I’m warning you all now, if you want to read this, that’s fine, if you have experienced similar things, I hope this post helps you. But I warn you, it’s hard and dark, almost as hard to write as it was dark to experience. This post features rape, domestic abuse, mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, PTSD and unhealthy coping mechanisms. I want it off my chest.
Several years ago, I had a boyfriend, nothing special, just a boyfriend. It didn’t work, we broke up, he didn’t take it well. A few months later, I was bored, I confess, I was in the wrong, of all the people to invite to be a F.W.B (Friend With Benefits) the most recent ex-boyfriend was not the good choice.
However, on the pointless relationship went, until it got hot and heated at my place of work after closing.
It started as kissing, I explained it couldn’t go further, I wasn’t in the mood.
Apparently, it didn’t matter. I struggled, I cried, I tried to crawl away, it didn’t matter I got the sex I didn’t want.
A week or so later, I confronted him on his actions. I later heard he sobbingly confessed to our mutual friend that he had done something terrible, he was a rapist. I thought that was the end of it. It wasn’t. He later claimed I was a lair and it took a lot of work to stop my reputation being destroyed because he lied about being a rapist piece of shit. But either way, last I heard his life was falling apart, so I guess karma works.
I moved on and dated a new guy, he wasn’t great, he was quite mean, but I had no self esteem, so it seemed a perfect match; I had someone who wanted me and he had someone he could insult and belittle on a daily basis and be grateful for it. I moved in with him. You won’t understand my actions if you have never been as low as I felt at the time, the only reason I hadn’t killed myself before was because my family would have probably eventually missed me (I know now it would have destroyed them) but also because I was a coward, I couldn’t kill myself.
This boyfriend wasn’t any better. He raped me on a near daily basis, but I’d given up fighting, there was no point, it was only my body, what did it matter what happened to it? Weeks of abuse and unwanted sex later, my mind started breaking.
I had a mental break down in the middle of being raped. I lay there, trying not to wince, hoping he’d finish quickly, hopefully without anally raping me while laughing in my ear this time. He wasn’t.
I had plenty of time to watch something crawl through the wall, tearing the fabric between reality and my mind. Some huge snake-like creature with a human face, broken teeth and his laugh. I can’t describe it because it makes me retreat into my own head. Suffice to say, it was a twisted creature from anyone’s nightmares.
That’s the deal with it, that was the groundwork laid by mental illness, then I worked as an undertaker for a while, where I encountered racism, sexism and horrific comments such as one of my co-workers ripping the sheet back from a young suicide victim and shouting “Ta-da!”.
One of my co-workers undoing the lock on the bonnet when I was supposed to drive the hearse later that day. Thank any god you like that it didn’t blow with tropical wind that day or it would have been horrific.
Listening to a co-worker say a teenager deserved to die because he was doing graffiti.
This is the problem with mental illness, any of those things could have been enough to push me over, but it took all of them, grinding slowly through my mind, leaving behind unhealthy coping mechanisms, like drinking, self-harming or medication. Eventually I was signed off work for 2 weeks and that was when I started looking for a new job.
Longer story short, I was eventually diagnosed with PTSD, (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) GAD (Generalised Anxierty Disorder) and depression and had several sessions of CBT, which is all the NHS can afford to give to people, then they have to have 3 months away before they can self-refer themselves. Not good enough.
Anxiety and PTSD occasionally attack me, sometimes anxiety attacks to the degree that I can’t go outside, but I struggle through, same as others with mental health issues, I just don’t look like I suffer from mental illness, I am 1 in 4.
That’s right, 1 in 4. If you know 4 people, 1 of them with have mental health issues. Please don’t judge, the majority of us don’t choose to be this way, I don’t choose to stare out of my bedroom window scared to go outside becasue I might die. They might be stalking me. They might hate me. It might be the day I die.
Or on a really bad day, I can’t look in the mirror because she’s an imposter trying to take over my life.
But on a good day, I’m just like you, slow-walkers annoy me. Bad parkers make me want to get out adn park the car for them. Disney movies make me cry. Clowns scare me. Puppies and kittens make me shout “D’awwwwwww!” and drop everything to stroke them. I have been known to be late for dinner because Bohemian Rhapsody started playing on the car stereo.
I am in a happy, supporting relationship with a wonderful man who loves me despite my level of crazy! I write books, turning my thoughts and focus into something creative instead of carving myself up.
We are 1 in 4, there are millions of us adn personally, I think we need a little more support and a bit less ignorance.
But maybe that’s just me.