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Musings of a Madwoman 🖤

It watches, it consumes, it destroys- A journey of soul searching 🦋

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A second letter to my childhood self …

I’ve had many addictions . And they all came in different colours Blacked out, drunk.Crimson red flowing down my wrists and thighs, Dark blue clouded by depression,And who could forget the rainbow swirls of a borderline personality?But the worst of all? … Is when I see no colour at all. Not through the eyes of the unique individual I used to be. But the shell of that person  now doped out and drugged up desperately trying to forget.

Dear Little E

I wish I was writing this letter to tell you that you changed your life, that you recovered but truth be told … you never truly do. There’s good days but there’s  always a possibility of a relapse. Although today marks 2 months clean from cutting which is a huge victory in itself, the borderline personality disorder induced psychotic episode takes its toll on those who love you. The voices tell you that you’re mere existence is poisoning those you love, that you’re worthless and you should be alone forever, that it’s your fault your parents split up and so much more. The malicious faceless shadow people that seep from every corner and my whole body being filled with a nasty empty feeling that makes your body is rotting making you wish for your death.

That beautiful bubbly, blue eyed, perfect pale skinned confident little girl that you used to be changed. As I look in the mirror now at the age of 19 I see a depressed, bulimic genderless individual with scarred arms and thighs and sad tired eyes that hide a million secrets and lies.

I’m sitting here at 4am in so much emotional pain wondering where life is heading, bulimia physically and emotionally takes its toll on you as you realise you don’t really have control of anything in your life, the self harm urges are so strong that it hurts you to be near sharp objects because you know that any moment you could break and tear your skin apart, your self inflicted scars strip you of your confidence as borderline personality disorder renders you psychotic, constantly paranoid, in fear and stuck in a web of intense emotions that you find yourself depending on antidepressants and antipsychotics just to function . I realise that this is how life is now. That despite increased doses of various meds and counsellor, psychologist, psychiatrist, psych nurse and doctors appointments that relapses are inevitable.

But there is one person who saved your life more times than you care to remember, one person who was always there to pick you up when you were down and picked up the pieces when a relapse had you so broken you couldn’t see a way out,that one person who stuck by you through the various counselling sessions, psychologist visits, psychiatrist assessments, crisis meetings and nights in the ER when you self harmed so badly you had to be stitched up or glued back together. That person also is transgender, a history of self harm and psychosis and she is my girlfriend Sophie! And to this very day she continues to support you and you two support each other. 

Sophie came into my life and became your best friend. She saved you from a very dark suicide and still holds and cares for you when the psychotic episodes have you in it’s grip. Sophie is  truly your guardian angel, best friend and soulmate.

So Little E, the answer to your question is fairly simple and I think it’s fair to say you never truly recovered but you found the one person who will love you through anything, the one who sees perfection in your flaws and the potential you have. Instead of recovery you found the life’s most special gift – your soul mate !!  

Sophie I love you to death and I’m alive and  today 2 months clean  and I’m so much better off even though relapse happens. Love you to death baby girl and I’ll always be there for you.

Little E please stay strong. And because of her you have a reason to live and keep fighting and kick BPD’s butt!

Bye for now

At 4am you lay in bed listening to your favourite band reminiscing about all the things that you have done wrong. At 4am you think of all   those who have left, all those who abandoned you, all those who turned their backs on you and you blame yourself for their actions, you blame yourself for them leaving. Again you start crying and are reminded by those scars that you’re not as strong as you once were and no one can ever truly understand such a brutal addiction unless they’ve suffered it too.

A Life Changing Question 

“Are you a boy or a girl?!”

A question I grew up hearing much to my mothers horror and my delight. My mother would meet curious strangers opinions with a horrified stare or she’d fire a remark back and this situation is where my story begins …

I was just 10 years old when I was diagnosed with alopecia areata (hair loss in patches) later alopecia totalis because  within 6 weeks I’d lost 90% of my hair! Being so young the condition never really bothered me, despite my young age I did understand what was happening and why it happened to me. But there was one thing I never understood and that was 

“Why does being referred to as a boy make me feel so content and why when my mother corrected them about my gender did I feel this frustrated ?” 

In 2011 when I was 13 years of age I moved to an all girls catholic high school and it was around this time that I faced the biggest revelation of my life – not only did I not fit in anywhere – I was too tomboy, too military orientated, didn’t fit in with female peers and exhibited far too many masculine traits! My  ability to confuse people with my gender, my lack of common interests (among my peers) my lack of ability to properly bond (due to never finding like minded individuals) and  my fiery personality forced me even further into a corner and away from my peers all together . I fell into a deep depression and began to self harm and I was only 14 – undeniably I was incredibly different and it became a complex issue to my young mind and I lived in denial over the truth for years, maybe I wanted to forget or maybe I just didn’t want to come to terms with it. 

