I used to be able to walk.
Yes, I would walk to and from school as well as travel on two buses. I remember the fear rising up in me as I neared home. I was trapped in knowing I had to be home on time, no stopping or punishment and wanting to run away but having nowhere to go. By the time I got home my body was so stressed I was desperate for the toilet and in pain, dashing past you standing at the doorway.
Yes, I used to be able to walk. That day I walked back from the beach alone when I was nine or ten and that man, a rapist the police were looking for, who I luckily escape from, held my wrist so tightly I thought I wouldn’t escape. But I did. I screamed and caught him off-guard, only to be subjected to questioning from male policemen afterwards (as if I would talk to men about a man touching my private parts). I could never tell you. You touched me anyway. I felt I deserved it.
Yes, I used to be able to walk. I was a big girl. Quite tall and busty, with large feet that I hated. Size 7 feet at school. All the girls with their petite size 3’s and I had clumping great big brown Clarks sandals. How I hated you for those shoes.
Yes, I used to be able to walk. On a Sunday afternoon, as a teenager, I would walk to my friends house and we would love sauntering back past the Fire Station at the top of my road, hoping to attract glances from those ‘men of all men’. Often we did. They would lean out of the window, wolf whistle of shout a passing comment to make us blush.These men were safe to flirt with as they were ‘safe’ and we were unobtainable. Men in their uniforms with their precious jobs, real men, wouldn’t be bothered with two silly teenage girls. We saw many other silly teenage girls chatting to them too.
Yes, I used to be able to walk. I loved to have a reason to walk into town. I loved to be free. I loved to get out of that house, that prison, but I had to have an excuse. Such was my life that you had to know what I was doing and for what purpose, always.
Yes, I used to be able to walk. I walked every day to the park to walk the dog supposedly, when I was fifteen, to meet Terry, a man in his 40’s that you set me up with. It fuelled your sick fantasy. You fancied him but you left him to me. He groomed me, with your help, and was my first taste of sex. You were one sick woman. Not only did you put fear into me, rooting me to the spot wherever you were, you also showed me that when I walked away from you, my life was dangerous and that I was only alive to be used.
Yes, I used to be able to walk. I can’t walk now. Now, I hate you for my condition. This fatigue that has crippled me for years. This fatigue that has added four stone to my already large frame. This fatigue that has left me bed-bound and then wheelchair bound. This fatigue that right now, has me in the depths of despair as I’m told ‘you cannot move because of your stress response’.
My stress response that kicks in every time I am verbally attacked, like you used to do, for anything. Verbal attacks that as a toddler left me frightened, no petrified, immobile. Verbal attacks that rooted me to the floor. I couldn’t run. I stood frozen. Impotent. A child so frightened that I couldn’t function. Your spit as you sneered at me. The anger in your eyes, your hatred and viciousness. The utter venom that changed your face to that of a snakes. You spat your poison into my face and I was mortified. Years of that treatment still didn’t make me fight it.
I didn’t get used to it either. Every single time, I was still there, petrified and frozen to the spot. Every time. My brain became used to it. It became my response to fear. My response over the following lifetime to being verbally attacked. No response. Unable to fight back, I am immobile.
Yes, I used to be able to walk. Now I’m immobile. Years of being hammered and beaten down have left me with this huge hill to climb. It may as well be a mountain range. It may as well be. Even to walk more than 20 steps is like wading through sludge with a lead weight attached to my chest. Everything in my brain fights against moving. If you’re faced with a snake you stand still. You don’t run. You shrink into yourself to hide. You hope you are not seen. You don’t move, in the hope you don’t get bitten. Once you are seen, the attack is vicious and unrelenting.
Vicious and continuous strikes of that forked tongue. Vicious. Unrelenting. Scarring. Leaving its mark. Forever. My adoptive mother, the snake.
It is not a placebo or a fantasy. CBD oil has changed my life in ways that I could never have made up or even considered when starting this journey into well-being.
I went in to buy the CBD oil with my son, six weeks ago, after he'd had enough of seeing me in pain, with the torment it brought because of the lack of a quality of life I so dearly wanted but couldn't have.
I am, as you will see from previous blogs about mental health and therapy, 'a total sceptic with an open mind!' I thought that I may feel a bit less pain if I was lucky and this oil actually did something like a painkiller, but little did I know it would change my whole outlook on life.
