It’s been a tough six months

I’ve not been so well over the last 6 months and I feel like I want to explain myself.

A lot of what I’ve written about has been about how being a unemployed wheelchair user with a chronic pain condition effects my day to day life. This time, even though there have been a fair few big physical health flares in the last half year, it’s been my mental health that has been the biggest barrier to living my life the way I’d like to.

As you may or may not recall, in September I ended a 3 year slog of intensive psychotherapy. It was all part of the process to help me come to terms with, and move forward from my past. Five years of horrendous domestic abuse and three years of hell afterwards coupled with the trauma of being burned from neck to ankle and of being raped on top of dealing with becoming physically disabled left me needing some help to make sense of it all. It was very easy to believe that either the world was a terrifying place and that I was better off dead than living in it or that I brought all that stuff on myself because I was a fundamentally broken & despicable person (and was therefore better off dead). Feeling suicidal constantly is pretty tiring, simply living becomes such a battle there is hardly time to deal with anything else. Understandably I wanted that feeling to go away and was prepared to work very hard to get that noose off my neck.

Over the years I managed to come to terms with it not all being my fault, that maybe I was not some sort of monster, that people do not always view others with empathy and coincidence is something that really happen. I got some of the most debilitating elements of my PTSD under control, came to terms with the fact a pretty hard life had left me with a personality disorder & some pretty severe dissociative problems and learned to differentiate “not wanting to feel this way” from wanting to be dead. All in all it was pretty successful! The therapy ended as well as it could, I knew it was coming & we talked about it plenty before the end came. I left feeling like I had achieved a great deal and was ready to take a break from the process for a while.

I wasn’t expecting, and certainly wasn’t prepared, to be a victim of my own success. The thing is I’d learned to dissociate at a very young age and had come to rely on it heavily as a defensive mechanism. It makes it difficult for me to connect with my memories in a meaningful way – which helps to protect me from the pain but makes acknowledging & accepting it all pretty hard. I’d done a lot of work to break through that defense mechanism thinking that I could cope with what ever surfaced as a result. You can guess what’s coming next. It turns out I didn’t cope very well. The whole world became unbearably scary, every thing courted a panic attack, flashbacks started getting triggered left, right & center, I started sleepwalking when I wasn’t having nightmares and I stopped being able to manage interpersonal relationships as well as before. 

Because of the nature of the online world, especially when you work to raise awareness of issues like feminism and disability, I decided to step away before I let it exacerbate my condition. I ‘m sure I’ve missed out on loads of interesting conversations, debates and ideas – something I’m going to try to catch up on though it will take some time. I’ve missed you all and I’m looking forward to getting back to normal x

 

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