Seeing as its Mental Health Awareness week I thought I’d write about my Mental Health. I’ve written about it before but that was in 2016 when I first started this blog and I may have spoken about it occasionally but I wanted to write where it started so then I can see how far I’ve come. And I wanted to write what started off my Mental Health problems too as I’m now writing as someone who is no longer Depressed although Depression may never fully go away.
It all started when I was maybe 8-9 years old, I can’t exactly remember as it’s been some years. It was when I was first abused by my mother’s ex-boyfriend Philip. Some woman had gone up-to him thinking that he was my father, she had told him that I was bullying her daughter and he told her that he’d deal with it.
Now his method of dealing with it was at first allowing me to eat whatever I wanted which was very unusual for him as he was very emotionally and mentally manipulative and I was very naive as a child and for this moment I didn’t think of anything and I was just happy to be allowed sweets and chocolate that he had which I’d normally get told no. I remember sitting on the sofa eating my ice cream when he came over and got really close to me and I felt quite uneasy and I didn’t know why because this felt different from the other times that he’d mentally abuse me and I don’t know why I didn’t get up and run.
He asked me about the girl who I was supposedly bullying and I never did bully the girl, I knew I said something to her but I can’t remember what it was and It was probably something that I didn’t think of so it was my own fault really.
When I said I didn’t know, he got really close to me to the point I could feel his breath on my face and he placed a hand under my bum and started hitting every-time I said I didn’t know what I said to the girl. It went on for a long time and I just remember screaming in pain and there was no way I could have ran away or escaped as I didn’t know what to do whilst this was all happening. After he stopped hitting me, he told me to go to bed. I wobbled up the stairs sobbing trying to not make a noise incase he tried hitting me again. I never told my mom when she came home what he did to me as I thought “If he could do this to me, then he can do that to my mom.”
School was horrendous as I could barely walk through the gates, my male teacher who was such a sweetheart tapped me on the back like he always did but this time I quickly pushed away his hand and told him to not touch me. He sorta just looked at me as if he was in a daze. I was in complete agony and I was telling myself to ignore the pain and that I probably deserved it. I tried to sit down in my chair, I had both hands on the arms of the chair.
I thought I’d try lowering myself into the chair but the second I sat down I just broke down crying as the pain was just so unbearable. My teacher asked me if I was okay and I didn’t say a word, he then asked me if I wanted to talk about it and I simply just shook my head and my mumbled words that eventually came out were “I’m not allowed to talk about it.” I was sent to the school nurse and I explained to her what had happened as best as I could and she told me to go and look in a mirror and tell her what I saw. I didn’t even know at the time what I’d see and what I did see just destroyed me. The only way I could explain what I saw were Dalmatian spots and they were everywhere. For a few moments I sobbed to myself trying to understand why this was happening.
Social services were called in, the police wanted to talk to me and it was just so overwhelming. I had to go to City Hospital to have photos taken of my bum for police to have evidence in court and I had to talk about what happened again to a police woman in a secluded room which was also being recorded for the court.
My life changed forever.. I guess what happened to me will never leave me and it’s probably why I lost all trust in men as I was scared that it would happen again. It traumatized me to the point I barely spoke to many people and it made me be very closed off towards people.
I was bullied at school for having head lice and for the way I looked and because I was quiet even though I had a few friends who weren’t actually my friends at all. My own friends turned against me, I was beat up and repeatedly kicked in the head and I remember placing my arm in-front of my face trying to protect my head because of my epilepsy.. I ended up having 5 seizures in my sleep and it all went in the news paper “Epileptic Girl beaten in park” It made front page, I don’t know how reporters had found out and I remember feeling embarrassed because everyone at my school especially the ones who bullied me all the time were suddenly asking me if I was okay and the people who beat me up said I took it too far but someone with Epilepsy can actually die if they were kicked in the head enough times.
