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Only Child Dynamics

November 27, 2011

I am an only child. I often get asked if I would have liked siblings and in all honesty I don’t know, I often say “no, because then they would had to go through the same as me” and the reply is often that I would have had someone to go through it with. There always ups and down to being an only child, I never had to share my toys and I always got all the presents at Christmas but then I was constantly surrounded by adults and had no one to play with when visiting family because not only was I an only child I was the only child in the extended family at the time.

I think being an only child has contributed to some of my aspects that would be considered borderline. I have extreme jealousy, I never learnt to share and If I have to share I feel that thing or person is no longer just mine and it is also someone else’s making the value of it less. I was the only child yet I didn’t still get the attention and love I deserved. At least with another child there I could think, well I’m not the only one here so the attention is shared but with me being the only one and still not being noticed it made me question why. I do remember as a child saying to my parents I wanted a brother or sister but they struggled enough dealing with one child. I wasn’t a hand full, I was just quiet, but I felt like a burden. I was always in the way. I guess it would have been nice not to feel so lonely but then if I had a younger sibling I would feel even more responsibilities that had been falsely placed on me. I was already looking after my parents without having a younger sibling to look after too. I never really had to learn to share people, I didn’t even have to share my parents with each other because there was no connection between the two of them. So even though I was often neglected, they still loved me more than they loved each other. It’s probably quite damaging that I didn’t have the opportunity to share my parents with another person they loved. Although saying that, I feel my mother was the one that neglected me due to having to share her with her celebrity obsession, she may not have loved my father but she loved MO and I hated her for it. I learnt that if my parents loved someone else I wouldn’t come first anymore because that is what happened.

I am very scared of change happening back home, my dad is back in hospital but while he has been in hospital he’s been constantly saying he has to find a new woman and he wants to get married and have more kids. It scares me because I don’t know how I would feel about a sibling now. I know that the chances of him finding someone who will have kids with him past 50 is slim but them with his Bipolar hyper sexual activities there could easily be an accident. Even the thought of him getting married makes me jealous, he has always just loved me and if he has someone else he might forget me. I don’t want to cause problems and I wouldn’t but after almost 20 years of being my dad’s little girl, anyone new coming into the picture would be scary and rejecting. It scary to think that I may have taken on the wife role in my parental household without meaning to. It was a big open space and I stepped into it. I need to someone remember that I am their daughter, not their mother or their wife. But then when you’re an only child with a disfunctional home you can be pressured into inappropriate roles that were never intended for you. I just wonder if I’m still emotionally in those roles even if I’m not actively anymore.

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Calm thoughts.

November 26, 2011

I’m in that kind of mood where you really start to think about things, not in a quick, rushing upsetting way but a quiet way. Since starting my meds, my head has been quiet and it’s very confusing. There have been a few situations as always where I would usually cry, kick off and thinking about harming myself but I’ve just been thinking “Right now I SHOULD be thinking about harming myself, but I’m not.” The fact that I think should obviously shows how distorted my thoughts still are but at the same time it’s only because that’s what my mind naturally jumps to so to not feel like that it odd. My head is so quiet, it’s like it doesn’t know what to do with itself if it isn’t thinking of it’s own demise. I’ve even tried to saying to myself “come on, you’re upset at something, get angry, want to hurt yourself” but those thoughts will stay for a second and I forget about them. I just don’t want to. I don’t want to hurt myself. It seems stupid to me that it could be the meds because it’s only been a few days but I really don’t know. I haven’t have an outburst at all and I usually have at least a small one a day. There’s also been times where I’ve felt I would usually cry but I haven’t. My head is quiet. Things aren’t so extreme anymore, things aren’t that big a deal anymore. Yet no anti depressant works straight away. I’m not sure why I feel like this, I mean is it possible that it’s just working a little bit already?

I’ve been misinterpreting my husband’s usual tone as “snapping” more because I feel so calm. I’m usually quite on edge so his tone seems more extreme now, any tiny hint of frustration or volume now and I see it as him getting angry. I don’t want to be a zombie, I still want to feel things and I still want to cry but at the same time I haven’t felt real relaxation is a long time. I can still felt the anxiety twinges but they aren’t so bad. I don’t think this can be psychological on my part because I don’t have a good feelings about meds so surely if it were psychological I would feel worse not better. I’m still worried about becoming manic. I don’t have Bipolar but due to my dad’s bipolar that was the reason my old psych never gave me any anti depressants.

