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Trauma and my past - opening up (TW)

Anch0r33Anch0r33 Obnoxiously Large AnchorSomewhere in the sea 🌊Posts: 981 Part of The Mix Family
I think it's about time I come and open up on the boards. Recently I've been talking a lot to some of you privately or in the group chats. I really wanted to come on the boards and open this up a bit wider. 

Most of you will know, I'm in training to become a childline counsellor. Last week my module was a tough one - it covered different types of abuse. This was difficult for me as I experienced a lot of abuse growing up. What I didn't realise was that some things that happened actually fell into another category of abuse. 

I guess most of my memories really start around the age of 8, I remember we moved into our new house. I remember the old house but not got too many memories of what happened there. 

I lived alone with my mum who suffered from depression and had done for as long as I remembered. My grandparents played a major role in my whole life. My dad hardly bothered with me although I still have occasional contact with him to this day. 

We never ate at home, we always went to my grandparents. My mum was a major hoarder so it wasn't sanitary to eat there. So we didn't have food in the house, rarely had drinks. Everything I got was at my grandparents. I was never good at attending school, I'd been bullied throughout primary school and I just didn't enjoy being there. Due to the hoarding I had to share a bed with my mum. Often in the mornings if I wouldn't get up, she would physically drag me or we would get into physical fights and screaming matches. We'd often throw anything that came to hand at the other person. Sometimes she'd get so fed up that I'd be left home alone all day - there wasn't any food so I'd be hungry until dinner time. It wasn't fun. 

I thought I was a really difficult child, and everyone around me made this out to be true. I was put into CAMHS for anger issues at a young age and tbh I genuinely thought I was the problem. I don't remember much about CAMHS other than they did a whole load of nothing for me. 

As I got to an age where I understood what was going on wasn't right, I started talking to childline and they helped me build up the courage to contact social work - I was about 14 before I decided I could do it, but we'd worked on it for years. I never had my confidentiality breached. 

I used to self harm and found out as a young teen that my mum did too. She tried to talk to me a bit about how I was feeling and would often turn the situation to herself. I learned from a young age not to talk about how I felt because it would worry people around me or I would make my mum's mental health worse. 

I guess the last straw was when my grandparents were on holiday and my mum stopped taking her meds for some reason. She got pretty unpredictable and I just couldn't deal with not having my grandparents. I guess it was then that I realised how much I relied on my grandparents and how much my mum wasn't a mum. 

That's not to say she didn't care about me. That's the weird thing. I was her pride and joy and she took me everywhere for my sports. I was able to do a lot of extra curricular activities. It's all very confusing. How can someone be so nice in public and then like that in private? I guess it shows what mental health can do to a person. 

I contacted social work and reported the physical abuse. I didn't write much more tbh but when they came it very quickly turned into a neglect case. They weren't happy that I lived there and moved me to my grandparents that day - although you'll remember my grandparents were on holiday. So they let my mum stay with me... My mentally unstable, abusive and neglectful mother. They pretty much ignored everything else and looked to get me out of the unsafe environment that I lived in. 

Social work let me down, I'm not really gonna go into details but they did, they let me down a lot. So did everyone. Teachers and other professionals too. 

It was never formalised but I stayed informally with my grandparents until I was 20 (even though I had 2 years abroad, I still lived with them). 

I knew I was care experienced but ignored it as far as I could. When applying for uni I noticed there was a care experienced tick box. I wasn't sure if I qualified. I mean by the definition they gave, I should have been. I called the social work office and spoke to them for literally 2 minutes and 17 seconds. They told me I wasn't eligible and that all they had on record was that my mum and I didn't get along. Everything else was a "family arrangement". 

It was pretty shitty anyway but I emailed the uni either way, provided proof of involvement and explained a but about what happened. It turned out that social work do it a lot to avoid paying for kids. Nice of them. 

Recently I found out that when I slept with my mum, we were both naked (something I already knew and remembered) turns out this is actually sexual abuse. And I'm working to deal with that. 

Every mental health professional I've had has a set number on how many sessions I could get. It made it hard for me to open up and trust. 

