Category Archives: Addictions

Boundaries and Recovery

I had a revelation this morning as I was waking up, that wonderful place between sleep and wake, I love it there, I seem to get a lot of insight when I am listening.

I had been dreaming about an old boyfriend, and saw his disrespect for me, something that for me at the time was perfectly normal. In the dream, we had arranged to meet up after a party where we both were and all of a sudden some friends of his had turned up and he said sorry I am going with them……..not would you like to come nothing, I was  just dropped.  Somehow I just accepted it, just like I had accepted it most of my life.  Even though I was so angry inside I did not have the words to say how I felt and this is not ok, and I realised in that moment, this is where my addictions come in.  It was a real moment for me.  I would stuff the anger with booze, food and then become passive aggressive and as a child this is when I would self harm, I had no words to say this is not ok for me, they were buried way deep inside and for some reason they still are to a large extent.

I am realising this behaviour is a huge part of my depression and my mental ill health, I had no way of really understanding how to deal with this. No words. My parents were pretty unreliable, my father was busy working and often away and anytime I challenged my mother on her lateness, which was most of the time, she would always put it back onto me, saying something like ‘I am here now, what is your problem’ and I would be left with it.  Now I see the problem is she never called to say she was late, she just turned up and that was supposed to be ok, now I am seeing it is not ok, but all this time I have thought it was me and I have chosen so many people to replicate the same thing.

I am begining to realise the extent of my co-dependency, it is definately at the root of my addictions.  I am only now getting to see my part in things, my part is not putting up with it, setting boundaries and if necessary walking away.  I realise that, as I said to a friend of mine, we teach people how to treat us, if we respect ourselves then they will, it has taken me years to really understand these words and for them to go from my head to my heart.

I am finally learning a language that I lost.  I would blame others for treating me like shit, I had no idea I let them.  And likewise, others would blame me for treating them like shit and I would take it on, they would blame me for treading over their boundaries, I did not know they were there, they never told me.  I feel I have had a great epiphany this morning and I want to share it with you, I think the world is going to become a much easier place for me as I am learning that maybe, just maybe all that shit was not mine, I could have said not thanks, please take it elsewhere, this public convenience is actually closed.

Moving On!

I have decided to write my way through the next few weeks, as I prepare to move home and move back toLondon.  I wanted to catalogue the things that have to be done and how I believe miracles are going to happen, to move me on.

The past almost 3 years, I have been living in what can only be described as one of the most beautiful houses I have ever seen in my life.  It is stunning.  I used to drive past here 3 times a week on my way to therapy.  I would sit in the traffic every morning looking at this house thinking, God, I would love to live in that house, and now, I sit writing this looking at the passing traffic………..it is amazing.  Little did I know that the people who live here were hoping that somone would rent the property that they would get to know. This was all happening around 2008/2009 and I moved in here on 1st Oct, 2009 after everything had been brought to a head in my old property and I had decided, wth the help of a friend that enough was enough and I had to move out!!

We were made homeless because the council had absolutely nothing to offer me, and private landlords are not happy to have people who are living on Housing Benefit, so we were truely stuck.  My son was moving to London, and I was so mentally unwell I was on my way to re-hab for six months.

I prayed and prayed and had a dream about setting up a company called Addicts4Addicts, at this time I had absolutely no idea what to do about this, but the vision was there.  Today I have a business plan with it in it and am in the process of moving things on, all being well.

We were selling all my jewellery on ebay to buy food, we were scratching around for all we could find and counting the coppers all around the house. Then a friend very kindly offered to give my son and I our deposits so we could move on with our lives, and before I knew it I found a wonderful landlord who had absolutely no problem at all with me being on welfare and who gave me a beautiful home, which has been my refuge for the past 3 years.

Now, we are moving, the house I have been renting is selling and I have decided that I want to take this opportunity to move back to London. I left 26 years ago, to move to Hong Kong, then Portugal then Bristol and then Surrey, where we have been for the past 19 years………….it is time for me to go back, to the place that I call home.

So, this is the situation.  I am currently living on Housing Benefits and Income Support and sickness allowance, due to my Mental ill health, which I am hoping and praying will slowly improve as it has been a really tough year.  I have not heard from the estate agent since I told them I am living on Housing Benefit and so not sure what will come next.

