Tuesday, 17 December 2013


My neck is healing ok. It is really painful. When I left the hospital they gave me 100 paracetamols, 48 Ibruprofen and 48 Codeine tablets. I hate having that many painkillers in the house but am trying hard to keep to a routine and take them sensibly. The worse thing is sleeping when I keep turning onto my painful side. I didn't realise that I slept on my right side so much.
I saw my consultant today and he was pleased with how it is healing. He said it was harder to cut out the infection than he thought it would be.
I am trying to get ready for Christmas but am not organised at all. I think I need to not get stressed out by it and what will be will be.
I have a therapy session tomorrow but I haven't really done what he asked me to do last time and still haven't been shopping. I hope he will go easy on me!

Friday, 13 December 2013

Warning - scary photo

I took this photo 3 days ago after an operation to have the abscess in my neck sorted. I felt so ill. Am finally home now and find looking at this picture really scary. Maybe when I'm feeling like pressing self destruct I should look at it and remember how poorly I was and how frightened I felt.

Saturday, 7 December 2013


This week I have seen my therapist and my psychiatrist. I must admit I wasn't really looking forward to the appointments as I thought they might throw the book at me and lock me up! However they went really well and I finally feel more supported and understood.
I saw my therapist on Thursday and he found it amusing that I had challenged my psychiatrist about my diagnosis. He always tries to encourage me to be my own therapist and we talked over current events and my actions. He understood that I was disassociating a lot more and was also able to explain the anxiety around shopping. Before I see him in 2 weeks time I have to try a plan to get me able to go shopping again. I feel anxious about that but am going to try and challenge my comfort zone little by little.
I saw my psychiatrist yesterday and he admitted that he was worried about me and felt I was a high risk of hurting myself badly and unintentional suicide. We agreed a crisis plan so that I know the support is there when I need it. I can ask for a crisis admission to hospital at any time and can also have better access to lorazepam. The crisis team will no longer be able to tell me that I'm not open to them and should support me better.
Christmas is a hard time for me and I spoke to my ex husband in Thailand last week who dropped the bombshell that he is back next week. I am trying to not get wound up as he has said that before and hasn't arrived.
I'm tired and am looking forward to a break over Christmas. Tomorrow we are decorating the house which will be nice and will brighten things up.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

More antibiotics

The stab wound in my side has got infected and I'm back on antibiotics. I have a wound that is 4cms deep and I have to pack it every day. It is really painful and I have no painkillers in the house as I'm not safe with them at the moment. My girls are away so I can't give the tablets to them so I have to try and keep going without any.
The lack of sleep is making me feel really low and tearful. I need to clean my house but I just haven't got any energy. However living in an untidy place gets me down and makes me feel more dirty.
I am seeing my psychiatrist again on Friday. I'm not sure how he can help me or what I want to say to him. I will challenge him about my last appointment as it was rubbish and didn't help me at all.
Christmas is just round the corner and I need to get organised as I don't want to let everyone down. I find this time of year really hard and haven't really started off feeling too great.
I wish I could write a positive blog saying how great I feel and how well I'm doing but I can't.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013


I'm so tired and I've had enough. I feel so alone with everything.
I wish I could curl away and hide until I'm feeling stronger. Right now life is hard but I suppose for me that is nothing new.
I wonder what joy tonight will bring and how I'm going to cope. I'm trying to keep my head up and keep going but the heaviness I feel just overwhelms me.

Sunday, 24 November 2013


It's night time again and time to go to bed. Wish I could stay awake all night instead of having nightmares.
Last night I had a nightmare and my bed was wet. I had a shower and curled up on the sofa downstairs. I should have sorted my bed out but I didn't and then it took me ages to be able to go and sort it today. In the cold light of day I feel so dirty and stupid.
I'm just so exhausted and that is not helping at all. My cuts are sore and I feel really low. Suicidal thoughts come into my head all the time and I'm tired of batting them away. I'm scared that one day I will listen to them and do something impulsive.
This is nothing new and I should be stronger.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

I give up :-(

I'm really struggling at the moment and feel really low. I was supposed to have my first therapy session for months today and really needed it. However when I got there my therapist had gone home as I had been given the wrong time for the session. I was really upset.
It seems that I truly am alone at the moment. I hurt myself badly and ended up at the hospital. The psychiatrist wanted to keep me in and I agreed only to be told that there were no beds so I had to go home. They said someone would be in touch but no one has.
I rang the crisis team at the weekend when I was feeling unsettled and impulsive but was told that no one was available to talk and I wasn't currently open to the crisis team!
I have been ringing my cpn for weeks and she never rings me back.
So it's just me. My self harm is bad, I haven't been able to go to the supermarket for weeks and am missing so much time from work. I have a hole in my side that I have to pack and dress every day but I often use a blade and make it bleed and the hole get bigger. I need the pain to keep me from doing something stupid.
Nights are crap and I'm tired. Really don't know how much longer I can keep going - it's not worth it.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Dear Bruce

