Feeling The Heart Of The Little One

Little lost girl…
Stranded on an island, with no one in sight
Abandoned…
And no hope of ever being rescued

I am her
And she is me
But I don’t know how to save her

I Tried. I’m Trying.

Where did I go?
I’m a stranger.

Waking up in the morning. Sitting outside with my coffee. Trying to be mindful and focus on the quiet and the cold air on my skin. Telling myself over and over again. “Today is going to be a good day”.
I’m trying.

The positive voice having been drowned out hour by hour. Exhausted with the effort of trying to keep it alive throughout the day. Going to sleep at night. Wishing not to wake up. I tried.

Wanting to join in the conversation. Can’t make sense of what they’re saying. Sounding so far away. Wanting to connect. Afraid to connect. I smile anyway, not hearing a word.
But I’m trying.

A touch on my back by someone non threatening. My blood running cold. Fear taking over. Backing away. The shock on his face. Wanting to apologize. The words wouldn’t come.
I tried.

I did all my work today. How? I have no memory of having done any of it. But I did it.
I’m still trying.

Emotionally empty. A thick fog surrounding me. Yet acutely aware of the physical. Feeling sick. Have to get up and move. Body aching.
I tried.

Cold inside. Frozen. Sitting in the sun. But the rays can’t penetrate.
I’m trying.

Getting confused about everything. Struggling to remember even why I’m doing what I’m doing in a given moment. Everything a blur. Doing grounding work. But I can’t focus.
I tried.

This heart, once so full of love and care. Now feels like a shadow. Maybe it’s been ripped out. Needing to find the light again. But it’s gone.
I’m trying.

I wanted to make her proud of me. Believe in me. Doing all the things we spoke about. I failed at it all.
At least I tried.

“Just keep breathing.” Breathing hurts.
But I’m trying.

I don’t want to be touched. I don’t want to be loved. I don’t want anything from anyone. I don’t want me.

Trying to be inspiring. Positive. Full of light. Love. But I can’t. Not today. I just don’t care.

Wanting to curl up on the cold floor. Just lay there for an eternity.

I don’t have the energy to think of suicide.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to die.

My ‘Dear Death‘ post now feels like a distant memory. I’m writing a new letter. A simple one.

Dear Life
Let me go.

The Dangers Of Self Diagnosis

Result: 66/80
Probable diagnosis of PTSD

That’s the result from an online test that I took last night.

It started when a blogger friend wanted some advice on a post she had written. So I gave my thoughts on the situation. She was worried that maybe it was post traumatic stress (which, until this afternoon, I thought was the same thing as PTSD), so I suggested that she search for the DSM criteria on it. She came back to me and it turns out that she didn’t ‘qualify’ for the diagnosis.

By now I was curious too, and decided to also take the test. “Just for fun”. As I was reading the questions and working my way through them, I felt this chill run down my spine. Those questions struck a major chord with what I have been experiencing lately. And the high score I got at the end worried me.

But then I started laughing. I actually laughed out loud at myself. Why? This whole thing reminded me of the time that I was convinced I had ADHD. I had also taken the tests for that, and had most of the symptoms. So I started reading articles and books on the subject. But then a year or two later, I got diagnosed with BPD instead. On the positive side, at least I know pretty much everything there is to know about ADHD, including the medications. That can’t be a bad thing.

It’s so easy for us to assume we have a physical or mental illness by what we read on the internet. Just like a sore throat can have many different causes and signal anything from a cold to cancer. To say “I’m going to die, I have cancer!” because Google or a medical site listed that as one cause, is dangerous. It’s the same regarding mental health. It can cause unnecessary stress and paranoia, and some people even take it a step further and change their entire lives. Thinking we know what’s wrong with us can sometimes cause serious harm, because we think we don’t need to get it checked out. After all, we know what’s wrong, right? The medical website said so, how can it be wrong? No, it’s not necessarily wrong, but there’s lots of factors involved in order to get an accurate diagnosis. So we might miss what’s actually really going on.

I don’t believe these tests should be used by individuals to diagnose themselves, and go about their lives living according to this ‘diagnosis’ that they assume they have. These tests are just a tool to help guide you to seek professional help if needed.

