A Diary From Noone

She spoke but no one heard, every scream seemed a whisper, and so she took pen to paper...

Tag: #abuse

Me Too… No More!

Sticks and stones may break your bones,
But names will never hurt you,
That’s what they say,
Teach us from very young,
But that doesn’t mean it’s true!
There is evil in silence,
When used to manipulate you,
Great harm in words when used to belittle you.
Hands are meant to build things,
But can be used to break you.
We should not be played with,
Receiving physical,
Or emotional abuse,
Should not bring you shame,
Those that inflict it are to blame.
Sexual abuse,
Being forced into engagement,
Is never ok.
Consent is key,
We should never be made to feel like we have to obey.
Yet there are monsters out there,
That feed off inflicting pain.
That is not your fault.
What you have been made to endure does not make you weak.
You are stronger than you know.
You are a survivor.
I know it is not easy,
But they gain from our silence,
And can inflict more violence,
If we don’t speak out,
Call them out,
Then how can we help ourselves?
Help others?
You have endured the worst,
You are stronger than you know.
It takes great courage to admit such woes,
But there lies the key,
To break the chains,
And let you go,
You are stronger than you know!

Placenta…

Who,
what,
Or how,
May impregnate,
But the birth itself is the trauma,
And the placenta is the monster,
Thus mental illness is born.

How much do our experiences in childhood affect our experiences in adulthood?