I have been told that most landlords do not like to have people on welfare renting from them because some Councils tell them to stay there, even thought their tenancy has run out, that they can stay there and wait to be evicted………or, as another one told me, we advise people to lie to landlords, otherwise they will not be housed. So, this is my dilema and so I have decided to write about it.

I am 52 years old, I have a degree in film-making, which I absolutely love and I am planning on somehow, as I get better, to work in that field, never give up on your dreams they say!! I am extremely grateful for the welfare, having lived in countries where there is none. I would so appreciate any help with the move back to London.  I need to be out of here by the 29th August. So, lets see what happens. Please pray and keep your ears and eyes open for any opportunity. I almost got caught up in a huge scam last weekend, but I still believe in the good and putting it out there to God and the Universe. I am looking for a beautiful, either one bedroom or large studio appartment in SW London. I am so hoping one day I will be in the position to buy again, it feels wierd going back having lost everything in the 1989 crash.  I have just never managed to date to get back on the ladder.

Last week my main concern was finding another address for my currently rather dormant company and my tax returns and an accountant to do them………within hours this was sorted and we are just waiting for that to tie up. I have done a couple of car boots to get rid of my stuff and made a huge decision when getting rid of a few very important things. I also burnt loads of old bills and paper together with old bank statements………….it felt so good!

I have finally, after 26 years and 11 months, given away the contents of my maternity case.  Boy that was painful………I realise that it is time to let it all go.  I feel better for it. And as I embark on all the rest of it, papers, diaries, address books of people who have moved so many times from there, I realise I have been stuck in the past, distressed and traumatised by many things and now, I am slowly and very painfully letting it go…………and I am grateful.

I was talking with someone yesterday who told me the most beautiful story of her life and how everything has eventually been restored, it has given me so much hope, in the middle of chaos, it is all going to be alright, I just have to keep doing the work, be brave enough to let go and trust God to provide me with so much more than I could ever imagine.

Todays task is finishing my bedroom, so I have all I need in a suit case, the rest into boxes ready to go to storage…….the process is slow, but who knows how much I will eventually keep…….what do I really need and what is actually just ready to be let go of?

On Turning 50 – Recovery and beyond

It is a very odd stage in life, and for me one that has taken me a long, long time to come to terms with, a year to be precise. I am not totally there yet, but it is getting easier. When I told friends last year that I really could not cope with it, that I was grief stricken, mostly they did not get it, comments like ‘Oh Penny don’t worry 50 is the new 40 and on they went, it did not help, it just made me feel even lonelier. The year has been really difficult and I think that maybe that is because I am not where I had hoped and dreamed I would be, which is what I am really struggling with, facing that has been such a hard thing to face, but also so liberating, now I can do something about it.

I have to face the fact that I will not have any more children, the fact that I have one is a miracle, and I am truely grateful.  I had a fantasy of a wonderful husband, a lovely home and all that and I have to face the fact that I am responsible for screwing that up, because I did not think I was worth it, something else was driving my bus and it has taken me a decade to find it. I have lost most things, including my mind at one stage, mainly due to my mental health and addictions. I am faced with the fact that I still live on welfare and that no matter how hard I try, some days are still hard to cope with, just because.

I feel like I went to sleep at 36 and woke up at 50, wondering what the hell happened and that I have lost so much of my life and I don’t know how or why.  I am sure that for many women this is not what they want to hear but for me it is part of my recovery process. I also know that when I hear of other women who struggle with this it helps me so much so maybe me sharing this will also help others, who knows.  I do know that it always helps me to write my truth.

I turned 51 a few weeks ago and I still feel the loss, the transition is something that I have not been able to take graciously.  Some people say that women over 47 are invisible, no longer attractive, I choose to ignore such negativity, thank goodness.  I do remember hearing older women talking about things when I was much younger, such as you feel so much grumpier, no longer attractive and I could not understand what the hell they were talking about.  Now I kind of get it.

Something inside me, a kind of urgency is now however helping me to decide what I really want in my life, understanding no is a full sentance and that actually, I am the person who is responsible for my happiness, nothing new I know, but there is something really different when you begin to truely realise that you are the person who leads your life. Such a relief.

Russell Brand on Addiction

What a breath of fresh air Russell Brand is…………….I have to say I am so grateful that he said what he did……….it is time to treat Addiction as an illness instead of a crime……..absolutely.  It is an illness, it is not only a physical one it is also psychological and spiritual one.  Russell goes on to say that what really needs to be addressed are the symptoms of the illness, the route of the problems.  Once these are addressed, with good quality, supportive and compassionate treatment, the chances of recovery are greater. Sadly, even after almost 33 minutes, the government people on this clip still seemed to be missing the actual point!