Dear Bruce

This is a letter that I've needed to write for so long but never have.
I remember when we met over 27 years ago. I worked as a bar maid and the first time I saw you my heart skipped a beat, I knew you would be a special person in my life. When you asked me out for a meal I was so happy and after that night we were rarely apart. You simply whisked me off my feet.
We got engaged a year after and then got married and had our amazing son, Adam, so quickly. I remember when we got married and I was first pregnant we had nothing. We lived in the front bedroom of your brothers house. I wasn't worried as I knew we would be ok, we always managed to get ourselves out of trouble.
After buying our first house we went on to have Laura our daughter. You were such a wonderful Dad and I trusted you completely. We lived apart for a year when our children were little and I missed you so much but kept going with the knowledge we would be together again.
I gave up everything for you, my job, my family and friends to go and live in Saudi Arabia. I wanted to be a family again. I needed strength to live there and you weren't always there for me but it was lovely to have time to be a family. We did lots of amazing things and the children loved it. Then I found out that you had had an affair with a maid and chose to forgive you and start again. We decided to have another child.
I was on my own when I had Megan and you didn't see her till she was 12 weeks old. You weren't even at the airport to collect us when we flew out. Adam and Laura were so excited to show you the baby and you weren't there. Then it was adam's 8th birthday party and you were supposed to come home and take us to meet all his friends. I couldn't drive there and was stuck. You were 2 hours late and weren't even bothered that he missed his own party and let his friends down. That should have told me how much you didn't really care about your family.
We came home after 4 years and bought a beautiful house in a lovely village. The children were happy and settled and doing so well and I had a good job in a school. We were happy or so I thought. On our wedding anniversary you took me to Paris for the weekend and we had a wonderful time but the week after I came home from work and you had gone. I knew you had gone to Thailand and was hurt and confused that you couldn't even tell me. Our children were 11, 8 and 4 and missed you so much. You came home at Christmas for a family Christmas and I let you just come home like nothing had happened. I needed to sort out what you were doing and what your plans were. It was so hard on my own working full time and having 3 busy children.
You wouldn't talk to me, wouldn't discuss what your plans were and couldn't answer my questions. It was so frustrating. The last night you were home I went out to give you some time with the children. When I came home I went to bed and could hear you pacing up and down downstairs. Your bags were packed and you were going in the early hours of the morning. I heard your footsteps coming up the stairs and on the floor boards and then you came into my room. I could feel your anger and smell your sweat and suddenly I was frightened, not for me but for our children. Please don't wake up. I knew you wanted to hurt me. You raped me and left me bleeding as you casually had a shower and walked out of the house to get in your taxi. I daren't move, I didn't want to remind you that I was there. I held my breath until I heard you driving off. Then I scrubbed and scrubbed myself clean and curled up in a ball on the bathroom floor, numb.
I had to keep going for my children. They cried and they missed you. They didn't understand. I knew you wouldn't come back and had to try and keep going for them.
Fast forward 12 years and I just can't cope. I've been strong and my children are doing well. Only Megan to go to university now and the other two have good graduate jobs. Now I don't need to be as strong for them I find it so hard to keep my head up. I relive that night often and still spend hours curled up on the bathroom floor. It's like you rape me over and over again.
I don't know what I did to deserve to be violated and abandoned. You have never told me why and what I did wrong to make you hate me so much. I must be a horrible person.
You have hurt our children and they are confused. Sometimes they even blame themselves for you going. We were your family and we loved you but all that we got back was hurt and pain.
How do you live with yourself?


Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Stitches :-(

I am going to have my stitches out tomorrow. I am really dreading it as my wound is very sore and infected. I know that it is going to be very painful and the nurse won't be happy that I haven't been to the GP to get some antibiotics but I haven't been out of the house.
I can't remember the last time I got dressed - probably last Wednesday. I just feel empty and numb and I give in. I haven't rang my cpn or the crisis team as they can't help me, no one can. I am just stupid and let everyone down.
I don't know how to get myself out of this dark place and I need to get back to work. However I've just got to get through tomorrow first.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Trip to A&E

Can't believe that I ended up at A&E again. I have been struggling for a few weeks and asking for help but just get told to go to bed which is no help at all.
On Tuesday night I just snapped after yet another nightmare. Yet again I ended up in the kitchen and just stabbed myself with a kitchen knife. I ended up having a ct scan at the hospital and 15 stitches.
I saw the psych team and they wanted me to stay in hospital. I didn't really care either way but just felt numb and frightened to go home. However there weren't any beds available so they told me to go home.
I am so frightened of what I'm capable of - one of these times I might kill myself with my impulsive acts. This time my self harm was the worse ever and I just don't know who to turn to. No one has rang me from my MH team. It's like they don't care but why should they really?
Going to just keep my head under my pillow and try and keep myself safe. I've got to try and keep going.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Lamotrigine rash

I have just upped my lamotrigine to 50mg and I have a rash on my neck and face and my eyes are sore. Looking on google it says that a rash can be serious with lamotrigine and even fatal! Ahhhh scary!
Not really sure what to do or if it will be ok to leave it till Monday and then see my gp. Will see how it goes. Typical for me to get it!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Need help!

I'm struggling again. I've tried to ring my cpn 4 times today and the receptionist just says she will ring me back but I know she won't. She will ring me at 4pm on Friday like she always does when I've tried to contact her. I don't ring her very often so she should know that there is something wrong.
It makes me so angry, I don't expect her to drop everything and call me as I know that she is busy and has other patients but when you're struggling you need help and advice sooner rather than later and I wish I could just talk to the duty team and not just her. I get no benefit from having a care co-ordinator.
I spoke to my GP yesterday and she upped my sertraline to 200mg and gave me more lorazepam. She signed me off work for this week which doesn't really help me but I'm not in a good place to be at work. Night times are horrible and I'm struggling to get out of the house. I just shake and cry. I'm frightened of getting stuck in my car again. My GP told me to try and get out a little bit this week starting with short walks but I shake at the door. I really need some help. I'm ashamed to tell my family how I'm struggling and need to get back to work quickly. My life sucks.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Stuck in the car

I left work on Friday and got in my car at 5pm. I'm not sure what it was, a song or the car that drove really close behind me but I started shaking and couldn't breathe. I pulled up at the side of the road and just couldn't move. The next I really remember it was 11.30pm and I was so cold. I rang the night crisis team and Fiona said she was busy and she would ring me back in 10 mins. It took her over an hour to get back to me and by that time I was just in tears and really frightened.
I spoke to her for a few minutes and said that I would try to get home. It took me another hour to get home, so it took me over 8 hours to get home from work.
I was so shaken and exhausted that I have spent the weekend mainly in bed. I haven't got dressed. I'm frightened to go to work tomorrow.
To top all that my husband has changed his current city on Facebook to Nottingham. That is so scary, I can't cope with him living in the same country as me, never mind the same city. I haven't been able to find out whether it is true or not , I'm too scared of the impact it will have if I knew he was down the road.
So I'm feeling very unsettled but I've managed to keep myself safe and haven't self harmed for weeks. I need to ring my GP back tomorrow as I was too busy on Friday - I'm not sure she can help me.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Lamotrigine and Lorazepam

Having a bad week and still struggling. My GP prescribed me lamotrigine and gave me 4 lorazepam tablets to help calm me down in the middle of the night.
It is so difficult as they really help me and calm me down so I can get back to sleep but then I get to rely on them and have trouble getting any more. I have to talk to my GP on Friday and I don't want to beg for more lorazepam but I don't want to face the weekend without any. It is a slippery slope and I feel like a junkie begging for meds.
I lost 2lbs today on my diet and should be really proud of myself but I'm just craving chocolate lol and I'm so hungry. Am going to try and keep going with it. I swam 50 lengths again today.
I really don't know where to go for help and could probably do with more time off work - I had to take a day off on Monday as I was exhausted but I used my annual leave. I shouldn't have to do that.
I will ring my CPN tomorrow and see what she says.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Crisis Team