How integral, detrimental and relevant is a loving, fair, safe, balanced, well nurtured, natured and trauma free childhood associated to becoming a happy, safe, fair, balanced and accomplished individual later on in life? They say that from the moment we pass a surprisingly early certain fetal stage in the womb, at approximately the sixth month percentile, the environment in which we develop can affect us and our behaviour as being’s once born. By this time, a babies hearing should be fully functional. If we are equipped enough to be influenced by the environment whilst still in the womb, at such an early stage in our development, just imagine how much more our surroundings will influence us once born. Of cause the environment in which we are born and raised has an impact on our livelihood. How we develop denotes who we become. Love, affection, security and safety are but a few underrated yet essential qualities that contribute towards us having a shot at being a happy, secure, confident and functional person. Equally, an unsafe and dangerous lifestyle with no structure, affection or positive influences, full of mistreatment, breeds unhappy and often disruptive, dysfunctional and confused people. Both types of childhood affect our lifestyles, journey into adolescence and eventually adulthood, and so taking my original question into account, whilst also appreciating that life is not black and white, I acknowledge that some people defy all odds stacked against them and vice versa, but for the most part in my opinion the answer is, very much so!
Any experience that we have in our lifetime, good or bad, they of cause have an effect on us and who we are as individual beings. Hopefully by the time that we are adults we will be mentally accomplished enough to recognise right from wrong (assuming that one has been taught so), and be able to be assertive enough to break from harm and wrong doings. Although, age is just a number and sometimes as adults we still cannot recognise right from wrong because we may not have mentally recognised how to identify problems and therefor the coping strategies to remove ourselves from harm’s way, if mistreatment is all that we have ever known, without intervention, unfortunately that type of reality may become repetitive, continuous and unfairly normal. Whether we can or cannot recognise a problem, it is often neon impossible to remove ourselves from it without some kind of external help? If abuse and trauma has always been your reality, an alternative may feel like just an unachievable dream, a fantasy. It really depends on how well developed we are both as individuals and as part of a society, of cause I cannot begin to imagine the lack of opportunity to be a free child within the restraints of inequality and hard labour in the likes of poverty or war stricken environments and third world countries, and as a woman of colour myself, I have not forgotten the harsh and gruelling acts of slavery against people of African descent origins, as in all fairness that was not abolished that long go and the detriments of hardship still filters from our descendants through generation to generation, my heart bleeds for those that are still stuck in the vile circle of the slavery trade. As for children in the likes of England, I feel comfortable enough to identify with, before taking on the world. All children are vulnerable, if they have been brainwashed and have had no other lifestyle to look at as a comparison, fear and manipulation will prevent them from being able to recognise that they are in an unfortunate situation, and a predicament that they should not have to endure and could possibly be removed from. A happy and well balanced, loving and secure childhood is an integral foundation to becoming a strong and balanced individual. Many problems that we face as adults were implanted and rooted in our childhood. Trauma, neglect and abandonment can come in many different shapes and forms, it is not a competition and if you have experienced any wrong doings, no matter to what degree, shape or form, it is very hard to move on mentally without some sort of outside help. In order to develop to our maximum potential, these issues must be addressed; they cannot be ignored forever and will not just magically melt away! They may manifest into health risks like eating disorders such as obesity, bulimia or anorexia, burden us with anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, depression, psychosis, self-harm, fuel drug or alcohol addiction and so much more, all of which limiting our maximum potential as adults because we have been somewhat unfairly stunted in childhood. As children we may unknowingly behave in concerning ways, subconsciously releasing telling signs, which if acknowledged in the right environment, for example school, will alert and ring alarm bells of suspicion, and if handled correctly, initiate intervention which may break down the barriers as to why and prompt the reveal as to what may be wrongfully going on. This should hopefully result in being removed from any harmful situation, and immediately open doors to recovery, evoking an opportunity to process and understand that any mistreatment that you have endured was wrong, harmful and the most important to understand, not your fault. Other people may compare to dormant volcano’s, all ill emotions pushed way down into our subconscious, memories maybe hazy or completely forgotten, but then suddenly and unexpectedly explode, because our childhood, our upbringing and adolescent years may be a part of our past but mould and shape whom we become as adults. We may conveniently forget or convince