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Posts Tagged ‘attachment’

>Just stop

>It is 5:15am and I am not remotely sleepy, and am feeling very tense, despite taking 10mg Diazepam. The suicidal thoughts are really in full swing, and although I am not intending to act on them tonight, it doesn’t make them any weaker or easier to cope with. I think I might have to have another Diazepam, as when I feel like this my thoughts just go into overdrive and I have absolutely no chance of sleeping.

I am feeling so alone. I know I have support online, and I am truly grateful for that, but in real life I have absolutely nothing, and it is hard. Actually it is much worse than hard. I desperately feel like I need some support, but there is nowhere to turn. My GP works Wednesdays, but there is no point contacting her, as I have grasped exactly what she thinks from my mum speaking to her last week, and she has certainly been turned against me. I could phone and speak to whoever is on duty at the CMHT, but a) I don’t trust that it won’t be a fuckwit on duty, as there are several of them, b) they will all be against me too, and c) they will either suggest going for a walk, having a bath, or listening to music, and none of those are remotely helpful suggestions at the moment. I always find walking very anxiety provoking – I am always paranoid that someone is following me, and it really does scare me. I find baths the opposite of relaxing. I hate just lying there with my thoughts. I don’t see how that is supposed to be relaxing or helpful. And I usually love music, but as I have explained on here before, I find it really difficult to listen to at the moment unless there is a particular song I need to hear – otherwise it just sounds like irritating noise that is drilling through my head, even if it is a CD I usually love. The TV is similar – I get a headache within about 5 minutes of turning it on as it just overwhelms me. And I can’t concentrate to read. So essentially, anything they might suggest I do is useless, and therefore I am fucked.

I miss L. I know that sounds weird, given that she has been turned against me, and hasn’t done anything to help me lately, but I do. I guess that is why attachment issues are such a bitch. Even when you know someone isn’t helping, you can’t get over them. I was thinking about it, and actually I don’t think things have ever been quite the same with her since that time in November when I felt very let down by her. Things did get back on track and feel ok after that, but I suppose I never had quite the same level of trust in her following that, and now I feel like she doesn’t care about me at all and doesn’t care what happens to me, as she just left me with an appointment for a fortnight’s time when she knew how awful I was feeling. And yet I still miss her. That is wrong, and it pisses me off. I am angry with myself for wanting to talk to her. I don’t want to miss her. I want to be angry with her. But every time I am feeling desperate I just get this overwhelming desire to talk to her. And yet last Thursday and Friday when she was in work, and I could have rung her, I didn’t because I was just too upset. I feel really confused about the whole thing. I suppose it is a bit like the situation with my mum. I still feel like she has been turned against me where my mental health is concerned, but I still love her despite that. I feel let down by her, and I feel like she either doesn’t believe me, or doesn’t care about me any more, in much the same way I feel about L, but she is still my mum, and I still love her. I just have to accept that I can’t rely on her for support. And I suppose it would be the same with L, except our whole relationship is based on support, as that is why she is there, which makes it much more awkward, But of the CMHT she is still the only person I want to talk to. I feel lost and alone and desperate, and like the people I have relied on and trusted the most are no longer there for me. I really feel like I can’t cope.

I have rehearsal again tonight. It is going to be a long one, as I have to get there an hour early to work on my solos with the musical director, and then I have the normal rehearsal, so I will be there from 6:30 until at least 10, possibly 10:30. It’s all too much. I want to scream and shout and cry but I don’t think that would be appreciated by my parents or my neighbours given that it is 5:30am. I just can’t cope. I want out. I want to make everything stop. Just stop. Why isn’t it getting any easier? Surely it should be getting easier. And it isn’t. It just gets harder and harder. I don’t believe that these thoughts and feelings are going to go away without me acting on them. It is too intense. And it feels like the right thing to do. I don’t want to wait for them to pass. I just want to make it all stop.

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>From the time when my dad moved out when I was 12, things continued in the same way for quite a few years. He would come over some evenings. He would come on holiday with us, and stay for a while over Christmas. At some point he started spending the weekends here. Then there would be times when I wouldn’t see him for a couple of months because of my mum or I getting upset about it all and cutting contact with him. Neither he, nor my mother, were seeing anyone else. It was a fairly strange relationship, as it was so uneven. My mum desperately wanted him back, and so everything was on his terms. He came over when he wanted, but if he wanted to do something else instead then he would, and my mum would get upset, which would generally lead to a period of her not wanting to see him. If she didn’t want to see him then I generally didn’t see him either. I hated going to his flat – I only did it a handful of times over a period of about 6 years. I didn’t like seeing that he had his own life away from us, and I didn’t feel comfortable there. So generally either he came here, or I didn’t see him.

