mckarlie

I have happiness in my heart and a thorn in my soul

From high above

I’m not your clown to tease

You’re not my lord to please

Although I wear a smile

Don’t find me juvenile

I don’t sit high above

Watching as I judge

I wear my heart upon my sleeve

In love and kindness I believe

But you see me here as lame and weak

Superiority, do you seek

Can’t you see, that I’m just me

And we can all act differently

One not wrong and one not right

This doesn’t need to be a fight

We could possibly just get along

Find a place where we belong

But some are filled with hate and spite

And if you’re different, you’re not right

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From rock bottom to…..something else

It’s hard to believe it was just a few weeks ago I was in hospital on suicide watch, every moment hurt to just be, it was pretty dire. For 25 years I had known terrible things had happened with my first stepfather, but i kept it buried deep and by drudging it all up at once i overwhelmed myself and ended up drowning in trauma.

In hindsight I feel a little silly for thinking i could take it on without consequences, there’s a reason it was buried, my sub conscious was looking out for me in it’s own backwards way, so when i dug it up and thought about the details and talked about it often and openly, it all became too much and i hit rock bottom. That place most of us know, those of us with a mental illness. It creeps in the shadows like a monster in the closet, it’s a place we don’t want to go away but it’s always in the back of our minds that we will be there again. Rock bottom is not a fun place, it’s despair and turmoil and pain, so much pain, and it hurts so much that it feels impossible to go on.

But, you go on. If you’re truly worried about harming yourself and/or ending things, you check yourself in somewhere and tell people, let people know that you’re close to the edge, they’ll hold you back from falling temporarily while you need them to. I’m going on holiday soon and it’s been a while since we’ve been on a holiday, i’ll be sitting by the beach soaking up the sun and the fact that not long ago i could barely hold onto my life will be but a distant memory. But it does leave it’s scars, every time we visit that place i think it takes a little bit of us away, and we have to fight to get it back. I spent a couple of weeks treading water after my episode, and i’ve been a lot quieter on my blog than usual, which i know is the opposite of what i should be, because the more i write and share the better i get. so this is just that, an update if you will.

I’ve had so much encouragement and support from some of you, it’s meant a lot to me. I adore all you wonderful broken beautiful people, broken just like me. But there’s nothing wrong with being broken, this is something i’ve come to learn, so long as you are trying to be the best version of yourself, then the rest are just details.

So for anyone near rock bottom, i hope you hold on. I’m not far past it and life is good. I’m not at full capacity but i’m happy enough. I can’t say I’m happy, because that’s a work in progress, ultimate goal if you will, but i’m happy enough and that’s a good place to be. everything can change so quickly, we can be so miserable and pained one week and a few weeks later the world looks a lot different. there’s always the exhausted treading water phase after such an episode but that’s necessary, it takes a physical emotional and mental toll on a person being that low.

Peace 🙂

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Standing Tall

I fall down over and over again

I may wither a little but I will not bend

Haunted by those who trespassed on me

Torn apart by their asserted depravity

I will not become a story of ill

They leave me my scars but also my will

Even when I am fallen and weak

Moments of pain and feelings so bleak

I hold on to know I will make it alright

I know I will again regain my true fight

And now the fight, it stirs in me

Declaring out loud, what i shall not be

Your victim yes, your trophy never

Healing is my passion’s endeavour

Round and round again I know

But one thing with certainty do I know

I may fall but I will always get up

I will decide when enough is enough

They things they took I now regain

As I wade my way through my past of pain

They chewed me up and spit me out

But here I stand, proud and stout

Together I will piece my puzzle again

They will be the ones to break and bend

 

 

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How much does our happiness depend on those around us?

Yesterday I read a blog urging us to take ownership of our own happiness, not to try to meet the needs of others but meet our own needs and get happy with ourselves. This made me think about how much my happiness depends on how the relationships in my life are going, what state they are in, and how this is dysfunctional.