I spent years in denial and felt like my life was a lie though I continued to live like that and the more I tried to fit in the more my oddities became harder to hide and the more depressed I became- that was until I met my partner Sophie! I had not long turned 18 when I met Sophie (Robert) on a dating site. She too lived in heavy denial about her gender identity- i had finally found a like minded individual.

 But after spending years in denial I believe I finally got my come uppance. I was 18 years old and becoming increasingly depressed about the subject that had taunted me for most of my teenage years. Spending more time with Sophie only made the issue more prominent and April was the worst month I’ve ever had to live through and quite honestly I’m so lucky that Sophie was there to support me. 6 hospitalisations in only one month for self harm related complications which included stitches glue violent convulsions and even winding up spending a night in an inpatient respite unit!!

That night I realised I had to front out my feelings and  stuff before I ended up killing myself and that’s exactly what I did. First I came out to Sophie then my parents and my older sister and a few close mates. An unsupportive mother made things difficult though . I don’t know where I fit in as far as society is concerned but I don’t care what people think of me anymore and I no longer identify as a gender. I wouldn’t care if I’m gender fucked for a while until I work out where I fit in I’m only 19 and have my whole life ahead of me to explore life work myself out and Sophie (my never ending support who’s been there through everything from tears and psychiatrist visits to self harm and wound repairs) by my side.

I have a secure part time job, a hobby (an interest in acting – being accepted by a big talent agency and cast as a film extra for an NZ film being released next year). 2 new siblings from my mothers new relationship (older sister and a brother a year younger than me) and an 18 month old niece, an amazing partner, a career aim and my whole life ahead of me .

I  can’t wait to see what the future holds and I dream of the day when Sophie and I can move in to our own flat,have successful careers and eventually have a family of our own. To be able to say we have survived the worst day of our lives and despite being gender fucked raise a family!!
Sophie I love you so much and you have changed my life for the better. I’ll love and protect you forever.

Then I Relapsed…

****TRIGGER WARNING****

“We all get addicted to something that takes away the pain” – a quote so true 

I often used to wonder how people became “addicted to self harm”, to hurting other people through themselves. I never understood it until it was me that had collapsed into an untidy heap on the floor, crying and screaming  with the blade in my hand and blood everywhere ! After the first cut I was  taunted by  a lingering temptation after the second I was trapped in the vicious web. I didn’t realise I was addicted until I tried to stop.

I became seriously addicted to cutting in February this year when my life was seriously in the toilet, I have a bit of a past with self harm at primary school I didn’t have many friends and my only friend was 3-4 years older than me and was a self Harmer we both tried to break bones, in high school – my first year I realised I was confused about my gender, genderless but I went to an all girls catholic high school but was so was heavily in denial that I cut a few times nothing major though, its happened occasionally over the years since then but this year was so much worse – I’ve had more than 10 admissions to hospital and a night in crisis respite because of it! The most I’ve gone since that day was 26 days clean. It’s an addiction that will take over your life! 

Self harm is one of the worst things I’ve ever done, it’s hurt not only me but everyone around me and I rue the day I picked up that blade and made the first slice.

Then I relapsed

4 days ago I cut again, I am disgusted,ashamed and deeply saddened that I did that to myself after being 26 days clean! I became depressive and suicidal whilst at work. I saw some industrial grade craft knife blades in a box on the shelf  near my bench and those familiar suicidal thoughts and the never ending dialogue of Mia filled my head. I slipped one of those sharp little blades into my pocket when no one was looking. 

I felt like I’d been possessed by the thoughts and I’d lost what little control I had !! No one around me seemed to notice what I was doing. Moments later, I found myself In the bathroom as the adrenaline took over me as I repeatedly cut my thigh. Guilt and shame set in as the blood streamed down my leg. I ran back to my bench instantly regretting what I had done. 

The next few hours were pure hell. My jeans were soaked with blood and I sunk into a depressive state. When my girlfriend came to pick me up I just felt revolting. I hate making her  worried though. We arrived at the ER of the local hospital and I was still bleeding quite a bit. I climbed into a wheelchair and got triaged. Within 1/2 an hour a student nurse had me in a bed she asked me a heap of  questions then proceeded to clean up the bloodied mess. Another nurse inspected the depth of my wounds and concluded that gluing and butterfly at stitching them is the best idea.

