*Trigger Warning* Before continuing, please note, this post contains some emotional content as well as discussions of self-harm and suicide attempt which can be a potential trigger
I think this might be quite a raw post. I’m not sure how else to describe it, but I am experiencing intense emotions right now, I’m having suicidal ideation and my mean voices are having a party in my head saying things like: “haha we told you you’re a burden, you imbecile”, “you’re such a waste of space, what is the point of you? You’re a vegetable, you do nothing, you’re worth nothing, you take up too much space in other people’s lives, in your house, in the world. Too much. You need to shrink yourself down to nothing, so that others may be happy and free from your burden.” That is actually what my mean male voice is saying right now. I’m struggling to write this as he is getting louder and louder, and the louder he gets, the more I get my words mumbled; the more spelling mistakes I make. But I am set on getting this down in black & white. The waves are coming in and I’m still learning how to surf, but I am going to write this, I’m going to do it. You are not going to stop me this time. I’ve had enough
I won’t let you kill me. That’s where it will end, if I keep giving in to you or letting your words become my reality; that’s where I will end. In a lovely graveyard, looking down at my lifeless self wishing I had fought for me, for my life.
I have three voices, I’m not sure if I have told you about them before in detail, so I’ll do a quick summary. There is a mean male voice, a mean female voice and then there is a vulnerable child voice. I see this voice as a little girl, locked in a birdcage. She’s very vulnerable. The woman voice is either cruel and mean on her own, or she follows and does whatever the male says, and he (the fucker) is always extremely cruel. Many times I have cut myself so deep, as far as to need a large number of stitches, simply because he told me to. I was emotional to begin with, but he takes advantage of me when I’m like that; he then takes over LOUDLY and aggressively and orders me to do awful things to myself.
I haven’t got to the bottom of where these voices come from yet. I haven’t been in therapy long enough, but I’m becoming more and more aware and curious. My lovely therapist says that this is me becoming stronger; strong enough to slowly become aware of my own pain.
It’s fucked up isn’t it?! But I also find it fascinating. I think that’s partly what keeps me going sometimes. I’m fascinated by my own head, so even when I want to give in because its too painful, the thought of being able to understand myself keeps me going; I’m fascinated by me, I want to find out what happened and be aware of it; of how I feel, of how it hurts, of how it’s changed my life.
I’m going to go back to paragraph one now – I’m experiencing some intense emotions right now, shit is going down inside me, but one thing is different; this time I know what triggered these intense emotions and I’m trying to ground myself and stop my mean voices from taking over. I’m trying to understand them instead, and my conclusion is – they are telling me to hurt myself or end it all, because what I just experienced triggered such painful emotions that rather than sit with them, I would rather kill myself. So the voices come in and tell me to “end the pain”; I think they tell me things like “you’re worthless” and “you’re a burden” because I don’t let myself feel my pain, I shut down rather than feel, so these voices are the only way that I can get myself to notice that these are the things I think and believe about myself.
My experiences in life have resulted in these voices, they are what I think of myself, what life has taught me to believe. Now I can’t ignore them anymore, because the more emotional I get, the more vulnerable I get and the louder they get. They won’t let me ignore my emotions anymore. I have to deal with it. Usually I’d self-harm or attempt some sort of suicide, but today (and this is thanks to my psychotherapist) I am trying to understand rather than act to stop these difficult feelings & emotions; “what are you trying to tell me?” I keep asking. They keep throwing horrific words at me, but I think that is it; that is what they are trying to tell me “This is what you believe. You believe you are a burden and you should be dead. What are you going to do about it?”
Now I have to deal with these thoughts, voices and emotions. I’m letting them talk to me rather than tell me what to do. I choose what I do. It’s up to me how I act on their words.
I’m going to listen, write and stay calm. Fuck. This is so Mr. Robot of me.
Okay, I’m going to be switching thoughts now…Sorry if this is confusing, but I think I need to go through this confusing process because the pain & difficulty I am experiencing right now is the result of an abusive relationship I currently have in my life.