The last people I saw was with the uni and they told me I need a trauma specialist - cptsd etc. 

I've never been diagnosed with anything but a lot of labels have been thrown about but I've been passed about so much that no one cares to diagnose me. I can't say I've got anxiety or depression, I can't say I have cptsd or bdp, or literally anything that's been mentioned as a possibility. I can't get any disability support through the uni until I have a diagnosis which tbh will probably be never. 

I'm not looking for advice, I get just some support, acknowledgment and some love.

Although tips on dealing with memories/flashbacks etc or any kind of support relating to what I've said. 

(And a quick disclaimer - I'm not suicidal and I'm not in any danger. I don't even self harm anymore) 

Apologies this was so long, thanks if you stick around to read it.

Much love to everyone <3
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Salix_alba_2019Mel_Past UserDandelionindependent_LorryTruck_Tech_Addict_Girl

Comments

  • Past UserPast User Posts: 91 The Mix Convert
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    Anch0r33
  • Anch0r33Anch0r33 Obnoxiously Large Anchor Somewhere in the sea 🌊Posts: 981 Part of The Mix Family
    Thanks @errrin I honestly appreciate that you took the time to respond <3 it's so very much appreciated and I'm so thankful <3
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  • Past UserPast User Posts: 1,998 Extreme Poster
    Anchor,
    I just want to start by saying that i am SO proud of you for opening up. I know that this was difficult for you but you have done amazingly and explained everything so very clearly. 
    I understand that these past few weeks have been tough for you but you have taken so many steps to try and beat this down feeling that you have and it's admiring to watch.

    I feel like we can relate to each other somewhat, we have been through similar things and have both experienced the care system which at times (most of the time) has been poor. It's a shame and I hate to say it but you're not alone with that, so many people have had bad experiences with social workers and the system in general. I know that you are in touch with Whocares? Scotland so i do really hope that they are able to help you work through your social files and to seek extra support regarding THEIR neglect.

    What happened with Mam is awful but you were not to blame, not at all so please try not to think that you were. Mam had issues that she really needed to seek help with but this was her responsibility and she didn't seek that help. She was the adult and you were the child... HER child. She should've made sure that you had a tidy home, food and a parent that you felt able to trust and open up to. Not one that you were afraid one. 

    I am so sorry that you had to experience what you had. I just wish that i had the words to make it all better for you. If i did, i'd use them in a heart beat. It just seems like all of the adults in your life managed to let you down. Dad wasn't around, Mam was abusive, Social services didn't do anything formally and the fact that they left you with Mam because your grandparents were away is shocking. Seriously, where is the sense in that?

    I've told you before but i do truly mean it, you deserved more. You deserved so, so , so much more and after everything you've been through, it's understandable for you to be hurting right now but i'm glad that you're being so open about it so that people can help you and so that you can help yourself.

    Have you managed to get in touch with the GP re. counselling? I don't know much about counselling but I think that they would be able to put you in touch a counsellor and I don't think they have set amount of sessions? I'm not sure though. I do think that it would be easier to keep seeing the same counsellor though so that you can build that trust to finally start opening up.

    Granted, not ideal but there's also the route of going private. You'd get to pick your own counsellor then and there's no set sessions because you're paying them.

    I don't have much advice for dealing with memories but I think that counselling with help you to deal with the bad memories, you know? Talking about them, understanding them and then laying them to rest. You could also try some grounding techniques when it comes to the flashbacks, if you notice yourself having a flashback you could try to think about the 54321 method

    Say out loud or in your head :   
    • 5 things you can see
    • 4 things you can feel
    • 3 things you can hear
    • 2 things you can smell
    • 1 thing you can taste
    It might also help to notice what your triggers are. If you find yourself having a flashback or just thinking about the bad memories, try to notice what made you feel the way that you do, were you doing anything in particular? My doctor told me to do this but also warned me that anything can trigger memories. Smells, sounds, sights.. anything. It's good to know though so that you can avoid these triggers for in the future or even just prepare yourself.


    Keep going, you're doing well, my friend. Know that I am always here for you.

