Apology

I’d like to apologise for removing my most recent Blog post.
I did not feel comfortable having it out there in case someone close to me read it.

Thank you to the two people who responded to that post…you are both beautiful women, with beautiful hearts and I really appreciate your care and concern.

Much Love xox

 

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There is Always HOPE! Right?!

© Jack Hollow

There is Always Hope © Jack Hollow Photography

 

My heart is aching right now… I am just trying to hold on to hope. The hope that this little girl will catch her heart…and the hope that mine will mend.

 

I feel so lost in this world. I lack understanding of why some things have happened and why some things don’t happen.

Why do some people think they have the right to hurt others? Do they think they’re better or more worthy than others?!

 

I didn’t remember the abuse for six years…not a single bit of it. The professionals say this was a coping mechanism. That my mind wanted to make sure I was safe enough before devulging this important information to me. Sounds kind of weird…and sometimes I feel this information should have been made available to me sooner…but at the same time I wish I’d never found out.

When I was in my early to mid years at school, we started to have “sex education” classes. I would come out of those classes and not remember a single word spoken by the teacher. I didn’t know why this was, but things like this happened a lot in my childhood (and now) – losing time. Later I found out this was called Dissociating.

I spent a lot of my childhood taking care of my younger brother. Not because my parents were not capable (they were and are great parents), but because there were things that even they couldn’t protect us from. I wasn’t always physically protecting him, but sometimes mentally and emotionally too. Our eldest brother used to be physically & emotionally abusive towards another brother (there are 4 brothers). At times I had to hide in cupboards or run to a neighbours house with my younger brother.

Sometimes I question why I never told anyone about the sexual abuse while it was happening. I guess the physical threat of my younger brother’s life would have been enough of a reason, but I think there were other reasons also.
Mostly I think my reasons were about protection – of myself & family. I was threatened with a knife by my abuser…he cut me on the hip and threatened to “do it to him too“. I knew he didn’t mean the knife, but rather the other things he had done to me. I had almost died when he held me under the water…while he laughed. I didn’t want my baby brother to die or to experience what I had.

Two years ago, my younger brother wrote me a letter. In it he wrote “you have looked after me for years, now it’s my turn to look after you”. I never knew he even realised how much I had actually done to look after him. I love my brother so much.

I’ve come so far.
And there’s my hope

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pure Exhaustion…

I’ve wanted to write about this for the past few weeks, but haven’t had the courage (or energy)…finally, I think I do…

For the past 3 or 4 months (maybe more) and at various times in my life, I have been what I would call “exhausted”!

My Psychiatrist messed with my meds (decreased Avanza) a little to see if that would help, but no change. He then believed it was because I wasn’t sleeping properly and started me on melatonin at night for a week and then this week I’m to take Mogadon every second night.

Finally though, I decided to see my GP to see what could be causing it, because I knew I wasn’t depressed and I was pretty sure it wasn’t all “in my head”.

My GP ordered a blood test to see if it could be anything physical causing my tiredness…he tested for all kinds of things including viruses and ross river fever – 5 viles of blood taken. I have also had a lot of pain in my back and some joints…I thought it was unrelated, but when I mentioned this he said it could be related – so he tested for Rheumatoid Factor also. Thankfully my mother was there when he asked is there any history of arthritis in the family, because I had no idea the illness my pop (Grandfather) had was arthritis! (he passed away before I was born)

He had a form of Arthritis called Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) – so my GP did a test for the HLA-B27 Gene, which can be associated with AS. It came back Positive! I also had extremely high ESR & CRP – both are indicators for inflammation.

Now, on its own this doesn’t mean I have AS, but coupled with my symptoms it is quite possible. The GP started me on Celebrex – an anti inflammatory drug and so far it has helped a bit. I have to see a Rheumatologist for a full diagnosis, but I can’t get in to see her until April!

On top of the possible AS, I have a Cytomegalovirus (CMV) which can mimic symptoms of Glandular Fever! No wonder I’ve been so exhausted!!!

If you’d like to read more about Ankylosing Spondylitis, please visit www.spondylitis.org  OR www.arthritisaustralia.com.au

The possibility of this diagnosis has been very taxing on me. I actually started hearing voices for a few days, but thankfully with the help of meds (Zyprexa) and some stress-relief techniques from my psychologist, they have subsided. I’m trying to take one day at a time and just keep my stress to a minimum.

My psychologist agrees that stress led to the voices. She thinks that, like dissociation, the psychosis is almost an escape from reality for me in stressful situations. I’d never really thought of it that way before, but it makes sense to me…do any of you have similar experiences with stress and dissociation/hallucinations?

 

Finding the New Me!

This may be triggering for Eating Disorders/Body image etc. Also for Abuse Trauma!! Please take care.