My outlook was always full of hope. I've always tried hard to look to the future, hoping that I will soon be able to do more and through continued effort, improve my illness through my own bloody mindedness and sheer hard work when delving into my mental health via therapy or mindfulness.
I was told that it takes about six weeks for the CBD to start to alter and 'balance' your body.
The first striking difference was almost immediate, with a clarity of vision. I wear glasses but my eyes with them on are pretty good. I could suddenly see more clearly though, a very difficult thing to describe when you thought you saw clearly before! There was a 'sharpness' to what I saw, a clearness and clarity that blew my mind!
Secondly, my brain fog, a horrendous symptom of M.E and fibromyalgia, almost completely disappeared. Over the years since my diagnosis with these illness', I have had periods of time when my thoughts have been clear and my mind able to work, but these episodes were short and spread thinly throughout the year. Now, all of a sudden, I can write, create, think clearly, manage my finances, plan days out and travel! I can actually live! My mind is playing its full part of my being now!
I worried that my mind would become my tormentor, that with my new found clear thinking, I would feel so let down by my body that I would become more depressed.
Thankfully, although very slowly, my body is starting to adjust and change too. The pain I had, caused mainly from fibromyalgia (pain in nerve endings all over your body), decreased to aches and twinges, rather than the belting forceful sharp strikes of pain that want to send you screaming through the roof or the numbing toothache-like deep bone pain that I've suffered with for seven years. There have been two significant areas in my body where my pain has decreased. Firstly in the back of my neck, across my shoulders on my back and my shoulder blades to the front. The pain reduced, I can now move my neck without it creaking and straining, the stiffness having come out of it. The second physical pain reduction has been in my back and hip area. Two years ago I was in a wheelchair. Now I can walk a short distance with no walking stick, only a short distance still at the moment, but with no stick! My walking stick is significant because I get excruciating back ache that permeates down one hip and thigh, causing me to walk bent to the side with a limp. My walking stick helps to hold me up on that side when I'm walking. Now, I can walk with my back straight as the pain has gone. After a short walk (for me a short walk is probably about 50 steps) I can feel an ache in my back start and I stop and rest. I never expected a miracle, but when I went into the shop I bought the CBD oil and was asked what I wanted from the oil and replied 'I just want to be able to walk like a normal person', little did I know that just six weeks later I would be able to walk, albeit a very short distance still, without my walking stick, upright, with no pain.
So, the future. I have lots of work still to do to continue to improve.
My mental health has improved just because of my pain reduction and the resulting ability to get out, visit friends, go to the pub and listen to my favourite bands again and generally take part in life again.
I have been reading that 'Your gut is your second brain', an interesting read and source of my next huge challenge. I have to get some of the weight off that has come with years of being bedridden and inactive, eating the wrong food and generally not caring about myself enough to care what went into my body. Now, alongside the CBD oil helping to clear and regulate my gut, I need to support it (the CBD) to work. This is my next focus.
We have to work hard to keep moving forwards. Nobody said life would be, is, or should be, easy. Life has been a battle for me from the day I was conceived. It will remain a battle until I die, but now, at least I can have a better quality of life and some fun while I'm waiting!
Five weeks in and I'm astonished at the difference CBD oil has made to my life!
My first clear change, a distinctly changed sharpness in my sight, has stayed with me. I thought it might fade, along with my new found clarity of thought, as my body got used to the oil, but it hasn't at all.
I was told that the CBD will reboot my body in 6 weeks and I can feel it. Subtle changes as well as the big enormous ones. When I first visited the shop for my oil I was in a low place and in a great deal of pain. Everything hurt with my fibromyalgia, my shoulders and neck, back, hips and knees and oh hell, I was just so tired. I was exhausted. When the shop owner asked what I wanted from the oil I told him all I wanted was to be able to walk. I wanted to be rid of the pain and exhaustion so that I could just walk like a 'normal' person.
Today I think I walked further than I have for years with no pain (according to Google Maps 0.1 miles). I had parked up and managed to walk down to the beach, resting for half an hour and then returning to my car. Just as I got back to the car my back started to shout at me that I'd done enough, but, I'd walked, slowly yes, and with my walking stick as I was on the sand, but without pain.
It was a short distance but 'pain free' gives me hope. I have hope that I will walk gradually further and further before pain kicks in. Small steps but they actually feel huge because of the difference I feel!
