A year ago, on 5th February…

I don’t know if you have realised, but I have only realised how my blog was one year old, on 5th February. It all started with my first post, Hello world.
When I first started writing this blog back then, I did not realise how long I would write this for. I did not have any long-term goals for it, other than this blog be therapeutic for me.
I have met some lovely supportive people via WordPress and who are mostly bloggers themselves. You have shown me what a supportive, lovely bunch you can all be, to say you have not met me personally and only know me through my blog. (Although there are friends who read this too and have met me, or know me personally in some way. Some are even from when I wrote my deaf blog.) Although I have said thank you before for following my blog, I thank you again.

I have expressed some triggering contents in my posts. A lot of them was at the beginning of my blog journey and for those who have read this blog from the beginning, will know certain things I had to do, to help me on my healing journey after counselling had finished. I also revealed bullying and the effects. (As if I did not have enough already in my childhood.)

This year, I revealed for the first time publicly, how one time I was raped some years ago. I shared this after #ITSNOTOK campaign. I felt such relief by sharing this, than I personally expected and weight off my shoulders. I suppose because I felt shame underneath, which I know I should not. It goes to show rape can happen anywhere and #ITSNOTOK.

I have learnt from feedback received, that this blog is a positive inspiration for you in lots of ways. I am happy to hear this and while I feel the need to write, I will continue. This blog covers a wide variety of things as I grow. It will still cover depression etc… whether I share my bad days, or news I learn from elsewhere, but also it will still cover my wellbeing at times and learning I do. There is also my garden that has caught interest with some readers last year. I do plan to share further this year, than I have already. So if you want to continue following the garden progress, then do keep reading.

Unseen

(Content warning: childhood trauma, bullying, abuse and rape.)

Behind closed doors, it was unseen to the extent what was happening in my childhood. How it all affected me and how it affected my mum.

People knew what my dad was, like they thought. But they did not know exactly what he was like.
Until the last few months recently, while chatting about it with family members, they also did not know what he was fully like as they thought.

“If I’ll have known,” they said.

What would they have done?

At school I am bullied for my hair colour, for being quiet, and for what I wear. I chose a school where uniform was a must, to be like everyone else I thought. Yet, I was still made to feel different.

They bullied me verbally. If I wasn’t getting some line of verbal abuse already at home from dad at times, or witnessing some verbal abuse of some kind.

Those bullies feeling great in what they are doing, knocking down my self-esteem, but because of the unseen.
Hey, I already had no self-esteem!

Years down the line, I get married.
It should have been bliss.
But no, I found I was at hands of verbal abuse again and one time of rape.
The difference with me at that point, I wasn’t going to stay and put up with it. I already gave two chances when it came to respect, but it would start again after two weeks of bliss.
I left after the rape, which was the first and last time that was going to happen to me.
But again, this is the unseen. No one see’s what is going on what should be a happy marriage.
After a few months of chatting living back with my mum, I talked about the full extent of that relationship I was in and I realised that had I stayed in this relationship, it would have been the same as my mum was with dad.

Damage from that relationship affects me today. But not as it did.

Verbal abuse is just as bad as physical abuse. If someone experiences this and does not share with you, you will not know the unseen, because you are not there.

This post created after seeing the Daily Prompt: Unseen

My very personal posts of 2016, that started off this blog.

If it wasn’t for offloading and using this blog as part of my therapy to accept what happened to me, then I probably would not have started this blog. Writing this blog has helped me to move forward and some things that were really troubling me, to let go of the guilt that I should not have had to start with.
Most of these following posts all have a trigger warning of some kind, stated at the beginning of the post.

Bullies! Do you think?

Bullies, do you think when you bully a person?
Whether you bully on your own, or in a group?
Do you think you are cool?
Do you feel good at the end of the day?
Can you sleep at night?
Do you think what you got out of it?
What did you get out of it?
Is your life that shit, you want to make someone else’s shit?

Do you think of the negative effect you have given, to that person you bullied?
Did you think how you knocked them down, whether they were already down and hurting before you started?
That person could already be having some sort of shit life, that you don’t see. A shit life at home.
Did you think? Did you?