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I attended a Webinar yesterday. Have you ever been to one of those? This one was about Trauma and Weight gain. Of course, trauma can have the opposite effect also, which I’ve discovered from my friends in hospital and online. Something that struck me though, is whether you’ve grown in size or shrunk in size due to trauma, one thing seems to be equal…we’re trying to hide from a world that we perceive to be unsafe. People such as myself are hiding behind the fat and (some) people with EDs such as Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa are trying to hide also, by disappearing altogether.

~~~

I’ll try to explain it like this…

We all have “primal” instincts, right? You may have heard of the “fight or flight” concept (many now add in “freeze” to the mix).
The thing is, that these responses go back to our cave man days. Flight, was quite literally fleeing from predators and Fight, was going out and attacking – hunting food.

Say I was walking down the street and a dog came out of nowhere and was about to attack. I could fight – by preparing to defend myself; flight – quite literally, run away; or Freeze – not know what to do!

Our bodies have physiological reactions to these responses…it’s not just “in your mind”.
That’s where weight changes, due to trauma, come in.

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I am currently in “FREEZE” mode. Trying to appear invisible.
I don’t know whether to run away or fight. My mind is confused and so is my body, but apparently I can change that.

~~~

I am fat because my mind wants me to be fat…even though on a conscious level I want to be thinner. My mind thinks that the fat is protecting me from an unsafe world. Of course this is not true.

“Wanting to be skinny” isn’t good enough for my mind. It needs proof that the world is safe, which is where the psychological aspect of weight loss comes into play.

I’ll be working with my therapist to hopefully deal with the following beliefs which are hindering my weight loss:

  • The world is not safe
  • I am lazy
  • I am ugly
  • I can’t live a “normal” life – study, work, family
  • I’ll never have a baby because I’m too fat
  • I must lose weight before I date anyone
  • I’m different to others
  • I won’t survive without Mum & Dad
  • I was always supposed to be fat
  • I deserve to be fat and ugly
  • I’ll never amount to anything
  • Nobody will ever want to be with me because I’m fat

I think I’m already on my way there just by recognising these.

There is more to come, so if you’re interested, please follow me on my journey of self discovery.

Learning How To Live…

Tell the negative committee that meets in your head to sit down and shut up!

I have come a long way since my last stay in a Psychiatric Hospital in 2012. I was discharged in September, after a 7 month admission – still in a fragile state, but not suicidal like I had been. I went on a trip interstate to visit my sister less than a week after leaving hospital. I wasn’t sure if this was a good idea or not at the time and when I got home, I did go downhill a little bit. While I was away, I had to be OK for the sake of my sister and nephews.

Since I got home, it’s been like I have so little motivation and energy. Everything feels like such an effort and I’ve even self harmed a couple of times. I keep wondering why I still feel this way 3 months later. I don’t think I’m depressed…actually, I think things are going quite well there. I’m just so tired all of the time (I think this may be due to one of my medications, which my Psychiatrist and I are currently reducing).

There has been some progress in my therapy over the past 6 or so months.

I’ve actually started talking more to my psychologist…not just about the past, but about day to day things that are bothering me. We don’t seem to go off track as much as we used to, and I like that.

A major development in my therapy took place after I was given homework by my psychologist. I was to write a letter to my abusers, expressing my anger towards them. I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to do this, because I didn’t actually feel anger towards them,  but on 24th November 2012 I did it and I’m so pleased I did.

I found it really difficult to write at first, but after a while I was writing without thinking about it.  When I had stopped writing, I suddenly realised that all of this hatred and loathing I had written to the abusers, was exactly what I used to say to myself! The anger and loathing was (for the first time) directed at them and not me! It was a most elightening experience.

Although I’ve had some major breakthroughs in the past 6 months, I still find that my thoughts revert back to negativity and self-destruction, a lot of the time. I’m still not entirely sure why this is, but my psychologist says that because I’ve been unwell for so long my automatic head talk is still negative. Now to set about changing this. The suggestion from my psychologist is to create good, positive, healthy life experiences and hopefully this will change the negative head talk into something more positive. I’ve been trying to do this…it’s easier said than done.

Why is learning how to live so difficult?

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Mama Dog Interacting with a Beautiful Child with Down Syndrome

This has just warmed my heart today and I had to share. ❤

I’ve always wanted to work with children and have considered working with children with disabilities/learning difficulties. I think it would be an amazing experience – fulfilling & yet challenging, each and every day.

I went to school with a young lad who has Down Syndrome and I actually saw him last week at our 10 year reunion. He hasn’t changed a bit! Still the loving, caring & outspoken guy he was 10 years ago!

I love that he was allowed to go to a mainstream highschool, but at the same time he was taken advantage of by some kids who had him do things (like kiss someone or say something rude to a teacher) just to get a laugh. But it wasn’t funny to the majority of us and many said to me at the reunion that they didn’t like the way he was mistreated by a few.

I hope you love this video as much as I did. ❤