01-12-2019 02:13 AM
*References to sexual abuse, physical abuse, child abuse, extreme dieting and suicide attempts - but not too much detail and does have a happy ending*
So I've been dealing with depression for 10 gruelling years, coming up to 11.
Because I'm quite young, I grew up around all of the "Reach Out/Talk To Someone/Seek Help" mental health promotion. So when I was in pain, my default was to reach out for help. Which I guess is great, right?
Problem is, these things never go the way TV and movies tell you they will.
13 years old. I came home after being violently sexually assaulted at school, I was being abused at home as well but you just have this built in need for your mum when you're in pain. I came crying to my mum but I was still in shock and I couldn't get the words out about what had happened. It resulted in getting screamed at by my parents because I couldn't tell them what was wrong. So I then didn't tell anyone about the assault for 5 years.
15 years old. I tried talking to my school psychologist about the abuse at home but I didn't have the vocabulary yet to fully explain myself. I made it seem like my parents were just a little bit strict. I left out important details, like the fact I hadn't eaten in 3 days because I wasn't allowed to. And reduced the physical punishments down to "spanking" instead of showing her all the bruises down my backside from being hit with a rolling pin.
17 years old. Before my first suicide attempt I called my mum, I was met with a barrage of verbal abuse so I hung up the phone. I then called Lifeline.
Can we stop for a sec and talk about Lifeline?
I'm not saying Lifeline hasn't helped some people, maybe even people from this forum, reading this. But f*** me that service sucks! I am so far yet to meet a person in real life that has called Lifeline and had a positive experience. The people there mean well but have no idea what they're doing. It's comparable to attending Christmas dinner with the extended family, going up to your Aunt Kath whom you only speak to on a bi-annual basis saying "Hey, Aunt Kath, I'm super suicidal right now. I'm planning to take my own life."
And your sweet Aunt Kath leans over, pinches your 25yr old cheeks as if they're 3yr old cheeks and goes "Oh sugar, what do you have to be sad about? THERES STARVING CHILDREN IN AFRICA"
But I digress...
19 years old (yes, I realise this is all in 2 year increments. I didn't plan it this way it just kinda happened.)
During a screaming match with my dad I finally broke down crying, telling him about the sexual assault that occurred 5 years earlier. Dad was in shock, called my mum to come home from work, he held me, speachless for a very long time as I cried. Mum got home an hour later, sat down and immediately presenting counter-arguments to my claims. As if she had prepared them on the drive home. She concluded that I was making the whole thing up, talked to Dad for 3 hours trying to convince him it was all fake as well. Dad luckily had a little more faith in me, he acknowledged that he believed me, recommended I see a psychologist but we didn't talk about it as a family ever again.
Through 20 - 24yrs old I've had 2 more suicide attempts, countless near-death nights. Everytime begging my "support network" for help.
When I told close friends about my mental health and past experiences, everyone was so quick to jump up offering help. "If you ever need, just call me, I'll be right over!"
"Next time you're feeling like that, come over to my place, I'll keep you distracted with snacks and movies until you feel okay"
"You know you can talk to me about anything, I'm here for you!"
A few months pass and then the day arrives when you really do need to cash in that offer. You call up the friend and:
1) They don't pick up the phone/answer the text
2) They are "totally here for you but right now just isn't the right time"
That one always got me. I'm sorry my complete mental breakdown isn't quite convenient for you right now, let's reschedule, does Tuesday work for you?
3) They do answer the phone, you talk for a short while. You never hear from them again. They couldn't handle it, and fair enough, my brain's too much for me to handle too.
All of these interactions left me feeling so much worse, so much more isolated, so much more suicidal.
But tonight, for the first time (ever?) reaching out finally worked.
Today I woke up feeling the worst I've felt in a very long time. It's been a few years since my last attempt and maybe 1 year since I last made a plan. But today I couldn't shake it. I went about trying all these positive activities and working my way through my crisis plan, nothing was working.
Went for a walk, suicidal.
Bought some new makeup, suicidal.
Cooked a really nice meal, suicidal.
Put on a movie... and another movie... let's try another one, still suicidal.
And then finally, I went to call my friend.
I was so scared, I avoided it for a few hours because I didn't want to burden them, lose yet another friend or get rejected again and feel worse. I texted first. He saw my text and immediately responded "Yes call me right now!"
We talked for half an hour. It started with me blubbering through the phone, not able to take a breath from crying. We spoke about my fear of calling him, how much I valued the friendship. He told me he loves me and that I'm enough. Enough of a good friend for him to want to help me in these times of crisis. And that I'll always be enough.
We ended the 25 minute phone call laughing and promising to see eachother soon.
Don't get me wrong. I'm still super depressed right now. But am I crisis depressed? Am I still planning my own suicide tonight? No way. And I think that's all anyone could ever ask for.
01-12-2019 05:31 PM
Wow ... just .. wow @Headaches . Thank you so very much for sharing all that with us here. Yes there is such a lot there, much of it is just awful and certainly not what any young person should have to go through. But I am so very pleased that (finally) you have received the care and loving support that you so richly deserve. As you said ... a happy conclusion to this chapter in your life. I hope this is a chance for you to 'turn the corner' and finally make a better easier and more liveable life for yourself.
You have been through so much, you are a survivor and you are an inspiration to anyone who knows your story. Well done for finding your way here. I expect that you have a whole lot to offer many others here, as well as (I hope) finding the support and understanding that you desire. The forums are not a substitute for professional MH care, but I find the two to be complimentary of each other in many ways. Personally I have PTSD as a result of sexual assault many years ago. And I find the forums to be a safe place to talk about issues currently bothering me, they are a place where I can be honest and open about my feelings and experiences. This has helped me a lot in the past couple of years since I became a member here.
I'm really glad you have started by opening up a new thread, definitely the way to go when you have such a long and complex history. But please know that you are very welcome to contribute to any other existing thread on the forums. Have a little browse through any topics that interest you ... if you wish to have any input or have questions, please do not hesitate to post a reply. There are also many social threads which offer a bit of light entertainment, and enable you to acquaint yourself with other members.
I'm very happy to have you here and I hope to see you around again soon. A big welcome from me.
02-12-2019 12:02 AM
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