What Mental Illness is to Me

This is something that’s really hard to describe, what mental illness is, as it varies for every sufferer, every illness, every diagnosis. As some know from my last post, I suffer from depression and high anxiety. Lucky I’m slowly “recovering”. I don’t know if I’ll ever fully recover, but I’m doing some healing. And I doubt my path will be smooth, without some dips back into the hell-hole of a major depression episode.

for my personal experience (not my view of other people’s experiences that will be the next post), well I know what I felt, what I didn’t. I’m going to try and figure out where to start, when it took over my life, or when it reached the point of no return -get help or slowly die. For the background information, please see my last post, as it has a brief over view of the challenges I faced growing up (it would detract from the point of this entry). a pinnacle point for me was the one time I felt really suicidal, I was in so much pain, I was scared, and I wanted it all to stop. but as I set everything up, and wrote my note it all started to leak away. And I found something in me that would stop me from ever considering suicide, or feeling suicidal again. I was in gr.6 at the time. It was some time before my father was arrested, same year as 9.11 . I was not better, in spite of no longer feeling suicidal, actually, my pain would only get worse. I started writing poetry, a lot of poetry. I’m still writing  it. when I have my latest piece finished I’ll YouTube it (the first piece I feel good enough about to do so). all the poetry that was written for myself, rather than school, talked about clouds, dark clouds, loneliness, and sadness. when I reread it I can feel the pain I felt at the time. but something was happening with my emotions at this time, as people stopped listening, and the bullying at school and emotional abuse at home increased, I started to be unable to write, to access my emotions, to feel them. I was becoming numb, in a bad way. from gr.9 until spring 2010 I was numb, so numb I didn’t realize it. I hurt, but only for a breif time, I was still depressed and in pain, but I couldn’t feel it anymore. every few months though I would reach the boiling point, and cry. great racking torrents that I would have to hide from my mother (because she wouldn’t understand, since she was one of the causes). The summer of 2007 was the summer of mistakes for me. I was offered a job, in my home town, where my mother worked (the only job she ever held while I lived with her). I should not have taken it. because what I didn’t know was that those summers saved me. they literally saved my life. by the end of gr.12 I was a mess, because I could not get away from my mother. I also was having health problems, as my asthma had decided to flair, along with needing new glasses, and having sore feet (which I now have custom inserts for). that year, my mother decided not to go back on welfare when she lost her job. she bought pet food over human food, and by the time I graduated I was lucky to get one meal a day.

it got a bit better the next year, because she wasn’t around as much. but my anxiety didn’t take notice of that. my depression didn’t thaw. why, because until the fall of 2010 I was sleeping on the couch at home, with no room for myself or my stuff (and my grandma has this strange idea that only her stuff belongs in sight). so I was trying to go to school, and sleep. when my brother would try to have friends over, or game. it got worse the next year, in 2009 I got a job working at the same store my grandma worked at. by the end of the year I could barely function. My depression and anxiety was ruining my life. my mother’s visit tipped everything over the edge. she was only there for a full day, and I broke down, cried really hard, and packed everything up so I wouldn’t bother them anymore. (and had my grandmother stepped up, rather than tell me not to tell my mother to shut up, this might not have happened. as my mother was trying to say she should be able to irritate me, via tickling me (which I can’t stand), or high-pitched sounds, because she didn’t see me very often). I really should have mentioned this sooner, but for most of my life this has played though my head “YOU are Worthless, you are not worthy, you are nothing”; “you are only a drain on the family, you can do nothing right”;” you weren’t even planned, you were a mistake”;it’s your own fault you don’t have any friends”

at this time I was also coming to terms with my sexuality, and mental health issues. as in I’d finally accepted that I was an asexual aromantic, and that I needed to get help. I just didn’t know how to get help, I have no driving license, and didn’t really know how to get anywhere. but in February I finally wrote down the number,  and about two weeks late went in for intake evaluation, and probably a month after that had my first counseling session. during those last few months, before I got help I was at my numbest, I can’t really think of how to describe it. for me it’s like my head it a semi-circle, and the only emotions I could feel were at the edges, at the top, the rest was a void, numb icy void. sadness, happiness couldn’t be felt.  And while I wasn’t suicidal, I also didn’t think I should be alive. that I deserved to live. I also didn’t know I had anxiety until my first session with my first councilor. (which is why it’s bare of anxiety symptoms). after that, know that people believed me, knowing I was going to get help, I immediately started getting better, though it’s taken two years for me to feel that I’ve made any sort of progress.