I can see a future now. I'm hoping to go abroad next year to help at a medical clinic in Africa. I need to be fitter to do it. I need to not be a burden to the very people I want to go and help. Now I can see this future as a real possibility,
I was so reluctant to spend my money on this oil. When you have to watch what you spend you have to be so careful, but it's a life changer. Don't hesitate any more. If you are considering getting some, go ahead, but please, spend time researching where to go and avoid the oil in chain stores and chemists as the oil is often not as strong. See if you have a local hemp specialist shop in your area.
My apologies. I missed my '4 weeks on CBD oil' day yesterday because I am so busy having a life!!!!
Over the last two weeks I've become a Godmother and I've seen my brand new grandson and my other grandchildren. I'm so proud of the mother my daughter has become 'despite me' and my son, well, he is going from strength to strength and looks like he has landed a fantastic job in security.
I'm so happy and content. I know my change in mood and mental health, the strength I've found in myself to build boundaries and my lack of stress is a mix of the therapy and the oil, but I'm not worried about being unable to tell which has affected which parts of me. I think I started taking the oil at the right time, a time when I'd come to the end of my pain management psychology therapy when my mind was open and ready to embrace a change.
Physically I have no stress at the back of my shoulders or neck, no pain in my back unless I walk too far, I have got up and out of bed EVERY DAY, a huge thing for me! My M.E and fibromyalgia kept me curled up in bed in misery and pain at least three days a week still up until I started the CBD oil. I still cannot walk any further, but at least I am not in pain the short distances I'm managing any more.
This week, I have been up every day, freshened up or showered and dressed. I spend time 'resting' still, every day, but I'm up, sat on my bed reading, watching the birds feeding outside my window, listening to music or motivational video's, creating, writing or I'm out with friends, having coffee and cake or lunch, drumming or listening to bands. I'm having a life that's full of well-being ( and not in an ill, manic state) for the first time in my life. No, honestly, I really do mean the first time in my life! Depression and un-diagnosed bipolar have blighted my whole life (and my children's) but now I'm stable and content. I never thought I could be in this state of mind. Its truly such a relief. When I started my therapy I felt I'd lost my magic when I lost my mania. I'd enjoyed that highly excitable state of mind that let me feel free and let me do anything I wanted to without thinking about the consequences... but it was dangerous and disastrous. I never thought I could enjoy myself in anything but that state, but have found I really can enjoy life without the mania now, without the added alcohol and prescription drug mix!
I'm still working on myself. Years of depression and comfort eating, lack of exercise as I cannot walk far and muscle fatigue, have left me over-weight and with a distorted sense of my body. I'm working on this with my physiotherapist. Hydrotherapy and groups will move me forward, as will the continued support of friends and the very real future of travel in sight ahead of me. I have places to go and people abroad to see and I feel confident that I will get to a point where I may have to use my walking stick still, but I will be able to walk further and will be able to enjoy going to different places.
I have real, tangible, touchable hope now. I'ts been a long journey, that will never end, but its one that is finally getting easier.
Listen to Ed Sheeran 'Save Myself'.
Definitely a 'quality of life' change.
Clarity and creativity, reduced pain and tenderness and that brings the slight increase in energy to do more, because pain itself is incredibly demoralising and disabling.
I have enjoyed my clearness of mind the most. I can blog and write and have so much less brain fog. I am sleeping better and am just finding life a whole lot easier.
Yesterday I was able to go to a Christening, was up at 8.30 am, showered and did my hair (always exhausting), out to church for Christening then on to the party and managed to last until about 3.30 pm. A seven hour day for me is astonishing, especially as I didn't get to bed until 3.30 am the previous night and so had just 5 hours sleep, as I pick my son up from work late.
I'm only half way into the initial 6 week CBD re-boot. I cant wait to see what life is like in another 3 weeks time!
You know when you see people posting on social media and they make 'something' look so simple to do, especially if it is something that is without doubt positive and rewarding, and you know others would give everything to have that opportunity you are being given, but you, despite all logical thought, know that 'something' is going to be excruciatingly difficult for you, maybe not even possible, despite the positive consequences? Well, this happened to me this week.
Hydrotherapy. Yes, hydrotherapy!
Why so scary when I'm not afraid of water, but long to spend hours swimming in the sea and to be able to go swimming in my local pool?