At 16 I finished school and went of to 6th Form College to do A levels. It was a relief to leave H and co. behind – I don’t think I have seen anyone from my year group since I left school over 8 years ago, apart from briefly bumping into a couple of people, including her. Maybe she is a nicer person now. I hope so. I did ok in my GCSEs, but didn’t get the results I should have got, because I did no revision. That is something of a pattern for me. I think my fear of failure is so intense that I take it the opposite way and work on the premise that if I haven’t tried then it doesn’t matter if I have failed or done badly, whereas if I worked really hard and still didn’t do as well as I should then I would have no excuse – I would just be a failure.

Anyway, 6th Form College was a much better experience than school in many ways. It was literally 10 times the size in terms of student population, and obviously they were all aged 16 – 19, rather than 4 – 16 like my school had been, so there were rather more people in a year group at college – about 50 times more…. C was going to the same 6th Form, and I also knew a couple of other people, through performing, who were going there, but that was it. Oh, and a guy from my school, but I rarely saw him. In theory everything should have improved for me in college. I had friends, and obviously I was studying the subjects I wanted to etc. And in some ways it was great. I had some really good teachers, one of whom I am still in contact with now – he came to see me in Carousel. The main problem with it was that I didn’t want to be there. In the summer between finishing school and starting 6th Form, I had done a 2 week Musical Theatre summer course at one of the drama schools in London, and absolutely loved it, and therefore resented going off to study academic subjects when I wanted to be doing performing. I wished I was doing a Musical Theatre BTEC rather than A levels, so that I could be doing what I wanted to do. In retrospect I am glad I did A levels, and I don’t think my parents would have let me not do them anyway, but it resulted in once again my attendance being pretty poor, because I couldn’t be bothered with it, and so that, combined with not doing any work that didn’t absolutely have to be done, and not doing any revision at all, meant that I finished my first year with pretty poor results. I didn’t dislike college – as I have said, I had friends there, I enjoyed some of my lessons. I was very fortunate in that the Head of Music/Performing Arts seemed to think the sun shone from my arse, and so I got quite a few opportunities in that area. I was in the college choir, and got all the solos – I sung the Once In Royal solo 3 years running at the carol service (yes, I stayed 3 years – more on that later), as well as various other solos. I was always asked to perform in all of the concerts, and to record songs for the music tech students etc. In my 3rd year they did Les Miserables, and I pretty much got to choose my role, although that was actually a new member of staff directing that who had never taught me. We had a couple of auditions, and then were waiting ages for them to decide casting, and one day I asked if they had cast it yet, because I said I wanted to include it in my UCAS personal statement, and wanted to be able to say what part I was playing (oh the arrogance!) and got the reply, ‘well we haven’t finished casting yet, but I am assuming you would like Eponine as you sung On My Own in your audition?’ I said I would please, and that was that settled. College gave me a confidence in my abilities that school never had – in college there were 2000 people, all of my age, and yet I was the one who got the solos and the leads, and who the staff knew, even if they didn’t teach me. At school there was a lot of nepotism going on with casting, and so I never got leads, despite being the only person who regularly performed out of school (and regularly was cast in leads there). So college was good for making me realise I must be better than school had lead me to believe. My first year of college was fairly uneventful. I went to lessons some of the time, stayed home some of the time, did some of the work, didn’t do some of the work. I was still doing dance and singing lessons outside of college, and some shows, although I had started doing less by that time.

I had just started my second year of college, and so was just 17 when the next thing happened in my home life. My mum picked me up from the bus one day and was very upset – she had received an anonymous text message saying that my dad had been seeing someone for a year and that she should divorce him. It turned out that it was true – we never did know for sure who sent it, although the assumption was that his girlfriend (another 25 year old who worked for him) had got the number off his phone and sent it, although she denied it. Whilst he wasn’t living at home, and it was now 5 years since he had moved out, he hadn’t seen anyone in that time to our knowledge, apart from the initial affair, and had generally spent quite a lot of time at our house and with us. Of course in retrospect we realised that for the last year he hadn’t been spending weekends with us like he had been before that, and that he had been coming over less often, but since everything always had been on his terms anyway, we hadn’t really questioned it before. I was very upset – not that he was seeing someone, but that he had been lying to us for over a year. It really hurt me a lot, and I think made me lose a lot of trust in not only him, but people generally. I still can’t comprehend how and why he would lie like that for so long – it wasn’t like he was living here – they were separated, and had been for quite a few years. My mum was absolutely devastated. As I said, she always wanted to be with him, and this news was just too much for her. She refused to tell anyone – she wouldn’t even tell her friends or my siblings initially. She kept saying how ashamed she felt and how stupid she was for not knowing, and how if people knew they would laugh at her and think she was stupid. I think that for her too it was more about the secrecy, and not knowing than it was him seeing someone else, although obviously that hurt her too. Yet again, he broke up with her once we had found out. So we were back to keeping secrets (although we had never actually stopped) but this time it was just the two of us, as there were no siblings or friends or counsellors involved this time. And it really was role reversal – she was so upset, and had absolutely nobody to talk to apart from me, and so I listened to it all. Obviously I was older by this point, but she was really leaning on me quite heavily, and I couldn’t rely on her at all emotionally. And I started to crumble. Not in front of her. I didn’t let her know how much I was struggling. But I was struggling more and more. My mood was low and I started purging frequently.