    Big hugs 

    <3



     




    Anch0r33independent_
  • Anch0r33Anch0r33 Obnoxiously Large Anchor Somewhere in the sea 🌊Posts: 981 Part of The Mix Family
    @Liam thank you so much for giving me such a well thought through response. 

    I honestly can't express how much I appreciate you as a friend and this response. You've honestly been there for me. Most people on here have. It's amazing. It's super heartwarming <3

    We have too much in common, honestly it's scary. But it's nice to have someone by my side who understands the care system, social work and everything. It's nice to have a mentor on it as well :lol:

    I need to call the doctor on Monday, but I did contact one of the places that the uni counsellor recommend. I'll see what happens when they reply. 

    The 54321 method is something I really do need to try, especially as the river method wasn't my kind of thing. It just made me think of my memories if that makes sense. 

    I honestly don't know what else to say but just know I'm thankful <3
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  • independent_independent_ Resident Coffee Addict ScotlandPosts: 6,809 Master Poster
    Hey Anchor, 

    Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply to this, I saw it last night and my first thought was how incredibly brave it was of you to open up about everything on here. You need to have somewhere where you can talk about everything, and be completely honest and open, and get the support you need - the fact that you’ve felt able to do that here is wonderful. I know I’ve said this a few times to you but I’ll say it again - I’m really really proud of you for opening up about everything. 

    Hopefully the GP will be able to put you in touch with a specialist service when you call them on Monday, I think when it comes to trauma and difficult memories having someone who specialises in and understands that specifically will be really beneficial for you. 

    I understand where you’re coming from about only getting a set number of sessions though, it depends who you see and the type of therapy that you’re getting whether or not they limit sessions and how many you can have. I’m kinda going through similar at the moment where I’ve only got a certain number of counselling sessions and I’m finding it difficult to talk about everything straight away, so I understand that.

    I really do wish I had more advice for you but the 54321 method is really great, I’ve used it to help with anxiety before. It takes your focus off the difficult thoughts and forces you to think about something else.

    I hope opening up here has been helpful for you and I can see you’ve had some excellent advice above, I just wanted to reply to say that I read this, I hear you and I really hope things start to improve for you soon and you get the help you need. 

    Always here if you ever need a chat <3 
    “Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to, it’s not for them.”
    Anch0r33
  • Anch0r33Anch0r33 Obnoxiously Large Anchor Somewhere in the sea 🌊Posts: 981 Part of The Mix Family
    @independent_ thank you for this <3 

    I'm hoping tomorrow I'll be able to get an appointment. It's been crazy getting a hold of anyone with this pandemic. 

    At least I now 100% know the uni services aren't for me. And they won't be able to help me. They said if the waiting list is long they can offer me 5/10 sessions but I don't see that being worth it because I'll have to open up to then have to deal with it myself once it's done. 

    I'm not sure how soon I'll be given a specialist because doctors seem to have this thing where they think they know better than the patient and will decide they want me in regular counselling to see for themselves, which tbh will be useless. I'm aware they have the degree but I think I know my life better than they do and I know from being told by other professionals that a specialist is what I need. 

    Yeah I'm not sure how they can just shove everyone into a one size fits all regarding counselling session numbers. What some people could deal with in 5 sessions other people might need 10 etc. Ugh it's not fun. 

    I really appreciate your response and thankful to have you as a friend. 

    It's been a bit of a relief if I'm honest, it's nice having it there (although dreadful at the same time because I constantly feel like I'm getting judged) but yes it's nice to shove it off my shoulders. 

    <3
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  • independent_independent_ Resident Coffee Addict ScotlandPosts: 6,809 Master Poster
    Yeah I know what you mean with doctors, all you can do is try and be assertive with what you need and what the other professionals have told you. Best thing with doctors although it can be really hard is to be as honest as you can. 

    Yes I think some people struggle to trust someone that fast as well and when you only get a certain number of 1 hour sessions, if you don’t click with a person straight away it’s really difficult because you still feel like you haven’t dealt with everything. I understand that. Hopefully when you see a specialist they’ll be able to offer you as many sessions as you need to process everything and to start feeling better. 

