by Stephanie in Maine
I suffer from a variety of things. The first is being brought up in a household totally unaware of 'Mental Illness' and being 'disciplined' as my father was disciplined. My grandmother on my dad's side was the first person I believed to have a problem. My father has always had a very 'hard' way of living and was always the very first to tell us, 'stop crying' if we were being punished.
Mental Illness hurts everyone.... but mostly the newest generation of people whose parents are in their 70's now. They, our parents, do not know what causes it, and think that we can just 'stop it' when we want to. My mother, always asks me, "what happened to you?" I believe they just don't get it. For some reason, I have always wanted to tell my story, because everyone in my family DOES have a problem, but no one ever wants to admit it, but I HAD to see it after my child was born, and I had to take care of her.
I never wanted anything to happen to her that ever happened to me. She refuses to take medication, because she doesn't want to end up like me. Starting when I was 7, I was sexually abused, and never dared to tell anyone in fear that I would be blamed. I was abandoned, and left to my own resources in the 2nd and 3rd grade, but only because my parents thought I was being taken care of by my older sister. I was physically abused by a bunch of boys fondling and such, but it was blamed on me. I had a LOT of haunting phone calls when I was alone, telling me things I had never even heard of. I had a grown man trap me in a building, had him put my hand on him, and I was so scared. His brother was my family's friend, and also a constable. I got away, but not easily and with insults. I had a man chase me on a snowmobile, almost to my house, in which I hid, locked doors, and cried. I had another man fondle me and say things to me and want to have sex with me, and he told me I was just asking for it, and I managed to get away from him as well.
I was raped when I was 16. My brother, two years older, did awful things to me my whole life. He tried to drown me, he came at me with knives, hung me, tied me to a ladder for hours, totally embarrassed me every chance he got, and has always hated me. He lives just 15 minutes away and we haven't spoken for 15 years.
My relationships with people were always 'needy' relationships. I needed some one to love me, to protect me, to take care of me, and especially, to like me. In a way, now, I still have that feeling. I grew up getting very used to being hit. ALL of my male relationships until now have been physically abusive. The relationship I am in now, is verbally abusive, either by me or him. Sometimes I know, in my head, that he won't leave me, but I almost want to push him away before he hurts me, too. I do not have many female friends. I don't trust very easy. I was 'blessed' or 'cursed' with very strong emotions. I have a memory of most everything since I was 2.
I am a 'giver', and always have been, but I would like people to appreciate me. I want to be SEEN. I was the forgotten child, the invisible child, and the abused child. I have had things happen to me that a lot of people wouldn't believe. I was lucky to have insurance then, and thankful I still do. Most people do not, and they NEED to!
My first experience with therapy was when my mom and I left my dad. I was the bargaining chip. I had turned 18 the January before, and my father used me to try and get to my mom. Thankfully for her, it didn't work. I found a job as a grocery store clerk, like I did at home and my father was always calling me to go and help him in HIS store. I went back and forth for a very long time, before we settled in Maine.
No matter how old I got, my father always treated me as though I was 14. He needed to control, and I was his to control. This type of abuse has finally stopped at 45, when I wrote to him as though I was writing to a dead man. It sounds awful, but I had to do it. I had to cut his sickness out of my life, and work on my own. As I stated, the first time I went to therapy was when I was at my dads one time and he made me go. I ended up seeing the same therapist as him, and everything I said was repeated to him. I wanted to die. I tried suicide a few times, but couldn't do that correctly either. My last attempt was when my child was 4 and I took all of my medication. I slept for a few hours and my daughter was left alone, and I made a promise to myself that it would never happen again. I sought treatment after she was born, but was told I was an alcoholic. I truly believe it was post partum depression. I got no medication.
After I had started a relationship with a very abusive man, I ended up in another hospital, but got medication for my depression. I have been hospitalized many times, for panic attacks, 'breakdowns', and blue-papered.
I have been jailed when I should have been hospitalized. I have always been discriminated against, with people picking up my card like it had leprosy, my landlord never understanding, not being able to do anything, as well as trying to get services for my daughter. No one cared.
After 20 years, and many therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists, I have started college again, but I basically have no money to help me. The ONE important thing is if one is not happy with their doctor or therapist, get another, and another, until you find one that works for you. I needed to go to college for my self-esteem, and I have already signed up for another semester. Even if I fail college classes, I'm not going to quit. I play the guitar and sing, and I paint, and am actually pretty good.
I'm not retarded or psycho, I am mentally ill. It's like diabetes, or high blood pressure. The ONLY thing that has kept me coping is my daughter. I also have a commitment to my doctor, who I finally found is great, and my therapist and I have been seeing each other for five years.
DBT was not a help to me at all, as I do not believe for a minute I have BPD. I DO have Narcissistic Rage, and it explains a lot more to me than BPD. All I can say for anyone suffering, is do not do it alone, use the resources you have around you, and do not give up. You will find the right medication(s), and the right doctor, and the right therapist!!! I'm sure there is more, but this is the condensed version. Thank you for helping me 'unload'--maybe it might help some one.