My mobile rang at 8.10 am yesterday morning. Anyone who knows me would think twice about calling at this time of day. I am not a morning person at all and am bad tempered and irritable, especially at this time! It was a number I didn’t recognise but I have given mine to some of the people who attended group with me and have yet to add them to my phone book, so I didn’t want to not be there for someone…generally I screen my calls and only answer if its someone I want to talk to. Anyway, I answered. It was L, my care-cordinator. She wanted to know if I had received a letter in the post with an appointment time to meet with herself and the psychiatrist, A. I hadn’t. She dropped a bomb, there was a meeting arranged for 11am that morning. Was stunned said okay and that I would be there.
For the next 3 hours I was filled with anxiety. My heart was racing, I felt really sick and was worried about what they wanted. I considered the fact that it was probably about my meds, but that surely wouldn’t mean seeing both of them. I always feel intimidated when there are more people in a meeting. I was freaking out. I took extra co-codamol to help calm me and having had a shower, the intensity of my feelings and fears just overwhelmed me and I ended up slashing at my arm. I drove there with my music blaring really loudly puffing away on my fake fag (e-cig) desperately wanting a real one. When I arrived I had to clean my arm up, they are not that deep but they were bleeding a lot which would just look really bad. It was so hot too which meant that wearing a jumper was not an option. So I was feeling more fucked up than I wanted to present myself as being…stoned, agitated, anxious and bleeding…GREAT START….
I was led to a small room where A took me and a few minutes later L joined us. A did the majority of the talking. First question, how was I? She looked at my arms and then at me. I told her not good. She asked me how things were going with my husband….I was slightly taken back, but told her they were calmer than last week. I told my reinforcer that I had felt better than I had done and she wanted to know in what way I was feeling better. Well, I had finally met L, I had shared with someone things I was feeling and it had helped. L and I had a plan and I actually like her (not that I said this bit). A seemed to accept this as a good enough answer and then commenced by saying that she was concerned that I was getting worse when I should be getting better. The meds should be working and that whilst she understood that I had suffered a lot of trauma throughout my life what was happening that was making things so hard? Was I using the STEPPS skills, had I taken any more coke or other pills? Yes, I try and use the skills we were taught, no I haven’t taken any coke but I did contact someone about getting some and no I haven’t added any additional pills to the ones I am already taking.
She pushed me, so whats happening?….My head went a bit blank, I didn’t know how to answer this. Yeah, things are not great within my marriage, I am struggling with the past and my addiction is a huge problem. I just shrugged and said I didn’t know. This then started a big conversation about my marriage. It then hit me like a speed train that this was why I had been called in. Kids were talked about first. They wanted to know everything. I told them about the lady from the schools welfare office, the things we have put in place for them and this seemed to be good enough to them. Then we discussed my eldest…she said on Friday that my mental health didn’t bother her, that she was preoccupied and moreorless said she didn’t really care! – She’s a teenager so I shrugged this one off as best as you can, but I felt a little hurt and unloved by her.
Then came the prying questions about my relationship. I didn’t want to go into all the detail, there are some things which I really am not willing to discuss with them, such as my sex life and how I feel. I actually know that this bit is important and has a baring on how I feel about a lot of things, but its not the main issue. I had disclosed to my reinforcer about how my husband sometimes talks to me and how it makes me feel. This was what they wanted me to talk to them about. I told them that I feel very triggered right now.
My first marriage had moments when it was wonderful and I was happy, but it was filled with emotional and mental abuse. He made it impossible for me to get a job, college or uni. Friends stopped coming round, my family were never around and he was always at me about something. One occassion on a Saturday I made the mistake of waking him up, my daughter who was 4 was covered in weird bumps. I called and made an emergency appointment with the doctor and asked for him to take me. He did but he just left me there, didn’t wait. She had chicken pox and had a really high temperature. She was really not well and because he hadn’t waited I had to take the bus home. He was in a really bad mood with me for the rest of the weekend. On the monday morning I woke up to find that I had a temperature and sore throat. I felt really ill so stupid me asked him to take me to the gp. I could barely stand up. I had lost my voice and he told me to cough and to stop being a hypocondriac. I had to beg him to take me. It was April, fairly warm but I was wrapped up like it was about to snow. I had an upper respiratory infection and a temperature of 101. I had to then beg him to take me to the pharmacy. He made me go in and wait, I could barely stand up. When we got home I remember him being agressive with me, he was running a bath and I decided to go back to bed. He came into the room and just shouted at me about how fucking lazy I was, how selfish and uncaring I was that I had woken him when he needed his sleep. That I was a fat, ugly stupid woman and blah, blah….I tuned out. The whole time he was shouting at me I didn’t say anything. I literally just got changed into my night clothes, put on bed socks, a jumper, gloves and a scarf…I was cold. I got into bed and just told him I was going to sleep. When he had finished his bath he came in and he said…’oh, you really are ill.’…..No you fucking muppet, I am faking, I like being shouted at and making unneccessary trips to the doctor and pharmacy, paying out money for stuff we really dont need. Yeah, I fucking enjoy this you arrogant cunt. I didn’t say any of that, I had completely lost my voice!
I walked around on egg shells with him. I never knew what kind of mood he was in. He would get angry with me a lot and when he lost it he would go to punch me but would punch the wall next to my head. One row we had I walked into the kitchen, I wanted to stab myself so got a knife and was about to do it, he grabbed it off me and made to stab me, only he sliced himself. ‘See that, next time I’ll fucking do it to you.’ It was a deep cut, bled everywhere and I had to do some first aid on him. I remember shaking and when I had bandaged it up I went and threw up.
It was only in 2009 when I went for training with Victim Support that I realised that he had been abusing me mentally and emotionally. The fact he raped me is something that I only admitted last year when I had my breakdown. I have flashbacks of it and nightmares. I remember it though, I guess I tried to block it out. Sexual abuse is something which I have always had to deal with and its only been in my current marriage that this is not an issue in my life for the first time.
I really wanted to say more, but am feeling really overwhelmed by what I have written and how I am feeling about the meeting yesterday. My head is such a fucking mess and I just can’t write any more. I feel the need to go and get off my face, so thats what I am going to do. I feel wrong to leave this hanging, but I am just falling apart right now, I cant type any more……………..