This is so very true and something that seems to be missed all over the place.  Punitive, punishing approaches have been the way to deal with most things of an emotional nature over the generations as a rule, and lets hope that in the not too distant future we will see the wind of change.

Below most addictions, if not all is, as Russell says, is a lonely, sad, unhappy and detatched person who uses drugs or alcohol, or both, or food or anything else they can to stop the emotional pain.  The real problem comes in my humble opinion, when the addiction is addressed and the addict is left with the emotions, the reasons why they use whatever it is they use…………….that is where the real work is and where compassion is essential for anyone to get well.

I was horrified the other day when talking with my NHS Psychologist, she told me that new evidence has shown that Compassion is the new kid on the block, so to speak, when I said it is not rocket science……….I was told it is in the NHS………compassion for oneself, most of her clients have no idea of how to be compassionate to themselves……..and I am one of them, although I am getting a lot better than I was at taking care of me………the reason for this in my opinion is simple………to be compassionate towards oneself, one firstly needs to know what that is, what it looks like and then why they are not able to do it, and the worst thing of all, what is missing because of the lack of it.

As babies and children, we learn how to treat ourselves by how we are treated, we internalise it and then do it to ourselves.  If we have had a compassionate carer, we are naturally self compassionate…………….and the same goes for if we are treated badly.  I believe this is a social epidemic. Love and compassion are the way forward and they always have been………we have just lost sight of it in the crazy stressed out world we live in.  I salute Russell Brand for his candid honesty and hope that the government finally begin to listen to what the real issue is.

Borderline Personality Disorder/Emotional Intensity Disorder…what’s worse? Week 5

I hope you find this week’s entry informative and helpful. I have really been struggling this week, trying to put the pieces of what sometimes feels like my shattered mind together.

I found the group this week hectic. Digesting what is happening is still very difficult and I am wondering just how much theory one can actually process when things are so emotional, not a lot, it seems for me.  I need the middle bit, the bit that embraces my comments and not a theoretical answer. One thing I do know, I am learning what I need, and what I don’t need and having my thoughts about what I already know reinforced and actually speaking up.  But sadly, somehow I feel that the missing bit for me is not really happening.  The bit that addresses the part of me that was so left behind and not listened to and is still screaming out to be taken seriously and empathised with in a loving, soft and gentle way.

I am even wondering if I will share anything because it can feel too re-traumatising to open up and then not feel supported in the way that I need to be supported……….I am feeling very confused, and I am sure that that is not really the purpose of it all.

One of the things that is becoming more and more apparent to me is that this illness stems from childhood trauma, lack of support and something happening.  One of the facilitators said that one of her clients told her that when she was not with her she may as well be dead, as she could not hold her in her thoughts, it is exactly like that for me and it is excruciating.  That is why one of my therapists told me that being with me is like groundhog day, I can’t hold onto people being with me even if they are away.  I am realising more and more what I have already known, this is because when I was a baby, my mother did leave me, when I was a month old, for hours at a time and never came back. I had nannies, one after the other and I did not have a care taker who was attuned with me and therefore, nobody came when I actually needed them, therefore my needs were not met, therefore I cannot hold onto people.  It all happens in the first few years of life.

I thought it would be useful for some people to know what the charity, Mind, have said in their booklet about what can cause Borderline Personality Disorder, together with  putting the actual definition of Borderline Personality Disorder on this blog, together with a list of the requirements needed to join this very special group of us.

Mind have said in their bookelt Understanding borderline personality disorder:

What causes borderline personality disorder?(in my own words)

Many people diagnosed with BPD have had traumatic experiences in childhood.  This could be the loss of a parent;  sexual, emotional or physical abuse or neglect. It is said that the problems associated with BPD can often become worse after a stressful experience, situations like loosing your job, your relationship or something else that you personally find stressful.

It is for this reason I really believe we need to take good care of our children, the fact that so many parents are under so much pressure does not help the whole situation when it comes to the nurturing of our children.  I really believe this illness is far more common than we know.  It is a natural response to the impact of child abuse and neglect and the pressures that so many children are under today.  I believe it really is time to change.

According to the American Psychiatric Association (2000) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, this is what our illness is made up of.

