Why I Choose to Live –
During one of my hospitalizations, we had to create a safety place. We were given a bunch of note cards and asked to put lots of different things on them….
- Warning signs that we were getting depressed
- Triggers for our depression
- Coping skills
- Things that made us happy
- and of course – who we could call when we felt suicidal
One of those cards though also was for, why we chose to live. Why did we want to live. What were our reasons for living.
I found that safety place the other day and looked through it. Most of it is completely irrelevant at this point. None of those people are in my life anymore. The triggers and warning signs I suppose are still there. Coping skills have changed. Things that make me happy are not the same. And, the reasons why I choose to live — well I am pretty sure I completely made up every single one of those just so I could tell myself there was something to live for — or the hospital made me write something.
Like, I wrote I wanted to have kids — yeah I have never wanted kids. Or I never wanted a baby of my own, to come out of me (sorry if that was graphic). But since being molested and raped, I just don’t deal with things “down there” very well. Adoption of an older kid, maybe. I wanted to live for God — yeah I believe in God, but I also don’t think God will send me to hell for suicide (don’t really want to debate this on here, so please don’t). Anyway, there was a bunch of stuff that I really didn’t understand why I wrote it.
So I figured I would make a new list — perhaps one I really thought about. So here goes – Reasons why I choose to live:
- I want to be able to use my past to help others. I am currently going to grad school to gain a degree in which I will be able to work with those that have been victims of trauma and mental health issues. I have experienced both of these things and I never thought I would be able to actually to turn my experiences into something positive. I hope that I can help others, by knowing where they are coming from, and relating to them, to help them overcome their traumas. I want to live so I can achieve this goal – getting my degree and helping others.
- I want to live to see if I will ever be happy, like really happy. I don’t know how to explain this, but I guess I want to see if there really is that light at the end of the tunnel. If I give up today, and then tomorrow would have been the day that would have magically been better – that would really suck. So I guess I should just keep living to find out! I am going to live to find out if that day ever comes. If it never comes, I will be pretty upset, but it won’t really matter if I am upset when I am dead will it?
- I want to live to see how much the world changes! Seriously, I can’t believe how much has changed in the 26 years I have been alive already. Just hearing how much it has changed for those that are older than me too. I can’t even imagine staying alive to watch it advance even more. What if they make awesome cool technology things – well of course they are going to do that! What if they find a cure for the different types of mental illnesses? I’m sure they are going to find better treatments for them at the very least.
- I want to see what the next big movie is. I really enjoy movies and while a lot of them suck – there are also a lot of good ones out there. Did anyone see Boyhood? It is filmed over 12 years with the same actors, great movie! Had a bit of triggers in there for me as there is some abuse in it, but it was sooo good! That was the last movie I saw last week. Now, just to keep living to see the next great movie!
- Travel! I really want to travel all over! I choose to live because I have not been everywhere yet. I will not die til I have been everywhere. Even after I have been everywhere, I still have all these other reasons to live – but this is one of them! I want to go to so many different countries!
- Most importantly — I choose to live for me. I have always done everything for everyone else. I have gone to school for other people, well yes I know school is required as a child, but I picked my high school electives based on what I thought people wanted. I picked my college major based on what I thought people would want. I did enjoy is all, yes, but it was still all for everyone else. I have always felt the need to please every (which goes back to my history of abuse). I have never felt like I can do something just for me. So, I choose to live for me. Not for anyone else, but for me.
Why do you choose to live???
How do you talk about trauma?
How do you talk about childhood sexual abuse? Or childhood abuse? Or rape at any age – childhood or adult? Or any type of crime that has been committed against you?
It is important to be open with you counselor, I understand that. I have an absolutely amazing therapist! She makes me feel comfortable and I feel like she would understand and believe what I told her.
I do not know how to talk to her though. I have written a few things, but even with that, it is hard. I cannot go into details about things. Writing or saying things just makes it real. I don’t want it to be real. I know it is real though – and I just want it to all go away. It won’t though, and it haunts me, and until I deal with it — I am always going to feel bad and have these flashbacks and nightmares and want to hurt myself and die as much as I do. I know I have bipolar and borderline personality along with my PTSD. But I know if I deal with this PTSD, my symptoms will go down much more.