I'm so cross with myself that I had to ring the crisis team today. I hate it when I get to a place that I know I'm not safe and I have to talk to someone to stop me doing something really stupid.
I've had 2 really bad nights with nightmares and soiled beds. I just couldn't calm down and could hear his voice so loudly. This morning I went swimming to try and calm down. However I felt just as unsettled after the swim.
Then I tried to go shopping to get some food for tonight as all my children were coming home for a roast dinner. I just froze in the shop. I felt that someone was behind me and could hear him so loudly. I felt sick and thought I was going to pass out.
I had to come home without any food and just cried. I was so angry with myself and picked up some scissors to hurt myself.
Instead of hurting myself I rang the crisis team and they calmed me down and we talked about how I could still provide a meal. Ordering a pizza is ok and not a sign of failure. Sometimes I just can't do it.
So I went to bed and slept I was so tired. When my children came home thy were fine about getting a pizza and we had a lovely night watching the X factor.
I need to learn to not be too hard on myself. I was exhausted and needed sleep and feel much calmer now.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Biggest loser :-)

Well it was weigh in time yesterday and I lost 61/2lbs. I was so happy and lost the most in the group. I have just got to keep going and it's nice to know that I can eat quite well and still lose weight. In the past I have lost lots of weight by not eating but just end up putting it back on again and more!
I had a bad night last night and really struggled to get out of bed this morning. I went through every reason that I could take a day off work from taking an annual leave day or ringing in sick. In the end I went to work but at lunch time I felt really light headed and not well at all so I came home and went to bed. Maybe I need to listen to my body more as it was trying to tell me this morning that things aren't right. I'm not sure why I'm not feeling well. I just feel weak and I ache. Maybe I'm coming down with something.
My daughter has gone out to netball and is bringing me a McDonald's smoothie back with her - a few weeks go it would have been a Big Mac!
I'm hoping tonight will be better and I feel ok tomorrow as I am running a language lead network with a speech therapist and I don't want to let her down.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

CPN again

I finally saw my cpn today. I hadn't seen her for months. The last couple of nights have been particularly bad and I have cut my wrist. I hate it when I lose it so much that I self harm and it makes me feel really frightened. It just seems that I forget all my coping strategies in the night.
After talking to my cpn she said that she will refer me to a distress tolerance course but not until the new year. Not really sure how that will help me right now!
I explained how I've been hearing his voice really loudly at night and sometimes during the day and she said that it is normal after trauma. I find it overwhelming and don't cope very well at all. Sometimes I think I'm going mad when I hear his voice.
Sometimes I feel more unsettled when I've seen someone and talked about how I'm feeling. It makes me feel stupid and pathetic, like I should be stronger. I don't understand why I don't get any better. I try so hard to keep going and I want to be rid of this nightmare.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013


Today I was supposed to be seeing my cpn at 12.30. I had altered my work schedule so I could see her and had so much I wanted to talk about. I'm supposed to see her every week but haven't seen her since July. At 12.00 she rang and left a message on my phone saying that she couldn't see me as she had to go. No explanation of where or why or even an apology.
I felt really upset and let down. I've been struggling lately and don't have anyone I can really talk to about it all. It's good to be able to be honest and say out loud how much I'm struggling and how frightened and overwhelmed I feel at times. Sharing my suicidal thoughts and impulses can be a release for me and I know my cpn won't be freaked out but will understand and help me to explore how I'm feeling. I need that to just try and help me keep going and keep my head up.
I went to the hospital this afternoon and saw the consultant about my neck. I have a mass in my neck that has got to be removed fairly quickly. That is scary as I don't really want my neck cutting open or a general anaesthetic. My half term holiday will probably be spent in stupid hospital.
So all in all not a good day, so lets hope it's a better night.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Feeling numb

Another week over and a busy week ahead. I'm just feeling kind of numb and exhausted. I haven't even rang the night crisis team this week as I just haven't got the energy to even begin to explain to someone how I am feeling and what is going on. It's nothing new anyway - same old crap.
My manager said that 30% of our team are going to be made redundant but I'm not even going to start worrying as what will be will be. I just hope I don't have to reapply for my job and have to be interviewed etc.
It's not like me to feel so low and empty - it's like I've got nothing left except to give in.
I'm not going to do that though as he is not going to win.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Trying to keep going

This week has been a hard one. I've doubled the sertraline to 100mg but its just not helping. My agitation is worse and I wake to feeling a horrible knot in my stomach, with that terrible feeling of dread. I am forcing myself to keep going but it would be so easy to stay in bed and hide under my duvet.
Nights are so hard and I haven't been coping very well. I've been going off out in my car in the middle of the night, just to get away from the temptation to hurt myself. I curl up on the back seat and just cry. When I am in bed my nightmares are vivid and relentless and I'm tired of having to clean my bedding and sort myself out. Why can't I just be normal and sleep at night?
Work has been hard and the threat of redundancy is hanging over me for the fourth year running. There is only so much I can take. How do I keep smiling and pretending I'm ok?
I spoke to my cpn today and am seeing her next week. I know she can't change anything but it helps to be able to talk things through.
This week I've got to go to a training day on Saturday so I'm only getting one day off and I'm so tired.
I decided that I need to be kind to myself and do something for me, so today I had my eyebrows waxed and threaded - ouch, it hurt! I looked like a red panda. Then I treated myself to a new top and some malt loaf.
Am going to have an early night and try to sleep. I need to stop going off in my car as its cold and not very safe.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Crap night

Had a really bad night last night. Woke up crying and shaking at about 2.30am and just couldn't ground myself. I could hear him and smell him and it just got louder and louder. Even in the shower I could still smell his sweaty body.
I finally rang the night crisis team after a couple of hours on the bathroom floor curled up in a ball. I was in the house on my own and too scared to move. I haven't self harmed for a while and just couldn't trust myself to move. My head was like a washing machine, thoughts whirring round and round.
Glen calmed me down and got me back into the bedroom but I couldn't go near my bed. Instead I curled up on the settee. I would be so lost without the night crisis team. He was so calm and supportive.
Today I feel tearful. I'm trying to keep busy and have been cleaning. I need to keep distracted until my daughters come home later.
I have to tell myself that I can do this.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

On my own :-(

I'm on my own this weekend and not feeling too brill. I know I've got to get used to being on my own as my youngest daughter will be off to uni next year. I just feel so lonely and am so used to being a busy Mum that now my children have grown up I don't know who I am any more. What do I do and where do I go when I'm on my own? I can't just walk in somewhere on my own.
I'm struggling for money at the moment and don't have any spare cash for me - don't get paid till next week and don't know how I'm going to buy food till then.
I just feel like crying tonight. I'm just a sad, ugly, lonely person and its crap. It's my daughters 22nd birthday tomorrow and for the first time ever she is away and I won't see her but its her life and I have to let her fly.
Wallowing in self pity will not help me and I've got to try and keep smiling but it's not easy. I wish I had a zopiclone so I can just knock myself out and sleep till Monday.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Personal Independence Payment