Also as suspected my dad went straight back into hospital on Thursday after being released on Wednesday. He couldn’t even get himself dressed he was in such a state and made my mum call an ambulance because he was having a panic attack. I knew it would happen and they just never seem to listen to us.

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It’s that time of year again.

November 25, 2011

No I’m not going to be blathering on about Christmas and the wonders of giving. It’s the time of the year that is the darkest of the year. S.A.D, depression, suicidal feelings and being alone on Christmas.It’s that time of the year again.

Suicides are at all an all time high around Christmas time and it’s supposed to be the best time of the year. The happiest. It seems like depression always gets us at times where we are supposed to be happy. So on goes the big smile, it can be painful to pretend but please remember that there are people who care and you can talk to. I have made so many useful contacts and friends through facebook and twitter. I know that when I am distressed or worried about something one of them will have the answer! If you don’t want to talk to someone you know then call the Samaritans, they can help you and talk to you. And if you know anyone who may be feeling down or alone this Christmas, if you can’t invite them over, please try and help them find someone to spend Christmas with (if they want to of course). Nobody needs to die this winter.

On a happier note, Christmas IS coming and I have been put on some new medication which will hopefully mean I get to have an un-depressed Christmas! It feels strange because this is the first year that I haven’t really treated Christmas religiously and I keep thinking, why do people who aren’t Christians celebrate a Christian holiday, surely that’s cheating? I would feel uncomfortable singing religious Christmas songs not being religious yet so many do.

As you can tell I’m really struggling to write some good lengthy posts lately and I’m sorry for that. My concentration hasn’t been very good lately and I’m struggling to find any topics to write about. I usually write here when big awful things happen so I guess a decrease in length and posts is good right?

 

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Too hopeful too soon.

November 24, 2011

As I said in a post recently, my dad’s mental health has improved a lot. However, with everything, something has to go wrong to make me feel awful again.

I know I said my dad was better but he still wasn’t good enough to leave hospital. I could tell from talking to him. He was rational but not well. And then just as the only person who is living near enough and is closely related enough to have a say in his care and what they should and shouldn’t do regarding him when he’s unwell, goes away, they let him out of hospital to go home to my mother. Of course this is the stupidest thing they could have done. With my dad’s sister away for 2 weeks there is no one to support him in his first 2 weeks out of hospital. Sure there’s the crisis team but what have they ever done for anyone. They are useless. They always expected me to sort his meds and make sure he takes them and mum won’t do that. They could have at least waited until my aunt was home so there was someone to be there in an emergency. Last time they let him out early he went straight back in after becoming out of control and dangerous. When will they bloody learn!

He’s still manic and looking for women to sleep with and if he finds them he will bring them to the house. I fear for him and my mother and there’s nothing I can do and nothing I will do. As of the moment I left home, I left behind the responsibilities I had put on me by my parents to look after them. The doctors better sort this out and keep him stable because I know when my aunt comes home she will be horrified.

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Diagnosis: Help or Hindrance?

November 22, 2011

I’m writing this by popular request of twitter.

Often people question whether a mental health diagnosis is a good thing. Personally I think it is a good thing aslong as it isn’t misdiagnosis and has been well thought out. To treat an illness you must first know what it is. Unlike many with a BPD diagnosis I was relieved when I was told what was wrong because I already had my suspicions. It meant I had a name to my “crazy” behaviour and could work on conquering. If you use your diagnosis constructively, it can work for you not against you. The only scary diagnosis should be one you haven’t heard of before. Because knowledge is power. Knowing what an illness is and how to fight it is the key to recovery.

On the other side being diagnosed with a mental health problem can mean that stigma is suddenly chasing you like a wild dog but then the only difference between you before diagnosis and after is that someone has told you what is wrong. Whether you are told what you have, not having a diagnosis doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

A diagnosis of a mental illness can sometimes feel daunting and scary and can often worsen symptoms because, hell, nobody wants to be ill. My dad will often use his diagnosis as a crutch by saying “But I can’t do that, I’m Bipolar aren’t I?” he’s someone who blindly follows the doctors and hopes the pills will make him better. He doesn’t actively take part in improving his mental health or changing his situation. So for someone like my dad, it probably wouldn’t matter what diagnosis he had, he would take the pills and be on his way.