There are a few questions on the PTSD list that overlap with the symptoms of BPD, anxiety and depression. So how can I know whether it’s a result of these diagnoses or whether it’s PTSD? That’s one example of why this isn’t just black and white. It’s not a simple thing. I believe that only a professional will be able to distinguish the difference.

When I was working at the bookstore, a customer came in one day (clearly drunk), and asked whether we had any books on Borderline Personality Disorder. I knew the Psychology section really well, so I told my colleague that I’d help this customer. I showed him the few books we had, and he told me that he’ll take all of them. While I was ringing them up, he proceeded to tell me (very loudly) that his wife is crazy, and that she’s always shouting at him, that he can’t do anything right in her eyes. He said that she has BPD so he was buying the books for her. I asked him whether she was seeing anyone for it, and he told me that she doesn’t need to because he knows she has it and doesn’t want to waste money. That the books were cheaper. At that point I wanted to say something (a few things actually), but I kept my mouth shut and tried to get him out out of there as soon as possible, because he just wouldn’t stop complaining. Everyone around us were staring and shaking their heads. Even the manager was on the verge of throwing him out. I breathed a sigh of relief when he eventually left. But I was pissed off.

And the sad part is that this kind of thing happens all the time. I’m guilty of it myself. Case in point; I’m sure my dad has NPD. But I’ll never know whether he actually does, because he’s always made it clear that he thinks psychology and therapy is a load of bullshit. So it’s not my place to try to label him, or anyone else for that matter.

Another thing. People tend to throw diagnosis around like it’s a new fashion statement. Those people who think it’s ‘cool’ to be able to say “I think I have Bipolar Disorder”, are precisely those who don’t, because if they had to live with it, they’d be wishing they didn’t.

My previous doctor had a note on her door:

“If you come in here having diagnosed yourself using Google, you’ll be charged double.”

I can’t remember the exact wording, but it’s pretty close. Every doctor should have that sign up.

So Google… You’re helpful and all, but I don’t trust you. So I think I’ll stick to my psychologist’s assessments.

Oh, and in case anyone is interested, this is the test I took.

Free

Nowhere to run
Nowhere to hide
Push away the sun
Keep the dark inside

Too many voices
Too many tears
Do I have any choices
Does life determine my years

Push away the images
But they follow at night
Trying to build bridges
While I desperately fight

What’s real, what’s not
Am I here, or am I there
Feeling ice cold, now what
I can’t handle the suns glare

Fear quickly follows shame
I’m so damn confused
Tell me who’s to blame
I feel so terribly used

What’s happening to me
Over and over it goes
I just want to be free
Free as the wind that blows

Dear Death

Dear Death,

You may think you’ve won. You tried to beat me down. You sent all the storms you could throw at me, trying to get me to give up. You knocked me down, you bruised me, but I got up again. You almost had me a few times, but I defeated you over and over again.

You sent an army. But I have something you’ll never have. I have Love. Love stood by my side. I was never alone.

You’re angry with me. Well, I’m angry too.

But I will use this anger to show you just how strong I am. To continue fighting your darkness.

You can throw all the bad memories and nightmares at me that you want. But I won’t give up. I may fall apart, I might break, but give up… I won’t give you the satisfaction. The power.

I may be overwhelmed and broken right now, but I will not give in to you. I will not be kept down. I will rise again, and when I do I’m going to take the world by storm.

One day you’ll get what you want. But not today.

Today I choose Life.

Aftermath

She sleeps
But gets no rest
Don’t close your eyes
Don’t look at them
The glass shatters
Cutting her open

Blood stains on the floor
She hides her eyes
So the real bruises
Can not be seen
Who lives in this body?
It does not belong

Whispers in the dark
Silent screams echo in her mind
The sword of darkness
Piercing the inner thread
Of all she once was
Only shattered pieces remain

She will hide underground
Hide from the world
Not daring to step outside
A touch frightens her
But oh how she longs
To have you hold her hand

She will see the light soon
Now only a distant memory
Lay here with her
Sleep in the darkness
Together
Until sunrise