I applied for Personal Independence Payment in June and this morning a lady came to see me to gather further information about my claim. She was really nice and I didn't feel rushed but it is so hard telling yet another person how much I struggle and what I go through most days.
When she read my statement back to me I felt so dirty and pathetic. I wish I was stronger and could deal with all this better.
I'm still feeling rough with the new medication and am not sleeping much which is making me exhausted. I haven't had a bad nightmare for a few nights but desperately need a nights sleep.
I went to a support group today and met other people who have suffered trauma. It's good to know that I'm not the only one. My therapist is retiring and is having some time off but I should see him in November. He was talking about looking for a residential retreat that I could go to and that sounds really promising.
Work is going ok but I'm really busy and finding it hard when I'm so tired all the time. I'm going to try and relax this weekend.
I was supposed to go to join a rock choir tonight but I'm too tired and don't really feel like socialising. Maybe I will go next week, I know I need to start going out more but I just find it really hard.

Sunday, 8 September 2013


I woke up this morning feeling really unsettled with butterflies in my stomach. I stayed in bed a while and really vivid suicidal thoughts and plans invaded my head. I hate it when I feel like that. I wondered whether the medication has made my suicidal thoughts worse and did think about ringing the crisis team but kind of knew that they couldn't help me. I felt that a bad call would just set me back and not necessarily be helpful. It would be good to have someone to talk to when I feel like that as I get so overwhelmed and scared that my impulsivity will take over.
My daughter and I went to visit a gym and I cycled 1.5 miles, used the rowing machine and cross runner, then I swam 20 lengths. Afterwards I felt so much better until I was told that it was £60 a month to join the gym! I need to find a cheaper one.
I have lost 5lbs this week so far and have not had any chocolate for 8 days! I think I will feel much better if I am able to lose more weight and exercise more.
Tomorrow I am back at the hospital to have a needle biopsy of my neck - yuk! I'm not looking forward to that but do want my neck sorting out.
Hopefully tonight will be better after all today's exercise.

Saturday, 7 September 2013


It's 3 days since I started taking 50mg of sertraline. I feel so sick and my head is muggy - I'm not sure I like how I'm feeling. It's certainly not making me feel any better. Yesterday when I came home from work I had to go to bed for an hour. I couldn't keep my eyes open.
On a good note I'm not feeling very hungry at all and haven't eaten much so maybe I will lose some weight!
Not really sure what to do but maybe I need to keep taking the tablets for a bit longer to see if I feel any different.
Night times are just the same and I'm not sleeping any better.
There must be areas on that I've been prescribed this so I'm sticking with it for a while.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Medication or not?

Am struggling this week. I think that being around more people and being back at work is highlighting that I'm not coping very well. I'm so tired and finding it hard to concentrate. The last 3 nights I haven't slept very much and I'm exhausted. My head feels foggy again. Colleagues only have to look at me funny or say the wrong thing and I'm struggling. I've got butterflies in my stomach and I feel agitated and unsettled.
My work load seems overwhelming and I just don't know where to start. 2 days of intensive meetings have introduced new ways of working, higher expectations and more rigorous monitoring with new targets being set. My manager seems to have forgotten that my workload is heavier than my colleagues and some of the new strategies will be impossible for me. Usually I stand my ground but today I felt numb and just wanted to bury my head. It's like it all washed over me and I don't even know where to start. It is impossible. I don't want to talk to my manager as I think I will cry and just break down and that isn't a good start seeing as redundancies have been mentioned again.
So what can I do? I'm struggling. I have some sertraline that I can begin to take again and I think I might have to. I haven't taken medication for 6 months but recognise I'm not in a good place.
I don't know what else to do and I don't want to lose my job. I can't admit to anyone that I'm struggling and I feel really alone with it all.
My therapy sessions have ended for a while as my therapist has retired.
Taking tablets seems like a backwards step but it just might help - I hope so

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Feeling numb

Struggling a bit right now. I had an appointment yesterday at the Topaz Centre which is attached to a police station. If my husband does come back I wanted to know more about the process of making a statement to the police and getting an injunction to stop him coming near to me.
I feel really unsure about writing or doing a video interview about the rape. I needed to know how specific I needed to be and it seems that I would need to go through it minute by minute - what he did etc. That is so scary and so triggering. It was 12 years ago.
I was told that I would have to be sure and would not be able to say that some details might have been changed by the intensity of my nightmares and flashbacks. Also the defence would go through my medical records etc with a fine tooth comb and they would try to discredit me.It might not get as far as the crime prosecution service or go to court. I wouldn't be able to cope with that. I would go to pieces if they didn't believe me or charge him. I have so much to lose. I don't thinking it is worth putting myself through all that but will wait and see what he does when he finally returns. At least I know more about the process and they said that they could help me.
Last night I just went to pieces and my nightmare was so vivid and loud. Fiona from the crisis team helped to calm me down but it took hours to get back to sleep and it was my first day back at work today. I am so tired. I'm so good at hiding how I am feeling and keeping smiling when inside I'm so numb.
I just hope tonight is better.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Night crisis team

Just spoken to the night crisis team. I really don't know what I would do without them. They listen and acknowledge how I'm feeling. No matter how often I call they don't judge me or make me feel like I shouldn't call them.
I think I would probably have killed myself months ago if it wasn't for this team of people. They know how to calm me down no matter how upset I am or how much I'm struggling.
The difference between them and the day crisis team is that they really try to listen and help me. They stay with me while I try to get out of the bathroom and up off the floor. They talk me through changing my bed and sorting myself out and they give me time and patience.
When I cry, shake and even hurt myself they don't panic but stay outside of the chaos and hold me till I'm calm enough to sort myself out.
They talk to me about my job and my family and try to bring me back into the here and now.
Most of all they encourage me and affirm that I can keep going. I really don't know where I would be without them.
It's so good how they stay with me and break everything down into small achievable steps but don't make me feel stupid when the steps just seem impossible at that moment.
I hope there will be a day soon that I won't need them anymore as I'm sure they must be so fed up of me. I can imagine staff meetings where they talk about the mad Julie that calls in the night and I know I must be so frustrating as it just never seems to change or get better. I'm like a broken record.
I'm so lucky to have Karen, Glen, Dave and Prakash at the end of the phone during the night. They're special people and I appreciate all that they do for me.

