Mental Health Issues And I

don't give up. You are not alone, you matter signage on metal fence
don't give up. You are not alone, you matter signage on metal fence
Photo by: Dan Meyers/Unsplash

I wrote this some time ago, but I think it’s important to share  during mental health week for others to see my journey.  

To look at me everyone thinks I am okay. Some days I keep  busy, go to lots of events, and see family. Then there are the  dark days no one sees. Having this illness since a young  child makes it even harder to explain to adults and family  around you. 

Employers don’t get it, when someone constantly nitpicks  and makes you feel like your rubbish, it affects your mental  health. For six months, I have had since the day one I  walked through that office. Maybe I think I went back to work  too soon?

Maybe I went for the wrong job? I worked for free for six  months, I could have been six months applying for jobs I  actually wanted to do. I am a people pleaser, it is easy for  me to do things for others to keep the peace. I have always  been since I was a child.  

Being told as a child, you’re a “secret squirrel” as you didn’t  say much about your feelings. Having your secret diary read  by your mum, your secrets laid bare. Having a sense of  anxiety, constantly as a child.  

As an adult, everyone just expects me to get up and get on  with it? Despite what I have been through, being isolated  from your family is no fun. For sure, he preyed on me.  Problem is, it’s coming up to two years since that happened.  All the crazy train journeys go through my head, all the  isolation and brainwashing he told me. Telling me I had  demons and him and her trying to exorcise me. It is easier  to be alone than to let anyone into these thoughts.  

Yes, men, they have always liked me? My family don’t know the years of sexual abuse, rape, and I said no, but I meant yes, I have endured. They don’t know the pain I hold, which  often makes me feel numb and that I cannot literally feel  things most days. Sure, I have had interviews in the NHS, I  didn’t get to some? Why do you ask? You’re clever and  intelligent.

The man at work, he’s taken that all away. He’s made me  feel worthless and small and that I am stupid. It brings it all  back, all the abuse, all the empty feelings of worthlessness.  No one could take that away, if they could, I wish that they  could.  

My mental health has been fragile since the age of 25, that  is when I had my first breakdown, I literally wanted to put a pillow over my head. I was having counselling at the time. I  was then put on antidepressants. 

What caused it? Being unable to go with my boyfriend to  Swindon and feeling exhausted working nights and running around looking after his kids and all the rest I had to do. I  have had partners tell me I’m lazy and that I will lose my jobs if I  don’t get out of bed. I have restless nights, I have not slept  properly for years, even as a child I would lay awake,  overthinking into the night. 

So it’s been two years since I was in Lake Sunart with the crazies,  hearing of my nephew’s birth and feeling so far away.  Sending baby things but feeling distant. My family all tease  and joke about me, but they don’t realise the inner pains  they cause me. If I tell my family what is going on, they  expect me to snap out of it. 

Thoughts of will I lose my job? How can I face that bully? It’s  the third time it’s happened, I would rather a job I worked alone. Like a night support worker, just me, myself and the  individual in my care. People overwhelm me. This world is too  much for me. 

The daily realities I have to face. People’s love of money  annoys me.. what about the bigger picture? Global warming,  climate change? The governments? The erosion of our  liberties? Brexit? No one cares. We have become a selfish  society. It upsets me so much. 

Yes, I am lucky that I am sitting here in my cosy flat and I  have a car outside and I am intelligent. But I feel I am  wasting inputting data on the computer, and if it is not  accurate I get scolded, like a naughty child. I am the only  one in our office, who has her work double-checked. I have  dyspraxia, yes I have trouble concentrating. Like I said, maybe a job when I’m totally alone would be better for me. 

This illness affects my relationships, everyone leaves me or  can’t handle my mood swings. I feel alone a lot. Why do I have  comfort from my cats? Even being around family I can feel  misunderstood, to be honest with you I find it really draining.  So what am I to do with my life? 

Age 34, this is not the way to go forward? Well, I enjoy  writing and poetry. If I could write for a living I would. If I can  help impact this small world in some way then it would make  waking up less painful. How is it to carry the burdens of the  world on your shoulders since a young child? Burdensome, exhausting and challenging. My job at the hospital was  great, but like I said maybe I did it to people, please. 

I was desperate for a job, desperate to get off universal  credit. Now it is not challenging my mind, I feel brain dead  and frustrated. Everyone is impressed that I am earning good  money. But is life all about money? I am humble, I pay back  what I will owe but I won’t stay in a job where I am not kept  busy, where my character has been put down to such an  extent that I cannot even attend a job interview I may have  gotten because I feel I’m a failure.  

Since I was a child, I felt I failed, failed at being someone my  parents wanted me to be. That stuff stays with you as an  adult. I love both my parents, but sometimes they  misunderstand me. I think also I may have been  misdiagnosed, with all my issues put together I might have  Aspergers. I show all the signs. 

My social anxiety is so bad, even at parties, I get loud and  embarrassing. It is not on purpose it’s just how I cope. Then  I get told off for my behaviour. Then I want to hide away. As a  child I would hide away in a dark cupboard, I found it  comforting. For all I have been through I still am here. But  I’m slightly broken and sometimes, that glue I have repaired  myself with it melts and I have to reglue myself. 

The time is now to think about my needs and myself, not my  friends or family’s ideals of me. So long as I do that, I fear that I will remain unhappy. There are so many creative  events going on in Swansea that I want to attend, if only I let  go of my anxieties. Instead, I would rather stay indoors  watching historical documentaries on television. 

The thought of meeting new people and the questions they  ask how I ended up in Wales. Even that triggers me. To be  living in refuge with those drug and alcohol addicts, parents  with social services on their back? No one gets it, they bow  their heads in shame at me. For I am the shameful one. The one who is 34, single with two cats for company and with  mental issues I cannot explain except by writing it down. 

I have always been a loner, it’s easier than to let anyone into  my head, who wants space in there? In between anxiety,  barely functioning some days and suffering from dysthymia  low mood disorder? It is time to take back my power and I  won’t let this one man get me down, but it has given me  time to re-evaluate my life and what I want. 

Do I want to remain in a job? Just as the pay is good? Or  should I take a lower paid job with more hours but which is  better for me as it’s something I enjoy doing? I love kids and  animals more than mundane office work. I just wish I could  express to my family and friends how I feel, but no one  understands me except for Lilwen grace, who hugs me  when I’m down and Deri Thomas who follows me about and keeps me company and makes me laugh with his chasing  paper straws around the flat. 

Without those two I really would be lost. I am tired of being  misunderstood though, tired of fighting. I worked so hard for  six months and all for what? But life is a learning  experience, I will not put my family to shame, but they need  to understand my health and when I don’t talk. It’s because I don’t want to talk. I can’t stand the phone, it  triggers me. When the house phone rings and it’s my mum,  the noise triggers my PTSD of my psycho exes mum calling  us constantly. So yes my mental health is fragile that the  vase needs repairing. Only I can do that.

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