I will be deleting this blog really soon. I now blog over at
Please come join me over there!
I’ve been thinking a lot today. Mostly I have been thinking about our teen years. So much happened during that stage of our life. It was before we were ever diagnosed with did, because we were unofficially diagnosed with did in 2001. But it was during our teen years, that we discovered we had any mental illness, namely depression, and an eating disorder. And it was during our teen years that the abuse came out, came to light, but I am not going to write about that now. What I am planning to write about was the bullying we endured twice during our teen years. The first time we were bullied, was when we were still in the boarding school in Dublin. For those who maybe don’t know, this was a school for the blind. When we entered secondary school at age 13, was when the bullying started. It was intense. It was horrific and horrible. The girls who bullied us were very nasty and mean and would stop at nothing to cause us pain. Eventually we told one of our teachers, our class head teacher. She said she’d sort it out, and she did. The bullying stopped and we thought we’d gotten through it and it was over. Only a few years later, when we left the bording school and returned home to go to school at home, it started up again. Only this time we had a much harder time than before. We were in a school of over 500 pupils, all of whom could see, we couldn’t as we are blind. At first when we went there it was a novelty to the other girls. They’d never been in school with someone who was blind. Lots of them were eager to show us around, be our friends, take care of us. But of course this didn’t last. When the bullying started, it got really bad really quickly. They’d call us names. They’d make us cry. They’d do things to injure us…for example knocking us over when we were carrying our backpack, trip us going up the stairs, put superglue on our chair, you name it, they did it. It was when they tripped us while we were walking up the stairs that everything blew up. We broke our arm then and had to go to hospital. So then, the bullying all came to a head, it was found out by the teachers and principle. Of course this made the bullies very angry. They then started to do things outside of the school so they wouldn’t be noticed. So while the teachers thought it had stopped, it really hadn’t. It was escalating further and further. Eventually we couldn’t take any more. Eventually we tried to end our life. We were taking Prozac and we overdosed on it. Luckily for us, our mom found us. We were rushed to the hospital and it was only then that we met our first psychiatrist, Dr M. Dr M diagnosed us as having clinical depression and anorexia. She put us on antidepressants. She continued to see us as an outpatient for over a year until she deamed us well enough not to see her any more. We still had to stay on our meds though. I supposed if the bullying hadn’t happened, we might have never seen anyone and we may have never have gotten into the system as early on as we did. Sometimes though i wonder if becoming a service user of the services for mental health at such a young age was helpful. I’m not sure still if I think it was or not. Thats part of our story and I hope someone out there is able to relate to it in some sort of way. It was hard for me to write and think back and remember the awful experiences of bullying and of our teen years. But I am glad I decided to open up a little bit more than I have done in the past about what happened to us.
So…I’ve been sitting here for hours doing email. And reading blogs. I just cant sleep. Of course if I got up at a reasonable time of day, it wouldn’t be like that. But today was Sunday, and I slept in. Only sleeping in turned into a kinda all day thing. I did get up and watch some tv for a while and I fixed myself something to eat, but then I just felt like going back to sleep again. Now I’m paying for it because I’m wide awake. Its lucky I have email and blogs to keep me busy, otherwise I’d go stark crazy from just being bored.
So…I was meant to go see our occupational therapist Mark today. I didn’t go. Call me lazy, but…the weather outside is miserable. Its been raining hard all morning, and…I just didn’t feel like going out and getting soaked to the skin. So I texted him at 9 AM, our appointment was for 12 PM. I said that I wouldn’t be coming but that I’d phone him later. And I did. We had a long chat over the phone. And we rearranged our appointment for two weeks time. He’s a really awesome person who knows how to do his job and do it well. He said he had lots to discuss with me when we meet next. We’re going to finish doing the interest list, and he and I did some research into different things, like singing lessons, the gym and membership, swimming and cycling amongst other things. This is all so I can become more involved in the community, to make and build connections, all so that my mental health will be better and I’ll have other things to focus on to keep me well and stable. A bonus to our conversation today was he asked if I am ok, if there is anything I needed to talk about, or tell him, if my weeks been ok. He didn’t have to do that. He didn’t have to care. It left me feeling really cared about and since I didn’t see Dr Barry this week because she’s on vacation, it was nice to have Mark check on me to ensure I’m ok and safe. I honestly feel really really lucky to have such an awesome and dedicated team supporting me and helping me through all of my struggles. Mark isn’t even part of Dr Barrys team, but when I moved over to her team about a year ago now, he kept me on as a client. He also didn’t have to do that. Its not usually done. So I really do feel blessed and so very lucky to have him as part of my team.
Resilience has a number of important tools.
Resilient people are aware of the situation, their own emotional reactions and the behaviour of those around them. In order to manage feelings, it is essential to understand what is causing them and why. By remaining aware, resilient people can maintain their control of the situation and think of new ways to tackle problems.
AN UNDERSTANDING THAT SETBACKS ARE PART OF LIFE:
Another characteristic of resilience is the understanding that life is full of challenges. While we cannot avoid many of these problems, we can remain open, flexible and willing to adapt to change.