Nightmare :-(

I kind of knew tonight would be a bad night. I've felt unsettled all day.
I feel so dirty and disgusting, my skin is crawling and I just need it to stop. The same old nightmare, he has his hands around my neck, his body slamming into mine. I can hear those words over and over "no one will want you now" My head is screaming for him to get out, to stop but I'm frozen and heavy.
Then it's over, I'm awake, crying and shaking. My bed is wet and I can still smell him and hear him. Where am I? I'm disorientated and frightened and my first urge is to run and hide.
Instead I curl up on the bathroom floor, I need to calm down. I try to tell myself that I'm safe and I can do this. He is not here and it won't happen again. I scrub myself clean in the shower but the dirt and shame stays with me.
I still have my bed to clean. I just can't face it tonight. I can't cope like this anymore, it's crap. I'm trying my best to move on and be strong but my nightmare pulls me back and reminds me of how pathetic I really am. I let him in my home and I asked for what I got. I'm stupid.
I need to try and get back to bed. Is he still lurking in my dreams? Will I ever be rid of him?
It's like it happens again and the pain is just as raw. I can't really explain how devastating it is to relive my worse nightmare over and over.
Medication won't help but to be calm and able to sleep right now would be so good.
Better change my bed and try again - I must tell myself that I can do this and really believe that I can. Without hope, what is there left?

I can do this


Why is it that some days when you wake up in the morning you have a feeling of real panic? This morning I feel so sick and I have a tight knot in my chest like something bad is going to happen. I just feel so unsettled and it came on really quickly and for no reason at all.
I have my last trauma therapy session for awhile today but I'm not worried about that as I know it will  start again later in the year. It might be that now I'm not going to see my therapist I have no one to really support me for a while but I'm going to be back at work next week and really busy so it should be ok.
I hate it when I feel so unsettled and just wish I could cry the feeling away. So what can I do? Maybe I just need to stay around people today and keep busy. I'm still feeling poorly so that isn't helping.
Being me just sucks at times.
Will post again after today's session to see if it has helped.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Really stupid :-(

Can't believe what I did on Sunday night. My neck was throbbing and so painful and the pressure in my ear was just driving me mad. I couldn't sleep and had had enough of the pain. So I decided to get a craft knife and open up the abscess myself. Well it's not really a good idea to stick a knife in your neck but that is what I did in a moment of madness.
My neck wouldn't stop bleeding and so I ended up in A & E where they were really lovely. I had to wait over 2 hours to see a doctor even though they really weren't very busy. People around me were getting really angry and shouting at the nurses. I felt sorry for them as it is not their fault. I told one man to stop shouting and swearing as it wouldn't get him seen any quicker. He had been drinking and I thought he would hit me but he just sat down quietly and even said sorry!
I saw the doctor and he was shocked that I had opened the abscess up by myself but said that he understood why. 10 days of pain is enough to drive anyone to want to get rid of it. The ENT doctor came to see me and he showed me my CT scan and explained fully what was happening in my neck. I wish the doctors earlier in the week had done the same. I have a cyst that needs removing and they want it to settle before they operate. He explained how dangerous sticking knives in your neck is, showing me my arteries and other important structures near to the abscess. He finally ordered a scan and needle biopsy and was concerned that after all this time one hadn't been done. He gave me more antibiotics and sent me home. The scan appointment should be soon.
Last night I felt really poorly. I didn't know whether to ring for an ambulance. The room was spinning and I felt light headed and weird. Instead I went to bed and slept on and off. I don't feel as bad today and the swelling in my neck has gone down but has moved towards my ear.
So all in all it was a stupid thing to do but at least they're going to do something now. I just need to get better before I go back to work next week. I am resting and being good. No more sticking knives in my neck!!

Sunday, 25 August 2013


My neck is still so sore and swollen and I feel really yuk. Not that anyone notices or asks how I am! My youngest daughter has just asked me to drive her and her friends to Leeds this afternoon which is about an hour either way, my son has asked me to pick him up and take him to football, cook him dinner and then take him home and my other daughter has asked me to deliver a birthday card that she forgot to send - so much for resting!
Me and resting don't really go anyway. Yesterday I tidied 2 bedrooms and changed the beds. I have to keep busy and distracted so I can stay away from my head and stupid thoughts and urges. I saw something yesterday that I'm going to try and that is having a basket of stones with positive statements and quotes on them. So I need to start collecting flat stones. I will try to post a photo of what I mean.
My favourite saying is "life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain!"
Think it's been raining quite a lot in my life right now but I'm hanging in there.
No new news from my husband, I think he is still in Thailand, but where I don't know. I just wish I knew what is happening so I don't have to listen to all the speculation from others.
Anyway, off to Leeds to take my daughter to see Eminem. I kind of wish I was staying so I could join in but am not sure it is my scene.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Hospital Experience

 Been in hospital with an abscess on my neck and have come home feeling worse than I did when I went in! I have never been messed around so much in my life.
When I got to the hospital they said I had to stay in and that they were going to operate to drain the abscess.
I was put on a ward and told not to eat and drink anything. Two days later they still hadn't taken me to theatre or decided what to do. My neck is swollen and so painful. I was given IV antibiotics and fluids. The doctor that put the IV line in my hand was brutal. After the first day my hand was sore and swollen so I asked if they could take it out. The same doctor came and tried a few times to get a line in. She prodded and poked, taking the needle in and out for ages and made a comment about the scars on my wrists and me being used to pain! Eventually she put the line in about two inches away from the old one on my swollen hand but right on the bone on my wrist. After an hour my hand began to swell even more and I was in so much pain. The nurse could not believe what the doctor had done.
Another nurse came and put the line in the other arm without any pain at all.
Eventually they told me to go home and finish the antibiotics and come back in two weeks when they would decide whether to cut it out or not. I explained that I am a teacher and it would be best to do it now if they could but in the end just wanted to go home.
As I was leaving they handed me a box of 100 paracetamol and I had to explain again how I can't take them home as my mental health is not good at the moment and I didn't want that many tablets at home.
So here I am, my neck is so painful and I have no painkillers. I am taking my antibiotics and hope it will go down soon as the pressure in my ear is horrible. If it doesn't I might just get a blade and cut it open myself. At least then it will drain.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013