A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects (mood), and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more0 of the following:

1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. (Note: do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behaviour covered in criterion (5)

2.  A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterised by alternating between extremes of idealisation and devaluation.

3. Identity disturbance: persistent and markedly disturbed, distorted, or unstable self-image or sense of self.

4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (eg: spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating).

5. Recurrent suicidal behaviour, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behaviours.

6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).

7. Chronic feelings of emptiness

8. Inappropriate, intense anger or lack of control of anger (e.g.,frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).

9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms.

I hope you have found this helpful, I  know I did.

Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2012 – It’s Not All About The Food!

A reporter friend of mine, Sara-Jayne Kirk has done two great interviews this Eating Disorders Awareness Week.  One with ED Specialist Ann White and another with Gregory Szanto, the Founder of The Sussex Eating Disorders Clinic in Eastbourne.  Both of these interviews give such insight into the depth of the problems for those suffering from Eating Disorders. They also highlight very clearly, that Eating Disorders have very little to do with the actual food and much more to do with emotions.

As well as being helpful and empathetic with the sufferes, these interviews also highlight the gaping whole in the NHS provision for people with this problem, which I know personally only too well. I hope you will find them useful and please do pass this blog on to anyone who you think might benefit.

For some people this is their only addiction. For others, like me, it was found buried under the carnage of alcoholism, drug addiction, sex and love addiction, not to mention all the other ways I had  learnt to avoid my feellings.  Franetic activity, workaholism, never ever being able to be alone and all to try and fill a huge emptiness in my soul. It is also on the check list for those with Borderline Personality disorder, along with other addictions, such as alcoholism and sex.

A friend of mine told me recently that it is to do with ‘mother love’, lack of love, lack of connection, lack of attunement or rejection or abandonment.  For me, this has always made perfect sense, and this is not a blame game, it is fact for me…………and it is for many other people I know.

Fortunately, I eventually had treatment for my compulsive overeating, binging, bulimia and undereating, I have a food plan, do not eat white flour or sugar and have lost a lot of the weight I put on over a very short period of time. But it never ever goes away and I have to watch myself every single day.

If I feel upset, rejected or unloved, it is the very first place I can go………….and sometimes without even knowing it.  I diluded myself the other week when I brought a very small bar of dark chocolate from the ‘Free From’ range. I had barely got through the door, promised myself that I would have it with a cup of tea, but it was gone before the kettle had boiled.  I know why, and it scared me. I felt so rejected by someone and there it was! Thank God it was just that one bar.

In 2008, I hated what I had become, I felt utterly miserable and hated life.  Slowly I am recovering.  I ate on feelings, and still have to watch it, as I have already said, when it is really bad it can still catch me out.  I would always eat on feelings that I could not express, but now, what is different is I have people and places to go where I can express them and someone bothers to listen without telling me I am crazy or making it all up for attention.

For that I am truely grateful.

Borderline Personality Disorder/Emotional Intensity Disorder…what’s worse? Week 4

I would like to start this week’s entry by thanking the people who have taken the time to contact me personally and share their experiences and to encourage me to keep going.  Thank you so much for your kindness and support, it helps me not feel so alone.

This week our lesson was Communicating………….when you are in a really chaotic place! Well, at the moment, this is not going to be possible for me, something else for the tool kit!  I have been really struggling with this course to be honest.  I find it very hard to be so detatched from my emotions to be logical about them. I also find it very hard that we are so rushed, there is little time for exploration of how we actually feel and that the facilitators are so target focused that we are basically ticking boxes to say how we feel, and barely have time to talk about it. This taps right back into the reason I am actually on the course in the first place…….my feelings not being heard and validated!  They do try, I have to give them that, but there are at least 5 out of 9 of us who really need some extra support.  Fortunately for me, my friend pays for my private therapist, without that I would be in a very, very different and very scary place.

I have challenged my Psychologist about this problem within this model of treatment for those with Borderline Personality Disorder/Emotional Intensity Disorder, neither descriptions are particularly palitable, only to be told that this provision is cheap and that the funding is not really available for therapists to support us whilst we are going through what can really only be described some days as a living hell.