ourselves to deny, knowingly or unknowingly suppress, but those strategies have proved to only last so long, because we cannot be who we are today, without living through yesterday, and the day before that, and before that. It is impossible to conveniently delete the past, because it has already been done, and without it there will be no today and therefore no tomorrow. If we do not consciously process, assess and accept what has been, the burdens that we evade will constantly way us down, sometimes forever more, holding us back from reaching our maximum potential. The concept of talking out loud will most likely feel painful, stressful and all too much initially, it won’t be easy and will be taxing, draining, and perhaps hurt more as you reveal, than it hurt as a secret It may seem pointless and make you feel ashamed/vulnerable/weak but if you are brave and stick at it, hopefully that will turn into empowerment, assertiveness and strength. There are no rules, with the right help you will be offered guidance and most definitely be able to disclose at your own pace. In the long run, staying quiet will hurt us much more, both physically and mentally because looking after oneself and living life to your maximum potential is on the brink of impossible when carrying the burden of a problematic and troubled past. There is no shame in admitting to being vulnerable. You are not expected to remember every detail. Babies and children need a well-balanced dose of good nature verses good nurture in order grow up both strong and healthy, in order to stay strong and healthy, the balance of good nature and good nurture at any stage of life is essential, because we are constantly developing and evolving as human beings, but there are more complications as children because that is our foundation, if either or both parties are broken, corrupt, tainted or neglected, it can be culpable and detrimental to our overall, long term development. It is neither wrong nor weak to accept help. Trauma does not have to be a life sentence of pain, but it can be and often is to many. There is no scale that calculates which certain types of trauma are worse off than others because it depends on the both the individual and situation. There should be no judgement or shame. Whether you chose to unlock your chest of pain or it chooses to release itself, if we want to let go and exceed to our maximum potential, in this one life as we know it, we must endure remembering and processing in order to flush all of the bad toxins away and start anew. Denied problems hold us down and therefor weak people make, acknowledged problems nurtured away from within the safe nature of psychological input and/or other avenues like western medicine or holistic therapy, can really be a saviour and make a world of difference. The process of revelation and personal acceptance in order to move on, can be gruelling and in many ways traumatic in itself, exhausting, often provoking more trauma as memories and revelations rise to the surface from somewhere locked and buried deep down within. It takes strength, guidance and courage but should offer light at the end of the tunnel and eventually set you free. Why should we never equate to anything worthwhile because our parents, guardians or carers rejected us, mistreated us, abandoned us, emotionally abused us, physically abused us, neglected us and left us to raise ourselves, exposing us to sexual abuse, substance abuse and danger, depriving us from love, safety, security, warmth and food because they were too young with no common sense, and/or victims of a similar pattern and unable to break the chain, and so we end up in care, or are kept but privy to being placed second best in relation to substance abuse, crime, molestation and domestic violence. Being exposed to any of this is unfair and will of cause be damaging, please accept that none of it could have ever been your fault as a baby, child, teenager or just a person.
Most of the time I don’t personally believe, accept or admit that I was a victim of abuse and wrong doings and often just blame myself for the mess that I have become as an adult. I just feel like all of a sudden my life came to a halt and I both forgot and lost myself, then I have to remind myself that this was not a random act but in fact an act that manifested from being broken as a child, whether it is now beyond repair, I guess only time will tell, as to some degree a large proportion of that abuse still continues today! Denial, fuelled with ambition, sprinkled with persistence and arrogance, allowed me to achieve some very wonderful things, but all the while stones were being hurled at me and I could dodge them no longer. I feel that my problems are so heavily entangled throughout my entire system, wedged in so deeply, that any attempt of removal would be catastrophic, that my brain is so ruptured, fractured and fragmented, the damage is already done and if I choose to continue this existence, I have no choice but to carry the burden of my childhood trauma because it is now the heartbeat of my mentality, so deeply imbedded that actually now the roots are less concerning than my entirety of pain that they produced, the overall me; which is living life with depression, anxiety, self-loathing, body dysmorphic insecurities, psychosis, dissociation and borderline personality disorder- type impulsive, blaa, blaa, blaa! The ways in which my ill mental health symptoms became, concern me less than the problems that they birthed and that I have to endure all day, every damn day. My ill mental health is nothing but a medical hindrance to me, but still… it is not my fault that