My therapist has asked me to write down a list.
A list of all the traumatic experiences that have happened to me in my life, that have contributed to my Bipolar Disorder and PTSD.
Right now, my therapist doesn’t feel as though I’m ready for the therapy called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). As far as I understand, I have to relive my traumatic experiences, have the proper emotional response, get over it, then have Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) so I can develop some sort of coping mechanism for the future. But until my medications are adjusted and I’m in a better place, I have to wait.
So, here is my list:
Sexual abuse around age 3 by a family member. I repressed this memory until it slapped me in the face at age 12, causing an intense anxiety attack.
Constant arguing between my parents, thanks to my father’s alcoholism, gambling, and pain issues due to needing a hip replacement. The pain issue turned into an anger issue; turned into a power tool being thrown at my mother, missing, and going through the window and landing at my feet; followed by an argument on a holiday with my father resulting in me taking a heavy duty power torch to the head.
As a “gifted child,” I was bullied a lot in primary school and high school. I still carry some of those emotional scars with me.
Funnily enough, my brain is currently trying to stop me from accessing more memories. Suck it, brain; stop being a whiny bitch and let me write this shit out.
When I was 16, my mother – being severely depressed – attempted suicide several times. The last time she tried, she had an argument with my father (now a better man, nothing like his days in my earlier life), and downed a ton of pills. I found her and her suicide note. I actively suppress the things written on that note, but if I actively access that memory, the note started with “I no longer fear death. In fact, I embrace it.” That sentence haunts me in my dreams. She is fine now, thankfully, but I refused to talk about it with anyone and pretended it never happened.
I was diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder when I had a panic attack at high school so bad my heart rate was 180, and I had to be rushed to hospital for fear of doing damage to my heart. Since that day, I regularly have palpitations.
I had a psychotic episode at 17, when voices told me to stab my mother. I became paralyzed in my own bed while lights shone down from the ceiling, and I was convinced aliens were coming for me, despite my logical brain telling me I was being stupid.
I was diagnosed with endometriosis and told I should probably have children before 25. I’m currently a week away from my 24th birthday.
I moved out of my family home to the capital of my state to attend university. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at this stage, and promiscuity, sleepless nights, shopping sprees, and severe irritability kicked in.
I dated a Muslim man for eight months. Toward the end of the relationship, I was emotionally abused, when he called me a dog. I went running into the arms of a male friend.
I decided I was the worst person in the world and went off screwing any guy who looked my way, drinking myself into oblivion, and eating pills like candy, just to numb the pain. I wanted to be used. I asked my male friend – now my fuck buddy – if he was using me for sex. He replied yes. I cried and said, “good.” Turned out he wasn’t using me: he was in love with me; as a result of my promiscuity, and his inability to tell me how he felt, he quit university, broken-hearted.
I started dating my current partner, whom I have been with for five years now. We lived with his sister, her fiancé, and their daughter. His sister is a lazy bully who cannot look after herself, let alone children (currently a total of three). Her fiancé is a violent, alcoholic gambler. After being made a prisoner in my own bedroom, we got our own place.
My diagnosis of fibromyalgia explained my constant pain and tiredness. Yay for inheriting every single shitty illness my parents have.
Recently, I have started to have feelings for a close friend, who also has a partner. While drunk, we have made out twice. I have feelings for him, but he is just attracted to me. I have immense guilt over betraying my partner, who is emotionally stunted. I think I’m just attracted to my friend because he has the social and emotional skills my partner lacks.
I was severely bullied at my last job until I began having daily panic attacks and getting into a screaming matches with a higher-up and former friend.
I decided to self-harm and contemplated suicide when the medication I was taking for five years stopped working. Unfortunately, while the medication stopped working, my now non-existent libido did not return.
Have also suffered Dermatillomania (chronic skin-picking) for most of my life, particularly my feet. It is disgusting.
Currently, I am plagued by insomnia, headaches, anxiety, shame, severe depression, guilt, and every other horrible feeling imaginable. According to my therapist, I have feelings of low self-worth. According to my friends, I have a much lower opinion of myself than everyone else does of me.