Body image. That's my problem. It's not vanity, but years of sexual and physical abuse, years of disgust at my own body, years of self harm, years of shame and years of disowning my own physical body to survive.
Thing is though, that I've been to therapy. I've been working for the last seven months at working to bring together the separated parts of my 'self' (which you can read about in my previous blog 'A letter to me'), which included me 'owning' my physical body and all the feelings that brings forward, for the first time in my life.
Now, I'm nowhere near accepting my body. No way near. I still struggle with feelings of repulsion and disgust but, the EMDR work I have done with my health psychologist and the joined up work with my physiotherapist, has meant that its time to start on my next big challenge.
So, I walked into the hydrotherapy room and fear found my belly. To be truthful, that fear found my belly when I woke up that morning and my IBS that has been totally quiet for months decided to rear its ugly head!
I had 'seen' the pool on my previous preparation visit so was prepared in that sense, but I stood there looking at the pool and felt 100 miles away from actually 'getting into it'. Despite my fear though, I also felt strangely calm in the rest of my body, but waves of doubt and weakness washed over me and I felt drowned by them.
As I think about it now, the thoughts and feelings I had were akin to having an EMDR session in my head.
I started by thinking 'Look at it. Its a pool. Water that's warm and you long to get into. You know you want to swim again. You know you've got a terrible back pain that could be relieved by this. You know that so many people would love to be in your position right this minute, and have this opportunity. You know that the previous session was a group of people in the pool and you are wasting everyone's time and resources by being here, just you on your own, when 2 or 3 other people could be in here. You know that this is your one opportunity because if you don't do it today, you know you will never do it and will walk away. You know that if you don't get in you are going to be furious!
As I would though the EMDR process, I went with the feelings and was able to work through them as I stood with my physiotherapist, looking at the pool. He was so patient. I knew he had read reports from my psychologist, understood the work I'd been doing and we had met on a couple of occasions previously, so I put my trust in him there and then. I swore as the feelings ran through me. I felt rushes of courage and then swathes of negativity wrap themselves around me, taking me prisoner. Then determination stripped bear that negativity and in its place frustration at my inability to make myself function as I wanted to, despite my logical brain fighting to push me forwards.
I had the discussion as to whether any part my difficulty getting undressed and into the pool was about my physio being male...
'Male Physio' reasoning in my brain right then - 'Hell, my body is disgusting but he is a professional and you've had children and know that 'medical people' don't see 'bodies' as sexual (even though your physio is 'lush!'). He's seen so many people of all shapes and sizes he wont bat an eyelid'.
'Female Physio' reasoning in my brain right then - ' Its hard enough doing this without the added complication of feeling inadequate as a woman, weak, pathetic and childish!'
As I worked through the feelings and 'voiced' them, anger swept through me. Strangely for me though, not anger at my disgusting body for being attached to me, but anger that I might fail to get into the pool. I am not sure I've ever experienced my own anger as a 'positive' feeling. It was a force that pushed its way through into my logical brain and said 'Now's your chance girl. Don't blow this. You are the strongest woman I know. You can do this. You will be really pissed off if you don't do it. Don't let yourself down or I will be furious!'
'Get over it!', I told myself. I hate that phrase because it negates the severity of a situation so often, but nevertheless, this is what I needed to hear from myself.
I asked the physio to go into his office (he could hear me if I slipped, needed him or got into trouble) and I marched my body to the changing cubicle, made myself get undressed (swimming costume already on and wearing my t-shirt) and I walked to the pool.
I got in and sank into the warm water. It was wonderful! I felt a little detached for a moment or two, having to catch up with myself that I'd actually just spent the last few seconds of my life walking into that pool! My astonishment at my achievement dawning on me, I giggled and couldn't stop smiling. My physio came to the door of the office and sat on a chair. What a wonderful insightful person. He knew that if he came to the side of the pool or stood even back a bit against the office door, I would still have struggled as he could have seen the whole of me in the pool.
As it was he let me 'wallow' in my pride in myself. I moved about and felt the warmth in every part of my body. Still a little conscious when I lay back and my big fat legs rose to the surface, I continued moving around. I concentrated my mind and let myself 'attach' a moment of stillness, enveloping warmth, relaxation and contentment to what I was doing. Then I let the joy back in, feeling the comfort of moving my body so freely and (dare I say) gracefully, without pain. I 'walked' along the pool with ease. I can't really describe how utterly happy and thrilled I felt!