I endured childhood rejection, emotional abuse and abandonment, it is also not my fault that I have had to deal with bullying, rejection and abandonment throughout my entire life, emotional abuse is something that I have always known and endured, it is no wonder that I indulged in substance abuse as a young adult, it was less about the party and more about numbing the pain, I know that now; and the self-destructive behaviour that I keep falling back into, i.e. self-harm and suicide attempts, I believe that all of this stemmed from my childhood, how can you blame an innocent child for all of that? The purpose of my preaching is to share that I am not perfect, I am not just quoting from a text book either, I am empathetic to you, because I know and understand where your pain is coming from and how the magnitude of that pain feels. We have suffered enough by the hands of others. We can ignore the ticking time bomb, or take back some control and at least understand and remind ourselves, that none of this is our fault, we are not alone, and if we try to understand it, that will be one less monster under the bed! The inner child inside of you, and inside of me, they want to smile, so let’s try and process some of these unfair and detrimental issues.
What constitutes to childhood abuse and trauma? Physical and/or mental harassment such as, having to endure being physically, mentally, emotionally and/or sexually abused. Being abandoned or neglected. The spectrum is varied and vast, ultimately disallowing a child of being a child, inflicting physical or mental pain, putting pressure on an undeveloped brain, failing to offer a child love, safety, good morals, guidance and care, when the parent(s), carer(s) or guardian(s) fail to make a safe and loving environment for a child. These issues for a child can affect their future mental and physical development, transfer into adulthood and effect quality of life and life expectancy. They are called developmental life experiences. Whether we remember or forget, certain triggers can evoke mental and bodily dysfunctions at any stage in our life if they are not both acknowledged and addressed. Therapy or whatever intervention works more for you, they can make us stronger beings. As the innocent, why should we let another’s wrong doings determine our fate and squash our maximum potential, we cannot change what has been done, but we can change what will be done and take some ownership of our lives as the scars and wounds that have wrongfully been inflicted upon us, may be transferred to others from us if we do not address and understand the complexity of the situation! Whether the woes that we have endured and suffered were intended or not, in order to rectify the damage caused, all must be addressed. Acknowledging that all of the woes inflicted upon us as children and innocent beings were undeserved, that is only the beginning of the recovery process, which I must urge is never too late to start. No matter how much we may love and forgive or hate and detest our abusers, none of those emotions will bring us closure! Don’t think for one second that I believe that the concept of disclosure is easy, that I don’t recognise the pain endured by remembrance, the physical and mental consequences of addressing the dysfunctional nightmares of our past, the shame, the guilt, the overwhelming emotions that come from acknowledgment and letting go, that I don’t know how hard it is to entrust our tainted secrets with another, in fact a stranger whom we know nothing about, yet we are expected to open up, expose and be vulnerable. I know how exhausting and painful it is to open up, how it hurts to remember, the agony of saying stuff out loud, how distressing and confusing that, that is in regards to boundaries when letting them in to dissect, inspect and help you process, because I do know from first-hand experience. I have a long way to go on my own therapeutic journey and new symptoms keep arising but releasing the trauma of my past, will unlock my troubles of today and then perhaps enable me to have a less burdened and more certain future, because I have felt like I have been stuck in a maze since my volcano erupted, kept on a tight leash, like a hamster in a cage, scorched with agony, unable to for see clarity, terribly unhappy and death has often seemed like the only route to escape. I often fear that for me, it is too late for recovery. I am more interested in helping others. I often lose faith in myself but I have not lost it in you, it is ok be scared, to be hesitant, to have doubts, but we will never know unless we try. Things in life could get even worse than they are if we don’t give it a shot. Our woes and misfortunes can grow into monsters, but we don’t have to be defenceless, we can attack, defeat and leave them as a thing of the past, move on and have a well-deserved shot at starting a new, stronger for dealing with what we have been through, and be able to move on freely, to do whatever we want to do, no longer a prisoner but a survivor. The mountain is steep and my pace is slow but this is what I am working towards, and if you identify with any of this, you could be, you should be to! The trauma that you experience is not your fault! Blame yourself not for the scars bestowed upon you, but if you can, please tend to the open wounds and seek help or accept help if it is offered, you do not have to fight alone. This concept should be mainstream knowledge, filtered appropriately to both young and old, creating a relatable code of conduct that everyone is aware of, with intent to decrease and annihilate wrong doings to innocent children and people.