I had a really great teacher at college who I started talking to. She was really supportive, and for a while I talked to her every week. I suppose really she was the first person I ever talked to about anything emotional at all – I had just never talked about feelings before to anyone. She was really helpful – without her I don’t know if I would have gone on to get other help. She listened, and she got me information and a self help book for bulimia. She was also the one who encouraged me to go to my GP to get help (who gave me anti depressants and referred me to the CMHT), and also to see the college counsellor in the meantime. I was very attached to her. I think my issues with attachment can be attributed in some ways to my relationship with my parents, although as I said before, even when I was very young I was very possessive with friends, so perhaps it has always been in my nature. But it was after my dad left when I was 12 that I started getting really attached to people. Never men – it has always been women, who I suppose I see as maternal figures, who I have become attached to. I feel like it should be men, since it was my dad who left and wasn’t there for me, but I suppose emotionally I wasn’t getting what I needed from my mum, and therefore begun to look for it elsewhere. There have been a number of people I have grown very attached to – wanting to be around them all the time, and for them to care about me and look after me, and I suppose essentially to parent me. It is weird because my mum and I have always been very close, and yet I have always had these fantasies of whoever it is I am attached to at the time (only ever one at a time) taking me home to live with them. But I suppose it is due to my mum not being there for me emotionally when I needed her, because she was struggling so much herself. Maybe that is why even now I find it very difficult to talk to her about how I am feeling. I think I can also attribute my eating problems to my parents to some extent. My parents have very different relationships with food. My mum is tiny, but eats a lot of food, a lot of which is crap, and by rights should be enormous. She rarely weighs herself, and doesn’t understand why I don’t just eat what she does – she can’t seem to comprehend that her metabolism is not normal. My dad is much more careful about what he eats – he is a healthy weight, but he weighs himself daily, and hates it if his weight goes up, and will cut out unhealthier foods until it goes back to where he wants it to be. As a teenager he used to frequently comment on my weight, and suggest that I should try to lose weight, frequently citing my career choice as the reason why I needed to be smaller. He doesn’t do that any more, probably because I haven’t been as big as I was as a teenager, although even then we were still talking healthy BMI range, just nearer the higher end of it. But he does still ask me how my weight is, and will make comments about what I am eating sometimes. As a family they (we?) are very sizeist – I have grown up with negative comments about overweight people etc, so I think that, along with comments about my own weight, coupled with a desperate need to feel in control of something when my life felt so out of control, was really fairly likely to lead to an eating disorder.

Despite my mental health problems, my second year of college was better than my first year in many ways. I think primarily because I felt safe there – it filled the same space for as rehearsals had when I was younger and my dad first left – it was somewhere to escape to. I suppose in a large part because college contained the only person I really trusted to talk to – at this point I had been referred to the CMHT, and at some point during the year had an assessment there, and was then on the waiting list for the rest of that year. My attendance was better, and although I was having problems concentrating, I actually did better than I had in my first year, although still not nearly as well as I should have. And then my second year came to an end, I had A Levels, and I didn’t have a clue what to do next. I was terrified of leaving college, because that was where my only support was. I had no plans to go on to university or anything. And in the end I just couldn’t face leaving. So I stayed on an extra year. I retook the first year of English Lit, because I had got 2 grades higher for my second year than I got in my first year, and then I took both the first and second year of Sociology at the same time, so that I got an A level in a year. I also worked part time at the college, as a Learning Support Assistant. Just before my third year started, I started seeing a Clinical Psychologist at the CMHT, primarily for help with my eating disorder, although during the year my mood got worse and worse, until I attempted suicide at the end of the year. This academic year was 2004/2005, and so was 6 years after my dad had first moved out, in 1998, and 1 or 2 years after we found out he had been seeing someone again, in 2003. During this time he had started spending more and more time back at home – staying there more often, and by some point in 2005 he was more or less living back at home, although he still kept his flat, and spent occasional nights there. But he was back home. The perfect fairytale ending right? And they all lived happily ever after….

