I went along to the see the crisis team and my health visitor came along with me. She has been the only health professional that has always been there for me, no matter what. I find it incredibly difficult to trust people but I have known her for many years now and she was always upfront with me, honest and told me how it was. She never minced her words with me and that is what I needed.
She has gained my trust and I am able to tell her most things that are happening in my life and I know she will always give me an honest answer. Most times she advises me to go to the GP, or reveal extra secrets I am hiding, that I am able to share with her but not others. I do wish she could have been more involved with my therapy as I find it easy to talk to her. Sometimes just her being there has helped more than any hour appointment with a shrink.
She has no idea that she has saved my life twice. Those tablets were in my hand ready to swallow. Twice has she knocked on my door when I was ready to end my life, if there is such a thing as a guardian angel, then she is mine.
There were two from the crisis team waiting for me, why this appointment was even needed I have no idea. They spend half an hour asking me basic questions, name, age that kind of thing and then informed me I would need to be assessed. Great another appointment would be made for me.
The next appointment came in the form of a councillor, yet again another wasted hour, after the same questions were asked he informed me he was not the right person to help me, I needed secondary care and would be assigned a psychiatrist.
It had been many years since I had seen a shrink, at the age of 13 I took a mass overdose and was placed under the children’s mental health team for 12 months. My psychiatrist from my teenage years now happens to be my eldest daughter’s godmother, strange how these things happen. She was rather a fun lady and always worse long floating skirts. I remember bacon and lettuce sandwiches for some reason when I think about my visits to see her.
Why did I take an overdose, enough to end my life at the age of 13? The same age as my eldest daughter is now. What possessed me? To be honest I am not 100% sure. I came from a broken home, I had always felt my mother didn’t want me, my father is a heavy drinker, their relationship was volatile and I was bullied greatly at school. All these issues going on in my life seemed to create this self-destruction button inside of me.
I had started skipping school, dating the local bad guy, much to my mother’s horror he was 5 years older than me and of course she worried herself sick. But I was 13 and knew better than anyone. I fell in love with this guy and would return home past my curfew. I had started smoking and smoked the odd joint with this older group I had become part of.
My mother had left my father when I was 12; she should have left years before that but for the sake of my younger brother and me, she thought it best we grew up with a father. I wish to hell she had never had this trait, as this was now installed into me. I stayed with my ex-husband for the sake of our children, so very wrong. You make your bed and you have to lie in it were her words.
My dad had a new woman in his life, she was only 5 years older than me and we just didn’t click. I was 13, she was 18 and it was never going to work in reality.
Surprisingly I had the ability to miss as much school as I wanted, talk all the way through class yet still create masterpieces for homework. I passed all 12 GCSE exams yet I hated school. There would be days I was too afraid to go, fear of what those girls would say or do to me. The mental abuse was tormenting and it stripped away any confidence I had left.
I don’t blame my mother, I suppose I did partly. I needed someone to blame. We have never been close the way it should be, never shared that mother and daughter bond. We have worked hard to mend some of those voids and still continue to do so to this day. I don’t ever remember her telling me that she loved me; I can’t ever remember her hugging me. Another sad trait I have inherited, while I tell my kids a million times a day how much I love them, if anyone tries to hug me I freeze in fear, and yes this includes my children.
I do wonder how many of my fears and traits have been given to me from my childhood. One of the biggest taboos in my family is to speak about your life, your feelings and your worries. You are taught that family secrets have to be kept; depression is a huge taboo and certainly not something that you speak about in the company of others. As women and mothers we have to show the outside world we are strong. What happens behind closed doors stays there.
This taboo made me hide almost 11 years of hell. It is a family trait I have now broken. My children will not follow suit.
Here I find myself waiting to be given an appointment to see a psychiatrist again, because I am pregnant it has to be a special kind of shrink, one who is trained to also deal with pregnant ladies.
While waiting for this appointment I receive another threw the post, this time a psychiatric community nurse (CPN) will be coming to see me.
My health visitor rearranges the appointment for me so we can see her at the local surgery; I don’t want her in my house. I don’t want anybody in my house. My house is my safety zone and I don’t even answer the door anymore. My health visitor promises to come with me as I have no idea what a CPN is and what she wants.
I welcome you all to join me in my journey of self-discovery and face with me the obstacles I have overcome and still face. As I share for the first time my incredible life story.
Chapter 1 – Living With Bipolar – My Life Story
Chapter 2 – Living With Bipolar – Please Let Him Love Me