I am both numb and emotionally unstable. I can’t cry, even though I really want to let it out. I think of myself as selfish and horrible, a terrible person who doesn’t deserve what I have. I theorize that I have some subconscious need to sabotage myself. Every time something is going well, just to add some drama in my life. Why I do this, I don’t know. And as I have written this list in such a cold, emotionless manner, I find it odd that I can be so numb and feel so many negative emotions at the same time. I feel like a robot.
I don’t want sympathy. At least, I don’t think I do. I am just tired. Tired of struggling through every day with these issues. I want the problems to just magically disappear because I’m tired of fighting.
I know it’s a long road ahead to my recovery. And as much as I don’t want to relive the aforementioned memories, I am also excited for the first time in ages because maybe, finally, with proper therapy…
…maybe I’ll finally get some peace and closure.
A long, long time ago, my father invented the Internet. As in, he worked for network solutions and laid down cables that later became what we know today as the Internet. A few years later, that company was bought out and the higher-ups were given a fat check and let go. That’s the official story, anyway. It didn’t really go down like that, but I’m not allowed to tell that truth. I’m sketchy on the details myself, anyway.
So, my father started plans to begin his own business. While he waited to get things set up, he did day-trading of stocks online. One thing led to another, it took a while, and then his father died. Suddenly, the money he had saved was getting his mom (who later remarried) out of financial trouble. With his money for starting the business gone, he continued to do day trading and living off of his retirement fund.
As the years went by, and the stock market started to not do so well, my father became very depressed. He had many dreams of how to support himself, but nothing seemed to be panning out. One day while painting his home, he took a bad fall off of a ladder that was located at the top of some stairs. When he fell off the ladder, he went down the stairs, as well, and the ladder went with him. This fall left him in massive amounts of pain and feeling very depressed.
Not too long afterward, my mom received a copy of his will and his suicide letter in the mail.
That was a long day.
The police in North Carolina, where he lived, entered his home to find him alive, but very sick in his bed after taking an entire bottle of morphine. He proceeded to spend the next week in the psychiatric ward of his local hospital. Around this time, 9/11 happened.
That was a long week.
The doctors at the hospital pumped my father full of antidepressants and continued to see him on an out-patient basis. That medication was not good to him.
Here is where I will never know the full truth, and I’ll explain why later.
There is a small percentage of people who can’t take certain antidepressants. The medications do not metabolize well in them. My father is one of those people. It causes psychotic breakdowns and has led to some violent crimes (for other people – my father never got that bad), as well as memory problems and seizures. When my father went to talk to his doctors about what happened, they refused to discuss it and slapped a silence order on his therapist. My father stopped seeing them – all of them – as well as going off all medications. None of my doctors in the field have ever heard of problems like that with the antidepressant they had put my father on. So is it that rare? Or is my father that messed up mentally? More on that in a minute.
My father still has the memory problems and the seizures. He talks to people who aren’t there. Always has. He does this when he mumbles. He’ll never admit to it, but you can sometimes hear what he’s saying. He also has fanciful tails of the security clearance he used to have for the government, the people he advised, the projects he worked on. These stories are all the truth as he knows it.
Have you ever seen the movie A Beautiful Mind? My father reminds me of the home game.
Will I ever know the truth?
Only if my father receives a diagnosis that points us in one way or the other. And with my dad’s paranoia of the system – any system – we most likely never will see that diagnosis.
My opinion is that while at times I think my mom might have BPD, I’m pretty sure my father does. Everything fits well, and my acorn did not fall far from that tree. If my father is indeed having delusions, that would fit in well to Schizotypal, only in his case, I think it’s been his truth for so long, that he honestly believes it. Or who knows, maybe it really is the truth. As I said, I may never know.
I have to wonder, will I ever know the truth?
Spent the last two months hoping against all hope that my mother and father had not actually abandoned me and would recognize the generous friendly text I sent. We only exchange presents and Christmas cards each year through the post and have absolutely no contact other than that because my mother has been repeatedly out of control and dupes my dad into following her every manipulative idea – she is the expert after all.