Do you think how low they could go, like try to hurt or kill themselves?
Did you? How do you feel?
I hope you feel like shit, because people you bully don’t deserve that kind of shit.
It’s on your hands, if you push them that far.

So next time, think, before you act and choose the cooler option of being a friend, rather than a bully.

by Elizabeth Fisher

Copyright© 7th December 2016

#If depression were a choice

I created this post after inspiration from blogger, ‘Summer Starts to Shine,’ where she created a post of the same name: ‘#If depression were a choice.

#If depression were a choice

If depression were a choice, I would not have witnessed as a child of the ups and very bad downs of my mum’s mental health. I would not have worried whether she would disappear again, like before.

If depression were a choice, after seeing how it affected me personally as a child and, also how it affects other people and their families, then I would not choose depression myself. Because after all, it is no fun.

If depression were a choice, I would not struggle to get out of bed some mornings, or sometimes worry about the day ahead.

If depression were a choice, I would not have wished at one time that I was dead and that I was of no use to this world.

If depression were a choice, then I would choose to not have depression. But unfortunately it is not that easy.

If depression were a choice, then I would not have needed the doctor, counsellor or my medication.

If depression were a choice, then my mind would choose to stop dwelling on things.

If the bad experiences of childhood (including bullying, if I did not have enough already,) and early adulthood had not happened, then I would be able to stop my brain having the memories of those days and re-living them.

Until you have been in my shoes, or other people’s shoes of people suffering mental health, then you do not know. So please do not judge.

What I experience to another person it is different. I know how my experiences affect me, but it does not mean I know fully how it affects the next person. I can only be there to support, or to just listen.

Receiving comments of the following I write below, that I have heard personally myself over the years, are not helpful at all.

  • You can choose not to dwell on things
  • It happened to you a long time ago and so you should put it behind you
  • There’s no point living in the past
  • Isn’t it time you moved on?

So until you have been in our shoes, suffered what we have suffered, you will not know how exactly how our past affects our mental health. So do not judge, but listen to our stories and try to understand how it affects us.

If depression were a choice, then I would choose not to have depression.

Did you have anyone to look up to, as a child?

I did not have any one to look up to as a child. Did you?

As you know, my childhood was not great by how my father behaved and I grew up only knowing mental illness, because of my mum having it.

To look up to, I mean I did not have anyone who I knew who inspired me, or who said I can do this. I don’t really remember receiving any praise and when I did receive something, it was always negativity.

The only time I remember my dad encouraging me as a child, was when he suggested, if I wanted, to make notes of what I learn from wildlife programmes we just to watch. I could then write it up in neat and he would buy me a hardback book to put it in. I loved the idea and so I did do this, writing what I had learnt. Rest of the time with may dad was when he would mouth off. More so when he had his drink.

If I wasn’t well, he would say I was putting it on. My mum knowing different would take me to the doctors and find out I was not well as her gut instinct told her. Why my dad would think I would make up being ill I do not know, but those of you who knew my dad personally, would know I would not dare to pretend to be ill with my dad.

My mum was not a confident person and so as well as struggling to show her love to me, (but I knew she loved me,) I have never known her to say you can do this, or well done. When I was shown as a child to do joined up handwriting, after asking my mum to teach me, I remember being taught and enjoying it, but not there was no well done, that’s good, or an encouragement tone of some kind. My mum was one for bottling things up, something at one time I used to do, until my 20’s.

I remember at school the only praise I got was an art teacher who said if I keep this up, I should get a C, in my exam grade. The rest of the time was a fight through comprehensive school, because my memories are negative ones, due to being bullied. They were the years I felt alone.

Is it any wonder I struggle to keep positive with myself, have that ‘can-do’ attitude, or stop calling myself !