How does everyone else talk about their traumas? Or just talk in general? How do you let our your feelings, your frustrations, your thoughts? I’m so scared to. I want to. I think about it over and over in my head because therapy. All week sometimes. I go in there with what I want to say. I have rehearsed it in my mind. Then, when I want to say it, my mouth can’t. It is like it is all jumbled up.
I have gotten better about opening up. But not about much. It is never going to go away unless I talk. I know that. She has told me. I believe her. I just don’t know how to. This is the first time I have ever face this stuff in therapy. I have told her more than I have told anyone else. I have gotten a lot out, but there is so much more.
So, how do you all do it? How do you talk in therapy? If you have been through abuse, sexual abuse, rape – anything like that – how do have you been able to talk about it? Even if you haven’t been through any type of abuse — how do you talk in therapy, how do you let out your emotions?
I am so incredibly thankful for my therapist. She has really been a lifesaver. No, I have not been incredibly open with her yet. Bit she has stood by me. Through my crying, dissociation, suicidal ideation, not talking, avoiding it all – she has been there.
I have told her more than I have told anyone ever before. I haven’t told her details about anything, but I have hinted at stuff. That is still more than I have ever said to anyone.
I have never felt comfortable with a therapist before. Well, once before I connected with a therapist, but it was after I had just been raped, and everything was so fresh on my memory I couldn’t comprehend anything and didn’t want to deal with anything, so I just didn’t. She was wonderful and I got along with her, but I just couldn’t talk about the hard stuff.
Now, I have another great therapist after being with a million others – and I still have a hard time opening up, but I am getting there. She has helped me realize that I need to talk to feel better, to heal. I am really going to try to at my next appointment. I don’t see her until next week. I am really going to try to write and just practice talking out loud to myself to hear it out loud. Say it. I want to talk about it. I want to heal.
Having a good therapist is such an important thing. I don’t think I would be where I am today if I didn’t have my current therapist. I still have bad days – horrible days. I still have been hospitalized twice in the last year. And even though each day I waiver on how I feel about myself, at least some days, I do feel ok about who I am. Some days, I still hate myself, but there are some days that I do feel ok about myself now.
With my previous therapists, they didn’t even touch on my trauma. Of course, we were trying to get my bipolar under control as that was completely out of control – but they also solely kind of focused on my BPD. I am not saying none of that was irrelevant, but I think now that I have really been working on my trauma – I have been having a better grasp on my emotions over all and being able to control things – I have been able to take better care of myself over all.
As I said, I still have really bad days. I still have almost had to be readmitted to the hospital, even recently. I still have the suicidal ideations. I still get mad and blow up at people. But compared to how I was, having my current therapist has been a godsend.
If you don’t feel like your therapist is the right fit – keep looking. It is ok to “fire” your therapist. They are working for you, and if they aren’t the right fit, it is ok to find another one. I didn’t do this a lot of the time… I kept sticking it out with mine and it never helped me. I would just go to session after session getting nothing out of it, feeling miserable. I would give up, stop taking meds, and just get worse. I finally had someone tell me – its ok to shop around for a therapist. You have to find one you mesh with, someone that you clique with, someone that you feel comfortable with. And you will know within the first 2-3 sessions. You don’t have to go for 3 months to figure out if they are the therapist for you. And if they are a good therapist, they aren’t going to be offended if you leave – they know that not everyone works with well with everyone. Certain styles of therapy work with certain people.
So – don’t give up if you don’t think therapy is working. Keep looking for a good therapist. Keep advocating for yourself. I used to think therapy was stupid cause no one seemed to be helpful for me. But there is someone out there that you will get alone with and connect with – you just have to find them.
This blog has been a great release for me. I have also said I still struggle. At the moment, that last sentence is something that has been a problem for me.
It is a struggle that I am dealing with in a way I am not very much used to. In fact, anything that is misspelled or looks weird in this I am sorry.