I ended up feeling totally resentful that they had yet again ignored me, leaving me hanging, after that I had to place severe boundaries on them to stop them dropping in when they want, without asking regularly. I live 200 miles away from them and on my own and had clearly stated I did not want visitors at the minute thank you, and I would let them know when I did.
Even though I copied in others to the text – who responded within a day or two (so I know it was received) I got no reply from either parent. I felt manipulated after 6 weeks, and alone, and know it is my mothers method of control. It is possibly stemming this time from her resentment of me finally forcing an absolute boundary on her in the summer and threatening her with police if she didn’t stop what she was doing and actually meaning it since I had already spoken to them.
It is a tactic she has used before to manipulate/punish me into chasing them from what I now know is from triggering my fear they have yet again abandoned me. And yes I fell for it and sent another text.
And this time I got a reply from both of them! My mothers text was long, to control the conversation, where my dads text was very short with two lines.
My mother thinks she is a psychologist because she has a psychology degree, but she didn’t make the grade and couldn’t do the clinical psychologist degree or practice. I feel that she is really an amateur just like the rest of us but she makes others think and treat her like the expert with these ridiculously big theories of hers about people and why they are doing things that always make her look the overly kind martyr our relationship.
The thing is all her communication always makes me feel that we are lacking on a deep emotional level. It seems to be caring from the outside to strangers or people who don’t want to get involved and not read in context but if you experience it, it feels so hurtful, so nasty it takes my breath away sometimes. From someone considered to be so sensitive to others needs and feelings she can read them and speak for them to others?
Anyway I digress, this text started with congratulating ME for contacting them! After I contacted them originally and they ignored it completely 2 months ago!?
Next she gave an answer to my original question but made it so insignificant that it makes my original offer basically devoid, and it won’t put me in any special light at all.
The final point was classic, after having years of me being repeatedly abused by men sexually, physically, verbally, emotionally and becoming completely isolated from all friends and colleagues after my last seriously abusive relationship with a man who was diagnosed psychotic and completely betrayed me. I wanted to believe I could have a relationship with somebody/anybody and surely he must love me or be able to appreciate me? I was so physically ill from the stress of my last abusive partner that I actually developed an serious auto immune disease and nearly died. I didn’t see the symptoms and have had 9 operations in the last two years at the age of 44, it is blatantly clear to everyone I will not be having children of my own even though I would have loved to, really loved to, even if it was still physically possible and some man could see past the colostomy bag I now have as a result. My mother has taken it upon herself out of the blue this year to start announcing when every single woman is pregnant or has had a baby. The last point on her text was how someone who I don’t even know because she didn’t include the last name (I believe she wants me to fish for info) has had a baby. Something I can never do and on my own have come to a good place about it, until its flagged up by my mother who has also had her own children and knows it all….
It just makes me feel so floored by her every time and so crazy, even though I know we have a dreadful relationship where I literally don’t want to have anything to do with her and I know she is showing others including my dad, saying look how generous I am even though my daughter doesn’t want to have anything to do with me, and I am filling her in with all the family news and keeping her up to date, but with all the news from an entire family who basically abandoned me to her sick behavior my entire life.
I’ve tried having nothing to do with her, I find putting boundaries in place is absolutely impossible. I feel traumatized just trying to work out what boundary it is I need to put in place because I’m so unpracticed in it.
I’ve tried being what she wants me to be and its never enough. I’m upset, hurt and doing the bad things I learned from my mother/father in all my relationships. Trusting people I shouldn’t even though I’m looking hard and not trusting those I should. I learned to repress and not act on my instinct in order to stay safe from her anger and revengeful behavior once my dad and others weren’t around as a child. I take the wrong choices regularly due to the trust issues providing proof to my mother and the family, if they should ever need it, that I am completely the rotten apple and they are the long suffering martyrs all along.
And I keep hearing from my dad ‘Well you were perfectly capable.’