I just needed to talk
Trigger Warning: Mention of self-harm and substance abuse
I’d always talked to myself… I mean I grew up as an only child for the majority of my life so I was pretty much all I had. I would coach myself through all my concerns and problems, which made me a wiz at helping everyone else through theirs, be it friends siblings and even my parents. That’s always been my trademark, I’d be the one to say “forget about me what’s bothering you “and as time went on people stopped asking. Unless there was something specific that they were trying to drag out of me there was no persistence when it came to me and my problems, and soon that meant I believed I didn’t have any. I checked out on me at the most vital point in my life.
I faced constant upheaval in my family dynamic, physical violent threats, rejection, important figures in my life abusing my trust, I was 14 at the time but it wasn’t your average teenage stuff…well in my friendship group it was. I’ve mentioned in the past that my friendship groups played a huge part in forming a support system as my mental illnesses developed, however, because we were all going through similar pain, a lot of things were left unsaid. We would be the girls laughing the loudest all the time. We would be running around speaking gibberish, or sharing secret glances from across the playground. We were always going off to find great places to eat and pretty places to sit in silence for date nights.
We made sure we had our little slices of heaven during the day because we all knew going home was where hell was.
And even though that support was necessary and those smiles gave me warmth and a space of respite, I still needed that conversation.
I thought I could find that in my siblings, but they were the cause of a lot of the strain I faced.
I thought I could try speaking to my parents but… that resulted in being punished or told that what I was going through was somewhat irrelevant in the scheme of life.
So I developed a habit of being emotionally slutty … I’d just splurge my deepest and darkest secrets to unsuspecting people, masking it as a part of my morbid sarcastic humour. Another trade mark. Yet before the laughs would settle or the awkward silence was broken I’d be overcome with regret and disgust and shame, mainly because I wouldn’t be met with the support that I craved. That just reinforced further, that there is no use in sharing so back to repressing I’d go.
Then I’d drink. I built a rep of being a mess at the weekend link ups, but I’d also be known as the girl who could drink the most (still the case), which came with more outing invites. I’d always be sure not to drink on my own because I knew that’s what alcoholics did. And even with those precautionary measures I was still a 15 year old diluting her squash with Glens vodka while watching X factor with her parents.
Something snapped. I realised I couldn’t go on like this, I was overwhelmed with the thought that I would die, and not just because I was suicidal at the time, but at the time I became submerged in emotions and fears that were coming at me faster than I could process. I had to remind myself to come up for air. I couldn’t spend much time on my own out of fear that I was done for. My existence terrified me, and even if I wanted to start that dialogue up with this version of me, I wouldn’t know where to start.
After overdosing became the only way I could sleep, and cutting myself had left me waking up with razors in unfamiliar places far too often, I knew someone had to help me.
God felt too distant and my family even more so; and as far as I could see my friend’s plates were already ladled with sorrow, so I pleaded.
I prayed that someone could take this away, that I could find rest. Or at least that someone would hear me cry myself to sleep every single night.
I opened up to my mum about the conversations I didn’t even know I needed to have. About innocence that had should have been mine to give away but had been stolen from me, time and time again.
I told her that if I didn’t speak to someone, this would be the end for me.
So she finally broke down and accepted that I could be in charge of the help I received, the GP was my first point of call.
I was asked if I wanted social services to be contacted regarding my past, I regret saying no, but at that moment in time the only justice I craved was the chance to have my mind back, even if it meant spilling my soul to a complete stranger, I would take that lifeline.
7 years later I’m just glad I had the option to talk… and in many ways a chance to fight for myself through finding a safe way to cope.
To find out more be sure to visit my blog where I’ll be disclosing my personal experiences with counselling, what worked and what didn’t and alternative methods to receive the support you need whether you’ve been diagnosed or not in a mini series titled Triggered or cured.
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