I have put a lot of stock in trying to make others happy, the more happy i feel i’m making others the more happy i feel myself, while not actually being happy WITH myself. I know a lot of people with bipolar or depression are more sensitive to the relationships in their lives so I wonder how many other people are doing this, trying to ‘feel’ happy by meeting other peoples needs as opposed to being introspective and dealing with ourselves and our own true happiness.

Ultimately, making ourselves happy and being happy with ourselves is a difficult thing to do. For a lot of us, we have had trauma in the past and have a lot of issues to work through, we have low self esteem because of events that have happened so being happy with ourselves seems an abstract concept, something that will happen one day when i’m old. I always figured i was doing the right thing because they tell you that making others happy is a good thing, but when you do it in place of taking care of yourself, it’s more of a coping mechanism than truly giving.

I have had many many friendships in my life and have a gazillion facebook friends but only a small handful of real friends, i feel quite lonely a lot of the time.When things are going well with my friends and they seem happy with me and we are talking often and interacting, i feel better about myself. When we aren’t interacting as much and i perceive there to be a possible issue or potential problem, i let it fester and it affects my whole outlook on life. If i were truly happy with myself then my mood would be more stable independent of what state my relationships were in, i would of course care if there were a problem with a friend but it wouldn’t affect me as much as it does now.

Realizing that i do this is only the first step, I’ve only recently dug up repressed memories of sexual abuse that occurred 25 years ago, and still have a planet of issues to deal with around my mother’s second husband and the way he physically mentally and emotionally abused me along with the abandonment issues i have with my mother herself. I feel like i’m a teeny tiny person standing at the foot of a great big mountain with no climbing equipment, but i have will, and to be completely cliche, where there’s a will there’s a way.

I wonder just how many of us deflect our own happiness in this way, because looking at this great big mountain is scary shit, and it would be easier not to do it, but the blog i read yesterday was right, i have to get happy with myself. Once I’m happy with myself i think i’ll have a lot less issues with my friends because i wont be putting that pressure on myself and them for things to be ‘perfect’ all the time.

I’m interested in thoughts and opinions on this so please feel free to share if you have anything to say.

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In the mud

Stick in the mud, don’t bend or you’ll break

Standing still, no steps can you make

Held by the past and all that it holds

Frozen by stories you’ve kept untold

You watch as the world passes you by

You accept failure before you try

So scared to bend in case you break

Not yet sure of what steps you would take

Standing still is fine for a while

It’s inch by inch not mile by mile

Take just one thing that’s caused you pain

One thing for which you’ve worn the blame

Let it go and watch it leave

And slowly you will feel some ease

Little by little, piece by piece

You will slowly feel some ease

Dig deep down, you’ll find in there

The strength to lay your demons bare

Face the past, bring on the rain

To wash away that muddy pain

And free yourself from standing by

Just begin and you’ve already tried

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Rebuilding

Piece by piece and bit by bit

I will dig myself out of this pit

When hope has gone and all is bleak

When I feel hollow, fragile and weak

I try to find the smallest spark

To guide me through the darkest dark

When every moment hurts to be

When you close your eyes you see depravity

You’re taken back again and again

To when you originally felt the pain

Search for the spark and hold onto light

It isn’t now but it will be alright

Sometimes all you can manage to do

Is tread water just to make it through

But once you’re through and find your fight

Hold on and make the wrong things right

I know I still have a long road ahead

But I am focused in my stead

I don’t want to be defined by the past

The scars of which will always last

But the wounds themselves with someday heal

I will learn how to live and how to deal

 

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Stained Memories

I fell down and grazed my knee

Saw my beating heart in front of me

It was black in parts and broken

From holding onto pain unspoken

I took a shovel and started to dig

I couldn’t have known what I’d find be so big

And once I remembered just a little bit

Once I opened the door just a tiny slit

All the darkness came flooding through

All of my memories, painful and true

The things that man did to me

When I was a small human unable to see

The damage being done to me

Would later cause insanity

But I won’t let this be my plight

I may be down but I will fight

I still have much life left in me

I wont let him define what I am to be

The flashes haunt me every step

In healing I am not adept

But I will somehow find a way

And I will somehow reach the day

When the memories are faded and gone

And I don’t feel small and all alone

I will beat this pain in me

I will pass these memories

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Rock bottom again

So i’ve had a crazy few days. I spent the night before last in the hospital, on suicide watch. I’m not being treated as an outpatient by what they call the “CATT team” here in australia.

