Why do we have to be so ashamed of our children for having Mental Illness(es)? That a parent can’t speak up about their child who may be suffering from Depression, Anxiety, an Eating Disorder, BPD or any other Mental Illness? Maybe its because they are afraid of being judged, or that their child will be bullied against it. My parents don’t like to believe that I have anything wrong. Maybe it’s just a phase that I’m going through they say.
My parents hate it when I talk openly about my Mental Health, especially on social media. They say that it would upset Nan and Grandad to know what I’m going through. That there are people worse of then me so I shouldn’t be complaining. That not everyone needs to know our struggles. That’s the one thing that annoys me, they use the words ‘our struggles’. I’m sorry, you know what I’m feeling? That I’m suicidal as hell and that a blade hits my skin most nights? No. You never try to understand what I’m going through.
When I tried to open up to you about all this, Dad got angry and upset as he couldn’t believe that I wouldn’t share this with both of you. Mum, you sat there in silence, but your face told me a thousand words. I could tell that you were feeling hurt by what I was saying, but everything I said was the truth. The truth hurts, but what hurts more is trying to hide it from those you love because they won’t understand.
Dad; one thing you said to me was ‘I worry some nights that I’m going to wake up in the morning and my little girl won’t be there anymore’. That was a dagger to my heart. I wouldn’t want you to ever think that. Then we got talking about things, and that’s when you started telling me that if only I went to you that you would have got me through the system quicker. That none of this would be happening right now if only I came to you. You insinuated that I can’t do things right and that you’re always right.
Mum; you never yell at me, if I’m more honest, you don’t say much when it comes to my Mental Health. Your face tells me everything I need to know. When I posted on Facebook one time opening up about my struggles, you said that you didn’t want Nan & Grampi to know as it’s our family problems. I get that Mum, I do. Thing is though; why should I be ashamed of myself? Why can’t I tell people? You tell me that its nothing to be ashamed over and that people just don’t want to know the struggles we face.
You ask my parents what I’m like and they will say a happy, outgoing and bubbly person who never lets things get in the way of her dreams. That I’ve won awards upon awards, that I’ve met Royalty, I volunteer for a living, I went back to college to get a better education. They would say that I’m perfectly fine and that my life is great. And yes, to an extent my life is great. I have done all those things, but why don’t you tell people that I have Mental Health and despite having it that I have still done all these amazing things? Is it because you fear they will judge you? Your parenting skills? Cause you brung me up with the best life I could imagine. Yeah, we went through shit like when Dad went to prison three times, or when my brother started smoking at age 12, or Grampi being told that he will be basically wheelchair confined for the rest of his life. Admittedly you don’t bring it up much, but people still know about it. Maybe they only know one of the three things, but they still know. No one knows what I go through.
Before anyone wants to start having a go at me, I know it must be hard to admit that something is wrong with your child, I’m not denying that. Why can’t your child speak about it though? Why do we have to make them feel ashamed for something that they have? We don’t tell them they can’t tell anyone if they feel sick or feeling faint. We don’t tell them to hide their cast from where they have broken a bone. So why must we do that with Mental Health? Why can’t we speak openly about it?
Mum & Dad; I’m sorry for what I put you through. I would stop all of this if I could, I swear. I can’t though, so can you accept me for who I am, and please let me be open about my Mental Health?
If you from England, chances are you know the game ‘Duck Duck Goose’. For those of you who have never heard of this game, it’s one with simple instructions. Players sit in a circle and one person goes around and taps each participant on the head. They say duck duck duck etc until they choose a person to say goose too. They then both run around the circle and whoever is last to sit down in the previous persons seat goes around the circle repeating the earlier steps. A simple game that is learnt at a young age.
It’s weird, all my other classmates always wanted to be picked, and would get upset if their friend didn’t pick them; for me though this was never the case. I was a shy and reserved kid, one who just liked to keep herself to herself and had very few mates. I never liked playing class games as I never wanted to be singled out. I hated that feeling of being picked upon, even in a simple game such as Duck Duck Goose. I would get worked up about these situations as I just hated being the centre of attention. I was never a fast runner, I wasn’t not liked but then again I would never be picked to go on someone’s team, they got stuck with me as I was always the last one to be chosen. When working in pairs, if my one friend wasn’t there, then I would either get out with someone, work on my own, or be the teacher’s assistant.
I hated that, being the teacher’s assistant. However, I grew to accept that this was who I was, and I started going with it. I would suck up to teacher’s and make attachments real easy with them as at least I knew I had someone, even if they were years older then me. I knew that in games such as Duck Duck Goose the likelihood of them choosing me would be high and although I hated being chosen, it was also coupled with a feeling of releif. Releif that I don’t have to wait in suspense for someone to choose me, and at least I knew who would choose me.