My mother actually told me that she watched me have the 5 seizures in my sleep and didn’t call for an ambulance but I was told by a medical professional that more than 5 can actually kill you. I wish I did die having a seizure because at the time my life felt like hell. My mother had started hitting me, you’d only have to say something she didn’t like and she’d run upstairs and If I was hiding under my covers she’d rip them off and hit me repeatedly to the point I told my P.E teacher that I couldn’t join the class and I never thought to tell her about my mother hitting me. I ended up changing out my uniform in the toilets instead of changing with the other girls and I was still made to do P.E but I made sure to wear clothes that covered my arms and my legs.
Then when I was 15, I used to go horse riding all the time as it gave me a place of safety and I could escape my mother and the bullying at school. Horse riding made me feel alive and I’d muck out all the horses and feed them treats and brush them and it gave me some confidence and I was a good rider.. Then one of the horses Cassie fell ill with Colic and I was upset that she was going to die and I went home and I cried in bed for a long time and my mother’s friend came to my room. he passed me his phone and on his phone said “Can I see you naked?” I said no over and over but it felt like it I wasn’t getting through to him so in the end I was pressured into getting my breasts out and he just touched them with his fingers.
I told someone at school about it and they told my mother and she was angry with me because she thought I was lying and then his wife was angry with me because she didn’t believe me and neither did my school. I did speak to the police but because my mom was in the room with me and refused to leave I said that I lied. And I was crushed and once again I was destroyed and I was alone all over again and I have never spoken about this because I was and still am very scared to talk about it as I kinda live next door to them and my mother is still friends with them even when I tried to catch him out when I was 19 by putting myself in a very dangerous place but I didn’t care and the situation was worse. And I still didn’t say anything because I had proved that what he did when I was 15 was true but nobody cared so I just accepted what happened to me and let it go.
My Mental Health didn’t really kick in until I was 17. I never realized half the stuff that I was doing, I just accepted that I was okay and that I was alright. But the truth is I was never okay I had just pretended that I was okay. When my teacher who was 28 killed herself it was like a slap in the face. I partly blamed myself because I wasn’t a very nice person to her and neither was our class. She loved animals and she always had bright hair and I loved that about her. I had a very strange feeling on that Wednesday morning when we were all told that she was dead and I worked it out that she took her own life.
My depression grew so bad and I kept thinking that I should join her and that I didn’t matter because I was worthless and everything that had ever happened to me just made me crumble. I wrote a diary of everything that had happened to me when I was 8-9 and when I was 15 and I also wrote how I felt like all the life inside me had gone. How I felt so numb to everything and I couldn’t feel anything. I handed my diary to a teacher and asked her to read and come back to me. I wanted help but I didn’t know how to ask for it for I had never spoken to anyone of all the things that had happened to me because I still felt like I had deserved that.
I spoke to the head of the college about my diary and my feelings and all I got which felt to me was “Don’t kill yourself” That’s all I felt that they were trying to say as they didn’t know what to say to me. I tried to talk to a friend via text about it whilst I was feeling very depressed and I didn’t know what to do and she said “I don’t care if you kill yourself.” And I almost did.. I took 3 packets of 500mg Paracetamol and I took them with water whilst I was bent over my bed sobbing and I thought this is it, this is where I end it all. I was so alone and I had no one else to talk to.
My mother was at her friend’s house and it was perfect timing as I was alone. After I took all the pills I felt the urge to pee so I went toilet totally unaware of what was about to come. I left the house and I was texting anyone and everyone saying that I was sorry, that I was sorry for being such a horrid person and that I was a complete waste of space and I felt so worthless and lost. I wanted to die I really did, I felt that I had been through enough like it’s enough now. I’ve had enough pain and feeling like the most worthless person in the world and that everything I suffered was my own fault because of the way I was.
I couldn’t walk properly as my legs felt like jelly and I couldn’t see properly as I saw 3 faces so I couldn’t concentrate and I just kept sobbing until I sat down on a concrete block which is a sitting area. I remember crying and someone giving me a tissue and I also remember a drunk guy asking If I was a retard. My legs stopped working and I couldn’t feel a thing. I was arguing via text with a police woman because I thought she was man and I was telling her that all men are the same that I’m either a punching bag or a sexual object and I refused to tell her where I was. I just wanted to die and I wanted it to be quick because I didn’t want to be hurt anymore or feel pain. It was the lowest I ever felt and I would have never of thought about ending my life or trying to.