I did it. Another victory and a step towards making my back and other muscles stronger, in the hope that I will be able to walk better and 'upright', grow stamina and fulfil my dream to be able to travel without the pain and discomfort I've experienced in the last ten years.
Thank you Kate, my health psychologist and Chris, my physio. Thank you to the mental health wellbeing/pain management team at NDDH for providing a joined up service that for me, is working so well. Thank you. I have a future now.
I have attended a great deal of therapy throughout my life.
Some types of therapy have been especially helpful for me, but I want to invite you to be open minded, because some types you may not think can work for you but might ... you don't know until you start them.
In my early adult life I was fortunate to have the most amazing GP, Dr Chapman, in Newbury, Berkshire. He was the person who saved my life literally back then, as I was in despair. Twenty five years ago, he even put down in my records 'Bipolar?', a diagnosis I wasn't to formerly have until 2017! He wouldn't have been able to formerly diagnose me with that as he was a GP and not a mental health consultant, and there were few opportunities to access serious mental health services back then unless you were taken into hospital and sectioned.
I used to book two 10 minute appointments and still run over my allotted time! I would see him twice a week and I must have been a burden, but he was so interested in the complexity of my mental health. He was definitely a 'head doctor' and I remember hearing people complain that he wasn't interested in other types of illness. He should have been a mental health specialist, as he was so good. It was him that finally, after many years of working with me towards it, supported me to meet with my toxic adoptive controlling and abusive parents and tell them I would never see them again.
A few years later and after a few weeks as a voluntary patient in a ward at a huge Victorian mental hospital in Wallingford, I had the opportunity to do some real work on myself in a Therapeutic Community (T.C). I would attend, along with about 20 other 'clients', 5 days a week from 9-4 pm for two years! It was an awesome set up. It must have been very expensive! There were specialist Dr's and nurses, psychologists and psychiatrists, art therapist, sports therapists, 1:1 counsellors, Gestalt therapists and every manner of full on all round holistic mental health support. We had to gradually come off our medications for any mental health illnesses so we could work with who we really were. I came to love, rely on and feel totally supported in that environment. I met people who have influenced my life every since, but we were all very ill people. It was a 'full-on', traumatic, challenging, distressing, fun, energetic, stressful and comforting two years. As a whole my stay there was very positive and rewarding, the main negative being that I was there in the day and age when the mental health world thought everything stemmed from being sexually abused by your father. One therapist in particular would not hear me say my adoptive father had not sexually abused me. She thought I was in denial. Over time she found out it was my adoptive mother who had been the monster!
It was here I learnt what anger was. One day one of the other clients was talking. I was shaking like a leaf. One of the therapists noticed and asked me what I was feeling. I looked at her and said 'nothing?'. She invited me to notice what my body was doing. I realised I was shaking. Through some following work I found that the shaking was my anger. Anger that I didn't recognise internally as I had been so wonderful at covering it up within myself. From then on, I noticed when I began shaking, took on board that it meant I was angry, looked within myself to acknowledge it and over the years it has levelled itself out, and now, like most people, I know the angry feeling first and then start shaking! It was a very valuable piece of work. It was at T.C I also stopped self harming. I had self harmed from a young age but as a teen and young adult, cut daily. In therapy I found other coping strategies. Art therapy was the one I enjoyed most as a group, I loved playing volleyball and I enjoyed 1:1 work. I value this time immensely. It was life changing and I believe, I only had the opportunity to attend because I was open-minded and willing to be open and talk about my feelings.
I had bits and pieces of fairly useless (as unfocused) therapeutic intervention over the years until being invited in to see a specialist in EMDR a few years ago. "Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a form of psychotherapy in which the person being treated is asked to recall distressing images while generating one type of bilateral sensory input, such as side-to-side eye movements or hand tapping." I was a little out of the normal perimeters of being given this form of intervention as it was being used, by only one therapist I believe in North Devon at this time, for PTSD. As I had complex needs, it was felt that I may have had too much to be able to specifically focus on one aspect of my trauma, however, there was one aspect that haunted me particularly, and so we set to work to see if the therapy worked for me.