I’ve been learning about abusive relationships recently. My therapist gave me some material to read and its really powerful. I feel like everything that I experience lately is life changing so here is a small part of this powerful text my therapist shared with me:
“Not All Emotionally Abusive Relationships Are Alike.
Sometimes individuals or couples become confused about whether or not they are in an emotionally abusive relationship because their particular relationship doesn’t resemble those described by other books or by other experts on emotional abuse. But there isn’t just one type of emotionally abusive relationship – there are many. I have discovered seven primary types:
- One partner abuses and the other doesn’t.
- One partner began abusing the other, and the other partner chose to retaliate.
- From the beginning of the relationship, both partners have emotionally abused each other on an ongoing basis.
- It is not clear who is abusing whom.
- One partner sets up the other to become emotionally abusive.
- One partner is abusive due to a mental illness or personality disorder.
- One or both partners has an abusive personality.”
I went on to read about these seven different types of abusive relationships. And I have now learnt that abuse is not just physical; it comes in many many forms. As it turns out I have experienced emotional abuse my whole life, as well as physical and sexual abuse. I have always thought of myself as extremely lucky in life, a therapist once asked me if I have ever experienced trauma, I told her no, and was shocked by the question, I remember saying something along the lines of: “No, I have definitely never experienced abuse or trauma. I’ve been very lucky. I really don’t understand where this mental ill health comes from. I have no reason to be struggling. I should be fine” Turns out, I do denial very well.
Abuse usually comes from the people who should be taking care of us. The people closest to us. I didn’t know this. Now I see that I have been the boundary-less one in abusive relationships my whole life (not just romantic, but also with family members, past friends, work colleagues, etc). I have also learnt that it’s not their fault, they are in pain too, but our experiences in life makes us act in different ways. We all have deep unsolved issues and this pain along with our experiences results in us acting differently and having different personalities.
I am someone with no boundaries, my therapist has only just started to teach me about boundaries. I’ve gone through life with no boundaries. So the people I thought liked me and wanted to do good by me, were actually exploiting the fact that I am boundary-less; they abuse and I go back for more saying “I’m sorry that your abuse upset me, how can I make it up to you? Should I take on more work and do whatever you need no matter how much it costs me? Or “should I stay out of your way; not speak or take up any space in my own family home?” Or “I’m sorry that you leaving my side to go party in the Caribbean upsets me, I’ sorry that I am ill and suicidal and this makes you feel guilty for leaving. I’ll pretend I’m okay.”
I really need to highlight that abuse is not only applicable to romantic relationships, this also goes for family members, work colleagues, past “friends”…the list is endless peeps. So my advice to you is set boundaries, be aware, take care. Even though those people are present or have been, I also know that I am very lucky to have loved ones in my life who have been inspirational, supportive, empowering and just fucking fabulous and gave me strength to keep going when I wanted to give up.
So now, thank you to these people, today’s emotional episode will end differently; I will not harm myself or write a goodbye note and attempt some twisted suicide. I will ground myself by standing barefoot in my garden, surrounded by trees, plants and flowers. I will also write, write it all out rather than cut. I will also try and understand what I am feeling and why; what triggered this? I will try to listen to my voices without harming myself and I will also try to identify the deeper meaning of their words; what are they trying to tell me? Why are they saying these things?
One of the most important things I will do though is have a go at setting boundaries; I will let the person who triggered me know what they have done, how it has made me feel and I will request that they act differently in future. I will do this calmly and do my best to stay confident, because its about time that I stand up for myself. I am alive, I am here, I deserve to have space in my family home, in the world.
My, how things have changed. Sometimes I look back and question “Am I really still here? Am I really still alive?” And when I realise that I am, it gives me an even bigger push to keep going. Keep trying. Keep fighting. Always. It’s fucking hard but my only option is to keep going.
It seems like, more often than not, relationships are abusive. Now that I’m becoming more knowledgeable in this area, I now realise that pretty much all the women (and some men) I’ve come across or are still in my life, have been abused in some way. How are we not talking about this more?!