This is where we scattered my Mum's ashes - it is such a peaceful place

Monday, 19 August 2013

Therapy session

Today I saw my therapist. I hadn't seen him for a few weeks and we hadn't got anything planned for today's session. It was really good to catch up with him and talk through how I am feeling. In the past I have found the sessions where we just talked really frustrating as I'm impatient to move forward and  have never found just talking helpful, however today he really helped me to reflect on what is happening in my life right now.
I explained how I had had a panic attack in a supermarket at the weekend and he explained really clearly what panic attacks are and why they can be so overwhelming. I realised that I'm using the imagery we use in the EMDR sessions much more to help get me through tough times. I tell myself that I'm ok and I can do this and I try to picture the words on a billboard. It is working to calm me down. I am becoming my own therapist and I can do this, I feel much more positive.
Although I'm feeling suicidal at times, I am managing to keep going and put things in place to keep myself safe. I have thrown all my paracetamols away and have put sharp objects in the garage. I know that my children need me and can remember how upset and lost I was when my Mum died and we weren't even very close!
My husband returning is having an impact but I am putting plans in place to minimise that and ave decided to let it go until he actually does return. He has said he is coming back before and hasn't. I am still confused about the strength of feelings I have for him but I think that is because I have never had to face him and those feelings are definitely not love but more of a connection as he is the Father of my children.
I'm going to carry on using positive imagery and self talk and keep telling myself that I can do this. I am strong and I am a survivor. Why fight all these years to just let it all go?
On a less positive note though I have an abscess in my neck and have to go to the hospital tomorrow morning to see the ENT consultant. I really hope I don't have to stay in for IV antibiotics. Will cross that bridge when I get there.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Feeling Suicidal

Just doing my homework for my therapist tomorrow. What are the options that I have if my husband comes back? The only one that resounds in my head is to kill myself.
People think that suicide is selfish but I don't think it is. I wouldn't do it for me but for everyone around me that I constantly let down and hurt. It's selfish to just keep going and expect everyone to be there for me and pick up the pieces.
I hurt my children in so any ways. I wasn't good enough for their Dad to want to stay and be a family. Somedays I can hardly get out of bed and I'm often poorly. I don't do enough for them any more. I have no money and can't give them all that they deserve. I'm not a good cook and the house is never clean and tidy. They deserve better. One daughter criticises all that I do, my driving is crap and the things I say aren't right. The other daughter spends all her time with her boyfriend and his family. I don't blame her. My son never phones or comes home - he has his own life now.
I let the people I work with down as I'm always sick or tired. I never see things through properly.
I've managed to push away nearly all of my friends, even the pastor of the church wouldn't come and see me when I asked him to when I was in hospital.
My parents never loved me. How can you love yourself when even your parents hate you?
I let the services that work with me down. I want to say 'I'm better' and have no nightmares etc. I want to never have to ring anyone again but to smile and say I'm strong now. I just wish I could feel strong.
I feel dirty, stupid, fat, ugly, pathetic and a waste of space.
I'm decorating my house room by room and getting rid of all the rubbish in my house. I'm giving my children the things that are precious to me and sorting through my belongings. When my house is clean and I'm organised that will be the time I can die. I don't want people to think i am dirty.
Not long now and I can close my eyes and be at peace.
My life is one big joke and I'm tired.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Feeling low :-(

Story of my life - when do I ever not feel crap?
Feeling sorry for myself today. This year I have had a recurrent neck abscess and its coming back again. My neck is sore and swollen and I feel poorly. I haven't got out of bed yet today and just have no energy.
Camping with my friend went well and we had a laugh. The tent didn't fall down or leak but the camp bed was very uncomfortable. For 2 nights I just dozed in bed, too frightened to sleep incase I had a nightmare. I just thought it would be really frightening to wake up from a nightmare in the small confines of the tent and I would panic. Also I don't really know Nicky that well and didn't want to be embarrassed. The two nights I've been at home since coming home I haven't been able to sleep at all. I think I am just exhausted. At least I have had 4 nights without a nightmare! Seems a bit extreme though and it's making me ill.
Yesterday I volunteered to drive to Birmingham early to take my daughters friend for a job interview. It rained so much that I could hardly see the road. I drove back by myself and tried to give myself a boost by stopping and going to M&S to look for a new outfit. However I couldn't really see anything I liked, I felt really fat and ugly and couldn't really afford anything anyway!
My youngest daughter passed all her AS level exams and is on track to study what she wants to at university. She has a boyfriend and busy social life and I hardly get to see her lately except when she needs money or something.
I've been feeling really suicidal and it seems to be growing. I know my children love me and would be devastated if I killed myself, but they really do have their own lives now and my role has changed so much. I honestly do feel that it would be ok if I wasn't around anymore. I can't think of many people that would come to my funeral or be too bothered that I wasn't around anymore. My husband is supposed to be coming back so it's his turn to have the children.
Whilst I was away I put some flowers at the spot by the beach where we scattered my mum's ashes. It made me think about what I would want them to do with my body. I don't want to be buried as I don't want to rot and be eaten by creepy crawlies but being cremated doesn't really do a lot for me either! I just want to disappear and to finally be at peace. I'm tired of battling to keep going - it's not worth it.
I got an appointment through to see my psychiatrist yesterday and its not until 1st November but I'm not that bothered as he doesn't really help anyway.
I know I need to try and be positive. I need to plan what I'm going to do for the next 2 weeks before I go back to work. I need to plan something to look forward to and work towards but it just seems to be too much of an effort today, so I might as well just stick my head back under the pillow and try to keep going.
I might feel differently tomorrow x

Monday, 12 August 2013

Going camping tomorrow

Tomorrow morning I'm going camping with a friend from work. I've worked with her for over 10 years and know her quite well but have never been away with her.
Her husband left her for a younger woman last year and this is her first summer without him. She has 2 grown up sons but isn't going away anywhere this year. So we thought we would have a go at camping in a tent! Two 48 year old women, one tent and 2 blow up beds - I just hope there is someone to help when we get to the other end.
It's quite cold here tonight so I'm not looking forward to sleeping in a sleeping bag and am also anxious about having a nightmare etc. do I take a spare sleeping bag? I haven't really told nicky about my nights and feel embarrassed but I'm hoping that a different place and lots of fresh air will help me to sleep. However it is only 2 nights so I can stay awake if I need to.
I need to get out and try new things and go to new places - I'm not going to let you win and I can do this
Fingers crossed it will be ok x

