The Real Faces of Mental Illness – Interview

I have been given the opportunity to be interviewed by Kendra Kantor who is a wellness mentor and guide. The interview I had with Kendra can be seen here >>>

Interview

Interview

Excerpt:

What do you wish people knew about BPD?

I am in no way saying that people with BPD suffer more than everyone else on the planet, oh no. But BPD is utter torment. The changes in moods are drastic and sudden and you never know what will happen from day to day, even hour to hour and minute to minute. I would like for people to know that and to also know that we do not want to feel and live like this. We are so desperate to get better.

I’d also like for people to know that people with BPD are dealing with much stigma. One example is how people with BPD are represented to be the ones that antagonize others and hurt others whether intentionally or unintentionally. But the truth is, the statistics show that we are more likely to be hurt than to be the ones hurting others. A small example here is that I was raped in December 2013 and it was an aggressive attack which is still going through the police to be investigated. And I am dealing with trauma. Oftentimes, people with BPD have experienced sexual/emotional/verbal/physical abuse in their lives…

What advice would you give to someone struggling with BPD?

As much as it seems like there is no hope in the world… There is. OK, the statistics are harsh and it is a harsh illness, but help is out there and you just need to keep reaching out until you build a network of support.

I also find that it helps me when I try to help others as I get out of my own headspace and can focus on something else, and it’s very rewarding just being there for someone else. Also, volunteering is also on the same lines and is very much recommended for those suffering with an array of mental health issues. And keep busy. At times, it feels impossible, but keep on trying.

After months of not being able to do art in my apartment by myself, I have now started again and it gives me such a relief. So go and do some art even if you think you can’t do it, write poetry, start a blog, write a personal journal, involve your families if you can in to your rehabilitation, reach out to those friends that are ready and there for you if you need them and vice versa.

Stay strong and don’t give up.

Finally talking about rape

*** This post has some small details to do with a rape but is mostly talking post-rape and in therapy ***

I was raped on December 1st 2013 at the age of 28. I’d never been sexually assaulted before. This was my first, and I hope, last time. Once is enough to do a hell of a lot of damage. A day after the rape, I was very disconnected and I spoke with my psychiatrist and he didn’t even catch on to what I was attempting to tell him even though, to me, I skirted around a bit but still thought that I was signalling that I had been raped as I couldn’t use the word or terminology at the time. I left his office and was in confusion. I left his office and something didn’t seem right to me. I was thinking that what happened has happened and I can’t turn things back and that in some ways I was guilty for this rape happening to me and doing the blame game on to myself basically.

I luckily had a meeting with my therapist the same day and it didn’t take long for us to come to the ‘r’ word and I nodded. She sent me to my family doctor as I had physical injuries and I was clearly rather out of it mentally but that was a secondary thing to check because physically I was in worse shape at that point.

I went to my family doctor. I had been losing a lot of blood from the injuries when the rape happened and what the animal did to me and I was in a lot of pain. I just remember a lot of pain, all over my body. Like it was trauma mentally and physically too. But mentally, there weren’t so many signs at the beginning. And within myself, I was in denial, I was angry and I was this and that for many months until now 11 months later, I’ve only opened up now in talking about what happened and being able to painfully and uncomfortably, but still able to talk about a majority of the details.

I met with my psychologist today that I have been with for a couple of months only and it just kind of blurted out of me in the last 15 minutes of our meeting. I know that I’ve been sitting there for 2 months with her and was finding it hard to make eye contact and I was always looking down at the table in-front of me that was the divide between me and my therapist. My mind has been wandering and I’ve been having a hard time focussing. Sometimes, I hear her half talking and the rest is like mumble jumble to me. But it’s not. I’ve been trying very hard to concentrate and try to keep on the subject we are talking about or answer clearly the questions she has been asking me, but I haven’t managed so much to do so.

But the last 15 minutes of this session was kind of the breakthrough meeting I had with her and I think that as painful and uncomfortable I am with talking about the rape, I managed to tell my psychologist after warning her that some of the details are not very nice at all and questioning if I should even tell her. But she said that I can tell her what I wish to tell her, it’s up to me so I kinda went for it. I spoke about what happened and was looking in my therapist’s eyes most of the time. I felt like this really is the breakthrough and that something like this had to eventually come up in our conversations and this has now hopefully opened up the opportunities for talk about other things also that are from the past and even present that are/have bothered me and also are unpleasant and embarrassing things to tell, but things that really do need to be talked about and dealt with as it were.

I was aware that my timing had unfortunately not been a great one as once I told her what happened with the rape and then the next day with the psychiatrist, psychologist, family doctor and then being sent to the hospital to the rape crisis centre, we had ran out of time for our session. My therapist knew that obviously she couldn’t say ‘OK, we’re up on time, see you next week!’ so we did have an extra 5 minutes luckily that she took in order to kind of wind down as I was rather worked up at this point too.

If I can say, I am glad that this event has been opened up and talked about. There is plenty more to it and I am sure we will continue on speaking about it in future sessions, but I think this was good timing and about time too. My therapist is extremely nice and she asked if I wanted her cell phone number to call her out of hours if I need to speak. I actually told her that I don’t want to but thank you anyway. I said out of hours is out of hours and I don’t think I’d use her number to call her because I understand that people have their own lives too out of work. Also, which is true, my care worker gave me her cell phone number a couple of months ago and said I can call her also. I have called her twice outside of hours but obviously avoid in doing so as much as I can. But my therapist said that she wanted to call me this evening to see how I am doing so I said, OK thank you.