How did i arrive at rock bottom? Well, all these years I knew deep down that I had been sexually abused when I was young. But i have opened the proverbial pandora’s box and thought i was dealing with it, but i wasn’t keeping up.

The flashbacks of the abuse started to fill my head constantly, i could almost feel his breath on my neck, i could almost smell his smell and feel his moustach against my cheek. I took some old oxy that i had laying around from my back issues, trying to block it all out, it gave me temporary peace, as anyone who has abused an opiate knows, the good feelings you get when you take it, you end up paying for later in bad feelings.

Then, on wednesday of this week someone close to me screwed me over badly and put me in a difficult situation, and it made me spiral. I ended up hysterical, wanting to end my life. A close friend took my children for me and i went to hospital, i collapsed in the waiting area and was rushed through with heart palpitations and an extremely fast heart rate. It’s all a bit of a blur, There were nurses and doctors all around me, stripping me off and attaching sticky pads to all parts of me, there were questions asked, many questions. I can’t remember a lot of it, i was in and out of consciousness, then my heart rate settled and i came to. They moved me to an emergency ward bed and had a psych consultant come by. He said he wouldn’t be able to see me that night but that i was first on his list for the next morning and that then nurses would be there to help me with anything and keep an eye on me, which was true to the point of them knocking on the toilet door when i was more than 3 minutes.

For anyone who has spent a night on an emergency ward, you would know that sleep is sparse and noise is plenty. So many people coming and going, so many  machines making so many noises, i managed to get a few hours sleep until a patient came in screaming in pain, she was right next to me in the next bay. It’s all quite grim really, but if you are worried that you may harm yourself it’s better to be there than not be there.

The psych consult came back the next morning and we had a talk, we decided that i would be treated as an outpatient by the catt team. Basically they are social workers, nurses, case managers those kind of people, they come out to your home and sometimes provide you with medication to get through a temporary situation. The urge to do it is still there but my husband took a couple of days off work to be home for me and with him and my kids around, i know i will be safe. I know that if things bubble up too much again i will either call the CATT team or go back to the hospital.

So here I am again at rock bottom, it’s not a nice feeling and each moment is quite painful, it’s hard just to get through. It feels like i’m moving through time but time has become a thick jelly like substance and i can’t move freely or with ease. Almost every time i close my eyes i see his face, my abuser, i hear the things he would say to me in my head, i remember how small and insignificant i felt while i was being abused and it all rushes back to me, i feel small and empty.

Suicidal thoughts are nothing to be taken lightly, i sometimes find myself slightly frustrated with those who constantly say things like ‘i’m just going to end it all i’ve decided to die it’s just a matter of time’ – it’s posturing really, not to say their pain isn’t real but if you are seriously worried you may kill yourself, get yourself to a hospital, like i’ve said, it’s not the most comfortable environment but it’s important to hold onto life, because as much as things hurt right now, i know they will get better. i know i will get better and be able to function again and put positivity out into the world again. i know i can make positive changes in the lives of those who care about me, albeit small it doesn’t matter, i have to hold onto these thoughts and the hope that i know it will get better. Never use suicide as a threat to get attention, if you want attention just ask for it, just say what you’re feeling and you will get attention. As someone who has genuinely been scared by my own thoughts and possible actions, i implore others to take it as seriously as possible.

I owe a couple of my fellow bloggers an email, I’m sorry i fell off the radar this week but as you’ve read, things have been quite intense for me and i’m sorry if anyone feels let down. I’m always here for you as much as i can be, but sometimes i’m not able to look after myself and need help too.

I hope all of you are doing well, i can’t wait to get better and start to write more poetry again and contribute more positivity.