I do not by any means think that my problems now are caused by my parents splitting up. As I said before, I don’t think things were quite right when I was even younger than that. But I do think it probably exacerbated matters. I find it really difficult to admit that my parents splitting up could have even contributed slightly to me having mental health problems now. What is the statistic – half of all marriages end in divorce or something like that? And people go through much worse and don’t end up with a slew of psychiatric diagnoses, which makes me think that either I must be really pathetic, other people must be really strong, or my problems come from absolutely nowhere, and it is absolutely nothing to do with my parents. I flit from one view to another depending on my mood. But I can see that L had a point when she said how difficult it must have been having to keep it all a secret, and having to try and contain my emotions to avoid upsetting my mum. That was difficult, and probably isn’t a typical experience of parents’ splitting up, although of course I don’t know for sure. I almost feel guilty for having mental health problems when I have been through so little in comparison to other people. Ok, my parents split up, but so what? That is hardly uncommon. And apart from that I had a good childhood. I got to do whatever activities I wanted, I had a good education, I was loved and looked after. I certainly was never abused in any way, or neglected, or anything else terrible. Nothing bad happened to me. And yet here I am, at age 24, with 7 years in the mental health system, multiple suicide attempts, multiple admissions, numerous CPNs and Psychiatrists and other professionals, medications, etc etc. I feel ashamed of myself for being so weak. For having these problems, when others go through so much worse and yet cope so much better. I really do feel guilty when I think about it. I don’t understand why I am in the position I am in, when there has been nothing serious in my life to cause me to feel like this. I can see that my teenage years weren’t perfect, but they were not bad enough to lead to this. So what is wrong with me? I have absolutely no idea.

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>So, my childhood. I didn’t talk about all of this with L, but I decided I wanted to write about all of it, to put it into context. My childhood memories are fairly sketchy. I only remember odd bits here and there. I have no memories from when I was very young, and really very few before the age of about 10. And even after that, I know certain situations happened etc, but I don’t remember how I felt about them or anything. So a lot of it is quite hazy.

I always think of myself as having a happy childhood, and I think it was overall, and certainly was compared to the experiences of many others, which means I am always reluctant to criticise it in any way. But there were downsides. For a start, I never fitted in. From as far back as I can remember I just didn’t fit in with most other children. I was more comfortable with adult company, which is probably unsurprising, given that I have 3 older siblings, and the closest of those to me in age is 12 years older than me. So I was used to being around adults the majority of the time. When I was young, and I am thinking back from when I was very young up to about the age of 11 or so, I was probably what Lexie would refer to as a ‘pretend child’. I spent hours and hours sitting reading. I would wander around stately homes and gardens with my parents. I was always beautifully dressed. Overall I was pretty well behaved. Which is lucky really, because punishing me generally consisted of sending me to my room, where I would become engrossed in a book, and when told I could go back downstairs reply that I was ok in my bedroom reading thank you. I went to dance classes, and was a Brownie, and had riding lessons. I did well at school. I was intelligent. I had a reading age far higher than my actual age. I got all my spellings right. I think I was generally fairly amenable, although my parents may say otherwise of course… I got on well with my parents. I got on well with my siblings. My sister (yes, the one who now hates me) absolutely doted on me as a young child. So in that sense I was a good child, with a happy childhood.

The less positive things were that as I mentioned, I never really fitted in with my peers – probably because of being a pretend child. I had a best friend (whom I will refer to as C for this post), who I met when I was 4, who lived just down the road from me, and we were at school together until I moved school after a couple of years. I was very possessive over her. I wanted her to play with me the whole time. I wasn’t interested in playing with any of the other children – she was my best friend, and she was the only person I wanted to play with. I don’t remember it, but I apparently used to come home from school incredibly upset if she had been playing with other people instead of me. Early attachment issues, or is that too psychoanalytical? There was another girl at that school (who will be referred to as H for this post) whose mother used to look after me after school when my mother was working, and when I switched schools, she also switched half a term later. She was a very strong character. A bully essentially. Again, I don’t remember it, but apparently sometimes when I would go there after school she would lock me in her bedroom and leave me in there and not let me out. Sometimes she would be nice to me. Other times she wouldn’t. When I moved school at 7, I left C behind, although I still saw her a lot, and whilst I got on fine with the children at my new school, again, I didn’t really fit in. I wasn’t ‘cool’ in any way. I was certainly not one of the popular girls. I would try and tag onto some of the other less popular girls, but I remember often finding myself alone. I was also ill a lot – I had a lot of problems with my ears – constant ear infections, multiple burst eardrums, various other infections. I spent an awful lot of my childhood on antibiotics. My mum generally used to still send me into school when I was ill, as she worked there, and I was too young to stay home alone, so I either went to lessons, or if I was really ill I went to the sick bay. I didn’t enjoy school though. From a fairly young age I remember exaggerating how ill I felt to try and get out of going to class. I remember pushing near the bottom of my neck to make me retch so that my mum would think I was sick. I am not sure why I didn’t want to go to school, as it wasn’t like I struggled with the work or anything, and it was a nice school. I just didn’t want to go.

