Rethink has a Mental Health SOS Guide for anyone who is affected by mental illness. The guide offers practical advice on recognising the distress signals, helping you to know when to act.
Knowing how awful panic attacks can be and reading this blog post regarding how a wonderful person helped one of my favourite bloggers, through her panic attack. I wanted to share this post on her behalf, even though I am taking a break from blogging currently. I could not ignore this post request.
Post edited, after realising a mistake I made. Did you spot it before? (That’s a live sharpie for you. If you didn’t, you will still spot the mistake anyway, as I just crossed out and edited my sharpie accordingly.
(Content warning: childhood trauma, bullying, abuse and rape.)
Behind closed doors, it was unseen to the extent what was happening in my childhood. How it all affected me and how it affected my mum.
People knew what my dad was, like they thought. But they did not know exactly what he was like.
Until the last few months recently, while chatting about it with family members, they also did not know what he was fully like as they thought.
“If I’ll have known,” they said.
What would they have done?
At school I am bullied for my hair colour, for being quiet, and for what I wear. I chose a school where uniform was a must, to be like everyone else I thought. Yet, I was still made to feel different.
They bullied me verbally. If I wasn’t getting some line of verbal abuse already at home from dad at times, or witnessing some verbal abuse of some kind.
Those bullies feeling great in what they are doing, knocking down my self-esteem, but because of the unseen.
Hey, I already had no self-esteem!
Years down the line, I get married.
It should have been bliss.
But no, I found I was at hands of verbal abuse again and one time of rape.
The difference with me at that point, I wasn’t going to stay and put up with it. I already gave two chances when it came to respect, but it would start again after two weeks of bliss.
I left after the rape, which was the first and last time that was going to happen to me.
But again, this is the unseen. No one see’s what is going on what should be a happy marriage.
After a few months of chatting living back with my mum, I talked about the full extent of that relationship I was in and I realised that had I stayed in this relationship, it would have been the same as my mum was with dad.
Damage from that relationship affects me today. But not as it did.
Verbal abuse is just as bad as physical abuse. If someone experiences this and does not share with you, you will not know the unseen, because you are not there.
This post created after seeing the Daily Prompt: Unseen
If it wasn’t for offloading and using this blog as part of my therapy to accept what happened to me, then I probably would not have started this blog. Writing this blog has helped me to move forward and some things that were really troubling me, to let go of the guilt that I should not have had to start with.
Most of these following posts all have a trigger warning of some kind, stated at the beginning of the post.
I created this post after inspiration from blogger, ‘Summer Starts to Shine,’ where she created a post of the same name: ‘#If depression were a choice.‘
#If depression were a choice
If depression were a choice, I would not have witnessed as a child of the ups and very bad downs of my mum’s mental health. I would not have worried whether she would disappear again, like before.
If depression were a choice, after seeing how it affected me personally as a child and, also how it affects other people and their families, then I would not choose depression myself. Because after all, it is no fun.
If depression were a choice, I would not struggle to get out of bed some mornings, or sometimes worry about the day ahead.
If depression were a choice, I would not have wished at one time that I was dead and that I was of no use to this world.
If depression were a choice, then I would choose to not have depression. But unfortunately it is not that easy.
If depression were a choice, then I would not have needed the doctor, counsellor or my medication.
If depression were a choice, then my mind would choose to stop dwelling on things.
If the bad experiences of childhood (including bullying, if I did not have enough already,) and early adulthood had not happened, then I would be able to stop my brain having the memories of those days and re-living them.
Until you have been in my shoes, or other people’s shoes of people suffering mental health, then you do not know. So please do not judge.
What I experience to another person it is different. I know how my experiences affect me, but it does not mean I know fully how it affects the next person. I can only be there to support, or to just listen.
Receiving comments of the following I write below, that I have heard personally myself over the years, are not helpful at all.
- You can choose not to dwell on things
- It happened to you a long time ago and so you should put it behind you
- There’s no point living in the past
- Isn’t it time you moved on?
So until you have been in our shoes, suffered what we have suffered, you will not know how exactly how our past affects our mental health. So do not judge, but listen to our stories and try to understand how it affects us.
If depression were a choice, then I would choose not to have depression.
As you know from reading this blog, I have had counselling in the past, the last two sets of sessions being very helpful for me.
This was because after the counsellor who I had for my first of theses two sessions, identifying my childhood past being the cause of how I was now.
Since these sessions have ended, I have been writing this blog as my continuing therapeutic way of dealing with things, as well as other things, like learning something new, remembering to give self-love.
I recommend talking therapy to anyone who is struggling. Talking therapy can work alone, or alongside antidepressants from your doctor, depending on the individual.
I recently learnt that someone closer to me was not doing well as I thought. After this person asked for advice, which I gave, I could see there was a bit more to it then the person was letting on, so I asked further. The person wouldn’t answer this question, as was concerned how I would feel ashamed of them, of their response.
I reassured that person, that I am sure you have done nothing to be ashamed of and that the advice I gave before would not help alone, as I could see whatever this issue was needed to be addressed. This would mean if they felt they could not be open with me, then to speak to a counsellor where you will not need to feel worried about being judged, because they are there to listen.
On answering further questions about what to expect in counselling sessions to reassure this person, because they have never seen a counsellor before, I printed off the necessary information, so they could self-refer. I hope this person does follow it through, because I know this person would benefit from it so much.
If you are feeling the need to talk to someone and have no one, or not confident in speaking to a friend, or family member, then please do speak to a counsellor. They are not there to judge, they are there to help.
I do recommend talking therapy, because you are in a neutral place where you do not need to worry about upsetting, or worrying a friend or relative, so you can unburden yourself. A place where you also won’t feel judged.