A Quick “How Do You Do?”

So, I thought it probably best to post a quick “how do you do?” if you like, in order to introduce myself. Rather than that, than delving straight into my deepest darkest secrets, huh? The post may ramble a little, but that’s just me and there will probably be more rambling to come with future posts, but, if you’re OK with that then enjoy a little bit of background history on myself. Enjoy.

CW: contains references to abuse, self harm, overdose, and suicide (with no graphic content).

Hi, I’m Laura. I’m 19 years old and I live in the northwest of England. Pretty boring right? Well bare with me it will get more interesting as we go along. I live in a flat with my pet tenrec (not hedgehog) Perry. I am sufferer of EUPD (formerly known as BPD), as well as agoraphobia with Panic Disorder. Whilst I only got these diagnosises in October of 2016, I’ve had ongoing issues with my mental health since 2012. I’m into my music, art, and gaming. I spend a lot of time on social media, bordering being an addict, but what’s a girl to do when she wont leave the house? Anyway with that out of the way I’ll start telling you a bit about my past, and how we came to be in this beautiful mess.

For the younger years of my childhood I lived with both parents, until they split, your stereotypical divorced parents. When I was 7 my brother and I moved away with my Mum to be closer to my grandparents, we saw less and less of my Dad, and my Mum was isolated from her friends, here is where the story begins…

Sadly my Mum had a child when she was just 14, she named the little girl Zoe, but Zoe had to be put up for adoption (I didn’t know this until much later), so for years and years my Mum had carried around this pain (14 to be exact). As her and her friends from our hometown grew further and further apart, my Mum found herself fighting a losing battle with inner demons I will never be able to understand. As she fought she lost all hope and seeked for answers at the bottom of a bottle. By now I would have been turning 10/11. At first she’d just pass out on the couch, leaving me to cook for my 5 year old brother, and make sure we got to bed OK. We’d wake up in the morning like everything was normal. But, as time went by the passing out wasn’t the only problem, she’d become passive aggressive, blaming me for “ruining my brothers life” out of no where, intimidating me waving a cigarette in my face, punishing me for things I hadn’t done. She’d even begin cooking tea, then half way through she’d become adamant we’d eaten. I’d point out the food in the oven and ask if she’d been drinking, to which she’d respond by making me sniff everything in the kitchen for booze. This became the tipping point.

Meanwhile whilst this had all be occurring, my Dad had found himself a ‘delightful’ new girlfriend, who he took out on dates and whatnot whilst for fours years he’d taken us out only a handful of time, oh and did I mention, she’s twenty years younger than him. So at the time, I’d held a lot of resentment toward him for that, but he saved the day when my Mum got worse, in the end anyway. The first time, he took us away, we stayed away a week, and then knowing she was still drinking he took us back. 24 hours we were there before he had to come and get us again. That was the last time I saw my Mum for four years. I hated her at the time, because how could she do that to her children, how naive was I. In the end it all made sense, I’d found out she’d wanted to call me Zoe so when she took her anger out on me, it had made sense that I never lived up to this flawless image she had of Zoe.

If you’re struggling to keep up, my brother and I are now in my Dad’s Β care, having no contact with my Mum. OK, so we’re loving being at my Dad’s because hey, it’s beats where we were before, and his girlfriend is being lovely for the 4 days a week she was there, and my Dad’s driving us twenty miles each day to school. Until my grandparents decided that they had enough. They owned the house we’d been living in with my Mum so they made the decision to evict her because actually the house was for us kids. Before long we moved back in but with Dad this time. Everything was lovely.

Soon enough, I was turning 11, I was heading into high school, making a Facebook account, and getting the preteen attitude we all know too well, same as any other kid. Dad was fine with this, he was prepared for my attitude, he’d had 11 years of preparation for this. His “wonderful” girlfriend however, was only a mere ten years older than me, 21, with no social life, no life experience to guide her through the storm. All of a sudden I became the “demonic” child. Once again, my world was on a sure path to crashing down all over again.

