Note to self…

When I get angry… when I get impatient… when I get frustrated… I NEED to remind myself that, while she is (nearly) 22 on paper, her illness robbed her of the last 7 years or so. In actual reality (not by passport D.O.B.), she is only 15. A teenager, trying to figure it all out. Money, relationships, independence, belonging… the lot. Her eating disorder took over, and it is NOT her fault.

So when I get angry and impatient and frustrated, I NEED to remind myself that she feels just as lost as I once did…

That she’s doing what I did when I was 15.

Not what I was doing when I was 22.

Because she’s catching up.

Fighting back.

Clawing her life back from this horrible, all-consuming illness.

Clawing it back from the darkest corners of her soul.

And I am so proud of her for doing that.

As the Mexican proverb goes: “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.”

Watching her grow and blossom is such an honour and a privilege.

Thank you. ❤

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Okay, THAT was weird…

I’ve been feeling progressively more agitated, desperate and tearful. I’ve had intense yearnings to self-harm (even though I don’t – bear with me on this one…), and yesterday, I’ve had to physically stop myself from throwing a home-baked loaf of bread across the kitchen in absolute anger.

After much soul searching (there is so much more to this than I can put into words right now – in the middle of making dinner, but I just need to get it out), we thought maybe I am somehow feeling what my step daughter is feeling. Physically. Emotionally. Only I can’t make sense of it, because it all happened so suddenly. The shift in how I was feeling. I found myself breaking down, crying, and screaming – and I even sounded like her… We decided there must be a reason for this.

I asked my step daughter to sit down with me, and it turns out that every single physical sensation I’ve been feeling, everything I have struggled with, everything I said was what she had felt. And instantly, it was like our souls switched again, and I was back. Back in control, and she was able to talk and feel what she was feeling openly.

It was weird.

I FEEL her. Truly truly FEEL her. Now that I know, life will be easier again. It scares me a bit, but this is what happened. So odd… I hope she’ll be able to start talking.

Lots of love xxx

Home Sweet Home…

But for who? I don’t feel like this house is a home any more.

I don’t feel like I want to be here any more.

But it doesn’t matter. Because apparently I don’t matter. How I feel doesn’t matter. Because apparently I am not the one in crisis. Apparently I always make everything about me, when it’s my step daughter who is in crisis. She is in charge. With her illness. Her actions. Her lies and deceptions. She calls the shots.

And my home doesn’t feel like home any more.

Doesn’t feel safe any more.

It’s the place where I am too scared to ask her little sisters to wake her up, just in case she took an overdose and is lying dead in her bed. Or they find her in a pool of blood from self harming too much.

But none of this matters. Because it’s all about my step daughter. It’s all about anorexia.

“Maybe you should use this opportunity to sit down and go over the ground rules again.” they say. Problem is: She KNOWS the ground rules, she just breaks them anyway. Goes through my stuff. Tries to break into the safe to get access to painkillers. When confronted she says “Oh but I can’t help it when I feel like that.” – And so I need to live with it. Every day. Living back in a house with someone I can’t trust.

And I hate it.

I used to love this place. This was my safe space. The first time I felt at home. Even when I was diagnosed with cancer four months after we moved here – it was always my safe space. All through treatment. Through chemo. Through feeling as sick as a dog, through losing my hair, through losing the skin under my feet, through my finger and toe nails falling off. This space always felt like my safe space. And it doesn’t any more.

And there is nothing I can do about it.

Because I, apparently and clearly, don’t matter.

How I feel doesn’t matter…

There you are – made this all about me again. Now I feel bad, because I think I somehow need to be bigger than this. But I am hurting. A lot. Want to drink until I don’t care any more. But can’t drink until I don’t care any more, because I am responsible for other children. Their safety. Especially my narcoleptic son with his powerful and dangerous medication.

I’m out of words….

One phone call later…

… we have been told to pick her up. Because she wants to spend the night at home and see how it goes. And then she’ll be discharged. Nobody is listening.

We are helpless.

I don’t know what to do.

Feel

So

Empty

And

Tired.

What’s the point?

I can’t see it anymore.

#this

#this has helped. Just getting it out.

I will now carry on. And fight again. And get dressed and feed the dogs, and pretend to the little ones that I’m okay.

And breathe… I will breathe…

All my life… (a letter to anorexia/depression/self-harming)

I originally wrote this some time ago – probably as long as two years ago, but I didn’t put a date on it. Just scribbled it onto a couple of pieces of paper and shoved it into my drawer. It seems appropriate to share it today:

 

All my life

I longed for a touch

that would give warmth.

A place that would feel safe.

Somewhere where I belong.

Where I can be me.

Where I am loved.

Safe.

Safe… What the fuck is that even?

I thought I finally was.

Safe in the arms of my soulmate,

surrounded by our children,

a bunch of injured little souls,

craving the same as I did

all my life:

a place to feel safe. Warm. Loved.

Safe.

And then you walked in.

On the back of our beautiful daughter,

gripping her tight,

and turning her into something so… I don’t even know.

Possessed.

Destructive.

Destroying.

Filling our beautiful home with lies and deception.

Dirty razorblades making a mockery of the beauty that was my fragile little hopeful origami box. Our wedding favour. A tiny little crane, symbol of everything I always wanted and thought I finally had, cruelly ripped out, discarded and replaced with pain.

Deception.

Arrogant fucking disregard.

So selfish.

Could you have chosen a more cruel symbol of a container to hide in? You bitch of an illness.

You know how to hurt.