I have never known anything like it! At first, sceptic that I am, I went into the therapy thinking 'how can a light moving backwards and forwards change the way I feel'. Oh boy, was I in for a shock! The therapy was incredibly intense, unlike anything I had been through before. In the space of minutes I would shock-wave through feelings of extreme anger, distress, sadness, fear, loathing and hate, like a roller-coaster. It was absolutely exhausting ... but it worked. It worked so totally that it changed my life. In a space of, I think, only about 6 or 8 sessions I was able to face one of my greatest fears, not being scared of any woman that looked like, had the expression on their face of or the temperament of my adoptive mother. Until this time I hated to look women in the face. I was petrified of women who had hard faces and looked angry, even if this was just their normal face. I avoided them like the plague, desperately feeling in fear of my life. Since this time, I have even been able to tell women that I used to be scared of women who looked like them (that makes for an interesting conversation!).
On to 2017 and I was diagnosed as having 'Bipolar Disorder', following a long drawn out manic episode which left a devastated wake behind me and led to painful relationship breakdowns, unsafe and risky behaviour, suicide bids and behaviour that I only remember from one other period in my life in that severity.
I had been attending pain management due to my M.E (Myalgic Encephalopathy) and Fibromyalgia but had come into a session in a dreadful state and a psycholgist at the clinic was asked to come in to check on me, suggesting I go to see the Crisis Team at the hospital, leading to my diagnosis. Following re-referral, for the last 7 months I have been working hard with this health psychologist, to reduce the physical pain in my body caused by my trauma.
I did not know she would offer me EMDR because I didn't know how much more widely used it is now, but it has, once again, been an amazing tool for me. You can read about my journey in my previous blog 'A letter to myself', but I want to say here, thank you to my awesome psychologist. She allowed me to feel safe to explore all parts of my history, all parts of me and was experienced and skilled enough to recognise and draw out the trauma triggers in me, equipping me with the tools I needed to be able to manage the feelings that came from those sessions. I am especially grateful that I could use EMDR. It was far more gentle than my first encounter with it, but none the less, very tiring, emotional and distressing at times, but ultimately healing.
I am embarking on another traumatic thing for me from tomorrow. "Hydrotherapy. Traumatic? Why?" you might ask. Well, it means I am forced to 'think' about my actual physical body, a discussion touched upon many times in my therapy. Sexual abuse, self harm, avoidance, comfort eating and many more difficulties are involved, but I feel ready now to move forwards on this next healing therapy with my physiotherapist.
My message to you is this. Go into any therapeutic work you are given the opportunity to have with an open mind. Go in as honestly as you can and be prepared to have to 'trust' before you will get any 'reward' from your therapy. No therapist, counsellor, Dr, psychologist or psychiatrist can do anything for you unless you are able to verbalise what you need help with. They will give you time to do this. Prepare yourself. This is YOUR opportunity. You have to do the work. Don't even start the work if you are not ready to 'move on'. What is the point of going from session to session if you are not willing to listen to their expertise and advice, use the tools they are giving you and work yourself to move forwards and learn about yourself? You may have to accept there are parts of you that are dysfunctional and do not help you to life a fulfilled life in society. Maybe you find out that not only were you bullied but you were a bully, not only abused but also an abuser, a victim of anger and violence but also a giver of anger and violence. We have to work with the things that are wrong with the way we behave and find a way that makes us happier and more content. Be kind and compassionate to yourself. Most of all, give yourself a chance to change if you get the opportunity. Grow Your Own Soul xxx
On September 26th 2018, I started therapy that was to change my life.
Now, in my final weeks, my therapist suggested I write a letter to myself about my journey. Here it is.
What a huge pile of ground-in dirt, damaged pieces and crumbling mess you've had to crawl through to come out on top ... on top of 54 years of trauma so deeply ingrained that it affected everything you did, everything you said and every relationship you ever had with any person.
You've braved looking at the baby you were. Little Tamsin Dawn, nurtured for a couple of weeks and then left to be adopted. You've cuddled and comforted her, mothered her and accepted her now. She doesn't need to still be searching for a mother. You've taken her into your soul to nurture forever.