CRISIS

Today’s blog is about what to do when you are in crisis.
Firstly, how do you even know if you or someone you know is even in crisis? A good question but a hard one to answer as one man’s crisis could be another man’s euphoria compared to what they suffer from. Everyone is different and mental health is so vast, I believe that it would be impossible to give a, “one answer suits all”, and so I will write from my mental health state point of view, someone with anxiety, depression and bpd, because this is what I know!
So let me firstly remind you that I have suffered from depression from a very young age, the first signs of this is when I developed alopecia at the age of ten. I believe that whether you understand your problems or not, you cannot deny them and they will become active in one way or another. Being unaware, clueless and therefore not acknowledging or receiving help, your body will still find a way to release, to try and rid of what is wrong with you, like bodies do. Your body will show that something is wrong, for example psoriasis, eczema, acne, weight gain or decrease etc. When I was ten years old,I developed alopecia areata. I was not even aware that I felt down, but looking back now, I realise that I had serious dual parent envy. Something, well actually someone was missing. My life was lacking the presence of my biological father and knowing that he was alive and well, able to father his other children yet having no time, love, respect, consideration or feelings for me, made me feel unaccepted, different, unloved, unworthy and incomplete. Something was definitely missing from my life and all of that pain and strife that I could not handle, control nor understand as a child, found away out of my body.Overtime the situation worsened. I had a step father for nine years but he left without even a goodbye! That added salt to the wound, especially as by then I was much older. I was a teenager with all the regular teenage angst and hormonal nightmares but on top of that, I had been rejected and abandoned by the two fathers that I had in this world. The alopecia continued and worsened. The treatment was horrific, bullet shot injections straight into my head which would result in bee sting like tender bumps. My alopecia never ceased, it worsened to the point of me becoming basically bald. It had transformed from alopecia areata to alopecia totalise (from spots and patches to whole areas of the head, if not its entirety) even my eyebrows went and I nearly lost my luscious lashes but fortunately they stayed. Once we are on the topic, there is one more type of alopecia, it is called alopecia universalis, that means that all your body hair goes. I always say that God or the universe, whoever is in charge is having a laugh at my expense! I still have to shave other unwanted hairs on my body, the places where I want hair just don’t abide. By the age of twenty, I had to have the last bits of my hair shaved off. Afro hair is hard to manage and only having a quarter of a head of hair was far more trouble then it was worth. It was twelve years ago now but I still remember crying as my best friend shaved it all off and I sat on my bedroom floor. It never grew back. Also eventually both eyebrows also fell out and now I have to get them make-up tattooed.The whole alopecia thing has made dating particularly difficult, perhaps 7 out of a potential 10 boyfriends in my life have done a runner upon discovery and now I have being overweight and my mental health issues to also disclose and give men fuel to run off, but that is another story!
My point is that sometimes we don’t realise when we are unwell and/or in crisis. If we don’t know, if we can’t recognise and then fight the warning signs or symptoms, our body and/or minds will act on them anyway.
The best thing to do is make notes on what has happened before you fell ill as soon as you have enough clarity to do so. Keep a diary, overtime you may discover common triggers. Triggers don’t have to be big drama’s like deaths, arguments, fights, fall outs, break ups and confrontation. Triggers can be as small as smells, tastes, words, audio or visual. It’s the little triggers that we could all do with recognising, they could link to bigger episodes that we have forgotten.
I used to live in London, mostly in Hackney. At one point I would commute from Leytonstone to Hackney Central quite often. One day, a normal day on a normal journey, I blurted out, “I hate Hackney Wick” to my boyfriend at the time, as the train passed through. He asked why and for a second or so I questioned myself, and then went on to disclose that about seven years prior, I had been sexually assaulted by a female work colleague at a house party in Hackney Wick. She got me on my own, pinned me down, pulled at my clothes to expose my breasts, whilst forcing me into a position that I could not free myself from. She rubbed and grinded on top of me, forcing me to spread my legs and be still, repeating, “Come on, it’s ok”. She manipulated my body for her sexual pleasure until she satisfied herself. The next morning, we caught trains home from opposite platforms at Hackney Wick train station and I never saw her again. She never came back to work! I supressed that memory for seven years, never spoke of it, I had forgotten about it, buried it so deep and therefor I did not deal with processing the trauma. It was Hackney Wick itself that sparked the memory. That is one of the first times that I ever experienced a panic attack, it was mild but happened none the less. Now I am aware that, that place, conversations about abuse, explicit lesbian sex, butch black women, thoughts and memories of the episode, can trigger panic, anxiety and deep depression in me. It has been a long process but patience, analysis and diary logging have been worth it. The more triggers that you are aware of, the less alarming it all becomes.