I have been dealing with trauma therapy. It has been going well, I have an amazing therapist and am so grateful that I her. She has stuck by me even when I could be open right away. It is getting hardest though and I can’t stay present much. Im awake then Im interacting with someone. If I sit at home, going off, I dream, I imagine, I cry, its in my face, its happening to me. Im fighting on the floor. The thoughts are being yelled in my years
I took ambien cause I just feel myself leaving. I talked to a friend from my NAMI group. I told her that my meds have made me better. I am not severely depressed like how I was. I do find joy at times. I still have this underlying ever day depression though. I still have this need to die though. It is this bizarre need, like I have always felt like I wasn’t supposed to be alive.
Is it because of the childhood abuse? Is it because of my genes? It is because of both? Nature, nurture, both?
I am not I will ever know what has cause my brain to hurt the way it hurts or have such hard feelings.
Anyway, I am on ambien and am completely falling asleep. So as I said there maybe a completely a million mistakes and this may make no sense. But I felt the need to write this.
Thinking our thoughts is hard. Ruminating on why things happen can consume our lives. From here, we really should just be asking, not why? but what now?
Not why did this happen. When did it happen?
But — What can I do now, from this point forward, what can I do?Where Can I go From Here
Anyway, I am posted this ahead of time, so it should be posted in a few days, but I am totally tired from the medication now… so if it appears as if I should have been awake when it is up and posted, this is why 🙂 Best wishes everyone ! For some reason this was on my mind and I felt like writing it, perhaps I will re-write it or a follow up later though.
Please add your thoughts as well!
One small crack does not mean that you are broken,
it means that you were put to the test and you did not fall
What is a mistake I will never make again?
I won’t ever not ask for help again. I went for years not asking for help. Hiding my depression, hiding my pain. I didn’t want people to think I was weak. I didn’t want people to not love me or care about me. I wanted to be strong and competitive in this world. I wanted to prove I could be somebody.
Depression, Bipolar, BPD, PTSD, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective, OCD, Anxiety, Eating Disorders, Trauma, Sexual Abuse, Child Abuse, Rape – whatever the mental illness or Trauma/Past is though – it doesn’t mean you are weak. It took me far to long to figure that out.
All I knew was that this world was about getting ahead. That is all that was preached to me in school – you have to do this, you have to do that. Learn this, learn that. Get into the best school, earn the highest grades. Take the ACT, the SAT. Apply, apply, apply. I was miserable, but I didn’t want to disappoint anyone.
On top of that, I really didn’t believe I was going to be alive. I really thought I was going to be dead, either by a natural death or by suicide. I didn’t think I was actually going to have to live up to those expectations anyway. So I never asked for help.
Then there was also the little fact that it was brought to people attention that I needed help, and no one seemed to care – so why would I ask for help when no one wanted to help me in the first place when others told them I needed it?
After being miserable for years though, and then seeing what my life has been like with the right medications and proper therapy — I would give so much to go back and get these things earlier in my life. What a difference I think it would have made, how much easier my life would have been.
Even though people don’t always listen when we ask for help. I still will always ask for it. I still will always plead for it. I won’t give up. I will keep asking, I will keep begging, I will keep pleading for the help. If I need help – I will get it – no matter what. Because not asking for help, will just lead to my destruction. I know that now.
Word Press Post A Day – When life gives you lemons… make something else. Tell us about a time you used an object or resolved a tricky situation in an unorthodox way.
I am sure that there are many times I have fixed things in an unorthodox way. I was a very creative kid. I went to Math, Science, Technology Magnet schools. We were taught all sorts of critical thinking schools. In nursing school you are taught critical thinking skills and to think outside of the box to help patients and solve problems. I have had to come up with ways to fix all sorts of things with unconventional methods.