My girlfriend held my hand as wounds were glued and fixed up! Whilst waiting I passed out!!! When I was ok I was allowed to go. I’m now sat looking at the aftermath of what I’ve done to myself and realised I’ve once again succumbed to this brutally destructive addiction. 
It’s 1am and everyone I love is sleeping and I’m breaking down again, it’s a brutal addiction and u realise I am both the victim and the abuser. This is reality for me now one cut was all it took for addiction to have me in its grip. It saddens me to catch my loved ones looking at my scars and they say that they’re ok. 

I remember when I was young and I thought when I was a teenager I would be pretty successful and happier than ever and how I’d be up till 1am partying it’s kinda ironic really because little did I know that at 1am I would be sat here in emotional pain covered in scars, really depressed and fighting suicidal thoughts!

Letter To My Childhood Self

Dear Little E …

As I lay awake at 4am broken and in so much emotional pain I only wish I had something more positive to say to you. I wish was able to tell you that life improved and you got better. There’s so many things I wish you knew and only wish I could have saved you from such pain.

I look at you so young and full of ideas yet so naive. You were a dreamer and you achieved anything you put your mind to. You thought life was rough then but you had no idea of what lay ahead of you. You were such a happy go lucky little person who took everything in their stride it saddens me that I know where you end up!

 You often wondered how someone could be so sad that they could take a blade and slice up their skin? You never imagined that you’d be the one laying in that hospital bed as nurses glued and bandaged wounds. You wondered how someone could hate themselves so much that they would go to extreme measures to look “beautiful” and not seeing how beautiful they are ? You never imagined you’d end up so unhappy with your image that you’d be the one that binged till you purged which ultimately led to you being diagnosed as bulimic at just 18 years old. You often wondered how difficult it could be to talk about your feelings with those you love? You never imagined you’d feel so depressed, suicidal, ashamed and guilty that you’d fake smiles and lie just to avoid their questions. And you often wondered how someone could  be driven up the wall that they feel like ending their lives? You never imagined that at 18 you’d face body dysphoria so badly that you’d attempt suicide by overdose and fight suicidal thoughts everyday. 

I wish I could say you beat depression and made a miracle recovery but in fact you only got worse. The horrific voices of Mia run through  your head every minute of every day,  your arms and thighs scarred from those dark days and nights being left alone with blades and haunted by memories of a life you once lived and a person you once were.

Self harm is an addiction of the worst kind. It’s one you never thought you’d be trying to beat. It’s nasty game where you are both the abuser and victim, it’s the addiction that had me admitted to hospital more times than I’ll ever  want to remember, it ended friendships and my relationship, it forced me to lie to those i loved and me as a person changed. I became so ashamed of myself  that I stopped living the life i had and hid myself away and became withdrawn from those I was close to. When I had a bad day that blade was my crutch. I rue the day I started cutting because it hurt everyone myself included. I want you to know how much I regret it. I’ll be 26 days clean today and the urges only get stronger and it’s hard to cope without it. If I could turn back time I would. If I could change anything it would be that.

I wish I could hug you and tell you all will be ok but I can’t lie to you. It’s a bloody rough road but stay strong a very special person will walk into your life and save you from hell and you’ll know when you do because the soul connection is just so strong. 

Stay strong 

Love Em

 Dying To Be Beautiful ~ When Mia Takes Over

Last week I visited the local eating disorders unit to meet with a psychologist who diagnosed me with bulimia nervosa. It has been a long year for me and I’ve had some major life disturbances. My parents separated a week before my 18th birthday and I moved in with my father (by choice) and we have my 6 and 8 year old brothers live with us 4 days a week and they look to me as the mother figure of the house, my family had a huge bust up then my own relationship suddenly ended, I attempted suicide, depression kicked in, and I was still heavily in denial about my life decisions and my self harm escalated to the point I was admitted to hospital 5 times in just 4 weeks! I broke my arm, developed appendicitis and had to have surgery, damaged the ligament in my knee in an accident  And somewhere in the midst of all my issues I developed bulimia. One positive thing that came out of it was meeting my girlfriend Sophie who is  transgender and she’s been a huge support for me through all of this – hospital admissions, appointments, surgery and my constant moaning about my life!

I turned 19 yesterday! It’s such a milestone considering how much has changed in just one year. I have had to grow up a lot even taking on a more parental role to my younger siblings!! 