I have two states of mind. I suspect that most people do. I can think clearly and rationally but engage in bad habits or think unclearly, loose control of thoughts all together and engage in self destructive tendencies. Despite the catalyst of the situation, the outcome is almost always the same, self harming and over dosing. I made up the useful term, “PRC”, myself. “Problem”. “Reaction”. “Consequence”.Ideally, “I” for, “Intervention”, should come before, “Reaction” and “Consequence”. In order for this to happen, you need to realise and understand that you are in fact, in crisis.
A) The clearer, more self aware elements to my mind, is far less out of control then, B) when I am in disassociation mode, the other more dark and irrational frame of mind.
A) If there is a problem and I am aware, which is 25% of the time, I will call the home treatment team, but I have found that it is usually a callback system and that is if they answer at all! You can call the likes of, “The Samaritans” but I prefer not to have to go back to the beginning of my mental health history every time I have to have a conversation.Each to their own though. There are also of cause 111 or 999. If rational and in control, tell someone, anyone, before you loose it.
Admittedly the other 25% of the time, feeling anxious about disclosing the problem, being unable to pin point the problem and feeling unworthy of any attention, like a nuisance for bothering people, it is quicker to self harm rather then it is to pick up the phone. It gives me instant release and I feel much calmer, way quicker then going through the rigmarole of dialling, waiting, chasing and speaking.
B)when psychosis kicks in and takes over, unfortunately I feel that I have no option but to obey their orders. They are impossible to ignore. I often don’t realise what I am doing until my self-destruction is over with, but when I come round, I do always either tell someone or ask for help.
It is always hard to identify, acknowledge and accept when you are in the midst of crisis. If you are fortunate enough to have loved ones, they should also look out for triggers and/or signs mid crisis. If not, keep communicating and the professionals should be aware, maybe even realise the level of crisis that you are in before you do.
I personally have a very poetic and creative brain. I may not say, “I want to commit suicide”, out loud and outright but if you really listen to me, you can often hear that I am trying to communicate that something just isn’t right. Drawing from the past, I may use phrases like, “The storm is coming”, or, “I keep glitching”. Whether I understand the context of what I am saying, whether I am aware of what I really mean at the time or not, those types of confessions should not be listened to lightly and be interpreted as me needing and asking for help.
I hate confrontation, I live quite an isolated life. I have a small voice, a lack of resilience and barely any confidence. I expect my nearest and dearest to know that I am a, “suffer in silence”, kind of person. I need reminding that I am safe to be honest, that I am loved and deserved of being so. I expect people to recognise changes in me, to visit and contact me, not just when I am noticeably ill, when things are dramatic but all of the time. My personal illness goes above and beyond crisis, I struggle everyday, battling both audio and physical hallucinations that go on and on about how unloved I am, how unlinked I am, how replaceable I am, how annoying I am, how much hard work I am and such negative things take their toll after so long. I don’t like to be a nuisance. I don’t like to have to ask, yet I really do need more consistent support all round really, professionals and loved ones, but from friends and family would help heal the fragmented pieces of my broken heart, mind, body and soul, and give me ammunition to fight and continue.
To summarise, mental health should be observed and treated indefinitely. Over time, patterns will emerge and we must take note of them. Things like therapy, communication, medication should help to avoid crisis. Deter you away from what you know can trigger an episode. If you can identify that you are in crisis or just feel different or unwell, always make at least someone who cares for you (medically/ professionally/personally) know. If you find yourself in danger, try to contact help. If you have already been self-destructive, still tell someone, to avoid further damage. You are important and deserve to be helped sincerely, without question or judgement.
It is neither weak or attention seeking to admit the truth and ask for help. Except when you are offered health, even though you may think it unnecessary. Ultimately, being unwell or in crisis is all relative, mental health has a deep and complex spectrum but fighting it alone, may well be impossible in my opinion. The road to to recovery will certainly be slower. Crisis is awful and terrifying but help can bring a little light. Light your own candle. Let the help shine a torch and keep both going. Then you may live to see another day and find the sunshine may banish the demons away.

I just cry…

When you’re lying flat on your back,
And the room keeps spinning like that,
Making those memories flow back,
And you don’t know how to handle that.

Why didn’t I shout?
Why didn’t I scream?
It’s so hazey right now,
Yet I can’t handle it,
I don’t know how!?

Pinned down and I struggle,
But the force is strong,
It doesn’t last long,
Although the fractured memories seem to last forever.

Hands on my skin,
Breath to close,
Moaning and groaning,
Constantly controlling.

Stronger then I,
Heavier then I.
More powerful then I.
You do your thing.
And I,
I just cry.

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