Then there was Kizzy! A spirited imp who fought like a tiger to survive the torment and abuse of her adoptive mother. You've been 'acting out' as Kizzy for years, 'Kizzy the Diddakoi', hanging on to a children's TV programme in the hope of being free to live independently. What a fight to survive. Every bit of wit you have about you now Kiz, was Kizzy's hyper-sensitive survival mode in play. Every look from a passer by, everything a person said, every movement or utterance, Kizzy tuned into, to make sure she wouldn't be attacked and destroyed. It is great to see Kizzy resting now. She still drops in having a skittish moment now and then, brings a giggle to the table and plays. She can live the life she longed for now. Independent and safe. You've saved her Kiz.
Hilary. What a name to have written openly here, yet a name you had for your whole childhood and teenage years Kiz, from being adopted until you finally got rid of your toxic adoptive parents, a full 30 years after being named. You hated that name when we started this therapy Kiz. You could hardly bear to speak it and it took until half way through your therapy before you would even acknowledge her. You are still working on actually liking her, but at least you are accepting of her and don't hate her anymore. You are not beating her up and berating her any more. Be kind to her and always be mindful of the fact she was protecting you. Be compassionate to her Kiz, because you are so easily compassionate to others, but if anyone ever needed compassion, it's her. Hilary the teenager and young adult was controlled in the most appalling manner, likened to living in a cult, she looked after Tamsin and Kizzy in the only way she could, by taking the hurt and pain that was inflicted on her, into herself, so they (Tamsin and Kizzy) wouldn't be noticed and made vulnerable, they wouldn't suffer as she was. The sexual abuse and the messed up understanding of relationships was not her fault, but lessons she was taught and had to obey so as not to be killed. The self harming and suffering with chronic depression took its toll and made Hilary a sallow and dreary person, an oddity at school, an easy victim to bullies and a quiet, watchful and unobtrusive soul. She had to become your very own control freak ... watching everything around you intently, manoeuvring and swerving to try to stay safe and not get attacked. Of all of the parts of you Kiz, Hilary has been the hardest for you to accept. She still makes you angry sometimes. She still triggers self loathing and beats you down, but the more you come to terms with the fact she saved you Kiz, all parts of you, the easier your life will be.
Since you've become Kiz, the adult, you've had to continue to battle your demons, the demons you thought were Hilary, but actually the very demons Hilary has been holding onto, so as not to spread to Tamsin and Kizzy. Now Kiz, you have taken those demons from Hilary and set them free. Hilary is not holding onto them anymore. She held them for far too many years and the toll has been enormous both physically and mentally. It's been really hard for her. She has been holding onto those demons for so many years and she sometimes grabs them back for a moment. Be mindful. Look after her. Its your turn to protect and let her have a life, let her now enjoy music and dancing, being out with friends and being creative ... all the things she was unable to do as she had to grow up so quickly. Let her enjoy her freedom, her time and uninfluenced thoughts.
I'm proud of you Kiz. Really proud of the strength you have. Proud that you are finally understanding what equality in relationships and friendships are, putting in boundaries and finding stability.
Your diagnosed illness', the ones that brought you back to therapy, you know where they come from now, why they exist. Your brain was not nurtured and loved by your 'formal caregiver' as it should have been. You've grown up in a highly toxic, life threatened and dysfunctional state of being and your diagnosed illness' are a result of that. Your depression has all but gone. Yes, you get low days, days when the old demons come knocking, but you are no longer suicidal (you must be mindful each day and watch for those old demons though!). You have found some contentment in your life. The consistent pain you have in your body where it spent years being unreleased, now has an outlet. Your exhaustion will hopefully start to be alleviated, as you treat yourself more kindly and compassionately and take life at a more normal pace. Your new diagnosis of bipolar, well, we will see how that manifests, now that the desperately low and devastated Hilary and the manically highly anxious Kizzy are in a better frame of mind!
Laugh Kiz. Enjoy your life. You have lots of years left. Enjoy the love you've found for Tamsin, the relieved laughter Kizzy can now have and the carefree life Hilary has in front of her. Keep all of those parts of yourself safe, close to you, because they are yours. No-one can ever harm them again. You are an adult now. You have the power over your own life to be in control of it. You will continue to get things wrong because you are human. You are allowed to be human now. You can't be hurt for just being alive anymore. Live.
I'm so very proud of you Kiz. You are now complete.
I love blogging about all kinds of things ...
Go to 'catagories' to have a look at some of my blogs on adoption, trauma, pain, disability and some of life's difficulties, where I write about finding hope from the pain and trauma, giving you encouragement and information to move on yourself and grow your own soul just a little bit more x