Fighting to keep my confidence gained and to increase my self-esteem, I have done myself, throughout adulthood. So this is a self-learning experience for me. But I am also in a right group of people, whether near or far, where I am meeting motivated and inspiring people and some of those people have been encouraging me, with a ‘can-do’ attitude and tips, in different learning journeys I am experiencing. 😊

Talking therapies

As you know from reading this blog, I have had counselling in the past, the last two sets of sessions being very helpful for me.
This was because after the counsellor who I had for my first of theses two sessions, identifying my childhood past being the cause of how I was now.
Since these sessions have ended, I have been writing this blog as my continuing therapeutic way of dealing with things, as well as other things, like learning something new, remembering to give self-love.

I recommend talking therapy to anyone who is struggling. Talking therapy can work alone, or alongside antidepressants from your doctor, depending on the individual.

I recently learnt that someone closer to me was not doing well as I thought. After this person asked for advice, which I gave, I could see there was a bit more to it then the person was letting on, so I asked further. The person wouldn’t answer this question, as was concerned how I would feel ashamed of them, of their response.
I reassured that person, that I am sure you have done nothing to be ashamed of and that the advice I gave before would not help alone, as I could see whatever this issue was needed to be addressed. This would mean if they felt they could not be open with me, then to speak to a counsellor where you will not need to feel worried about being judged, because they are there to listen.
On answering further questions about what to expect in counselling sessions to reassure this person, because they have never seen a counsellor before, I printed off the necessary information, so they could self-refer. I hope this person does follow it through, because I know this person would benefit from it so much.

If you are feeling the need to talk to someone and have no one, or not confident in speaking to a friend, or family member, then please do speak to a counsellor. They are not there to judge, they are there to help.

I do recommend talking therapy, because you are in a neutral place where you do not need to worry about upsetting, or worrying a friend or relative, so you can unburden yourself. A place where you also won’t feel judged.

For more information on talking therapies, please visit this page at Mental Health Foundation.

The Run.Rabbit.Run. PTSD award

I have been nominated “The Run.Rabbit.Run. PTSD Award,” by Courage Coaching. This has been a lovely surprise to receive with this blog not even a year old yet. Thank you Courage Coaching. (This award was previously known as the Blogger Recognition Award).

run-rabbit-award

The rules:

  • Thank the blog who nominated you, share the link and award on your blog.
  • Write a brief story on how you started blogging and any advice you would give to a new blogger.
  • Select nominees (max 15)
  • Advise nominees.

 

Why I started blogging

I started blogging as a releasing outlet for what I was feeling, which has now turned out to help others, or be an inspiration. My blog has reflected as I change accordingly, which I hope to keep my blog positive, but like anyone with depression, it could change on my down days etc…

Blogging became therapeutic for me and continues to do so and I have come across many lovely followers here since bringing my blog to WordPress.

Advice to any new bloggers

Advice I would give to a new blogger is to just be you, as this will reflect in your post.

I would like to nominate the following for The Run.Rabbit.Run. PTSD Award

These are just some of many, I have picked, that I love to follow for different reasons. I know some already have this award, so I don’t expect them to do it again and others that I have nominated I don’t know if they have. But enjoy the award either way.

I will never do school reunions…

(Content Warning: childhood bullying and mental health.)

School reunions I will never do, as all my years at Comprehensive school was a nightmare. From the moment I was there, I was excluded from groups. I experienced verbal bullying mainly, with one being just a push. But just because it was verbal, does not make it any better! Verbal can be just as bad, or worse! Not forgetting, issues I had at home, then experiencing this all through the years I was at my last school. Is it any wonder I did not look back!
With the bullying I experienced at school, because they did not give me a chance to get to know ME! meant I felt I could not be ME and GROW.

IN FACT! Bullying started in the final years of junior school, when I think about it. I remember in my dinner break, the head teacher came out with a cricket bat, stumps and ball. He wanted to play non-stop cricket with us. I was looking forward to this I remembered, but also I was dreading. Dreading because no one would want me on their team. (As usual, I would be the last one chosen.) Can you imagine how I felt? Well, I had to be on someones team. So picking me last, you STILL end up having me and I end up being in your team, whether we like it, or not.
A smug grin comes to me as I start to write the next part. It was my turn, the head teacher was bowling and I started hitting the ball and running back and forth. I don’t know how long this went on for, but it felt forever. I could not be knocked off for some time. Not only had I shocked myself, I also shocked the team I was on and the opposite team. All of them, that did not want me on their team.
I remember how my team, there were whispers of shock and they were impressed how good I was. This carried on for 5 minutes after, that I was aware of! I will never forget that smug feeling I had and thinking, but not saying, ‘shove that where the sun don’t shine.’ Remember they are impressed now, but before, no one wanted me on their team and this STILL continued all through the Comprehensive. (So they learnt nothing new and still did not want me.)