In the end I was scared because I could feel myself getting sleepy and that’s when I knew that I had fucked up, that I was probably about to die alone and no one would find me or help me when I really needed it. I wanted to die yet I was so scared of dying. I messaged a friend of mine called Zoe and told her and she wanted me to get on the bus and go to her but I had to explain that I couldn’t walk and that I couldn’t see properly and when I message her or the people I was apologizing to I had to hold my phone right to my face.
All I remember is my friend and her mother running to me and hearing my friend’s mom tell someone to move as that I had overdosed and I remember people just staring at me because they thought I was drunk. My friend Zoe called my mom and told her where I was and that I was in a bad shape. I tried closing my eyes only to hear Zoe’s mom yelling at me to keep my eyes open. I was so tired and felt so weak that I just wanted to give up and let go. But for some reason I couldn’t, I had 3 police cars come to me and had 2 officers drag me to their car even when I told them I couldn’t walk.
As soon as the car moved I puked everywhere and all over Zoe’s mom, then the police woman who I was arguing with via text turns to look at me and says “See? I’m not a man, and I’m here to help you.” All I remember after that is being dragged out the car and onto a bed and I curled up into a ball and saw my mother and tried to lift up head but It felt like I was being weighed down and then I was out for 2 whole hours.
I woke up with drips in my arms, and having a nurse ask me why I did it and I just blamed it on the bullying as I felt too weak to really tell her why and she said “Well that was silly, wasn’t it?” I never spoke for a while after that. I was still quite dazed when I had finally come around, I realized that I didn’t have pants on and that was because I had peed myself many times whilst I was out cold. My head hurt badly and I couldn’t walk without stumbling, I was in hospital for about 4 days I think… I spoke to a Dr who asked me if I still wanted to die and I nodded then I spoke to someone else and told them what led me here and why I did it and also I should mention that someone died on the ward next to me and I cried during the night and told the person I was talking to that It should have been me that died.
My Nana came to visit me and she brought me a drink and a puzzle book which helped me to distract myself from dwelling and over-thinking about what I did to myself. When my mother found out that she had come to see me she was very angry and shouted at a her nurse and told her that my Nana wasn’t allowed to see me. The other reason why I don’t talk about my granddad and that’s because of the family secret. My granddad who was my pride and joy, was in fact a pedophile.
My Nana told me when I was 17 because I really wanted to know what this secret was. He had slept with one of my aunts and she thought it was normal and he said that my mother was his favourite daughter and he’d tap her bum. He did go to prison for a few years but my Nana has stayed by his side all these years. When I found out what this secret was it was another thing to add-on the list of things that destroyed me. I’m no longer close to my granddad like I used to be.
I was later sectioned to a Mental Institute, I was there for 3 weeks. I knew that apart of me had died, when I was in the taxi with my mother driving to this place that was supposed to help me I didn’t think I’d get better and of course I didn’t. I was poked and prodded for tests to make sure the body on the inside was okay. I remember waking up every day at 8am for breakfast and then having a set routine for snack, dinner, lunch and tea.
I gained weight but I also to began to refuse to eat and I hated it because nobody left the table unless you ate. In someway I liked being there because I couldn’t hurt myself yet I was still alone. I’d cry for my mother and I asked her to bring me my Darcy Bear, he was a teddy that I told all my secrets and I’d hug him all the time because I had no one to talk to. My mom brought me the wrong teddy because she couldn’t be bothered to go right to the back of the top of my wardrobe to get him and the teddy she brought scared me so I threw it across the room.