    I’m glad it’s been a relief posting on here, be reassured that you’re never being judged, if anything everyone will be thinking how brave it was of you to post it. 

    <3<3<3 
    “Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to, it’s not for them.”
    Anch0r33
  • Anch0r33Anch0r33 Obnoxiously Large Anchor Somewhere in the sea 🌊Posts: 981 Part of The Mix Family
    So I spoke to the Dr today - she was super nice. 

    Originally I was a bit reserved. Just explained that I'd spoken to loads of different people and the uni counselling recommended I called to get a specialist. She wasn't 100% sure what I meant but once we spoke a bit more I actually was able to use the words "abuse and neglect" and she asked a bit about that (nothing in detail but just like was it physical/sexual etc - so I said a bit of everything). 

    We spoke a bit about the social work involvement, she asked if I went into care so I told her I was in kinship with my grandparents. She asked who abused me and I said my mum. 

    She asked a bit about if I'd ever had any medication and we spoke a bit about that. She said it might be an option. 

    She also mentioned complex trauma and PTSD so I guess we wait and see what happens. She also said if I need to call her to make an appointment and ask specifically for her. She was honestly so helpful and I'm feeling hopeful about it. 

    Only shitty thing is if I do get accepted into the bit she wants me in then it'll be weeks before I'm seen (not sure how many weeks). 
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  • Past UserPast User Posts: 91 The Mix Convert
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
    Anch0r33
  • LorryTruckLorryTruck Definition of a mental mess and a certified lost cause :) EnglandPosts: 1,939 Extreme Poster
     <3 Sending hugs.
    You did a great job opening up.
    Sorry you have to wait.
    I know you've heard this before, but you've got to be strong now...
    Anch0r33
  • independent_independent_ Resident Coffee Addict ScotlandPosts: 6,809 Master Poster
    edited November 2020
    Aww Anchor, I’m soooo glad the doctor was helpful <3 and I’m glad you’re finally getting referred for the help you need!! 
    “Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to, it’s not for them.”
    Anch0r33
  • Anch0r33Anch0r33 Obnoxiously Large Anchor Somewhere in the sea 🌊Posts: 981 Part of The Mix Family
    Thank you both! 

    @independent_ I should hear back over the next few days if they'll take me on. Fingers crossed. I'm very hopeful but she seems like even if these people don't take me that she'll get me somewhere that they'll take me 
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    independent_
  • _Tech_Addict_Girl_Tech_Addict_Girl Posts: 1,073 Wise Owl
    Hey @Anch0r33 Sorry I have no advice but I just wanted to say well done for posting don't give up keep going I believe in you.
    Sending big hugs <3<3


    Anch0r33
  • Anch0r33Anch0r33 Obnoxiously Large Anchor Somewhere in the sea 🌊Posts: 981 Part of The Mix Family
    Thank you @Emoji246 I appreciate the love and support <3
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  • Anch0r33Anch0r33 Obnoxiously Large Anchor Somewhere in the sea 🌊Posts: 981 Part of The Mix Family
    Today I was turned down for a non NHS counselling that the uni counselling gave me a link to. 

    Because I'm white. 

    And they only work with black and ethnic minorities. 

    I mean come on. 
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  • Past UserPast User Posts: 1,998 Extreme Poster
    edited November 2020
    Blergh, not good. @Anch0r33 . Fair play for trying though. 

    Still hope for the counselling list your GP has put you on? I know it’s just a long wait though.

    this whole situation sucks 
  • Anch0r33Anch0r33 Obnoxiously Large Anchor Somewhere in the sea 🌊Posts: 981 Part of The Mix Family
    Thanks @Liam

    Yeah I'm waiting to hear back from doctors regarding the NHS counselling. Was just hoping to get something in the mean time. Or something else as well. Who knows. 

    On the plus side I heard back from WhoCares?Scotland and I'm meeting with my worker on Thursday. 

    Things are looking hopeful - just was taken aback by the anti white counseling lol (ps I'm not racist please no one take offense x)
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