Bullying stopped, as I mentioned in another post when my Dad died. I don’t know how I got through these years of school. But I suppose it is like I have learnt through counselling for things I suffered at home, I am a survivor. That was what I had to do. Survive.

I only started to grow, after leaving school. But going into a relationship that turned out not to be great and experience abuse in that, did not help me grow as I thought I was doing. But, I did not put up with that first relationship. There was no way I was going to stay in that kind of relationship and I was lucky that I felt strong to walk out and not look back. But it wasn’t easy and I had to have some counselling for that alone.

But I am here and I am stronger than I was then. But, I would never go to school reunions. They don’t interest me and it is an area I am best avoiding. I would gain nothing out of it.

Related posts:

My escape from the world, as a child.

(Content Warning: childhood bullying and mental health.)

From issues I had at home, as well as at school, I would let my imagination run a way with me. When  I was at junior school (and maybe before,) I remember being mostly in my bedroom. I would be playing with my dolls, creating stories with them. I also was a bit of a tomboy as a child, as I loved playing with cars and I did not mind getting dirty. Not that there were many times that I got dirty as a kid, until my dog, Brin came along.
Brin was my next escape from the world. I loved taking him for long walks and brushing him. When it was the school holidays, I’d be out three times a day with him and when I was a bit older, Dad allowed me to take him a walk further, as long as that when I came back round from this circular walk, I popped into the house to tell him I was back, before playing with the dog back on the field.
My other escape from the world, was when ‘Beauty and The Beast’ came on TV, starring Ron Perlman, Roy Dotrice and Linda Hamilton. Oh, how I longed to live in a world like that, where people cared for one another and giving each other respect. A place where to feel safe and where there was no hate or bullying. I never missed an episode. I would imagine living in a place like that.

When I was at comprehensive school, this was where I received bullying, which was mostly all verbal. The only timed I was pushed, was when I was in the first year. This bully tried to do the same thing each week in the changing rooms. I did not react. Eventually she became a friend and I remember a moment we mucked about in the dining hall. I never seen her after that.
I remember first day at comprehensive school of already being pushed aside. No one wanting to know me in my class. The person who sat next to me, who I thought was a friend, got called over to another table. There she sat the whole time with them. They just stared and never invited me over. Not that there was any room anyway.

I hated comprehensive, as I had no escape from the verbal bullying there. I already did not have any confidence and this was all a further knock down, that I felt I could not grow. If I had not been scared of Dad, I would have skived off school.

I would be called ‘gingernut,’ ‘fisher price’ and asked ‘very personal questions.’

When I was 13, I was asked a certain personal question. I remember speaking back for the first time, asking to tell me there’s and maybe I will share. (Not that I would have.) That person did not reply. I could see she did not want to answer and I let her know that. I said until you can answer a very personal question like that yourself in front of your friends, don’t bother asking me.
Another time I kept someone quiet, was when I was sick of hearing fisher price. I turned round and said, should I be offended by that? because it is a very well-known brand. Something you may use when you’re an adult one day and have a child yourself. Also, you never know, somewhere down the line there might be a distant relative of mine that created the Fisher Price brand. They did not like that response and I could not have cared, but it shut em up.

The verbal bullying stopped altogether, when Dad died. How I wanted to scream at the world when I was back at school observing this. I was like thinking, don’t stop now, I’ve had it all my life through comprehensive school!

Is it any wonder with what I had at home and this, that as an adult I have been so hard on myself! Easily criticizing myself, pulling myself down, calling myself! This is also something I have been working to do less of, since last year.