I have also had issues with food my entire life. Not an eating disorder, but I have always been an incredibly fussy eater, to the point where it has interfered with my life. In some ways I am slightly better now with that, but overall the foods I will eat now aren’t very different to those I would eat as a child. When I was inpatient on an eating disorder programme they said I had always had disordered eating because of how fussy I was. I don’t know whether or not this is true, or what is behind it, or if it contributed to my eating disorder in later life, but there have certainly always been issues surrounding food. I was always very attached to my mum. I suppose most children are, but I didn’t like her being out or away from me. I would stay the night with friends, but I remember getting into a terrible state when I went on Brownie camp once. I absolutely hated it. I was horribly home sick, I had issues with most of the food, and I just wanted to be at home. The whole time felt like torture, and all the other children were having a great time. Obviously none of these things were major problems. Ok, I didn’t really fit in with my peers and was teased a bit, but most kids are. And I was happy at home as far as I can remember.

Up to this point I would consider myself to have had a happy childhood. Although if I look back on it I can see signs that maybe things weren’t quite right even that early on, ie up to the age of 11. But I don’t know if that is just going into the realms of navel gazing. But things like being very attached to certain people, and feigning or exaggerating illness to avoid school, when actually there was no reason to not want to go that I can see do strike me as not being quite right. I also always had a need to please people – generally adults rather than peers. But there have always been issues with relationships I suppose. And of course issues with food. There was no reason for me to be unhappy, but I wouldn’t say that I was happy, and I don’t know why. Maybe there has always been something wrong, although I don’t know what. But overall everything in my life was pretty simple up to this point, and there was no reason for me to be unhappy. It was after that that things became more complicated, but I will finish writing that tomorrow, as the more I write the more flashes of memory are coming back, and I need some time to process them. There was nothing I would consider to be traumatic, or anything more than an awful lot of children go through, and not nearly as bad as lots, but I still feel like I need to write about it. The appointment with L yesterday got me thinking a lot, but I will go into more detail regarding that tomorrow.

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>I don’t know what to do. I am feeling pretty crappy, which is probably evident from my last few blog posts. Not being able to see L today made it worse. The obvious thing to do would be to contact her and see if she could see me any other time this week rather than waiting another whole week, but that feels really difficult for a few reasons. Firstly, it sounds really stupid, but when an appointment has been cancelled I don’t like to be the one to contact her – I want her to contact me. I am aware of how needy that sounds, and maybe I am, but if the CMHT call and cancel one of my appointments with her, then I really do find it difficult to be the one to make contact next, even if I know I need to speak to her. I suppose I just go into a little sulk because I feel like I don’t matter when appointments are cancelled, and if I am the one who makes contact then I just feel resentful, whereas if she contacts me then I come out of the sulk and it is ok again. I still feel jealous and pissed off with whoever has taken my appointment time, but I do know that she wouldn’t cancel unless she has to, and that it therefore isn’t her fault. But I really dislike being told that she can’t see me by the CMHT rather than her. Childish? Absolutely. But it just presses all my abandonment and rejection buttons, and I don’t know how to deal with it. So that is one reason why I don’t feel like I can contact her for an appointment.

Also, common sense makes me think that if she had any time free this week that she could have seen me in, then she would have told them to offer me that appointment slot, rather than waiting another whole week, and therefore it would be pointless contacting her. This is probably true – she is very busy, so probably has no other times free. And so contacting her to try and see her this week would just end up being like a double rejection, as she couldn’t see me today, and then wouldn’t be able to see me any other day either, plus I would have been the one to contact her and I would resent that. And finally, I feel like if she does have time free later in the week, I must not deserve it. I am sure there must be other people more important than me, and if she felt like I deserved that time then she would have offered it right? Or rather told the receptionist to offer it. And in that case I would just feel stupid for asking. And like I was wasting her time.