Distancing, communicating and expression are not on my radar when it comes to me feeling like my whole world is falling apart, I just need a hug to be honest.  All this head stuff is really counterproductive in so many ways, when it is on its own. I spoke to someone on Friday who very beautifully put it that it is my little girl who is stuck and needs support, love and nurturing to come out….that is what they call my illness! When I share my pain and am dismissed, invalidated, because someone is rushed or doesn’t know how to help, I feel shut down and it is excruciatingly painful for me.

I had a really good example of how this effects my life and I have realised a lot from it…………this week I had arranged to meet a friend at 1pm……….she was still not at mine by 1.20pm and I was really in a bad state, I had to hold onto the sofa and was sweating so badly, I felt so totally disorientated for a good 20 minutes. The pain in my head was almost unbearable. I  eventually calmed down and called her and was pretty passive aggressive, which is not helpful.  When she arrived at 1.45 I said that I really understand that she has lots to do etc but please would she call me to let me know she is going to be late………….I got the most beautiful supportive response, ‘If that is important to you Penny I will do my very best, I know I am a bad time keeper etc etc!!!  This is the difference, someone who takes responsibility and who I matter to.  It was a huge risk for me, I was scared I would loose the relationship, that she would shout at me and tell me to shut up and what is my problem, she is here now……….totally invalidating my feelings and that would be it.  I had that my whole childhood.  My mother was always late and I would wait for her for hourse, sitting on the stair, no phone call nothing.  When she arrived I would say I have been waiting for you for so long and was really upset, the response………….I am here now, what’s your problem!  That is why I am so ill, terrified of speaking my truth and splitting off.

One thing I have learnt, it takes two people to heal and I am so grateful that I have that support around me today, because it has taken a long long time.

Borderline Personality Disorder/Emotional Intensity Disorder………….what’s worse? Week 2

It has taken me almost a week to process the information from the session on Tuesday.  We discussed Filters, which somehow put so much into context for me.  I have talked about it, thought about it, made a video talking about it and yet, the understanding still seems to come and go.  When it comes back, it feels like I have learnt it all over for the very first time.  In summary, filters are our view of the world, based on our childhood and earliest experiences, that is what the world is.  It seems to be that the level of negative experience in early childhood has a far more reaching impact on our lives than I first knew.

The last week has felt like a great big metal ball on a chain swing, rather like they use in demolition of buildings, has come along and smashed down a great big thick brick wall inside my head, from the inside out.  I am on the inside of the wall, in the corner wondering what the hell is going to happen next.  I feel more vulnerable than  I have been in a very very long time. I am having to put one foot very slowly in front of the other and my response to things is very very slow………………for the first time ever……….I just don’t know. I really do not know and it is scary and exciting all at once.  It feels like I have just woken up to be told that everything I have ever known is not at all as it is, that actually it is anything and that my view of the world is all it is, my view, and that where that has come from is why it is my view!

Really realising that all my reactions are down to childhood abandonment and very early levels of trauma is a huge amount to take in.  I am grateful for this opportunity to do the STEEPS programme,  and I am begining to see what the great teachers talk about when they say, change the way you think and you will change your life…………..!!

The video below is one I made on this subject, it really does take time to get to grips with all of this stuff

Borderline Personality Disorder/Emotional Intensity Disorder………….what’s worse? Introduction

This is another one of those moments when I feel like I am about to take a huge leap of faith, and am about to share yet another part of who I really am.  What will you do?

Will you laugh? Will you leave me? Will you understand? I have to be brave and not worry about what you think if you don’t get it, and hope that someone out there will really get it, and will understand.  My friend Matt called it ‘Finding Your Tribe’ and I guess that is what is so cool about being true to who I really am, I will continue to find my tribe.

At last, I have had my diagnosis!!! In one way it is such a relief and another it leaves me with great sadness that it has taken so long and caused me and others so much pain.

I have been into two re-habs, assessed by a Psychiatrist, and still, no-one knew what was really wrong with me.  I was told in the last re-hab that I did not have any signs of Borderline………….and thank God one of the support workers suggested I did not leave without connecting to my local Community Mental Health Team…………….although it has to be said, they have taken almost two years to get their act together due to lack of funds, staff cuts and all the other chaos that is around the mental health support at the moment.

I was offered this label as a possible reason for my problems way back in around 2000, when I had researched and saw that I was possibly bi-polar as my mood swings were so up and down and no matter how sober I was, my head was playing havoc and I was really mentally unwell.  That was one of the worst things about getting sober, the lack of booze to sooth my mind was leaving an even bigger issue, my mind was not right, only I had no idea until I put all the substances down.