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Bipolar, my 50 shads of cray

I’m having a depressive episode, the last thing I feel like doing is writing which is why it seemed prevalent for me to do so. It’s like the colour has been sucked out of everything. When I’m “up” everything is bright, I want to help others, I smile at the people who serve me in stores, I smile at strangers who pass me on the street. I write endless amounts of poetry and stories, I’m full of creative energy and bursting to share with everyone.

When I’m down, it’s like everything is a lighter shade of what it should be, greyish. I don’t smile at strangers, I don’t talk to people who serve me in stores, I get angrier when I drive. I find myself staring off into nothing for what seems like endless amounts of time. Everything seems like an effort, going to get milk from the store, taking my daughter to get new shoes, it all feels like WOE IS ME, and I then feel guilt over being so ‘slack’ – logically i know i’m not slack, I have an illness, but it’s hard not to feel guilty when I feel myself being so unpleasant, so empty.

I know it’s just a matter of time till it passes, I know it will pass, thanks to medication i’m not as low as i tend to get during an episode, i’m just numb. I’m like a zombie, there’s small signs of life here and there but for the most part, I’m just on autopilot trying to get through, waiting till I’m back up and can feel again. I feel like my ‘up’ self is my true self, that I am a happy person who gets a tad manic at times but for the most part my up isn’t manic, it’s just happy and productive. There’s no point in drawing lines as to where my illness ends and where i begin, it’s an impossible task, I can do so in my behaviours by analyzing and trying to figure that out but when it comes to me as a person, such lines can’t be drawn.

Anyway, to all who are feeling the same, I feel for you. Not as much as I normally would lol oh gosh is that a bad joke? You have to laugh at yourself sometimes or else you truly will go crazy. But genuinely, I know there are others out there feeling shitty just like me, I know there are others having the up part of the cycle at the moment, it’s all part of the different shades of cray, ha.

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The Letter

Recently I wrote a blog entry about a letter to my Mother. I was uhmming and ahhing over whether to send it or not. I got so much great feedback from a lot of people and I’m thankful to all of you who contributed, it helped me decide that I was in fact going to send this letter. For anyone who hasn’t read the post, I cut off contact with my family about 3 1/2 years ago as it was extremely toxic. My Mother let a lot of abuse occur while I was growing up, and since I’ve cut off contact I’ve heard a lot of bitching get back to me, basically my Mother and cousin blame me for everything and think i cut them off because I’m essentially crazy and they had no part to play in it.

I sat on the letter (not literally) for a few weeks, not entirely sure why I wasn’t sending it. I knew that I needed to send it, I knew that for my own piece of mind I had to say all these things to my Mother. It basically outlined all the things that happened in the past and how I feel she abandoned me in favour of my abuser, that she chose him over me and edged me out. She had three children to him in three years and essentially started a new family in which I had no place.

I spoke to my therapist about the letter on Tuesday and we discussed why it was still unsent. I figured out it was that it was too angry, as I wrote it I got more and more angry and it was laced with hostility. I don’t want to be mean for the sake of being mean, my reason for writing this is not to make her feel bad but for her to see my side of things and understand some of the damage she has done. I have asked her to stop bitching about me and that we both need closure. So, I wrote another letter. I feel much better about this one and after I write this blog I am going straight to the post office to send it.

This letter still addresses the sexual abuse at the hands of her first husband when I was aged 7-9, the craziness that went on in the student house we lived in after she abruptly left her first husband and how we went from being ‘besties’ to me being insignificant after she met her second husband, Mark. It addresses how she let him repeatedly abuse me and instead of protecting me or giving him a choice between quitting the drink or leaving, she edged me out instead of him.

It addresses how she made me unwelcome in my grandparents home, how when I’ve been at every low point in my life she’s not only not supported me but made me feel isolated and alienated. Because of my Mother making me unwelcome in my home I started moving around all over the place the moment I turned 18, every time I would return to Melbourne she would be more and more hostile to my presence. Her husband would still abuse me and she would claim the next day that he would get help or things would change, but ultimately she decided I was the problem, not him.