I hate the term, “When life gives you lemons just make lemonade” though! No, when life gives you lemons you can’t always just turn the situation around. Sometimes life gives you lemons and it just sucks! You have to just take it, know that it sucks, let yourself feel those emotions that it sucks, and acknowledge that it sucks. You have a right to feel those thoughts and feelings and emotions. Why do people always have to tell us to get over it, move on, just fix it? I know we cannot wallow in it or ruminate on the problem or have pity party – of course not. But what we feel is what we feel and we have the right to feel those emotions. There is no reason that when something bad happens in our life that we should not be allowed to express that. If something bad happens, let me feel like shit. Stop telling me to just go make lemonade. I don’t want to make lemonade. I want to be pissed off for a while. Once I work through those emotions then perhaps I would have squeezed through enough of those lemons with my anger and frustration that the lemonade will appear and I might have bought some sugar at the store to add to it.
Pushing the bad stuff that happens to me to the back of my mind and never dealing with it, just makes it come back 10x harder later on in life. It builds up in me and eventually comes out as anger or resentment towards others. So no, no I am not just going to make lemonade or something else when life gives me lemons. Not right away anyway. Perhaps you will get some lemonade over time, a cup at a time over a while. But you aren’t going to be getting a jar of it all at once and I surely wont be setting up a lemonade stand making any money off of it.
There are so many different types of child abuse. No matter what kind, they all hurt the child – they all alter the future for that child in some way. The outlook that the child has from that point on is changed. Any event in our lives changes the way we see the world, not just abuse, but abuse changes it in a very different way.
I was affected by various forms of abuse growing up. The most significant form that has affected me as it was the result of many others was the sexual abuse I was subjected to from a teacher I had in 7th grade. My whole thought process on things changed from that point forward. Even today, I have not been able to wrap my mind on certain concepts and beliefs. I feel like things he told me are still true – despite the fact that logically I know they are not, my mind is still trapped around the idea that they are.
Abuse warps our minds and causes us to put up protective barriers. We shield ourselves from truths to save ourselves from feeling pain. I did this. I dissociated a lot. I pretended it wasn’t real. I did this growing up. I did this with my teacher. Then, I just decided to believe that what he told me was the truth. I decided that I believed it, it was true, that if it was true then there would be no pain. It was a survival method to keep me from suffering the immense pain that I had been suffering.
I don’t have to believe those things anymore though. I am still learning that. The abuse has left memories on me and I will never forget it. I am learning to cope with it all now though.
Abuse can, and many times will, affect a child’s current and future mental health. Depression is high in children that are experiencing abuse. PTSD occurs frequently for those that have had some type of abuse. Additionally, later on in life – the risk of mental illness has been found to be increased for those that have had past experiences with abuse.
As I said, there are multiple types of child abuse –
ChildHelp.org lists different forms such as :
Any non-accidental injury to a child. This includes hitting, kicking, slapping, shaking, burning, pinching, hair pulling, biting, choking, throwing, shoving, whipping, and paddling.
Any sexual act between an adult and child. This includes fondling, penetration, intercourse, exploitation, pornography, exhibitionism, child prostitution, group sex, oral sex, or forced observation of sexual acts.
Failure to provide for a child’s physical needs. This includes lack of supervision, inappropriate housing or shelter, inadequate provision of food and water, inappropriate clothing for season or weather, abandonment, denial of medical care and inadequate hygiene.
Any attitude or behavior which interferes with a child’s mental health or social development. This includes yelling, screaming, name-calling, shaming, negative comparisons to others, telling them they are “bad, no good, worthless” or “a mistake.” It also includes the failure to provide the affection and support necessary for the development of a child’s emotional, social, physical and intellectual well-being. This includes ignoring, lack of appropriate physical affection (hugs), not saying “I love you,” withdrawal of attention, lack of praise and lack of positive reinforcement.
If you know of anyone that is being abuse – reach out for help. Do not let it continue. Report it immediately! You can call the Child Protective Services Line (CPS, DCFS, DFCS – Different names in different states) – just call and report it! You can remain anonymous, but sometimes it is very helpful to give your name. Even if you suspect someone is being abuse (with a reasonable suspicion), it is better to report it than possibly ignore it and let something bad happen.
PTSD is a normal reaction to extreme trauma.
Just like bleeding is normal reaction to being stabbed.