It wasn’t just Duck Duck Goose I didnt like though, it was all games that required me to be the centre of attention. There’s a song called Cookie Monster, which is where you sing this rhyme that goes ‘Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? _______ stole the cookie jar.’ then you would be denying it and the rest of the class would ask who done it, and you would say someone else’s name. Not only was my fear of my name being chosen high, it was coupled with them having to speak alone infront of a good 30 other people. All these games were not my idea of a fun time, and I always dreaded it when these lessons came around.
One thing I have realised though is this is not a past fear, I still have this fear. I can’t stand being infront of my class speaking out loud, I don’t like being called upon in a class to answer a question, all of this is still so scary. Then something occured to me, I’ve always had Anxiety. I thought this was something that came apart of my life in my teen years, but this has been with me ever since I have been a kid. No one ever really picked up on this either, they just always put it down to a bit of nerves and that I will ‘blossom’ soon. This started at age 5, I’m now 19. Apparently forcing me to stand in front of people will also help, but that’s a whole other post!
Simple games are scary for me, and that’s okay.
Nothing hurts you more than when you’re trying your best and you still come out not being good enough. That sinking feeling, your eyes filling with tears, the sound of your voice breaking. It all hurts you, each feeling like a stab in your heart and there’s nothing you can do about it.
I think this is the feeling that is hurting me the most. I want to be the perfect person, one who is flawless, one who doesn’t fuck up every time she touches something, I just want people to realise that I am trying. I’m trying so god damn hard to make something of myself.
I want to be the daughter my parents wished for, a friend that isn’t broken inside, a sister that would make my brother proud. I want to show people that is not just my Mental Health, and not be defined by them. How can I do that though? How can I show people that I’m more than my labels when they are the ones that are dominating my life. Everything I do is defined by my illnesses.
From that shaking of my foot, the tapping to try and calm my heart down, avoiding all eye contact to people to not let them see into my life. I want to be good enough, I want people to love me for who I am. This post is a bit everywhere, I’m aware of that. Not much of this probably makes sense, but how can you make sense of my thoughts when even you cant make sense of what you’re thinking?
My mind is going 100mph right now, and I cant slow it down. All them self-help apps keep saying to talk to professionals. How are they going to make sense of what is going on when I can’t even pinpoint what is making me feel like this? They cant help me when I don’t even know what is going wrong in my life. All I do know is that I’m struggling, and I just want to be the person everyone thinks I can be.
I’m not good enough for anyone, and that feeling is hurting me the most.
A Netflix show that has divided many. One that shows the raw details of Hannah Baker’s life, and why she decided to end it. I wrote a post named 14 Reasons Why Not, where I wrote about all the reasons why not to watch season one because of the way it portrays mental health. Now watching season two, it has left me with very much mixed feelings
Season one shows us why (and how) someone’s actions can lead to suicide. I do not agree on how they portrayed most things in the season as showing Hannah’s suicide scene was an insensitive move, especially because of there being no warnings around this. There was no mentioning of any of the characters, not just Hannah’s, mental health. These were insensitive moves that they took with little thought for their viewers and the personal struggles they could be going through.
Season Two has left people with mixed feelings, some saying that the final episode with the sexual assault scene was too much, while others jump to defend the show’s decision in this by saying that warnings were sent out for this scene and that it was at the viewer’s the discretion to continue watching.
My opinion? I think that season 2 is a lot more accurate in accordance to Hannah’s suicide. I do think that the scene featuring Tyler was a bit too much. I look at it though and despite my first reaction to this graphic scene, I do see why they have put this in. That scene alone has generated a whole new discussion in society about the impacts of sexual assault/ abuse and being able to start a conversation about this matter. With this topic being a taboo subject, a person who has gone through this can find it hard to open up. This could be a way to slowly introduce the idea of speaking about sexual assault and lead into a flowing conversation.
The other episodes however really won me over. It shows issues in a true light and doesn’t attempt to glamorise any of it or try to make it into a comedy to make something of such a sensitive issue into a mockery. Take some of the characters story as examples; Justin, they show what life can be like for someone struggling with drug addiction, Jessica and her acceptance in her sexual abuse and learn how to deal with it, Alex on his progression journey after his suicide attempt, or Clay and the grieving process he goes through with Hannah’s death.
One thing that did make me very happy about this season of 13 Reasons Why is that they talk about the characters Mental Health, and opening up the clarification of Hannah and her experience of depression. Watching these episodes, I found that the production team have put a lot more thought into the new season compared to the first one. This along with featuring at the end of each episode a web-address with an actors voice saying go to the website to find resources, and at the beginning of the season with the actors being filmed, giving out viewer discretion and explaining what the show is about showing us that they took the comments in that society had and improved the show.