So basically, I don’t feel like I can contact her. But I really feel like I need to see her. I feel shit, and a week feels like a really, really long time when I am feeling like this. The last week has been difficult, and this week isn’t looking like it is going to be any easier. I just want to hide away and not see anyone, and instead I have to go out to rehearsals every night, and pretend that everything is fine when it really isn’t. And the only release I ever get, when I can actually be honest about how I am feeling, and don’t have to put up a front, is when I see L. So that hour a week really matters a lot, and losing it when I am feeling this low is really difficult. But contacting her and not being able to see her, which is the most likely outcome, would be even more difficult. I just don’t seem to be able to cope with life at all at the moment. Little things are sending me into a complete spin, and this has just made me lose any remaining feelings I had of being able to cope.

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>It is 3:30am and I don’t know what to do with myself. I am not sleepy. Not at all. Exhausted, but not sleepy. I don’t know what to do. It’s funny. I read so much normally. Even if I am not feeling too great I can read children’s books, or fast paced books like thrillers, but when I feel really bad it is like I forget how to read. Of course I can still read the words, but they don’t go into my head. I read a sentence, and have no idea what it actually said. So I give up. Occasionally I persevere and get through a chapter, and then realise that I can’t even remember the name of the character, let alone anything that actually happened. At that point I generally realise it is quite futile even trying to read, and give up until my mood starts to pick up a bit. I try and carry on reading simpler things, like blogs and message boards – nice little short manageable things. But often the same thing happens. I read a blog update and have to keep going back over and over it. Sometimes I just give up, like with books. Reading is what I usually do in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep. I am not sure what to do with myself when that option isn’t there.

There is nobody to talk to. Obviously my parents are asleep. My friends are asleep. Nobody is online. I could go and talk to the dog, but even he doesn’t seem to appreciate it very much when I go downstairs in the middle of the night. I don’t even know if I want to speak to anyone. Some of the time at the moment I just want to shut the whole world out. My family. My friends. Everyone. Nobody can say anything that will make me feel any better, so there is no point talking about how I feel. And how am I supposed to talk about anything else, when that is all I can think about? But sometime I just feel really lonely. Completely isolated. I can’t talk to anybody, because there is nobody to talk to. I don’t like worrying people, so I can’t talk to family or friends. And there is also an element of me that is wanting to keep quiet about how I am feeling because the suicidal thoughts are very strong, and they are saying that if nobody knows then nobody can try and stop me. Not that anyone could actually stop me killing myself, but they could make it more difficult for me. Well, I suppose technically I could be stopped if I was in hospital, but I am confident that won’t ever happen again.

Sometimes I feel like there are two mes. Two voices inside my head. Well there are two voices inside my head, but they are both mine – they aren’t actual voices. Just out loud thoughts I suppose. But they do have conversations about things, and I don’t know which side the outside of my head me agrees with. For example, the suicidal voice is quite liking the fact that L is away. It knows that normally I would talk to L if I was having suicidal thoughts, and that would help me to get through them. It also knows that one of the things that bothers me about killing myself is feeling guilty because of how much L has always supported me, and knowing that if I killed myself and she had known I was suicidal (which she would know if she was there, because I always tell her what I am thinking) that she would have to justify all her actions and decisions etc at a tribunal, and maybe she would feel guilty or something for not being able to stop me. I don’t know. It just knows that I don’t want to let L down, and killing myself would be the ultimate way of letting her down I suppose. But if she isn’t there, that doesn’t apply. She doesn’t know how I am feeling. She wouldn’t have to justify anything. There would be no guilt. It keeps reminding me of all of that. How much easier it would be to do it now, when she isn’t about, than it would be when she is there. Not easier in physical/practical terms, but emotionally. So the suicidal side is seeing quite a lot of positives. Then there is the other side – the side that wants help. The side that often pisses me off by being too needy, too emotional. I am not sure what to call it. I suppose essentially it is my survival instinct, so I will call it the survival side. The survival side really isn’t liking L being away. It is like it has lost its main support in surviving. She is the person I talk to, who I tell how I feel, and who helps me cope with it. She doesn’t take it away, because nobody can do that, but she listens, and she doesn’t judge, and she supports me, and knowing she is there to do that helps me survive. My survival side is panicking a bit about not having that. Although technically there are other people I could speak to – whoever is on duty at the CMHT, or maybe my GP – it knows I won’t, because I don’t trust those people. The suicidal side would not allow me to call the CMHT and say how I am feeling, and what thoughts I am having. I don’t think any side of me would want to do that actually. I don’t trust people, and of course there is nothing they can do. And there is absolutely no way whatsoever that I will be taking any trips to A&E, which is always a risk when telling someone how you feel. So yes, survival side is finding it very difficult not having L around. Survival side’s first instinct when feeling bad is always to speak to L, and it seems a bit short on other suggestions. The only thing is has come up with is to try and keep thinking of things to stay alive for – as I said before, at the moment that is my Dad’s birthday on Tuesday. After that it will have to try and think of something else. And to take Diazepam if I feel overwhelmed. But that is hardly rocket science. I sound like a complete idiot talking about 2 sides of me thinking things as though they are people, but that is how it feels. As a whole I have no idea what I think or feel. It changes all the time – one minute I am with suicidal side, the next I am trying to listen to survival side. I don’t know where I am. I just know I am confused and overwhelmed by it all. It is tiring having a battle in your head the whole time.