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Race For Life

Today I thought I would do something different, something to help others and to keep me around people. I volunteered to help at the local race for life where people run to collect money for research into cancer.
I arrived nice and early and went to the area I was told to go to. I was given a T Shirt, Marshalls waistcoat and a radio. I was to stand at position 10 along the course and make sure that everyone was ok, stayed away from the waters edge and the uneven ground. I wasn't shown how to use the radio but thought it can't be much harder than a walky talky.
I got into my position and had an hour to go until the race started. The sun was shining on the lake and the swans were swimming around. After a few minutes a crowd of men with large drums came and pitched up next to me - a samba band. I smiled and said hello but it was like I was invisible. They carried on their preparations.
The race started and so did the loud drumming in my ear! So many inspirational people running for loved ones, people suffering now and people they had lost through cancer. Everyone was wearing pink, some in fancy dress, some tied together, one group holding a long ribbon.
A lady collapsed in front of me and I had to use the radio to get an ambulance. She had tried to run with a chest infection.
The last walker was an elderly lady walking with a Zimmer frame. Such a strong, proud lady. I stayed with her until she crossed the finish line - today's battle done.
What about me? I felt inspired by the courage today and commitment, but how can you be in the middle of all that and still feel so alone and invisible. I guess I wanted to belong and to connect but in reality no one spoke to me and I was alone. There was no volunteering team - just people who volunteer.
I would do it again as I think I made a good Marshall no 10 and I can use a radio now but no one would notice if I wasn't there and no one would care.
I feel very alone and losing the will to keep going and trying to do different things like today - it makes no difference as I still hurt and I'm still frightened of how much I want to die.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Bad night again

Struggling tonight - or should I say this morning.
A different nightmare tonight - shadows and voices and my skin felt on fire. I was being pulled in different directions but further away from my children as tiny babies. I was screaming and shouting, desperately trying to reach them and woke up startled, crying and shaking. I felt disorientated and so frightened like someone was lurking.
I fumbled my way to the bathroom and just sat frozen on the floor, voices still loud in my head telling me I am dirty, disgusting, stupid and pathetic, urging me to hurt myself.
It's so hard not to listen, not to give in and go there and I'm frightened by how strong that impulse is. I feel so alone.
I need to calm down, I'm safe and no one can hurt me. I am in control and I can do this. You are not going to win.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Checking in

So how am I feeling today? I thought it would be good to check in with how I'm doing.
My head is working like a washing machine at the moment with so much going round and round in it. I need to try and make sense of it all.
The threat of my husband returning is still there and very unsettling but things have gone very quiet. Where is he? What is he up to? I just wish I knew so that I can sort myself out. If he is coming back then I need to get things put into place to keep myself safe. I need to contact the police and get an injunction to keep him away. I also need to talk to the victim support team to talk about the implications of giving a statement about what he did. After 13 years I remember it all so vividly but can I be precise about exactly what happened or have I added elements in my head that maybe I've made more significant than they would have been if I had reported it years ago? I just don't know. Am I strong enough to see it through?
If he isn't coming back then I need to make some decisions about putting things in place so that if he decides to threaten to come back in the future I don't fall apart. Maybe it's time to tell my children what happened? I need to see a solicitor to get my divorce finalised and to sever all ties with my husband for the future. My children are growing up and will be left home soon and I need to remove myself from their Dad once and for all. Easier said than done but I think it is important.
I'm tired and still tearful but am trying to keep distracted. A friend is coming over tomorrow and we're going out for the day.
I also haven't self harmed for a few weeks which is a step forward. The urge is there and I have a nagging compulsion to cut my neck for some reason, but I'm not going to.
My nightmares are still there but for the past few nights I've coped by myself and haven't rang the crisis team. I'm trying to stick to a strict routine and to get back into bed and off to sleep as quickly as possible. However I feel that I'm cutting off my emotions and not acknowledging them - will they build up and will I blow? I'm not sure but its working so far.
So all in all I'm doing ok - one day at a time.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Distractions and coping strategies

Just thought I'd share some of the ways that I try to distract myself and keep going. I use many different coping strategies and try to adapt them to the time of day and how I'm feeling. Sometimes I'm not able to think straight and my head is everywhere. It is during those times that I'm most at risk of hurting myself or doing something impulsive that I will later regret. I do worry that one time I will actually kill myself, so its really important that I try to internalise these coping strategies so that they will kick in when I need them most.
I have studied the work of +Jon Kabat-Zinn and Mindfulness. I try to concentrate on my breathing and take notice of my surroundings. I listen to the sounds inside the room and outside the room, alternating between them. I find this can be really calming and help me sleep.
I also try different relaxation techniques from imagery to relaxing muscles in the body. I try to go to my safe place in my head and take note of the smells, colours, sounds etc.
If I am feeling agitated and unsettled I try to plan things to do to keep me distracted. I will empty cupboards, mop the floor, clean windows, bake, go for a walk, knit, crochet, go out in my car or watch a film.
I try to stay around people especially my children and will plan things to look forward to. This week I am going out with a friend on Friday, volunteering at my local race for life on Sunday and next week I'm going camping with a friend for a few nights. (Hope it doesn't rain!)
When things are really tough I write down what I'm going to do for the next 10 minutes and just keep doing that for as long as I need to.
I also have a Happy Box which has photos of my children and some objects that remind me of happy times. I try to keep a bar of chocolate in it - chocolate always helps.
When I've exhausted all of the above and things aren't getting any better I will try to ring someone to talk things through. I hate it when I get to this stage as I feel pathetic and stupid and beat myself up that I should be stronger. The crisis team are not always very helpful, I think I must frustrate them in that over the years I'm still ringing and saying exactly the same things. In a perfect world I know that they would like to work with me and then never hear from me again. However I find it triggering to call a service like the Samaritans that don't know me as I don't want to go over why I'm feeling like I am. All I need is for someone to acknowledge how I'm feeling and to help me plan a way forward to keep me safe. I just get so overwhelmed and need grounding.
When the chips are down I do self harm and know that it is a crap coping strategy but over the years it has probably kept me alive, so I must look at my scars not as a negative thing but as a sign of strength.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Bad night

Yesterday I had another trauma therapy session. I had identified that one of my triggers was around lack of control especially in my nightmare but also around the fact that my husband could just walk back into our lives at any time. I'm frightened that that would take away my safety and he would also take away my children ( which is irrational as they're adults now!)
During the EMDR I was supposed to be focusing on the fact that I am in control but my head was everywhere. I even had images of my Mum after she died. In the end I just burst into tears and sobbed. I felt so ashamed as I don't like others to see me crying. After more than a year this was only the second time my therapist had seen me cry.
He abandoned the EMDR and told me to complete an exercise at home where I have to write down all the things I could do if my husband comes back. Then I have to think about whether that is viable, who it would affect and the long and short term gain.
He then gave me a lecture about how I let my husband affect me and that I won't get any better until I take control. I agree with what he said but probably wasn't in the best place to hear it. I just cried.
I felt unsettled all evening and had a bad night. Thoughts of self harm are so vivid and I even found an old blade. I find my thoughts are bigger than self harming though. I have suicidal plans going round my head and they're getting stronger and more lucid.
I haven't got out of bed this morning yet and I have a tight knot in my stomach and a lump in my throat. There is no one I can ring for help as my care coordinator has gone off on long term sick.
I just don't know what to do - do I just try to keep distracted and keep going by myself or do I go for an admission to hospital? Hospital scares me but so does the impulsivity I'm feeling and my total hatred of myself. I really don't care if I live or not but know that I can't hurt my children.
Think I just need to hide my head under the pillow until I feel stronger today and take each hour as it comes. It's going to be a long day.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Still struggling

