Lost. I said. I feel lost. My skull. A chalice. The greyness dissipates into papier mache space. Grey space. A skull without a lid. There isn’t anything horrifying about this blog, unless I include a woman’s whispered disclosure of how an old family member rapes her, apparently he brings a younger fitter bloke with him, to hold her down. 

I saw those lower arm and wrist bruises. 

The police, she whispers, have not taken action. No rape kit tests or arresting of suspects. Perhaps I watch too many cop shows. They have it all sewn up in fifty minutes or so, including the sentencing. 

Flashback to yesterday. A caring friend called with various quotes on how not to be mentally ill. I was touched. Knowing about the law of attraction and how ‘you attract and create all your own experiences,’ does not necessarily make me feel better, nor does it miraculously cure me. What touches my soul deeply is the sincerity of his voice. This man cares for me and an intricate intangible tentacled connective tissue binds itself to the lost papier mache matter. I am a raft, he said and I saw you bobbing in the water.

He is a very old friend. We hung out when we were teenagers.  Learning how to kiss and perform oral sex, though not on each other and he does not know about my aversion to all life size water borne vessels, including rafts. His metaphor fits, it is only this time, I feel lost on solid ground. This is a gigantual improvement on being lost at sea. (Even if only in metaphorical terms).

I haven’t written a blog in a very long time. I thought it best to spare the world my misery, heaven knows it has enough of its own. When I say the world, in this context, I mean the handful of people who actually read my blog.

My ability to write isnt in question. It is my fear of an audience, it is my fear and anxiety of being seen. This inevitably triggers paranoia and anxiety. 

After a very long wait, I now see a counsellor via my GP surgery. I survived the waiting list. Some, sadly, do not. And I wake up and I am breathing and that’s a win.

The session lasts an hour and during this time I am searching my soul. The reason for my unhealthy all or nothing behavioural patterns. I feel the panic in my chest. The quicker breath. The feeling of an external force preventing my intercostal muscles doing their job. The ribs feel constricted, a heavy constant weight against them.

Admittedly, my panic attacks are not as severe but they do still happen.  People and relationships are usually at the root cause.

I no longer have the luxury of resilient youth on my side. At forty eight I have unenviable access to the portal of feeling wholly vulnerable. Life has unfiltered access to my soul. I never used to consider myself to be one of those sensitive types. 

Sensitivity knows how to escalate. 

Hyper sensitive. 

Hyper aware. 

Hyper vigilant. 

I used to be tough. Real tough. In charge. In control. 

That woman’s rape ordeal rattles around my insides and I feel powerless too about her predicament. Peculiar how we imprint each others souls. I never saw her again. And I still wonder, quite morbidly, if she is still subjected to those attacks.

My counsellor listens and I talk. I discover that I have no internal mechanism for when ‘enough is enough’. 

Hence, extreme behaviour traits.

(That is probably an over simplification).

On a day to day level it poses such questions. What or how much can I tolerate that is over my limit of ‘enough’? How much can I push myself safely without overstretching my capability limit? And more importantly how do I recognise this? And then further, what measures do put in place to prevent the extreme behaviours happening?

Prince Harry has come out of the closet about his mental health issues about the grief he had for his mother. 

We are being encouraged now as a nation to soften the stiff upper lip and talk.

Talk about being mentally ill.

I grew up with a mother and brother who had a schizoid disorder.  I still cringe inside with shame at those memories of our family from the 70’s & 80’s.

Mental illness is still a shocker today.

Back then it was the equivalent of medieval leprosy. 

I became the chameleon. Changing colour. Disguising the truth.

I will need mental health support for the rest of my life. Though I am hopeful I will recover.

It takes time.

And it will need me to know and recognise when enough is enough.


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