Who I am, Why I am Mentally Ill

This topic is hard for me to talk about. Yet it comes up for me a lot.

I suffer from chronic depression and high anxiety. Yet I’m only 22, I’ve been suffering for over a decade. I know most people won’t believe me, when I say I thought about killing myself when I was eleven, or that from the time I was 8 I dreamed of running away. Not all the blame is due to my child hood, which I’ll go into at length. Some of it is genetic. At least two other people in my maternal family have been diagnosed with mental illnesses.

most might think I’m some spoiled middle-class kid, who doesn’t know how good she has it. I’ve been accused of that before. I’m not, My mother is a welfare bum, who refuses to get treatment for her own mental illnesses. She was a welfare bum when she decided to get pregnant with my older brother, and when she accidentally got knocked up with me. When I didn’t live with her, I lived with my father, and the kids he was raising (the eldest, my half sister, the other two my step sister and step brother), so I was living with 6 other people, on a mill-worker’s wage. When I was about 8 or 9 my stepmother OD’d, and that was basically the last I saw of my step siblings, who went to live with an uncle of theirs.

when I was seven my mother was diagnosed with cancer, for ever changing her. before that she cared a bit. now she hated me. Or at least she loved me less than she had before, and loved my brother and everything else more. In the following years as we all know, I began to think and loose the innocence of my youth. I began to puzzle things out, to realize the world isn’t perfect. During this time my mother was starting her emotional abuse, if she hadn’t always been abusive. She and all my family set the stage for my mental illness that I deal with today, because I was such a serious person. I was told not to cry, that it’s bad to cry. I cannot let myself cry any more. I was told that the only reason my mom kept me was for the money. I was made to fear welfare, as “I would never see my family again” if they took me away.

then when I was 10 another abuse started, though both my depression and anxiety had already developed. I was now getting sexually abused by my father, while I slept. I won’t go into details, as I’m not ready to delve into that yet, but it made things worse. I didn’t even really know what was happening, because I was so young, I wanted to dismiss it all as a dream (and did so for years). When I was 11 we moved in with him. when I was 12 he was arrested for abusing my stepsister years before. we were even worse off then we had been before we moved in with my father (we could no longer live with him). we had moved from where my mother’s family lived, to a small village. We now lived out of town, with no way to go anywhere (or at least, my brother and I couldn’t. My father could still drive my mom around), as my mother had never bothered to get her license. so from gr.7-10 I lived in two places, school and home. no escape, except to visit family on holidays, if possible. nor was school all that good, though I much prefered it to the mother who told me to stop bitching about the bullying I was experiencing. In gr.10 we moved even further away from town, thankfully my mother could now drive me to important things.

sad thing is. she didn’t consider me important, and had to be ordered by welfare to take me to the dentist, refused to take me to the doctors for asthma meds, or to the optometrist for new (FREE) glasses. She also preferred to feed the animals before feeding me, and now that my brother was gone, made my life a living hell (thank god my father had given me his computer before he went to jail, else I would not be here today.)

so two years after moving out, and in with my grandma and brother, a year and a half of sleeping on the couch, combined with a visit from my mother dearest saw me have a mental break down, though no one knew about it. I almost lost my job, ’cause I couldn’t function well enough to do my job properly, and I ended up getting help through my government’s free mental health care.

EDIT: If you read my newest post (04/07/2013, If You Think Something Is Wrong Tell Them) you will find out that my grandma knew I was suffering and did nothing positive to help me (emotionally)