Everyone.

More than you’ll ever know.

I am aching.

For all of us.

You brought so much shit into our house, and I am supposed to just be able to deal with it.

Because I am a fucking grown up.

Well.

Guess what?

I am broken.

I crumble every day.

Feel like there’s nothing left.

Feel sick.

Worried sick.

Literally worried sick.

Desperate tears running down my face,

don’t know where to turn.

Wincing at the slightest noise in the night.

Waiting for the next disaster to happen.

I don’t know where to go.

My safe place is finally no more.

Again.

I am

empty.

Dear Dr. W

You want to know how I feel when I feel like I can’t cope any more? Well, I tell you how I feel. I feel like I can’t lift me head off my pillow. I feel like there is no point. WHAT IS THE POINT???? I feel like it doesn’t matter how hard I try, how much I fight, how much I try to enjoy this stupid thing called life, it just throws more shit at me. It’s non stop. All I asked for was ONE WEEK to recharge my batteries, and even that’s gone to shit. There is a parcel waiting for me in the living room, waiting to be opened. My Mum sent it for my birthday. And I can’t even get myself to open it. Because I know I won’t be able to feel any happiness. And I want to be happy when I open my birthday present! I feel so empty. I feel, once again, that I have tried my absolute hardest, and it has made no difference. My step daughter is still ill, she is still trying to kill herself, she still goes through my stuff, and the people who feel like the only people who may be able to help her, are refusing to section her. The medical system is REFUSING TO SECTION HER. WHY???? If she did any of the stuff she is doing to herself to others, she would be arrested and sent to prison. I don’t know how to protect my children any more. I don’t know how to provide them with the happy childhood that I never really had. I don’t know how to give them a safe and happy home, when I don’t feel safe and happy in my own home any more. And I feel so helpless. And I don’t want to hate my step daughter, because I know it is not her fault. I know her illness is making her behave this way, but the destruction she is causing in her wake – both physical and emotional – to herself and all of us is like the devastation caused by a giant tsunami. Right now, I have a million things to do, yet, since last night, all I have done is stare out of the window. Slide down the kitchen cupboards to sit, rocking, on the floor when my husband begged me to get out of bed and come downstairs. I have cried. Cried tears of desperation, of emotional pain, of helplessness. I am not even dressed yet. I haven’t fed the dogs yet. And, right now, I don’t know how to knock myself back out of this. This is what it felt like all of the time, and it has come back. And I don’t want to feel like this, because I need to stay strong and be there for my thrown-together little family. Built on tragedy. And loss. And here I am, watching us all about to be thrown back into chaos. I CAN’T DO THIS ANY MORE!!!! And nobody. NOBODY! Is helping us. THAT is what it feels like. It feels like the professionals don’t care. Like all that matters is money, not souls. It was so easy for me to show my step daughter’s therapist last night in how much pain she really is, and what a disguise she puts on to escape the system. WHY DOESN’T SHE PROVOKE HONEST RESPONSES? Here we are, once again, having to look at our beautiful 21 year old daughter with cuts everywhere. Bleeding scabs on her hands, her face, and the rest of her body, where she has been scratching herself almost to the bone to make the pain stop. Screaming like a wounded animal. Scratching away at her face, whilst shouting ‘Oh my God! I just want it to stop!’, sitting with her legs up, suddenly hugging her knees, rocking, then disengaging, getting calmer, rearranging bits of herself that don’t need rearranged, picking at her trousers, her eyes suddenly filled with a vastness of pain and emptiness. No spark of life left. No spark of fight left. Yet they won’t section her. Because she is so good at hiding the true extent of the mess in her head away from the professionals who could make this happen. We have a ‘duty of care’ apparently, yet we care, but cannot get her the help she needs. The help WE ALL need. I feel like jumping out of the window. I feel like I want to fade away. I feel like I can’t take any more. Yet I will breathe. I will fight, and I will find a way to be around for my children. To find some morsel of resemblance of ‘normality’ for them to cling onto. I should be busy doing paperwork, then packing for a well-deserved two week holiday with our four younger children. But I already know that my step daughter is likely to be discharged from hospital before we leave. And then what? Come back to find her dead in our house? What is that going to do to the kids? And to us? How can we enjoy or even look forward to this holiday, when we know that our daughter won’t be in a safe place? We are damned if we do, and damned if we don’t. What is the right decision? We go, she makes an attempt on her life again and succeeds this time, we will not be able to forgive ourselves for the rest of our lives. We don’t go, and put our lives and the lives of our children, on hold, and it is all about her and her illness, we destroy our other children’s lives. THEY DESERVE A LIFE! THEY DESERVE ATTENTION! THEY DESERVE TO HAVE A CHILDHOOD! I can’t remember the last time I felt carefree. Actually I can. But it was only a fleeting moment. A fleeting moment of joy. Of hope that life could be good again. That was on a holiday after finishing cancer treatment. One. Fleeting. Moment. Of. Carfree… WHY ARE THEY REFUSING TO PUT HER IN AN IN-PATIENT EATING DISORDER UNIT when every second of every day she is consumed by food, how to avoid it, how to starve herself, how much she hates herself after a ‘binge’, how she then needs to cut herself until the blood flows freely. How it is driving her to attempt suicide, not once, not twice, not three times, but over and over and over again. I can’t cope any more. Yet I get no help. “I could give you some antidepressants” is the answer to it all. Apparently. I don’t even feel angry any more right now. Just tired. And empty. So empty. No joy. No hope. No point.