But my journey with bulimia started 6 months ago when my ex spent a lot of time wanting sex and putting me down but ultimately dumped me because of my looks – fat thighs, scars and being into the gothic/punk fashion. I wound up in bulimias vicious cycle of starvation, bingeing and purging. 

I became obsessed with my weight and dying to be skinny became a disease ! But despite all of that the voices are the worst – voices that play like a never ending series of dialogue that plays in your head telling you things like:

“You’re fat”

“You’re disgusting”

“You don’t deserve to eat”

“You’ll never be beautiful”

Just to list a few!

When Mia talks “she” takes over your mind and controls you. Eventually you have no control of anything you do and you’ll go to great lengths to avoid people noticing! You’ll hide food, eat in secrecy, lie about where your money’s going and steal food all to satisfy her and in turn for your actions she transforms you into her image  of beautiful – you become physically weak, tired, you adopt the vomit stench (despite chewing gum,deodarent) internally your systems become a train wreck, your hair falls out, discoloured teeth, scars on your hands and that’s just the start. 

When Mia takes over she warps your mind and leaves nothing but chaos,depression,emotional turmoil and destruction in her wake. 

The song “Courage”by superchick is the perfect song to describe my battle with bulimia though. Some days are better than others but now I’m getting help and my psychologist using CBT and  making me keep food diaries, and setting goals for my recovery.

I think a lot about the past and I often go back to the time when my life was perfect – I had everything going for me. I had my career sorted and I had a family I could rely on and I was happy. But now I look at myself I’m dependent on meds to function, I have no clear career aspirations, my family is broken beyond repair, I have more issues than I can cope with and I’m the shell of the bubbly person I once was. 

I look at the army uniform hanging in my closet now gathering dust (after 4 years in the cadets) and I realise what I used to be and what I’ve become.

I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self to savour those moments of happiness because they won’t last and I wish I could tell my 16year old self not to give up because I look at my life and realise just how much I’ve missed opportunities and the day I stopped fighting for and chasing my dreams was the day that made me into this broken, downtrodden individual in so much emotional  pain.

 

Facing the Demon

It was one night in April of this year (2016) as I sat in a cubicle in the local ER having deep cuts glued  steri stripped and covered I was overwhelmed by guilt, shame and fear. I sat crying while being interviewed by the psychiatric emergency team. It was my third of 5 admissions to the emergency department in less than a month and my self harm was out of control! I had been on the downward spiral for a few months and my depression was at its worst. 

A few hours earlier .. 

My mate came over to find me sat on the living room floor numbed by shock with blood trickling from multiple slash like cuts down my legs. I scribbled a note to my father and then My mate rushed me to the local ER. And here we are …

So what was the result?..

The gruelling interview concluded after almost an hour and the psych team requested me to spend the night in a crisis respite/half way house. I said a tearful goodbye to my amazing mate who brought me here as he walked out of that hospital room looking overwhelmed as the nurse took me out to the car bound for the respite centre.

It was a sullen drive and I cried into my jersey sleeve the whole way ther and the nurse checked me in and left me in the care of the night nurse. I was shown the facility and my room, for the first time in my life I was nervous as hell as I wandered round the place. I spent the night colouring in a mandala picture that the nurse had given me and smoking my e cig with 3 of the other residents. Aswell as talking to my mate and parents.

Despite people asking me why I cut and what has caused my depression I’d shrug it off and act like I didn’t know but as I remember those nights I can now admit to others and ultimately myself  that I was and still am struggling with my life   as a result of parent separation and my life of being an outcast and I have done for the last 5 years since starting high school and it’s been watching  me since and it recently has been consuming me – my every thought and moment and its destroying me from the inside out. A counsellor I was seeing told me I need to tell someone what was going on and causing this otherwise I wouldn’t see my 19th birthday which was 5 months away! I was truly devastated by his remark but knew in my heart he was right. I was deemed a suicide risk from then on!!

I spent that night wishing I could be upfront with those I loved but still when people asked in denial and I said nothing. 
The next morning 

My father picked me up and not surprisingly it was very awkward. I have always been super close with my father yet when he arrived all I could do was hang my head in shame as he asked  me only one word

“Why?”

I shrugged and got into the car as he tried to ask the nurses the same thing. He was on a non disclosure so he got nothing. It felt like hours as I sat in the car overwhelmed by guilt and shame again as I traced the cuts under the dressings!

I wished I could tell someone why but I couldn’t. I realised though that I had to speak up before I ended up killing myself !

That night I learned the most important lesson of my life 

The only way to save myself and those I love is to face the demon within!

Otherwise it watches, it consumes and it destroys!!

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