The second season has left me thinking about mental health and suicide and how this show is a great way to start a conversation on this topic.
They sting, and if you know what I’m on about, then I am so sorry. The pain gets less and the numbness takes over. No longer can I feel the pain, I’m just left with the aftermath of an awful decision. If you haven’t guessed by now, yes, this is about self-harm.
**DISCLAIMER – There will be mentioning of self-harm stories, blood, blades and so on. Please do not read on if this causes you too much distress. All things said in this post are from my viewpoint**
Recently, a blade has become my best friend again. This time though, they want to make sure their presence is known by leaving marks worse than ever and causing me pain like no other. The cuts are becoming deeper and deeper now, and I don’t know how to stop. All these coping mechanisms that I have developed throughout the years just won’t work anymore. I have tried everything to stop myself. I was told to wrap the blade in layers of sellotape so it makes it harder to get access to it.. that just made me more determined to get to it. Draw on me with red ink. I dug the pen that hard into me that I broke the skin. I was once told by sticking my face in the freezer would help, all I got out of that was a very cold head.
As I’m writing this, my legs are bandaged and I can not move them without being in intense pain. I’m lying here, dead still to avoid causing any more damage to myself. At the moment, there is nothing more than I want is for me to bleed out, to make me hurt. After though, when all that tension is out, I regret it. I feel mad at myself because I know I fucked up again, and that I’ve damaged myself so much that I’m just coming to accept it.
All these cuts and scars are visual proof that my demands won again. They take over my brain, control everything I do, make me want to hurt myself. Its a feeling that I can’t explain, as it takes over me, but it seems like I still want to do it. I want to cut myself to try and kill the monster that is inside of me. I don’t fight with him, I comply with his wishes because I hope and pray that it will make him go away.
I’ve got bloodstained bandages, raw red legs, and a monster wanting me to die. He’s winning at the moment.
Louder and louder. Kill Yourself they say. There’s nothing left in this world for you so just die already they scream. Make them cuts deeper, the more pain the better they whisper as they seep into my brain and destroy every thought I ever have.
Recently, there have been voices in my head. I’ve had them for a while, but more recently they have been getting louder and louder. They used to be things that I could deal with, keep on going with my normal daily routine. This past month though, they are loud, and I cant shut them up anymore.
I was sat in a lesson, and out of nowhere I started to feel anxious and that made the voices speak a little louder. I put on my headphones to try and drown them out. I turned them up louder and louder till it as at max volume. Yet the voices overpowered them. KILL YOURSELF YOU PIECE OF SHIT. YOU CANT DO ANYTHING RIGHT. SELF HARM AGAIN, BITCH. It scared me, as I havent expereinced anything like this before, and at that point, I wanted to die right there and then.
From walking out the room and going up one flight of stairs to get to my tutor, I figured out a solid 10 ways I could take my life right there and then. I know they are not real (as many people keep pointing out to me), but it feels real to me. Sitting there, with these voices screaming at me, I don’t know what else I can do! I wake up and there they are, greeting me. Same applies when I go to sleep, they send me off to sleep with messages filled with self-hate.
I just don’t know what to do anymore with myself, as I’m clearly not coping too well. I want help, I really do, but I don’t want people to think I’m crazy by what I’m saying. Yeah, I know what you’re probably thinking Chelsea, your writing this and sharing it with the whole world. I am well aware of this, but somehow thats not as scary. Be that because I’m not facing them, or not speaking it face to face, but I needed to get this out.
I just want to curl up in a ball right now and cry.
That feeling of nothingness. Emptiness. Aloneness. It overwhelms every inch of your body. Silence can be the loudest cry. The voices in your head are getting louder and louder. Cuts on your arms are becoming deeper and deeper. The nights are becoming longer and longer. Before you know it, rock bottom seems like your best friend.
I constantly say that rock bottom is somewhere that I have never experienced. I say this because the day I hit there is the day that I kill myself. That will be the day that rock bottom will become a real thing. Whenever I go to a Mental Health appointment, they always ask me on a scale 1-10 on how close I am to rock bottom. Each session it can vary. Recently though, it’s 9. I get told I’m brave and must be strong because I’ve never hit rock bottom, or want to believe I haven’t. Truth is I’ve probably hit rock bottom that many times now we are best friends.
Why do I say this though? Because its true, the day I commit suicide is the day that I lost, and that day would be a 10 on the scale, as I felt that bad. I’ve been suicidal for years now, and I’ve had a few too many attempts and trying to take my life. The other night, I saw this come up on my Instagram, and it fits the situation perfectly.