So, in April 2010, I come out of re-hab, no money for follow up and on a waiting list so long that it took months to see a psychologist.  In the meantime, I was seen by a psychiatrist who did not understand addiction and offered me Lituium, just in case I had bi-polar or borderline, while I wait to see someone…………….no thanks.  Then, I finally see someone, the failed attempt at a form which I found ardeous and far too painful to complete and not enough time to go over the questions it all seemed horrendous and unsupported, then, she left as her job had been cut, and I was left high and dry, in the midst of an emotional turmoil which I found so hard to manage. It is because of this that I have such gratitude to my friend who pays for me to see a therapist, because without her, I actually do not know where I would be.

Now, months and months later, I am finally called in, told they would like to assess me, I get 9 out of 9 of the questions right and I am now on a course called STEPS, designed in America to help people who have Borderline Personality Disorder, or as they like to call it now Emotional Intensity Disorder.  I will be blogging as I go through this, it feels like my world as I knew it is not going to be the same.  What I thought was normal I am being told is part of my illness, that to me is very odd indeed, because it is who I am I thought!

One of the symptoms is the use of at least two of the following potentially self-damaging behaviours, eg: sex, spending, substance misuse, including alcohol, binge eating and reckless driving………….It makes me wonder just how many people have this and don’t even know it.

It stems from childhood, and whilst this is not to blame my parents, hard as that is cos I really feel like it and somedays I actually really do blame them, I am not there yet with that.  It stems from the level of abandonment trauma in childhood and this sets up a pattern of real or imagined experiences as we get older.  I know it has with me.  For example, I think everyone is going to leave me and never ever come back, it is agony and I find the world a very painful place to be.  It also stops me expressing myself sometimes fully because of fear of abandonment and rejection, all this has a devastating effect on my life and those around me and I am going to do my best to learn all I can.

I hope to hear from anyone who has anything to add to this and look forward to learning all about myself.  I have always found the world a very difficult place to exist, I battle on a daily basis and I hope that I will learn some tools to help me. I am a bit worried that it might be a bit of a plaster job but lets hope that emotions are encouraged to be expressed!!

Special and Different

It has been a while since I last wrote here and I have really missed it.

However, this has been a really helpful time for me in many ways.  I realised something very important, I don’t expect anyone to understand me.  This is on a very deep level and not even conscious, it is something that is so old it just feels normal and true.

Then, I remembered something someone once said to me, ‘sorry to tell you, you are not special and different’!

I was taken aback really, firstly because I did not know what they were talking about, and secondly because I truely believed I was.  Not in an arrogant way, although later it can be seen I guess as arrogant, but because for me, nobody got me, apart from my Grandma I now realise, when I was growing up. She never told me, but she did things, little things, that somehow made me feel safe on a very subtle level.  Other than that I was always told I was crazy, that I was attention seeking and every-time I tried to connect I was shut down and told to get on with it.  I longed for a warm embrace, someone to listen to me and just get me, someone who would say, when I asked them why they were late again and I had waited hours, sometimes days, that they are so sorry and how hard it must have been for me.  Instead I got, what is your problem, get on with it, I am here now arn’t I!!

All this has contributed to me feeling very special and very different, and it is an awakening every day when someone gets me.  I have to say though, I shut down, I shut myself down and now I am realising that when people don’t get me, it is not because I am wrong or bad or stupid or any of the other things, it is just because they don’t.  However, others do!! This is a revelation for me.

I have truely believed that nobody would understand me, so I stopped telling anyone what was wrong, I stopped sharing my feelings and I stuffed them with whatever I could.  I made choices based on my own experiences, of people not getting me or wanting to be there for me and help me.  I am slowly changing, with the right people around me.  I need a lot of loving and slow awakening to begin to come out of what has felt like a living hell.  I think now it is one of the reasons I write, I have to get it out and it is so incredible when people tell me they get it.

So yes, I am special and different, but I am also begining to realise I am not alone.  It can be said in a rather derogatory way,’ you are not special and different’, but actually, I believe that until we find like minded people and have the courage to share our stuff, we do not know. Growing up, feeling alone, not being understood and being around people who do not know how to help you, does, in my humble opinion contribute towards people, me, feeling very special and different.  I left home feeling like if I told anyone my thoughts and ideas, they would laugh at me, so why would I tell anyone anything?  Thank God this is changing.