I knew this was a breakthrough moment with her as on the way out of her door, she kind of patted me on the shoulder gently and that’s the first time she has physically touched me. I appreciated that she did this because it showed that she supports and is there for me and cares.

She called me this evening and I did speak mostly rubbish which I was annoying myself over and talking about things that weren’t even connected to what was the actual subject we should have been talking about. I told her that I went to the mental health group in the afternoon for the 3 hours there and was disconnecting a lot and getting rushes of blood to my head in anxiety-type-mode, feeling like I was going to pass out. And the whole seeing mouths moving but not actually taking in what people were saying to me. Feeling floaty and half out of my body, me moving and it feeling strange like it’s me not moving, etc. And triggers, like little things that related to the rape and flashbacks and whatnot.

It’s been an extremely difficult day and I’m still all out of inspiration and lacking in concentration skills so doing anything is difficult and trying to keep my mind focussed on something is tough so I don’t know what to do with myself all evening, it’s been tough. But the time has passed and I have managed to not self-harm or go in to the realms of any of that which has been something which has been building up for a week or so.

I know it’s probably risky times now I’m opening up about the rape and have a lot of mixed emotions going on about it and that is reflected in the fact that my psychologist said she will call me tomorrow evening too to see how I am and that she wants me to meet with my psychiatrist tomorrow if possible so we will see about that.

But a rewarding/positive day in some twisted way. If you see what I mean?

Thank you for your support everyone.

Am I really going backwards?

The confusion and utter battle that I am constantly going through is driving me mad. I am trying my best to not ‘get in to it’ with myself and just accept things for the way they are. But that is easier said than done. Sometimes I am managing to and sometimes not. I guess at least there are some times where I manage to just tell myself to sit and be calm and empty my mind of everything.

I am used to more than 4 years of craziness basically since I had the breakdown, but recently, I feel things changing. In a way they feel bad and in a way, it’s difficult to not admit that things are actually looking better for me. Last year was the worst year for me and I was suicidal for the first time and made 3 attempts which have pretty much traumatised me. Since then I went through being raped. And now I sit here feeling better than last year, even though I went through the rape at the end of last year on December 1st 2013. Maybe I am still disconnected from the rape, I don’t know. In a way I seem to manage to not go over and over it because I know it’s already happened and I know what happened to me, regardless of the government lawyer deciding to close my complaint with the police after the police did a half-ass investigation. But anyway…

And everything else? It’s strange. I’m sorry I know I keep saying in my recent posts that things and strange and weird, but they are pretty much! I don’t understand why I would be feeling a lot better for 3 weeks and be calm and at ease and that just came out of nowhere. Nothing changed in order that I therefore felt better. There was no trigger. I am still living my daily life of rehabilitation that I quite frankly dislike, I still haven’t made any friends, I have no money and it’s gotten that bad I am getting donations of food from a charity. I’m taking the same medications so no changes there. I’ve been on the same medications for several months.

I’m OK and I’m not OK. I can’t describe it.

The last few days have been a bit downhill for me though and I’m trying to find what the trigger for that was. I know that I started getting a lot of intrusive thoughts about the past and what happened when I was hospitalised in England last year. That was seriously awful. All the things that happened that have been playing over in my head again and again, night and day. I am once again trying to tell myself that was the past and not to totally disconnected and ignore it, but at least try and not let it affect me so much in the present.

The urge to self-harm is getting ridiculous. It’s like I can only go a certain amount of time until it builds up again and again and then I do it and again and again like a cycle. I am trying to break that cycle I really am. I last self-harmed about 5 weeks ago and I was in a very agitated state and felt a lot of unhealthy energy inside of me like I had the potential to do even worse so the decision was for me to spend a week in hospital. Before self-harming 5 weeks ago, I last self-harmed 8 months ago and that is a massive achievement for me, it really is. But it’s usually like this, a few weeks later and the urge comes again and finally breaks and I do it because I don’t manage to release all the badness in any other way. I’m not saying that it is OK to self-harm, I am really not, but it helps me unfortunately and this is why I end up back in the cycle again. I am waiting for DBT and have been on the waiting list for a year. In the meantime I am in regular psychotherapy but it’s still rather new although I have been with the psychologist for a couple of months or so. I meet with her for 50 minutes once a week and it feels like we’ve not gotten in to anything yet.

I slept for a couple of hours this evening just to try and waste some time away. I hate Friday and Saturday and every week I just want to pass it as quick as possible with no self-harming or alcohol or any stupidness. I usually see my sister on the weekend but she is busy this weekend so I am alone basically from Thursday 4pm until 11am Sunday. Not good. But that’s how it goes when you have no friends and no more family in the country and of course all of my care working professionals are not working as it’s the weekend of course. Wow, how I’d love to have a weekend off of mental health too!

So I carry on, confused and whatever. Hmm.

An Article That Could Be Useful To Someone In Therapy

Originally posted on theramblingsofadiscouragedborderline:

I no longer go to therapy.  I have chosen to treat myself from home from now on.  The biggest reason would have to be that every time I walked out of therapy, I felt even worse.  It felt like the therapist was blaming me for not being happy.  Of course the therapist denied such a thing, but in the end it turned out I was right.  Here is a article I found today on how therapists abuse their clients.

Here Is a article so you know if this might be happening to you.

source = http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/counseling-keys/201104/is-your-therapist-re-traumatizing-you

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