‘Ooh, Thank you, doctor, Valium is my favorite color. How’d you know?’ – Next To Normal

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>Cancelled appointment

>I was supposed to see L this morning, but the office rung and cancelled and said she was off sick. Feel a bit crap. It is already 2 weeks since I have seen her, because obviously last week I was in Cornwall, and now I don’t know if I will get to see her this week or not. For some reason I don’t get upset when it is cancelled because she is off sick like I do if it is cancelled because she has an emergency though. When it is an emergency I just get jealous of the other person who is getting to see her, even though I know they must be in crisis and are probably being admitted, whereas when she is off sick I find it hard but I just think well it isn’t her fault. But it is still hard. I missed having her to talk to when I was finding things hard when I was away, as I couldn’t call due to the lack of mobile reception, and so I have been waiting on today, and then it was cancelled. I really hope she can fit me in another day, but I don’t know how likely it is.

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>I talked in my last post about relationships with friends etc being complicated. At the moment I am feeling like relationships with professionals are just as complicated – sometimes more so. I said recently that I feel like my relationship with L, or how I feel about it, has changed, and I wasn’t sure how or why, and I have been thinking about that. I think it is probably partly because I haven’t seen her as regularly lately – she has had to cancel several appointments, and she has also had leave, and that has left me partly not feeling quite as comfortable with her because of having been seeing her less, and also quite let down and rejected because of the cancelled appointments. I find it very difficult to trust people, and there are very few people that I do completely trust, and I usually end up getting very attached to those people, as I have with L, and so then when I feel rejected by them I tend to back right off, to stop myself getting more hurt. I do know that the cancelled appointments haven’t been her fault, and that it has been because she has had other patients in crisis etc, but know it is related to other patients that she sees makes it even harder in some ways, because I feel intensely jealous of them – I suppose for being in the type of crisis that means she has to cancel all of her other appointments. It makes me feel like they are important, and I’m not – nobody has ever cancelled all their other appointments when I have been in crisis. It sounds very petty and childish, but that is the way I feel. I also seem to see her for less time now even when I do see her. I usually used to see her for about an hour and a half – then there was the period when I was supposed to see her twice a week (which only actually happened twice, as the other times she had to cancel the other appointment that week), and so the appointments were shorter, only an hourish, but there were 2 of them (or supposed to be). Now it has gone back to once a week, but the appointments are still shorter – the week before last was just about an hour, then last weeks was cancelled, and then this weeks was about 50 minutes. Again, I know it sounds minor, but it makes me feel like she doesn’t think it is worth seeing me for longer like she used to. And then there is the whole making goals and setting targets thing that was brought up at my CPA, and that L has been talking about since. I just can’t seem to do it – I can’t think of any goals or targets to make at all, but L wants them to come from me. And I am constantly worried that if I can’t think of anything, and I am not making any progress, then she will discharge me. It is a cliche, but I am terrified of being abandoned by her, I really am. And I keep wondering if that is why she is seeing me less lately etc – because she doesn’t see the point when nothing changes and I don’t make any progress. I think all of those things are affecting my relationship with her, because I am scared of being too reliant on her, as I think I am, and then being dropped, so I am subconsciously trying to distance myself a bit. Relationships with therapists and other professionals are really hard, because they are the people you are meant to be able to trust, and rely on, and be honest with more than anyone else, and yet there is always fear, for me anyway, that they will leave, or something will happen that will stop you seeing them etc, and it is incredibly hard to deal with that when it does happen, so part of you doesn’t want to let them in, or let yourself get reliant on them, because then it hurts too much when they leave, or you can’t see them anymore.