We kept hamsters, mine at this point was called Treacle; Tufty’s heir to the throne. One night, I’m up a little late cleaning out Treacle’s cage, my Dad’s girlfriend is minding us. Of course my brother is in bed, so it’s just myself and Dad’s girlfriend. She had asked me to hurry up, so I’d sure, I’ve just got this, this, and this to do. A whole 2 minutes past before she got an attitude and said no you need to go to bed you were supposed to go to bed [this] long ago. I’d pulled a face, confused as to why she’d snapped so suddenly, I’d never seen anything like it, so out of the blue. She stood up, came in my direction, kicked the hamsters cage at me, so I screamed “what the f*** are you doing?!” to which she replied “I’m calling your Dad to come home!”. Β I’d hurled some abuse at her telling her it was a good job because she’s not capable of looking after us. Soon enough my dad was home, I pointed out that my foot was bleeding because she had kicked the hamster cage at me, so he went straight upstairs, and I followed but into my room. He shouted me down before long, and sat me in the middle of the room on a stool. He asked me what had happened, so I explained. All of a sudden I must have unleashed an almighty beast because his girlfriend was running at me screaming “I’m going to kill you, you c***!!!”. My dad had to restrain her whilst I ran upstairs, crying my eyes out. What might seem like a pointlessly long story to you, was a crucial part in what’s to come, this was the first ever incident between myself and my Dad’s girlfriend (who we will refer to as GF from now on) and the first of any proper arguments since we had left my Mum. Although my brain is a little foggy I think before this, I’d had a phone call with my Mum, so there was a hint of jealousy.

Things from this point just went from bad to worse, in short GF just lost all interest in playing the stepmum. She was no longer centre of attention, during the school holidays we were getting in the way of their sex life, even during term time, Dad was busy a lot, so I can see why someone would get frustrated. It started off small things, like one day my brother being 6, was messing around, fell over the laundry basket and hurt himself. GF had refused to help, so I got mad. I questioned her, and asked why she wasn’t helping she was supposed to be the adult, to which I got told it was his own fault. He was 6?! Sure enough, she called my Dad home, and I was the bad guy. This started a trend of her not speaking to me for weeks on end, every time she was at our house, I just wasn’t allowed to speak to her. So I’d start to hide away in my room. But somehow I was still annoying her. I began growing increasingly self concious and just wanted to know why she was being so horrible to me. Never really thinking of how intrusive I was being, I’d read her journal, I just wanted to know why she was so mad at ,e. I’d find erotic novels about her and my dad, or her and celebrities, I’d avoid them and flip through the entries about how I had glanced at her, or how I was brown nosing my Dad… Because I’m not allowed to be nice to my own Dad. She’d write things like my Dad was wrapped around my little finger for not punishing me for these things. So for years we’d argue, not speak, resolve things, argue, not speak, resolve things, and despite my Dad’s best efforts we could never see eye to eye. We were just never going to get on. This carried on even when we moved to a new house. A new start you’d think. I think not.

The cycle continued like always, only now she had been diagnosed with really bad anxiety. I can relate. But this anxiety was suddenly causing her to not be able to ignore noise that was upstairs when she went to the toilet but couldn’t be heard downstairs. And this anxiety meant I wasn’t allowed to put her clothes in the dryer to use the washing machine. And this anxiety meant I now had to be a mind reader and not get in the bath when she was mentally planning one. And this anxiety meant she was allowed to bully me, but not through her own words and actions. No. My dad had to play advocate to all this, or she would kick off. I’d have my stereo on upstairs because I dare to sit downstairs, she’d come up to use the toilet, hear it, go down and my Dad would have to come up and make me turn it down. He’d roll his eyes along with me and I’d turn it down one level, but she’d come up to check. And this all became a constant thing. Sure enough it began to take its toll on my Dad and he was no longer rolling his eyes with me, he was throwing me around the room for answering back. I didn’t understand what I’d done that was so wrong… I’d go to school with bruises and have to lie. He’d take my phone and netbook off me but I’d scream and scream and scream because I wasn’t allowed out, that was my only touch with the outside world. So he’d give in. I wanted attention from somewhere, so I’d behave inappropriately online. I just wanted someone to love me. But the throwing turned into punching, and slapping, and breaking my belongings. I was the root of pure evil even before he knew what I had been doing. If I tried to speak with the family when GF was around, I’d get to,d I wasn’t part of the conversation. They’d go out on family trips to macdonalds, even blue planet, and guess who wasn’t invited. Yep, it was me. So my behaviour got worse and all the more inappropriate. I dated a 24 year old man when I was 15. I didn’t want to be left out anymore, I just wanted someone’s affection. So I got it. But things just kept getting worse at home. I started to self harm, and tried to overdose. I finally told my Dad and he tried to care but as soon as he was mad I’d get told “You’re a psychopath just like your Mum, go and drown yourself in the bath”, even after my Mum passed away. I stopped attending school because I was having panic attacks everyday, my attitude got worse because why should I be kind to this man? The man who claimed to love me, yet hurt me so badly.

