

Incest.  There I said the word.  My therapist read from a book about incest, the description of what it is.  She was using words that I was very uncomfortable with, but I was able to tell her that.  Words that describe sexual relations, and organs – words that I never utter.
I think maybe the reason why, is that even though I was very young when it started, those words put pictures in my mind that I don’t want to look at.  I am uncomfortable because they remind me of specific parts of the abuse, and I don’t want to remember them.  I want them not to have happened.  They changed my life forever.
As a young adult, not even 18 yet, I allowed myself to be ‘used’ by men, for the attention that got me.  If I did this, they would do that.  I was revolted during any encounter with members of the opposite sex.
The feelings were there, but I washed them away with alcohol.  Alcohol took me away from all the abuse, at least I thought it did.  But I remember crying in the middle of the street because someone didn’t come to the door.  I lived in the middle of anger, fear and revulsion with my life, but I did nothing to change it.  I was letting him to continue to abuse me, even when he was over 100 miles away.
I am starting on a journey, to specifically work through these emotions and feelings, and hopefully get to the point where they no longer control my life.  They cannot harm me.  He cannot harm me.