Do you perceive yourself as having control over your own life? Or do you blame outside sources for failure and problems? Generally, resilient people tend to have what psychologists call an internal locus of control. They believe that the action they take will affect the outcome of an event. Of course, some factors are simply outside of our personal control, such as natural disasters. While we may be able to put some blame on external causes, it is important to feel as if we have the power to make choices that will affect our situation, our ability to cope and our future. Responsibility is not blame it is taking ownership.
KEEP YOUR EYE ON THAT BIG PICTURE:
Aim for long-term goals, whilst you tick off and enjoy the short term ones.
STRONG PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS:
When a crisis emerges, will you be able to spot the solution that will lead to a safe outcome. In danger situations, people sometimes develop tunnel vision. They fail to note important details or take advantage of opportunities. Resilient individuals, on the other hand, are able to calmly and rationally look at the problem and envision a successful solution.
HAVING STRONG SOCIAL CONNECTIONS:
Whenever you’re dealing with a problem, it is important to have people who can offer support.
Talking about the challenges you are facing can be an excellent way to gain perspective, look of new solutions or simply express your emotions.
IDENTIFYING AS A SURVIVOR, NOT A VICTIM:
When dealing with any potential crisis, it is essential to view yourself as a survivor. Avoid thinking like a victim of circumstance, and instead look for ways to resolve the problem. While the situation may be unavoidable, or perhaps unappealing you can still stay focused on a positive outcome.
BEING ABLE TO AS FOR HELP:
While being resourceful is an important part of resilience, it is also essential to know when to ask for help. During a crisis, people can benefit from the help of psychologist and counsellors specially trained to deal with crisis situations. What might be other useful supports for you?
Can you roll with change? Be prepared to look critically at you, your attitudes and your choices and plans. Are they working? Maybe you are limited yourself. Maybe it is a great idea, but the timing is wrong. Maybe it’s time to try something else, something new? Or mix some new things in with your existing practice? Be open to change if needed.
I did something really brave today. I got up the courage to talk to our therapist Eileen. I cant believe i actually did it. i hardly ever come out in therapy. I did know our old therapist J. I talked to her maybe five or six times in the whole four and a half years that we saw her. You see, something really traumatic happened to me years ago. It was with our first therapist a we saw a for 9 months. It was before our diagnosis of did. Actually, it was a who got us our initial diagnosis, because she made us an apt to see a psychiatrist so that we could get assessed. Then she also came with us to see the psychiatrist who preliminarily diagnoised us with did. That was in 2001. A was a fabulous therapist. I trusted her completely. I told her things i never told anyone about my past. About growing up with a dysfunctional family, about memories of the bording school in Dublin, about the flashes and glimpses i was getting of other traumatic things, about the bullying, about the internal voices i heard. I really revealed lots to her. And she promised me so much. She promised me she wasn’t leaving, that i was safe, that i could trust her, that it was ok to talk to her freely about my worries and my fears and my traumas. But then after 9 months she delivered the devastating news to me, that she was no longer able to work with me. She said it wasn’t my fault, that it was more about her and not about me. That she’d lost her objectivity around my case. But i couldn’t help believing it was my fault. I honestly thought i’d done something to make her ill, to warrant her ending therapy with us. I remember in our last session, i actually cried, something i’d never done in any of our previous sessions. And she cried too. It devastated me to my core. And that is when i decided that i could never trust again, i was done, i was going to give up. And that is when i decided carol anne could have the job of head fronter in the system. I didn’t want the responsibility any longer. I couldn’t manage life any more. And so i retreated inside, and i’ve pretty much stayed inside for years, only coming out for short periods every now and then. Carol annes pretty much ran the show, she is our main fronter, i can see her, i can hear her. I don’t hear many others of the insiders, i hear a few kids, mainly darina, Erika, lexi, but thats all. Other than that i’m pretty walled off in dissociation. So why am i telling you the readers all this? I guess to give you a background to my talk with Eileen today. It was a good chat and she was really nice to me. She made me feel safe. When i first fell into the body she introduced herself to me. She told me how long she’d been seeing our system and that we’d worked on a lot and then she told me some things we worked on. And then mostly we talked about the therapist a and how that all ended. Eileen said she really could see that it had had a huge impact on me. That i must have went into shock, and that is why i retreated inside. I agreed because i think its true. I told her i felt broken, unmendable, unfixable, that i feel like there is no hope for me. She said not true. There definitely is hope for me and i am definitely fixable. Then she asked me if i want to explore some areas of my life. I said i do. That i’m ready to try again. My system protect me very well. After all its been two years that we’ve been seeing Eileen, and this was my first appearance since the start of our work together. But now i’m ready. I want to form the same safe attachment with her that i know others inside have. I want to have someone i can rely on, someone i can trust with my inner most thoughts and secrets. I think i’ve found that someone and i’m really pleased. It will take time, but i think i can do it. at least i hope i can.
I got a pretty big fright yesterday. Someone started following me who writes porn. I panicked and took my blog into hiding until i managed to sort it out. I did sort it and they are no longer following me now thankfully. I guess that is the danger of blogging publically, anyone and everyone could start following you. And there are some weirdos out there who get their kicks from other peoples pain and trauma. Its sad, but true.
Has anyone ever had anything like this happen to them? If you have I’m interested in hearing how you dealt with it.
For now, I’m going to be looking carefully at all new followers…checking them out to make sure they are legit and not undesirables.