One day it all came to an end after 4 years. I’d been into school for once, and my Dad had picked us up. He didn’t speak to me the whole way home, so I couldn’t work out why he was mad. I tried to spark up a conversation once we got home, telling him about one of my horrible teachers at school. He turned around and he asked me “why are you talking to me?”… I looked at him confused; “I’m just telling you what happened at school?”. He replied “no you’re attention seeking, every time you talk to me you’re attention seeking!”. “So im not allowed to talk to my own dad?” I asked. He told me “Shut up I don’t want to talk to you.”. I took my sausage rolls in the living room, and sat watching TV, screaming at the TV because I’m an attention seeker, so on and so on. My dad came in, and he made a snide comment. To this day I don’t remember what he said, but I saw red. I stood up, sick to my stomach, I took the sausage roll, and threw it at him. Took my plate into the kitchen, and as I turned around, BANG. He punched me in the face. And again. And again. And again. And again. Every time, banging my head off the boiler. My ten year old brother stood in the doorway squealing “Dad what are you doing?”. I will never be able to shake that from sound from my mind. My Dad stopped. I took a breath. I screamed as loud as my lungs would let me. I’d been punched in the nose by a 40+ year old, 20st man. And took each one without a sound or a movement. I rang the police and he was taken into custody…

I’ve not seen my Dad in three years. Since then I’ve lived with my Aunty, my friend, two hostels, another friend, a care leavers home, a supported flat, and now my own flat. I’ve fell apart more times than I can count, and as result, I’m now an agoraphobic borderline warrior with panic disorder. No family around me, just myself, and a constant reminder through socia media sights that I’m the bad one.

I hope you managed to get through all of that, hopefully now my future (shorter) posts will make sense to you. As for me, I’m officially emotionally exhausted from writing this, so until next time readers. Remember, you’re never alone.

Laura x

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2 thoughts on “A Quick “How Do You Do?”

  1. Laura, you followed me on twitter – Eleanor A Art (@surname31) (surname removed for my own anonymity) and I was really interested to read your story. I too have EUPD. Mine was triggered by abuse also but of a different kind and I must say my mum and stepdad have been through this process for years with me now. You’re only 19. I’m 23 and trust me, unless you insist and insist on help and support it won’t happen. Mental health services are so disappointing and frankly useless for us suffering with EUPD/BPD. Laura, you’ve been through too much already but I want to help you as much as possible for it to stop so you aren’t 23 and in the situation I’ve found myself in-with multiple diagnosis, countless hospital admissions and it affecting my whole life. I’ve attended the best universities in the country (well Scotland and England) but my mental health has stopped my career. I’d love to get in touch with you. I will tweet you saying I’ve written this so you know who it is and we can perhaps find a way of having a conversation privately around this stuff which people like the so called professionals claim to understand but clearly don’t.
    I hope you get some sleep tonight. Please don’t torment and torture yourself; thinking you’re alone etc as I want to know you aren’t.
    It would be so easy to say ‘stay safe’ and ‘look after yourself’ but I know that often these are seen as empty words to be fought against. I want you to know you’re not alone and that there are people out there who can relate to what you’re going through.

    Ellie A x

    Like

    1. Hi lovely,
      Thank you that was truly touching; bless your heart. I’m in a relatively stable place at the moment, however, should that change I shall surely bare in mind what you’ve said. You are always welcome to tweet me or email me or DM me, should you ever want someone to talk to also.

      Laura x

      Like

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