I have an appointment with my GP tomorrow. I have mixed feelings about her at the moment. I started thinking about my relationship with her after reading DeeDee’s post on Mental Nurse about GPs and Mental Illness. I can’t decide what I think about my GP. She is nice, she tries to understand, and when I was first seeing her and waiting on an appointment with the psychiatrist, she pushed for that etc. So in some ways she is good. On the other hand, I get the impression sometimes that she thinks I just need to pull myself together and stop being a mentalist, which is obviously not as simple as it sounds. When I saw her and was very suicidal she told me to replace the obsessive thoughts about suicide with obsessive thoughts about something else – I like dogs was her suggestion I believe… She claimed not to notice when I gained 25lbs, and yet recently when I mentioned my weight having gone down slightly (2lbs), she said she had thought I looked like I had lost weight. Last time I saw her she asked if I had had CBT – I said that I had and thought that it was patronising crap for the most part. She then asked me if there were any other types of therapy. Whilst she is not a specialist, I would expect a GP to know that more types of therapy than CBT exist. I said that DBT is usually the recommended treatment (in the NICE guidelines) for BPD, and she asked what that was. I gave a little explanation (bearing in mind I have never had any DBT myself) and she said she thought that sounded really good and would really help me. I explained that it wasn’t available in our area, and her suggestion was that I become a DBT therapist so that I can run DBT sessions in our area?! This was one of the most bizarre suggestions I have ever had from any professional, ever. I think that she probably mainly has experience with IAPT, and I believe some of the people who deliver that do literally just do like a short course in basic CBT etc, which I can only assume was her reasoning for thinking I could become a DBT therapist. She didn’t seem to realise that even if it was that simple, it wouldn’t actually help me, as I need therapy myself – not to become a therapist for others. So she says some pretty ridiculous and unhelpful things at times. But she is nice, and I think she does genuinely want me to get better – she just seems to have very little knowledge past the absolute basics about mental health problems, and so I think doesn’t know what to say a lot of the time. I have considered seeing another GP, but I do like her, and it is a small practice of 3 Doctors, and she is the only female. I am generally more comfortable with females, and one of the others I wouldn’t consider seeing, as he was the first GP I ever spoke to about my mental health problems, back when I was 17, and was very unhelpful and unsympathetic. The other I think may possibly be the best where mental health is concerned, but I used to know him outside of the Dr/patient relationship (which is what happens when you live in a rural area!), and have therefore always felt slightly uncomfortable talking to him. But I don’t know if my GP is right for me really, and I do sometimes feel like she doesn’t grasp how desperate and suicidal I am feeling when things are really bad etc. I miss my old GP. She was the perfect combination of caring and knowledgable. Living where I do I don’t have much choice in terms of GPs, and I do like Dr O, as I have said. But for example if L was on leave, and I was having a very bad, suicidal episode or something, and really needed help, the person I would try to speak to would probably be my GP, as I would rather speak to someone I know than a random CMHT member that I don’t know, or even worse, my ex CCO, who really was a chocolate teapot. And I know that I wouldn’t get anything in the way of help or suggestions from Dr O, except to talk to L when she was back. She wouldn’t speak to the CMHT or Crisis Team or actually do anything. Maybe that is ok, and normal for GPs, and I expect too much after my old, fantastic GP. It just doesn’t feel quite right. As I said, I have an appointment with her tomorrow, so I will see how that goes. I did think about seeing the GP there that I used to know, but if it felt too uncomfortable then I would then feel really awkward about going back to Dr O. Maybe better the devil you know?

Then there is Dr E, my psychiatrist. Again, she is nice, but is completely unwilling to try me on any medications, even though both L and I feel that I have been worse overall since coming off anti depressants, and I don’t think would ever admit me to hospital or refer me to the Crisis Team however bad things were. So basically she does absolutely nothing, and therefore I am not going to be seeing her anymore, unless I want to for something in particular, in which case L will get me an appointment with her. So basically she is out of the picture now, and I am not sure how I feel about not being under the care of a psychiatrist, particularly since Dr O won’t ever touch my medication, or rather she would never change anything when I was on medication – now I only have Diazepam there isn’t much to touch I suppose.

I think overall I just have this feeling of being stuck, and general dissatisfaction at the moment with my mental health and treatment for it, or some of the time, lack of. I still think L is great, and I am still very attached to her, but for the reasons I talked about above I feel like things have gone slightly off with her, and given that she is now the only person I see about my mental health problems, this feels like a problem. I can’t see anything changing for me with my current treatment, and that makes me feel very hopeless, as I can’t cope with living like this, which in turn leads to suicidal thoughts. And that is why relationships with professionals are so complicated!

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