I cried a lot, and my mom gave to visit but we didn’t talk much and I was so depressed and still wanted to die but I think now that I’ve had time to really process what I did. I didn’t want to die, I wanted to feel something like when you pinch yourself. I had put the phone down on my mother as she was about to say “I love you.” My mother has never told me that she loves me. My mother when I was 19 said that her friend’s daughter should have been the daughter she had. Not me. She also once said she wished she never had me and in some ways I wish I had died even though I died a long time ago. After my first suicide attempt I did 6 more attempts but they were never as bad as the first.
I started self-harming, scraping a pen on my skin which I did in school when my friends turned against me. I used pieces of glass to try to cut my skin when I was out in the cold and my arm went numb. I’ve put hot oil on my arm trying to feel something, and I used a curtain holder to bruise my arm when I swung it across my arm and my hand.
I haven’t self-harmed since 2017. I haven’t overdosed since 2016 and my first overdose was in 2011. That year was like hell to me. Since then I’ve been in some emotionally abusive relationships and some relationships I was in just because I wanted the comfort that I never had growing up. I was a mentally disturbed child when It came to animals and children and I never understood why I did the things that I did. I never killed an animal so I don’t want anyone thinking that I killed an animal. I’m about to talk about something that has scared me and I have never spoken about it to anyone other than James who had to encourage me to talk about it.
I once put my dog Goldie in the washing machine and turned it on and when I realized what I was doing I turned it off and told someone and I got her out of the washing machine. I never understood why I did this and I knew there was something wrong with me but no one picked that up. I also used to shout at a little girl and told her she’d never go home, yet another thing I didn’t why I did it. And I hate myself for those things because I still can’t understand why I did it. It was like I was blank, there was nothing there and it was the same when I put my hands around a cat’s throat to feel it gulp. I have never spoken about these things because I’m ashamed of who I used to be.
After my overdose when I was 17, I woke up as someone else. It was like I had been re-wired even though I got addicted to the feeling of overdosing and I was fighting a losing battle with myself. The Mental Health system failed me more than anyone, they told me that I’d be okay, that I could talk to someone from Crisis if I needed to. They were so unhelpful because when I overdosed again I was hallucinating, I could see things on my wall and they scared me and Crisis told me to just have a bath and that I’d be fine. I saw things with sharp teeth and things dancing on my walls or literally where ever I looked.
And I thought to myself I have got to stop doing this to myself. I tried telling myself that this was no way of living and that I was torturing myself. I spoke to someone about BPD as they said that I have traits of BPD such as Antisocial Disorder and Social Anxiety. I cried at my first BPD session as I felt it was like opening a can of worms and for the first time in a long time I let all of it go. All the pain and abuse I had been through I could let it go. I can talk about what happened to me because I don’t let it affect me emotionally or least I try not to.
I’m not how I used to be, I have been on medication for 7 years which has not helped me in the slightest and now that I’m off medication I have felt better and not depressed and I now I do have people to talk to when I feel Depressed. Because the thing is no matter how much you feel alone, you’re not alone. Talk to someone because sometimes it helps and sometimes you’ll get the right treatment or medication. Unlike me I was failed by my family and by the Mental Health system. I’ve had to cope all on my own and force myself to move on than dwell in the past because I can’t do that anymore. I am stronger than who I used to be and I’m not mentally disturbed and I have not done the things that I used to do. It’s okay to not be okay, and I do not condone the things I did to my dog Goldie, to the little girl or the cat. I had things wrong with me and I never knew why.
All I know is that I woke up a better person, I still struggle with my emotions or the fact that I sometime say things that could be offensive or I may say something which makes me come across like I’m snapping or I’m being mean. My moods change a lot and I tend to be happy one moment sad the next then maybe depressed but never suicidal.
So there is my Mental Health, judge me if you must but I am not the same person I was when I was 11. And know that you’re never alone, talk to someone if you’re feeling suicidal or depressed.
I have been off medication for 1 year and I have 6 more years to go before my body returns to whatever normal is. I have also not overdosed since October 2016 as it was the last time and when I met Garrett Wang who showed me kindness that no one had showed me before.
The Girl In The Shadows