So i’ve written this letter, outlining all these things but I’ve done it in a more positive constructive way. I’ve found my voice and said what I have to say to finally take steps I need to take to have closure on my Mother. For so long I have had this gaping hole in my heart where her love should have been, she has been this almost mythical figure in my mind, the source of so much pain and shame and regret for me. In this letter, I removed a lot of the emotion from the first letter and was more factual, outlined things and asked how she could do that to her own child, why she didn’t protect me and what I did to warrant her being so hostile towards me. An example is, my Grandmother paid for her and my three half siblings to come visit in England 3 wees after I’d had my first child. I was only 22 and had a c section with some complications and was extremely sore. She wanted us to travel to northern ireland to see an old family friend so I went with her, she didn’t help me much while we were there so when we flew back to england i told her I wanted to go home so my husband could help me with the baby instead of flying onto paris with her and the kids. She was angry that I didn’t go to paris. When she got home to Australia she bitched to the family that my house was a mess and my kitchen floor wasn’t clean enough. That really hurt, I was 22 and could barely walk and had a newborn baby, of course my house was a mess! I’ll admit it was a mess but not dirty, just messy. Clothes and what not, dishes that didn’t get done immediately, as for the kitchen floor I have no idea what she was talking about. It really hurt that instead of being supportive or understanding that I had post natal depression and other medical issues, she came home and made me seem like a bad mother.

Another example is when we moved back to Australia. We didn’t have much money at the time and she agreed to loan me my the money my nan had left me before it came through and she would keep the money. On top of that money she loaned me about $1000 for airfares for myself my husband and my two children. Now, when I got to Australia and was staying with her, I started working full time within a couple of weeks. I paid her $3oo a week for four weeks, I also paid $200 for my half brother’s camp and nearly $200 for some netball shoes my sister needed. I also found out from my cousin that the money from my Nan was in fact more than my Mother had told me and she had kept more than she was meant to. So in my mind, I had more than paid her back, but it got back to me through my Aunt that my Mother had been going around telling people that I still owed her money. WHY? why did she feel the need to fabricate things like this to make me look bad? All i wanted was a mother who loved me, I’m not saying I’ve never done anything wrong, I’ve never claimed to be perfect, but she was making shit up to make me look bad and make her look like this patient saint. It just hurts so much that according to her, I have to be the bad guy. And even if I have done nothing wrong she’s perfectly willing to make things up to make me look like an arsehole.

So i’ve written all these things to my Mother, I also wished her well. I said it’s clear that our versions of events are so different that we will never be able to have a healthy relationship, that every time I’ve tried to be open and honest with her she has shut me down, every time i’ve asked for details about my real father she has lied to me about him. It’s all in there, but it’s not attacking her, it’s just asking her why and pointing out that I’m not in fact this bad guy. I think because of all the abuse and trauma and shit that’s happened in our history there has to be a bad guy, and for my mother it can’t be her, she’d break into pieces if it was her, so she has to make it me. But I’m hoping that telling her the truth, putting the truth out there and being as positive about it as i can will afford me the healing i so desperately seek.

I know that I wont get instant closure once it’s sent, but i believe it’s a step along the way. An important step. For so long I’ve felt angry that they have been sitting around claiming me to be the bad guy, claiming to be perfectly innocent. But I told her she has to see how toxic the family is, I pointed out why it’s toxic and it’s all true, she will have to face a lot of truths and that makes me feel really good. My Mother lives deep in denial but when she reads this letter, that small part of her that knows what she’s done to me, I know there’s that small part in her i’ve seen it in her eyes now and again, that small part will know the truth.

Thanks to all who have been a part of this journey with me, this blog has meant so much to me and finding people who have been through similar things has made me feel so much more sane than i’ve ever felt. And there’s many people who haven’t been through similar things but still show they care and I’m so thankful for all of you, you truly make such a difference in my life and it’s the first time I’ve ever been strong enough to face all of this. To address the sexual abuse at all, to talk openly about the abuse and neglect and abandonment.

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