It depends how you approach it. But it shouldn’t leave you feeling hopeless. It should leave you feel that there is hope. No, there isn’t always a way to “cure” it but there are ways of coping with it. When you get a mental illness diagnosis, don’t think it’s the end. It’s the beginning of a rocky path to a stable future.

Once people become less ignorant about mental illness, I know that a diagnosis will seem less scary. There will be less of a worry that other people will judge you and be scared of you. When there is more acceptance of mental health problems in society, more people will feel comfortable with getting that all important diagnosis.

I think one of the real problems is self diagnosis, once you’ve been diagnosed with one thing you can start thinking but I’m also this and this Oh! and this one. But generally recovering from your main diagnosis or controlling the symptoms of it will probably control the other attributes you’d find in other illness too. The main diagnosis is the important one and will usually take the others with it. Multiple diagnosis isn’t uncommon but then mental illnesses don’t like to be alone. I’d say I have Borderline Personality Disorder, Social Anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder yet I just say I have BPD because the social anxiety and PTSD are part of my BPD. Don’t cover yourself in diagnosis. You may have many diagnoses but there will always be one that sticks out and that has to be focused on first.

So that’s my two cents. I think it’s a help, but what do you think?

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Defeating the Bipolar monster.

November 21, 2011

My dad has improved so much. It’s been about three months now he’s been in hospital. I had avoided calling and talking to him since the move because it would make me very emotionally distressed and he would often become abusive if I refused to come and visit him that second. But I decided to call him and I am glad I did. He is so much better. I didn’t realise how much it really affected me because after hearing his voice coherent and well it made me feel a lot more emotionally stable. In 3 months I had visited about 7 times and that was even too much for me. It was very upsetting and distressing and J often told me I shouldn’t feel pressured into going because It’s no use making myself unwell when he may not remember my visit.When someone you love is mentally unwell and hospitalised for a long time you can feel like you have lost them. And you do lose them, you can lose the person completely, they are not the same anymore. But recovery is something different. When the person recovers it’s like being told that there was a mistake, the body they found wasn’t who they thought it was and the person you love is infact alive.

Family members would often make me feel pressured into visiting saying “oh it must be so hard for him”, of course it’s hard for him but it’s also hard for family. In the rush of it all loved ones of the person who is ill often get forgotten and there isn’t enough support for them. And with myself being mentally unwell too it makes it especially difficult. My illness becomes worse. For the past 3 months it was easier for me to pretend that my parents didn’t exist because they were both causing me so much stress it was making me sick. But to hear my dad’s voice, clear and okay made me want to cry. My daddy is back and I’m so scared of losing him again. The stability of my parents, even if I’m not living with them anymore, dictates my own stability. We all want to know that if things go wrong we have a stable family behind us to fall back on.

Fighting the Bipolar Monster is so hard and it can take people away but remember it can be fought and they aren’t lost forever.

 

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Savannah- The book.

November 15, 2011

As you may or may not know. I am writing a book. I am usually factual events in my life and inserting them into a fictional story about a girl with mental health problems.  I am calling the book Savannah. I’m not too good at writing fiction because I end up reading through what I’ve written and see that I’ve basically just re-written something I’ve read before. Yet with this story it is quite easy to write because I can experience the emotions when I write it. I mostly write when I’m feeling a certain awful way and then allow my character to use that to dictate what will happen in her life at that time of the book and what she is feeling. When I’m feeling good and decide to write, this is when she is in a stable emotional state, she will shift from mood to mood just as I do. It’s easier to write what’s going on with your own head and say it’s fiction.

The differences between my real life and what I’m writing are the setting and the events taking place. All the emotions are what I’m thinking and feeling at the time. It’s a useful way for me to write and create a piece of work at the same time. Especially when I lack the ability to not steal other people’s ideas. It’s hard to create something completely fresh and new. The characters in the story have new names but are all people in my life. Of course I had to make up an ending to her story but my story isn’t at it’s end and I am only 19. But I have found a satisfactory ending that I feel is fit. It’s not necessarily what I feel will happen to me but sadly it doesn’t end in recovery. The reason for this is that the books I have read about mental illness generally end in recovery and I wanted to show how it doesn’t always happen like that. Even if it doesn’t get published I hope one day I can finish it and be proud of it.