I’m not suicidal, but if a car came while I was crossing the street, I don’t think I would move out the way. And if someone held a gun to my head, I wouldn’t exactly beg for my life. In fact, I’d laugh and tell them to go for it. No, I’m not suicidal. But if I had an opportunity to die without having to kill myself, If probably take it.
How wrong is that though? That I live in this permanent mindset that I want to die. Why should I feel like this? I never asked for this life, for Christ sake I never asked to be born. I was brung into this cruel world by two people who cant see that their own little girl is falling to pieces with every step she is taking, and she doesn’t know how long she can carry on for.
Rock bottom, a place that I should make myself a new home. Going to be here for a while.
I’m writing this post, with tears streaming down my face, just purely wondering when all this pain will stop. The feeling of emptiness, the heartache, the misery. All of it. The voices in my head, they won’t calm down, and I don’t know what to do.
This post is going to be very raw, as in writing it as I’m going through it. Its 9th April 2018, it’s just gone 7.00pm. I hear my parents downstairs with my neighbours chatting away, and my brother has just been out for a smoke and is now in his room. Everyone around me is carrying on with life, they don’t know that I’m no more than 20 steps away from them just wanting to relapse. To stop all this pain that is hurting me.
I’ve lost my way again, I can’t find the steady road that I used to be on. A while back I wrote that I had been discharged from my local Mental Health Team. I can honestly say its all gone downhill from there. 20 minutes before I got discharged, I told my Community Pyscatiric Nurse (CPN) that I had been feeling suicidal to then be told that the Psychology team deem me as mentally fit.. what sort of system do I live in? I’ve just declared that I want to die, and yet you tell me that is fine? All because one person made the decision that because I was smiling at her that it means nothing is wrong with me?
I’m the sort of person that takes a few sessions to start building a relationship with you, and even then, we have to maintain some sort of connection for me to be open in honest. How come that in one 40 minute session you expected me to bare all to you? How do I know what you will react to? What if you want to section me? Until we both get to know each other, then I cant open up to someone. I’m sorry for that, but its the way I work, and no one can change that.
I wish they could see me now; fresh cuts on my body, tears pouring out of my bloodshot eyes, a stuffy nose, my heart going ten to the dozen. No one would say I’m mentally fit in this state. I just want something to go right for me now, to let me live my life again. I can’t stand living a life feeling like this. I’m trapped in a mindset that constantly figures out different ways to die. I shouldn’t be living like this. I’m 19 for christ sake, I should be out living a high life, exploring the world, Instead, I’m lying on my bed. Feeling like shit.
I don’t want to die, I just want to disappear until I feel better again.
They say your family should accept you for who you are. That no matter what you go through, they will always be there for you. I wish I could say that my family accepts me for who I am, but I would be lying if I said they were.
You ask my Dad what diagnoses I have, he will say Depression with a little Anxiety. Go to my Mum and ask her what she thinks of me taking tablets, and she will say that I take too many and none of them works. Go to my Brother and ask him what he thinks of Mental Health in general, he will tell you its bullshit and is nothing but a mindset. You goto any other family member and ask them about my Mental Health, and they would have no clue what you are on about, as my parents want to keep it under wraps. Its like they are ashamed to admit that I have ill Mental Health.
They will deny that, everything I just said above they will deny all of it. They will say that they support me through everything, and they are not ashamed of me. Yet, whenever I put anything to do with Mental Health on Facebook, they freak out.I put up once about how an organisation I volunteer for have helped me through dark times, and that is legit all I wrote. They both told me to take it down, as not everyone needs to know my troubles and its a family situation. A family situation my ass.
There is a reason I do this on my own because if I involved them, they would constantly be interfering, telling me to do it one way and not another. They would take over my care, telling me the best way to get better, when in reality I’m the only one who knows whats best for me. We’ve had many arguments over this whole subject, and they think they know everything that’s going on. Mum thinks I’m clean from self-harm, she doesn’t know that a few nights ago I relapsed again. Dad thinks that these new tablets are working miracles on me, the truth is I’ve only got better at hiding it now.
See, I’m not ashamed of who I am. I’m, to put this as politely as I can, a fucked up human with quite a few issues. I’m not scared to say that, as I know its true. I don’t lead a plain sailing life, I struggle big time, yet my family want the world to believe that nothing is wrong with me. My long medical folder and the tablets I take would suggest differently. The thing is as well, this is where the stigma comes from. People tell you all the time to speak out, and god knows I have tried so many times, yet my parents are the prime example of the people in society that create the whole thing.
I asked my Mum once what she though Mental Illness meant. She said Someone who is a psyco killer. Its good to know where my ground lies.