The fog is never far away but seems to be rising. I am trying so hard to hold everything together. As the night gets darker a feeling of dread starts to build inside me. My stomach churns and my heart races. Dark shadows lurk behind me.
I try to relax and clear my mind but going up the stairs to bed seems like I'm walking to a fate worse than death. He lurks in my dreams and turns them into nightmares. I can smell him, feel him and his face is sharp and vivid. His words pierce through me and there is no escape. I am frozen just like the night it happened - I can't change it and no one is safe......... It's all my fault.
I'm tired of wet and soiled beds, of scrubbing myself clean and of cowering on the bathroom floor, too frightened to face my dirty bedroom and the reality that nothing changes.
I need to go to bed but in reality I want to run - maybe I can find the wardrobe of my childhood where no one could find me and I was finally safe.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Trauma Therapy Session

Yesterday I had another session of trauma therapy. I was really anxious after the response I had last week to the session and kind of wanted to run in the opposite direction.
Instead I found myself sat in the therapists chair, mouth dry, sweating and shaking inside.
We decided to use EMDR to reinforce positive statements and imagery, rather than the negative image from last week. I closed my eyes this time and we used hand taps which I found much easier. At first I felt really sick and my heart was racing but I concentrated on the statement that 'I'm safe' and 'nothing will hurt me' I walked around my bedroom noticing the colours in my head and then it was like I was hovering over me sleeping. My safe place is on the beach and suddenly my bed was floating in the sea! All the time I reinforced the statement that I was safe.
After a while the sickness went and I felt really calm.
I went home and just felt so shattered and worn out that I went to bed. I slept soundly for 14 hours which is longer than I have slept for months.
As I go to bed tonight I'm telling myself that I'm ok and I'm safe and I'm going to do some relaxation by going to my safe place in my head - hopefully I will sleep again tonight. I'm really trying to be positive and to say to myself that I can do this.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Wasted appointment

I haven't seen my care co-ordinator for weeks. We made an appointment for 2pm today and I got there nice and early. I waited in the waiting room and different people were coming and going. I am a patient person but by 2.45 I was still waiting and not happy. The waiting room had nothing to read except posters and leaflets and the words self harm, rape, suicide, anxiety, depression, relationship breakdown, drugs, bereavement etc leapt out at me. It's like revisiting the place of your worse nightmare. I felt so triggered. Surely soft furnishings and magazines to read would be much better in the waiting room?
Eventually at 3pm she arrived and didn't even apologise for being late - I've obviously got nothing better to do. I managed to tell her about the therapy sessions and how I was feeling. I explained how frightening night times are and how I wasn't coping very well. She wanted to know what I was saying, as in was I asking for help! Duh! We talked about using the crisis team and an admission to hospital to keep me safe. That sounds completely scary but at the same time reassuring as it would be good to not feel so alone at night. However last time I went into hospital I was there for 2 months!
My care co-ordinator rang me when I got home to say that she is away for a few days and will review the situation on Friday. I can use the crisis team out of hours.
So what do I do between now and Friday? I have trauma therapy tomorrow which I'm not looking forward to. I guess I just have to keep going and use all my distraction techniques.
I still feel very alone with it all and want to hide in a corner until I feel stronger.

Monday, 29 July 2013


Last weeks session of EMDR was a complete disaster and I need to think of a way to re-establish it without being traumatised again.
We are trying to work on the nightmares that I have been having, in order to make them less intrusive and less frequent. My therapist thought that it would be good to work on the image of my attacker in order to diminish the impact he has on me. The aim of the session was for me to make his image get smaller and smaller and either fall over an edge or shatter into pieces that I could stamp on and squash with my foot.
As soon as I brought his image to my mind I could hear his voice piercing through me, threatening me and mocking me. His image was vivid and larger than life and he was getting closer. I could not concentrate on my therapists voice and my skin started crawling. I tried to follow his finger with my eyes but different images kept flashing in. I felt so sick and my heart was racing.
My therapist kept telling me to push the image away and in between sessions of eye movement he kept saying "don't let him win" but it was so overpowering.
I just wanted to run and couldn't cope so I said he was moving away and the session ended. Once in the car park I vomited and felt like I was going to pass out. I felt agitated and unsettled and couldn't get his voice out of my head.
Later that night I was too frightened to sleep, I was pacing and my mind was everywhere. Suicidal thoughts dominated my thinking and I ended up curled up on the bathroom floor as that is my safe place.
So what do I do on Wednesday? I want to engage and know that some sessions will be hard but I'm not feeling safe at the moment.
I have thought of a few options:-

  • Concentrate on my self esteem
  • Work on my thoughts of being dirty, disgusting and a bad person
  • Instead of concentrating on the nightmares do visualisation of a safe nights sleep
Not really sure where to go but at least those thoughts are a start. Am seeing my care co-ordinator tomorrow so will see what she thinks.
It's getting darker now, I just hope my night demons stay away tonight.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Journey so far

This is my very first attempt at blogging and thought I'd tell you a bit about me and what I hope to achieve through my blog.
My name is Julie and I'm 48 years old. I work full time as an Early Years Specialist Teacher. 13 years ago my husband raped me and abandoned me with 3 young children to go and live in Thailand. Since that time I have been a single mum and my children are now 24, 21 and 17. After my ordeal I have been diagnosed with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and for a while now have been struggling with horrendous flashbacks and nightmares.
I am currently having trauma therapy which I am finding very challenging. This involves EMDR sessions that recently have left me very unsettled and have made my nightmares more vivid.
I have recently heard that after 13 years my husband is returning to live in the town where I live and that terrifies me. He has not supported me or my family financially or in any other way and I am feeling threatened by his imminent return.
I'm hoping that I can use this blog to track my journey through trauma therapy and EMDR and also to track my emotional turmoil and mental health. I would also like to explore how my mental health affects my family and my working life.
I am a champion for the Time To Change campaign to challenge the stigma of mental health.
At present I am struggling, night times are impossible and I've stopped taking all my medication after a disagreement with my psychiatrist. The night crisis team want me to go into hospital as my self harm has been particularly bad over the past few weeks. I have had 3 visits to A&E to be stitched up.
This week I have an appointment with my care co-ordinator and a session of trauma therapy so I hope I will be able to access some support.